This week’s post includes a special guest illustration from Harrison Wheeler. Click here to learn more about Harrison.
My daughter dragged me into Victoria’s Secret during a recent trip to the mall. The sight of lacy garments and a store full of women inspired my latest epiphany, which I shouted out the top of my lungs: “Why the hell don’t we have an underwear store for men?”
As my brain-burst echoed throughout the mall, shoppers stared while my daughter eye-rolled and mentally teleported herself to another galaxy. But I was onto something here.
Why can’t men have their own underwear store? Now that the Recession is over – we know this because the media is telling us it is – the time has come for frivolous spending. And nothing says frivolous like taking out a second mortgage to pay for lacy undergarments.
Fortunately, a storefront next to the Victoria Secret’s was empty, and I scooped it up.
Not wanting to mess with success, I decided to base the design of my men’s underwear store entirely on the Victoria Secret’s approach, with big pictures of real people wearing the store’s merchandise.
Real people meant real men, so I went over to my brother’s house to take some pictures of him watching NASCAR in his underwear.
I brought over a 12er of Miller on a Sunday afternoon. After he’d downed the lot of them, he was snoring and kicked back in his lazy-boy, wearing his tighty-whities and a t-shirt. Brotherly love inspires this degree of casualness, for better or for worse.
As I began snapping photos, I could see my brother’s tighty-whities were not the pristine undergarments on display at Victoria Secret’s. His appeared to have been worn while jogging through barbed wire, and then rinsed in a mud puddle.
Even worse, the whities had not been changed in well over a fortnight, and his freakishly abundant body hair had interwoven with the fibers of the briefs. It was impossible to tell where he ended and the garment began.
He was the real deal all right. But as I would soon discover, he was all too real.
Not The White Stuff
I opened the store, with floor-to-ceiling photos of my passed-out bro adorning the walls. In the center of the store was a lone rack of tighty-whities – small, medium, large and behemoth.
The mall opened, and people began walking by the storefront. As they caught sight of my dead-drunk bro and his bedraggled briefs, screams rang out. Mothers dragged their children away, and shoppers upchucked into the mall’s potted plants.
Realizing the grand opening hadn’t been so grand, I promptly recalibrated.
First, I kept the lone rack of tighty-whitie garments, but surrounded it with tackle boxes, tools, and lawn implements. Next, I wheeled in a broken lawnmower and started to fix it. Fellow men, waiting on mall benches for their wives, instinctively ambled over to offer fix-it advice.
Finally, I replaced my brother’s disturbing imagery with the same sexy photos used in Victoria’s Secret’s stores. Now men could gather, buy tools, ogle women, and verbally abuse me for failing to fix my lawnmower in the correct way. Soon I procured a liquor license, and the beers began to flow.
In the end, I didn’t sell a single pair of the tighty-whities, and eventually kicked the rack to the curb. But I made a killing in alcohol and tackle-box sales.
It made me realize why Victoria’s carefully-kept business secret: Never open an underwear store for men. You can’t sell to a customer who prioritizes beer over briefs.