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Friday, December 12, 2008

A White Shirt’s Story.

A shocking tale exposing corruption at the highest level - the human brain! This is a tale that could prove evolution is reversing.

Every few years I come to the point in my life where I stop and take an inventory of my bedroom closet. This is the time to give my clothes more attention and ignore the various trinkets occupying much of the shelve space and scattered here and there on the floor . The Clothes I considered out of date (my kind way of saying I can’t squeeze into them any more) are bagged and thrown into my car’s trunk (my car is loving called the Battlestar by staff and friends). I have every intention of promptly delivering them to Deseret Industries but find the old adage ‘out of sight- out of mind’ is true. They sit in my truck until I’ve driven by DI at least a dozen times.
On my last closet cleansing I discovered a few of my Space Center button down shirts were no longer wearable. One was destroyed by the careless application of bleach to a load of colored clothes. I don’t know how it happened and Mother denies any knowledge of the incident. It may have been me but I can’t admit I could be so stupid. It’s best to take the easy route and blame Mother. She can’t rely on her memory so she has no natural defense. I’m training her to just say “Im sorry”. That gives me the high ground where I can dispense forgiveness. Aren’t I the ever gracious and caring son? She may have the last laugh in the end. As she grows more forgetful I find her memory lapses may have dangerous and perhaps fatal consequences. She routinely forgets to turn the stove off. She always leaves lights on. Then there was the incident with her poor parrot. This story involved the wind, an unbalanced birdcage and an interesting and distracting episode of ‘Oprah’. We are lucky she doesn’t smoke or she would blow us all to Kingdom come with the oxygen she keeps by her bed for sleep apnea. Dad keeps track of her. Oh, for those that don’t know, my parents live in my home’s basement apartment.
OK, I got distracted........ There was the bleached shirt. Another shirt had a permanent food stain on the front. I’ll take the blame for that. I have an eating disorder. I sometimes have trouble finding my mouth when eating. When eating, I balance the food on the fork. When the food is stable, I bring the fork up to where I think my mouth is. That is where the disorder manifests itself. I find my mouth moved from the last time I ate. That leaves the food deposited equally on my face and the front of my shirt. I’m seeking treatment for this disorder but can’t find a doctor that takes me seriously. Without medical help I'm left to my own devises. I discovered the only way to treat this condition was to eat in front of a mirror. It took awhile but I’m getting use to eating all my meals in the bathroom.
Well, to make a long story short I discovered I was running short on Space Center shirts. I needed to place an order. I found the catalog from TTOD, the Space Center official supplier of shirts. I found a few I liked. I ordered two royal blue, two denim, and two white shirts. I asked that the Space Center’s logo and name be embroidered on the left side of each shirt. On the right side I requested my name. The order was placed and life went on.
A few weeks passed and the order was ready. I drove to TTOD and collected the shirts. I drove back to the school and opened the box. The Royal Blue shirts were beautiful. I’m told I look presentable in royal blue. It is my color. Years ago my mother did my colors. She refers to herself as a color consultant. If you give her half a day she will bring you into her studio, sit you down, strap you in and lock the door to prevent an escape. Once in her parlor she begins the process of using you as a curtain rod. Cloths of various colors are draped over your shoulder and around your face. Once properly tucked here and there to prevent slippage she begins pacing back and forth. She walks deep in thought while cupping her chin in her hand and making sounds through her clenched teeth. If the pacing didn’t bring some kind of mental resolution to her internal conflict she ratchets the experience to the next level. She reaches for the lamp. You face is illuminated in degrees of light from the ghostly florescent to the seductive reflective. Once all is said and done your ‘Season’ is pronounced. I was declared a Winter as a teenager and told to stick with the dark colors. The advantage to being a Winter is your always dressed appropriately for a funeral.
The denim shirts were next out of the box. I was please and proud of myself for the selection. I could wear denim with many other colors and nobody disputes the longevity of the material. That was then - but my opinion has been modified. Our ever fashion conscious, and consistently at the top of the Space Education Center’s Best Dress List, Flight Director Kyle Herring took one look at me in my denim shirt and curled his nose. The curling of Kyle’s nose is the kind of reaction that could send the designs of the great fashion houses of Europe to the department store’s Bargain Basement.
“You realize that denim went out years ago don’t you?” he asked. That statement paired with the curled nose was taking direct aim at my fragile self esteem. At the start of the day I felt well dressed and by mid day I felt like the Emperor with no clothes.
“No I didn’t realize but I don’t care,” I replied, ashamed with myself for using such a childish come back.
“Well, if you don’t care how you look then what can any of us do?” he responded with a underhanded wave of his hand, the kind used by the master to dismiss a servant. He walked away in his pressed pants with perfect cuffs and designer shirt complete with monogram on the front pocket.
“Herring,” I said with clenched teeth under my breath, thinking the same thoughts Seinfield thinks when finding Newman at his front door.
After much deliberation I decided to keep the denim shirts as a statement. Although you may find me inhabiting a place in current space time, there is a nurtured part of me still in the past. My denim shirt is the bridge between my two worlds.
The last shirts to come from the box were the two white ones. Now, I know I look good in white. Winters look good in white. It contrasts our olive complexions (or so I’m told by the resident expert). I held it out to check the embroidery. That is when I saw something unbelievable. The company that embroidered the shirts used white thread on my white shirts ! I couldn’t believe what I saw. Surely they were intelligent enough to see that white thread on a white shirt might be difficult to see! The proof that their Common Sense brain circuits were in a state of atrophy was in front of my eyes. I just couldn’t believe it.
I wanted to take the two white shirts back to my supplier and show him the proof that he should consider employing a new seamstress for the embroidered shirts but decided a cooling off period was in order. I hung them up in the closet and left it for a few days. I find if I fly off the handle I can say things I regret - so I have a standing policy - if I get really angry I leave it alone for at least 24 hours. If I’m still fuming after the reflection then I’ll take action. A couple days passed. My anger morphed into fits of disbelief. The emotional transformation evolved further from disbelief to fear. What was this country coming to? Why have so many people decided that their God given common sense wasn’t needed in today’s world? Any idiot sitting at the machine could easily see that white thread on a white shirt wouldn’t work. Why wouldn’t they change the thread to a noticeable color - or call me and ask for directions. So why didn’t they? I honestly think they didn’t want to be bothered. The order didn’t tell them to change thread colors for the white shirts. If the ordered didn’t spill out their directions in explicit detail then why take the time and bother to try to get the job done right. After all, what could I do? Whatever action I took wouldn’t make a squat of difference to them.
I’ve decided to keep the shirts and wear them as a lesson to my students and staff at the Space Center. I want all of you to take notice when you see these abominations. I want you to remember the lesson of the White Shirts. Always use your common sense wherever you are. Always go the extra mile for friends, family , and customers. Let the White Shirts ring out a warning for all to hear - the world if full of stupid people and they don’t even know they’re stupid. It is our job to help them find their common sense. It is our job to spur them into action and use their brains when they are awake. Staff and volunteers, I want to hear you say “Lesson Learned” when you see me in one of these White Shirts.
OK, it is time to put this problem to bed. Everyone enjoy their weekend and I’ll see many of you in the trenches this next week.

Mr. Williamson
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