When I was asked to accept management duties within a corporation, my acceptance meant something beyond the obvious responsibility; I would have to play the game. Oh not for my own boss as he was not only comfortable with my slovenly, pony-tailed appearance but thought it made me look as if someone who knew his craft, but for his superiors, so as to keep his reflection as crisp and clean as possible.
It was a
great deal of money I was given to step into the hot box, so I spent it
on the appropriate accoutrement. Of course my size was an issue as I
have never been “average” and have always struggled to find wearable
wrappings. So against my deep set hippy grain I procured the services of
a suit tailor and a custom shirt maker.
Now there were things I
wouldn’t do, such as whack my longish hair into a crew, and wear wing
tip shoes; but I did begin to circle my rear locks with various bands,
and I bought a few new pair of damned expensive cowboy boots, so I might
stay in Dude mode yet sport a shine-able foundation.
My wife of
the moment was all in favor of the change, being a newly christened
social climber married to a common slug, and I was happy to allow her
smugness as when momma aint happy, aint nobody happy, and since I was
forced to do it anyway, why not intimate it was all for her.
was actually quite pleased with the outcome for a time, thinking myself
moderately dapper and a peer to the hogs at the trough of commerce. In
fact I nearly came to enjoy it, the jewelry and Egyptian cotton, the
deerskin leathers and dinners by candlelight. And then the inevitable
During a presentation to an “uplander”, I was in the
midst of explaining the possibly enormous return anticipated from my suggested infinitesimal
purchase when the manager we were speaking to saw right through all the
gold and Italian silks and saw me for the no class, reluctantly
compromising ex-biker I am. Yes, he zinged me, a few times in fact,
intimating his belief that I surely was a penitentiary inmate in my
recent past. Why? For fun I have to guess, to simply call me out, to
assure me that he wasn’t fooled and to make certain that I understood
that I was not and never would be his peer, or anything of the sort.
didn’t hit him. Not really. In my mind I did, over and over and over
and over. But again, the guy who’d given me the opportunity to play in big-dogsville didn’t
deserve the fallout that would come if I’d broken every bone of
his immediate superior's face.
I did the next best thing. I hung up the
suits, stowed the shirts and ties and boxed up the accessories. Then I
reacquainted myself with myself, and emblazoned a platitude across my
forehead that read, “Warning, Leopard Spots Unchangeable. Do not Attempt
Modification”. The wife of the moment was not pleased, but had she
been, she wouldn’t have been the wife of the moment, now would she?