Until I heard about it on a television news magazine show, I was not aware there was a market for underwear which would dissolve in boiling water. Who would need that? Victims of cannibals who wanted to hold onto their last shred of decency as they were tossed into the pot?

Then the news anchor went on to explain that they were developed in response to demand by very modest women in another country (which shall remain nameless). The women were concerned that lecherous garbage collectors might ogle their discarded undergarments. Before they discard their worn underwear, the women boil these newly designed panties until they dissolve.

I wonder how much heat the panties have to be exposed to before they dissolve. Has anyone considered what might happen if an older woman was wearing them? A sudden hot flash may lead to an unexpected and embarrassing wardrobe malfunction.

It never occurred to me that my garbage collectors might be peering into my garbage bags in search of something erotically stimulating. Now I cannot stop worrying about it.

The next time I threw out a pair of worn underpants, just to make them less tempting to prying eyes, I first stuffed them into an empty sauerkraut can then filled the can with bacon grease and potato peels. I taped a note to the outside which read, “Dear garbage man, there are no underpants in this bag, so don’t even think about looking for any. Even if you did find some, they would be those big, white, cotton, granny-style briefs complete with mystery stains and a safety pin holding the worn elastic band together. I am sure they would not interest you anyway.

P. S. Stay out of that sauerkraut can.

P. P. S. Just in case you did not heed my warning to stay out of the sauerkraut can, that size tag is incorrect. I do not wear, nor have I ever worn size 9 underwear. The tag must be sewn in upside down. I customarily wear a size six, in spite of all the empty ice cream cartons and candy wrappers in my garbage. Who asked you anyway?

Men apparently do not feel the need to worry about anyone ogling their underwear, even if it is raggedy, holey, stained, and missing its elastic.

Men’s underwear fulfills the basic purpose of underwear, in that it protects their outer  pants from unexpected bodily accidents. Their underwear, which costs very little, is constructed of a piece of plain, white, serviceable, and comfortable cotton large enough to upholster an ottoman.

There is nothing sexy, or even vaguely appealing about them. Apparently, men feel that during foreplay, once they have gotten undressed as far as their underwear, they have rounded third base. They don’t need a coach waving them in for a home run.

Women’s panties (for some reason, ours need a cutesy name), particularly those marketed toward young women, are constructed of a tiny scrap of colored nylon, a few inches of lace, and a string.

Apparently, during foreplay women who have stripped down as far as their underwear still think they need a sacrificial bunt in order to round all the bases and achieve that home run.

Women’s panties are neither serviceable nor comfortable. An entire pair would fit into a teacup with room to spare. Yet for some reason, they cost about five times as much as men’s underwear, while using about a fifth as much fabric.

Not long after I read about the dissolving underwear, I heard on the news about a man who robbed a convenience store while wearing as a disguise a pair of underwear over his head. He wore them sideways so that he could see out of one of the leg holes, and the clerk recognized him as one of the local garbage men, which led to his apprehension.

Said the news anchor, “The robber appeared to be wearing  a large pair of women’s size nine stained cotton briefs with a safety pin in the waistband.”

“I told you,” I shouted at the T.V., “Those are size sixes! That tag is upside down!”

Shoot! Where did I put the phone number of that dissolving underwear manufacturer?









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