10 May 2011

My Boxer Story

It was 1972 and Muhammad Ali had an exhibition fight at the Hampton Coliseum. After the fight, I had a head ache for the rest of the night. Ever since, I've never been much of a boxer fan. Wait. Wrong boxers.

I had always worn briefs. A girlfriend hand embroidered a pair of yellow Hanes with Winny the Pooh on the left cheek. But my relationship with briefs came to a halt on 20 May 1976. The Army called it, The Reception Center." Two or three days before Basic Training started. No Drill Sergeants. Just fairly nice fellas in black polished helmet liners taking recruits through the mind numbing paper work of joining the Army. Haircuts, uniforms, life insurance, etc.

As the top document can attest - my "Personal Clothing Request" included six pair of, "drawers, ctn, white" but that doesn't tell the real story. We stumbled down a line through an old warehouse with an open duffel bag while the above gear was more or less thrown at us in varying degrees of speed depending on how lost you looked.

The buzz haircut, given only moments before, and the still warm, 'birth control' issued black frame glasses unfairly established some of us as looking...very lost . The key to getting through all this was keeping your mouth shut and ears and eyes open. I heard him from at least 10 recruits away, "Boxers or briefs!" in a booming and chunky thick voice that was black and belonged, I was guessing, to Louisiana or Arkansas. Maybe even Texas.

Everybody was asking for briefs. I thought back to the day before when about 80 of us went through the Army physical together. Long lines of men naked, except for briefs, and holding a manila envelope. Most of the underwear was falling apart. Almost all of it filthy. I was happy that everyone was getting new underwear. I suppose it's the Socialist in me.

"BOXERS OR BRIEFS, SHITHEAD!" the loud chunky voice yelled. I snapped out of my daydream and shouted back, "BOXERS, SERGEANT!" But I didn't want boxers. The boxers came sailing at my head. I grabbed them and, I will never forget this, I said, "Can I get briefs instead?" The chunky voiced sergeant looked at me -- In my birth control glasses and shaved head. His mouth opened and he breathed in deep. I must have made his day. Maybe even week.

That's how I became a Boxer man. How about you?

Tomorrow: My Boxer Story: Part II


Main Line Sportsman said...

Simple really....my old man wore them...and my 2 older brothers...so it was predetermined.To seal the deal, in 10th grade...wearing levis cords...my girlfriend at the time saw Tartan boxers peeking above the waistband...said they were sexy...

tintin said...

Main Line- I remember in college (after the army) wearing boxers with tennis shorts. They'd peek out from the legs. I still do but no one seems to notice anymore:


David V said...

I guess my dad was rebelling against the Army 'cause I was raised in a briefs wearing house. I know that now, after almost 60 years, I like the support. I do own a half dozen pair of boxer/briefs. There ok, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Who wants to read a blog about some old man's shit stained underwear?

Anonymous said...

Boxers? Forget it, no support.

Briefs? Nope, too much thigh rubbing. Plus, middle-ager-in-diapers look.

Answer: Boxer briefs.

Nice story, thanks.


tintin said...

I guess assholes like you. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Damn nice togs- Zamboni goes both ways... i just have as many pairs as I can to delay laundry duty- hard to find boxers that don't balloon..
(hope ya like Z's answer BTW)

Anonymous said...

My God, you DO save everything! Paperwork...not underwear.

Robert said...

I was lying in bed doing one afternoon homework my sophomore year in high school, my mother popped in the door, threw small shopping bag at me [I'm pretty sure it was from Bloomingdales or B Altman], said "time to grow up," and walked off. I opened the bag, and 3 pair of boxers were inside.

tintin said...

Zambo- I'm bi underwear as well. Briefs and Boxers. Thank you for your answer. Better (and cheaper) than a law firm.

Anon- 11:42- You're the only one who gets it.

Robert- Wow, tough love. After I graduated from college, my mother walked into my room and told me it was time to leave.