I hadn’t being feeling quite myself for a few days, but just couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. I’d been irritable, wasn’t sleeping well, and always seemed to be uncomfortable. Last night I was watching a commercial for Hanes Underwear featuring Michael Jordan. It showed a talking, and slightly boisterous underwear tag being thrown into a paper shredder by Michael, and ended with a caption saying, “Tags are annoying, so get rid of them.” I sat there for a moment thinking; and then it hit me. “Ah Haaaaa………….’
I stood up, reached around back, grabbed the band of my comfort-fit, Fruit of the Loom underwear, gave myself a slight wedgie, and said, “I knew it!” The tag on my underwear was missing. I ran upstairs to my bedroom, opened my dresser drawer, and grabbed one of my white, neatly folded cotton briefs, with the words “Fruit of the Loom” proudly displayed on the outside of the waistband in bold, blue lettering. I looked inside and saw that the white, hand-stitched label with the little, colorful image of fruit was missing. It had been replaced by a dull blue printed image below the waistband of what looked like an apple sitting in a pile of geese poop, and words so small I had to get a magnifying glass to read them.
You might think it’s a little silly to get all worked-up over a missing tag on my underwear. I look at it a little differently. They might have been slightly annoying at times, but so is my wife. That doesn’t mean I get rid of her! My underwear tags were like an old friend; nestled comfortably in the small of my back, just above my butt crack. If I got up early for work half asleep, they let me know, “Hey Patrick, don’t worry. You didn’t forget to put me on again.” I can tell you this. It’s a little embarrassing when you have a Doctor’s appointment for a physical, are told to strip down to your underwear and get on the examining table, and you look down and see more than you’re supposed to.
We should also think about the 2000 women in El Salvador who once worked so hard to meticulously hand-sew those tiny white labels on underwear to support their families. Right now, a huge, mindless, soulless, ink-filled monstrosity of a stamping machine is pressing images on ten-thousand briefs an hour. At the same time desperate women with hungry children are wandering the streets looking for new opportunities, and being followed by unscrupulous pimps. Shame on you underwear manufacturers, and goodbye my old friend.