When Kas makes the spontaneous decision to sleep with park ranger William on the last night of her exciting South African vacation, she doesn't know everything about him. But she thinks she knows enough. William looks good in a uniform, for one. In fact, the uniform is all he wears. And he certainly looks good in his underwear (pictured here, don't blush):
So it comes as a shock when William shows up in NYC not wearing the charming uniform. It's been replaced by tracksuits and jogging costumes — turns out they are the only clothes William wears when he's off duty. When Kas sees him at the airport she nearly faints. As she later says: It's like a piñata exploded in my face. Below are two examples of William's everyday casuals.
Exhibit A: Red tracksuit with gold piping. Always worn with William's favorite hat, a red felt fez. William wears this ensemble to a dinner at an Italian restaurant with Kas's parents. While there he eats too much angel hair pasta and asks Kas's widowed grandmother: "Where's your husband tonight?"
Exhibit B: Aquamarine tracksuit with pink watermelon slice on breast pocket, always paired with William's favorite shoes, purple high tops. William wears this look to the deli that Kas's parents own. While at the deli he samples vodka, courtesy of Kas's father, and gets a splitting headache.
And that's William Johnson, in all his glory. The pictures, by the way, were drawn by my cousin Peter, who is currently working on a film in New Zealand. Peter is the younger brother of nonreader Bob (see Monday's post for more on Bob).
What else for today? I'm reading a good book you might like, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Edwards Burns. Simon and Burns are probably best known for the HBO series The Wire. Set in West Baltimore in 1993, The Corner examines the realities of inner-city life. It offers perspective on the social problems of this country, and it gets you inside the heads of people who are drugging and selling dope. Sad book, but highly recommended.
Finally, Powell's reader Sandy (hi Sandy) left a comment encouraging me to write that dinosaur book I mentioned in Tuesday's post. I'll have to speak to my cousin Peter, the illustrator. Maybe we can get something going. Another reader, Seth Christenfeld (hi Seth), asked me to pronounce my last name. It's pronounced "Chef-chick." "Chef" as in fat man with billowy white hat waving a wooden spoon, and "chick" as in adorable domesticated fowl with soft yellow feathers. Combine those and you get me. Man, I wish I had an illustration for that.