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City Hall

Whenever I go buy a new pair of slacks, I always check for three things: the length of the legs, the waistline buttons and, finally, the zipper.

I always make sure the legs are long enough to cover my socks; but not too long that I step on them when I walk. This is often a problem for me because many brands these days do not even bother to sew the legs’ ends, leaving it to the buyer to go find a sastre who will do the final honor of sewing these up.

And time to go visit a sastre, I often do not have…

As for the waistline buttons, because I have come to the point in my life when the belly inflates and deflates as though with a mind of its own, I just make sure these are sewn firmly onto the cloth. Can’t risk these popping off after a hearty meal!

With the last pair of slacks that I bought, I simply fell in love with the way the smooth cotton rubbed against my legs in the fitting room that, although I gave the single waistline button a hefty tug, I unwisely gave the zipper only a brief once over.

Bad decision!

The last few times I wore the very same slacks, I started to notice every time I visited the men’s room that the zipper had a tendency to get stuck. Ah-ah… Maganit…!!! I knew it was a matter of time before one of the teeth broke off.

It did, this afternoon after scrimmage, after I had wearily put the slacks on. When I tried to pull the zipper up, it did so with little friction and crept up only on the right side. My head instinctively dove down so I could look at my crotch, and there it was… bungî

Uh-oh… My heart immediately sank… Most days after I play in scrimmage, I go home only in my white undershirt, not even bothering to put my barong back on. Now, that was just not possible today since… Uhm… How shall I put it…??? City Hall was wide open and its door could not be shut…

Of course, the Mayor was still protected from the public eye by my dark under shorts, but I would still rather be caught dead than walking around with City Hall open. Please!!! I have an image to think about…

Then, I suddenly remembered that the light green barong I had uncaringly put on in the morning reached all the way down almost to the middle of my thighs. There is a God! Albeit, I felt hot and sticky after putting it back on since I was still sweating vigorously from scrimmage.

At least, City Hall’s wide open door had a curtain draped over it and the Mayor did not have a chance to peek out and say hello to an unsuspecting public…

[For those who could not quite get the gist of the preceding story, when I was a young kid, a way to jokingly tell somebody that his fly or zipper was open was to say bukas ang City Hall. I think I still hear it said the same way once in a while these days among the kids.

This story was first published on Facebook on 8 July 2009.]

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