Journal: News & Comment

Monday, December 20, 2004
# 4:59:00 PM:

Penguin suit

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I own a tuxedo, which is unusual these days. Back in 1995, when my wife and I were married, I decided that, since renting a tux is so expensive (three rentals or so and you may as well have bought), I'd purchase a classic design and be done with it.

In the intervening years, I've had few occasions to wear it, so when the invitation for my daughters' piano recital last Sunday said "formal," I went for it. It turned out that only one of the five-year-old students and I went that far, but it was nice to be gussied up. And it led to a funny story.

The piano teacher's husband is also a pianist, and has worked as a musician (like me) for some years. He used to have a regular gig that required a tuxedo, and afterwards he and one of his bandmates would go to a local bar (where they knew the owners) for a drink. They frequently parked out back, and one evening he was standing in the alley with a cigar when up pulled a Porsche. The driver and his girlfriend exited, passed the after-work pianist the keys, and said, "Take care of the car for me."

The pianist took the keys, spun the Porsche around town for awhile, came back, and when the owner came back got a nice $10 tip.

The upshot: the only people who own tuxedoes anymore are head waiters, valets, and musicians. Make sure you don't confuse them.


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