Joe Carney: Becoming my parents – The Tighty Whities Incident

joe-3Welp. This one is a winner. I had a situation arise this past weekend that completely took me by surprise. When things I do start out gradually, I can prepare for the inevitable, and make room for the change that is coming my way. I knew that my addiction to ball powder was getting severe when I started bringing travel size Gold Bond to work or kept a spare bottle in my truck “just in case”. I was able to accept it, realize it had some sort of hereditary significance and adapt. Not this time.

I was contacted a few weeks ago and asked to be a guest speaker at a local awards night. They wanted someone familiar with the community who played sports and had some interesting stories to tell. I was honored to talk about my attempts at comedy and acting (note: attempts). For a virtual no name comic to be considered interesting enough to someone that they asked you to talk about yourself was pretty cool. I talked about my first brush with fame at 10 years old when I won a Michael Jackson look-a-like contest beating out 3 grown black men. True story, stay tuned down the road for that fun and exciting time in my youth. Dress the fat kid up like a small black man and parade him around. Great idea, Mom! I never knew why I couldn’t find a girlfriend. But I’m getting off the subject, back to the morphing.

I wanted to look nice. I bought a new shirt, new jeans and strapped on the Jordans. I looked good. That’s not where the problem was. The problem was what was going on under the clothes and over the ball powder. See, I had run out of clean boxers and all I had left was the “going to the doctor for a check-up” pristine tighty whities. What could be the harm in that? Every guy owns a pair of “crime fighters”.   I’ll be one tonight. I wish it could have stopped there. I also needed the essential V-neck tee shirt for transparency reasons.

So there, I have all my under garments on, but then, in one fell swoop it was upon me. There, in the full length mirror, all things that were never cool stood staring back at me, it was “the Old Man”, my father. I had inadvertently tucked the tee shirt INTO the underwear.

I yelled down to my wife in a panic. She came running up to see what was wrong. I said “look at what I’ve become”.  She said it wasn’t a big deal. I explained that the fashion choice isn’t what crippled me it was the fact that…. it felt’ right’.

I went to the gig and had a great night. I enjoyed talking about the past. The things I’ve done that were a success as well as the times I came up short or embarrassed myself. All along knowing that the little bit of extra self-confidence I had wasn’t just from being comfortable telling stories or watching people laugh.   No, this time I was happy to know that I wasn’t going to have to “un-scrunch” my boxers when they called me to the podium. And I knew, with reasonable certainty, that when I was done speaking I wasn’t going to sit on my nuts.