Trinnie and Susannah were on V Graham Norton tonight. I was watching it while I was at the Gym, on the treadmill. I was laughing out loud while running.
If you're not in the UK Graham Norton is a chat show host , he's on every single night, always brilliant and funny. The guests tonight, Trinnie and Susannah, are a couple of women who are fashion-police. They host their own weekly show "What Not to Wear" - and regularly humiliate their (perfectly willing) victims, pointing out their ghastly fashion gaffes. Which was pretty much the format of tonights show.
After it was over, I was kind of musing on fashion and clothing, and I suddenly remembered all about Geoffrey.
This story goes back over 30 years. Geoffrey was in our congregation, a fine upstanding young witness-brother. But he was the most appalling weirdo-misfit-geeky nerd. Geoffrey had BIG teeth, in all shades of yellow; big black horn-rim glasses, utterly world-class acne, greasy never-washed hair, jumble-sale style clothing and gale-force BO.
Geoffrey was willing and enthusiastic in field service, but had an unbelieving dad who wouldn't let him pioneer, which was just fine with the corps of regular pioneers that I was part of. We all did what we could to keep Geoffrey at arms length.
Geoffrey was reasonably clever - he worked as a junior in a Surveyors Office - but had absolutely no idea when it came to clothes. At the time (1970) all the regular guys were just about on the cusp between the narrow-style tailored trousers of the sixties and the new-incoming 70s look with flares. Geoffrey had never got beyond the fifties baggy trousers look. In purple. Corduroy.
While never ever sporting any shade that might be called "bright" or "vivid" Geoffrey could muster a veritable riot of colour from bottle green, mud brown and navy. And while he was, in some ways, a sweet-natured enough chap, being seen with or near him would seriously damage your chances with any of the available talent at assemblies or even in the congregation. He was, it must be said, a babe-magnet with reversed polarity.
Which is not to say that he didn't care about his appearance. He would turn up at a meeting sporting his new orange-and-purple tie/ brown stripey shirt combination with that certain "like the new threads?" smirk that ALL young men are prey to.
This story concerns Geoffreys New Grey Shirt.
I remember his New Grey Shirt very well. It was - of course! - made of drip-dry Bri-nylon, none of that natural cotton fabric for our Geoff, and it had a certain daring, dashing couple of centimetres length on the button-down collars. But the fabric itself was very thin. Very, very thin. Too thin. It was, no two ways about it, a see-through shirt.
Geoffrey was, I detected, immensely proud of this shirt you could tell by the way he hung his elbow-patched tweed jacket over the kingdom hall chair and swanned around the place in just his shirt-and-tie.
But it did look ridiculous. His pimply back was just an open invitation for any bored-out-of-his-skull young child to play join-the-dots. It was truly one of the most hideous things I have seen in my long life.
Geoffrey wore his New Grey Shirt to every meeting, right up until the day he Got Counselled.
Im quite sure Geoffrey had never given the Elders any cause for counselling before, but the New Grey Shirt was too much. He was crestfallen.
The very best part of the whole thing was exactly WHAT he had been counselled for. He told me all about it. Brother Les P (Weno if any of you remember that story) had taken him to one side and explained that the problem was his nipples. Yes, apparently he used those words.
His Nipples. They were visible. And this was not Theocratic.
In fact, Geoffrey was being unfair to the sisters because he was, by this showy display of his fine masculine form, arousing their sexual desires. Desires that could only inflame and trouble these poor unmarried, frustrated sisters. Surely he could understand that?
I cant tell you the hilarity that ensued on the retelling of this story to all the other pioneers in field service the next day. This was just fantastic! This was Top! Geoffrey's nipples! A spiritual endangerment to our sisters! The girls themselves relished this particular surreal piece of elder-logic every bit as much as us. One of them made a point of asking him why he didnt wear "that great shirt" anymore.
Well, he never did wear the New Grey Shirt ever again, sad to say. Geoffrey always took care to keep his lust-inducing mojo better hidden from the weak-headed sisters from that day on.
And, if you ask me, the world was a poorer place because of that.
Anyway, thank you Trinnie and Susannah for reminding me all over again about Geoffrey.
Edited by - Duncan on 4 February 2003 20:35:31