"You are a blood stupid tailor" she yelled, "You can't even stitch a blouse properly. I wonder why I come to you everytime."
"You can go elsewhere if you want. I don't know why I put up with the likes of you. Just because you are a sergeant's wife don't think you can order me about. If only you knew what all I have done."
By now a large crowd of onlookers had collected, sniffing an hour's worth of amusement. "Yeah?' someone prodded, "What great thing have you done?"
"Go away! I have no time now." But that was impossible. His was tale rising unstoppably within himself.
"Some many years ago, there was a case in court. A Colombian man had been arrested for smuggling cocaine in his underwear at the airport. The case was taken up for hearing in the county court, where I gave expert witness."
"You what?" asked an onlooker.
"Yes, you would know, wouldn't you? Jesse Helms, Yale graduate, unemployed. You think I cannot be expert, don't you. But let me tell you, I am the most expert tailor in all Dayton, and that is why I am always called to give expert witness."
The sergeant's wife was now plainly irritated. "My God! What has the world come to? If the expert of the city cannot stitch buttons to a blouse, then what are the others like?"
But the snubbed Yale graduate quickly intervened, lest a scuffle break out. "What has a tailor to do with a cocaine case? I'm sure you just must have gone as some bystander eyewitness and not an expert witness. That is the truth, isn't it? Ha ha!"
Now the sergeant's wife intervened. She wanted to get on with the rather intriguing story.
"No, no. I was the expert witness. You see, the case hinged on the underwear."
"Yech!" rumbled the crowd, but hung on, interested. "What do you mean by that?"
"The guy accused of smuggling wore size 34 underwear. His attorney proved that the he wore size 32. I gave evidence that size 32 will never fit him, and even if so, there will be no space for fitting anything else." "Yuck" chorused the onlookers.
"But anyone can say that in court. Why you?" asked a voice, not traced to its owner.
"Because I was the one who made it 32!". He beamed proudly at them.
He sat down at his sewing machine. Now he had the attention of everyone, and no questions asked.
"You know Barney Jackson, the Ohio State Senator? He was the defence attorney then."
"Yeah! He takes up cases of the rich and getting them off." interjected the Yale graduate.
"Okay!", he surrendered meekly, disappointing the tailor. A doubting Thomas always made the narration more fun.
"Well, he came to me one day. It must have been about nine o'clock and I was about to close. He told me there was something urgent and pulled out a green Jockey brief from his briefcase."
"So that is why a briefcase is called a briefcase!" The joke had its takers.
"He asked me to alter it to one size smaller. And it had to be done then and there itself."
He looked around for questions, but there were none.
"I hesitated. I did not know why he had such a bizarre request. It is a matter of great skill to do such things you know. But he noticed my hesitation for the sign it was, and immediately offered cash. In advance."
"How much did you get paid?" asked Mrs. Sergeant.
"This was the question he had waited for. "I cannot tell you that."
"So you did it?"
"I am an expert tailor, but am I rich? So I closed the door, and began to cut and restitch the thing. Barney Jackson sat there all the time."
"Did it smell?" again anonymous.
"Bleargh!" ran a soundwave.
"You know these latinos. They never shower. But money blunts your nose."
"True, true!" another anonymous voice.
"And next day, Barney Jackson asked me to come to court and answer some questions for him. That is when I found out the whole matter."
"What did he ask you?" asked the Yale guy.
"I have already told you. Whether a size 34 man can wear 32. And whether he can fit something inside it after that." "So what did you say?" anonymous.
"You know what happens when you wear a tight underwear. You cannot sit or stand or walk comfortably. How can you smuggle anything?" he laughed, but no one gave him company.
"You go to any other tailor in Dayton and ask him to this. Then you will know what skill it is. Better from now give me some respect."
"Why the hell did you have to boast. Now what am I going to do?" asked the tailor's wife, tears trailing down her cheeks.
"Can you ask Barney Jackson to get us bail?" he asked his brother who was standing by.
"He is in the next cell."
"What do you mean what?" screamed his wife. "You had to boast in front of the sergeant's wife. She went and told her husband, and he told his inspector. The end is, you and the Senator are in the lock-up. And the court-clerk."
"He confessed he took a bribe from Jackson and stole the underwear from the court safe where it was kept as evidence. Then he put it back when it was altered." answered his brother. "Your are charged for perverting the cause of justice."
"Oh why did you have to do this? You were perfectly safe, and no one would have cared." wailed his wife.
"It was a question of my honour. I will go to jail, but I will not tolerate anyone insulting my professional skills."
based on a true story, but with lots of license.