I have a fine appreciation for underwear.
Show me a strapping young man sporting six-pack abs and a pair of boxer briefs and I’ll show you…well, pretty much anything you want to see. I believe in fair exchange.
But there’s something about seeing abandoned underwear that takes away the appeal. Sort of like how you wouldn't think twice about kissing a loved one on the head, but if the same person loses a hair in your salad, there's no way you're shoveling another bite of spinach in your mouth.
Maybe that’s why I’m disturbed by a trend I've noticed lately. Abandoned underwear has been turning up in a lot of public places, and I'm not certain why.
Last week, I spotted a pair of boxer shorts on an empty lot near my house.
I'm not sure if this violates the “no trespassing” rule or the “no dumping” one, but either way, my retinas are scarred.
Then yesterday I was walking to a friend's downtown handbag boutique to say hello at lunch when I spotted these on the sidewalk:
I looked around to see if there were more articles of clothing. Maybe someone decided to do an impromptu striptease in the downtown streets on a 30-degree day.
But no, there was only the thong.
I walked into my friend's shop. "Did you lose your black underwear on the sidewalk again?" I asked.
"I saw that this morning!" she said. "I thought about picking it up so it doesn't look trashy in front of the store, but–"
We pondered it for a moment. How did the underwear get there?
"Maybe someone was trying on a dress at the boutique next door and brought special underwear to see how it would go?" my friend suggested.
"Could have just gotten stuck in someone's pant-leg in the dryer and fallen out," I suggested. "Or maybe someone was having a tryst up against a car in the middle of the night and–"
"Don't start with the romance writer crap."
We both glanced outside at the thong. It sat there looking forlorn, fluttering a little in the breeze.
"Want me to go kick it into the street?" I offered.
"I don't think a thong on the street is any better than a thong on the sidewalk."
We finally gave up talking about the thong and had a polite chat about something else. OK, it probably wasn't polite, but it was about something else.
Finally, it was time to leave. Just as I reached the thong, I ran into the Executive Director of the Downtown Business Association.
I pointed at the thong. "Yours?"
He stared at it for a moment, blinking a couple times with the possible hope of making it disappear. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of gloves.
"Gotta keep the sidewalks looking nice," he said, and bent to pick up the thong.
I didn't watch as he walked away, and I think I'd rather not know what he did with it. Either way, I'm pretty sure that's not something he ever imagined in his job description.
So what's the deal with the abandoned underwear? Does anyone have a theory? Am I the only one who keeps seeing this stuff? Please share.
And please let me know if you happen to need some underwear. I'm sure I'll run across another pair again soon.