Imagine the shorts SHORTER. These are the LONG running shorts I bought him after this incident.

Have I mentioned before that my husband is a native of St. Croix (yah mon), and a triathlete for the last 25 years?  Here in Texas, he’s found his inner bubba, hence the nickname Bubba-mon, but he didn’t come by it easily.  Oh, no he did not.  Which reminds me of a story.  This one is about his legs instead of the usual ones about his butt.  I know he feels immensely relieved after reading that sentence.

So, once upon a time, Eric and I celebrated our January wedding anniversary in Fredericksburg, a charming hamlet chock-a-full of German history in the incomparable Hill Country of Texas.  Like anyone would, we planned our entire getaway around bicycling and running.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, we had lived in Texas less than a year at this time, and Eric hadn’t quite adjusted yet.  Don’t get me wrong.  He liked Texas, but let’s just say public outings with him scared me to death, each moment a breath away from Eric getting his ass whupped by a cowboy; Eric is an incurable smart ass.  Case in point: Eric and I met at work, and soon after we met, he informed me, “Don’t expect me to treat you like your shit doesn’t stink just because everyone else here does.”  Charming.  And then he asked me to marry him.  I guess we know who won that round. 🙂

Where were we?  Oh yes, in Fredericksburg.  Except we weren’t.  One morning we drove to Llano, just up the road and in the heart of Texas deer hunting country.  Yep, we visited Llano smack in the middle of deer hunting season.  As we drove into town, Eric put on his thickest, most sarcastic drawl and estimated the IQ and body weight of each thermal-camouflage-clad, beer bellied hunter we passed.  We pulled up to a gas pump, surrounded by converted SUVs and ATVs, tricked out with gun turrets and swiveling Lazy Boys in their hacked-off backends.

Eric put the car in park.  “You’re going to have to pump the gas.”

Not to be a princess, but, “‘Scuse me?”  My husband never lets me lift a dainty little finger if he can help it.  He’d have to be vomiting up a lung to ask me to pump gas.

He gestured at his bare legs and running attire.  “I can’t go out there like this.”

“Because it’s too cold?”  I could understand this, seeing as it was January and all.  That’s why I had on full length running tights.  Duh.

“No, because…”  He jerked his head toward the nearest hunter, garbed head-to-toe to withstand an arctic blast.  “People will stare at me.”

“Ahhhhhhh.”

Eric’s shorts were truly short; you know, the kind that show 99.9% of your thighs?   You see shorts like these on real runners in city parks.  You do not see them in Llano, Texas.  In Llano, real men don’t wear sissy running shorts.  Hell, real men don’t run at all, in short shorts or anything else.  Real men don’t need to run (unless it’s to the Allsup’s for a six pack of Lone Star beer).  They get their exercise the manly way; they hunt and field dress deer after they poke their dogies and till the back forty in their John Deere.  My apologies to all said real men, ’cause I know there’s a difference between a farmer and a cowboy, and never the twain shall meet.

Well, I may have giggled and made a comment or two at this point, I dunno, but I did pump the gas.  We passed more hunters on our way to a cafe where we planned to meet my mother for breakfast, like anyone would on their anniversary trip.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, Eric kept singing some dueling banjos song and talking about people who marry their first cousins.  Then we pulled into the parking lot of the cafe.

Eric put the car in park.  He turned a stricken face to me.

“Lotta hunters in there,” I said before he had a chance to speak, gesturing first into the tiny, crowded restaurant and then at the giant vehicles around us.  And I coughed to cover a chuckle.

“Har-de-har-har,” said Eric.

“I think you’re a little under-dressed,” I said and this time I burst out laughing.  Every person in the restaurant except my mom, who by now was waving cheerily at us through the window, wore thermal camo overalls.

We hurried into the bacon-scented cafe, Eric tugging at his shorts in vain.  They were as long as they were going to get.  All eyes followed us to our table.  Mom kissed and hugged us.  As soon as we sat down, she asked Eric to run to her car and get something.  Well, a man doesn’t ever say no to his mother-in-law, does he?  Eric took a deep breath and made his Walk of Shame to her car, wishing, I’m sure, for Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak.

