As I was sweating my balls off in this ungodly heat today on Metro North, I started dreaming of winter and how refreshing the cold weather can be and it made me think about a former colleague, Guillermo, and his winter wardrobe.
If you’ve never seen a hustlin’ seventies pimp in real life before, head over to Accounting to take a gander and you won’t believe your eyes. If only Ben Affleck had consulted Guillermo for wardrobe ideas before they started shooting The Accountant, the movie probably would have done a lot better. He’s short, mid-fifties, wears big glasses and looks like Super Mario’s brother Luigi. I don’t want to be mean and say he was fat, but when the police eventually draw his chalk outline, it’s going to be a circle….Now add a huge fur coat on top of this and he looked like a cartoon character. Forget Joseph’s Technicolor Dream – he wore a fur coat and matching hat that made him look like the product of a hot three-way between Luigi, Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch, and an actual Grizzly Bear.
As the seasons turned and the winter breeze crept into the air, it’s normal for most people to gradually work longer sleeves and sweaters into their wardrobe, but not Guillermo: he went balls out straight to the fur! The best part was his matching hat which made him look like a Yeti covered in fur head to toe. You just couldn’t look at him with a straight face. At first, I thought that he might have accidentally worn his wife’s coat, but day in and day out, he rocked it like a Hurricane. My wife has informed me that normal and mature people don’t stare or make comments in situations like this, but I’ve never been mistaken for normal or mature.
Guillermo was a nice man, but I couldn’t get past the coat. I had to know where he got it and why he wore it and how the hell he wasn’t sweating like crazy in it. I have very lite self-control in situations normally, but this was putting me over the edge. He felt like people were making fun of him (Newsflash – we were!) and didn’t like to talk about the coat, but curiosity was getting the better of me and I just knew that had to try it on. I’m OCD and the thought of being inside that pelt skeeved me out big time, but I knew I needed to step up here and that it had to be done.
I was leaving the company to work at another company and I knew it would be my only chance, so I casually started talking about the coat and was leading up to me trying it on for a picture. He randomly told me the story of how a homeless man attacked him on the subway trying to steal it, yet he fought him off with all of his might causing the left arm to be ripped off the coat. It took his tailor three weeks and the skins from two raccoons and a squirrel to mend it, but apparently it was good as new. I was picturing his subway Fight Club in my mind as he was telling me, but all I could think of was the Wampa cave scene with Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. Apparently, G isn’t Star Wars fan…
At first, he was playing hard to get and didn’t want to let me try it on. “Stop it, now give me that coat” I said which forced him to explain to me what his hesitation really was: apparently, not every man can wear fur because not everyone has that certain swagger needed to pull it off. AS IF! “G, are you asking me to wear this down Fifth Avenue? OK, now it’s on!” With that I put on the coat and we headed for the elevator!
What I failed to realize, was just how heavy the coat was actually going to be. It was literally as if I had crawled up inside a bear’s ass and then walked around carrying the bear. It was also hotter than the sun inside that coat by the way. I felt like Han Solo when he cut the Taun Taun open for him and Luke to sleep inside and keep warm. I mean, I sweat excessively in just a t shirt and shorts, but I didn’t have that coat on for a full minute before I was soaked right through. I don’t know how the hell he wore that around and didn’t pass out! It gets cold in New York, but for Christ’s sake – global warming people…you don’t need fur! Forget about mistreatment of animals and that it’s wrong to wear fur or that it’s just mean; what’s mean is making a person sweat like that from a coat!
G looked at me and said “how does it feel?” as if I were test driving a Ferrari and I’m not sure if it was my spirit animal literally engulfing me right there in the office, but I said “it makes me feel like this!” It was at that moment that I chose to jump on the conference table and pose like Burt Reynolds in Cosmo and show him who had swagger. While the ladies in my office thought it was hysterical, Guillermo felt I was crossing line and was now being disrespectful to the coat as if that point hadn’t been passed long before. With that, I told him we’d take it to the streets and we headed for the elevator so I could prove my swagger on the streets!
The winter Holiday scene in the lobby of our building had a nice display featuring polar bears, snow, and penguins – the perfect winter scene scape for me in the fur! I proceeded to do what every sensible person does right about then and get into the displays and frolic with the wildlife until security sent us on our way.
I did rock that coat and prove my swagger, but he was right – not every man can pull of a fur coat. I probably could and should have gotten one of my own just to spite him, but I’d have died from heat exhaustion like I do on Metro North each day I commute, so no fur for me. I did get a few strange looks, but being that it’s NYC, no one cares about this idiot strutting around inside a carcass. The moral of the story is be careful what you wish for or you’ll end up hot and sweaty on your knees with a bunch of penguins and not the good kind of hot and sweaty either!