I was recently chatting with the fire chief, when the conversation turned–as it often does–to underwear. Well, conversations with my mother, anyway.
Each evening when I call her, she wants to know two things–what did I eat today, and am I wearing clean underwear?
The state of their offspring’s underwear has been of utmost concern for mothers since our forebears were swaddling their young’uns in buffalo hide Huggies.
The very threat of their own children caught with their pants down, with *gasp* unacceptable undergarments, would spread rumors through suburbia like a well-fueled flashfire.
But mothers, southern mothers anyway, are not limited to the Panty Patrol.
Mama was always a quick-draw with cautionary tales, including all the standards–“Your face is going to freeze like that,” and “If you don’t brush your teeth the tooth fairy will come and take them all,” and my personal favorite, “If you keep kicking your dirty clothes under the bed, a bear will come down from Yellowstone and chase you up a tree.”
Now, while I myself, nor any of my friends, have yet to see an angry bear roaming the streets of suburban Texas, it’s enough to at least give a person pause before shoving your well-worn shirts under the mattress.
And even though Chief is from Dallas, he probably had no first-hand knowledge of bears, from Yellowstone or elsewhere, hitching a ride to Texas to threaten wayward children.
He most likely did, however, have firsthand knowledge of the clean underwear conundrum.
I asked Chief if there really was an undergarment checklist before CPR is administered, noting if underwear is in fact clean, free of snags, holes or loose threads, has the proper amount of elasticity, and, in some of the snobbier neighborhoods, of an acceptable brand?
Although, I do wonder if Victoria Secret creates its own kind of road hazard . . .
He didn’t even pause. “She’s right. The first thing we do in a bad accident is cut off your clothes.”
I nearly had to ask him to pass me the smelling salts.
Hey, skin can grow back, but that nifty new Tahari top you got at the Saks sample sale will not.
So, if Mama was right about the clean underwear, was she also right about the bear?
Although, I suspect if you were unlucky enough to get chased up a tree by a bear, your underwear would already be shot.