Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Off to see a wizard.

OK,  he’s really just the local tailor,  but I figure anyone who can take a pair of my trousers that I bought say, a few years ago? and make them fit me again,  should be  elevated to some type of wizard status.

This is actually the second pair of pants I’ve had “let out” by this fellow so far this year.  That’s going to be it though methinks.  I’ve sort of levelled off at something less than that “one year in Puerto Rico” look,  so the hope is that we’re done. 

Um,  there’s a little story to that whole “one year in Puerto Rico” thing.  See, when we lived there,  it was of course hot all the time.  There was rarely an afternoon when the temperature didn’t climb to the mid eighties.  Or beyond. 

Now,  I’d like to also point out that,  since Puerto Rico is a part of the US,  I then naturally refer to temperatures in Fahrenheit.  It’s just the way it works.  Anywhere else,  it’s going to be Celsius.  It seems fair.  It’s all a matter of what you can relate to.  Plus, we got all our weather reports there in Fahrenheit.

Put it this way,  I might have done some food preparation in our kitchen in Puerto Rico,  but I sure as heck didn’t cook there.  It would be well into the mid to high eighties by the late afternoon,  and it was all I could do to stay out of the pool.  Plus,  it’s not really a good idea to be sweating profusely when you’re making dinner.  Just one of those helpful tips.

The thing is,  up until that point in my life,  the concept of drinking such a beverage as say beer,  was something I only associated with the ‘summer time’.  Not only that, but as a Caretaker,  the summer time is just about the worst time of the year in terms of the actual work,  since most of the schools are like saunas anyway.  Putting on weight isn’t really a big concern.   So the odd beer now and again wasn’t a big deal.  I’d just sweat it off the next day while moving furniture and well,  generally grunting and groaning.

Then we moved to Puerto Rico, where it’s “summer”  all year ‘round.  Oh goodie!  But…this can be a concern.  Such as, when a fellow might go to the fridge with a little bit of a thirst starting to build,  and then sees no harm in cracking open a beer.  Even at one a day,  you’re not going to look anything like Leslie Lawson after a year of going to that fridge every day.   I put on ten pounds.  Hence,  the “One Year in Puerto Rico” look. 

Oh,  and before I continue,  I should just mention that it wasn’t too long after I went back to work that I had shed all ten of those pounds.  And really and truly,  within the first few days back to work (and it was the start of “summer clean-up” in 2003)  I pretty much thought I was going to die,  but that’s another story.

Now,  since we moved to Europe in 2008, I’ve put back on about five of those pounds,  and I’m more or less in a holding pattern.  Stepping on the scales on a regular basis does tend to help.   This was one appliance that I made sure we shipped with us this time around.  No concerns about the difference in voltage. And when those scales that we brought along crapped out, I went out and bought a new set.  A set of bathroom scales wasn’t something that we even considered for our Sub Tropical Sojourn.  Not the best plan. 


So I had a lovely little chat with this fellow,  even though I really could only understand about 90% of what he was saying.  I seem to be at that 90% level most of the time.  It wouldn’t hurt if my hearing were a little bit better.  Other than that I have no excuse,  except to say that we are dealing with “Wienerisch” here.  

He hasn’t been open that long,  but he’s managed to build himself quite a steady clientele.   I mentioned how it had been pointed out to me once upon a time that trousers of a “higher quality”  will always have some extra material in the back,  so that a fellow might have some ‘room to grow’.  That’s not a reference to intellectual growth I might add.

He then showed me a pair of pants from a gentleman who is altering just about his entire wardrobe, some of which he has had for twenty years.  The trousers that he showed me were part of an Italian suit that, even twenty years ago would have been €800 to €1000.   Scary stuff no doubt,  but if you can have a suit that lasts longer than the average automobile,  I think that’s a bargoon.

And by the way,  when he held up this pair of trousers,  the waste band came up to the middle of his chest,  and he’s my height,  and I’m six feet.  So whoever this Dude is,  he must be the size of Shaquille O'Neal.

For a fellow of that size,  I’m sure it’s not all that easy to just go out and buy another suit or a pair or trousers.  Cheaper to just fix the ones you have.

I put that handy dandy link in there,  just in case you woke up from a thirty year slumber,  and you’re not familiar with just who “Shaq” might be. 

Just trying to be helpful.  You’re welcome.


In the course of our little chat,  he mentioned how he had spent almost €900 on advertising when he first opened,  but that most of his business has been from “Mund Propaganda”.    I knew exactly what he meant by “Mund Propaganda”,  even though I had never heard the term before.   Hey, I learned something!

We tend to think of a word like “propaganda” in the negative sense,  mostly I’m sure as a result of the way it’s used in history books or by the media.   But propaganda is really only the dissemination of information,  and “Mund Propaganda”  is therefore naturally “Word of Mouth”.     Of course!

Mind you,  if you say “Word of Mouth” over and over, you’ll begin to realise how much less sense it makes compared to “mouth propaganda”. 

“Word of mouth”?  Well,  of course words come out of your mouth.  How absurd.   But what does that have to do with recommending a good tailor?


If you consider that picking up a pair of trousers was the extent of the excitement for the day?  I think you get the idea.  The cost of being able to once again wear a decent pair of pants?  €8,00. 

And no, there will not be any MasterCard references.





We can’t go a day without at least one picture.


Note the high tech headlamp.



I found it a bit surprising that the flashlight was still there,  but that is an awful lot of packing tape. 

Oh,  and in keeping with the language learning nature of the blog today,  that’s a “torch” if you’re from the UK.  Again.  You’re welcome.


I think we’re coming up to “word count overload” here.  Time to quit.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.




  1. Your post today made me think of my dad... no, not age, but the quality of clothing. He always wore a hat... most men did in the 40's and 50's. He'd take his hat to the local haberdashery every few months to be cleaned and blocked. Now, of course, most men here wear ball caps... I rather like the class of your tailors clientelle!

  2. word count overload..shame on you for breaking the rules!

  3. Cute post....funny how Mazatlan has the same effect as Puerto Rico. Must be the heat!

  4. When the scale speaks to you and says: 'Please refrain from entering the scale in groups' , then it would be time to quit eating. Just my 2 cents!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.