Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Broken Button Miracle

WARNING: This will be (I hope) the most boring, insipid, pointless post I have ever made. Please don't search my archives looking for something even lamer. I'm afraid you might find some.

For years I have been sending my shirts out to be professionally laundered, pressed and starched. The amount of time it saves me steaming over an ironing board on Sundays is priceless.

My biggest pet peeve has always been shirts coming back with broken buttons. Every laundry I have ever been to has had a posted sign stating their policy that they are not responsible for broken buttons, zippers, fasteners, etc. Just like grocery stores aren't responsible for dents from runaway shopping carts and car washes aren't responsible for ripped out mirrors, antenna's and spoilers.

And they always broke buttons.

Particularly those tiny little buttons on my button-down collars. They seem to be the first to go. Over the decades, I have grown to accept that as the norm.

I can sew. That's not the issue. I'm not a Conservative. I don't need a woman to do my "mending" for me.

But it's a pain in the ass. Even though my shirts come with one or two spare buttons sewn to the shirt tail, I eventually run out of replacement buttons as the cleaners break them too! I eventually have to take perfectly good shirts out of the rotation for lack of buttons. I'm not some ancient Appalachian pioneer with a mason jar full of miscellaneous buttons stored down in the "root cellar".

Pisses me off.

A couple of weeks ago I dropped some shirts off at my new cleaners here in Independence. I've been using them since I moved here. It's a convenient location, but they freaked me out a little bit with how quickly the knew all my business.

When I go in, they know who I am, how much starch I like and the gal at the counter doesn't have to ask my name or phone number. SHE REMEMBERS.

Borderline CREEPY!

The folks at the Korean bodega downtown always acted like I had never been there before and they were always a hair trigger away from screaming "NO CHANGE! NO BATHROOM! NO WATER!" at me like I was an ATA bus passenger from across the street.

One of the shirts I dropped off a couple of weeks ago had like half a collar button. It was enough to keep the collar buttoned and I figured no one would notice so I wore it. What the fuck do I care?

When I got it back from the cleaners, the half button had been replaced by a whole button.


This was unprecedented! This was a biblical miracle! This was like water to wine!

I thought maybe it was a fluke.

So in the next batch of shirts I dropped off, I included a "ringer". A shirt with a completely missing collar button that had been wadded up in the bottom of my closet for months (all of the spare, shirt-tail-extra buttons used up and gone) waiting for me to either replace the button or throw the shirt away.

When I got the batch back, the "ringer" had a brand new collar button! No fan fare. No extra charge. Just a new button!

I have one more similar shirt to test. If it comes back with a new button, I will never, ever use another laundry. They will be my laundry for life.

A virgin birth? Pffft! That ain't shit. Happens all the time. Trust me. Ask your 16 year old niece.

A carpenter rising from the dead? So what? Big fucking deal. Workplace defibrillators are a wonderful thing.

I've seen accountants and working housewives rising from the dead in downtown office buildings the day after St. Patrick's Day. And in lots of zombie movies. Not impressed.

But a shirt with broken buttons rising from the dead and rejoining the righteous work week lineup with brand new buttons after a trip to the Miracle Laundry at no extra charge?

Now THAT is a fucking Act Of God.

If I ever retire and move to the Bahamas, I will FedEx my shirts to Independence and back.

Just for the fucking buttons.

It's worth it.


Spyder said...

That's good customer relations.

meesha.v said...

they probably using illegal Mexican midgets for sewing the buttons back on.

Faith said...

I'm sorry, this is just begging for someone to give shit...

How does one NOT know how to sew a fucking button onto their shirt? I'm no magical seamstress, or what have you, but I can darn holes in gloves that I love, replace the buttons on my fave coat (over and over and over), and even close up the button holes on said coat when they get too stretched out and sad to hold the button I put through them.

Is it the knot at the end of the thread that gets ya? What? I don't me understand...

(Oh, and there are these big places in certain parts of the city called "fabric stores" that sell buttons for pretty cheap. Hell, I think you can find standard sized buttons at the supermarket you shop at, even! Humor me and check the next time you're there, if you remember.)

Ambitious Fledgling said...

Wish you would have pimped their name... I have that same problem... but mostly because I'm lazy... not for lack of buttons...

Logtar said...

If buttons do not make you believe, I don't know what else will, Praise Sporty Jesus!

We all know that the reason for the publicity is that the lady offered you to "love you a long time."

Xavier Onassis said...

faith - I know how to sew! I didn't get married until I was 32 and I had been out of mommy's house for many, many years. I know how to do all of those things that grown ups need to know.

It's just that I never get around to doing it.

Let's see, I just got home from work, do I want to pour myself a drink and go surfing for midget porn, or do I want to sew a fucking button on a shirt? Mmmm, I think I'll choke the chicken.

ambitious - "Wish you would have pimped their name... I have that same problem... "

Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you? Not going to happen my friend! I tell you, you tell your friends, the next thing you know everybody in the metro is taking their raggedy-ass, busted-button shirts to MY cleaners, and they decide it's getting too expensive and taking too much time, so they quit replacing buttons. Huh uh. I don't THINK so!

crse said...

now this is not lame. this is right up there with the laundromat episode of curb your enthusiasm. Better even. I have to say though buddy, Im a little worried for you. I think I saw a law and order episode like this. Just watch the girl at the counter.