The Problem:


There are blue humpbacked mountains in the distance

and I always want to look up and over there, absorb


the scenery and forget that good-fitting underwear

is a basic human right, undeniable at least in the


good ole US of A. The 6:00 PM weather person

on Channel 4 who always scowls is wearing underwear


that doesn’t fit properly. Miss Irby, who tried to teach

American History in the 11th grade, never had properly-


fitted panties, I could always tell. And my gym coach,

Bragg  Stanton, gave up finding nice underwear and


shared with us that he was starting a new trend of going

commando. There are malls and department stores nestled


in city-sized pockets in these smoky hills, and just as you

think it’s time to settle down with a nice goat cheese,


whole wheat crackers, and a glass of red wine, you feel

the pull, the squeeze, the pinch of that worn-well fabric


vying for space up there between your legs. It is time.



The Solution:


Dedicate a portion of the day to dilly-dally inside stores

and shops, the big-box, the men’s boutique, the electronic


pages of underwear, constructed of every conceivable fabric

under the sun: boxers and briefs and low-cut straps that resemble


large strands of colored floss. There are thongs, and jocks

and cloth that breathes, guaranteed not to burn or rub you


raw.  By now you know what works best. But experimentation

is the hallmark of long-term satisfaction. Be bold if you must,


stepping into a store that smells like musk with salespeople

in three-piece suits who really don’t want to be there in the


first place. They point you in the right direction and then leave

you to your own design. I will not spend that much money


on underwear, ever, even if I were a millionaire. I am tired

and need some lunch, maybe a beer on some open patio


where I can write Mark Weldon, underwear guru, and ask

for a written guarantee. But it’s not like returning a shirt.


Once that material, whatever it is, has kissed the dark recesses

of your inner things, it is a done deal. Shop carefully because you


need to like what’s going to be down there for at least three years.



John Dorroh

Whether John Dorroh taught any secondary science is still being discussed. However, he managed to show up every morning at 6:45 for a couple of decades with at least two lesson plans and a thermos of robust Colombian. His poetry has appeared in about 75 journals, including Dime Show Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Os Pressan, Feral, Selcouth Station, and Red Dirt Forum/Press. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.

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