boxers My friend Jeff and I were heading out for burgers when he pulled the top of his boxers out of his pants and said, “You know how long I’ve had these?”

Usually when I hear a rhetorical question, I answer with something outlandish.  Like “Gary Oldman.”  Or “three”.  Or “blue roses.”  But this time, Jeff caught me off guard.  I said, “Nope, how long.”

“Thirteen years.”  He smiled like he’d just learned the next lottery numbers* from a psychic.  *(Net proceeds go to education)

“Thirteen years?” I replied.  I patted him on the back.  “Your girlfriend would be proud.”

Jeff, still smiling, said, “I had them before her.”

Jeff and his girlfriend have been together for ten years, as long as I was with Wife Number 1.  It feels like a lifetime but it goes by in a blink.

Marie.  That was the girl he associated with these boxers.  She hung around with him and all his friends during high school.  She was the only girl in the group and how shall I say this delicately?  They each knew her very well.

Among the guys, Marie was known as “The Service Station.”

Not really, but I can’t share her real nickname and keep this blog relatively clean.  Let’s just say that “The Service Station” didn’t know her nickname or the station would have closed indefinitely.

One night, the whole group (plus more) went Cosmic Bowling.  This is when all the regular lights are turned off and the bowling alley is filled with black lights.  Everything white glows bright purple.  T-shirts.  Tennis shoes.  Teeth.

Sometime during the night, Jeff and Marie disappeared.  No one noticed they were gone until they popped back up.  Sarah, Marie’s best friend, said one word.  “Busted.”

Wide-eyed, Jeff and Marie said, “What?” in unison.

By this time, the whole group was looking at them.  Sarah pointed to Jeff’s waist.  All eyes focused on the bright white splotches that now adorned his black shirt.

Hands went to mouths to cover giggling and laughing.  Eyes rolled.  Faces blushed (although no one saw them).

If you still can’t figure this out, think CSI.  What are the investigators looking for when they shine their black light on a hotel bed?

No one knew it at the time, but Jeff was boxerless after visiting The Service Station.  It seems this trip to fill the tank and check the tires had gotten out of hand, and his underwear was no longer suitable to wear.  So they were balled up and thrown into the trunk of his car.

They stayed there a year.

Then somehow, beyond Jeff’s knowledge, after a year’s hiatus from the rotation, they mysteriously made their way to the laundry pile.  One day, he plucked them out of the clean laundry basket, stretched them out, squinted at them, puzzled over them, turned them around … and remembered that Cosmic Bowling night.

He sniffed them, cautiously at first, then more confidently.  Spring meadow fresh.  He shrugged and threw them in his underwear drawer.  They were fine.

No, they were more than just fine, they were a tribute to the resilience of cotton.

Jeff has now worn these boxers for thirteen years.  They pre-date Monica Lewinsky’s infamous blue dress.

In fact, to give the history of these boxers some kind of measuring stick … in 1995, the WB network came into existence.  The O.J. Simpson trial took place.  Timothy McVeigh blew up a bomb at the Oklohoma City federal building.  Michael Jordan came back from retirement.  And Windows 95 was launched.

Jeff’s boxers have traveled the world for the last thirteen years, literally, and I’m sure they have more stories to tell.  I don’t know about you, but one story was enough for me.