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by Joseph Del Priore

Man on phone with uniform company representative.
Fred and Renee

Renee: Bond Uniforms, how may I help you?

Fred: I work for the Post Office and just got my uniform allowance and would like to place an order.

Renee: Name and location, please.

Fred: Fred Granger, Royal Oaks, Illinois. Can I ask what happened to Bernadette?

Renee: She left to start a family. Now, you have $356 to use. Can we begin?

Fred: I’d like to start off with the 12150 postal jacket.

Renee: Excellent choice. May I suggest the 02500 cold weather vest with the glow in the dark safety stripes front and back?

Fred: I figured I’d use my sweater instead.

Renee: Is your sweater breathable, moisture-resistant and urethane-coated 100% nylon?

Fred: Actually...

Renee: Of course it isn’t. Otherwise why would we make the vest? Also, you’ll want to complete your ensemble with walking shorts.

Fred: I thought a knit shirt would be more of a priority.

Renee: Take that shirt Fred, but know this: with global warming you can NEVER have enough walking shorts. And you’ll be needing your sun visor to top off your look.

Fred: I never use a sun visor.

Renee: Fred, Fred, Fred... aren’t there days when you just don’t feel cap-ish? Of course there are. What kind of fashion coordinator would I be if I didn’t suggest alternatives?

Fred: All Bernadette did was...

Renee: Bernadette is HISTORY. We move on. Understood?

Fred: Okay. I guess. So I want two pairs of low blue socks.

Renee: I’m pausing here because I’m waiting for you to come to your senses and be logical.

Fred: But...

Renee: Logic means desiring a variety of socks: high blue, low white, high white, sole socks...

Fred: High socks cut off my blood supply and make my calves sweat.

Renee: Sacrifice variety for comfort? I’m a bit taken aback. You sounded more substantial.

Fred: Fine. Throw in a mixture. I’m late for my softball game. Now, give me one pair of 1211089 featherweight wash ‘n wear tropical 100% Polyester trousers.

Renee: Wonderful. We just skip right over the Dura-Wear medium-weight gabardine blend of Dacron and Orlon. Not to mention the Venetian 45% wool.

Fred: Yes, dammit, we’re skipping right past that stuff.

Renee: Please don’t raise your voice and don’t use obscenity. I innocently inquire what you have against gabardine and you explode.

Fred: I am perfectly calm. Open my closet and you will be smothered with gabardine.

Renee: I’m trying to collect an overall impression of your fashion sense.

Fred: I want one summer cap, one winter cap, one clip-on tie.

Renee: Fine, as far as it goes. Why not a button-down tie for that retro look?

Fred: Do not dictate to me. My ex did that.

Renee: My job is to use my expertise to guide, not control. Choosing a uniform ensemble is like visiting the Botanical Gardens. You need someone to point you in the right direction.

Fred: What do flowers have to do with ordering a face mask?

Renee: You didn’t just order face mask 04761. Say hello to 1976.

Fred: It keeps my head warm.

Renee: Fine. Be a laughingstock.

Fred: What do you care?

Renee: Because my initials go on this order form. If I didn’t suggest our water-repellent thermo-insulated fur cap I would look like a fool. Do I deserve this? Why am I always the victim?

Fred: You’re confusing me. There are a dozen pairs of gloves pictured. What do you suggest?

Renee: I owe you nothing.

Fred: Please. I’m sorry. You’re the expert. How about the Sure Hand Control?

Renee: I’m speechless.

Fred: Okay then, the Super Hi-Tech thinsulate...

Renee: The ONLY glove I will let you wear is the 09115 Mail Grabber with the Traxtex no-slip fabric on thumb tips with its velvet soft black deerskin suede. This glove was tested on mountain climbers.

Fred: I just want something that will keep the mail from slipping.

Renee: You’ve never gone mountain climbing, have you Fred? Or snorkeling or deep-sea diving or parasailing. Your life is a series of safe softball choices.

Fred: I take plenty of chances.

Renee: We’ll see about that. Go ahead, pick galoshes.

