I needed some new clothes for work so I visited this large Department Store in town and started looking around. Pretty soon I found the perfect pair of trousers in varying colors. What would suit me best do you think? Dark blue? Black? Gray?
I took all three and proceeded to one of those cubicles where you can try your clothes on before you buy them.
The man in charge led me to a cubicle and asked me to press a little button if I needed any help.
I got in and tried the first pair of trousers … too tight. The second pair was too long in the legs. And the third was too tight and too short.
Why can’t they make trousers that fit exactly as the size it says on the label? Admittedly the three pairs of trousers were made by different manufacturers but the labels clearly said the same size on all three. And that is my size. The size I measured myself at home and the size of my current trousers which fit me perfectly well.
I proceeded to take off the last pair of trousers and pressed the little button as instructed.
Immediately, almost instantaneously, the male attendant turned up and I explained the situation to him. He took the items away and promised to get me bigger sizes.
I turned round to get dressed and … disaster!
The silly man had taken away the trousers I was wearing when I came into the shop as well as the other three.
So there I was. Trouser-less in a cubicle, and also minus my wallet and car keys which were in my trouser pockets.
I pressed the little button frantically again. Nothing happened. I pressed and pressed and still nothing happened.
Eventually the man returned empty handed.
“I’m sorry Sir; we don’t have any other sizes!”
I explained what had happened and he went away trying to retrieve my own trousers which he had put away with the other trousers to be sold in the store.
I waited for what must have been an eternity. Trapped in a store with no trousers to my name.
Eventually a female voice was heard to say, “Try these and we’ll see if they’re OK!” and a hand came in through the thick curtain and handed me two dresses. One pink and one light blue!
Almost instinctively, I don’t know why, I took the dresses and for a few seconds stared at them. It then occurred to me to look out of the cubicle and call the female attendant back.
Too late! She too had vanished in the store never to be seen again.
“Dear God … what do I do now?” I muttered under my breath.
Well, I suppose the Good Lord must have been listening because there, standing beside the socks rack, was our Parish priest.
In desperation, I tried to attract his attention without making a scene.
“Pssst … Pssst …” I uttered nervously as if calling a cat.
At this point I should tell you that Father Frederic is somewhat old and hard of hearing. He didn’t move one inch and continued looking at different pairs of socks.
“Psst … Psst …” I went again. No response.
“Father Frederic!!!” I said quietly yet forcefully enough that he might hear.
He stopped what he was doing. Looked around and saw no one calling him. Then he looked up to Heaven and made the Sign of the Cross.
“Over here … Father!” I said more forcefully.
He saw me hiding behind the curtain of my cubicle and approached me tentatively.
“I thought the Good Lord was calling me!” he exclaimed.
“No … it was me,” I replied still holding the two dresses, “I’m in an embarrassing situation Father!”
“Oh dear …” said my priest, “it is embarrassing. I didn’t know you liked to wear women’s clothes!”
“Hein? I DON’T!!!”
“No need to be shy about it my son. You really must resist the temptation … and you must come to Confession too.”
“Father … you don’t understand … These are not my clothes!”
“No of course not,” he interrupted, “they’re women’s clothes and you can rest assured that your secret is safe with me. It’s as if you told me about it in Confession. Come to think of it, this curtain is lovely and thick … we need to change the curtains in our confessionals!”
“Father let me explain … I need a pair of trousers!” I said as calmly yet as firmly as possible.
“What? You came here without trousers? You didn’t wear a dress in public did you? That’s rather foolhardy you know. What if a parishioner saw you … you’d bring the whole congregation into disrepute you know!”
At that point I think Saint Anthony must have stepped in and come to my rescue; even though I’d forgotten to pray to him.
The male attendant returned with my original pair of trousers, and my wallet, and car keys.
A week later at Confession Father Frederic whispered to me through the brand new confessional curtains “Are you sure you have nothing else to confess? Something pink and something blue … and worn by pretty ladies!”