Monday, June 18, 2007

Where Shorts Come From

Dear Dr. Pluume,

      Who invented shorts? That is all.

                                                 Lance in Winston-Salem, NC
Dear Lance,

      Shorts, eh? Skirts for men I call them. Nothing masculine about that. I’ve always said, the best way to judge a man is by his pants. And if you’re wearing shorts, there’s no way for me to judge you.
      That’s a lie. I can still very easily judge you. And my judgment is that you’re basically a man in coulots, which is reprehensible.
      Shorts were invented in 1921, when early non-Polynesian surfer and clothing designer Reginald “The Surfing Mustache” Buchanan was attacked by a bullshark off the coast of Malibu.
      The shark attack left his legs amputated from the knees down.
      At the hospital, several of his friends including Peter “Quicksilver” Peterson and Ron “Ron” John tried to console him. Many offered prayers and wishes. His closest friend however, named Gene Oshkosh, was notorious among Reginald’s entourage for being just absolutely horrible when trying provide sincere condolences to anyone.
      He meant well, but it always came out wrong.
      When it was Gene’s turn to offer up some words of sympathy or encouragement to Reginald who’d, by this time finally calmed down from hysterics, all Gene could think to say was, “Sorry to hear about your legs. Hey, at least you invented some kind of men’s short-pants. Am I right?”
      His attempt at lightening the mood was an utter failure, a fact made apparent to Gene as the nurses ushered him out of the room after Reginald had once again burst into tears.
      The shorts lived on, however, even if the bottom of Reginald “The Surfing Mustache” Buchanan’s legs did not.
      For 50 years, the shorts where only used by professional basketball players, often at lengths that could be described as “homoeroticly short.”
      Then, in the 70’s as the baby boom population was beginning to reach fatherhood, shorts started to achieve incredible popularity, particularly during the summer.
      This, of course, much to my personal dismay.

                                                         Very Truly Yours Me,
                                                         Dr. Douglas H. Plume*


Dr. Douglas H. Plume is not a real doctor, but was awarded an honorary doctorate in holistic medicine. He is an expert** in the following subjects: Mathematics, Science, History, Strategic Board Games, Baroque Period architecture, Popular Culture, Sociology, Fine wines and spirits, Art, Bedding, Hip-hop music, Winter Sports, Philosophy, and Political Science.


**Expert meaning: having earned an advanced degree in, taken a course on, read a book about, or watched a brief television segment concerning said subjects.