Fred: I’d be happy to. Give me a moment.

Renee: I’m waiting.

Fred: Stop pressuring me.

Renee: The pressure is coming from you as you confront the emptiness of your life.

Fred: I’m going with... black chukka 81300... What?? That is a GREAT choice.

Renee: It’s not a pimple on the four-buckle fleece-lined gusset 70103. Besides, Fred, chukka is a rubber, not a galosh.

Fred: I KNEW I’d screw up. You didn’t give me enough time. I want another chance.

Renee: Pick a shoe.

Fred: What about raingear?

Renee: Do you really think you deserve raingear after this display?

Fred: What about a cape?

Renee: No cape for Fred.

Fred: I have to move on, get past this. I’ve always been good with shoes. You believe that?

Renee: It doesn’t matter what I believe. You made that perfectly clear.

Fred: God, so many choices...

Renee: A secure person always sees the glass as half full.

Fred: There’s only one way to go here. The 60755 Chukka Boot with the Cambrelle-lined quarter and tongue and the polyurethene sole and heel and the removable washable Frelonic Aerowick molded insole with arch and metatarsol support. Right?? Please speak.

Renee: I’m stifling a deep sigh here. What IS it with you and chukka?


Renee: Over the new Thorogood custom-made high-topped athletic shoe with the speed-lacing system, padded cotton tongue, removable poly-pillow insole and Dri-Lex quarter lining? You disappoint me again, Fred.

Fred: One more chance. Please.

Renee: You know what? I’m going to send you the chukka so you can see the error of your ways. Your order will arrive in a week to ten days. Feel free to contact us if you wish to add anything. Thank you for using Bond Uniforms.

Fred: But... but you can’t just hang up like this. I’m much more adventurous than I came across. I steal bases. I can hit and run. Are you single? Can I write?

Renee: You disgust me.

Fred (explodes): That’s it. That does it. You are speaking to someone who plows through hail the size of tangerines, who dodges wet leaves, confronts vicious dogs, endures bitter cold and sweltering heat. My job doesn’t control me. I control my job.

Renee: Is this... still Fred?

Fred: Bet your ass, lady. This is the REAL Fred. The one who punches out Dobermans.

Renee: Tell me more.

Fred: I double-park wherever I want in my truck.

Renee: Oh (moans).

Fred: I walk into a pizza parlor, rattle my mailbox keys and get immediate service.

Renee: Oh God. Oh...(moans louder)

Fred: I YANK open mail slots and bend anything I want.

Renee: Including Material for the Blind?

Fred: You got it.

Renee: You beast. (moans) More, give me more.

Fred: Are you touching yourself?

Renee: Yes, dammit, yes!

Fred: Those mailboxes on a pole...I YANK them open, SHOVE every piece of mail as far in as I can.

Renee: Everything? (gasps)

Fred: Ikea catalogues, Vanity Fair, the 600-page fall fashion issue of Vogue.

Renee: You animal! Oh God. What if you saw me in a club?

Fred: I’d look you right in the eye, tell you you’re my woman for that night and take you home.

Renee: Would you be in uniform?

Fred: FULL uniform, wench.

Renee: And then?

Fred: I’d strip you naked and suck out all your tics.

Renee: I don’t have any tics.

Fred: I’ll find some.

Renee: In full uniform?

Fred: In pit helmet and galoshes.

Renee: Yes! Yes! Will you use... dog spray?

Fred: I will cover you head to toe.

Renee: Oh, oh, oh!!

Fred: Then I will carry you, writhing in pain/pleasure, to the shower, where I will soap you up and down that magnificent body.

Renee: Oh MY God! Yes, please...

Fred: Then I will dry you off...

Renee: More! Please more!

Fred: Lay you on the kitchen table...

Renee: Give it to me! NOW!

Fred: And cover you with Noxema.



Fred: Am I over my allowance?

Renee: (Still gasping) By twelve dollars... I’m waiving the overage... that was extraordinary... Thank you.

Fred: Thank you who?

Renee: Thank you... sir.

Copyright © 2010 by Joseph Del Priore

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