Hot under the collar

28Aug06

A heretofore-unmentioned sartorial note from last casual Friday:

I’ve mentioned the ill will my co-worker Chris harbors toward the popped collar. There’s one guy who works upstairs with whom we have collar-related issues. Not only does he wear the collar of his polo shirts up, but he also wears those obnoxious two-toned dress shirts with white collar and cuffs and color on the rest of the shirt, like Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. These two would-be stylish looks are both fashion don’ts, according to GQ‘s Style Guy, Glenn O’Brien, so although we don’t know the guy at all, I think we’re basically justified in hating him bitterly.

Friday, Chris made a special point of coming over to my desk. “You’ve got to see what he’s wearing today,” he said. “I was literally taken aback.” He mimed staggering in shock. But he wouldn’t tell me what he had on. I had to see for myself, he insisted.


So I went upstairs to casually swing by the guy’s cubicle. At first, I could only see that he had a white dress shirt on, and I wondered what the big deal was. It was actually rather nice. Then, as I rounded the corner, I took a furtive glance at what was on the lower part of his body: flame-orange pants. You don’t normally see men voluntarily wearing this colour. In fact, you don’t normally see men wearing this colour unless they’re picking up garbage at the side of the road as part of a prison chain gang.

I walked away quickly, stifling a snicker. But the strain of keeping my mouth clamped shut caused me to audibly pass gas out the other end. (Some will recognize this as a lifetime habit of mine.) I then realized that I’d seemingly walked all the way upstairs solely for the perplexing purpose of simply farting right next to this guy’s cubicle, which caused me to lose it altogether, and I ran down the hall giggling uproariously until the intern stopped me to ask why I was laughing my guts out. Once I managed to gasp an explanation, she called me childish.

Chris thought this was pretty funny, though, and we spent the afternoon trading theories that the guy might be worried about getting shot by hunters or stranded in the Arctic without being visible to passing airplanes. “This was a good day,” we agreed, shaking hands at quitting time, our faces hurting from smiling and laughing. And that’s when we realized we kind of like this guy now that he’s brought us so much joy. He can wear any damn thing he wants, the more ridiculous, the better. He might even be a genius. We’d talked about how it’d be an interesting experiment to see how far one could bend the office dress code, maybe wearing lapels that were just a little too wide, or a tie a little too skinny, or colours a little too outlandish, and then pointing to the employee manual to ask how any of this was inappropriate if and when some challenge was made. But this guy is already out there doing it.



3 Responses to “Hot under the collar”

  1. Maybe he’s a failed clown. They have to go work somewhere, right?

  2. 2 Krista

    It is a sad, sad thing to realize that despite being 28–a purported adult–nothing makes me laugh quite as much as farting.

  3. In a way, I picture him being played by Geoffrey Rush.


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