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Uncle Jimbo's New Undergarments
I joined a health club, after the urgings of those near and dear to me and finally got to the point where I could stride manfully into the locker room, and strip down to my shorts and go exercise, without breaking down into laughter.
The Imperial Athletic Club shares grounds with the Sheraton Imperial Hotel, about five minutes away from work. Now, Gentle Reader, I have always held myself to be in reasonably good shape, for someone who gets no exercise and sits upon his posterior all day. The Club has a number of pieces of equipment, Nautilaus machines, Stairmasters, Lifecycles, treadmills, and all manner of shiny chrome plated stuff, just waiting to be worked in their various configurations. They also have aerobics, which appeals mostly to the younger female type. I didn't see any men jumping about in a coordinated fashion.
In any case, the staff of the Imperial Athletic Club consists of younger men and women, all of whom appear to be in very good shape, although, as I am to find, more emphasis may have been placed on the physical, and less on the intellectual. The Club, in its infinite wisdom, puts you through a training session before you are allowed to use its machines, on the theory that if you've had some instruction, you are less likely to seriously damage yourself or somebody else.
Now three days prior to this I had just had a complete physical, including withdrawal of serious amounts of blood, and people inserting fingers in places that they had no business inserting them, and I bore it all manfully. I got the usual lecture about my blood pressure, and after I made them take it a second time, got the usual secondary lecture about my blood pressure. However, this time, the instructions are unambiguous; no more alcohol, no more caffeine, in short, nothing to drink that tastes interesting.
Let me vent my spleen for a moment on the taste of the soi-disant non-alcoholic beers. This stuff tastes vaguely like beer, if, and only if, you had been used to drinking watered Budweiser. Otherwise, it is a disgustingly poor imitation of the real thing. I tried some on the dog, who normally slurps down beer like it's good and wonderful (she eats all sort of nondog food too, so this should come as no surprise), and she won't touch this stuff.
I must note that these ersatz beers are so bad, that the Imperial Athletic Club, which does purvey some beer and soft drinks at its front desk, will have no truck with them. Anyway, the reason for this essay is not to trash the no doubt well meaning manufacturers of beeroid products.
This essay is to discuss a certain kind of penis envy. Ever since the disco craze of the 70's and a movie named Saturday Night Fever in which we are treated to a full frontal view of John Travolta in his shorts, it was known among men that your hip and happening guy no longer slapped a pair of 3 for $5 Fruit of the Looms upon his loins before dressing. No, thanks to Jim Palmer, and some of the more upscale men's boutiques, the man of the 80's has abandoned the white cotton brief for something a little more radical.
I personally had never paid much attention to such stuff, under the assumption that as long as my pants were on, nobody could tell what sort of shorts I had on, and that if I had them off, hopefully things were about to proceed to activities in which the color or design weren't really important, so I continued to get the inevitable 3 pack of whatever was on sale the week before Christmas, since my poor put-upon mother couldn't ever figure out what I wanted as a present and had a firm rule that if you don't hold forth a list of possible gifts in July, you'd better be prepared for a Yuletide offering of cotton briefs or tube socks.
Besides, I'd always had a sneaking suspicion about men who went in for wild decoration at the underwear level, it suggested that they had a tendency to impress women more with the packaging than the product, and this always spoke of a certain amount of insecurity to me.
I think I understand the aesthetics of ladies' undergarments. Many men, myself included, find that a woman's charms are all the more enhanced when wrapped up fetchingly in lace, or where bits and pieces of nice things show through. Furthermore, women seem to feel more attractive in sensual underwear, and I am forthright in my appreciation and support of anything that makes a woman feel more attractive.
In fact, there are boutiques which cater to precisely this female need, and one of the them is the dreaded Victoria's Secret, which, after my last foray there, I had firmly resolved never to enter thereunto again.
Furthermore, I think women have more practice with different styles of underthings, and get involved at an earlier age. One of the rites of passage is a young woman's first brassiere. At that same age, young men have been wearing the same basic shorts since they graduated from diapers, with only a change in size to mark the passage of time. As a result, men tend to be fascinated with the variety of women's underthings.
But, and this is the part that brings me to this shameful state, every time I went into the Imperial Athletic Club men's locker room, I was confronted with a dazzling panoply of men's shorts, in various shades and shapes, and types. And, it was not until I realized that the only denizens of the locker room still wearing Kmart blue-light specials were me and the pre-adolescent set, that it became obvious that I was going to have to seek a different level, underwear-wise.
Plainly time to change. So, girding my loins, so to speak, I went back to Victoria's Secret, hoping that a recent haircut and beard trim would keep me from being recognized as the progenitor of the St. Valentine's Day debacle. I was wrong. I strode purposefully into the Crabtree Valley Mall store, just as bold as you please, and watched while every saleswoman in the store vanished.
I thought I heard somebody whisper, "It's him! He's back!", accompanied by the surreptitious dialing of a telephone.
Undaunted, I finally locate a sort of display of men's underwear, and stand, transfixed by the variety displayed in front of me. Thongs, and briefs, and in all manner of colors and fabrics, and styles. I gave up, and was just about to go when some poor saleswoman who had been in the stockroom and hadn't heard that I was invading the premises breezed through and made the mistake of asking me if she could help me.
I asked her which, if any, of the things on display appealed to her, and she pointed out several. I took a look at them, and tried to stifle a giggle, and when she said she wasn't sure how much they would cover the "derriere", I broke out into laughter. She giggled along with me, and we had a grand old time for about five minutes. I was tempted to do my old underwear-on-the head trick; it always amused my siblings, but restrained myself. Finally, I told her to pick out two pairs in my size, not show them to me and put them in a sack, and I'd buy them. She got a real kick out of that, picked out a couple of them, and wandered off to tell one of her coworkers about the guy who wanted to buy some shorts, but didn't want to look at them.
Fairly soon, as I had bellied up to the cash register to pay for my new purchases, there were several grinning saleswomen watching me take money from my wallet, get change, and tuck the bag under my arm. As I started toward the door, the giggling which had been somewhat repressed now became uproarious, and I distinctly heard some woman shriek "Next time he comes in here, I get to wait on him!".
I have not, as yet, dared to look at them
ANTI POPEYE X FAN CLUB
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