'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
IT’S IN THE WILL: DRESS TO THRILL
I hate to discuss a morbid topic, but my wife recently told me that if she dies before I do, I will not be allowed to own anything but plain clothing. No stripes, no plaids, no bright colors. This is indeed a morbid topic—you have no idea how awful I’d look if all wardrobe decisions were left entirely to me. Actually, the word morbid is not correct. A more appropriate phrase might be “clown college.”
(Oh, although it might be considered morbid to discuss the possibility of having your wife predecease you, in my wife’s mind, that’s nothing compared to what it would be like if I dressed myself.)
You see, I am 100-percent fashion impaired. I have no comprehension of how my clothes appear to others. It’s not even on my radar screen. It’s like asking a tone deaf person to sing in public. It’s like asking Stevie Wonder to read the eye chart. It’s like asking a chipmunk to solve algebra problems. It’s like asking a two-bit humor columnist to come up with funny “It’s like…” analogies.
I simply do not possess even a partial DNA strand of the universal “fashion sense” gene. My condition might even be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Or at least the Americans with No Taste Act.
To me, here are the three most important considerations when choosing what to wear:
The following scenario has played out a billion times in the last quarter century: I’m in the bedroom getting dressed. After putting on a pair of pants and a shirt, I turn to my wife and say, “Well?”
She shakes her head and says, “Almost, dear. But try a different shirt, please.”
“Why?” I reply defensively. “What’s wrong with this shirt?”
With incredible patience and compassion, she answers, using the same tone and cadence one might use to explain to a kindergarten student that it’s not a good idea to eat a whole jar of paste, “Well, you see, orange stripes do not go very well with green plaid. Try a plain colored shirt, OK?”
This is why my wife recently had her last will and testament revised. If she goes first, her will now instructs the probate judge to visit our home and remove everything from my closet that even hints of stripes or plaid or any color more vibrant than beige. And her will clearly says this home visit MUST occur before her funeral, because even then, she’ll be embarrassed beyond measure if I am at the head of the receiving line wearing an outfit of my own choosing.
Of course, I’m sure she has nothing to worry about. My personal donuts-only diet and break-a-sweat-once-every-Leap-Year exercise program is designed to make sure I’m the one who goes first. But when that happens, my wife is still not out of the woods. I also had my last will and testament revised recently. When I go, it’s spelled out very clearly, in an official legal document, that the funeral director MUST lay me out for the wake wearing my comfortable orange striped shirt and green plaid pants.
When that happens, morbid crying in not allowed. But laughter is always welcomed.
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