Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So I'm with Joanne, getting my new suit fitted.

Jack the tailor works at Bullocks, but their alteration policy won't let him widen the arm holes in the jacket. It's a tricky job, arm-hole widening, and we're at Jack's house getting it done on the side. His workshop is a converted garage filled with tailorly things, including his aged, lap-less mother-in-law, stitching slowly.

Jack's making small talk.

"I'm really a pants specialist," he says.


"Oh, yes."


"Yes. I do Luther Vandross' pants." He finishes pinning my cuffs and stands. "There. You can change now."

So I shuffle off, into a unconverted laundry room off the converted garage, filled with laundryly things. I put my jeans back on and emerge just as Jack is storing something away.

"He's a big man," Joanne says.


"Yeah. They're big pants."

"You got to see Luther Vandross' pants?"

"Yeah," she says. "They're shiny."

"Celebrity pants!"

And Jack just looks at us. His mother-in-law doesn't seem to notice.

So it's Saturday night, and Joanne and I are sitting in a crowded movie theater, waiting for the curtain to go up, when a woman sitting two or three rows in front of us stands and casually pulls her shirt off.

She's wearing a sports bra, one of those Spandex tops, and her purse strap is wrapped tightly, twice, around her waist.

"Um," Joanne says.

The woman tugs at the purse and it comes away from her hip a few inches. She slips a hand in the space and begins to wiggle the purse up her arm.

She struggles, this woman. She twists and contorts and yanks and finally manages to urge the bag over her shoulder and head and loosen its death-grip enough to take it off. Apparently, her theory is that anybody who tries to rob her will get bored and wander away while waiting for her to get to her cash.

She flops, exhausted, into her seat and her date hands her the shirt back.

Thank God she didn't want to take off an ankle bracelet.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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