Keeping a close eye on the trash

I rescued it from the trash can . . . for the third time.
My old grey sweater has been my favourite chilly day companion for many a decade. It is not only comfortable, it is “natty”—just the kind of casual attire fit for the retired small-town gentleman.
“Natty, my foot! It’s downright scruffy. Makes you look like some old bum!” snorted my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, when she discovered me hauling said garment back from the garbage can where she had deposited it well-hidden under a bunch of potato peelings.
No problem. A good washing took out most of the stains and kind of shrunk the old sweater back into a snug fit over my paunch.
The futile attempt of most spouses to mandate some sort of fashion policing on the male of the species seems to be fairly widespread. When I look around the assemblage at the debating table in the Bakery in Rainy River, it becomes very evident.
From one week to the next, the only change in the male wardrobes in evidence is the colour or advertising logo on the assembled T-shirts and jackets. The hats never change unless there recently has been a sporting, gun, or farm machinery show where they were giving away freebies.
They are, of course, rotated every week or so depending on the laundry schedule.
“Why would anyone waste money on clothing when they give all this good stuff away for free,” snorted Pickle, pointing to his “free” Skidoo jacket he has worn since 1979. There were general nods of agreement all round the table.
“And these shoes, why the CN gives them away free. They’re good for at least 15 years.
“Which reminds me, I must make sure to get another pair or two right away as my retirement is coming up shortly,” added Pickle, who likes to plan ahead.
So this month, with the spring-cleaning season well underway, I’ll have to be extra vigilant to make sure the Pearl doesn’t further decimate my wardrobe. In years past, she’s pulled off a couple of really dirty tricks.
For instance, my great lounge lizard pants I had inherited from my dad (he picked them up at a garage sale in Florida 30 years ago) mysteriously disappeared shortly after I sported them at a black tie function a few years back.
Needless to say, I was the centre of attention. The Pearl said they were “garish,” “ridiculous,” and a couple of other adjectives that are best not repeated. I suspect she simply doesn’t like being out-shone.
That is the reason I insist on being the one to put out the garbage cans—the contents need to be inspected. And please, no one is to visit our place to pick up “charitable goodwill donations” unless I personally inspect them.
If you see me on the street, be sure to say “Hi.” I’m the nattily-dressed gentleman, not the scruffy-looking bum.

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