Disaster struck yesterday.
Standing in the toilets at work, having just relieved myself, I tugged to pull up the zip on my flies. It moved up with no resistance which started alarm bells ringing. I looked down and there was the link hanging forlornly on one side. It must've snapped out from the other side - but there was no obvious break in the hooks where I could replace it.
After several minutes struggling to re-attach the errant side in varying degrees of cubical contortion - involving yoga tricks of old, I was stuck with the fact I was going to be left with a gaping hole in my trousers for the rest of the day. An unsavoury, and hardly professional situation - made worse by the fact I had no blazer that might conceal it.
Fortunately lunch was imminent - an opportunity to dig myself out of this horrible social mortification. Ensuring my coat was done up low enough, and reasoning that confidence was the best social disguise, I marched purposefully out of the toilet and through the foyer. I needed to by new trousers - stat!
Crossing the road with a curious breeze ventilating around my lower half was unsettling at first, though there was also a strange sense of freedom. This was coupled with my buttoned up appearance which suggested normality, whilst my mind screamed 'MY FLIES ARE OPEN!' Shaking off the enjoyment of flaunting the social norm I made a beeline for the retail park nearby.
On reaching the chain store I was faced with a moment of panic when I saw the range of clothes seemed aimed at the leisure market - or at the least those more able to pull off fashion than myself. Then tucked away in a dusty corner I saw three types of trousers that could fit the bill.
I quickly selected the one most like my existing trousers and headed to the changing room. They fitted, so I marched up to the counter and asked for them 'to go'. The assisant was nonplussed, so I was forced to give a brief and jovially embarrassed account of my predicament, at which she removed the tags and took payment agreeing to dispose of the unwanted trousers. I changed again, and left - noting her mirth.
Walking back it occurred to me how disaster and humiliation made a choice much quicker, and brought out my decisive side - normally I would need affirmation by others for a situation of this magnitude. Yet the level of embarrassment involved made me have to draw on my own resources. I felt like I had just achieved a secret mission and walked back in - prepared to have to explain my change of attire and formulating the scenes of most drama for an anecdote as I did.
Alas no one seemed to notice the change if trousers. A fact that on reflection I am exceedingly grateful for.
But it's a shame to waste a good anecdote, right.