I know we’ve discussed gym etiquette before in terms of prancing around in your birthday suit as if you were auditioning for a part on Glee, but this is different…and disturbing.

My friend, Ronnie, was just getting out of the shower at Biceps and Bulges, a local gym in Deerfield, Illinois. As he was making his way back to the locker to get dressed, he made a brief stop in front of his best friend, Mr. Mirror, no doubt to admire the results of yet another boot camp type workout, which I’m sure consisted of two minutes on the elliptical followed by fifteen rigorous minutes in the tanning booth. Satisfied with what he saw, he continued on his way. As he reached in his gym bag for his Fruit of The Loom briefs, they were nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, gym bags can look an awful lot alike and it was then that he made the horrible discovery: an elderly man, who was getting dressed next to him was wearing HIS UNDERWEAR! Forget the fact that he had his name written on them with a Sharpie (Ronnie was a Boy Scout and, well, some things stay with you forever).

Ronnie turned ashen and his knees felt weak.  He sat down on the bench to collect his thoughts. He had three options.

Option #1: Tell the old man that he was wearing the wrong underwear

Option #2:  Wear the other guy’s underwear

Option #3: Call it a loss and go home commando.

Ronnie chose option #3 and I applauded him for that choice

Complicating the issue was the fact that Ronnie considered this his (IT) lucky pair. Yes, you read correctly, Ronnie actually has a (IT) lucky pair of underwear. And he wonders why he can never get a date? He told me that he wore this particular pair of underwear when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, when the police officer told him he was free to go and, then last summer when he claimed to have grilled the world’s perfect hot dog. Yes, you would be correct: Ronnie is a nutjob.

My friend is totally beside himself. He feels lost with nowhere to turn. I tried to console him by telling him that if problems with his underwear are his biggest concerns in life, then he really has no problems at all. It didn’t help. When a child’s goldfish goes belly up, you, as a parent do the proper thing: You go to a carnival, try to knock down a stupid metal duck moving sixty miles per hour with a nerf ball, then finally give up and just hand the booth operator a twenty and tell him to give you a goldfish…or else.  I did the same thing here. I went to Kohl’s with my trusty coupon in hand and started underwear shopping. I was looking for something he would feel comfortable wearing, namely a waistband that would stand up after several washings as well as a pair that didn’t require a lot of room in front. Because underwear is packed much like gum, meaning you can’t buy just one piece, I settled on a three for ten-dollar deal, shipped them off to Illinois and am waiting to hear from Ron. Just for the record, this will be the ONLY time ever that I will have a conversation with another man about how his undergarments fit.

Complicating matters further, Ronnie is convinced that the old man, now in possession of his lucky pair of underwear, will suddenly have an incredible run of good luck himself like winning the lottery or waking up in the morning and discovering that his varicose veins have vanished.

Another concern, according to Ronnie, is whether or not he will be able to muster the courage to ever go back to the gym. He’s having nightmares about getting on a treadmill next to this guy and having him say, “Hey, young fella, sorry I took your skivvies by mistake, but they sure are comfy.”

So, men, take it from Ronnie. Lock up your gym bag at all times. Leaving it on the floor can only lead to trouble and embarrassment as well as that slight breezy feeling while leaving the building.


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