Personal

All Good In The Hood

Rethreading The Drawstring In My Hoodie Would Be An Epic Triumph

Okay, okay, so I wasn’t about to attempt to scale the North face of the Eiger, or any of that show-offy adventurer jazz.

But, for me, traversing that brushed ridge of processed cotton and all the while guiding my drawstring through the dark, mysterious tunnel beneath – and bringing it all the way to the other side – would be just as big a deal.

No St Bernard dog thumping through the snow with reviving brandy could bring more blessed relief, or offer a more welcome sight than that cord emerging into the light …

You see, my intrepid friends, in these days of lockdowns and cock-ups, it’s the little things that can make all the difference to a man’s self-esteem.

See, in going against my natural grain, I might shatter the glass ceiling of my self-doubt, raise myself to heights I thought no longer possible …

Yes, I was about to try and rethread the drawstring in my old dirty-grey hoodie!

You don’t know … you can’t know … the fear and loathing that had coursed through the very fabric of my being, not to mention the fabric of my hoodie, the other night when I noticed the drawstring hanging long as the meandering Nile on one side of my hoodie’s … em, hood, and on the other … nothing … a gaping, circular void, perhaps 3mm in diameter, from which once sprang the other end of this damn drawstring. In the good times …

My long, dark night of the hole was only beginning …

String no longer attached … where had it gone?

Sucked up by three-eyed aliens, taken by disillusioned tooth-fairies …or maybe woken at night, and dragged off, wailing silently and uselessly, by renegade elves? 

What to do, what to do!

Well normally, I would just yank the bloody thing through and ditch it.

Maybe curse the odd time when I couldn’t draw up the hood cosily round my noggin on less clement days, but now, with a sigh, I could let it join love’s labours lost, or the long list of things I meant to do, but, you know …

For shame … but at least I would feel properly aggrieved, and even justified in my resentment of how the universe conspires against me, in little ways, mostly, to make me feel just a little more inferior by the day.

It was late at night when I made this grim discovery … work finally finished and sitting on my own, on the edge of the bath in the bathroom, checking on Twitter, everyone else in bed.

Eyes bleary and red from eight hours at the computer, and knackered from the lack of exercise but up I leapt and cried out quietly, ‘No!’ …

‘No, by golly, that’s one too many, I’m going to get that goddamn drawstring back just the way it was’ …

Actually, I just sat there, but I did start looking around the bathroom … 

Thoughts arrived … conflicting at first … the usual, sly ‘why bother?’ naysayer chirping in … but I found myself heeding the calm, rational one … ‘how should we go about this, taking out the string, and feeding it all the way through from one side to the other …

‘Did I see my mum doing something this once upon a Saturday bath night with a safety pin, or was it a needle, working something patiently through?’ … hmmm …

I spotted a hair clip … maybe, maybe …

Just call me MacGyver …

One side of the drawstring ended in a gnarly knot, the other just … ended.

Not too promising … 

I essayed gripping the gnarly bit with the hair clip, in a deft pincer movement involving right thumb and index finger — a classic gambit — and approached the eyehole on the left of the hood … yes, yes, I had taken the hoodie off first!

I ventured this union of clip and knot into the opening, tentative at first, poking it in, maybe a few millimetres, while left thumb and index went atop the ridge, their only contact with the outside world, and tried to draw knot and clip through from above, coaxing it along through the fabric …

Oh, I must have progressed a few hundred … microns (1000 times smaller than a millimetre, fact fiends!) when the sudden ease of clip movement informed my discerning brain that clasp and knot had gone their separate ways, were undone … 

I was undone!

Curses …

What now?

Well, I tried again … advanced maybe a few centimetres this time, but then the same uncoupling …

Things were getting serious now …

My very course in life had been reshaped … now, finally, I understood my true purpose  … I had to get this thing through …

AND THEN IT STRUCK ME!

What if I tried and bring the gnarly knot itself through… it could work … it had to work!

It was painstaking and slow, at first, but this time joining middle finger to thumb and index of both hands, I could just about feel the knot, moving mole-like beneath the surface, but MOVING …

Oh, the quiet exhilaration as this underground braille trail operation on knot and drawstring wended its way, stalling occasionally at more awkward bends — the Eiger sanctions — on this long road to freedom, but forging, forging ahead…

Of course I started to get cocky now, my fingers those of the virtuoso, feeling and guiding, speeding up, slowing down, lingering a fraction on grace notes perfectly pitched and precise, the silent symphony of this drawstring thundering noiselessly through the night, the knot itself now Orpheus in the underworld of soft, fluffy cotton …

Oh how my heartbeat rose as this underground locomotive negotiated each turn and seam … the far eyehole drawing ever closer and closer …

There was no time to hire the usual maraca band, or more subtle, lone bagpiper to salute my heroic gnarly knot when he would emerge, blinking shyly but appreciatively into the light of liberty and destiny, after his dark, dark odyssey, so I would have to be my own welcoming party …

But what of it, I would be there, wouldn’t miss it for anything …

And … at long last, there he was, the first fine dirty-petrol grey threads stepping gingerly through the opening … pushing against it, and stopping.

