CRIMESPREE FLASHBACK Article – Ugly Eye for the Mystery Guy by Jim Pascoe

This originally an in October of 2004, Jim has since won many awards for a variety of things. At the time he was doing a regular column for us on how to dress. His book, co written with fellow Ugly Town genius Tom Fassbender has just been re-released from Akashic, BY THE BALLS the new edition is quite wonderful.

Ugly Eye for the Mystery Guy

By Jim Pascoe

Warning: This month’s Ugly Eye will probably seem a little bloodshot, and by that I mean a little more than usual. Expect a lack of focus. Don’t be surprised by lukewarm set-ups and weak punch lines. Pretend my tired turns of phrases are really clever stabs at hip, daring language.


But my excuse is that I’m getting married in two days.

Then again, the lack of focus could also be blamed on the Glenrothes. Scotch definitely diffuses my senses, while we all know that vodka hones the Jim Pascoe machine into laser-sharp action!


Back to the lack of focus — I was so stressed out tonight that I had to grab and book and disappear from all the family who are here to “help.” A couple hours alone with Chris Niles’s kick-ass new thriller Vanished, and I was starting to feel back to normal enough to preach to you people about fashion.

Who’s your best friend when it comes to fashion? It’s not your mom. It’s not your significant other. It’s not your Nordsrom Personal Shopper. It’s not me … though I probably rank pretty high.

It’s your tailor.

Let me tell you a story.

I was in NYC looking for a suit for my wedding. Strolling down Prince Street, I passed by a creepy guy who gave me the eye. Not the Ugly Eye, my friends — an UGLY eye. You know what I’m saying?

Now I’m pretty used to people giving me all kinds of looks. Was I wearing a funny hat? No. Anything outrageous? No.

But come on, it’s New York for Christ’s sake. I can expect a lot worse than strange looks.

I stopped by a couple storefront windows, pausing to see if it was worth my time to go inside. Then I noticed that Creepy Guy was still a few feet behind, pacing me. I ducked into a store, more to hide out than to shop.

When I came out, He was still there.

A couple more stores and I was convinced: the man was tailing me.

I know this is starting to sound a lot like Chris’s book. But I’m serious here. I had to make a plan of action. Now I’ve written a handful of mysteries and have read a ton of ’em, so I knew my first step.

I crossed the street.

The Shadow Man followed.

I had to shake this joe. But no dice. Zigging and zagging between alleys and intersection in SoHo was only helping me get lost. Time for plan two: confrontation.

I spun around and headed for the man. He was still on the other side of the street. We locked eyes for a moment, just enough time for a realization — though I haven’t realized what that realization was.

The traffic picked up between us. Some trucks passed. I lost sight of him. And by the time I was on the other side, he was gone. Vanished. But that’s not the point.

The point: I looked around, not knowing where I was. I saw a designer boutique that I hadn’t heard of. I went down the steps and found the most perfect suit, black with dark red pinstripes and exposed stitching. I also found a number of wonderful shirts, but though they were perfectly tailored around the chest, the sleeves were too long.

Of course I would need to take my suit to a tailor, at the very least to hem the pants and adjust the sleeves. Then it occurred to me — I could get the tailor to adjust the sleeves on the shirts too.

This may seems way too obvious, but the most important lessons are often times the most obvious. The more money you pay for clothes doesn’t necessarily mean they will fit better — don’t fall into that trap. Better to find a style that you really like, that really suits your build, and then take it in to your best friend the tailor for a quick custom alteration.

I’d rather spend next to nothing on a thrift store find or a marked-down item from last season, and shell out a little more money to the tailor than buy a high-ticket off-the-rack number that wasn’t quite right.

Your tailor will agree with me.

Jim Pascoe is the author of two pulp fiction novels, five Buffy the Vampire Slayer books, and most recently a bunch of kids books for Disney Press. He’s also the co-publisher of UglyTown. For more Pasconian insanity, visit

You can get the complete issue #3 bundled with issue 4 for ebooks on Amazon here, and Nook here.