When he was out of earshot, I leaned in and whispered, “Mom, Eric is mortified about his running shorts.”

“Why?” she asked.  “He looks fine.”

“Look around, Mom.  Hunters.  No short running shorts.”  I giggled.  “He feels conspicuous.”

My mother never wastes an opportunity, and the woman is quick.  She turned to the nearest hunter, a healthy fellow of 270-pounds or so, 8.6 pounds of it in facial hair.

“Would you do me a favor?”  Have I mentioned that my mother is a great source of genetic material?  She is charming and pretty, and all men love her.  This hunter was no exception.

“Why sure, ma’am, what can I do ya for?” he said, and damn if his voice wasn’t a dead ringer for Eric’s imitation hunter-drawl earlier.

“See that man in the running shorts out there in the parking lot?  That’s my son-in-law.  He is a little embarrassed about his shorts.  I was wondering if you could let out a big wolf whistle when he comes back in?”

* Yes, I often ask strange men to come on to my husband.  NOT.  My mother is a piece of work.  You gotta love her gumption, but watch your back around her, I tell ya.  {Some say my blogs resemble her sense of humor} *

He turned to his cronies, who hung on every word of this interchange.  He brayed a laugh, and after a split second, so did his two friends.  “I’d be delighted to help ya out, ma’am.”

“Thank you sooooo much,” she said, and turned back to her menu, a Mona Lisa smile on her face.

The front door opened, sounding its bell.  My clean-shaven husband with his mighty fine exposed gams stepped in.

Without hesitating as long as it would take to load his 30.06 deer rifle, the hunter yelled out, “Hey Boy, NICE LEGS.”

Eric looked around slowly, hoping the hunter was talking to someone else.  His face lost all color.  The restaurant grew so quiet you could almost hear the steam hissing out of Eric’s ears.  After a few beats, the cafe exploded in sound, as the hunter and his buddies cackled and whooped with laughter.  They pounded the table, and one them clapped the hunter on the back with a resounding thwump.

Eric tilted his head just enough to be perceptible and made the four quick steps from the door to our table, his naked legs eye-level as he pushed through two tables on the way.  The hunter reached out and clasped his meaty paw around Eric’s arm.

He hooked his thumb at my mother.  “Yore mother-in-law put me up to it.  I don’t normally comment on another feller’s legs.”

“They are awful nice, though,” one of his friends said, and they all set to hee hawing again.

It is possible that Eric now finds this story humorous.  At the time, he may or may not have planned the slow and painful death of his mother-in-law in the near future, although you’d never have known it then.  Let’s just say that when we drew up our house plans for Nowheresville, he didn’t include a Mother-in-Law suite.

But he did let me buy him a pair of longer running shorts.

Pamelot

p.s.  I always get a little Deliverance nostalgic when I tell this story.  I think I’ll have to put it on the Netflix queue.

p.p.s Eric would like me to point out that I failed to provide context for his “stink” comment, and, in so doing, he appears ass-like.  Whoops.  My bad.  🙂

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40 Responses to Nice legs!

  1. JennyBean says:

    I. LOVE. YOUR. MOM. Is she single? Maybe we could set her up with Papa!

  2. Eric Hutchins says:

    Why is it that you are at your best when you are making fun of me :).
    This really made me laugh and is far closer to the truth than some of yours.

  3. Um. That was amazing. Amazing!!!!
    So Very Domestic recently posted..Work in Progress Wednesday 5

  4. Sandy says:

    I bet he had no idea when he decided to kiss your ass and ask you to marry him that people all over the world would be laughing at him. Very funny post!
    Sandy recently posted..My Oh Too Close Thanksgiving Fiasco!

  5. Eric Hutchins says:

    True Sandy, VERY true.
    AND
    Its all good, I got the best end of the deal by far.

  6. adena says:

    I love Eric, I love you, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your mom! Now, where is there a post detailing the account of your meeting Eric and dating etc.. I want details woman!!

