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Columns

January 26, 2013

I'm fit to be tied because I can't find anything that fits

(Continued)

So, that’s all they made.

In a desperate attempt to find a 35-inch sleeve, I traveled hither and yon, to Penney’s, Sears, Macy’s, Boscov’s (from whose website I had scored my most-recent shirts) and dozens of other stores in various malls … nothing. Always 34-35, 36-37.

Overstock.com and eBay were no help, either. I was faced with the real possibility of having to resort to short-sleeve shirts that would leave me only a pocket pen protector away from becoming king of the nerds.

It has no doubt become apparent to the discerning reader that you wouldn’t be seeing any labels with Yves Saint Laurent’s name behind my neck … even if for reasons of your own you bothered to look there. Through the ages, the Pollak men have adhered to one steadfast rule: Never, never buy retail instead of wholesale.

So I’m in Albany last weekend, chauffeuring my wife around on her unending quest to accumulate a quilting materials stash humongous enough to make the Amish wonder whether she might be overdoing it just a little bit.

I chance upon a men’s clothing business established by the late Jos. A. Bank, and a series of signs (if not wonders) revealed that Mr. Bank’s store was selling his wares for 70 percent off.

Certain I would be faced with the disappointment of yet another array of shirts with 34-35 sleeves, I left my bride to wait in the car as I wandered inside the place. I looked at the $87.95 shirts that I wouldn’t even consider if they weren’t 70 percent off, and immediately flashed back to Robin Williams’ character in 1984’s “Moscow on the Hudson.”

Williams played a defector from the Soviet Union where coffee shortages required everyone who wanted to buy some to stand in a long line. Now in the United States, he’s pushing a shopping cart down the coffee aisle of a supermarket. He sees all the brands of coffee, and his brain just can’t handle it. He faints and collapses to the floor.

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