Friday, January 30, 2009


I have always believed that the world would be a far more interesting place if everything had Hit Points. Animal or mineral, everything would have a certain amount of damage that it could take before buckling entirely. Periodically wear and tear would begin to show, but never all at once. Most importantly, you would be able to poke your bedroom wall (or your sister, or your dog, or anything) incessantly until, one day, it would simply fall to pieces.

This is far-fetched, to be sure. There are scores of valid reasons why this idea has been thus far relegated to the world of fiction and gaming. The laws of Physics and Biology aren’t as easily sidestepped as I would like them to be. I will never be able to put a health meter above everyone’s head, but I think I've found the next best thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you're anything like me, then you have only a finite amount of pants. Certainly the number is bound to rise and fall, but it's not like you've got 600 pairs sitting in your closet, all in pristine condition. Pants are pants, of course, so anything that belongs to a suit counts. (Not shorts though. Shorts are shorts. If shorts were pants, they wouldn't be shorts. Got it?) Myself, I have 7 functional pairs, cleaned in rotation and often worn several days in a row.

Have you not noticed how your fortunes wax and wane along with your pant count? How dire would your situation be if you had, say, only one pair of pants? My friend Josh went several weeks with only a single pair once, and his well-being was visibly diminished. What kind of life can you lead when you are always wearing 100% of your pants, constantly subjecting your only pair to the fates?

I believe that the elements of hit points can be easily applied via the notion of Hitpants. Be honest with yourself. How is being pantless unlike death, really? What happens when you lose one? Like a diminishing amount of Health, having a pair of pants destroyed is often unforeseen and disastrous.

Submitted for your consideration: two days ago I was functioning comfortably at 8 pairs of pants. I had it all, with +1 pairs versus days of the week. My options were damn near limitless, my power undeniable. Then, for reasons yet unexplained (except perhaps by my ass-widening winter hibernation), my favorite pair split on me, right down the back. I was at work, with no option but to leave unseen, retreat to my home and find a replacement pair. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't feel as if a bit of my life had been stripped away. Likewise, I won’t feel quite as right again until I have a new pair (or two).

Really, what more evidence toward the merits of this theory do you require? It seems appropriate that my search for a quantifiable meter of life would end where so many things for me have begun. I urge you, good reader, to seize this moment and take stock of your situation. How many pairs of pants do you have? How long can this number last? Are you self-sustaining, or do you often rely on the spare pants of others? Has life rid you of your pants, and if so, why?

This much is true: the fewer your pants, the closer you are to disaster. We can no longer afford the naivety of the past. For too long our pants have remained an unappreciated commodity, when clearly with them, but for the grace of God, go we.