The Best Day Ever Shorts


In November of 1984 the Stephen King/Peter Straub novel The Talisman was published. In the book a twelve year old boy begins a journey to find a crystal, a talisman, that will save his mother who has cancer. Jack travels across the country both in our world and in a parallel universe.– Talisman:  3. anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions.

In short, a talisman is a good luck charm.

I believe that I have found my talisman in the form of what I like to think of as “The Best Day Ever Shorts.”  Yes, my talisman is a pair of shorts. Cargo shorts to be more specific. Here they are:

IMG_1366 (1)

Nothing special. Just a wrinkled pair of three year old cargo shorts that I bought at Target. Although I said they were nothing special, I didn’t really mean it. They are special, but I didn’t realize it until last November.

Last November my wife sent me to Fort Myers, Florida to meet my friends, The Golden Boys,  for a weekend to celebrate my birthday. While there, in those shorts, I had The Best Day Ever. The trip had been a surprise and everything that happened on The Best Day Ever was a surprise and it couldn’t have been any better. You can read about it by clicking the link in the previous sentence.

After I got back from that trip I was unloading my suitcase and I grabbed the best day ever shorts to toss them into the laundry hamper in my closet. Before I tossed them in I noticed something. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I was sure that the best day ever shorts still had a faint smell of the beach. I could feel a few grains of sand left in the pockets. To me, that smell of the beach and those grains of sand were part of the best day ever and still had a little of the magic of that day in them. I didn’t want to wash the best day ever shorts for fear that I’d wash away the magic, so I put them in the bottom of my laundry basket and for the next six months I didn’t wash them. All the other clothes came and went over and over, but the best day ever shorts stayed there waiting. Waiting for another special day. It was like they were my secret stash of magic mojo.

In early May my wife and I went to Disney World, without the kids. We specifically went to Epcot. If you’re not familiar, it’s a section of Disney World that has areas that are representative of several different countries from all over the world. Before the trip I had decided to wash the best day ever shorts and take them with me in hopes of creating a magical day in the Magic Kingdom. Yes, after six months I finally washed the best day ever out of them. They did not disappoint. The weather was perfect and the park was not overcrowded and we enjoyed a wonderful day walking, eating and drinking our way through all the countries. Here’s a picture of me in a fez in Marrakesh:


When I think back to everything I’ve done and everywhere I’ve been in these shorts, I’m amazed. Maybe they really do have magic in them. The profile picture in the upper left of this page, if you’re viewing it on a computer, was taken when I was wearing The Best Day Ever Shorts. Those shorts have gone to San Diego, Orlando, Puerto Rico, Austin, Texas, Hawaii and Philadelphia, and in every place I’ve had a great day in them.

So what is your talisman? Do you have a lucky shirt, skirt, blouse or pants? Or is it some other kind of talisman that gives you your mojo? Or do you have a certain ritual you engage in to ensure a good outcome? Or, do you think I’m just completely crazy?

Have a great Saturday! ~Phil 

13 responses to “The Best Day Ever Shorts

  1. I love this post! I don’t know that I have a talisman… I’m going to have to think about that…

  2. Lovely. Yes, my barn jacket 🙂 If I’m wearing my barn jacket, that means it’s cool and I’m in a relaxed atmosphere!

  3. All from shorts from Target?
    That gives me goose pimples
    I think I see Jesus
    In some of the wrinkles.

  4. Hmm. Don’t think I have one. I wonder if you could put your shorts into a lending library kind of situation.

  5. I don’t have one, but this might explain why I have to secretly throw out all of Derek’s dingy white t-shirts. 😏🤔

    • You’re probably right. I have a lot of old shirts that to me are memories. When I look at them or wear them, like the shorts, I remember what I did in them before.

      • Yep. I’d never throw out something he’s sentimentally attached to, but when it comes to crusty white t-shirts, all bets are off. I swear he’d wear them until they rotted off.

  6. I have a denim, or rather a Levi, jacket. It has been everywhere with me. Even when it didn’t fit right, I still packed it just because. I think I also have my dog, Wizard. He has been everywhere with me, except one colloquium, since I adopted him in 2005. Even across the country in a 18-wheeler, and to Alaska.

    • A denim Levi jacket? That’s great! Such a classic. It’s hard to beat soft, comfortable denim. I used to have one and have it to my son. A dog? Of course! Dogs make every day better and Wizard is a great dog name!

Leave a Reply