Wretched Zippers

Zipper Parts

Anatomy of a zipper and where it broke on the illustrious leather jacket


My beloved, black leather jacket found its way out of the cramped, dark, musty storage closet, into the broad daylight to become an active, signature wardrobe accessory that always makes me feel like James Dean, Arthur Fonzarelli, or Johnny Ramone when wearing it. Autumn’s splendid arrival is not official, according to my sartorial calendar, until the first time in the season I sport the ten-year-old coat to keep warm.

On the other day during which the morning temps were well into the low 40s Fahrenheit/4-5 Celsius in the Philadelphia area, I looked forward to wearing my comfortable, toasty, old friend for shielding the bone-chilling, biting wind that whips typically along the Delaware River, but broke the zipper while attempting to pull it up. The material’s stitching that binds the bottom pin on the left side of the jacket tore, disabling the functionality of the clasping device, rendering the coat useless (see above illustration).

Last year, my expanding waistline and belly made it difficult to see where the two sides of the jacket connected. Forcing the zipper to close added more frustration and prompted me to hang the coat back up in the forsaken closet until now. Having lost 27 pounds so far (1st 13lb/12.2kg) on this green-coffee-bean diet, I fit into clothes I haven’t worn in years, closing my belt a couple of notches tighter. Surely my leather jacket would hang on this leaner body nicely, so I thought before breaking the blasted zipper entirely.

My trusty jacket waits to be repaired at the shoemaker’s shop not far from me. I trust this establishment from their past refurbishment of a pair of my hiking boots, making them look brand-new. All the footwear needed was a new heel, soul and some polish.

Wouldn’t it be grand if one’s life was that easily renewable, to be brought to a life-maker’s shop, where a new soul could be sewn into an old body where the original one had worn-out or become cantankerous, even obsolete; and the individual’s ragged exterior could be spit-polished to look like new?

The coat will be ready on Thursday afternoon. A new zipper is needed, come to find out from the nice lady at the shop who called today to inform me of such a changing development. Stitching it back together didn’t work. Apparently the strain from my bulging gut had damaged the zipper beyond repair, necessitating $45.00 for its replacement, incentive enough for me to stay a few waist sizes smaller and not destroy this new fastener, which is now going on the third set. Zippers and I have a love-hate relationship. Mine seem to malfunction regularly; others seem to remain clasped. Maybe the weight loss will solve this problem.

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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