I went to visit Tailor today.


I decided to get a suit made. And some shirts. I had fun. I spent a lot of money. I sat there thumbing through hundreds of different cloths for suits and shirts. I chose a lightweight medium gray with a delicious texture for the suit, and four solid colors for the shirts. I'm not ready to graduate to stripy-ness yet.

Tailor is going to make the suit just how I want it. For one thing, it won't have a breast pocket. Stupid, silly, pointless thing. So I got rid of it. Hooray! And I'll finally get trousers that make me look as if I actually have a bum, instead of just slumping like a wet sack. And the armholes will be nice and not so fabulously deep, so I don't look like a bat, flapping about pointlessly, whenever I gesticulate from the shoulder. If all goes according to plan, I won't have to walk around with my elbows locked to my sides any more.

While getting measured, I confirmed that I am indeed abnormally tiny. My chest measure came out to 35½", which simply cannot be had in an off-the-rack suit.

I got some shirts, too. All fairly standard. I got one in British khaki, and I wanted another one in olive drab, but they only had olive drab in a linen, which is simply unacceptable. I got a lovely blue that's a tick darker than the typical blue you see in stores, a lovely textured gray (same texture as the suit, actually, only in a lighter shade), and one other thing that I can't remember.

I didn't go for French cuffs. I think they're silly. And I also think they only work with white shirts, and I am white-averse. I do not own a white shirt, and I haven't worn one in longer than I can remember. I think maybe to prom. Eight years ago.

I forwent a breast pocket on the shirts, too. I am so tiny that I worry that breast pockets will only make me look smaller, because they're cut on a stock pattern that doesn't change size with the shirt. And I never use them, so why have them?

The only thing was, while I was looking at cloth while Tailor was dealing with other customers, the radio was on. On some Christian station. Normally, I can tolerate by just tuning it out, but this was unlike any Christian station I have ever heard. It was FM, but had a format more like AM. It sounded like they were doing a live show like the "good old days" of radio theatre. The format was very "A Prairie Home Companion." A short story here, an advertisement there. I think it was a children's show.

One segment was particularly interesting. Announcer Guy was interviewing some shrimp. The first shrimp was a Pistol Shrimp, discussing its interesting snapping mechanism. He started by comparing his snapping claw to a handgun. How he cocks it back, like the hammer on a gun. How he snaps it and it makes powerful shock wave. How it scares off enemies, or can help him catch food. It sounded suspiciously pro-gun.

Now I have no problem with guns as such, but the circumlocutions made me uncomfortable. I mean, why is it necessary to hide a pro-gun message in a children's story?

That wasn't the worst of it, though. The next shrimp to be interviewed was an Angler Shrimp (which I cannot find in the Wikipedia). That is, a shrimp with really long antennae that it uses to lure food like a fly-fisher. The shrimp described its unique adaptation (but not as such) and pointed out how he is unlike any other kind of shrimp in the ocean. Naturally, the obvious conclusion is that God had made him just the way he was.

Isn't the intelligence of the Great Designer glorious? Some people think all the thousands of different kinds of shrimp originally came from a single pair of shrimp. But that's unscientific. The Great Designer created all the kinds of shrimp separately, and they will never reproduce beyond their own kind.
No shit.

It was nauseating. I had difficulty concentrating on the swatch books.

Tailor has never said anything even remotely religious to me. I think he might have had the station on without paying any attention to it. He was in the other room with other customers most of the time. Next time I'm in there, if the radio is on that station again, I might ask to change it. He's polite, runs a nice business with competitive prices, and makes great suits, so I'm not inclined to take my business elsewhere. I cannot ascribe to him a belief in creationism, but even if I could, it doesn't seem to affect his ability to make a fine suit.

Tom G Varik