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July 16, 1996

Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

I was in a restaurant tonight with my mom and step-dad. We were talking as we were waiting for the food to come and suddenly my mom's eyes seemed to open to double their normal size. What prompted this look of shock? Was there an axe murderer loose? Had someone clutched their chest and fallen to the floor? If only it was that innocent...

What was behind me, and soon to be in front of me, was something much worse. A fashion mistake of epic proportions.

Now I'm no fashion maven. If I haven't seen the designer's name on a billboard or the side of a bus, I don't know it. DKNY, Calvin Klein, and Mr. Frederick of Hollywood are about as far as my designer vocabulary goes. As I choose my wardrobe each morning I don't go by color or style. If an article of clothing doesn't stink or look like I slept in it, it's a viable candidate. But even I could not miss this garishly garbed tribute to the fact that some people don't own a mirror.

I don't know why, but this woman kept wandering around the restaurant. She went to the bathroom, then went back to her table, then went somewhere else, then went back, then went somewhere else. In a space of 20 minutes she must have made 4 circuits of the restaurant. She didn't talk to anyone, didn't actually really go anywhere. She just meandered around, giving us ample opportunity to say two things over and over again... "oh my god, why?" and "shut up, she's coming."

It was like the wave you see at sporting events, but in reverse. Everything was loud, but this section of sudden silence would precede her through the restaurant. If she'd actually looked at the people she was passing, you would think the apparent convention of teeth-clenching amateur ventriloquists, all practicing saying "she's right behind you" without moving their lips, might have given her a hint.

And I don't know what's worse... the fact that someone made those clothes, the fact that she wore them, or the fact that whoever gave her that haircut wasn't flunked out of Ferdie Feinberg's Barber College. The one thing I do know, is that for the first time in a month, I went out to a restaurant and stuck to my diet.

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