When I told my wife that I was writing a column about something I’d never own, she gave me that line about never saying never. So, I explained that I was talking about a pair of black leather pants. She stopped eating, looked across the table, and said, "OK. You’ve got a good point." She remembers my black-leather-pants period, and she knows it’s a sore subject. I’m never going to own a pair of black leather pants. Not even for a weekend.
It all started when I was in France a few years back. I had started playing electric guitar again, and I was enamored with the rock-star look. Well, we all know that rock stardom is defined by the kind of pants you wear, and there I was in Paris — the home of tight-fitting leather fashion. I would’ve had that rock-star look too, but I was stopped cold by two critical facts about black leather trousers. First, they’re expensive — especially in Paris. Second, France doesn’t want fat people to have any of their pants. When the Parisian shop keepers converted my waist size to the European equivalent, I knew I was in trouble. Leather pants come in two sizes: small and very small. My waist size was neither. I went to a few shops, and the story was always the same. "I am afraid we do not have zee bigger size you need." "Perhaps our tailor could take two of zee pants and make something zat would fit you?" "No, no, no! I am positive zees pants will never fit you. If leather could stretch zat much, zee cows would all sag and scrape zee ground."
I came back to the hotel dejected and without pants. Well, technically I had pants, just not the black leather ones I wanted so badly. My friends tried to cheer me up, but I was beyond consolation. I would never own a pair of black leather pants. Never! Shortly after that trip to France, I co-founded a band, and we played in Orlando, San Francisco and Las Vegas. I had an incredible time, but I never once wore black leather pants. It’s probably just as well. When you buy a pair of black leather pants, you start down a road that very few southern boys own a map for. Map or no map, I do know one thing: If there are any sagging French cows on that road, I might just get those pants after all.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.