  7. ridgely says:

    Love this one, but feel cheated: I want a picture of Eric in his short shorts;-)
    ridgely recently posted..Sammy- our Jack Russell Terrier- &amp his Bucket Head

    • Pamela says:

      Ridgely, I think I should search my photo archives for a shot of him in those. I do have a couple of him in an actual SPEEDO for an ocean swim, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue. *sigh* I have forbidden the speedo due to my concern over traumatizing small children. What is it with these triathlete guys? 😉 (This speedo issue spawned a whole series of blogs: http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/2010/08/29/captain-underpants-strikes-again/ (and the predecessor blogs are linked within it)
      Eric works very hard to give me good material, doesn’t he!

  8. Eric…….one of my EX’s taught me how to do that wolf-whistle thingy. I’m not sayin’ it’s pretty, but I can sure whistle. So if I ever do have the pleasure of meeting you and the Mrs, please do wear those itsy bitsy running shorts. I’ll have my pucker-upper at the ready.

    Pam……I LOVE YOUR MOM! (and you’re pretty dang cool too)

    FUN!
    Terri

  9. Grace says:

    That is a beautiful story. Your mother is my hero.

    What Eric really needs is a pair of camouflage short shorts. Then he would fit right in.
    Grace recently posted..2 Screws Loose

  10. Heidi M says:

    Your mom is a hoot!! What a good sport your man is, P! I’m not sure El Presidente would be so gracious!
    Heidi M recently posted..Recent Reads

    • Pamela says:

      Eric was hyperventilating for a while, but everyone else was laughing, and those hunters really turned out to be so naaaahce that everybody ended up chummy. But Eric’s dark face was pasty for a moment. And he still sputters and stutters a little bit at the memory.

  11. Mom says:

    I am utterly shocked Eric vetoed the mother in law suite. U promised u would have a place for me INSIDE!!

  12. Deb says:

    sigh…what a lovely love story.

    I really needed that. I had writer’s block tonight and neededa good diversion. 🙂

    Thanks.
    Deb recently posted..Actions

  13. Irene says:

    Why did he have running shorts on to begin with? Was he planning on a run the moment you got to Fredericksburg? “Ok, we’re here, see in a few honey, gonna do a couple miles…bye”, and off he’d go leaving you with the bags. Shoulda been wearing at least sweat pants. It’s his own fault! LMAO!!
    Besides, didn’t he legs stick to the car seats? I can’t drive in shorts, no matter what material the seats are made of, they stick. What a hoot that must have been. Reminds of the time my mom mentioned to the pump jockey at a gas station that “my daughter thinks your cute”. That was the last time I ever told my mom anything intimate. She had a big mouth. My mom and your probably would have gotten along reeeal fine!
    Irene recently posted..Wheels

  14. Eric Hutchins says:

    Now waiiiiiiiiit a second. If I remember correctly WE had just finished running. It just so happens that when Pamela runs and it is below 90 degrees she dresses like an Eskimo in January.

    • Pamela says:

      🙂
      And I could point out that bringing long pants to wear after a run in January is also a good idea, but I won’t because, my love, you always wear shorts and flip flops no matter what the weather. I believe we had this conversation several times in the last WEEK.

      AND I LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU AAARRREEE (don’t go changing, to try to please me, don’t change the color of your hair, oooh oooh oh ooh oh, i can’t imagine, you any better, i love you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE), with thanks to Billy Joel.

  15. wait? is that banjo music i here?
    i think i actually peed a little while reading this.
    holy crap. we need to hang out…..
    gene @boutdrz recently posted..Headphone Review and such

  16. ridgely says:

    What a treat for me- catching up with my Reader yesterday& read the first installment of comments, today part two when my e-mail subscription came in! Pamela, you make your readers feel SO (I know a meaningless, unnecessary, redundant word) special 😉 I’m tickled pink and proud I’m one of them.
    ridgely recently posted..Sammy- our Jack Russell Terrier- &amp his Bucket Head

    • Pamela says:

      Back at ya. By the way, I read your crochet blog. I am now having crochet guilt. But I’m sending good thoughts for your needles to keep a-clickin’. It is a wonderful cause.
      Pamela recently posted..Nice legs!

