Yesterday afternoon, Pythagoras and I ventured out for an eight-mile hike on one of the trails snaking through the Deschutes National Forest.
The weather was lovely, the dog was wagging her tail, and I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a tail of my own to wag.
We had only gone half a mile when I spotted something tangled in the twigs beside the trail. I stopped in my tracks and stared at it. This is what I saw:
“Hey, Pythagoras,” I called. “Need some new underwear?”
He glanced at the tattered tighty-whities on the side of the trail and kept on hiking. “Thanks, I’m good.”
We continued hiking in silence for a few minutes. Pythagoras was the first to speak. “You’re still thinking about the underwear, aren’t you?”
“Of course. How do you think they got there?”
He shrugged. “Some dude was out mountain biking, had to take a dump, didn’t have anything to wipe with, so he took his underwear and—”
“Gross, never mind.”
“Well where do you think they came from?”
I thought about that for a second. “I think a couple was out hiking and she couldn’t stop staring at his back and at the muscles in his shoulders and thinking how she’d like to dig her nails into them, and he turned around and noticed how beautiful she looked with the sunlight in her hair, so they stumbled off into the bushes tearing each other's clothes off as they went, and in the throes of passion, didn’t notice the bear that ran up and grabbed his underwear.”
Pythagoras nodded and kept hiking. “That seems likely,” he agreed. “And this is why you’re the writer.”
I thought about that as we continued on down the trail. His mind had gone right to the practical – and I’ll admit it, most likely – scenario.
He’s a guy, and a fitness freak at that. If he says men in the wilderness will resort to such measures when faced with a lack of toilet paper, I’m inclined to believe him.
And while my overactive writer’s imagination is certainly part of what prompted my theory, I think you could more accurately say it’s a product of the type of stories I write – namely, romance.
Would a thriller writer have concocted a scenario involving a terrorist plot and an underwear bomb? Would a paranormal author have envisioned something that featured disintegrating werewolves with bad taste in underwear?
I’m curious about this. What was your first thought when you saw that picture? Tell me your theory, and then tell me what genre (if any) you write.
Oh, and if those are your underwear, go get those nasty things. And maybe wash them before you put them back on. I think my dog peed on them.