Thursday 25 November 1999


Pic of the day: There are several situations in which gravitating underwear just doesn't look very professional.

Undies and candlelight

Don't you just hate sliding underwear? I had this trusty old boxer shorts of mine going slidey on me today. Seemed passable in the morning (then again, I'm not all that conscious in the morning). But then sometime around high noon the textiles decide it's time to relax. Until at the end of the workday, I can't traverse one of the corridors (and boy have we corridors!) without the boxers inching down a little with each step. "Softly creeping" as they sing in the old evergreen, Sound of Silence. Being the smart creatures that they are, they choose to first slide down my backside. (Path of least resistance, to not boast.) I remind myself that it's only undies, I do wear trousers after all, and they are not transparent or anything, and it's not like normal people would stop and stare at my mid to lower body parts during working hours. Still, with my boxers rolled up in a ring at their lowest common point, I would gladly join in the chorus of "Hello darkness my old friend"... fluorescent lights are not always a man's best friend.[1]

I consider myself partly lucky, though. The male attire is reasonably forgiving of such mishaps. It would certainly have made for a much more noteworthy event if a similar thing happened to someone in skirts. (I understand however that this is somewhat less likely, thanks to the shape of stuff and stuff.)


Speaking of our female population, quite a bit of it seems to have converged on the shop where I went during lunch break. The place is called Upstairs, and sells candles and decorations and such. Cheap. To confuse those who already wonder why the name, it is located down the stairs from the entry. If you walk up the stairs, you come to another shop, selling toys mainly. (Where I bought my talkative Furby.) To clear up the confusion, there was at one point a sign saying "Upstairs - ned trappen" which means, "Upstairs - downstairs".

Despite the doublespeak, the place was packed with almost exclusively female customers today. There were a few men, from teen to pensioneer, but these were seemingly just led on by their female guiding star (or donkey driver, pick your own metaphor). Candles were obviously in vogue.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in Norway the last month or so before Christmas is called "advent", and each Sunday another candle is lit. These were traditionally violet in color, due to some obscure church tradition where violet meant repentance, fasting and such. Why this should happen just before Christmas is anybody's guess. I think it's another Catholic thing we've just mindlessly inherited. (Like Christmas itself, not that I am complaining.)

Due to the influx of candle-hungry females, the aisles spontaneously went into one-way mode. Particularly in the presence of a few who I can only refer to as matrons. Well, actually my first word for them was "lorries", but that is sort of metaphorical. If you think of the space between the shelves as a road and most of us as sports cars or at most a combi, you get the idea. You would not want to meet one of those head on. Not really. I did not actually get around to buying something, but it was still an experience.


I wonder, if the lights go out on New Years Night, would I be able to heat the flat entirely with candles? Not unthinkable. I understand that these generate more heat than a human at rest, ca 100 watt vs 80 for the lazing human. A dozen or so of them should do a reasonable job of keeping the cold at bay for a few hours. Though I would be reluctant to leave them burning when I go to sleep.

Of course, with a weather like today the problem would be much less. It was again mild enough that I could comfortably go with my head bare. Strange to think that the ground was white a few days ago. And probably will be again, in a few days.

[ 1) This begs the question why in the name of reason I would put a well lit and reasonably sharp photo on my web site for your staring convenience. My best answer is that it is a question of control. At my web site I am in full control of the situation. And it's a well known fact that a man can name himself an idiot in good cheer, but if you say the same he'll remove your teeth on the spot. And finally, with an electronic picture, you never know for absolute sure what you are seeing. There are times when I appreciate that. Because what I want to show is really the images of my mind rather than of my body ... though they sometimes happily coincide. ]

No Thanksgiving references because Thanksgiving day is American and I am not. I guess y'all should be thankful for that! :)

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