“Did you ever get the feeling,” once asked sad-faced comedian George Gobel, “that the world was a tuxedo … and you were a pair of brown shoes?”
That remark by “Lonesome George,” uttered while following mega-stars Bob Hope and Dean Martin on a 1969 “Tonight Show” telecast, cracked up Johnny Carson and became a classic that was played again and again on “Tonight” anniversary programs.
But the notion that everybody on the planet … except you … fits in quite nicely is no laughing matter. Nor is it a giggling or even a chuckling matter, if you ask me.
In at least one aspect, I have been turned into an outcast, a man alone, fighting a losing battle to belong, to be accepted, to be part of the herd instead of being sent off into the wilderness like the Azazel goat.
Trust me, nothing tells you that you don’t fit in as much as the inability to find anything that fits. I have a body that corporate America simply refuses to accommodate.
I’m fit to be tied, but decidedly not fit for anything else, including a shoe, a sneaker, a pair of pants, but most of all, a shirt.
All I desired was a simple shirt that I could hang a necktie on before I stumble into the office. What with management insisting I show up each weekday, and the quintet of shirts I bought two or so years ago starting to resemble a “tattered flag … ‘midst a hail of fire,” I needed five of the things.
So, what’s the big deal, right? Just go buy some shirts.
Not so fast. As it turns out, my neck size is 16½, and my sleeve length a manly 35 inches.
Little did I know that on one dark night, the corporate masterminds in charge of shirt sizes for the American working man got together in a dastardly plot. They knew, somehow, that a 34-35 sleeve would barely reach my forearm, and a 36-37 would cover my fingers to the cuticles.