“Dude, are my hose twisted?”
Very. But not the way he meant. “Bruno, you look scary in pantyhose.”
“Dude, I keep telling ya, they’re MANtyhose! It’s the latest trend in menswear.”
I looked again at the silken sheerness sleek upon my burly buddy’s beefy, bumpy legs – and shuddered. “No bro-hosiery for me, Bruno. No way.”
“Hey, ya gotta admit, the skull prints running up my legs are really cool, man. It’s like a fabric tattoo.”
“Your panty – I mean, manty-hose are bunched up around your knobby knees. The skulls kinda look like a giant Cinnabon.”
With one meaty paw, Bruno tugged at his leggings. With the other, he jabbed a news clipping into my gut. When I could breathe again, I read it.
Mantyhose – designer nylons for guys, manufactured in special, breathable fabric – gained popularity in Europe over the last three years. Hosiery company Emilio Cavallini just introduced a line of guylons into America, where, the company said, they’re catching on quickly.
In the mantyhose ads, men and women cast about cafes and lounges, leg sheens of various colors protruding from beneath all shorts, skirts and slid-up pants. The couples appear to be engrossed in graceful conversation, as if the women are not thinking, ”Ralph, aren’t those mine?”
What can the guys in he-tards be talking about in those photos? Shakespeare in tights? You just can’t carry on a decent conversation about carburetors or fishing rods while wearing chartreuse mantyhose.
They look as natural as those guys in department store catalogs standing around relaxing in a manly lodge with their buddies, sipping coffee and sharing chuckles over sports, politics or the stock market while all they’re wearing is their Fruit of the Looms or Hanes.
What guy has EVER done that? Show of hands. I thought not.
I always thought the catalog underwear guys smiled because they knew women in undies cavorted only a few pages away. Turns out it wasn’t the women. The guys were just musing, ”Wait until we get our legs into those pantyhose. Won’t we look fine!”
Sigh. OK, he who protests too loudly, and all that. I admit it. I once – once! – wore pantyhose. My college dorm hosted a Ms. Clark Hall contest for some benefit or other. I was second runner-up. It was 30 years ago but the fear that a photo might yet surface is what has kept me from running for president. That and the complete lack of qualifications.
That was a spoof. So was New York Jets Super Bowl quarterback Joe Namath proclaiming to female TV viewers 40 years ago, ”If Beautymist can make MY legs look good, imagine what they’ll do for yours.”
These trendy fashionable guys today aren’t kidding. Not since the days of Robin Hood have men worn tights so seriously. In those years of yore, as historian Mel Brooks tells us, they also sang such refrains as, ”We may look like pansies, but don’t get us wrong or else we’ll put out your lights. … We’re men, manly men. We’re men in tights.”
I crumpled the clippings and tossed them at Bruno. “Forget it, man. It ain’t happening.”
He shrugged. “Say, do you have a copy of that Klingenmeier file the boss wanted?”
“I think so.” I started digging through my bag. “Yep, here you go.”
Bruno grinned. “You carry everything in that purse of yours.”
“It’s a briefcase bag. I carry my laptop in it. And files. Work stuff. It’s a bag, Bruno, NOT a purse.”
“Whatever you’re man enough for, dude.”
Bruno tugged at his bro-hose once more while I slung the bag over my shoulder Indiana Jones style. Off we walked, two macho and manly men – one in tights.