“Why Can’t I Find Pants That Look Good Unzipped?” by Jeff Ward

Sep 12th, 2018 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Here’s a hard truth about destroying the future. There’s no guidebook. You’ve got your gut, and that’s it.

Hey, my eyes are UP HERE.

So I’m checking out incumbents, and I go to Trou, in SoHo. They have a pair in matte cobbler twill “to be worn unzipped,” and turns out nothing about them is to be worn unzipped. You could totally wear ’em zipped, and when you unzip them, guess what? They’re kind of sloppy. They sag a little, then a lot, then they’re around your calves and your companion discovers she’s dating a congenital idiot. But don’t worry, because the guys at Trou have a visionary suspension technology called a “belt.” A game changer, right? So disruptive. People want to feel the future of freedom, and now we have this transformative “belt.”

I really wanted to like the pair at Kazh, in Nolita. They’re stretch poplin in pale fudge with an oversized ornamental zipper. They do stay up, about as long as you can go without blinking, but Kazh, they fall all over themselves trying to make an impression. They’re obedient. The teacher’s pet dressed down for Grunge Day. If there was a kind of heroin that made you incredibly punctual, that would be these pants. And the vestigial zipper! What kind of half-assed innovation is that? In the lineup of evolution, these pants are second monkey from the left. Toss in the “unconstructed” nonfunctional pockets and you have an ideally hateful garment. Who hurt you, Kazh?

C-Men! in Chelsea showed me a pair in hunter orange pleather. Clown shoes and horn sold separately.

But check these out. This is our pilot pair I’ve got on. No zipper, slim fit, in bicycle umber chambray. We’re going with transit tones. We’ve kept them scalable and resonant, with easy returns and exchanges. And I haven’t touched them the whole time I’ve been here, right? They’re totally hands-free, efficient and unaware. And they look good with briefs, low-rise boxers, or, like today, commando. But I’m holding up the line here—let me just get a venti chai latte. My name’s Jeff.

We’ve got investors! We’re doing it! flob.com! It’s happening.

Thanks, man!


Jeff Ward’s short fiction has been anthologized in MAY CONTAIN NUTS (HarperCollins) and HOWL!, a collection of dog stories compiled by Bark Magazine. The HOWL! story, “Play Dead, My Darling,” was presented as part of the program of readings at Rock Lodge Club, a family-oriented nudist camp in northern New Jersey. Jeff has written and produced dramas for NPR, and wrote for the “Weekend Update” segment of SNL for about seven years. His musical “Take One” was produced in the New York Fringe Festival and by the 4th Wall Theatre. He lives in Harlem.

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