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Today Captain OCD was at “The Mall” (that’s the feed store to you or me) and noticed that the heavy-duty jeans he wears were on sale. He never knows how long his jeans should be, so he just buys whatever is there and cuts them off to the proper length. Not how I’d go about it, but that means that I don’t have to hem them, and I don’t want him anywhere near the sewing machine because of his history of breaking everything that doesn’t work as hard as he does. This time, though, he happened to have on a pair that hadn’t required any modifications because they were the proper length to begin with. Although I did have to sew shut the 47 side pockets unless I want to wash a yard of gravel along with every load of jeans. So while at the feed store he went into the bathroom, took his pants off, ripped off the tag, and brought the tag to a clerk to ask him what size they were.

You ripped the tag off?

How else was I going to know what size they were?

Read the tag, perhaps?

Like I bring my glasses into the store.

This is the guy who rips a pocket off of his shirt if he needs a rag, so I should have known better than to ask such a silly question. A few months ago we were in Whistle Work Wear and he was buying boots. As he was walking around the store in the new boots I studied him from my perch on the shoe-trying-on platform. He’d cut the sleeves off of his T-shirt with a knife because at some point it had been summer and he was hot and what else would you do if you were out in the field and got hot?








He was wearing the sans-a-hem jeans, which, like all of his jeans, had blue and black stains all over them because he’d been gluing pipe and had nothing else to wipe his hands on at the time (which means that I know that his pants are clean and he knows they’re clean, but no one else knows they’re clean). And he was sporting the remains of a huge bruise on his arm because he uses his body like it’s another tool but never remembers where the bruises come from. It’s been more than twenty-six years, but at that moment the perfect way to describe him hit me: he’s a function-over-form kind of guy.

(The photo is after just one day’s work.)