It was about a month ago when I bought the suit at J.C. Penny’s and had not taken it out of the bag since. The reason for the purchase is that my old suit had become a little well…snug, most likely from shrinkage due to high humidity in the closet. A lot of my clothes have been affected that way.
An occasion arose where the suit was required and with only a couple of hours to get ready and be there, I began to remove the myriad of tags, plastic tabs, and sewn on labels when I noticed a white circular thingy on the sleeve. I call it a “thingy” because I had never seen such an object before. Assuming it was nothing more than a simple shoplifting security device that would set off a door beeper, I tried to separate what looked to be two pieces of screwed together plastic That didn’t work. Yeah, there was some kind of WARNING instructions on the thingy, but I didn’t have time for details.
Now I’m looking for any sort of release clamp, button, spring, whatever, but no. The damn thing was impenetrable. I tried a knife, a screwdriver, a bigger screwdriver, no joy. I was about ready to go for the hammer when the Missus asks what I’m cussin’ about.
I explain my growing frustration and how the clock is ticking. “I’ll call the store,” she says. I continue to push, pry, and unscrew when she comes running back to the bedroom. “STOP! Don’t mess with that. We have to take it back to the store and let them do it.”
“And the reason is?”
“It’s full of ink. It’s called an ink tag and if you remove it, the ink goes everywhere and ruins the garment.”
I’m checking the time. Okay, we can go by Penny’s and still make it. No biggie.
But it was. J.C. Penny’s was packed with Christmas shoppers. The line at the customer service booth was ten deep. Tick, tick, tick. Full panic mode kicks in.
“Get in line,” cries the Missus. “I’ll try to find the woman I talked to on the phone. Her name is Ramona.”
The next thing I see is my bride going up and down aisles of the men’s department hollering, “Ramona…Ramona.”
The people in the line are staring and saying, “Why is that woman yelling and who the hell is Ramona?”
The Missus didn’t find Ramona, but instead grabbed some innocent young woman working in the shoe department and drug her to the service counter. Five seconds later, the white thingy was safely removed.
I asked the woman if she wanted to see my receipt. She shook her head. The look on her face said it all.
No, and the exit is right over there.