The Boxer(s)

When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a class with a girl who I will call Jen Carter.  Jen was one grade above me in school, and six million grades above me in every other meaningful sense. In light of our differences in age, social standing, and progress up the ladder of puberty, I wasn’t ever going to have so much as a passing conversation with Jen, with two notable exceptions:

1.  Situations that took place inside of my head.  I am not ashamed to admit there were a few of these.  Don’t worry:  because at the age of 16 I was still 5 or 6 years away from hitting puberty, these daydreams were of a highly innocent nature.  I don’t remember any one specific fantasy date between Jen and I, but if I had to guess, I’d say there was probably a lot of us walking down the beach and holding hands while she lamented the fact that she’d had to wade through so many handsome, popular, post-pubescent guys before finding me.  And in these daydreams I was probably dressed like Magnum P.I. and she was probably dressed like Magnum’s beautiful but ill-fated wife Michelle.

2.  Situations where Jen sat by me in class.  Because of the mandatory alphabetical seating chart.

And so it was that Jen and I became . . .two people who sat next to each other in class.  Jen was always nice to me to when I attempted to engage her.  I’d occasionally turn around and say something to her along the lines of, “Man.  This teacher is so lame.”  To which she would reply, “Yeah.  So lame.”  And that would be that.  One time I gave some sort of class presentation and as part of it I played “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel.  When I sat down Jen said to me, “That song was really pretty,” to which I replied, “As are you, fairest maiden.”  Kidding.  I said, “Yeah.  So pretty.”

Flying high on the fact that Jen liked “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” I decided to make her a Simon and Garfunkel mix tape.  Folk rock from the 60’s was what all the cool kids listened to in 1993.  I’m not sure what my game plan was, exactly.  She’d hear “Homeward Bound” and want to go to Homecoming with me?  She’d listen to “At The Zoo” and want to go to Hogle Zoo with me?  I really don’t know.  But my heart breaks a little bit at my sincerity and naivete as I picture me handing the tape to her and saying, “Hey, here’s a mix tape.”  Jen was actually pretty gracious as she accepted the tape, although it didn’t induce her to ask me to go to Homecoming or Hogle Zoo.  Our class ended along with the school year and we went our seperate ways, I to a summer full of water ballooning, prank calls, and hand fishing, she to three months of parties and dates and boys.

One day during the summer my Mom sent me to Mervyn’s to buy myself some new underwear.  I went with some trepidation, as this was the first time I’d ever bought my own underwear.  Still, I figured it was probably time for me to take this momentous step.  I was further motivated by the realization that this was my chance to switch from tighty whities, which was what little kids wore, to boxers, which was what the cool kids wore.  Once there, though, I found myself daunted as I faced the entire Mervyn’s underwear department by myself, and I decided that now wasn’t the time to be getting fancy.  I headed towards the tighty whities, and as I did I heard someone call out my name.  Jen.  Turns out she had a summer job working at Mervyn’s.  In the men’s underwear department.

“Oh, hey, Jen.  How are you?”  (I reached in my pocket to see if I’d grabbed the keys that had a little Swiss Army knife on them so I could commit seppuku on the floor at Mervyn’s.)

“Good.  What are you up to?”

“Oh, just grabbing some stuff.”  (Some underwear.  Some little boy underwear.)

“Ah.  Well, do you need help finding anything?”  (Yes.  I need some help buying underwear for the first time.  Would you, Jen, one of the prettiest and most popular girls I know, mind helping me?  Maybe I could even try on a few pairs for you while we listen to my Simon and Garfunkel mix tape?  Tell me about the elastic band on these Hanes.  Do they tend to be durable?)

“Oh, no, I found what I needed.”  (It’s over there at Gart Brothers Sporting Goods.  It’s a shotgun.  For my face.)

I was desperate to get rid of her, so I glanced at the underwear on the rack, and figuring that underwear with an elastic band was essentially one size fits all, I grabbed a few packages of the nearest tighty whities and began to bolt to the other end of the store.  Jen stopped me in my tracks, saying, “Hey, I can ring you up for those.”  As I review these events from the remove of time, I am forced to conclude that Jen was either 1.  Incredibly sweet, helpful and a little oblivious or 2. A sadistic monster.  Either way, I was forced to walk with her to the register, my arms full of tighty whities and my heart brimming with shame.

