I originally posted this piece on January 22, 2008 on my old blog, Mindgass but for some reason feel compelled to reveal it again. If you are sensitive to certain sexist comments… well I apologize… sort of. Perhaps it was a degree of discomfort while sitting at my desk yesterday that has encouraged me to re-share this age old dilemma in the male world. For whatever reason, I offer this for your reading comfort and joy.

Well, sometimes we just have to take on the major issues of our time. We can’t get our shorts in a knot, become frustrated or shrink from our responsibilities. Ladies, this here is man talk and we must ask you not to read any further. We will be revealing feelings, confronting age old beliefs, and uncovering situations far too sensitive for your delicate eyes and ears. Thank you for reading no further.

OK, guys, now that it is just us, let’s get to business as we confront the age old question of mankind, “Whether ’tis nobler in the hind to suffer the slings and horrors of outrageous skivies, or is it better to cast aside our constrictions and embrace a modicum of independence.” Shakespeare said something like that until his editor insisted on a rewrite – really! I had thought about adding a poll to this blog to discover how many of us wear boxers and how many wear briefs, but I figured some of you would use a different spelling of the word “poll” and then we would degenerate into a series of bad puns, short jokes and all sorts of word mayhem would ensue.
It seems to me that there is a time and place for both voluminous boxers and form-fitting briefs alike.Underwear+1Let’s face it, the women have it easy – they can wear almost anything, or better still nothing, so long as whatever they choose is combined with a garter belt and high heels – job done, the perfect outfit for any occasion. We, on the other hand, must give careful consideration to so many factors like colour, size, comfort, “dressing” preference and of course the potential for some kind of exposure. As you know, some things are just not right, for instance, while sitting on the patio in a pair of shorts, boxers are so inappropriate when your legs are akimbo and we can’t help but notice a significant degree of discomfort from those sitting across from us. In this case, briefs keep the package wrapped and there is little risk of sunburn as an added benefit. If the colour you choose is close to the colour of your outerwear, then a certain degree of mystery can heighten the curiosity of the opposite number (hopefully, they are also the opposite sex, but who am I to judge?). This is very important gentlemen, white briefs, sometimes referred to as, tighty whiteys, are only appropriate on two occasions – when you are playing tennis at a conventional club and if you are in the U.S. Navy and going on parade. briefsOtherwise, choose a colour. You can just imagine the embarrassment of finding yourself in the bedroom unexpectedly, and as the moment of truth arrives you stand with your back to the bed to allow your Dockers to slide down your thighs and hear a slight gasp as your lady-love spots the vertical residue that has attached itself and is in high contrast to its snowy white host and then as you turn to face her, you realize that you didn’t shake before reentry and the humiliation doubles. All thoughts of romance now destroyed because you didn’t take the necessary precautions and at the age most of you have reached – it may be your last chance. Don’t let this happen to you – wear anything but white! And while we are at it, the leopard skin printed thong, sometimes called a banana-hammock, is never appropriate if you are over the age of 20.
Boxers also present a few issues that need to be discussed. Because of their excess fabric, we find that they often cling to our trousers and after sitting for any length of time, a certain adjustment is required to release their folds from our folds. This can be awkward in restaurants and other public places. I also find it dangerous to be hurtling down the highway and requiring a massive shift of undergarment in order to return my voice to its usually dulcet basso tones. Also, we need to address the manufacturers of said garments; the type of material you use is very important. Too often, we have found that boxers with funny sayings, beer signs and sports team logos are made of a very stiff fabric thus causing excessive chafing and discomfiture to the nether regions. And one more thing, is it too much to expect a button on every flap – for God’s sake, I’ll pay the extra 5 cents to avoid the feeling of helplessness when the boys are accidentally set free! This usually happens as I address a room full of people expecting wisdom and no lectern in sight.underwear Oh, the travails of being a man – if only women understood the oppression and stress of maintaining this high standard of excellence. “Woe be unto us!”pleaded Bill Shakespeare, until his wife made him change it.


Writing a book, regardless of topic, creates an intimate or personal experience between its author and reader. Sometimes this experience transcends the ordinary to become something of great value, beauty and importance. It is the author’s responsibility to make this possible and it starts with knowing what the “central message” of the book is. The central message is different than the subject, genre or purpose of the book. It is at the core of the author’s need to create his book in the first place. It is much more about feeling than doing. It is more than a marketing slogan; it is more like a mutual need or sharing between the author and her audience. It is where the two come together in common purpose.

book pileThe central message could become the theme of an entire lifetime of books written by an author or could be the core of only one.
So, here’s some points about “central message”

  • it resides in your heart rather than brain
  • you talk about the message beyond the idea of writing a book
  • it represents something in your personal philosophy
  • you feel excited when you think about it
  • it is what is behind your purpose, the book’s purpose, the title, etc.
  • “central message”  wakes you in the middle of the night with a new thought or sentence

It is this “central message” that sets your book apart from others on the shelf. For instance, you might be writing about how to make simple electrical repairs around the house. Your real mission or message is that the average householder has the ability to effect these repairs. In addition to the instructional function, you spend time in your book encouraging your reader to attempt the repair. You are more than a “how-to-er,” you are also a cheerleader and encourager. You are passionate about the ability of your reader to be successful in this endeavor and you show it.

I feel the same way with this blog – my central message is to encourage readers like yourself to put aside their fears and write it anyway. There are incredible opportunities in this golden age of writing and I absolutely believe that you can create the book you have dreamed about. In other words, it is about much more than step-by-step instructions, details and technicalities – “central message” represents an emotional touch point that the author/creator wants to share with people around him.

It is the starting point of any book that seeks to rise above the everyday idea of how to accomplish a task. It goes beyond facts, process and instruction to guide both the author and reader toward a mutual sharing of mission.