Thurs­day’s child

The Compass - - OPINION - Harold N. Wal­ters — Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­

I am a Wed­nes­day ’ schild. Ac­cord­ing to Mother Goose, I am, there­fore, full of woe. That may be so. To­day, a Thurs­day, I wish I were a Thurs­day’s child.

Alas, I re­main the Wed­nes­day’s child I ’ ve been for … well , long enough to be pen­sioned off.

Dear­est Duck has aban­doned me again. Aban­doned is the wrong word. She has parked me at a cof­fee kiosk at The Mall. “Have a cof­fee,” she said. “Play with your lap­top,” she said. “Stay,” she said, and tod­dled off in search of shoes. I bought a small black. I booted up the brand new lap­top I’d re­cently bought at Wal­mart.

I open Mi­crosoft Word and stared at a blank doc­u­ment page.

Fin­gers poised above the key­pad, I pon­dered. I re­flected. I ob­served my sur­round­ing.

I com­mence d to f ocus my thoughts on women’s foun­da­tion gar­ments. And I felt marginal­ized. I’m nearer to be­ing a sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian than I am to be­ing a newly bud­ded sex­a­ge­nar­ian. For frig sake, I’m of such cob-webbed vin­tage that liver spots have bloomed atop my nog­gin.

But inside there’s a man decades younger. A vir­ile man of … of … oh, I don’t know … fifty, p’raps. A man whose eyes are young enough, sharp enough to spot a swatch of ladies’ un­der­gar­ments, eh b’ys?

Some of you might guess why fe­male fril­lies caught my at­ten­tion here at the cof­fee kiosk — caught my at­ten­tion and, I con­fess, caused me to blush — con­sid­er­ing the stock for sale at cer­tain nearby re­tail es­tab­lish­ments.

Hop­ing that Dear­est Duck isn’t feel­ing like one of Cin­derella’s ugly sis­ters at some shoe shop — and so won’t catch me at this — I feel safe to men­tion furbe­lows.

Furbe­lows. Here’s a word you don’t hear ev­ery Thurs­day, eh b’ys?

Furbe­lows are not truly foun­da­tion gar­ments. They are the ruf­fles, flounces and flares once — think Scar­lett O’Hara’s vo­lu­mi­nous frocks, p’raps — used to dec­o­rate pet­ti­coats. Pet­ti­coats? Slips, I s’pose. Slips? I’m tippy-toe­ing on the crum­bling edge of a dan­ger­ous precipice here. I hes­i­tate to strike a key…

… so I’ll buy another cof­fee. Larger. Blacker.

If Dear­est Duck re­turns and reads this next line she surely will ap­ply a shoe heel — as­sum­ing she’s had shop­ping suc­cess — to my marginal­ized pate.

I’m fan­cy­ing a time when one — a dress­maker p’raps — might have hoisted a furbe­low-adorned pet­ti­coat and in­ves­ti­gated the pre­vi­ously con­cealed foun­da­tion gar­ments. One might have seen a bus­tle. That’s not bus­tle, as in hus­tle and … but bus­tle as in a rig de­signed to fal­sify — re­mem­ber, this would have been in the days ages and ages be­fore the pos­si­bil­ity of se­ri­ous pos­te­rior Bo­tox in­jec­tions — the size of a woman’s but­tocks.

A bus­tle was tied around the waist with its padded part — a piece of tack­ling re­sem­bling a horse col­lar — set­tled high on the but­tocks. This strate­gic po­si­tion­ing caused any slip or pet­ti­coat with at­ten­dant furbe­lows to flare out dra­mat­i­cally and falsely ad­ver­tise overly en­dowed but­tocks.

There, I’ve typed it. There’s no sign of Dear­est Duck.

What do foun­da­tion gar­ments have to do with my wish to be a Thurs­day’s child?

Hang on to your britches, b’ys, I’m get­ting there.

Say­ing Thurs­day’s child has far to go is sorta vague. Far, as in dis­tance? Far, as in character de­vel­op­ment? Far, as in ac­cep­tance of changes in … oh, again I don’t know … changes in the popular fash­ions of foun­da­tion gar­ments?

Re­call I’m sit­ting at the cof­fee kiosk, and de­spite the di­uretic ef­fects of caf­feine, sip­ping a third mug of cof fee, this time a sugar- laced mocha-mocha.

If I lift my eyes off my key­pad I can — and, I con­fess, I do — ogle the con­tents in the dis­play win­dows of the es­tab­lish­ment across the way: Vic- to­ria’s Se­cret. Yes, said shop is there ev­ery day. But … … but, as an­nounced on the sign invit­ingly propped out­side the door­way, to­day is Thong Thurs­day.

I can’t help it. Per­verse as it might be, I wish I were a Thur­day’s child. “Harry!” Uh-oh. Dis­tracted by brightly coloured scraps of silk and satin, I failed to hear the pit­ter-pat­ter of newly shod feet.

After a lifetime in har­ness — I say that lov­ingly, of course — Dear­est Duck can read my mind. Can read my mind and pre­dict the fu­ture.

Christ­mas is not so dis­tant and Dear­est’s Duck’s Christ­mas stock­ing — stock­ings? — can cer­tainly bear dainty ac­ces­sories…

“Harry, my over-heated honey,” says Dear­est Duck to this woe­ful Wed­nes­day’s child, “Don’t even think it!”

Thank you for read­ing … and un­der­stand­ing.

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