  17. Pamela says:

    This is from my FATHER, and I thought it was cute, so I’m sharing…

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Pamelot’s Dad
    To: Pamelot
    Sent: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 9:55 am
    Subject: Re: Road to Joy: Nice legs!

    She has been known to do something on a whim. Many times. But she covers it well with her smile and laugh.

    In a message dated 1/28/2011 9:47:51 A.M. Central Standard Time, Pamelot writes:

    It was hilarious.
    And, while I spiffed up a few details, your wife TRULY did this. And was so proud of herself. And then she was like OMG maybe I shouldn’t have done that. But after he recovered, Eric loved it too.

    Pamela Hutchins
    http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/
    pamela@pamelafaganhutchins.com

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Pamelot’s Dad
    To: Pamelot
    Sent: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 9:45 am
    Subject: Re: Road to Joy: Nice legs!

    I’m sure Eric was mortified but it still is funny.

    In a message dated 1/27/2011 11:07:27 P.M. Central Standard Time, Pamelot writes:

    Road to Joy: Nice legs!

  18. Pamela says:

    Further, I am sharing the Facebook comments, b/c they’re cute TOO, and it’s MY blog (as I believe I’ve pointed out a few million times)

    Pamela Fagan Hutchins:
    My mom Susie Fagan is becoming something of a folk hero today on the internet for her deft takedown of my husband Eric Hutchins in his shorty running shorts 9w/ the help of some thermal-camo-clad hunter a few years back). Go MOM!
    Nice legs! « Road to Joy
    pamelafaganhutchins.com
    *
    Heidi McCarty Milton and Buddy Broyles like this.
    *
    o
    Heather McBriarty Oh Pamela!!!!! My apologies to eric but…ROFLMAO!!!! Your Mom is baaaad, and you’re not too far behind her tattling on your darling husband!
    18 hours ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
    o
    Lou Ann Alexander This is so funny! Love your mom!
    10 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    o
    Pamela Fagan Hutchins ‎@heather I know, my mom is a terrible influence on me. I blame it all on her. 🙂 I suspect Eric would rank my mom as one of his “top 10” most loved people, tho…just not at that very moment. He he.
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
    o
    Pamela Fagan Hutchins Lou Ann: she hasn’t changed a bit, has she? She is wickedly fun, but not for the faint of heart.
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
    o
    Eric Hutchins Yes she is in the top ten, she is awesome, and that day gave me even greater respect/love
    52 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
    o
    Pamela Fagan Hutchins True, you can be pretty wicked yourself. No thin skin at our house. Luckily we knew each other well after working together for 4 years before we ever considered riding off into the sunset. 🙂
    49 minutes ago · Like

    Charlene Cowart LOVE this story!!! It really made me laugh this
    morning; something I needed desperately!
    10 minutes ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading… ·

  19. Ally says:

    That was the laugh I needed tonight after a very long day! LOL Your mother sounds great (and Eric is a really good sport!)
    Ally recently posted..Social Media &amp Old Friends – A Writers Workshop

  20. LBDDiaries says:

    Now you’re really smokin’ when your comments end up being as funny as the original post (and the post was hysterical!!). Alpha Hubby is only caught in his gym shorts between the gym and the house at the gas station. I believe he would have pulled his jeans on before he went inside a restuarant. Eric is a braaaave man. ‘Course you’ve not seen anything until you’ve seen a 6’1″ dude in a leather jacket, black shorts, black T, and cowboy boots.
    LBDDiaries recently posted..What’s Your Name

  21. […] Eric thinks I only write embarrassing stuff about him (or the clothing on his posterior).  While it is hard to resist good material, I do occasionally make fun of myself.  As proof, I […]

  22. Shawn Michaels says:

    I love your post and mom too. So cute she is Lol. Great post.

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