DALsTALs

Buying Boxer Briefs – One Man’s Journey

Not to seem too familiar with you, my twos and threes of readers, but I’ve been in a bit of a quandary about my underwear lately. I always believed, with a faith bordering on religious conviction, that boxer shorts were the underwear that men wore. Briefs were only to be worn by little kids and that guy who kills himself in Bruce Willis’ bathroom in The Sixth Sense.

Even when I heard about so-called “boxer briefs,” my faith remained unshaken. A combination of boxers and briefs? To me, it seemed like an evolutionary development as useless as the “spork.” Who would wear such a thing? Perhaps boxer briefs could be worn during middle school, and you could graduate to full, manly boxers when you got your driver’s license?

But, amazingly, all my friends seemed to be converting. Right and left, people were lauding the boxer brief as the superior choice. They’re “more comfortable” and “more secure” and “make your package look great” and other important concerns. Doubts began to sneak in. I started to suspect I was missing out on a great cultural trend, like not watching Game of Thrones.

So I went underwear shopping, which is one of my least favorite things, and I did it at Walmart, which is my absolute least favorite thing. On this particular excursion, I arrived at two very important conclusions.

Conclusion #1: English is the best language. Period. The back of the boxer brief bag was emblazoned with several bullet points in English and Spanish. I was informed that these boxer briefs came equipped with a “Non binding waistband.” Or, in Spanish, “Elastico en la cintura que no restringe el movimiento.” Sheesh, Spanish, just get to the point already! I don’t need to know that it doesn’t restrict our movements. I just need to know that it’s non binding. Don’t waste my time. Although we don’t have a hundred and fifty words for “snow” like the Eskimos do, our language has the flexibility to be elegant and the economy to get right to the point. English: appreciate it.

Conclusion #2: The primary demographic that underwear marketers wish to reach must be “gay men.”

Boxer Briefs guyEvery single package of underwear ever made features images of muscular, hunky, racially-ambiguous guys thrusting their genitals at you. WHY? That doesn’t persuade me to buy their underwear. My thought process was: I need underwear. Fruit of the Loom is two bucks cheaper than Hanes. I’m not fooled into thinking that I’ll suddenly have a chiseled jaw and rippling pectorals and a gleaming smile if I buy these five eight boxer briefs.

Boxer Briefs packageSTOP IT! Look at this! This is the image above the SIZE CHART! No guy I know enjoys trying to select a product full of close-up crotch shots. I made my choice as quickly as possible, since staring at the package bag product (you can’t even describe what the underwear is IN without conjuring up groin associations) longer than five seconds would start to attract dubious looks from passers-by.

I bought them anyway.

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Iron-Clad Laws of Driving

Taking a brief Netflix break, I’m indulging in a little DALsTALs (Dirk A. Linthicum’s Thoughts On Life) action.

If you’re like me, you pray each and every day for some cataclysm that will send humanity back to a simpler, pre-Industrial age. Chances are you’re not like me, but I think you can still sympathize with how annoying the morning commute can be. Culled from the past eight months of taking the Pennsylvania Turnpike to work, here are some of my Iron-Clad Laws of Driving:

1.) If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, every light will be red – but if you’re trying to text while you’re stopped, every light will be green.

2.) If you’re in a rush, the people ahead of you will start to turn into driveways/roads that you’ve never seen anyone driving on before.

3.) Late at night, ALL car headlights will look like police car headlights.

4.) Approaching a driveway you need to enter, pedestrians will always be moving at the perfect speed to block your path at the exact moment of arrival.

5.) Approaching a driveway you need to swing out to enter, a car will always be coming in the opposite direction, forcing you to stop.

6.) When coming up on a biker riding in the street, there will always be a car coming in the opposite direction. Furthermore you, the biker, and the car will be moving at the exact speed necessary to bring you together all at once, forcing you to stop and wait in order to pass the biker. The biker is always on your side of the road; this never happens for drivers coming the opposite way.

7.) If you decide to wait for an oncoming car before making a turn, it will immediately reduce its speed so that you sit there like a dope waiting for it to go by.

8.) The aggressive driver zipping in and out of traffic and speeding recklessly will never get pulled over… but YOU will the moment one of your brake lights goes out. (See also: the jerk on the motorcycle who passes people on the shoulder)

9.) The slow driver ahead of you on the one-lane road will unfailingly be heading the exact same place you are.

10.) If, for any reason, you have to drive slower than usual (i.e. only 5 miles above the speed limit), the slob who wants to go 50 will always jet up right behind you.

11.) The 18-wheeler with the unsettling tendency to drift over the line will always end up right next to you in dense traffic.

12.) When other drivers want to change lanes, YOU are the perfect person for them to cut in front of. Never the car in front of or behind you.

13.) Go ahead and try to be the nice guy at a four-way stop. The driver you’re trying to wave ahead will refuse the courtesy and counter-wave you.

14.) Good luck obeying the right of way at a four-way stop; the driver who obviously arrived after you will cut you off anyway.

15.) Good luck being the third driver at a four-way stop; the other two drivers will engage in a time-wasting politeness war to see who goes first. Then the fourth guy will cut you off.

16.) That pedestrian you waited for at the cross-walk WILL NOT hurry. In fact, they might walk slower across the intersection than they do elsewhere.

17.) Your reverse lights are not visible to people in parking lots; they’ll look at them, look at you trying to back out, and then continue on their way as if they didn’t see anything.

18.) Street lights will flicker out eerily just as you drive under them. Unsettling.

19.) Your headlights are not visible to the idiot driving with his high beams on coming the opposite way.

20.) As soon as you turn on your high beams, another car will immediately appear coming toward you and you’ll have to turn them off.

21.) Need to change lanes? Meet “driver who hovers right by your rear bumper.” He’ll never pass you. He’ll never fall behind you. He’ll never see your turn signal. He is legion.

22.) The car in front of you in the EZ-Pass lane still thinks it’s necessary to reduce his speed by at least 10mph.