Frank was a man of habit. Every morning, he would wake at the same time. He would eat the same cereal for breakfast. He would wear the same white shirt, the same dark jacket, the same dark pants. He would also always wear a plain, grey tie.
“Morning, Jen,” Frank would say as he walked to his office cubicle, the same he had worked in for 20 years. “Night, Jen,” Frank would say as he left.
He had always found comfort in his habits. He would never not know what to wear, or to eat; nor would he ever make a bad decision. He heard many stories from people at the office about things going wrong when they try something new. He knew better than to try that.
One chilly Sunday morning, when Frank was shopping – shopping was, of course, always on Sunday mornings – he met a man beside the tinned fruits. This was an odd character, and he was dressed in the strangest of ways – new clothes, old clothes, black clothes with blue clothes, and it was topped off with a shiny, red bow tie. He watched the varied tinned fruits with fascination, as though he could not even make up his mind. Of course, Frank knew, the peaches were best.
The man looked up, and saw Frank staring at him. “Oh, hello,” said he, “That’s a nice tie you have there. Of course, bow ties are much cooler,” With this, he straightened his bow tie, and walked off – grabbing a tin seemingly at random as he went.
A bow tie? What a silly thing to wear! Thought Frank to himself. I’m perfectly happy with my regular tie, thank you very much. He pushed thoughts of the strange man from his mind, and continued with his shopping, getting some tinned peaches as he did.
The next day, however, he could not seem to rid those words from his mind. He woke and poured his cereal. Bow ties are much cooler.
He wore his usual black suit. Bow ties are much cooler. And he put on his usual, grey, tie. Bow ties are much cooler.
“Morning Jen,” said Frank. He hesitated, and turned for once to look at the secretary. “Jen, do you like my tie?”
“Your tie, sir?” she asked.
“Yes, this tie.” he prompted, pointing to his usual grey tie.
“Well, I don’t know,” said Jen, “I never really noticed it. It looks nice.”
“Thanks, Jen,” said Frank, and he walked into his cubicle.
Bow ties are much cooler.
When Frank finished work, he left his cubicle, and said “Night, Jen,” to the secretary. Rather than go home, however, tonight Frank would do something different.
“Hello, sir, how may I help you today?” said the shopkeeper.
“I would like to make a purchase.”
The next morning, Frank ate his usual ceral for breakfast. He put on his usual black suit. And he wore and straightened his tie. It feels funny, he thought to himself, I knew this was a bad idea. He didn’t have time to take it off, place it away, and wear his usual tie – well, unless he wanted to risk being late for work, and he was never late for work. So, Frank kept it on.
“Hello, Jen,” said he, as he entered the office.
The secretary looked up, to see Frank’s brand new tie. It was a very bright blue bow tie, with dark blue stripes. “Hello, sir. Is that a new tie?”
“Why yes, yes it is. Do you like it?”
“It looks wonderful,” said she, smiling at him. Frank smiled back at her; maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
“Thanks, Jen.” And with that, Frank entered his usual cubicle. On this day, he tried to whistle while he worked. He could not carry a tune of any kind, but he didn’t mind at all. Frank was having fun!
Bow ties are very cool, thought Frank.
Author’s Note – Thanks to http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/52009613370/747-bow-ties and my favourite series, Doctor Who, for the inspiration for this piece. And a big thanks to my fiancée for pushing me to write it 😉