Sunday Stories: “Jim and Jen’s Trouser Problem”


Jim and Jen’s Trouser Problem
by Lucie Britsch

Jim has a problem

His jeans have died

And he killed them

He always thought it would be his mother

Who still did his laundry

Or even the washer dryer

Or maybe a small dog

Tugging at the bottom, playfully at first

Then with a bit more tooth

A snarl

Then that ripping sound

Signalling the end

Of his jeans and love of dogs

Leaving him trouser less

In the street

At least he would give his friends a laugh

And the odd stranger

Because not all strangers are odd

Don’t believe what they tell you

But no

He had killed them

He had thought he had more time

He wasn’t ready

If he had seen it coming

He would have been ready

It was all made worse because people kept wanting him to come out

Couldn’t a man just sit indoors in his underpants and grieve in peace

He could not go out anyway

His jeans had died

He was stranded in his living room

He did not know another single person who only had one pair of trousers

Why had he put all his eggs in one basket

If eggs were his balls and baskets were jeans

The world was full of baskets and jeans

Yet he only had the one pair

And he loved those jeans man

They were the only pair that treated him right

That he felt comfortable in

That didn’t nag him

He had been bought up thinking jeans made a man

That they could last you a life time

Damn you cowboys

He had bought into yet another myth of the American dream and now he was sitting in his underpants wishing he had a gun

He had also read in People magazine that Sarah Jessica Parker had worn the same jeans for 27 years

He was only 23

Those jeans went too soon

He had tried to find another pair

He wasn’t stupid

He knew he needed a back up

But it had not gone well

He had left every store feeling like he was a failure

Every pair made him feel like something was fundamentally wrong with his body

No other jeans told him he was ok

Not even k

His jeans told him he was awesome

So he gave up looking

He even tried to get a second pair of the his jeans

Obvious he didn’t tell the original pair

So maybe if they did die he could replace them without anyone him knowing

He could do it in the dead of night

When he was still half asleep

Like his mum did with his hamster

He knew though

That second hamster smelled of new car

They didn’t make his jeans anymore though

They were vintage he was told

Every trendy bastard in the country had snapped them up for 10 times what he paid

He even thought about stealing some

That would teach you America!

Death made people do crazy stuff

When his grandfather died his mother started sleeping with her aqua aerobics instructor

He was just going to steal some hipster’s jeans while they were fumbling with their monocle

So he had tried

But now here he was

Housebound because his seeing eye jeans had died and he couldn’t go out without them

His friends stopped asking him to come out and came in instead

They held Shiva

Jeans were important, they knew that

They made sure they folded their own more neatly that night instead of slinging them on the floor

They were more careful around small dogs and condiments

On the 8th day someone said a girl at the store had asked after him

They had told her he had a death in the family

She had passed on her condolences

She had also asked for his jeans

You want me to give you my jeans to give to some girl I barely know Jim said

You know her dude

I do

Yeah, you like go all weird round her but she doesn’t seem to mind

Oh that girl

Yeah, that girl


That girl was Jen

So maybe she wants to make a purse out of them or some other girly shit or maybe she’s one of them hippies and wants to recycle them or knows some hobo that could use them

I don’t want some hobo living in my jeans

It’s probably the purse one

But then I’d have to see my jeans

Only if you ever leave this house again

And you’d see the girl

Oh yeah right



So give us the jeans

Jim gave them the jeans but he gave them a eulogy first

His mates patted him on the back

You’re a class act they said

Jim cried a little after they had gone

He didn’t even care if he had checked the pockets

The next few days were dark

He left the curtains shut because he didn’t want the woman across from him seeing him in his underpants

His mum came over and asked if he wanted her to pick him up a pair at Target or the Gap if that was what he was into

She had no idea what he was into

She just didn’t want a son that was housebound because he had no jeans

She would rather he was housebound for a more normal reason like obesity

She had to leave him sitting there in his underpants

On the 12th day a package arrived

It was his jeans

They had returned to him

Or at least they looked like his jeans

And fitted like his jeans

They did not smell like his jeans though

They smelled like that girl


The girl who took his jeans and made them into jeans again and not a purse

It was a denim miracle

He hadn’t known it was possible

He suspected the girl of being a witch

Girls were into that sort of thing

His mates told him she was just a checkout girl

So you coming out now they asked

Hell yeah he said

To get the girl they asked

To get the girl he said

That was her plan all along

When he got to the store she said I only liked you for your jeans

I only like me for my jeans too he said

It didn’t work out though

She had saved his life as well as his jeans

That’s too much responsibility for anyone

And it was clear he only had eyes for his jeans

She spent months wishing she could destroy the thing she had made

Better than a daughter Louise who worked the night shift and was knocked up and still trying to decide whether to have an abortion or get her nails done said

She had created a monster

She had done some Frankenstein shit and what she bought back was not natural

She had been reading a lot of Stephen king novels someone kept leaving in the break room

When Jim had strode in that day in his new jeans

She had imagined him taller

She thought she might feel something in the crotch of her own jeans

But nothing, not even her usual itch she really needed to get looked at

And she knew his inside leg

Yet she still thought he would be taller

He was taller, wasn’t he she asked Louise

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder Louise said

Then Louise reminded her of the guy with the hat

Oh yeah

There had been a guy with a hat she dated a few years ago

Man did he love that hat

Never took it off if you know what I mean

She liked the hat at first

I always thought it was stupid Louise said

You did not

I did

You said he looked like that actor

Which one?

The one with the hat

Oh right, yeah

She quickly got to hate that hat though

Stupid boys with their stupid obsessions she thought

Or was it her that was stupid for falling into the same pattern again

She asked Louise how the thing with the fool went but Louise said she only knew the Mr T thing and she didn’t think that was it

For once she wanted to be some stupid boy’s obsession

She told Jim this

When he was dry humping her because the jeans had to stay on

He said she should get some sweet ass jeans

Jen had never looked good in jeans

So she punched him in the jeans

Because that was a thing now

And went back to Louise

Who had decided to not get the abortion but to get her nails done so she had plenty to keep her busy till another boy fucked it all up

The first and only thing Lucie Britsch ever won was a poop scoop slogan contest as a kid. She is in her late 3os but is only just being brave and putting herself out there and so far has made her debut in Barrelhouse and was a nice surprise to get an honorable mention in glimmer train recently. She’s working on a few books like everyone.

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