Help! My pants have caught on fire!

Have you ever looked down, upon feeling a bit of warmth on your legs, to find that your pants were on fire? If not, you are missing out on something quite special.

Not only is it quite humbling - to be forced to pull your pants down in front of a mass of strangers so that you will not burn to death - it is an invigorating and educational experience as well.

You are probably asking yourself right now, as you are trying to decide whether or not it is acceptable behavior to laugh out loud about this matter, how did it happen? And if you are in any way familiar with my track record as a ridiculously accident-prone human being, you are probably also muttering under your breath, “It figures!”

Well, this time I am not to blame, I assure you. It happened because for once in my life, I was wearing a piece of clothing that was too big. My pant legs were billowing in the wind, as I was chatting with a friendly gal nearby, and I was standing next to a lit, gas-flame burner which was resting on the ground. So you can guess what happened next.

So where was I and for what good cause did I endanger my life? I was working the matzoh ball soup booth at the Hard Lox Festival – Asheville’s annual event spotlighting all things Jewish. Out of the goodness of my heart, I volunteered to dole out soup to the masses, who desperately needed it as it was terribly chilly outside. Who knew that fire could rage so quickly on such a cold day?

Meanwhile, when the tragedy struck, a very nice man saved my life by slapping my legs silly while I pulled my pants down. Never mind that there was a fire extinguisher, which I’m sure was in good working order, just inches away from the scene. Who needs an actual fire-reducing piece of equipment when presented with the opportunity to de-robe or assault someone’s legs? Come on.

And, believe me, I was there at Steinmart the very next day to replace the tattered, charred sweatpants. (And incidentally, I urge you all to boycott this store – no one took pity on me by replacing my pants for free, even after watching me limp to the cash register with a pained look in my eyes.)

The moral of the story: Try not to wear loose sweatpants, if you can avoid it, but if you must do so and there’s a pretty good chance that the pants will end up down around your ankles on any given day, make sure you’re wearing a spiffy pair of underwear. But, remember, don’t buy them at Steinmart.

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