Keep Your Economy Out of My Underwear

Alan Greenspan started this a couple years back by noting on NPR that monitoring the sale of men’s underwear was a reasonable indicator of the economy. Apparently, in normal economic times, the average man buys 3.4 pair of new underwear each year. The claim is that when times are tough, guys will try to milk a few extra miles out of an old pair. The reasoning being that since no one sees them, they can let them achieve a higher state of rot before turning them into shop rags.

News flash. Real men do not buy underwear on a periodic basis, good economy or not. There are only two cases where you buy new BVDs. One is when the old ones fail to emerge intact from a wash cycle. But for some of us, this is a high bar. I once saw my father staple a pair of his shorts back together and put them on. That sort of lesson sticks with a boy. If fact, most men will go “commando” for a day or so at the end of the wash week before buying new shorts becomes any sort of a priority. The other acceptable case is when some well meaning woman in your life “disappears” the offending undies, in which case she is morally obligated to replace them next time she cruises through Target. So technically, this doesn’t count as a man buying underwear.

So if you’re watching my underwear buying habits, the economy has been in the tank for 40 plus years. And… not to put too fine a point on it, but… you really need to consider a new hobby.

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