Hump Day: There ought to be a heritage law protecting ancient underwear

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

I broke down last week after an inordinate period of procrastination and decided that it was time to throw caution to the wind and tell the universe that it was time that I was in some sort of accident that would land me in the hospital.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why would you, a rich, handsome, virile, world-famous newspaper columnist want to be hospitalized after an unfortunate accident?’ Well, it’s not because I want to, it’s because a recent action of mine has sent a message to the universe advising it that be that I’ll now be presentable to emergency room staff upon arrival at whichever fine hospital to which I’m admitted after stubbing my toe, slamming the car door on my finger, a very severe paper cut or what have you.

You see, being a typical man means that I’ve amassed a collection of underwear over the years that can only be described as ‘tattered’ or, perhaps, ‘should have been incinerated in a hazardous waste facility a long time ago.’ Either one works.

I have drawers full of perfectly good underwear, as you probably do, but I keep going back to those super comfortable ones of a certain brand name that I bought some time ago (you don’t want to know how long). Like favourite shirts, socks, sweatpants or other comfortable clothing us men sometimes hang on to things too long, these beloved articles of clothing which should be declared a fashion emergency. In fact, I should probably be arrested for first-degree fashion homicide. No need for defibrillators, only a cremation ceremony will do. Stand back after the fashion police throw gasoline on the pile and make me light the match as part of my punishment. Oh how cruel!

underwearBefore I wrote this column, I did some looking around online and discovered that many men have this habit – hanging on to certain items of clothing way past their prime. The reason? Well, they’re comfortable. It’s that simple. And there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable, unless of course when what you’re wearing looks like it was hauled out of the layer at the landfill that was covered up by a bulldozer in 1975.

Lord knows I’ve tried to find that certain brand again locally. Much to my dismay, I couldn’t. Money wasn’t the issue. I was willing to pay to achieve underwear nirvana again. Being comfortable is great, but being horrified at the thought of having emergency room personnel see the rags I call underwear eventually got the best of me.

So, I finally got out the credit card, found exactly what I wanted online and spent a small fortune buying a bunch of brand new ones. When they arrive, the old ones are being thrown out immediately. I’ll probably shed a tear seeing my old comfy companions peering out from the garbage bag at the side of the road waiting to get picked up, but it’s for the best. They’ve earned their retirement. They’d probably weep from relief.

I could just imagine the call from the emergency room to my relatives. ‘Brian’s in the hospital after pulling a muscle sneezing. He’s unconscious, but he should be make a full recovery. We’ll try finding him a place to live in a shelter since he’s homeless. We saw the underwear.’ Do I really want my family to have to convince them otherwise?

At least if you’re married or living with someone, you have someone to bring you back to reality when it comes to those comfortable clothing items that should have been landfilled years ago. At some point, you’re bound to hear, ‘Apparently, you have lost all sense of common decency and continue to wear something that no sane human being would be caught dead in, let alone alive. Therefore, I’m invoking the Comfortable Clothing Clause and hereby prohibiting you from ever wearing that again.’ For emphasis, it is torn to shreds in front of you to ensure it has given up the ghost for good.

If the Comfortable Clothing Clause isn’t already entrenched in law, it should be. Single people should be able to assign a member of the Comfortable Clothing Clause Commission to check their wardrobe for any offending clothing, as well. ‘Don’t move, sir, those underwear are illegal under the Comfortable Clothing Clause. Their thread count has gone below the allowable limit.’ They’d draw their guns. ‘Strip!’

Now, ladies, before you get all high and mighty about your men wearing stuff that they should be ashamed to have on, the online research I did was pretty clear that women have a penchant for doing the same thing – especially when it comes to comfortable bras, which are often worn out until they’re in tatters similar to men’s underwear, undershirts, socks and sweatpants. So, no pointing fingers!

Whether it’s a favourite bra or favourite pair of boxer shorts, we all strive to be comfortable. The alternative is going without, which can be its own special kind of fashion emergency.

Note to all political parties: I take full credit for this job-creation idea and want to be appointed Comfortable Clothing Clause Commissioner at an astronomical salary and big pension for which I’d be eligible after one week on the job.

Should we rely on the Comfortable Clothing Clause being invoked by a partner or independent auditor, though? Don’t we all look in the mirror when we’re wearing things that should have been thrown out long ago and realize we shouldn’t be wearing them? Of course we do. But we all say the same thing, ‘Just one more time,’ or ‘This is the last time I’m ever putting this through the laundry. It’s being chucked after that,’ or ‘We’re only going to be using this as a rag after today!” Such good intentions. Such blatant lies.

Ah, heck. Let’s just all start running around naked. You first, though.

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