Just Burn All of These

"Oh, Transman, clothes aren't included as 'found art.' You really do need to enter a brick and mortar store and plunk down cash to look good." Clinton and Stacy as themselves. Image:Jezebel.com

A while back, a couple of the gals in Transman’s office were joking about nominating him for a turn on What Not To Wear.

“They do guys, too!” one of them said, giggling.

"Do you know how many times I've told this kid to cut his hair and put on a damn tie?" Sean Connery as Transman's dad. "Dammit, Dad, at least I have a pocket square. Man, I'm about to bust out of this vest; no more Twinkies for me." Johnny Depp as Transman. Image:sulekha.com

Transman went back to his cubicle scratching his head, not really sure about the show or his coworkers’ assessment of his style. Granted, Transman does buy most of his threads at thrift stores and occasionally helps himself to the “we’re moving and don’t want to haul this shit” pile of clothes at his complex’s laundry (yes, he washes the clothes before wearing them). Still, Transman does try to look presentable most of the time despite what his father might tell you about Transman looking “like a damn hobo.”

During Transman’s recent hospital stay, he had a chance to see the show because he couldn’t get the TV remote to work and the television was stuck on TLC. As fate would have it, they were running a What Not To Wear marathon. The only thing Transman could control was the volume, so he slept for hours with the sound turned off and the bluish TV glow washing over him, comforting him, reminding him of how TV had pretty much raised him. When he was awake, he turned up the volume to hear Stacy London and Clinton Kelly tear down and rebuild the wardrobe of a hapless school teacher aiming for an administrative post.

As the credits rolled, Transman drifted into a troubled sleep ….

He awoke to find himself and the contents of his dresser in a New York studio. Stacy was frowning as she and Clinton pulled out various items of clothing.

“Oh my god, Flatt and Scruggs meet the Rat Pack,” Clinton laughed as he held up a denim suit with pinstripes.

Clinton dropped the suit into the garbage can next to him.

Stacy let out a bray of laughter as she held up a concert shirt with bleach stains on it.

“Lemme guess … sentimental value?” she asked. “Who listens to Toad the Wet Sprocket, anyway? They actually put on concerts?”

Not me, Transman thought. Stupid dreamscape. I only listen to cool music. Well, except for the 80s tunes you’ll find buried deep in my iTunes library, but Toad the Wet Sprocket? Never!

“I swear, it’s not mine,” Transman protested. “I always changed the station when ‘All I Want’ came on.”

Stacy gave a snort of disbelief as she made a perfect three-pointer into the garbage can.

Clinton hoisted a pair of lace-up moccasin boots and then doubled over in laughter, gasping something about “Hello, it’s Easy Rider. Peter Fonda, we’ve found your boots!”

As would only happen in a dream, Transman grabbed at the boots. “Please don’t throw those away! I need those!”

“Buh-bye!” Clinton said and let the boots drop.

They made him try on a few of his go-to outfits:

"Yes, this is my daily wear for the office. I think it sets me apart from the cubicle crowd," Transman said. "Yeah, and puts you right into the padded cell crowd," Stacy said. Image: theultimateplaylist.com

"And this is what I wear when I'm hitting the town; I don't want to look like all the other the douchebags at the bar in their Abercrombie shirts," Transman said. "Yeah, I bet the honeys are lining up when you walk in the door," Clinton said. Transman was shocked to hear him use the word "honeys." Image: rollingstone.com

After laughing and tsking their way through Transman’s mini fashion show, Clinton and Stacy gave him some advice on the kind of things he should look for when they turned him loose in the shopping district the next day.

“Well, since you’re 4′ tall, you really need to find a good pair of boots,” Stacy said. “Possibly even stilts.”

“You’ve got the right idea with the layers to cover that belly of yours,” Clinton said, “but you need to stick to one main color in your suit. It’s okay to add a pop of color with your tie or pocket square, but only a solid color suit. Plain shirt, too. No plaid, no polka dots–“

“What about stripes?” Transman asked.

“No. No patterns for you!”

“But …”

“No!” they said in unison.

The next morning, Transman hit the shops:

Transman thought he was doing okay by sticking to the mostly neutral suit and hat. Clinton had said he could use a tie for a pop of color. A scarf was just an overgrown tie to Transman. Image: top-people.starmedia.com

"I got your boots right here, Ms. London." Transman considered Cadillac fins an appropriate accessory. Image:popblerd.com

Clinton and Stacy burst into the store where Transman was digging through piles of tweed vests. Clinton was brandishing an old-fashioned scrap book full of pictures of Paul Newman. “This! This is what you need to go for. Classic, timeless. Usually one color. Often free trade.”

Transman tried again. "This?" he asked. "NO!" Clinton and Stacy yelled. Image:rolexblog.blogspot.com

"THIS!" they yelled at him. Image:thegrassskirtblog.com

After getting Transman into Clinton and Stacy-approved clothing, they sent him off to be “purtied up” by Carmindy. Her bubbly cheer was fizzled by Transman’s dour look. “I’m not wearing guyliner, so don’t even suggest it.”

