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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Funny People Tricks : Properly Dressed

Chuck Hinman: Funny People Tricks : Properly Dressed. Chuck ponders: Who would have dreamed that snug undies are so important in the business world.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - I smell a mouse

By Chuck Hinman

Funny People Tricks : Properly Dressed

I suspect one of the more popular TV shows here at Tallgrass Estates in Bartlesville, Oklahoma is "Funny Animal Tricks." You can find this show or reruns thereof most any time of day or night. Judging from the amount of raucous laughter heard around these digs from both men and women, I suspect many take a liking to funny incidents that dot their lives and enjoy hearing about them. Some day I hope our Activities Director will ask us to share some of those funny incidents under an activity perhaps entitled "When I First Noticed I Was Losing My Mind!"
Here's one of mine....

Properly Dressed -- Seen and Unseen

The year is 1960 and we are here in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I was one of the 10,000 Phillips Petroleum Company office workforce in our city of 35,000 people, the largest employer in the state of Oklahoma. In years to come, Bartlesville consistently ranked as one of the top ten small cities in the United States in which to live, and for good reason.

Typical office attire was 'dressy business.' Thank goodness there were no 'sloppy Joe/Josephine Fridays' in those wonderful days. Men wore suits, white shirts, and ties; women sported DeLiso Deb pumps in all colors but all with high heels. Edward's and Koppel's women's stores made a killing in those days as did Zofness and May Brothers men's clothing stores (all no longer in business). Noon on the streets of downtown Bartlesville in those days was like noon on Wall Street in New York City. Office workers were dressed to the hilt so to speak. Oh for the good old days!

I was jogging before jogging became cool

I had been diagnosed as having had, and was recovering from, a premature, heart attack. My doctor urged that I exercise more and become less sedentary. So, I became one of the first people to take up jogging in Bartlesville for health's sake. Copying a famous line from Dolly Parton -- "I was country when country wasn't cool" -- I could say "I was jogging before jogging became cool!"

Most of my running in those days was done on Highway 75 before I went to work in the morning and/or on the streets of downtown Bartlesville during the lunch hour.

I was enjoying the new Parkway and the new Y

Bartlesville had built a hiking-jogging trail called Pathfinder Parkway. Part of that wonderful running or jogging venue circled Johnstone Park in downtown Bartlesville. It was great because a runner didn't have to compete with cars and trucks.

About this same time, the YMCA built a new facility near Johnstone Park. I soon discovered that it was most convenient for me to get my running done before I went to work. So, when I got up in the morning, I slipped into some running clothes. I had a locker at the Y where I kept my shaving articles and all I had to do was bring my clothes for the day. After my early morning two mile run on Pathfinder Parkway, and shaving and showering at the Y, I was prepared for the day's work. I was probably the healthiest I have ever been.

I forgot to bring my clean underwear

Well, guess what. One morning after I had completed my run, I reached in my car to get my clothes and discovered much to my shock that I had forgotten to bring my clean underwear. After I shaved and showered and put on my clothes, I was completely dressed except NO underwear. At first I thought -- no big deal, I'll just fake it!

I could tell after my first meeting I was going to have 'big' trouble going through the day without underwear. I don't know how to explain it, but being undergirded by a snug fitting pair of jockey shorts just seems to help you when you are making a statement in a meeting of your peers. Without underwear, I seemed to lack confidence in anything. I was incoherent, stuttering, and miserable.

Who would have dreamed that snug undies are so important in the business world. No advertisements that I have seen ever show a CEO clad in only jockey shorts assertively addressing the annual meeting of stockholders. But mark my word, you can bet he has on proper-fitting underwear -- no doubt the secret of his success.

I decided I HAD to make a short trip home

About 10 am, I told Shirley, my secretary, that I HAD to make a short trip home but that I would be back promptly. She didn't ask and I didn't tell the reason.

When I arrived home, the driveway was full of cars. I had forgotten this was the morning Connie hosted her Bible study class of her women friends. No big deal for me I thought! I would just slip in the back door and go straight to my bedroom to complete dressing without having to explain to that house full of chattering women (and Connie most of all) why I was home. Connie wouldn't let me explain later -- she had to know NOW. I could tell she was serious.

I may never live this underwear caper down

After hearing my story, she thought it was a 'screamer' and proceeded to spill it to her guests! When will I ever live this down!

When I emerged from the bedroom fully dressed, I had to 'front up' to a houseful of shrieking and pointing women all wanting to check my body to see if I had my underwear on. Geez -- doesn't a man have a right to privacy in his own house. Now the whole city of Bartlesville will know!

I am a marked man

More than 50 years later, some of Connie's friends who were there that morning and who have outlived her will smile and wink and give me that devilish look as they teasingly tweak the elastic in their panties and ask if I am wearing underwear today. I am a 'marked man' for life it seems. But I love it!

Yes I have my underwear on as I write this! Mind your own business!

Written by Chuck Hinman, 30 August 2006. In this text I have incorporated material from a revision titled 'Properly Dressed' which was emailed Thursday, 16 September 2010. ['Seen and Unseen' added by RHS]

This story was posted on 2013-06-30 05:21:24
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