This was an expression my mother used when my father’s zipper was down. As a kid I never knew how racy a remark it really was.
My dad’s face would turn bright red traveling right to his ears, like a heat flush.
My mother would laugh, but I guess a man’s pride is connected to what’s behind that zipper.
Ones manhood is very sacred after all.
This came to mind because of a very well-dressed man I saw buying fruit in Dean & Deluca with his fly wide open. Imagine Walter Cronkite at half mast.
Of course you can’t help staring since that whiteness of what’s beneath is like a magnet. I thought, shouldn’t someone tell him…another man perhaps? So I whisper to the kid weighing pears, “Hey…look…that man over there could use a little help.”
“He’ll come over when he’s ready to weigh,” he said, “he’s a regular.”
“No, I didn’t mean his fruit…his fly’s open. I thought you’d go tell him.”
“Listen lady, they don’t pay me enough…you tell-em.”
“Yeah, but I don’t want to embarrass him,” I said, clearly thinking of my father who would sulk all afternoon.
The woman behind me who was growing impatient said, “For godssake…hey…you over there, with all the melons…zip up.”
I was aghast.
“I can’t believe you just did that.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t weigh those bananas yet. I have a meeting.”
I looked over at the guy now properly fastened who slyly smiled and said, “Next time you tell me..would have been a lot nicer.”
I heard my mother laugh through the Muzak and the cheese man barking, “Come on over…have a taste of today’s special Cherve…best goat cheese Manhattan has to offer.”
I guess when you put things in perspective, so what if the candy store’s open. It doesn’t mean you have to shop there, now does it?