Zumbach, the Tailor

Here is one of my favorite Zen stories. It symbolizes the predicament in which many of us find ourselves.
A man went to Zumbach, the tailor, to be fitted for a new suit. When the suit was ready, he stood before the mirror with the tailor, for final alterations.
The man noticed that the right sleeve was just a bit short. “I think the sleeve is a little too short for my arm,” he told Zumbach. “You may have to lengthen it.”
“The sleeve is not too short,” answered the tailor. “Your arm is too long. Just draw your arm up into the sleeve a bit, and it will look fine.”
Reluctantly, the man did so, but this threw the collar of the jacket into disarray. “Now the sleeve looks alright, but look at the big gap between my neck and the jacket.”
“There is nothing wrong with the jacket,” Zumbach defended. “What you need to do is raise your left shoulder a few inches.”
The man again complied, but now the rear of the jacket was lifted far above his posterior. When he showed the tailor his misalignment, he was instructed to “lower your head and lean forward and there will be no problem!”
Finally, the man walked out of the shop, convinced of its proper fit. (Unfortunately, he had to walk in a most contorted and uncomfortable position.)
He stepped onto a bus, and the man next to him laughed, “I’ll bet you just got that suit from Zumbach, the tailor!”
“How did you know that?” asked the man.
“Because only Zumbach, the tailor, could fit a man as disabled as you.”


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