We made casual conversation while she rang me up for my wares, and then I headed to the roof of Mervyn’s and jumped off.  It’s only two stories, though, so I lived.  I proceeded home and unwrapped my new underwear; as I unfolded it I noticed that it simply kept unfolding and unfolding.  And unfolding.  I don’t remember the exact size, but I think it was in the mid-40s.  I believe I was at that time around a size 32.  Because they were already open, I put a pair on just to see how they felt.  To my surprise, I rather liked them.  Not as much as I would have liked Jen not seeing me buy size 46 tighty whities, but still, I liked them.

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35 Responses to The Boxer(s)

  1. Eliza says:

    Oh Man, I am crying and laughing and dying of embarrassment for you. So funny and so so so sad. The mixed tape, the forced conversations, and the underwear buying fiasco, man it sounds like a scene from Napoleon Dynamite.

  2. Jeff says:

    Great stuff Davis. Your code names always having me guessing and always wanting to know the real name. I guess I’ll go pull out the yearbook and try to figure it out. My stab would be L.B. as her initials. Hot or cold? Reminds me of when Matt caught wind that some girls were coming over to the house to do something to my room so he went and found his old underwear from when he was 5 and placed a couple of pair on my bed. To this day I still hope the girls realized that was a joke.

  3. Natalie says:

    How long before the friends and family of (fictional) Jen Carter start flooding this post with comments with their side of the story?

  4. Davis says:

    Eliza, when it comes to my dealings with Jen, I made Napoleon look like Don Juan.

    Jeff, initials were S.C. And I believe I was part of that trick. In fact, I’m writing another post soon about a different trick we played on you.

    Natalie, I wrote the whole thing with her real name, and then remembered the Allen affair and thought better of it.

  5. Ryan says:

    This is a great story, and honestly, I feel like it sums up our adolescence so well.

    The story has a somewhat sad postscript, though. During my freshman year of college, I came back to the Provo apartment I shared with my friends, after a weekend at home with the family. When I came through the door, there was an arresting sight awaiting me. Hanging from the ceiling of the hallway were a pair of GIGANTIC briefs, that honestly could have accommodated someone three times my size at the time (probably would fit me perfectly now). Someone had found them in one of my laundry piles and hung them in the hall. There were two full size basketballs suspended in them. On the briefs was a threatening handwritten note: “Bell, WE WANT ANSWERS.”

    No one believed my cockamamie story that I had nothing to do with these briefs, or the idea that my brothers’ briefs get mixed in with my stuff in the home laundry system (why would that explain anything- no way one of my younger brothers has ENORMOUS briefs). Everyone was very weirded out by these things, and no one wanted to hear the real truth about them. Nothing I could do but choose to endure the mockery.

  6. Ryan says:

    Jeff, that is an awesome story. What a great move by Daddy Matty.

    It’s not L.B. But now I’m trying to figure out what L.B. you’re thinking of.

  7. Skewanious says:

    Davis, that is a great story that had me rolling.
    Jeff, what a smart prank they pulled on you, pure genius.

    And that’s classic that the underwear lived on for another round of humiliation with another brother.

  8. Jeff says:

    Ry, L.B. was for Berrett. Two basketballs Ry? I like picturing you defending the briefs with all your roomies not buying it for a second. Those must have been some big’uns Davis. Do you still wear big’uns?

    Feel free to continue using aliases especially the one about how you pranked me. And don’t use Smeff as the alias. Can’t wait to read your take on it, I’m just not sure which prank you are going to choose.

  9. Erin says:

    Davis, this is so funny. Man, these underbunders have history. I remember well, all the grief you got for your huge briefs in high school which I thought was odd, but didn’t think much about it. And I heard later of Ryan’s story, never knowing they were from the same package. It’s all coming together now and it’s crackin me up! A mixed tape, really? Aw, shucks!

