So there I was, sitting at home after a hard day's work, looking for peace and tranquility. Naturally, I turned on the television, in search of intelligent life on the cable news channels.
Within moments, I saw it. The commercial that explains it all, the announcer’s voice, filled with doom and gloom.
“Did you know seventy-five percent of Americans are unhappy with their underwear?” he intoned. “Elastic is too tight, the fit isn't right, leaving us trapped in pain!”
He pitched a new miracle underwear, designed to end our misery. I didn't catch the name, but it ought to be called, “One Size Larger.'
Still, it got me to thinking (which is rarely a good thing). This may be why we have been in a rotten mood lately. After all, phrases like “He's got his shorts in a knot,” and “She's got her panties in a wad” didn't just make themselves up. Our forefathers said it even better: “Don't get your knickers in a twist!” And how does one get his shorts in a knot, anyway? Are washing machines part of the conspiracy? Did our mothers not teach us to fold?
These phrases are even in the dictionary. The definition is “to become overly upset or emotional.” This proves my point. Have you watched the people in Washington DC? They should order this new underwear “Now, while supplies last!”
We could begin in the White House. If you look back at the past hundred years, almost all of the Oval Office inhabitants usually looked like they were in discomfort, with a couple of exceptions. Ronald Reagan smiled a lot, even after an assassination attempt. I'm guessing he was among the 25 percent not experiencing underwear distress.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was almost always smiling, even during the Great Depression and World War II. As the song says, he had 99 problems, but underwear was not one of them.
A reporter even asked Bill Clinton on live television if he wore boxers or briefs. We didn't know it at the time, but maybe she was trying to get to the bottom of something.
Look at the current field of candidates, from both sides of the underwear aisle. I'm not naming names, but you know who I'm talking about. Some of them, with their permanent frowns and angry demeanor, could clearly use an underwear update. Perhaps a few of those who have thrown their hat in the ring, should toss something else in there too.
Since I am committed to truth, justice and the bare facts, I wandered over to our national clothesline, Facebook. I posed the underwear crisis question, just to give folks a break from political debates and screaming memes. I learned that ladies too, are crying for help.
One woman told me, “I'll bet you a man invented the bra! One would think this contraption would be size-appropriate, and live up to its advertising hype. Slimming? That's a joke. It rolls, pinches, cuts and binds. That's why women are unhappy.”
Another woman quickly countered by saying, “Any time I've ever hated my underwear, eventually I realize it's not my underwear's fault.”
(Maybe that explains the old saying: “There are three things a woman is always searching for: a good man, a good hairdresser, and a bra that fits.”)
My friend Frank said, “If I could just find a pack of under-shorts labeled “Ill-Fitting” or “Irregular,” maybe they would finally be right for my body.”
Another man wrote, “I saw that underwear commercial, and it was an epiphany. Someone finally came up with the reason I'm always in a bad mood.”
This has not been a sudden onslaught. It has been creeping up on us like a nagging wedgie.
Many of us used to order underwear out of a catalog. The Sears models seemed so happy, standing around in their skivvies. In fact, they were often interacting with other semi-naked people. That seemed odd to me. If my buddies and I had tried that in public, our parents would have surely gotten their drawers in an uproar.
Still, those catalog models were obviously wearing the right underwear. No matter how constricting or slimming, they were always flashing a smile, among other things.
For proof that underwear is a hot topic, just visit the mall. Many of today's fashions put undies out in the open. Right about the time you teach your 7-year-old about modesty, you're greeted by a 10-foot poster at Victoria's Secret. “Mommy, I see her underwear!” “Yes, dear, but you'll notice she's not smiling. She might need a larger size.”
So in conclusion, let me be brief. Make America Smile Again. Loosen those waistbands, expand those straps. Whether it's evil men manufacturing tight bras, or Russians secretly shrinking our tidy whiteys, we must prevail. As a nation, we cannot be crotchety.
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at email@example.com, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.