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Episode Twenty-One - THE INVISIBLE GUISE

Copyright © 2002 - 2005  Arthur Jarvinen

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His peculiar condition notwithstanding, The Invisible Guy has found it expedient to master the art of disguise for such occasions as arise in which an appearance in the conventional sense of the word is advantageous. But far more often he finds himself in his birthday suit hanging about in a chilly restaurant for hours, having to "cop a squat" on a metal patio chair, chapping his ass on a brick wall, or he simply wants to feel that, though perhaps not readily appreciated under the circumstances, still, he looks his best. After all, he is a man well-versed in sartorial matters and the finer points of grooming who, prior to the onset of his "visibility-challenged-ness" had a reputation as one of impeccable taste and manners. Thus it is that the we find The Invisible Guy in Hong Kong at his favorite tailor being fitted for a new and very special suit.

"It's been quite some time. I didn't even recognize you. Sorry, just a bad joke. Really, it is very good to see you again, or not – whatever – Mr., what shall I call you now? Perhaps better not to know? Never mind. Not to worry, you know that I am as silent as you are invisible, my friend. "

The hand-painted sign above the door outside reads "Foon Charlie Yip - Man Is Clothing", and on a placard in the entryway is printed "If it can be fairly said that it is the clothes that make the man, then it follows that what we do is not just make clothing but in fact it is men we are making here", a somewhat cumbersome advertising slogan to be sure, and not less so in Chinese.

"That's why I come to you, Charlie. You're not really such a good tailor after all, now are you? Although it might be amusing to see my picture up there on your wall with all those pop stars, politicians, and fitness celebrities. Put mine next to David Bowie's. I'll sign it "Aladdin Visible".

"Very good Sir. Quite droll. But seriously, this fabric you had sent to me is extraordinary, and of the highest quality, but very difficult to work with, even if I could see it. Be that as it might these will maybe clothes very fit for a king – or an emperor (heh heh) – sorry."

In the foyer Claude washes down the last drops from a ceramic carafe of 'N Ka Pei, wishing it were Wu Chia Pi Chiew – which, though quite similar, tastes slightly less like rotten oysters and more like gravel with a touch of gymsock root - having just finished another reading of A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.
cture goes hereTRIVIA:
The quote referenced above is of course from Mark Twain, and reads in the original "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." It was published in More Maxims of Mark (1927).

The Chinese character shown is that for "man".

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