Introducing Crossfade's New Weekly Column: Que Pasa, M.I.A.? by Jose el Rey
¡Ta mala la cosa! All day, every day, that's what my ears hear. The most useful small talk starter and ice breaker in my Miami is: ¡Ta mala la cosa! In essence it means: Shit's bad. It's a quick and easy way of saying, "Bro, I'm broke and so are you!"
I can't afford to be broke. I'm Jose el Rey. You don't know? I'm the king. I got crowds to please, guests to entertain, and ladies to impress. But I've got no problem saying this: The economy is taking its toll on my superstar life. I can't pay top dollar for my clothes, scarves, and jewels anymore.
This means war and I just joined the army. Well, the Salvation Army. (Please, between my flat feet and that don't asking policy, I can never be all I can be. I love asking and telling!)
I went to Salvation Army with a mission: to buy a sharp suit for my video premiere. Simple enough, but as I walked down the aisles I was overwhelmed by negative thoughts. "Look at those jeans, not only are they jeans, but they have no rhinestones on them.... I don't see anything pink ... or aqua ... or any kind of neon!"
"Is the previous owner of this silk charmeuse button-down dead? Why else would he have parted with it? Dead guys always have style."
But I trudged ahead through the shop with surgical focus. I bypassed the Basic Instinct, Ghostbusters 2, and Three Men and the Baby laserdiscs. Yes, they'd make great Christmas presents. But no one I know has a Laserdisc player. As I was checking my hair on the reflection on these old-fashioned/future discs, I saw a very stylish white suit.
What's that rule about white after a certain date? Not to wear it to a wedding? A Baptism? Terrible rules. Unfair and inapplicable, when you're on a money-saving quest. There's no room for seasonal fashion rules during times like these. ¡Ta mala la cosa!
By the time I noticed I was actually in the women's pantsuit section, I was in complete love with this outfit. There was no turning back. There was also overwhelming embarrassment. Too overwhelming for me to try on the pantsuit, but not overwhelming enough to keep me from buying it.
Eight dollars! ¡Ñoooo, what a deal!
The only way anyone will know it's a ladies-only pantsuit is if I tell them, and I'm not embarrassed enough to keep that fact to myself. Just too embarrassed to try it on. I got home excited. I made a fashion show for the pretty lady on my couch. Then we noticed that the suit was big enough for a Janet Nick Nolte-type woman; therefore, too large for me.
I was overwhelmed and distraught and out of ideas. Where and how would I get another nice piece of fabric for such a super price? Luckily, the sexy lady guest of mine is handy with sewing and hemming techniques. Within ten minutes my transsexual wardrobe nightmare turned into a custom-fit-tailor-made-couture suit. For eight dollars! ¡Ta buena la cosa!
-- Jose el Rey