The Lingerie Of Legends

TO WIT

February 27, 1994|By DAVE BARRY

I wish to discuss a serious threat to our national security now being posed by a foreign brassiere.

It's called the "Wonderbra." I found out about it via an article in the New York Times written by Emily Prager, who comes right out and states that she does not have any cleavage ("I have no cleavage" are her exact words).

This is why she was interested in the Wonderbra, which is apparently a legend in the fashion community. It has been manufactured and sold for over 30 years in Great Britain, where it is extremely popular because it makes women appear to have a larger, more uplifted set of fashion accessories. (The article doesn't say how the Wonderbra works, or who invented it. Maybe, after World War II, Great Britain was able to obtain the services of German scientists who had been working on the Nazis' top-secret Atomic Brassiere Project.)

The Wonderbra is not yet sold in the United States, but it will be soon, so Emily Prager got hold of one and took it out for a test drive. Her goal, which she freely admits, right in the New York Times, was to get men to talk to her breasts -- not in the sense of walking up to them and saying, "Hi! How do you breasts like this weather we're having?"; but in the sense of talking to her while looking down at her breasts, the way guys often do, as though the breasts had urgent safety information written on them. Emily Prager wanted this to happen.

This is why life is so complicated for men in the 1990s. On the one hand, if you do look at a woman's breasts while you talk to her, she could conclude that you're a Neanderthal testosterone-oozing slimebag or a U.S. senator, and she could call the police, and you could end up being arrested for Sexual Harassment and Being a Creep. On the other hand, if you don't look at her breasts, it could turn out that she's a reporter for the New York Times, and you are actually hampering her efforts to carry out her journalistic duties, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution, which means you could wind up in federal prison awaiting trial on charges of Failure to Take a Gander.

It is not easy, being a guy.

Emily Prager did eventually get a man to talk to her breasts ("The Wonderbra and I had done our work," she reports). I am not surprised. Males have a lot of trouble not looking at breasts. What is worse, males cannot look at breasts and think at the same time. In fact, scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid. This was proved in a famous 1978 laboratory experiment wherein a team of leading male psychological researchers at Yale deliberately looked at photographs of breasts every day for two years, at the end of which they concluded that they had failed to take any notes.

"We forgot," they said. "We'll have to do it over."

I've been aware of this ever since my early adolescence, when my friends and I would spend hours gaping idiotically at pictures of breasts in somebody's older brother's collection of Playboy magazines. What was ironic about those magazines was that they also contained endless essays by Hugh Hefner, outlining the various tenets of the intellectual philosophy of the Playboy Man; meanwhile, several pages away, the Playboy Man, who was actually in ninth grade, was staring at the tenets of Miss August.

So we have three facts to consider:

1. Breasts make men stupid.

2. The Wonderbra makes breasts even more noticeable.

3. The Wonderbra is coming here.

This is very bad for the United States. Look at what happened to Great Britain. At one time, there was no Wonderbra, and Great Britain ruled the richest and most powerful empire on Earth. Now, there is a Wonderbra, and Great Britain is a pathetic nation with an economy based almost entirely on selling photographs of Princess Diana working out.

Coincidence? I think not.

Imagine what will happen to this nation if large numbers of American women start using the Wonderbra. It will be catastrophic. The male half of the population will be nothing but mindless drooling Zombies of Lust. Granted, this is also true now, but it will be even worse.

What can we do about this threat? A nuclear strike against Great Britain would probably be overreacting at this point. A better idea would be to send over a delegation of leaders to look into the Wonderbra, and if we don't hear from them in a week, then we launch a strike. That is my primary recommendation. My secondary recommendation is that this delegation, with all due respect, should not include the president.

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