TharpSter Shorts

How about that social networking?

A matter of six hours ago, I came within a fat thumb or two of adding the following status to my Facebook page:  “Randy Tharp just got the buttons sewn back onto his favorite shorts.”

I opted out though.  Instead of sucking a few seconds of precious life out of a few hundred potential readers who could have read that status, I chose to ramp the premise to a thousand words or so and then cater to a global audience.

If you’re feeling sorry you stopped here, hang tight while I add value to your trepidations.

The saga of my favorite shorts pretty much follows along the lines of the saga around any favorite garment.  Within the TharpSter organization, they serve as a third of the three legged stool that brings harmony to my life and relaxed content to my pyloric valve.  The waist size just happens to be the same number as the big screen TV and my age.  I don’t expect such a cosmic alignment to last very long though.  The TharpSter PounDown Event has me down by 16 with a successful end taking place before my next birthday.

For years, I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of blue jean shorts.  I can never find the perfect pair which fits comfortably and snuggly up under my dunlap, while at the same time maintaining a proper length just at the altitude of my knees.  I have several pairs as it is right now.  A few pairs are too dark.  Another hangs below my knees and makes me look like a middle aged gangsta-wannabe.  Another pair has shallow pockets.  Another pair has pockets that are too deep.  I could only wish the literal meaning of that last statement paralleled the metaphorical one.


Speaking of deep pockets, I got a great deal on my favorite shorts.  Last spring, TharpSter Jr. had to get himself a pair of gray britches as part of his uniform at work.  Naturally I insist on nothing but the best for my children, regardless of the cause.  In this case, the boy would be wearing them out on the ball field while umpiring Little League.

So like any doting father, we packed it up into the truck and headed off to the Goodwill store.  At any given time, this bastion of capitalism and shining example of the free market provides a veritable plethora of products ranging from apparel, to household goods, to black velvet paintings of seductive tigers and the King of Rock-n-Roll himself. 

As I stood there watching Junior rifle through the selection of pants in search of a waist and inseam measurement I will never achieve, the would-be subject of a rambling blog caught the corner of my eye.  They hung there from the clip hanger exuding a certain level of comfort I haven’t encountered in quite a long time.  I inspected them several times to identify the reason why anyone in his right mind could have given them up.  No flaws existed at all.

They were just the right shade.  Much like Charlie slowly opened the wrapper on that winning Wonka Bar, I carefully looked for a tag to see if the size was right.  When I found it, the sunlight gleamed off of it with the promise of a good fit and extended leisure.  They were the right size.  They were also $2.00.  I nearly shucked the shorts I was wearing at the time right there in the aisle in order to try on the new object of my affection. 

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and I made my way to the dressing room.  I would hate to get banned from the Goodwill store for such an offense.

Not only did they fit, but they fit well.

In the following months, I wore those shorts quite frequently.  I wore them on the ball field while coaching.  I wore them around the house.  I wore them while achieving symbiosis with the couch.  I even washed them on a regular basis. 

Over the course of those months, the stresses of life manifested themselves in a weight gain.  As a result, the buttons started to give way.  At the same time, wear and tear caused the hems to unravel at the crease. 

One sad day it happened.  The inside button called it quits in favor of a position somewhere in the bottom of my change bowl.  The other button passed a few weeks later of a broken heart.  The buttons were subsequently buried in a field behind the compound.  A few weeks later, I noticed a red fern had grown between the two grave sites.  There truly was love between the two.

I sit here months later just as frustrated as ever about finding the right pair of shorts.  The ones I have are still too dark, or too long, or too baggy, or too whatever.

It occurred to me today that the recent successes and subsequent manifestations of the TharpSter PounDown Event may allow for a revitalization project to take place on my beloved shorts.  I persuaded the CFO to dig out the needle and thread in order to attach a few more buttons to the waist line this afternoon.  To my relieved exuberance, she was successful.  What’s even more is that they fit as well as they did before.

I would like to think at this point that the shorts will be short lived.  The primary reason is that the mission statement behind the TharpSter PounDown is inconsistent with wearing them into the new year.  In the meantime, I plan to get as much wear as I can out of them.  Even though they will eventually find their way back onto the rack at the Goodwill store, they will always be immortalized here on the web.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

4 thoughts on “TharpSter Shorts

  1. Hey, have been looking for opinions of people who have tried this out first hand, and after hunting through bing, I stumbled upon your write up, and it islovely blog. Too bad I took this long getting to read your article. Saved you in my bookmarks already. Shall come back pretty soon. Keep on writing your blog will get really popular.

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