I think Genius owes me one. Or maybe Hick owes me one. Whatever. I'm going to call in my debts one of these days, and those two had better start socking away some dough.
Perhaps I've mentioned that Genius moved away to the college dorm on Saturday. Hick and his oldest boy, Genius's adult half-brother, helped with the heavy lifting. I stayed home. First of all, I would not have been a help, but rather a hindrance. And besides, the pool of tears would have risen up to thwart their maximum oxygen uptake. The main reason, though, was that I did not want to embarrass Genius in front of his new dormie buddies.
Sunday, Hick made a return trip to drop off some forgotten computer wiring, and the very special desk chair that Genius got for $10 at Goodwill. He puttered around before departure time, nearly purring with pleasure at seeing Genius once more. I spied him driving his Gator in laps around the house. He went to check on his goats and chickens. It was through the living room window that I spotted him climb out of the Gator, and sensed something amiss.
I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Something to do with apparel. Hick is not known for wearing plain white T-shirts. They always have a logo on the left chest. Or a word emblazoned across the front. This one was plain. Yet there was some funky fancy stitchwork around the sleeves. A gray strip along the back of the neck. Then I knew. It was one of those Starter shirts that wick away moisture. They're really very cool for the wearer. Genius has them in many colors. He used to use them for basketball practice, and to mow his grandma's yard. The Pony has several himself. Most notably, The Pony has about five of those shirts in white. They're like a uniform to him in the summer, because no matter what shorts he pairs them with, he's fashionable. I knew that Hick would not fit into The Pony's shirts. Then I remembered that I had bought him one to work at a junior-class fundraiser at Busch stadium in the heat of last summer.
That gray strip is what tipped me off. Those shirts don't have a gray strip. Except on the inside.
Hick was wearing his shirt inside out.
As soon as he came in, saying he was ready to leave, I told him. He denied it at first. Then looked at the shoulder stitching. Took it off. Reversed it. And thanked me.
I'm not the only one who doesn't want to embarrass Genius.