  10. Troy says:

    Oh man, I’ve heard that story half a dozen times but I laughed as hard as I ever have on D3T. Excellent work, Davey.

    I too was the victim of a bedroom sabotage. The cheerleaders came to decorate my room for Homecoming (cuz I was a dang important player on the football team and they needed to show their support for me before the big game) and they were greeted with tons of baby pictures of me. The trick being that it appeared I had anticipated their arrival and had staged the room myself to, I don’t know, show off how cute I was as a baby? There was also an anatomy book set on my desk, open to a particularly embarassing page, as if it was part of my fascinated daily study. Thanks fellas.

  11. Davis says:

    Troy, you forgot that there was also a breastfeeding book on your desk. Pervert.

  12. Troy says:

    Right. Not an anatomy book…a breastfeeding book. I knew it was something that made me look pervy.

    While we’re clarifying things…readers should know that the briefs in this story had a nickname. It all started when they were first discovered and someone made some comment like “Man, Bell, those are monster sized briefs”. Thus, “The Monsters” were born.

  13. Macy Bell says:

    lol, so funny. You tell it so well, Davis. I also remember Davis’ underwear being the subject of alot of lols during high school. And, then in college lots more lols for Ryan’s too. Too funny.

  14. Daniel says:

    Am I the only one who noticed the double entendre between the Simon & Garfunkel song and the underwear, or am I the only one uncouth enough to point it out? Either way, I think it’s hilarious.

  15. Ben Pratt says:

    Oh shoot, Davis, this is amazing. I’m laughing out loud despite my sympathy for teenage you. You’ve captured so perfectly the pure, raw terror of being a teenage boy in an embarrassing situation involving a pretty girl. “A shotgun. For my face.” Exactly!

    Ryan, your postscript killed me. There are no answers that could satisfy roommates who’ve seen those things.

  16. InkMom says:

    Only kind of related: My dad’s favorite song is “The Boxer”, and we gave him unending sass about “a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue.”

    Also, I am ITCHING to write something crass about those huge undies. Will power . . . winning out . . . crisis averted.

    However. I have tried, tried, and tried again to get my 5 year old twins to not share underwear. We tried assigning characters (you get Transformers and Kung Fu Panda, GDog; ConMan, yours are Speed Racer and SpiderMan); we tried color coding; we tried different storage locations for clean undies. All to no avail. I am grossed out that they are not grossed out. And I am also resigned to the fact that we just have know way of knowing who made those skid marks.

  17. Ashley says:

    Davis, Ben keeps asking me if I’m laughing or crying right now because I’m kind of doing both. Thank you. I needed that.

  18. Peter says:

    Wow. In light of the recent announcement you are cutting the blog back, you may just want to end it on that post.

    In the movie, Jen reveals she always had a thing for younger guys who wear over-sized underwear.

  19. Braden says:

    Oh Dave, I am weeping and aching from laughing and crying so hard. You have now told the prototypical, Platonic ideal of the nice, awkward guy’s coming of age. Brilliant, bro.

  20. Rob says:

    “And in these daydreams I was probably dressed like Magnum P.I.”

    Hmmmm. It seems we have something in common. Also, Ry’s post script made your story that much more hilarious.

  21. Davis says:

    Ryan, I was hoping you’d give that postscript. And you’re right: the depressing thing is that the Monsters wouldn’t be all that big on me today.

    Skew, there are some to be detailed in the coming weeks that show the kid’s underwear prank was simply a prelude.

    Erin, yes, a mix tape. Honestly, breaks my heart to think of it. I’m actually thinking of contacting Jen to tell her I want it back.

    Troy, I’m going to do a separate post on how the Monsters were discovered by my friends.

    Macy, it’s true. The Monsters were a gift that kept on giving. Actually, they haven’t stopped.

    Daniel, good job. I was hoping someone would catch that.

    Ben, I have source material for ten books on “embarrassing situations involving a pretty girl.”

    InkMom, I’m with the twins on this one. Let them share. Sounds like there is safety in anonymity.

    Ashley, tell Ben you’re crying because of how naughty he is.

    Peter, you just nailed the difference between real life and movies.

