Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Pinball Weekend | This One's for You, Sue! »

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On the Hot Tip That Would Not Die

posted by on June 5 at 11:50 AM

This just in from Stranger reader Sue:

Hello, Mr. Schmader:

In last week’s issue of The Stranger (5/29/08) your column “Last Days” described a disgusting incident at a Seattle Value Village in which a female found a urine-soaked pair of denim pants. I don’t believe it happened; I think you were duped with a bogus report so this woman could either fulfill a bet, get her 15 minutes of fame, or trash the reputation of the store. I’ll tell you why I think this.

When a woman goes shopping for apparel, and especially when the apparel is hanging on a rack, the first action she performs is to hold the garment fully opened at arms length. Any urine-soaked crotch in a pair of pants would be obvious at this point. The woman usually also holds the pants against her body to estimate if the waist will be big enough and the legs long enough. Any odor or wetness would be discernible immediately, not after the woman had walked around the store with the garment draped over her arm.

Perhaps you should abandon the practice of publishing the disgusting reports if you can’t substantiate the claims of the reporter. They really don’t add value to the quality of anyone’s life. Here’s something I picked up in my readings long ago: ask yourself, “is it true, is it kind, is it helpful” and if not, don’t pass it along in any form.


Thanks for writing, Sue, even though your letter is fifty kinds of stupid.

First, full disclosure: Hot Tipper Caroline—she who encountered the soiled jeans and reported the event to Last Days—is a Stranger coworker and good friend, and the story is true.

Second, as Caroline mentioned in the comments to last week’s Slog discussion of Moistgate, the jeans were very dark denim, making visible recognition of wetness difficult.

Finally, as Caroline herself put it after I showed her your letter, “I’ve been a woman my entire life, and I don’t hold pants up to my body to judge the length. I just don’t. She’s totally blaming the victim here.”

Agreed. (I’m also delighted by Sue’s imagining of a world where people conspire to trash the reputation of Value Village.)

RSS icon Comments


"is it true, is it kind, is it helpful." the blinkered life philosophy of a pompous and deluded twit.

oops just broke rules 2 & 3

Posted by brett | June 5, 2008 11:54 AM


Posted by Fnarf | June 5, 2008 11:59 AM

I found a pair of black velvet jeans at a thrift once - such a deal, just $2.99. I looked inside for rips and saw the crotch was lined with crusted panty pudding. Dropped them like they were on fire.

Posted by Still retching | June 5, 2008 12:15 PM

just make sure sue doesn't have any peed jean fantasies a la dan's writers.

Posted by Jiberish | June 5, 2008 12:16 PM

Even in my brief time on this earth, I recognize that stating an absolute about women ("When a woman goes shopping for apparel, she always _________") tells me this person has either an extremely samey (same-ey?) circle of friends, or very little experience shopping with anyone but her mother.

Also, burn on you Sue!

Posted by Dougsf | June 5, 2008 12:24 PM

Did Sue conduct some kind of study?

Usually when I'm shopping at a discount department store or thrift store, I tend to load up on a ton of clothes that catch my eye, and then hit the dressing room. Trying something on is really the only way to know if I will buy something, so I try to save time by skipping the microscopic scrutiny at the clothes rack.

So I wasn't surprised about what happened to poor Caroline.

Posted by Gloria | June 5, 2008 12:29 PM

As a woman who wears pants, I can say that surely ALL woman just grab their jeans and go try on all of them because you never know which ones are going to fit the best and length doesn't matter since you just get it hemmed anyways. Sue is wrong.

Posted by a.d. | June 5, 2008 12:48 PM

I would also add that I shop for clothes differently in a retial store than in a thrift store. When I'm selecting jeans at VV (something I may never do again thanks to this story), I look at them on the rack based on size and brand. If I give them a once over, it's while they are hanging on the rack, because I usually have a bunch of other clothes folded over my left arm at the time.

Sue is an idiot.

Posted by genevieve | June 5, 2008 1:04 PM

I have to agree with #7. I rarely hold the clothing up to myself. That doesn't tell you anything. As a 5'1" woman, it's a given that any pants I buy are going to need hemming. I look for what is typically my size, and sometimes just grab a size up and down to try on as well. Sue's an idiot. Oops. That wasn't very nice, was it?

Posted by DanFan | June 5, 2008 1:08 PM

Do I even want to know what panty pudding is?

Excuse me, I'm going to go join Fraternite Snoqualmie now.

Posted by blah | June 5, 2008 1:30 PM


Posted by Non | June 5, 2008 2:55 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.