Spanx Me

You shouldn’t be asked to do certain things while naked. Bend down to lift a heavy object, for example. Play golf, volleyball, tennis, or any other sport where your free-flying beasts stand risk of getting mangled in the action. Serve high tea (or any other hot liquid for that matter).

Above all, though, you never should have to defend yourself from a character assault while naked.

And yet, that’s exactly what I found myself doing this morning in the locker room of my gym.

First, a little backstory. I have a lot of bad habits. A lot of them! But neglecting my regular exercise routine is not one of them. I work out nearly every day. And I work out hard. I work out for more than an hour a day, not so much to stay in shape, but to burn off excess energy. I have a lot of manic energy, and if I don’t keep it in check, it gets me in trouble. It seeps out of me in weird ways, causing me to stay up into the wee hours creating inventions that no one ever will patent, and writing fevered e-mails to people I barely know.

So, this morning, I was in the locker room. I already had removed my top, and I was working my bottom towel. Just as I secured it in place, I felt a presence before me. I glanced up, and faced a wall of flesh that so startled me, I dropped the towel. Without the bottom towel serving as an anchor, the top towel unfurled, and fell to the floor.

The woman standing in front of me was rather large. She was naked, except for a thong that was stretching heroically to cover her private area. A word about thongs. I don’t get them. Besides being wholly impractical, aren’t they uncomfortable? The worst thing is that only about 0.5 percent of the population actually looks good in them. The woman staring menacingly at me was about 50 pounds overweight, and the thong was cutting into her thighs, causing fat to bubble in an alarmingly purplish hue.

“I know you,” the lady said, shoving an accusatory finger at my now very vulnerable chest. I looked down miserably at my towels that lay at the lady’s feet. I had no dignified way to reach for them without exposing myself further.

“You write that idiotic column,” she continued. Yes, readers! She was referring to this idiotic column. Then, she huffed in disgust, and lumbered away.

Usually, when people call me an idiot, I let it go. Basically, I agree with them. But something about being insulted while naked got my blood boiling. That’s not even something I’d put up with from a romantic partner. If an argument breaks out in the boudoir, I immediately strap on a bra.

I struggled to come up with a clever comeback, which is hard for me, because I am an idiot. Luckily, though, while I was working out, I was watching Good Morning America, which featured Diane Sawyer interviewing the lady who invented Spanx, a sort of modern girdle. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to a story about rubber undergarments, but anytime that Sawyer discusses anything remotely connected to lingerie, I take notice.

So, I grabbed my towels from the floor, and wrapped them around me with purpose. Then, I marched over to the lady who insulted me, pointed at her sad thong, and said, “You really should consider trading that thing in for a pair of Spanx.”

OK, not exactly Noel Coward, but it was the best I could muster while wrestling to keep my breasts contained by the thin towels.

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