Because I’d been away working Africa, I hadn’t had any need for a suit for a very long time. I’d still kept my old one, however, hanging up in a closet back in England… just in case.
I had cause to use it almost as soon as I’d returned when I was lucky enough to be asked to an interview for what I regarded at the time as my dream job.
It was a first thing in the morning affair, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for my super-efficient waking and dressing. I’d moved so fast, indeed, that I’d managed to make an earlier train and was happily relaxed in my seat, contemplating a painless journey…
…Until I looked down at my trousers and noticed a few curious looking flecks of pale dust on them.
I flicked at the dust.
It didn’t disappear.
So I brushed at it – hard – with the flat of my hand.
It still didn’t disappear. Indeed, the brushing appeared to have made these curious flecks grow bigger.
Closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t dust on my precious and only suit. There were tiny holes in the material – and the pale patches were, in fact, my own legs. Perplexed, I looked closer and realised, in alarm, that moths had been eating at my trousers and that –to my horror – they’d found the region around the zip particularly tasty. To add to the unfortunate effect, my bright white boxers were shining through for all the world to see.
No matter how far down I pulled my jacket, I just couldn’t cover them.
I don’t know what it was that put the interviewers off. It could have been the fact that I was late, because, yes, in spite of my efforts, my train had conspired to deposit it me fifteen minutes after time. It could have been the fact that I was wearing crotch-less trousers. Or it could have been the nervousness that the knowledge of this fact caused in me.
Anyway, I didn’t get the job.