"I usually get along with all the guests on the show. Transman's kind of a jerk. He smells weird, too." Image:carmindy.com

“Okay, um,” she said, looking desperately for something to suggest. “Lots of men use moisturizer. You have some red patches on your cheeks.”

“It’s eczema,” Transman said bluntly.

“Well, some concealer might camouflage that scar on your chin.”

“So would a beard,” Transman said.

“Okay,” Carmindy’s eyes lit up. “Hair is usually Nick’s territory, but if it’s on the face, I guess I could have a go. Have you ever considered a chin-strap beard? And we can wax your eyebrows–“

Transman jumped out of the chair.

“You’re off your rocker, lady!” he said, and pushed her makeup kit onto the floor.

“Nooooooo!” she wailed as tubes and powders and brushes scattered. And like a vampire that has to stop and count mustard seeds, she started picking up the items one by one, allowing Transman to escape …

"What can I say? Transman has tragic hair." Image: candieanderson.com

He ran down the hall and ducked into a room.

“All right, then,” a voice said behind him.

Transman turned to see Nick Arrojo approaching him, brandishing scissors and grinning.

“Calm down,” he told Transman. “I’m here to help.”

Transman checked the door, but it wouldn’t budge. He feinted left and then ran right around Nick.

“Come on, Transman, don’t be like that,” Nick said. “You have a lot of natural wave we can work with.”

“They’re cowlicks,” Transman shouted. He ran to Nick’s work station and searched for something to use as a weapon. A hairdryer. What am I gonna with that? Gently warm Nick’s fingers until he drops the scissors?

“Have a seat, Transman,” Nick entreated as he got closer.

Transman picked up a comb.

“Stay back,” he shouted!

“It’s okay, Transman,” Nick’s voice was changing, getting higher.

“It’s okay,” the voice repeated. “Wake up. I need to check your vitals.”

Transman blinked his eyes a few times. The shift nurse was standing beside his bed.

“You were having quite the nightmare,” she said and smiled. “Those pain meds can do that.”

Transman's dad shows concern: "What happened, son, did your barber die?" Transman responds: "You're just jealous because I have hair."

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20 responses to “Just Burn All of These

  • liquorstorebear

    My mum was actually nominated for that show by her well-meaning (?) sister, but she wasn’t quite tragic enough to make the cut.
    My parents did make the cut for Consumed, the show about almost-hoarders, but my dad chickened out.
    Bad meds!

  • free penny press

    Transman.. my daughter and her gal-pal pulled a “What not to wear raid” on my closet once and i was left with 2 tank tops, a skirt and one pair of jeans.. true story..

    I have heeded their advice (them being young & coolish) but they never saw the band tshirts I hid away in the shoes..lol
    Great post.. really great!!

  • NC Coot

    While there’s no accounting for taste, there’s little respect for it anymore, either. This is a wonderful fever dream.

  • clownonfire

    Stacy and I used to be married.
    The Clown

  • saradraws

    What I mean to say is, this was a very enjoyable, very funny post. Eric and I would always joke about hey they gave a frickin’ soccer mom bob to every woman who walked int there.
    I’m glad you escaped with your eyebrows intact.

    • transparentguy

      I hope my dream never comes true. I would look terrible with a bob. “Emo Phillips, I have your hair, but you can have the striped shirt back … Clinton and Stacy say it’s a ‘No-no.'”

  • sweetmother

    i interviewed to be stacy london’s warmup act for her solo show that flopped. i didn’t get it, BUT STILL. i like to talk about things that i didn’t win!!! in fact, i do it all the time…there was a medal in the 6th grade…wah. anyway, back when i was in new york, i was a stacy london addict and fortunately or unfortunately – i sound like her. unfortunately i do not look like her bc the woman is smokin’ hot. anyways…what i’m saying is i LOVED this post. and i always wished they’d redo more gay dudes on there and gay girls and not make them so the opposite of what they want to be…like the firewoman episode where they were like, ‘let’s put a dress on ya’ for a full hour. all i could think was, ‘the b*tch does not want to wear a dress!! how in the hell is she gonna lay hose in that.’ ok, that might’ve been too much. i apologize. glad you’re back to posting and i’ve missed you all.

  • Lydia McGee

    1. Love Toad and the Wet Sprocket
    2. Watch out for that Demerol, Haha!

  • lauriejlong

    If you had used the hairdryer on Nick’s hand, it would have worked well. Set on high, a hairdryer can be scorching hot! Next time, don’t give up so easily, stand your ground! LOL

  • ethelthedean

    “And like a vampire that has to stop and count mustard seeds…”


    This post definitely brought on some anxiety just reading it! Good thing Paul Newman is (was) such a dish. Just looking at those photos brought be to place of calm.

    I love clothes, but have a very troubled relationship with the fashion industry. I try to live my the motto that if I feel good, I must look good. Either that, or fake it till you make it!

  • gene3067

    If you ever do end up on their show, say to them in your best Russian voice, “I must break you”. (Rocky 4?) And then pull a full Robin Williams the entire week.

    Own the show!

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