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Tux Challenge Day 16: I Got Some ‘Splaining To Do

Do we have a bean bag in the office, over in the art department? Yes, we do. And I sat on it.
Do we have a bean bag in the office, over in the art department? Yes, we do. And I sat on it.

The Great Tuxedo Challenge of 2012, brought to you by Patron XO Cafe, with special help from Al’s Formal Wear, has presented certain, um, challenges that I had not anticipated. I didn’t understand how hard it would be to get up on skis while wearing a tuxedo, for example. Similarly, I didn’t understand how many times in the course of an average day I would have to explain — or, as I’ve come to prefer, try not to explain — why I’m wearing a tuxedo.

For instance, getting my kids registered for school entailed a lot of interaction with other parents and school officials. There was a room, and in that room there were many tables. At each table, there were electives to be chosen, volunteer opportunities to sign up for, green pencil bags to acquire, etc., and so on. And at each table there was seated a person who wanted to know why I was wearing a tuxedo.

Curious human at Table 1: “Well, I guess I didn’t get the memo!”
Me: “Yessir! You must have missed that memo! Gotta keep your eyes open for those memos!”
Curious human at Table 1: “Seriously. Why’re you wearing a tux?”
Me: [lengthy, exhausting explanation involving the time-wasting predilections of Zac Crain and the genesis of the bet and the payoff thereto]

Curious human at Table 2: “Look at you! Where’s the bride?”
Me: “This isn’t Utah! I can’t take more than one wife!”
Curious human at Table 1: “Seriously. Why’re you wearing a tux?”
Me: [lengthy, exhausting explanation involving the time-wasting predilections of Zac Crain and the genesis of the bet and the payoff thereto]

Rinse, repeat. I think I suffered that exchange no fewer than eight times on registration day. So I’ve employed a coping strategy. This afternoon, I bought a banana at 7-Eleven. (A banana for lunch? Yes, I’m still dealing with this.) When the clerk asked me if I was headed to a wedding, I replied, “Nope. I just like to look nice. Look sharp, play sharp. You know?” Same thing when I passed the security guard at the Crow Tower on the walk into work. He wanted to know if it was a special day. “Nope,” I said. And then, over my shoulder, as I kept on walking: “Look sharp, play sharp!”

It ain’t a lie, but neither is it the full story. It’s a strategy I mastered long before I started wearing the tux.

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8 comments on “Tux Challenge Day 16: I Got Some ‘Splaining To Do

  1. Yeah, I would have assumed that this one aspect would be the only silver lining. I would really enjoy not telling people why I was in a tux.

    Like stopping by the store on the way to a costume party in a full Tiger suit. “Going to kids party?” “Nope, just heading to a friend’s to watch the game.” And stare into their eyes.

    That stuff is fun!

  2. You forgot the “and so forth.” The grammatically correct phraseology is, “etc., and so on and so forth.”

  3. I know exactly how you feel. It’s like when you pull up to some valet line in your Ferrari, and everyone wants to ask about it. You just get so sick of explaining it. I’m going to try your “look sharp, play sharp” line next time. (It’s gotta be less off-putting than the “drop dead, loser” line I’ve been using.)

  4. You could do a FAQ page and carry around copies in your tux and just hand them out to anyone who comments or asks a question about the tux.

  5. That’s what I was thinking. Like Steve Martin’s business card: “This certifies that you have had a personal encounter with me and that you found me warm, polite, intelligent, and funny.”