Saturday, January 30, 2016

Deep pockets

With the Iowa caucuses looming this next week, I guess that it’s time I write my occasional political column. As a distant relative of “The Media,” and since this hard-hitting column appears on an opinion page of the newspaper, it seems as though it’s my sacred duty to pontificate on the presidential candidates and their positions on important issues. 

Pundits have monopolized my television screen trying to talk me into believing that one candidate or another is better than the rest of the field. Actually, they spend a majority of the time telling me how much the other guy and/or gal stinks. They try to inform me on candidates’ positions on such important things as health care, gun rights, immigration and so on and so forth. There is only one issue that really matters to me and that has to do with pockets. Pants pockets are the devil’s handiwork. Hear me out.

This past week, I helped out with a job putting up a metal ceiling. It involved putting a bunch of screws through sheets of steel to affix them to wooden rafters. Occasionally I would have the need to switch driver bits on my screw gun, so I kept the bit that was not being used in my right front pants pocket. I would have placed it in my nail apron however it was full of the screws that I was using in the aforementioned ceiling.

As I stood atop the scaffolding, I stuck my hand down into my jeans pocket to switch out bits. Seems easy enough doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I never considered all of the other stuff that I had to fight through to get to the quarter-inch driver bit.

My fingers had to sift through a bunch of loose change (some of which might have been Canadian, like Ted Cruz), a couple of empty fun-size Snickers and Kit-Kat candy bar wrappers (breakfast is the important meal of the day), a small piece of copper wire, sawdust, a couple of assorted screws, nails and washers, my cell phone and possibly Jimmy Hoffa.

I couldn’t find it so I ended up putting my tools down and basically emptying the entire contents of the pocket to get to what I was looking for. Which, in the end, had somehow magically migrated over to my left pocket. Yet another mystery of what goes on below the belt.

I find it hard to believe that in all of the time that has passed since pants were first invented, pockets are still the best option for trouser storage. We have discovered electricity, invented the automobile, put men on the moon and developed a Weeble that has the ability to wobble but not fall down, but mankind still has not come up with a better place to put driver bits than in your pants pockets? Where’s the national debate on this crime against humanity? America should be outraged!

Have you ever found an old cough drop deep down in the most extreme depths of your pocket that had been there for an extended period of time, perhaps through multiple wash cycles? I have. It makes me happy when I think that I’ve found an unknown cherry eucalyptus treat down there only to discover that the wax paper wrapper has become hopelessly welded to the sugar-free coating. Nobody wants that kind of fiber in their diet.

And it’s not just those regular-sized front pockets that have raised my ire! Every pair of jeans I own has that goofy little pocket on the right front side that I am evidently supposed to keep my pocket watch in. I don’t recall seeing anyone with a pocket watch since Tom Hanks in “The Polar Express” and I’m pretty sure that he kept it in a vest pocket. And oh yeah! He was a cartoon! I’ve never really felt the need to carry a watch that doesn’t strap to my wrist.

And while I’m on the pocket rant, what’s the need to have two back pockets? I have been on this earth for darn (excuse my language) near half a century, and I can’t think of of one time that I have utilized the pocket that exists on the back of my pants that covers my left butt cheek. Not once. My wallet goes on the right side. Nothing on the left. The left pocket is a waste of material.

I’m sure that there is no simple solution to this problem. I personally suggest crotch shelves and possibly thigh drawers. I’m just an idea man. It will take people smarter than me to pull us out of this denim-covered quagmire.

I hope that over the next days, weeks and months before the 2016 presidential election, through all of the mud-slinging, the debates, caucuses, primaries, conventions, news programs and commercials, I hope that the perfect candidate rises out of the muck and gives me the answers I’m looking for about the future of pockets and pocket usage. That will be the person that I’ll throw my undying support behind.

Unless it’s Trump. I just kinda think he’s an idiot.

I’m Greg Wallace, and I approve this message.

You can contact Wallace at You can follow him on his blog at

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