    Braden, thanks. Maybe read that to David and Spencer and tell them everything will turn out just fine.

    Rob, you’ve daydreamed about me dressed as Magnum P.I.?

  22. Serene says:

    Okay, first time to your blog via Bradens’ and I have to say that I was actually laughing. No seriously, I was. And there aren’t too many blogs that can make me do that. That was awesome.

    May I just add there’s nothing worse than a guy offering to help out in the female underwear department? Eh hem… awkward….

  23. Wade says:

    Oooooh this is too good to be true. Way to good to be true. The sordid origins of the Monsters goes way beyond their simple largess? You can’t make this stuff up.

    As for Ryan’s post-script, the reason theroommates had such a hard time understanding what was going on with those enormous not-so-tighty whities is that either:
    1. He wears underwear that are 3x the size they needed to be (not sure where to even start with that one)
    or
    2. His explanation is true, and he wears his brother’s underwear from time to time… We wanted answers, but Ryans answers only lead to more questions.

    On a related note, if it makes you feel any better Davis to know misery has company, I’ll have to tell you the story of my timberland boots sometime, a three part series, each installment starts with a high school hottie (or multimple hotties) and ends with me on the ground in a cloud of dust with books, backpack and lunch spewed about on the ground.

  24. Danica says:

    Oh man, the Mervyn’s dialogue just about did me in. My heart goes out to the Davis about to hand over the mix tape, but I’m proud of him for having the guts to give it. Seriously, best story ever.

  25. Norm says:

    Awesome.

    …if I may… Imagine you are Ryan’s roommate in college and you see “The Monster” laying in a pile of clean laundry you recognize as Ryan’s “regulars”. Nothing short of a monsterous aberration would ever possess you to actually pick it up but you just have to. As you unfold layer after incomprehensible layer you fight the dawning realization that this is actually your friend’s underwear. Part of the college male in you wants to milk this for all it’s worth but an even bigger part really WANTS ANSWERS.

    And THIS is the answer?!

    Wow. In my wildest dreams could I ever have hoped for a better answer?

    No. Thank you Davis.

  26. Braden says:

    I have a COMPLAINT! A serious complaint.

    It is now 8:32 central time. I checked DDDT since it’s the last day I’ll get a post until next TUESDAY.

    I mean come on, guys, if you’re only going to do three days a week, you need to at least post on time!!!!

  27. Davis says:

    Brade, today is Thursday. Our new schedule is M/W/F. Although I may be posting something little later today.

  28. Braden says:

    You are counting Ry’s “we’re only doing this three days a week from now on” as a post????

  29. Davis says:

    Well, I’m not, but he is.

  30. Ryan says:

    No I’m not. I’m counting Ry’s post on Tuesday as Ry’s post. Kook’s tomorrow will make three. It’s complicated math, but I can fax you a diagram if you want. 🙂

  31. Christian says:

    Not sure why you think Kook is posting tomorrow. I think you’re mistaken…

  32. Christian says:

    Dang funny post dude. And Ry’s comment about “Bell we want ANSWERS!” had me busting up.

    Davis, I do remember the monsters. And now that I think about it, I remember that I just sort of accepted that you wore the whitey tighties of a 320 pound man. It was just the way things were.

  33. i know the feeling of running into your past crushes. i always feel so lame. I forget how cool I really am to the grown society i am in now…but it’s nothing like high school crushes to bring you back to the same way you felt in standing back then. whew. glad you made it off well from your leap of death. you should have asked her out.

  34. Davis says:

    Serene, welcome. And yes, that is a very creepy job for a man to have.

    Wade, you and your brothers didn’t share underwear? Selfish Beans. And yes, I’d love to hear about the Timberlands.

    Danica, I’m kind of proud of me, too. But mostly I just feel bad for me.

    Norm, it’s so funny that you guys all knew the second part of the story but not the first, while my friends knew the first and not the second. Circle squared.

    Kook, you were the only one who accepted me for who I was.

    Christa, welcome. Maybe I should have asked her out. Probably not. But maybe.

  35. Nate bray says:

    Dude I’m crying I was laughing so hard. Classic Davis!!!!

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