For those of you unfamiliar with the Utah landscape, the Key Bank tower was one of the tallest office buildings in downtown Salt Lake City. It sat on top of Crossroads Mall although both of them were torn down several years ago. My sweetie used to work for a small engineering firm headquartered in the Key Bank Tower. That was convenient for things like Christmas shopping or grabbing a quick bite to eat in the food court. It was just such an occasion when my sweetie ventured down the elevator.
It was mid December and he was hoping to pick up a few Christmas surprises. After a quick bite to eat, he wandered through several stores looking for just the right gift. He finally scored with a pair of black leather gloves and a beautiful silk scarf. Pleased with his purchases, he hopped back on the elevator and returned to his office. He walked casually down the hall and was stopped halfway to his office by his boss. “Maybe you’d better take off early today,” his boss suggested. Looking a bit stunned, my sweetie responded, “Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do and I already took a long lunch.” His boss chuckled, “Seriously, I think you’d better head home.” Now puzzled, my sweetie offered the inevitable, “Why?” His boss grinned again, “You have an huge rip in the seat of your pants.”
Flash forward about ten years later…my girls had pestered me into joining the Utah League of Writers because they were offering youth membership for practically nothing. It seemed harmless enough and something good for them to add to scholarship applications as they got a little older. The League sponsored a writing contest every year and the girls were excited to enter. They convinced me to put something together too. We were thrilled when we received notice that someone had won a prize and we were all invited to the reception at a downtown hotel.
It was Sunday best, so we put on our fanciest duds and headed out. The hotel was nice but comfortable and the reception was set up in one of the largest conference rooms. We arrived a little early and wandered around. They had a small pond in front with ducks and geese. We watched them out the window for several minutes and then I left the gathering with Bossy to find a restroom. As we were making our way back up the hall, my sweetie was still standing at the window watching the ducks with the Drama Queen. That’s when I noticed the huge rip in the backside of his slacks. I glanced at my watch. It was time to enter the conference room and given the circumstances, I couldn’t see any way to solve this problem.
I whispered to Bossy, “See Dad’s pants?” She snickered under her breath. “We have to walk close behind him at all times so no one can see that rip,” I breathed in her ear. She looked at me incredulously, “You aren’t going to tell him?” I glanced back to where they were standing, totally oblivious to the disaster. “Can we do anything about it?” I asked. She thought for a moment. “No…” she said. “Then what’s the point of getting him all upset about it?” I asked. She shrugged. So between the two of us, we “tailed” him for the rest of the evening. I think we did a pretty good job, at least I didn’t see anyone laughing or pointing. A couple of hours later with prizes in hand, we strolled out of the hotel and headed for our car. My sweetie put his arms around both daughters. “Hey, let’s swing by the grocery store and grab some ice cream!” he suggested. “Ummm…I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “Why not?” he asked. He squeezed their shoulders a little, “I’m just so proud of them!” he enthused. It was time to ‘fess up. “Well, you have a little rip in your pants…”