I regret to announce that, if I can pluck up the courage to brave the hordes of females that hang about the men's pants department at Marksies, then I may have to purchase the new supportive underwear.
I do this in a spirit of investigation, novelty and devil-take-the-hindmost experimentation. Indeed, taking the hindmost is what the new pants promise to do, with an uplifting action to raise the sagging bum.
However, there's worse to come, if you'd care to follow me round to the other side of the controversial garment.
For Marksies' new product also promises “frontal enhancement”. Oh, my giddy aunt. An “integral shelf” provides what the company describes as “a 38% visual enhancement in size”. I mean, is this legal?
It sounds like the sort of thing that pops into one's inbox, prompting the reply: “I think you'll find that the dimensions of my genitalia are perfectly adequate for most, if not all, of the generally expected functions. Good day to you.”
I've seen the new undergarments billed as “M&S control pants”. But the “control” could be a verb, given the company's grip on the market.
The idea is that the new pants will bring men more in line with women, who've long been offered a wide array of garments that lift, enhance, hide, disguise and exaggerate according to taste and needs. But isn't it all a bit phoney? The same woman's topmost accoutrements, if I might put it like that (and ignoring the face for the moment), seem to vary in size from day to day, until you don't know where you stand.
If you've ever seen a distant island at sunset, you'll know that some nights they seem large and some nights they seem small, sometimes near, sometimes far. It can discombulate observers, particularly the inebriated, who might occasionally think they can paddle forth in rolled-up trousers to rocky outcrops 40 miles away.
Women have the same effect, I find. You roll up your trousers to approach them, and they flee into the distance. Strange.
How strange, too, to see the head of Marksies' underpants department named in the public prints.
His name is Dave Binns, but let that pass — I don't want to put him out.
Seriously, what a job. What a responsibility. Imagine you're at a party and someone says: “So, what do you do?” And you say: “I am in charge of underpants at Marks & Spencer.”
“Run that past me again. You're head of pants at Marksies?”
Man [shouting to wife]: “Aggie, this bloke's in charge of all the men's pants at Marksies! Everybody, this is the Markies’ pants supremo!”
And they all mob you and, four hours later, you wake up in a haze, with two women on each side of you, a bit like the situation at Marksies’ men's underpants department, where you're sure to be the only male in the vicinity.
Still, it's heartening to know a man is in charge of men's pants at Markies, even if his wife goes out to buy them for him.
Dave announced proudly: “These pants provide a real confidence boost for men.” I hear you, mate. Uplifted at the back and enhanced at the front, we'll be stoating along like John Wayne after nine hours in the saddle.