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Clothing Makes the Man

I neglected to do laundry over the weekend, and was down to the dregs of my wardrobe on Monday morning. But after reviewing my mental calendar I realized it didn't matter: I had no work meetings scheduled and would, in all likelihood, sail through my day without interacting with anyone. So I struggled into old moss-green and thoroughly pilled sweater, one that had shrunk so much over a decade of washing that it now just barely reached my beltline, and was so tight that if felt like a full-torso blood pressure monitor.

It wasn't until the afternoon that I remembered that I had agreed to meet my friend L. after work for a drink. I thought about going home first to change, but then decided not to bother. I've known L. forever, and it was going to be dark in the bar anyhow, so it's not as if anyone would notice or care.

As predicted L. didn't say a word when I removed my jacket at the tavern, and we chatted for a few minutes before our waitress arrived to take our food order. I settled on the Italian sausage and red pepper sandwich.

"What do you want as the side?" she asked. "You can have salad, or the soups today are minestrone, cream of potato, and clam chowder."

"I'll go for the chowder," I said, adding, after a moment's reflection, "I am probably the first person in the history of the world to order an Italian Sausage sandwich with clam chowder. Could you guys name that combination after me?"

"Sure," the waitress said. "We'll call it 'The Sweaterboy'."

Posted on April 02, 2009 to Storytelling


This post kinda cries out for a photograph, if it's a true story.

Posted by: bearing on April 2, 2009 10:56 AM

So glad to be able to read your posts again!!! it's been awhile but I always am entertained and check my aggregator for your updates daily!

Posted by: Kenneth on April 2, 2009 11:36 AM

Ouch. Minimum wage ownage.

Posted by: Jay on April 2, 2009 11:56 AM

Yes, but did she say is ADMIRINGLY??

Posted by: Karen on April 2, 2009 12:45 PM

I'm going to assume that your friends name isn't really "L." because if it then that a really hilarious coincidence.

Posted by: Lily on April 2, 2009 5:02 PM

That is awesome!

When can I get that sweater back?

Posted by: Rob Cockerham on April 2, 2009 10:56 PM

Yup. Screenshot or it didn't happen.

Posted by: Squeak on April 3, 2009 5:55 AM

And you have a nice clean sweater hanging in the laundry room for weeks...

Posted by: The Queen on April 3, 2009 12:16 PM

pure awesome. waitress has chops. boom shakalaka!!

Posted by: d_obrien on April 3, 2009 12:20 PM

I hope you left a nice tip, she definitely earned it!

Posted by: Greg! on April 3, 2009 6:02 PM

I also vote that a picture of said sweater needs to be included here, or else this story is henceforth fictional.

Posted by: Jamie on April 3, 2009 6:56 PM

Why, I had Italian sausage sandwich and clam chowder for lunch, that very same Monday. It was at Rosa's in Pismo Beach and it was delicious! Clearly, this is a gustatorial innovation whose time has clearly arrived. You may not have been the first, but your insight and wisdsom in recognizing the significance of this culinary paradigm shift should not go unacknowledged. I for one will now happily order "The Sweaterboy" whenever I have the opportunity!

Posted by: Pigbristles on April 4, 2009 10:30 AM

Welcome back, Matthew.

I was worried that you had drunk yourself to death, and woke up wearing a casket.

Posted by: Dave on April 4, 2009 4:17 PM

Common! Show us the picture of the sweater and let us be the judge XD Now you just made me realize to check if my laundry is done.

Posted by: sell ffxi gil on April 7, 2009 2:45 AM

[this is good]

yes, picture.

Posted by: nic on April 12, 2009 9:50 PM

This is an awesome story!

A fellow Seattleite really wants to know where you were eating... :)

Posted by: K on April 15, 2009 10:33 PM

OK, I know you will probably never see this comment but I thought you *might* enjoy this movie review.

It's sort of a bad movie review in reverse--the whole 'this movie is so bad it's good' thing:


Posted by: ozma on April 17, 2009 8:58 PM

Did you see George Will mouthing off about

a.) how no one should wear denim
b.) men shouldn't leave the house unless they are wearing something Fred Astaire would wear
c.) women should follow Grace Kelly's example?


I like Fred Astaire as much as the next guy but Sweaterboy might have more of a life.

Posted by: Emma Carlson on April 22, 2009 7:49 PM

COME BACK TO US YETI!!! Your people need you!! :-(

Posted by: Anonymous on April 24, 2009 6:12 PM


Posted by: brittney on April 27, 2009 4:23 PM