“Hello,” Bruce Jenkins said as he answered the door.
“Who are you?” Ronnie asked.
“I’m Bruce, Nellie’s nephew from
“Where’s Mrs. Jenkins?”
“Oh I’m sorry but she had a stroke. She’s in the hospital, not doing very well. I came down to help out with the sewing and whatnot.”
“Aw man I hate to hear that. I guess I will wait till she gets back.”
“Nonsense, she told me to take care of anyone that comes in. I’m a seamstress too,” Bruce said with pride.
“Wouldn’t you be called a seamster?” Ronnie asked.
“Honey, you will call me Vera Bradley when I finish whatever it is you need.”
“I don’t know. My stuff is kind of secret, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh my God! She told me someone might come looking for “The Uniform.” Is that you?” Bruce asked throwing quotation marks in the air with his fingers.
“It is me and I’m in a fix. I have two new members being inducted Friday night and they will need their robes. Can you get them done by Friday?” Ronnie asked.
Two days later…
“Oh hi Ronnie. Come on in. Did you bring the gentlemen for their fitting?” Bruce asked with excitement.
“Um, no. These things are kind of a one size fits all. It’s just a robe and hood with eyeholes.” Ronnie answered, confused.
“Just a robe! Shut your mouth and behold!” Bruce exclaimed as he motioned to the mannequin.
“What the hell?” Ronnie asked, stunned by what he saw.
“I know. It’s fabulous, isn’t it?”
“Listen here sugarbritches. It’s not supposed to be shiny. It’s supposed to be cotton,” Ronnie said, angered by the abomination before him.
“Cotton is so last year. You said you wanted The Uniform. I just put my personal style to it. I’m a designer, unencumbered by twentieth century conventions. It’s time to let your confederate freak flag fly girlfriend.”
“But why is it shiny?” Ronnie asked.
“The fabric is lame. (Guys this is pronounced la-may) At your next cross burning it will glimmer and glisten. Speaking of such, look at the back, I hot glued rhinestones in a burning cross design.”
“Well that’s pretty cool,” Ronnie said, impressed with Bruce’s hot glue gun and rhinestone artwork.
“Thanks Ronnie. I know the gold piping seems a little extravagant, but I figured Cinderella must look her best at the ball.”
“What’s the deal with the rainbow colored fuzzy ball on top of the hood?” Ronnie asked.
“The pom-pom adds a bit of whimsy. I’m sure your meetings aren’t all cross burnings and lynchings. Why don’t you try it on?”
“I couldn’t. It looks too fancy. I would mess it up.”
“Ronnie, while this fabric is delicate and will require dry cleaning, it is also durable. It will stand up to the most violent of race riots and you will look fabulous while beating someone of a lesser race. Blood stains are a thing of the past thanks to Scotchgarding.”
“Okay,” Ronnie said as he began to put it on over his clothes.
“Stop! You must undress first. I promise I won’t peek, much. I stitched some satin leggings inside to make a jumper. Comfort, flexibility and durability. I’ve thought of everything. There you go. Now, look in the mirror.”
“Wow!” Ronnie exclaimed. “I look like a princess.”
“Or a queen. All hail, Queen of the Klan.” Bruce said as a tear streamed down his cheek.
“Are you crying Bruce?” Ronnie asked.
“It’s okay. I told myself I wouldn’t cry.”
“Don’t be sad Bruce.”
“I’m not sad. These are tears of joy.”
“Can I get forty more by next weekend?”
“Oh Bruce,” Ronnie said as he checked his backside in the mirror.