black clothes ftw

a short story about 23-year-old me

shelby spees's photo
shelby spees
·Oct 15, 2020·

3 min read

For years I’ve been leaning on black clothing. It’s saved the day for me on so many occasions.

Back in college and during my early 20s, cheap black H&M tops and skirts allowed my klutzy ass to go to bars and clubs without having to stress about stains when I inevitably spilled my drink.

When I moved to Tokyo, my black Vans slip-ons, black athletic socks, and black Uniqlo leggings pants saved the day more than once back when I was serving craft beer 3-5 nights a week.

Story time

It was the start of my shift one weeknight back when I worked at The Aldgate, a British pub in Shibuya, Tokyo. My boss Hanaka was changing out a guest beer, so he asked me to help clean out the hose and stuff. He had me unscrew the tap and scrub it clean while he ran water from the beer fridge into the part of the wall where the tap screws onto, which was connected to an additional hose that emptied into a bucket.

When we were done with the water, Hanaka told me to re-attach the tap so he could tap the keg or whatever (everything I know about beer I learned from non-native English speakers in Japan, so my vocabulary is kinda wonky).

I had trouble getting the threads to line up, though, so I took longer than he expected. There was a miscommunication through the wall between us. Inside the beer fridge, Hanaka flipped the switch the new keg.

The CO2-pressured beer traveled through the hose to the wall connector thing, which I was holding the tap up to, still trying to screw it on. Beer shot sideways though the gap between the hose and the tap, spraying as far as 10 feet to my left and landing beer droplets on the record player. Acting quickly, I removed the tap entirely. Now beer was shooting in my face and pouring down my clothes.

Desperate, I banged on the wall. Hanaka came out and saw me being doused with expensive domestic Japanese craft beer (iirc–it might have been an import). He ran back into the fridge and shut it off.

I took a minute to collect myself and wipe the beer off my face. Hanaka cracked up.

He asked if I wanted to go home to shower and change. I only lived two subway stops away so it would have been a quick trip, but I honestly didn’t want to deal with commuting while soaked through with beer. I always showered after my shift anyway, so I figured I’d let it myself dry and wait it out.

It was fine, by the time things got busy I didn’t even notice it. Hanaka might have lent me a different shirt to wear since my shirt was what got hit the hardest (after my face).

Damn, I miss that job.

 
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