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Opinion: Pants were almost a lost cause

Originally published Nov. 28, 2012.

I happened to be at the Madera County Courthouse Tuesday, standing around waiting for a courtroom to open, and I noticed how the people were dressed.

Most were dressed as professionals, but a few needed help in that department.

In case you haven’t been to the courthouse, you should know that at the front entrance is a guard station with a metal detector, and all who enter have to take off the metallic things they have on them, such as belt buckles, keys and AK47s, and go through an archway once they are told to do so. While in the archway, a guard waves a wand over them. The guard either waves them through or tells them to take off more of their clothes.

I got by fairly easily. I have been through the metal detector several times, and know enough to wear as little metal as possible. But I don’t happen to have a plastic belt buckle, so I had to take my belt off. Fortunately, my pants stayed up while the guard, a woman, waved the wand over me as though she was getting ready to change me into a frog.

I have to admit to feeling uncomfortable until I got my belt back on and my change and keys back into my pockets.

A few minutes later, though, my eye fell on a fellow who had been at the end of the line when I was getting the once-over. Now, it was his turn.

The first thing I noticed was that his pants were almost off. He was one of those fashion plates who wear their pants down below the notch in their hips, so low you think their pants are going to fall off with every step they take.

This guy had a belt on, but it wasn’t holding up his pants. It was around his stomach. He had to take it off, and when he was finally allowed through the metal detector, he tried to put the belt back on. As he did this, his pants kept slipping down farther and farther. Those of us watching were transfixed. Would the pants stay up?

Fortunately, they did, and he went on his way.

How different many of us are, and how surprising it is to see those differences in the places we sometimes see them.



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