I was walking north on LaSalle Street a couple of days ago, right in front of The Northern Trust building. I was directly behind a very large Mexican man and his son. No, wait, look closer…….it was a very large Mexican man and his friend, also an adult. The smaller friend was a midget. Why would I report this? Why is it a big deal, have you not seen a midget before? I want to be very clear that I am a friend of the midgets and take no issue with them in general. In fact, when you are as height-challenged as I myself you need to tread very lightly with genetic anomalies related to height lest the gods decide to punish you for your cruelty. What made this a noteworthy event was what the midget was wearing. He was, in the street vernacular, parlance of our times, “sagging”. Yep, the midget was letting his pants hang completely and intentionally off his ass, which is to say they were resting squarely upon the tops of his Nikes. It was glorious. You see, that is how you fucking do it! You decide upon a look and you adhere to it at all costs. It looked almost like a pair of pants that you’d stepped perfectly out of the night before so that they were scrunched symmetrically on the vertical axis, as though the person in the pants had been vaporized, leaving behind only the trousers and shoes. That is how you wear gangster street flavor. If your look calls for sagged pants, don’t let reality stand in your way. Belt those fuckers up below your ass and waddle on my man, waddle on. With those sagging Dickies, Nikes, and black hoody (hood deployed, bitch), don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t look like a bad mutherfucker.
What I never understand when you sag your pants is, are you so committed to looking like a dipshit that you are willing to do so even though you might at some point have to run? What if you have to run to avoid getting hit by a bus? Guess what, you’re fucking dead. What if you have to run from the police? This brings me to an oft-debated moment from my youth. The year was 1993 and I was but a smooth-faced young buck with no drivers license. It was July 4th and I was at the yearly patriotism soiree of family friends of ours. The revelry was coming to a close and my friends had caught wind of the existence of a girls-only campout somewhere on the other side of “town”, town being a village, meaning there were miles of country road to navigate to reach said girls. We had no car nor anyone to legally drive a car if we could have procured one. So we did what any group of young men would have done–we walked. Miles and miles in pitch black darkness. What were our plans when we got there? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I doubt anyone was harboring a notion of hook up occurring once we found these girls. I assume some sort of sneaking up on the tent, perhaps a “raid” was in the offing. I really don’t know. All I do know is that we had to get there, at all costs. We reached after many miles and tribulations the central nerve center, that being the toilets, of a public park. While convening there to decide how best to deploy closing speed on the chick encampment, disaster struck in the form of local police bearing down on us with their sirens blazing. Memory tells me there was also police commands coming out of the bull horn system on the car, but to be honest I may have added that detail back into the story with time. But either way we were a group of teenage boys out committing the heinous act of……wait for it……curfew violation. That was it. We weren’t even cool enough to have vandalized something. Why we felt the need to flee the scene as though we’d just murdered two vagrants for sport is a question that will likely never be answered. I will not name names to protect the innocent, but hindsight proved the most ingenious of us all to be the boy whose name rhymes with “basin”. He approached me in a panic and said “I’m going to hide in the shitter, come with me”. I knew that plan had being gunned down while trapped in a rancid, post-fireworks public shitter written all over it, so I told Basin to fuck off, I was tearing away on foot with the rest of the crew. Basin stood on the toilet seat, movie style so you couldn’t see his feet, and was never discovered. Standing between the cops and our perceived freedom was a very tall chain-link fence. Everyone began leaping from a dead sprint onto the fence, scaling it, leaping to the other side and the chase was on. I was second-last to begin scaling the fence and this is when the debated moment occurred. The last man on the fence was my friend who will also remain nameless, but that name rhymes with “vector”. Vector hit the fence with great force and at the exact moment I was swinging my first leg over the top. This resulted in the entire fence swaying and catching my shorts with the spiked top end of chain. Vector was able to clear the top and escape to freedom on the other side whilst I was swaying in the wind, straddling the top of the fence trying to free my shorts. I was a sitting duck for the Gestapo that was now on the scene. It is still hotly debated in academic circles to this day who was responsible for my unfortunate demise. I will maintain to my dying day that Vector’s ham-fisted approach to the fence ascent led to my virtual hanging at the top. He of course contends that it was my shitty fence-climbing skills that ultimately left me Munsoned that warm July night. What I do know is that I was treated most harshly by the SS Storm Troopers after I was freed from the fence line. I do recall the officer in charge of this hit squad cuffing and stuffing me. I’m unsure if it was repeated ass-beatings he suffered in high school, or a complete and total lack of pussy that led him to draw-down on a 15-year-old for the crime of being outside of a house after a certain strike of the clock, but kudos to him for scaring me shitless. With my jean shorts, North Carolina basketball tee shirt and Charlotte Hornets wool pinwheel cap fully fucked and my upcoming season warming the bench for the good players on the local football team hanging in peril, my mother walked into the police station sometime in the wee hours of the morning with a most unfriendly glare decorating her countenance. Had I been encumbered with jorts hanging off my ass I probably don’t even make it to the fence, let alone try to scale it. Because of Vector’s haphazard fence-scaling I was ultimately the only one who took the fall for the failed great Girl Camp Raid of 1993. Others fled on foot to various corners of the county, one rumored to have made it as far as 12 miles away, while another slept in his own yard that night for reasons unknown (were the police inside the house waiting in ambush?). How does intentionally sagging your trousers relate to this 19 year old story? I don’t know–loosely at best. But what is important is all readers agree that I was following all fence-climbing etiquette and protocol, and was merely the victim of he who was flaunting tradition and going at it all uncivilized and in berserker mode. That is what matters to history.