Thursday, October 28, 2010

This is Pants

We interrupt the scintillating tale of our vacation in the Royal Forest of Dean to bring you this special update on the state of my underwear.

You’ve been waiting for this, haven’t you?

Some time ago I posted about the lack of quality underwear in this country, and proved that the quality of men’s undergarments in the UK are no match for what can be bought in the US of A.

In that post, I did note that I had, at long last, found some acceptable underwear from Marks and Spencer that were comfortable and durable but, alas, only sporadically available. My loyal readers suggested I shop for them on line. I did. Thank you.

But in the months since discovering underwear that doesn’t disintegrate after a few washings, I have uncovered another, awful secret: it shrinks. (Okay, you in the back making cracks about how it’s me that’s getting bigger, not the underwear getting smaller, please knock it off; we’re all about to die laughing.)

I found this out while getting dressed this morning and attempting to pull on one of the aforementioned pair of Y-fronts. It looked as if I were trying to squirm into a white cotton Speedo. All of the pairs from that batch were, essentially, useless (unless you count sending my wife into a spasm of giggles as useful). I then found another M&S pair from a different batch that were still wearable. Then I looked at the labels:

The shrunken Y-Fronts were made in China; the “still okay but I’m keeping an eye on them” pair were made in Sri Lanka.

After discovering this, I said to my wife (who was still whipping tears from her eyes and gasping for breath), “I wonder where the American underwear was made.”

So I went through my underwear pile looking for a US pair. I admit that the bundle of Y-fronts and tube socks I brought over with me are getting a little thin on the ground—as well as in other locations—these days, but recall that they were purchased almost nine years ago.

“They were probably made in Bangladesh,” my wife said.

But when I turned out the still springy elastic band and located the label, I saw printed there, in proud, red, capital letters: MADE IN THE USA.

I rest my case.


  1. I may well have to agree with you on this one Mike, and accept defeat to the USA in what I believe you guys call a "No Hitter"?

    Or is it?

    I have, for many years, been buying my nether garments from a locally headquartered national supermarket chain - OK lets admit it, Asda.... Up until a few years ago I never had a moments problem; everything fitted and was comfortable and well supported. Now however, it seems since the great WalMart took over there have been some cost saving excercises taking place. The gussett of said garments is now substantially narrower, and is not providing the support they used to do. I now refer to them as my "nuclear underwear" as there is a very real chance of fallout.

    Tell me though, how, in either Marks & Spencer or Asda can you make this point in a genteel manner? Ever tried finding a male assistant when you need one (and even if you do, would you want to explain this to him?) let alone the raucus laughter (as you have found from your wife) it would cause if you even tried to describe this to a female member of staff. No they have us this time firmly by the (non supported) round objects - we buy them but dare not return them, so we put up with them.

    Maybe I'll buy a kilt and do away with the things entirely!

  2. OMG - just because I'm blogging about my boring boobs over at Expat Mum, doesn't mean you have to share too!
    I can send you some tighy whities if it will end your tribulations. Just please write your "details" on a piece of paper, seal it in an envelope and I'll hand it straight over to the sales assistant.

  3. Steve: Excellent point! (In a figurative way) And hilarious, but true.

    EPM: Boobs? On your site? I'm there...;)

  4. That made me laugh. Gotta love American cotton! Need to be comfy when writing. How is it going anyway?

  5. Anonymous11:59 PM

    My husband, having been stationed in the UK for many years (in the US Navy) and me (a Brit) being a devoted wife have made an untold number of attempts since our return to the US (sometime during the murky past) to try to re-adjust him back to US underwear. He always loved Marks and Sparks underwear but probably things have changed during the "that was then, this is now" years. Not that I have such an unfulfilled life that I have to keep track, but it has been 11 days since your "battle with covering your nether regions" -- are you still battling -- are you still on vacation -- has blogging been thrown aside in favor of searching for the ultimate Y-front??
    Inquiring minds want to know!! Please, don't leave us wandering up the Khyber Pass in search of answers to the mysteries of life.

  6. Thanks, Anon. Not tangled up, just ill.

  7. Anonymous12:00 AM

    Sorry to hear you're sick, hope you feel better soon. Would send you a "get well underwear bouquet" but since we now live in The Republic of Panama we are forced to order our own, comfortable (not tight Latin American style) "unmentionables" via the web.
    Buena Salud (get well soon)

  8. Anonymous11:51 AM

    Sorry mate can't agree,
    Just got back from the US - EVERYTHING ( esp Target and Home Depot)was made in China. Very cheap - very nasty

  9. Oh my! What's happened to my country! I thought I left it in capable hands ;)