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The Telegram
  • Frank Talk: The man deserves a belt

  • Embarrassing consequences can lurk behind virtually any action we take, no matter how seemingly, er, well, inconsequential it might appear to be.


    Take the following cautionary tale.

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  • Embarrassing consequences can lurk behind virtually any action we take, no matter how seemingly, er, well, inconsequential it might appear to be.
    Take the following cautionary tale.
    A man had to buy a belt for his pants. His former belt had finally given out following years of faithful service. Fortunately, it didn’t succumb during the line of duty.
    The leather attaching the buckle gave way during the act of joining the belt around the man’s waist by attaching fastener to eyelet prior to his leaving home for work.
    The timing was serendipitous indeed for the man’s belt was no mere adornment.
    It had a function.
    It kept the man’s pants from falling down around his ankles, the importance of which cannot be overstated, particularly during the course of a work day, depending, of course, on the subject’s job description and level of interaction with the public.
    Thus the man repaired to a nearby department store after first changing into an older pair of pants belonging to a bygone era of less personal girth that didn’t require a belt to frustrate the laws of gravity.
    He perused the belts on display in the store’s men’s section, and selected one that seemed appropriate.
    It was black leather, reasonably priced and appeared to meet the requirements, the man having self-consciously looped it around his waist in a trial run.
    The man didn’t go to the trouble of actually inserting the belt into his pants’ belt loops. He just wrapped it around his middle to ascertain that it was qualified to fill the position.
    If this sequence were being filmed, his failure to actually test the belt in the loops would have warranted a close up of the belt’s width vs. the space afforded by the individual loops, accompanied by a dramatic swelling of French horns foreshadowing disaster.
    For you see, the man discovered the following day that the belt was almost too wide to fit the loops, necessitating a 10-minute grappling match to successfully circumnavigate the man’s abdomen. It was easier for Magellan to circumnavigate the globe, the man thought to himself.
    The man was late for work and so decided to skip exchanging the belt, at least for the day.
    The man was not thinking ahead.
    For while he was not an alleged criminal, or a lawyer, police officer, court officer, judge, parole officer, probation officer, or court staff member in any shape or form, he was due in district court that day, perhaps in a journalistic capacity. It’s difficult to say since this is a cautionary tale, and not an actual event.
    He remembered too late that district court patrons are required to remove their belts as part of the metal-detector-search process.
    Page 2 of 2 - As this is a cautionary tale, it might be best to leave the embarrassing consequences of buying a too-wide belt to an intelligent reader’s imagination, and not paint any pictures of our protagonist clutching his pants to his waist with one hand while desperately using the other to try and fit the too-wide belt back into the too-narrow loops as an impatient throng collected behind him, anxious to go about their business with the judicial system.
    But, once again, it’s not as if it really happened.
    Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth office, and can be reached at fmulligan@wickedlocal.com.
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