Oh, no, not now … NOT NOW! 

The knot was too big to slip easily through into the bathroom light, but, never fear, my now well-practised digits knew what to do … if breech birth it must bet then breech birth it would be …

One improvised forceps delivery coming up…

By now, I felt these hands could do anything, their deftness fused with exactness and unanticipated power, and I reached for the hair clip that still lay there on the shelf forlornly, still smarting from having failed on its first mission.

This time, I instinctively knew that hair clip would rise to the challenge …

Working at the soft, cobalt strands, together we brought out more and more of the knot, until, with one last, ingenious flick, the whole lot was through …

Back from the Upside Down.

We had done it  …

I stood to attention before the bathroom mirror and tugged each side of the drawstring until the two sides dangled in perfect symmetry either side of my hood. 

I tightened the string on either side to once again feel the soft reassurance of my hood closing around my flushed cheeks …

I had worked it out.

Literally and metaphorically.

Life, my hoodie, and me would never be the same.

Thanks for reading — try another one … sure, why not follow my blog!

Word of the Week linky

26 comments on “All Good In The Hood

  1. My word! I couldn’t be prouder of you. You, sir, are a champion. Although it has dawned on me that being in the bathroom, I may have just followed your journey with the high chance that you were otherwise busy at the same time and semi-naked…….

    Great post and very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ian, thanks for your intervention … on the foot of which I have made a small but vital tweak to the above! Don’t want imaginations going places they shouldn’t! Hehe

      Like

  2. Oh Enda, only you could write an epic post on pulling a cord through a hoodie…..a job I have done many a time. Well done good fella, what an achievement…I dare to wonder what may be next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne … I wonder what next, now that I have scaled such heights … cooking the perfect oven chip, perhaps. Or why I can never clean our laminate kitchen floor as well as my wife does? Oh, the endless possibilities ,,,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael Morris

    Brought me back to the days I climbed in the Alps, drawstring and all. Shakespeare had better watch out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually have been on the north face of the Eiger. I walked up the grassy slope to the rock face and climbed a few rungs up the fixed ladder that leads to the first pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hahaha! I have never been able to rethread a drawstring in a hoodie before. I don’t have the patience for things like that. Go you! x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bravo! That brought a chuckle on a rather foggy day. I rooted for you and your hoody string 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lol I love it and have had this battle on many occasions. I remember my mum using a nappy pin to save things like this before. Elastic is one of the things that dives me mad. How does it twist and turn in the waistbands so easily?! #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There aught to be a law of physics that inanimate objects should never be so obstinate.
    The last time I had this problem, I had to pull the whole thing free and use an unwrapped wire hanger to thread through the hoodie and then duct tape the string end to the end of the wire and carefully pull it back through.
    Like I said, there aught to be a law. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know how you did that without destroying the hoodie, Gary!! hehe

      Like

      • Oh Enda, you would laugh at how easy it was. Imagine bending the hanger wire to approximate the path of the cord about your hoodie, and with the cord fully pulled out, I threaded the wire through the slot intended for the cord, connected the ends with the tape and carefully pulled the wire back out, helping the cord to follow without breaking loose. Thus I’ve saved my own favorite hoodie and a few pairs of sweat pants the same way.
        Thanks for the visit. Your coffee share had me laughing.

        Like

  9. My hoodie lost it’s drawstring sometime this last week… didn’t notice it was gone until I went to cinch it up while waiting for hubby to cone out from work. It had grown cold, colder, and was quickly reaching freakin’ cold. I reached for the string… it was gone. UGH! Now, I’ll have to pull out my trusty Lucet and thread and make a new one. What a laborious task, but I gotta have my tie back, eh! Have a better week!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah! What a feeling of proud accomplishment! I’m so glad you are now back in your fully functioning hoodie!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Enda, You’ve got the patience of a saint and McGyver’s resourcefulness. Thanks for linking up with #WeekendCoffeeShare. If you could you link back or mention the link up somewhere in your blog, that would be much appreciated. Have a great week ahead!

    Like

  12. These days it seems to be all about the little accomplishments doesn’t it Enda? I think we’re all so aware that we have no control over the bigger picture, so when we have these little wins, we’re high fiving ourselves and feeling the joy. Every positive offsets the crap going on around us – so congrats on your mighty win and I look forward to reading about your next big adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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