Smart e-Pants

December 3, 2017 | New York, NY

It’s been 30 years since Jerry Seinfeld made a joke about Cookie Crisp and in his new Netflix special, he’s here to talk about more cereal.

“You gotta speak with him, he’s coming back!” the Patrick Whitesells of Hollywood say to me when their clients want to Stay Relevant. Which is why I’m meeting the Standup King of the 90s in this café. An odd sort of power I wield, but here we are.

Growing up, I crushed hard on Jerry Seinfeld. No one ever listened to me complain about mundane things, and I now wonder if that would’ve changed had I developed an uptick in my voice, donned some kicks, and turned white.

But today, I have a plan. After coffee, I’ll order a slice of key lime pie and smoothly chuckle, “Yeah, what’s the deal with pies with a fruit filling? If I wanted fruit, I’d eat fruit. Why trick me with fruit inside the pie?” And he’ll laugh and I’ll laugh and he’ll ask if I’d like to drive around in his ’98 Porsche Carrera and get more coffee.

__

Some Upper West Side café: Jerry Seinfeld walks into the café, blazer and sneaker-clad, flanked by his trusty pal, Larry David. (Of course it wouldn’t just be us! That damn Larry.) I jump out of my seat to greet them.

“Mr. Seinfeld, Mr. David, it’s so nice to have you both here—“

He interrupts, “Oh please, call me Jerry.”

“Sorry- Jerry Seinfeld, it’s great to have you here today.”

As they settle into their seats, I quickly take out my notepad & pen ready to ask Jerry Seinfeld how he feels about his move to Netflix, his newly released special, and whether the science of standing up has changed.

Growing up, I crushed hard on Jerry Seinfeld. No one ever listened to me complain about mundane things, and I now wonder if that would’ve changed had I developed an uptick in my voice, donned some kicks, and turned white.

Larry stares at his menu, then up at me: “Jerry Seinfeld’s back and he’s back big!”

In the manner of two high school seniors who’ve just pulled off a mediocre prank, they smile triumphantly at each other as Jerry goes: “Yup! With pants!”

Well.

“I mean, look at the pants scene today. What’s the deal with nonfunctional pants?” Jerry says, “You’ve got jeans, which look great but you can’t wear them to work. There’s slim jeans, which barely fit your wallet. Cargos- hello 1999! And slacks- ugh, slacks. What kind of word is slacks? It’s 2017!”

He’s joking. Of course he’s joking. He’s a comedian. He’s just forgetting to hold his fork up like a mike.

“Your pants should be working for you! And I’ve got the solution: Smart e-Pants.”

I gather myself. “e-Pants, you say?”

“Smart e-Pants: for the informed individual. It’s so important to be well informed in today’s society. Y’know, you wake up, you get out of bed, you wanna know what’s happening in the world. So you put on your Smart e-Pants and sit at the computer…”

He drifts off, gazing onto an unseen horizon. I gaze too, hoping to see what he sees.

“And then what?” Larry’s cranky voice interrupts our reverie.

Jerry shrugs. “I don’t know, I’m still ironing it out. That’s the gist.”

“She’s a reporter, Jerry. It’s an interview. What’s she gonna do with the gist?”

“There’s some basic features, y’know. They blend in so no one knows you’re trying. Neutral colors. Black, beige, navy. You just wash them and put ‘em right on. No extra care needed.”

“Oh, like regular pants,” I nod. See, I get you, Jerry!

Larry starts muttering. “You know what I hate about regular pants? I hate pockets. I’m always losing things in pockets. I lose my change, I lose my gum…”

“Well, Smart e-Pants don’t have pockets. You’ll never lose anything! In fact, they actually connect with your local Wi-Fi so you can track your pants,” Jerry says.

Larry goes on. “And there’s that little pocket inside the pocket. What are you supposed to fit in there? A penny? What good is a penny?”

“Smart e-Pants: for the informed individual. It’s so important to be well informed in today’s society.”

I can’t take it.

“Mr. Seinfeld-“

“Jerry-“ he quickly corrects.

“Sorry-Jerry Seinfeld, in what situation would a person need to track their pants?”

“We’re getting in all kinds of crazy situations these days. One minute you’re losing your pants, the next, you’re out of cheese. Smart e-Pants help you make the best possible decision in every e-situation. Skip Twitter, go to Amazon and order some cheese. Skip the free adult movies, learn about the refugee crisis.”

Oh. Okay, so this is a humanitarian effort.

My admiration starts tying its laces again, ready to sprint back to this Comedy King.

“Could you give me some more examples of how Smart e-Pants could help its wearers?”

“I’m still ironing out some quirks. But here’s what I want to ask my audiences: How often do you feel like you’re surrounded by geniuses? Are you always trying to keep up? Step One: Step up your style.”

Larry nods his head vigorously, chiming in, “So it’s like you’re becoming a better person.”

“Right, right. What it comes down to is, it’s time for us to all be better people. Let’s start with pants. Smart e-Pants. This is gonna be big.”

With that, Jerry stares off into the horizon again.

We never make it to pie.

__

I’m older now. I don’t know if my crush on Jerry Seinfeld still holds.

Love waxes and wanes, the expression goes.

So does celebrity.

(Maybe.)