Off The Cuff

September 4, 2009

So first thing this morning I decided to wear a new shirt to work, and that’s when I discovered it doesn’t have buttons on the sleeves. Why doesn’t it have buttons on the sleeves? Maybe you’re wondering why I didn’t notice this when I bought it, but, hey, it was on sale at one of those discount warehouse stores, and it was a nice looking shirt. How often do you stop to check to make sure that a shirt you’re buying has buttons on the sleeves? Instead of buttons it has holes for cufflinks. Cufflinks! This is just a regular shirt, not a tuxedo shirt, and, as far as I know, it wasn’t made in the 19th century. Obviously it was made after the invention of buttons since there’s a whole row of them down the front of the shirt. As long as they were adding buttons to the front why not take just the few extra seconds it would take to add some to the sleeves?

Who wears cufflinks, anyway? I don’t know if I even have cufflinks. I used to have some that were given to me by my grandmother when my grandfather died. She was cleaning out the top drawer of his dresser, and while I politely declined the boxer shorts, she wouldn’t let me leave without taking the snow globe from Dubuque and a few boxes of cufflinks that he’d been given to commemorate the invention of the light bulb. The only people I know who wear cufflinks are snobby guys with names like Artemus and Filmore. If I start wearing cufflinks there’s a serious danger that I might start hanging around with guys like that. Maybe I’ll even join one of those snobby rich guy clubs. Offhand I have no idea if there’s one of those around here, but maybe there are magnets built into cufflinks that just automatically lead you to those places. You know the type of place I’m talking about: it’s all dark woodwork and highbacked leather chairs around a fireplace. There’s always a a portrait of the club’s founder that was probably painted by Gainsborough. And there’s always some guy with a pince nez sitting in one of the chairs telling stories while the other guys all sit around and chortle politely. Yeah, actually I could see myself in that sort of a group, wearing my cufflinks and an ascot and a smoking jacket, swirling a kumquat daiquiri around in a brandy snifter while Hector sits in the chair next to me and tells that joke about the snail who wants to buy a car with a giant ‘S’ painted on it. And it’s so when he drives down the street people will say "Look at that ‘S’ car go." I’ll chortle politely and say, "Cracking good story, old bean, even funnier the thirty-seventh time. Hector, may I call you Heck? Smashing. I say, Heck, have I told you my sister was a nun? She quit when she found out what ‘none’ meant, eh what?" And then I’ll learn why they call it a "club" when the other members all get together and club me to death.

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