Darrell Huckaby - 10/07/09

Y'all won't believe this but I am now the proud owner of my very own tuxedo. I ain't making this up. I really am, and in the words of the immortal Lewis Grizzard, putting a tuxedo on me is like putting earrings on a pig.

Prior to my recent groundbreaking acquisition I had worn one of the proverbial "monkey suits" on exactly three occasions. The first was in the early '70s when one of my close friends had the misfortune of getting married.

Just kidding about the "misfortune" part. I didn't know what happiness was until I got married. Of course, then it was too late.

We were talking about my attire for my friend's wedding. The tux was powder blue - polyester - with big wide lapels. Lemon yellow ruffled shirt. Big blue bow tie. And I looked good in that thing. I rented at White's in Covington, for $55, and got to keep it three days. After the wedding, I kept it on for the rest of the night and even wore it to the Cow Palace, where I got ketchup on the lemon yellow ruffled shirt. I was scared to death that Bobby Smith would charge me extra when I brought the shirt back, but he didn't. I'm not one to take chances, though, and that was the last time I put ketchup on my fries while dressed in formal wear.

The second time I wore a tuxedo was for my own wedding. It was gray, the same color of General Lee's uniform in the portrait over my fireplace. I knew I had a keeper when my lovely bride agreed to allow me to wear a Confederate gray tuxedo to our wedding. She even let me name our son Jackson Lee. She stopped short of allowing me to name our oldest daughter Dixie, however. Even true love has its limits.

The third and final time - until now - that I had to rent a tuxedo was for Sonny Perdue's inaugural ball. I was resplendent in a black broadcloth suit with a red cummerbund. Talk about a wasted evening. Ray Charles saw more of the ball than I did. We waited in a security line for an hour-and-a-half and by the time we were finally allowed into the ballroom Mr. Charles had already finished singing "Georgia on My Mind" and all of the good hors d'oeuvres had already disappeared.

The Cow Palace was long gone by the time Sonny Perdue became governor of Georgia, but we did run by the Varsity on the way home. Onion ring grease, you will be happy to know, does not stain nearly as bad as ketchup, and Bob Wheeler at Southern Charms was just as understanding as Bobby Smith had been at White's about my sloppy eating habits.

And this week I found myself in need of formal attire yet again. Sonny Seiler, owner of Georgia's magnificent white English bulldog, UGA VII, invited me to speak at a black tie affair in Savannah. Savannah is Georgia's oldest city and this is really a high society affair I am attending. I felt funny about showing up in rented clothes. Besides, J.C. Penny was having a sale. That's right. I bought my tux at J.C. Penny's and it cost less than most of my daughter's pocketbooks, but at least it is mine and if I get ketchup on my cummerbund or onion ring grease on my pants I will have no one to answer to but myself - and my lovely wife, Lisa, of course, who actually wrote the check for my purchase and is a lot scarier than Bobby Smith and Bob Wheeler put together.

My outfit is classic black with a white ruffled shirt and black bow tie. The jacket has a satin collar and the pants have a little stripe down the side and everything. And I don't have to have it back to anyone by any time. And now, since I have my own tuxedo, I can accept all sorts of invitations to all sorts of occasions.

Anybody out there need a prom date? Hey, I'm good to go. If Dakota Fanning invites me to one of those red carpet events the next time she is nominated for a big award out in Hollywood - well, I'm ready when Delta is. The next time Dianne Howington makes me emcee one of her charity events - I will be well dressed for the occasion.

So if you are out there and need someone to get really dressed up to do something for you or take you somewhere, just give me a call. I'd hate for these fancy new threads to go to waste. But you'd better hurry. I bought it to fit right now and the eating season is upon us. With Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's on the horizon, my monkey suit probably won't fit me long.

But, for now, I have to admit that sometimes earrings can look pretty good on a hog.

Darrell Huckaby