Every morning, Bob Flournoy stands in the mirror and hangs this albatross around his neck.
"Even if I'm just going to be around the house, I will put it on for a few minutes, because I said I would," Flournoy told CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman.
"And he'll do what he says," said his wife, Jeanie. "And after 45 years of marriage, I know that."
Indeed, for the last six years, Jeanie says her husband hasn't so much as looked at another tie - not since shortly after 9/11, when this Lufkin, Texas attorney announced to his Bible study group that he would wear this same American flag tie - every day - until Osama bin Laden was captured.
"Ioops," Flournoy said. "Six years. That's a long time"
Of course, back then Flournoy had good reason to be optimistic.
"If he thinks he can hide, he will be sorely mistaken," President George W. Bush said in 2001.
But "dead or alive" soon gave way to "comme ci comme ca."
"I don't know where he is, you know, I just don't spend that much time on him," Bush said at a press conference in the spring of 2002.
Flournoy isn't looking to blame anyone. He says the more pressing issue is the state of his tie, which over the years has gotten so deteriorated that he's had to cut out portions and have it remade. It's now half the size it was - too fragile to even tie. He attaches it with Velcro. In fact, the only thing thinner than his tie - is his patience.
"This is breaking news: I have asked the mayor if he can grant me a pardon, so to speak, from this promise that I made."
"OK, before you go any further I have breaking news," Hartman replied. "That's cheating."
"I don't care." Flournoy said. "What is the word? There's a word…"
"Surrender," Hartman suggested.
"No!" cried Flournoy, laughing.
Fortunately for Flournoy, Hartman is not mayor.
"There's no question it is a health hazard," Mayor Jack Gordon said. "It's just time to end it."
This week, he signed the pardon and the tie will now hang in a public place for all to see. Hopefully Bin Laden won't be far behind.
Copyright 2007 CBS. All rights reserved.