On Friday night my pants made the ultimate sacrifice.
It was the regular start the weekend drinking session with my colleagues, this particular week being rather more special than most owing to the fact that we had a birthday to celebrate. Rounds were bought, chairs were dragged up to the rather crowded table and many fascinating conversations took place.
Our attention was distracted about an hour in by a large party of extravagantly dressed women who invaded the pub en masse and proceeded to occupy a reserved table in the corner. Given that they all had sashes on apart from one who was dressed in fairy wings and l-plates it was not a large leap of faith to assume this was a hen party.
Any lingering doubts we may have had were confirmed around half an hour later by the arrival of the mail stripper who was last seen scampering down to the toilets with scratch marks. Subsequent to this the hen party invaded the rest of the pub, brandishing a clipboard with a pen and the hen herself with a t-shirt containing a checklist of the things she had to do that night.
I discovered what item 5 was a few seconds later when one of her friends called out “is anyone willing to give us their pants?” Now call it what you will, exuberance, exhibitionsism, the three and a half pints of Stella I had downed by that point but I did what any insane man would do and stepped up…
…or rather stepped down as to squeals of delight I made like the aforementioned stripper and hightailed it down to the basement toilets to effect the transaction.
It was at that point I realised by mothers give out the sage advice of making sure you have clean underwear on. This is not so that you do not suffer humiliation when hit by a bus (or whatever the old fashioned excuse is). No, this is to ensure that if you are putting your briefs on display they do at least give a good account of you.
Happily fortune was on my side that night. I could have been wearing an embarrassingly large pair of shapeless y-fronts (they were a Christmas present which I put on in mornings of self loathing or when it is too dark to see what I am fishing for in the drawer). I could have been wearing a tatty ten year old pair with holes in the gussett (anyone worked out just why they always wear out at the base of the crotch? It is not the kind of thing I want to waste synapses on to be honest, it just puzzles me sometimes). No, fate had decided that on this fateful day I was wearing a very tasteful set of black Calvin Kleins complete with waistband. Quality pants for a quality occasion.
The tricky manouvre of undressing in a toilet cubicle whilst not standing on anything too unsavoury completed, I headed back upstairs and proudly handed over the trophy to the fair maidens. They immediately declared me to be a total sweetheart, showered me with kisses and allowed me to return to face my friends.
I was met with looks of astonishment. Did you just give them your pants?
I went home and thought little more of it, until this morning back at work when the underwear removing incident appeared to be all anyone could think of.
“Is it true you gave some girls your pants on Friday night?”
“Is my memory hazy or do I remember you taking your pants off in the pub on Friday?”
“I hear you give your underwear away to the highest bidder. Is this true?”
Three and a half years I’ve been trying to cultivate a reputation and this is how it ends up.
I countered by suggesting that I was proud to have helped the bride to be with her checklist and that if asked I would have taken my pants off for any one of my interrogators. So far no such requests have been forthcoming.