Thursday, October 01, 2009

Manliness

Every so often the testosterone kicks in and I find myself doing Man Things. Not scratching my goolies and staring at ladies' bottoms. Well, not just scratching my goolies and staring at ladies' bottoms anyway. Luckily, the hardware shop on the way to work has closed down so I can't drift in to browse the sandpapers or pick up an odd half-ton of assorted wood screws. It's not like I'm any good at DIY, I just succumbed to that same primitive urge that pulls you towards the old Biggles books in the Oxfam Shop or makes you fall in love with steam trains.

There I was, quietly reading a learned journal when my eye wandered to the outdoor clothing adverts. A padded waistcoat with a thermal lining and 17 pockets. Thornproof, waterproof exterior fabric and 17 pockets. Lightweight and flexible and with 17 pockets. Breathable interior, subtle lovat shading and 17 pockets. I could do with having a decent weatherproof waistcoat for when I'm out for a walk. And something warm on my back seeing as I'm not as young as I was. And it has 17 pockets.

Ladies' handbags are a matter of mystery and terror to us poor mortals. Exploiting secret advances in tesseract technologies, they cram their bags with all matter and manner of things of which we daresn't speak aloud. The last time I was in a relationship of any sort we used to snuggle by the fireside listening to "Educating Archie" but I still end up being the one who stands in the shop "just holdings this" while one or other female acquaintance looks for their purse/bus pass/lipstick/tape measure/whatever. It's like being a contestant on 'Crackerjack' without the cabbages. Well, usually. Somebody did once have a small savoy cabbage in her handbag. We were in an art gallery at the time. The same people who walk around with all this crap in an over-priced bag will then witter on and on and on again on about men's pockets.

"They've always got to have things in their pockets."

Well yes. We do. That's what they're there for. It isn't rocket science. It's a design classic. Sheer functional elegance. That's what I say. (I think I talk back too much to be in a relationship with a member of the opposite). It isn't a good idea to sew up the pockets. No. It isn't.
"It would stop you spoiling the line of the jacket."
Listen, let's get real: me getting into the jacket spoils the line of the jacket. So we don't sew up the pockets. And we sympathise when I buy a jacket that only has the one functioning pocket: the left-hand one is just a dummy with a pocket flap. No, seriously, we do. I mean, I've got to fit all the gear into one pocket. By the time I've put in the small change, the keys, the receipts, the commonplace book, the pencil, the white mouse, the box of chalks, the lump of cobbler's wax and the screwdrivers I'm walking with a distinct list. Luckily, I'm balanced out by the bag full of paperwork, newspapers, books and stuff so I'm not twisting the spine too much.

17 pockets. I wonder if they're all sewn up.

15 comments:

ChickPea said...

This sounds like a most wonderful garment to me - I can fully understand your rapture and enfatuation - wow - SEVENTEEN pockets......... young Bart the Mew still fits in a pocket (just) - you must surely have a spare pocket for him to share with you.......

ChickPea said...

PS. AND - he would make sure there's absolutely NO spiders in ANY of the seventeen pockets..........

Gadjo Dilo said...

With you on this, Kevin. I had a girlfriend who was constantly infuriated because I always had pockets full of stuff, making me look like a plonker rather than the gigolo that she (mistakenly) thought she wanted. Then, of course, she wanted to borrow my Swiss army knife for something, but even though I had it with me I wouldn't lend it to her on principle. Then we broke up.

worm said...

17 pockets would mean there would be at least one pocket that would be perfect for holding some kind of really nice pocket knife. one of those french ones. So you'd have to buy one of those too

librarylizzie said...

In defence of handbags, when i get home I can hang up by bag neatly, out of the way. The husband comes home, and proceeds to empty his pockets and put all the crap in messy piles. the crap next goes back in the pockets the following morning. What the hell is that about????

KAZ said...

OK Kevin - but don't let me see you in a pair of those combat trousers with all the pockets stuffed with stuff.
Not a good look.

Madame DeFarge said...

I confess to having a thing about pockets. I would only ever wear skirts and trousers with pockets when I was at school. I have to have pockets. Clothes just aren't clothes without them. Handbags get in the way. I'm starting to worry about my essential femininity.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I always thought of jackets as being a man's handbag.

Seventeen pockets go get it

Scarlet-Blue said...

I'm with Madame D, I love a good bulging pocket.
Sx
I've always coveted one of those fishing waistcoat thingys... I'm sure they've got hundreds of pockets with zips and velcro.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Chickpea: I expect there's a special pocket just for kittens or small rabbits.

Gadjo: it's the Swiss Army penknives that are always the test of a romance. Remember Bette Davies in "Now, Voyager?"

worm: and also a long-handled gaff for getting boy scouts out from between the teeth of pike and perch.

Lizzie: we will not get me onto the subject of start-of-day rituals!

Kaz: ooh, definitely not! Besides, judging by some of the creatures walking down Oldham Road, anything more than a bus ticket in the pocket would test the waistband beyond the confines of public decency.

Madame DF: that'll be your common sense kicking in. (-:

Lulu: a man's jacket is his portable hiding place.

And I might yet do.

Scarlet: ah, what are you like?

Joanna Cake said...

I like handbags with pockets... and I still cant find my car keys.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Joanna: I'm not sure that I can deal with the concept of handbags with pockets... unless that's where ladies put their cabbages.

martpol said...

Seventeen pockets must include pockets within pockets. I mean otherwise the whole surface would be a kind of double surface pocket lining. Modern man is indeed a more complex thing than is commonly assumed.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Metapockets, eh Martin? Definitely worth a look, then!

willow said...

You need what Jerry Seinfeld calls a European carry all (man's purse) heehee!