Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year-end calamities ii: The measureman's advice, spurned

They knew we would do it. They saw us coming and they knew we would ignore their advice, yet still they gave it, honestly, forthrightly, as only the most mentoring tradesman must. Did any of us listen, in those giddy sessions of testing our heart rate, taping our throat, crossing our heart, tapping our elbow for its reflex, triangulating our lats, interpolating our traps, and casting our tummy through torsion's margin of error, for an occasional indulgence of béarnaise? And we'd thought an MRI were solicitous.

Can anyone say, with all candour, they'd left a parameter of feature unrecorded, a perimeter unregistered, a circumference unsaved, a distension undocumented, a contingency dismissed, for future reference? Were there shadows not assessed, prominences unaddressed, slopes and sculptings undistressed for movement's sake, and idle rest? Had so much as a freckle been ignored for its topographic anomaly, a strand unstrained for its surface deflection? None of us could complain of any such neglect, down to the last cough, sneeze, and occasional laugh to please. The interrogation phase, to be fair, was comparatively gentle, almost amusing.

Generations of junketing metropolitans have converged upon Charvet for shirts, only to be admonished not to exert ourselves unduly, or by the time the priceless shirts are sent from a prior season's fitting they'll be tragically tight in the shoulder, and hideously ample at the waist. But there you are: one season's pursuits blends into another's, effortlessly in timing if not in tempo, and life is cut not to our own template, but to a pattern of its own.

And now the New Year is hard upon us, and he who is at ease in his shirt is alone at his own party, the rest of us ill-fitted to the form. Wal-mart refuses to deliver; and it will be time to be at Reinhard's lieder recital before Bergdorf can ship. It can't be countenanced, to miss this annual rite of song and Krug, the leading trill-and-swill of our holiday to-do list.

Who was it, who heard of this? Probably Gérard, getting around as he does. The open collar. Who can know what a boon to custom this discovery will be, if it carries any shred of truth? It relieves every edict to stand still, if not the conscience of Charvet.

et passim  Derek

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