Confusion

In a complicated world, there is much about which to become confused.

Shirt pockets and the back pockets of pants, for instance.

Whose ideas were these? And what is their function?

I always thought shirt pockets were for cigarette packs and, maybe, pens – unless they were old-school six-sided Bic ballpoints that did not fit into nor did they clip onto any pocket known to man.

If one was not wearing a tee-shirt, where, after all, was one supposed to put their smokes? For those too young or too pure, cigarette packs could be rolled up for storage in a tee-shirt’s short sleeve. “A little dab will do ya” completes the picture. Pop quiz: name the product from which the slogan is taken.

A related curious invention, pocket protectors, came of age only when NASA began sending men into outer space. They were for engineers and those goofy people who messed around with mysterious computers that were the size of a Buick.

As for back pants pockets, they were never suitable for cigarette packs. You’d crush the pack if you sat down. Despite the “crush-proof” packaging claimed by manufacturers.

So, plainly, back pockets must be for wallets. Unless one was traveling to a big city, where pick-pockets were certain to be present and anyone with a wallet in their back pocket would be picked. There, in the Big City, the wallet went in a front pocket.

Of course, I betray my gender (or is it “sex”?) bias with the above.

Women have all of this stuff figured out. As usual. They carry a purse and that takes care of wallets, pens, cigarettes, and enough collective change to eliminate the national debt and with such weight as to permanently exempt them from PE classes.

Too, purses ensure the always popular expression: “I’ve lost my keys!”

Today, no one smokes (under 20 percent, remarkably). Or uses a pen. And the oppressive ridicule heaped upon pocket protectors drove them (and their users) from civilization.

Yet we still have pockets.

Which, I’ve learned, are for telephones that are thinly disguised as cameras and watches.

And the helpful introduction of the contemporary idiom: “Butt call.”

That excuses every misdialed call ever placed. And who uses the word “dial” in conjunction with the telephone anymore?

Some days I feel like Vinnie Barbarino.