The Ames Iowa Skinny Briefs

I have been misunderstood. My sense of humor must be such a rare species as that there are no others like it. My world stands alone. There is a Venus-like shroud permitting none to see or understand fully. I can point to many moments in my life for evidence of this theory. One such experience I call the Ames Iowa Skinny Briefs.

Mike Wisit is the man behind the band RANK STRANGERS. He put a song on one of his more recent releases titled something like é─˙Nobody Gets My Geniusé─¨. I love that title because it says so much. We all have these worlds inside our heads and we do our best to communicate the terrain and atmosphere to others. I have found that I fail more often than I succeed. Even when people tell me they understand where I am coming from, what I am saying, and so on, I often doné─˘t believe it. Because if they did, they would forever be changed for the better and humored along the way.

My band, the Pigeonholes, played at the Maintenance Shop in the student union of the university that is in that small city. One time we opened for the Jayhawks. One time we played with a band from Minneapolis called the Picadors. There may have been a third time, I cannot remember for sure.

What I do remember is that after we played, they put us up for the night in the student union. The band, along with a few friends and some girls all crammed into this one room that had a chair and two single beds. The beds were shared by two people apiece and the chair was taken by someone and the floor supported the rest of us, including me.

There was such little space. We stank up the room with body odor and beer breath. A few smokers were among us, so there was that smell too. I was not sure of the sleeping arrangements before we left Minneapolis, but I knew that my band mates and I would be sharing one room in the student union. In anticipation of this, and in reference to my recent infatuation with Princeé─˘s album 1999, which included the song I begged to cover é─˙International Loveré─¨ I wore a pair of impossibly small aqua colored skinny briefs. I had planned to walk about in view of my band mates talking about Prince and wearing only the skinny briefs, as if it was perfectly normal for me do so. It was not normal for me, of course.

I have not adopted any personality or mode of dress in imitation of my musical influences. I did not wear ruffles when Purple Rain came out. I did not shave my head for a Clash concert. I have no tattoos as a result of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So the joke was to be that I was adopting a Prince persona without even being aware of it. And that it was a slightly homoerotic expression to do so. The joke was that I thought I was being sexy for the ladies, when I was actually prancing around with my band mates.

The joke fell flat for a number of reasons. The chief among them was that we ended up sleeping with a bunch of other people. I took into consideration placing the humor on hold and sleeping with my pants on, but after the beers and a good gig, I was feeling lucky. I thought that a little skinny-brief wearing, hairy brown man might provide for some laughter. I was not above it. Why not? Ié─˘ll contribute to the party.

Poor Shelly, one of the girls, she ended up sleeping next to me. And I could tell from the moment that I dropped those jeans that the whole thing was going south. But what I could not do was muster the courage to face this and put my pants back on. I went ahead, even though the old idea of the joke was forever lost in the new environment.

I did my best to salvage the awkward situation by promising Shelly that the inevitable night-time action, the ebb and flow of the male member, would be directed away from her. I think I made her skin crawl.

mark, May 10 2005 7:14PM

the one thing i know (and people who really know me can attest) is underpants humor is genuinely funny. even without the physical humor, dropping the word "underpants" into virtually any conversation will produce giggles.

also: thinking of "the ebb and flow of the male member..." now makes my skin crawl. sheesh.

Ann, May 10 2005 11:16PM

Mark,
Is there any treasure in the pirates cove? Please let us know.

mark, May 11 2005 10:58AM

oh don't you worry. i'll share the booty soon enough. looks like it might be underwear week on GUTSY.