Don’t Trust the Experts or Else You Will Be Naked
- Posted by James Altucher
I’m naked and walking around New York City and its not one of those dreams where you wake up sweating because you’re naked and everyone in your dream street is staring at your penis and you can’t cover up.
I bought these tailor made pants in India. I’ve been bragging to everyone: guess how much my pants cost? Come on, look at them and guess. Tailor made, the tailor came down and measured everything and then they sewed these pants right up.
People look the pants up and down, sort of squinting like they are experts and to make sure they don’t stare at my inseam too much (the groin, the loins, the genitals, anything that can make out a shape there, if there is one).
$150? One person said? $200? Where’d you get them, another person asked.
I don’t answer any questions. This isn’t Jeopardy. This is my life!
Eight dollars! I shout. And I got 14 of them! And guess what? These shirts? Guess how much they cost? Six dollars! I got 12 of them!
And now I’m naked, or almost naked.
I bought the pants in India. I went to the finest tailor. [See, How I Humiliated Myself Doing Yoga] Every American was recommending this tailor. Rashinkar! I put an exclamation point there because when I am walking around my house by myself or in the shower, rather than singing a song like many people do I often just shout, Rashinkar!
The wall was destroyed in his place. And there were flies everywhere. They were doing construction apparently. While I waited, a woman walked me up three flights of stairs so I could sit sandwiched between fabrics and books. In every store in India it seems there are books about Shiva and Yoga and Buddha and Gandhi, etc etc. So I start thumbing through the books, waiting my turn because the tailor is very busy. He is the most highly recommended tailor in this part of the world. If I lean back on my chair I would fall three stories down to the cow shit in the sidewalks because there is no wall.
Try it, it feels good. Pretend you are yelling at someone. He’s about 5’2” and has a heavy scar on one side of his face. A birthmark. Or a leftover burn from childhood. He’s got glasses. Very nice man. He got his guy to do all the measurements.
The measurements for the waist came back 2 inches wider than I’ve ever worn a pair of pants.
That’s impossible, I said. Do you think I am obese!? He said, “look”. And he wrapped the measuring thing (tape? flexible ruler? number paper?) around my waist and it came up with the number. “How could it be wrong?”
“Hmmm, something seems weird though. That’s a full two inches more than I’ve ever worn a pair of pants.”
“But ok,” I said, “you guys are the experts. You guys are the ones who ship these things to Brooks Brothers who then mark it up to $300 so whatever you say goes. I trust you with the size of my waist.” I picked out 14 different fabrics. And for about $100 and change I bought 14 pairs of pants. I went home to the US of A and six weeks later my pants followed.
The other day I’m walking around NYC. My ipad in one hand, a suitcase in the other.
And my pants fall down. I’m walking around NYC, right outside Grand Central in my underwear, trying to hail a cab. I refuse to pick the pants up. Why should I! Rashinkar measured them. They should not be on the ground right now!
It’s like that joke about economists: What does an economist do when he sees a dollar on the sidewalk? He ignores it because in an efficient market it would never be there.
A cab stops for me. I throw my suitcase in and climb in. “You know your pants are down,” the cab driver says.
“Yes,” I said, “I had a bad experience with a tailor.” And the cab driver laughed. What else is he going to do? I’m pure money for him. That meter is already ticking up. It cost me $2.50 cents just to say that sentence before he pulled off to my destination. By the time we’re three blocks away the cab ride has already cost more than these pants hanging down by my shoes.
I listened to the experts. Just like I listen to my divorce lawyer when he speaks. Just like I listen to my therapist when she speaks. Just like I listen to the CEOs of companies when they speak. The experts know everything. Just like I listen to a doctor, or my kid’s teachers. You get the idea. I trust the experts. Sometimes I’m an expert. Sometimes I’m even on TV.
And now I’m naked.
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