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Pants on the Ground part 2 by Angel Perkins

March 30, 2012

“Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground.”

I’ve noticed that sagging pants on young men are often at different levels.
What does it mean if the jeans are just under your cheeks or just slightly above them? To further confuse me, I’ve seen them wearing the waistlines at their mid thigh — WITH A BELT around them.
I mean, really — it can’t be comfortable. If they are all about trying to act like a rapper, a tough guy, maybe even a bad guy that the law might look a little closer at, why would they want the wear them that way? Do you want to tell the world you are a potential, if not seasoned criminal? You surely can’t run very fast when your pants are trapping your legs and bunching up under your feet.
I’d honestly love for some survey group to research how many inmates had been incarcerated because they weren’t capable of getting away from police because of their pants.
And on that note: I know male teenagers don’t like looking into history or doing research themselves — there is just NOT enough time for video games, girls, and hanging with the boys — because if they did have time to check out WHY the style originated in prisons (because prisoners aren’t allowed belts, even ties on their pants, because they can be used to kill themselves or someone else, and guards aren’t too concerned about how well their wards’ clothing fits, and because the pants hanging off their rear-end represented an invitation for the otherwise unsavory intimacies) they would certainly pull their pants up or wear a belt.
I personally can get over the annoyance of having to look at the young men who wear their clothing this way because of three things: One — they just really look silly and that amuses me; two — and I can still recall my son’s voice at about 4 years of age when he looked at a young man in line somewhere and commented with concern and compassion (thinking in his simple little mind that the poor teen either didn’t have a mother or was too poor to afford appropriate-sized clothing) and commented sadly, “That boy needs some clothes that fit him, Mom.”
The third, final and most impressionable thing to me, that makes seeing this style on young men bearable, is another memory.
One summer day I waited in my car to pull out of an alley because a teenager was approaching on his skateboard. He was a typical adolescent : Long hair topped with a stocking cap, a white “wife-beater” tank top, and his baggy pants hanging about half-way down his hind-end, boxers waving from the top. Patiently waiting for him to pass and with nothing much else to look at, I was pondering how hard it might be to skateboard when you couldn’t spread open your legs very much to push off the ground … and … how long did it take the typical teen to master that? I was thinking that I’ve seen dozens of professional skateboarders (I’m a closet X-Games fan) and they all wore well-fitting clothing — certainly well-fitted enough that they could comfortably move their legs without losing their drawers.
I was thinking that he didn’t look like a tough kid, a true “gangsta” so the style with his young, impish face was a totally illogical style presentation — no matter how many tattoos or piercings he might have or get in the future, that baby face would never do him tough-guy credit … and then it happened.
The Powers That Be smiled upon me and gave me something that will be with me until my End of Days.
The exact moment his skateboard rolled past my front bumper, something (a rock, crack, bottle cap, or maybe nothing at all) halted his slide and he shot off the deck and landed on all fours — rather ungracefully I might add. Like a trooper he quickly righted himself and his board and wheeled off as he snuck a glance in my direction. I don’t think he saw me though, because he didn’t instantly disappear in a puff of smoke and I’m pretty sure if he had seen my wide eyes and lips open in the true surprised “O” position, he would’ve died on the spot.
I know I almost did from the laughing alone.

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