A brief apology

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I recently spent an hour in another man's underwear. Telling the story of how I took a complete stranger's briefs may help me locate the original owner and wash away the guilt I am feeling. Let me put my readers and editors at ease. This is not an X rated column, although I did go through a period in my life when my own shorts were XX.

The story began as I arrived at the fitness center hoping to improve my standing on the racquetball ladder. My win-loss record is 12-56, just about as low as anybody can go, although as you are about to see, I found a way to sink even lower. In preparation for that day's trip to the courts, I not only had packed all my athletic equipment, but I threw in an extra pair of socks and undershorts, so that once I finished losing, I could shower, sit in the hot tub and then leave refreshed.

After the match, I placed my change of clothes on a bench and stepped to a nearby mirror to comb my hair. I then returned to my locker and dressed. That's when I noticed the man next to me frantically looking through his gym bag, then opening and slamming locker doors.

"You didn't take my underwear, did you?" he asked.

The very idea I would put on his shorts! Who would stoop that low? True, I have not led a totally crime-free life. At the supermarket, I've pilfered an occasional pistachio from the display pile, double-sampled the quiche at Sam's Club, and just once at a local fast food place, I refilled my water cup with a shot of Sierra Mist.

When I returned home I was caught unaware--I caught myself in someone else's underwear. In my duffle bag, I found both the pair I played racquetball in and the extra pair I had packed. It wasn't possible, was it? I was scared to look, but I undid my belt and took a peek. Sure enough, I was wearing Hanes, a cut above my usual Fruit of the Looms.

I didn't know where to put myself. However, I did put the unfamiliar underwear immediately in the laundry. After all, at some point I would have to return them. But to whom? I didn't know the guy's name, just his waistband size. And I remembered the expression on his face when he realized what a frosty ride home he was about to embark on.

So, if you are the man whose underwear I accidentally took, you have a right to be upset. You probably think I was telling you a little white lie. I know I'd feel the same way if I were in your shoes. Wait, I better check those, too. The bottom line is that I didn't know what I was getting into. You can see I am breaking my New Year's resolution to cut back on horrible puns.

I assume at this point you do not want your shorts back. And so, I would like to buy you a 12-pack of Hanes just to say I'm sorry. This will put you 11 pairs ahead. Let's you and I make a clean start in 2012.

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