Which brings me to today's passage from A Christmas Carol:
His hands were busy with his garments all this time: turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.
It is Christmas morning, and Scrooge has just returned from the world of ghosts. He's a little exuberant. In the movie adaptations of this scene, he looks like he's on cocaine or suffering a manic episode. He actually does violence to his clothing.
I can understand Scrooge's difficulty with clothing. This morning, I walked around for almost two hours before somebody pointed out that my shirt wasn't buttoned correctly. Of course, my garment issue wasn't the result of excitement. It was the result of getting dressed at 4:30 a.m. with my eyes practically closed. I'm having a little trouble getting my brain moving. I'm also wearing a shirt I haven't worn in over a year, and I'm not very comfortable in it.
Tonight, I believe I'm being interviewed for a PBS documentary on U. P writers. If everything goes according to plan. That's the reason I'm sort of focused on wardrobe at the moment. I didn't want to wear something that would look like I just stepped out of an episode the The Brady Bunch. I want to look a little classy, a little eccentric, a little unique. You know. I want to look like a poet. Instead, I think I look like I went shopping at Goodwill. Ebenezer Scrooge ain't got nothin' on me.
One time, I did a live interview on TV. When I saw a playback of the interview, I noticed that I sat for the entire half hour with my pant leg stuffed into the top of my sock. I looked like an idiot. Ever since that time, I've been paranoid about my clothing at public events like poetry readings and interviews. I don't want to appear on television with my fly unzipped or my shirt turned inside out. (I've done both of those things in front of audiences.)
That's the extent of my wisdom today. Make sure your fly is zipped, your shirt is buttoned correctly, and your underwear isn't visible.
And, above all, don't pick any wedgies out of your butt. Trust Saint Marty on this.
Putting on the ritz for PBS