These are my legs, Jesus sandals and shorts.
Sorry for opening with such a picture, it’s unforgivable. But all will become clear as you read on…
Being a man, body hair, schlong and all, there are some things that do not come naturally. Remembering anniversaries. Washing my hands after using the bathroom. And organisation, planning. Lists, I hate lists. I might come across as a deliberate, slightly-gay, well-measured guy that organises his books and DVDs alphabetically, and makes sure everything is just so, but I assure you that isn’t the case. There are a few things that I’m good at: photography for one, I’m perfectionist in that regard. Video games? I’m down-right pro at video games. Rational thought too: if you want someone to make the right choice at the right moment, I’m your man.
But these are living-in-the-moment affairs. It’s the long, over-arching planning that I suck at. If the devil is in the details, I’m Jesus. I don’t keep a diary or even a wall calendar marked with important dates. The only birthdays I usually remember are my parents’. When someone asks me if I’m available next weekend I shrug non-committally, say ‘sure!’ and pray no one else has requested my presence elsewhere (I don’t have many friends so I’m usually safe in this department…) In short, I’m a man and I require a good woman to do my thinking and planning for me. Currently this is a role fulfilled by my mother, but I’m sure there’ll be a lucky wife eventually…
[If you can't deal with vivid 'male bits' imagery, the next bit is probably not for you. If you do like stories of this kind, go check out Lilu's blog!]
Anyway, to cut to the chase: I’m the kind of guy that packs his bags only a few hours before he leaves. And I always forget something. I’m fairly experienced at the whole bag-packing thing so I rarely forget anything important — I’ve only forgotten my mobile phone charger once and I’ve never left my passport at home! — but on more than one occasion I have forgotten to pack… underwear. That’s right, I spent 12 days in Turkey, in 40-degree (104F) heat with just a single pair of boxer shorts. (Don’t worry, I had two pairs of socks, my hygiene wasn’t that bad…)
I’m going to use the same picture so you can look at them again but with this new information in mind!
(See those crinkles? They are well worn. They say ‘kiss’ all over them, if you can’t make it out. And those are red lips printed on.)
You’ve probably heard about the ‘back to front’ and ‘inside out’ techniques of odor-mitigation and boxer freshness longevity (or more simply ‘the underpant inversion method’ as I like to call it). You’ve probably seen it joked about in films like American Pie or Van Wilder. You probably laughed and said ‘Eww! Gross! No Way!’
What you didn’t know is that men actually do it.
I know, it’s too disgusting to contemplate, but men actually wear the same underwear for days or even weeks at a time! With creative folding, those sprays that people use to remove the lingering smell of cigarette smoke and a radiator or hair dryer, a man can stretch out one pair of boxers an awfully long time.
In my case, on no less than three different holidays, I’ve taken only one pair of boxer shorts.
I wore them while clambering over the ancient ruins of Thermessos in Turkey. It’s safe to say I perspired rather heavily in the process. Six days later I was still wearing them when I went for a hot-air balloon ride with five other people — they kept throwing odd glances in my direction (which is not unusual) but instead of staring as they usually do, they grimaced and pinched the bridge of their nose, a look of revulsion spreading across their face.
Then in Prague, through 3 days of drunken debauchery and sweaty hiking around the city, I wore the very same boxers. I had washed them since Turkey though.
Finally, during a 4-day LAN Party, I forgot to bring spare underwear. Four days of sitting on my ass, four days of no showers. In the middle of summer and surrounded by 1000 other gamers and computers.
I had to use rubbing alcohol and a chisel to prise them from my skanky, geeky legs. I even had to get my mother to come and help. What can I say, we’re close.