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Whatever you do, don't take it off

Picture this -- you're sitting at the light at Broadway and Cusick on Wednesday afternoon, the summer sun reflecting prisms of light from the bumper of the car in front of you, and casually sauntering down the sidewalk ... a girl wearing nothing but panties and a bra.

You do a double-take, craning your neck to make sure that, yes, there's a partially clothed girl walking down the streets of downtown Maryville in broad daylight. But wait -- across the street, leaning up against the alcove next to the First Tennessee ATM! It's a guy wearing nothing but boxers!

Sounds crazy, but if the folks at Freshpair (``one of the leading online retailers of women and men's intimate apparel'') have anything to do with it, it might just happen.

In case you're wondering, the people at Freshpair (as opposed to Not-so-fresh pair, apparently) sent me an e-mail the other day, asking me to pass along to you, the good readers of The Daily Times, all the details about this year's National Underwear Day.

And no, I'm not making this up. Go to the site www.freshpair.com if you doubt me.
According to Freshpair, National Underwear Day ``is an event that evokes the care-free attitude of Sixties `happenings,' when free spirits took control of public spaces as venues for their art, their message. Our message at Freshpair is the belief that underwear deserves a lot more recognition than it gets. Americans spend more than $13 billion on intimate apparel each year and for that kind of money, we feel it is our duty to tell the world. With National Underwear Day, we've taken underwear out of the dresser drawer and into the streets -- by sending twenty male and female models out clad only in our finest undergarments.''

Unfortunately (or unfortunately, for the more conservative-minded among you), those models will be traipsing all over Manhattan, not Maryville, so the chance of seeing models bouncing down Broadway in their skivvies is slim.

Then again, the folks at Freshpair are encouraging everyone to celebrate National Underwear Day, scheduled for Wednesday. They want you to call up your radio stations, bare it all and flaunt it proudly. In fact, they're encouraging everyone to log onto their Web site in order to sign a petition urging national recognition of Underwear Day.

Which is why it'll never pass.

Can you imagine Congress, sitting down to vote in favor of National Underwear Day ... all of them wearing their skivvies? I'm quite certain it would be an unsettling sight to say the least.

For that matter, do we want the general public celebrating National Underwear Day? Hey, if everyone looked like the models I'm sure Freshpair is employing to streak through Times Square, we wouldn't complain so much. But most of us aren't sporting model quality looks or legs or washboard abs or anything remotely model-like.

So with all due respect to the folks at Freshpair, unless their sending a squadron of models down here to Maryville, I'd suggest letting this one go the way of National Take Your Llama To Work Day (another bizarre and little-known campaign that's worthy of entire column unto itself).

Granted, he's probably a nice guy, but the last thing I want to see while I'm on my way to lunch is some red-faced tobacco farmer from Nebo Mountain going into the bank to cash a check wearing the same tighty-whiteys he had on when he plowed his fields that morning. Something tells me they wouldn't be so tighty, and certainly not so whitey.

I'll refrain from any more examples, but you get the idea. Underwear is worn beneath the clothes for a reason -- because most of us aren't blessed with looks and bodies that'll land us on the cover of fashion magazines.

So please, on Wednesday, keep your clothes on. And if you just can't help yourself and feel the need to celebrate, just avoid any public displays around noon. I don't want to lose my appetite.

Steve Wildsmith is the Weekend editor for The Daily Times. Contact him at steve.wildsmith@thedailytimes.com or at 981-1144.

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Public Relations Department
Freshpair.com
Phone: (212) 505-6900 option 3
Fax: (646) 390-6282
E-mail: press@freshpair.com