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Published: December 28th 2009
To Kate's esteemed blog fans - a moment on Ali Baba pants:
Some of you may be aware that Kate Paxton has a certain pair of Ali Baba pants that she talks about in the same way one may describe a first born child or family heirloom. They are baggy, blue, and according to her "the best item of clothing in the world".
As we were swimming in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea this afternoon, discussing such crucial traveller issues as where to dine and what time to rise, Kate's attention was diverted in much the same way as a pointer will sniff out its prey. Yes, at 100 feet she had spied a fellow traveller wearing Ali Baba pants, walking the other way, quietly minding her own business.
"Quick, they're not see through!!" went up the cry from the baggy pant-loving teacher. "Go and ask her where she bought them." Assuming she was joking I swam on, but a fierce roar of "Go!!" prompted me to head for the doppleganger, knowing that this was a friendship-breaking situation.
I swam at full pelt until I reached the beach, ran up to the lady as she was enjoying her afternoon stroll and asked if she spoke English. A firm "Yes" in an English accent from the bewildered woman satisfied the first hurdle, and I said, now a little embarrassed, "er, I need to know where you bought your Ali Baba pants... for my friend." Looking over my shoulder I was relieved to see Kate bounding out of the water, waving at us, as I explained that she has a 'strong fondness' for the style of pantaloon they both own.
Once Kate had joined us the two of them proceeded to gab away for ten minutes on the subject of the all-singing, all-dancing Ali Baba pants. I thought I had slipped into the Ali Baba appreciation society as the two of them discussed how often to wash them, single elastic, or full elastic, the many ways to wear them, materials used, faded or not, colours and the all-important issue of not being see through... I couldn't put a word in edge ways.
I think Kate was in a trace-like state of happiness as we were told the variety the woman from England was wearing could be found in a shop on the high street - or dirty line of shops off the beach. They had been bought last year, and were still good to go. That's the awesome power of the Ali Baba pants.
And so it came to pass that I realised this power, and am now able to pass it on. Never again will anyone take the p**s out of Kate for her choice of attire below the waist. But if you feel the need to, then don't let me stop you...
Kate's Ali Baba pant-seeking assistant,
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