Hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since this amoeba landed in Hawai‘i. As any kama‘aina will tell you, “this ain’t the mainland, brah”. That much was clear practically from the moment yours truly first got off the plane.
Hell. Simply getting dressed can send a dude into a bit of a tailspin. Yes, people get dressed here. The print on the strings of the string bikinis may be microscopic, but it announces “Tourist” just as loudly as a ten-story billboard. About that tailspin. That’s even after one has mastered shoe drill, one of the absolute musts for survival in Paradise.
Consider. You’re a dude. You have to be a dude, firstly ’cause I’m a dude and that’s what I relate to, and secondly ’cause it’s been at least a decade since I’ve seen tops on you women that actually reach down as far as the navel, even in Minneapolis in January, so the problem I’m about to relate isn’t relevant to you. You have different challenges. Begging your pardon.
Where was I? Oh. Yeah. You’re a dude, you live in, say, Dubuque, and you’re getting dressed to go to work. Which goes on first, shirt or trousers?
OK. I knew one of you wise[censored] was going to say “skivvies”. We’re not putting on a Superman suit, ‘kay? Normal Western style street clothes, in the normal way.
Now I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you put on your shirt first. ‘Cause you know that you’re going to have to tuck the sucker in, and it’s easier if you do that by donning the shirt and then fastening the trousers over it. And then you can stuff the wallet / keycase / handkerchief / Swiss Army knife / whateverthehallelujah into your trousers pockets, before you kiss your significant other goodbye and blow off the rent money driving to your job.
Now, transport yourself to Honolulu. What goes on first? The trousers. Because you ain’t gonna be tucking in that aloha shirt. Firstly, ’cause if you do, people will look at you funny. And secondly, because you’ll be looking at people funny. Just before you keel over from heat stroke.
And this matters why, you ask? (The “trousers on first” bit, not the heat stroke.) Try this simple experiment. Put on your clothes in the usual Dubuque manner, but leave your shirttail out. Now put your Swiss Army knife in your pocket. Right. Pick it up off the floor and try again. After having that blasted shirt get in the way of stuffing your trouser pockets a couple of times, you’ll get the order of address right.
Unless you’re me. Sigh.
It’s almost enough for me to consider getting one of those shirts that don’t reach all the way to the belt line. Except you wouldn’t wish to look at me while I’m wearing one. Really, you wouldn’t. Trust me on this.