The Skirt Ride-Up Problem
(Continued from the Front Page)
I made the appointment. What did he want me to ask? New to Philadelphia and everything that was going on, I had no idea what I was supposed to talk to Chuck Stone about.
You said youre a reporter, think of something, Jim said.
Can you give me a little help or hint? I asked.
Finally he said, theres talk he might go into politics. Ask him about that.
Well, I came back with a story. Jim leaned both his arms on my desk, glared at me and said, If youre setting me up to be a fool I will find out where you live and I will personally come and strangle you. Show me your notes. He didnt say that!
Yes, he did, I said.
Jim did a nice layout, boxed it and put it on page three with the catchy headline, Chuck wants to stone Gray. Chuck Stone responded to it several days later in the Daily News with great kindness and humor.
Thus, would begin Jims quest to find out how I got the story.
It was about a week later that I was sitting at Jims desk and we were talking about Chuck Stone.
He said he worked as a reporter with somebody here, somebody named Jim, I said. I forget the last name. He said he should call him so they can go out to dinner, I said.
What did you say, young lady? Jim Cassell came out of his office in the back.
Are you that Jim? I asked Im sorry. I never knew your last name or I would have told you before.
Are you sure he said I should call him? he asked.
Yes, I said, he said it twice. Hes all alone in that big white building. Im sure he must get lonely. Im sure he meant it.
Jim came back into the office the next week after having dinner with Chuck Stone. He was in an excellent mood. Hes a wonderful man, he said. We agreed to have dinner again. Yes, indeed, a fine man.
He stopped by my desk on the way back to his office and said in a low voice, Chuck said your skirt was quite short.
Oh! I said, It was not. That skirt was below my knee.
He hesitated slightly and then began to walk away.
Did he say anything else? I asked.
No, Jim said, he just said that your skirt was short.
I went on the defensive. It most certainly was not, I said. Thats the first time I wore that skirt. I didnt know it had a ride-up problem.
Excuse me young lady? Jim asked.
Well, I said. The skirt had a ride-up problem. Its not my fault. How was I supposed to know? It was the first time I ever wore it.
A ride-up problem? Jim asked.
Jim Davis entered the conversation. I am not familiar with this ride-up problem, he said. Could you please explain it?
Some skirts ride-up, I said. You never know. You try them on in the store but you dont know if they ride-up or not until you wear them and sit down. Some skirts ride-up when you sit down. That skirt had a bad ride-up problem.
I see, Jim Davis said. I will ask my wife about this ride-up problem, and he wrote it down on his ever present list of things to do, things to look up and questions to ask.
Jim Cassell gave me a disbelieving look, I am not familiar with this skirt-ride up problem either, he said.
I turned to Gwen. Gwen, I asked, do some skirts have ride-up problems?
Oh yes, Gwen said very seriously. You try them on in the store but you never sit down. Some skirts have a bad ride-up problem and you dont know until the first time you wear it. She nodded her head vigorously.
Both Jims were looking back and forth from one to the other of us.
Well, Jim, Jim Cassell said, You let me know after you ask your wife, and he was about to walk away.
Did he say anything about my shirt? I asked.
No, Jim Cassell said. Did your shirt have a problem too?
It shrank! I exclaimed. It was the first time I washed and dried it and when I put it on it had shrunk. It is shrunk or shrank? I asked. I always get those two confused.
Jim gave me a doleful look, I believe its shrunk.
Thank you, I said. The shirt shrunk.
How much did the shirt shrink? he asked.
Quite a bit, I said. It was tight.
How tight was it? Jim asked.
It was quite tight, I said.
Have you ever worn that shirt here? he asked.
Oh, no, I said. I washed it again and it shrunk even more. Id be arrested if I wore that shirt.
I see, Jim said as he gave me another doleful look and was about to walk away.
Ive never had a shirt shrink at a better time, I said smiling.
He looked at me. So youre saying your skirt had a ride-up problem and your shirt shrunk? he asked.
Exactly, I said.
He was thinking fast. He stopped in front of Gwens desk. Gwen, he said, do you remember when you interviewed that politician? You looked very nice that day. As I recall your skirt was quite short.
Gwen was awkwardly looking down at her hands. Well, um, yes, she said.
Did you get a good story, Gwen? I asked.
She turned and gave me a broad smile, Yes, she said. I got quite a good story.
Men are so easy, I said and we both howled.
Jim looked back and forth as if this thought had never entered his mind before. He shook his head and walked back into his office.
Three minutes later we heard a roar of laughter come out of his office. The shirt shrank, he said and he roared again.
Both Jims reported the following night that they had checked with their wives who confirmed that skirts, can indeed, have a ride-up problem.
Out of the utmost respect for Chuck Stone, I need to say that I didnt really get the story that way - well, yes and no, but not the way you think. But then, thats another story.
COMING NEXT THE KLAN