29 April 2007

A Man And His Pants

Yesterday's 4th Annual Pop Punk Softball was every bit as awesome as expected, actually maybe even a bit more so, thanks to the weather, which was just about right, i.e., not a lot of sun, but neither too hot or too cold, just perfect for lounging about (can't speak for those who were actually playing), and to Central Park, which was just coming in to its full springtime glory (in fact, those of you who are in or around New York might want to get up there soon, like today even, to appreciate the full effect of everything gently exploding into leaf and bloom).

I got there not just late, as was expected, but even later, which was disheartening, as I must have missed out on some of the afternoon's most dramatic happenings, at least those that took place on the playing field. By the time I arrived I think people were tiring and no longer capable of exhibiting their full athletic prowess (or not). But the quality of the hitting and fielding was mostly pretty impressive, confirming my belief that my place on the sidelines was in fact the right place for me.

And it was in fact on the sidelines that the most memorable - at least for me - event of Softball 2007 unfolded: an hour-plus discussion of Chadd Derkins' somewhat unusual Philosophy of Pants. Before I proceed, I should note that living in Britain as long as I did has left me somewhat skittish about using the word "pants." There, of course, it's mainly used to describe underpants, and it's also viewed, at least among children, as a slightly "naughty" word, the sort of thing that can make kids or slightly older but still immature teenagers giggle when it slips into polite conversation.

There was little polite about the Chadd Derkins confab, however, as a growing circle of participants and onlookers harassed, questioned and heckled the man about his policy of owning only one pair of pants (which, incidentally, he "borrowed" from his dad when his last pair split during a visit to his beleaguered parents). Chadd wears this somewhat knackered pair of brown trousers, apparently made from fibers not commonly found in nature, for work every day, for relaxing on the weekend, for playing softball (as a grass stain and rip along the side testified), for the rare "dress-up" occasions he attends, and though we neglected to inquire, possibly for sleeping in as well.

Naturally, there were questions. "What do you wear if you've got an important business meeting?" Lucas the Lawyer wanted to know. "Business meeting?" Chadd sputtered, "I've never had a 'business meeting' in my life, and if I ever did have one, I'd know it was probably time to change my 'career.'" What about weddings? "If someone doesn't want me at their wedding because of my pants, then that's all the better for me, because I hate weddings!" What about your own wedding, should that ever come about? "Hopefully Carla (Chadd's lovely consort) will want to marry me just the way I am."

Further discussion revealed that Chadd not only owns only the single pair of pants, but has never in his life bought a pair of the infernal things. They've always been gifts or hand-me-downs, and he was shocked, yes shocked, that people would voluntarily squander their earnings at Old Navy (for which Chadd seems to have a particular distaste, or perhaps it's the only pants store he's heard of; for whatever reason, he kept fulminating against it). When Colleen pointed out that if he shopped around (in the "Pants District," P Smith helpfully suggested, home of shops like Pants'R'Us, House Of Pants, and Pants Pour Vous), he could find a good quality pair for as little as $25, Chadd grew even more outraged.

"You mean none of you think it's crazy to spend that kind of money on a pair of pants? No wonder I can't communicate with you. You're all living in some kind of ivory tower! No thanks, you can go down to the yacht club and discuss your portfolios without me." When it was revealed that Lucas the Lawyer's Diesel jeans had cost $180, Chadd was reduced to sputtering apoplexy.

It was no use pointing out Chadd spends enough on video games to outfit a small African nation in pants for life. "Video games are useful!" he insisted. "What are you going to do with a closet full of pants? Stand in front of it each morning and meditate? 'Hmm, what is my mood today and which of my 97 pairs of pants will best harmonize with it?'" Anyway, what is the problem you guys have with my pants? I'm clean, I change my underwear everyday. Do I stink? Do I? Here, smell me and tell me if I stink!" There were no takers, but I'm here to testify that a distance of several feet Chadd had no detectable odor.

It should be noted at this point that Chadd has a slight physical resemblance and a far more uncanny likeness in terms of speech and manners to Seinfeld's George Costanza, especially when it comes to the ability to make preposterous claims with blithe, almost blissful self-assurance. As we learned yesterday, however, when Chadd is pressed too far, his inner Newman comes out, and at times like that, you're not too sure you want to be around.

For the curious, it was also determined that in addition to his single pair of pants, Chadd owns between 200 and 800 band t-shirts (the number kept escalating along with his agitation) and that comprises the sum total of his wardrobe. Chadd Derkins, ladies and gentlemen, one of a kind, and we love him.


Psmith said...

Someone else thoughtfully suggested he visit the "pants district," but I was the one who said the rest of us live in a Denim Tower rather than an Ivory Tower.

erika said...

I would have loved to be in on that pants conversation. I remember P Hynes "packing" for a Potatomen tour. Basically, the pants shirt and suit jacket he was wearing.

Larry Livermore said...

Pants, shirt and a suit jacket? Chadd Derkins would be aghast at such sartorial excesses.

erika said...

Well, you know, the Pat suit jacket was pretty tattered. But stylish! He was "one pant Pat" for a while...

Like I said, it would have been fun to talk pant. CD sorta makes sense.

Nate said...

I've been saying it for years... Chadd Derkins is the closest thing we have to a renaissance man.