Bum Flaps

I am a connoisseur of trouser drama. Only last week, I threw away the pair of jeans with the fly that kept dramatically bursting open at inappropriate moments for the last nine months. And today I had to throw away my only pair of non-jeans trousers. So I warn you, if you invite me to your wedding, to the christening of your first-born, or to testify for you in court, I will happily come, but I’ll be wearing jeans. Why did I have to dump my “good trousers”?

I spent Saturday in Cambridge, visiting a friend. I had a lovely day and got up this morning at 6:53. I had to get a train to Bishop’s Stortford (I LOVE English placenames, so Harry Potter) and then another train to Stansted. There, I had to waste time while my plane was delayed for over half an hour. I then had to get on the plane and fly to Dublin. Once in Dublin, I got a taxi to Ballymun, where I’d parked my car for free and then I drove home, stopping to put petrol in the car.

Unfortunately, when I sat down in the train in Cambridge I heard a loud rip, coming from behind. And I felt the cold leather of the train seat on my upper thigh. And I felt a draught on my bum. Crap. The seat of my trousers had torn, and they’d done so dramatically. And I hadn’t been doing the splits, or lunges, or squats, or even a demi-plié. All I’d done was sit down.

Six hours later, when I got back to my flat, I took off my trousers and looked at the tear. The trousers hadn’t ripped along the seam. No. That would be too easy. They had ripped in an almost exactly horizontal straight line across my lower arse. The tear was so impressive that I measured it. It was sixteen and half inches across. SIXTEEN AND A HALF INCHES. Like the Grand Canyon. Only on my arse.

And there I had stood on the platform of Bishop’s Stortford and Stansted train stations, and I could feel the fabric on my bum flapping about like a frustrated goose’s wings. So many passengers saw. Some stared, but most averted their eyes quickly.

Thank goodness I was wearing underpants! Now, I don’t buy underpants for someone my size. My waist is over sixty inches and underpants for people my size cost at least €30 each and are so big that they get in the way of everything and ride up and take up loads of space and are generally awful, ugly, expensive and uncomfortable. So, I but the biggest size underpants that Dunnes’ Stores offer, which is for a 42-inch waist (about 19 inches too small). They’re fine, although sometimes they do squeeze a bit too tight. They also leave more of my bum uncovered than is ideal. Especially when you have a bum that looks like a freshly-plucked turkey.

So, this sixteen-and-a-half-inch hole gaped and flapped and displayed my less than glorious upper thighs and bits of bottom to various audiences over the next six hours it took me to get home. I was on display on two trains and in two different train stations, and across Stansted Airport. As I passed through security, I certainly had little to hide. As my flight was delayed and I had to keep checking the display board for my new time and new gate, the nationalities of the world saw my bum. I stuck to the leather on the airplane seat. And I got some very funny looks as I stood at the urinal in Dublin airport. I was on display in the taxi rank and in Ballymun as I got into my car, and I think I may have scandalised the elderly on their way to Sunday Mass as I bought petrol.

I really have to lose weight. But it’s good to be home.

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