Joe Hart has worn the same pair of underwear for over 30 years. A much-loved school teacher, Mr. Hart is one of the nicest, gentlest, and most compassionate individuals you will ever have the luxury of meeting. His pupils admire and relate to him through his unique prospective on teaching and his one-of-a-kind analogies. He loves his students for their willingness to learn and their wonderful rendition of the “Pledge of Allegiance” each morning. If you were to walk upwards of twenty-five paces behind Mr. Hart when approaching a closed door, you could bet he would be there holding it open with a smile on his face when you reached him. He would be the first person to give you the shirt off his back in a blizzard and the last person to steal your seat in a crowded movie theater. Mr. Hart exemplifies how every American should strive to live…he just hasn’t changed underwear since he was six years old.
Less than ten years ago, Mr. Hart ran across a gorgeous young female by the name of Grace. Mr. Hart knew this was the woman of his dreams and the person he intended on marrying, except for one major problem. Grace didn’t wear any underwear. How could she understand? How could he make her realize the comfort, support, and strength his underwear gave him? He had to explain to her how stable his life was in direct relation to his constant attachment of undergarments.
“Are you ever going to take them off?” she would sometimes ask.
“Nope,” he would reply, “I plan on wearing this pair of underwear for all eternity.” Although Grace found this a little odd, she was fascinated with his loyalty and commitment, even if it was to a sheet of cloth. She longed for this type of feeling and one day adorned an identical pair Mr. Hart’s underwear. She couldn’t believe it. Her whole life seemed much more pleasant all of a sudden. She spoke to strangers as if they were friends and hugged her friends as if they were brothers. Once Mr. Hart realized she valued and fully comprehended the worth of her new underwear, the couple wed, and since then, Grace, like her husband, has not changed her underwear since.
Now, ten years later, Joe and Grace’s six year old boy, Shane, has started kindergarten. One would have to ask, how do parents who haven’t changed underwear in years dress their school-bound son? How else? In an identical pair underwear that never leaves his body. Growing up, Shane thought nothing of this ritual and took it for granted that everyone wore the same underwear all the time. Once school began, the Harts knew it was time to give Shane a little talk.
“There is something very special about the type of underwear you are wearing.” Mr. Hart started, speaking slowly so that his young son would absorb as much as possible. “All of the positive qualities you have, like your willing to share, kindness towards others, and respect toward grown ups all come from the underwear you have on. That pair of underwear gives you the strength and support to do anything you set your mind to and to treat others with the same way you would like to be treated.” Mr. Hart hoped the golden rule would shed as much light on his son. He continued, “You are special to have such a wonderful pair of underwear.”
To Mr. Hart’s credit, the golden rule principle produced its desired effect, however the “special” sequence went straight to Shane’s head. After the first day of school, the Harts received notification Shane was so proud of his underwear that he pulled his pants down all day showing everyone how great his underwear was. He then went on to tell everyone how special he was because of his magnificent underwear. Needless to say, this offended many students and teachers, as well as the moms who stayed in the classroom all day for the lack of ability to let their child brave school alone. You simply can’t have a boy running around a kindergarten class exposing his underwear and then telling everyone he is better than everyone else because he has something they don’t.
This ordeal definitely required another talk. Mr. Hart sat down his son after his first day of school and tried to explain. “Yes, it’s true your underwear makes you special. There is no denying that. But the great thing about underwear is that no one else can see what kind you have on. And people don’t like it if you come right out and pull down your pants and put your butt in their face.”
As gifted as Shane was intellectually for such a young age, he muttered a confused, “Why not?”
Mr. Hart pondered for a minute on how to tactfully enlighten his young one, and continued, “Not everyone wears the same type of underwear. There are red ones, green ones, short ones, long ones, loose ones, and tight ones. Some people don’t wear any underwear at all! Most people will change their underwear often and won’t stick to just one. Some people stick to just one, but the underwear will have holes and tears all over them and not give them much support. When you go around showing everyone your underwear by pulling your pants down, they may get the impression you think you are better than they are and that’s not a nice way to make people feel. This can cause them to not like you think you aren’t very nice. The ones without any underwear usually feel this way the strongest.”
Shane gazed up at his father looking as if he understood most of it, but was still absorbing it slowly.
“Plus, pulling your pants down in class makes you look like a fool and can get you in trouble,” Mr. Hart added to give a more concrete answer. “There are ways of letting people know what type of underwear you have on besides pulling your pants down. Instead of showing them your butt, show them courtesy, kindness, and love. Eventually, when the time is right, you can talk about your underwear, but allow them to make the connection between it and your personality. Don’t get me wrong, if someone asks what type you have on, show them with confidence, but don’t get caught pulling pants down in front of everyone. This underwear has been part of your mother and me for a long time. Be proud of your underwear, son, and never take it off!”
~ Adam, Part-Time Free Baller