Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Whittling Away: This will be brief


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

One of my chores as house husband of our castle consists of laundry duty. 

It isn’t one of my more favorite tasks. I have no problems with my personal items of attire. I stuff them into the washer, add soap, wait, throw them into the dryer, fold them the way my mother showed me lo these many years ago, and I’m done. 

The Queen’s outfits, on the other hand, require adult supervision, a computer program and an experienced washerwoman to get tidy. 

Certain frilly things have to go into the little net bags, some things have to be hung, some things can go into the dryer, the water temperature never seems to be the same for each load. I spend an hour or so reading the labels so I don’t screw up and still I make mistakes. I proudly display my day’s labor to The Queen upon her return, a basket full of freshly washed and folded garments, only to have her refold most of them and make discouraging remarks like, “You washed my sweater and put it in the dryer?” 

House husbands are underappreciated.

The easy solution is to wash only the clothes I understand: mine. Jeans, T-shirts, socks and underwear aren’t hard to figure out for the male gender. All cotton, all washable, all can go into the dryer if the weather looks doubtful. Nothing fancy, frilly or requiring special treatment. Cotton is a marvelous plant.

I’m glad I was born a male; it has prevented much in the area of choices and decisions that females have to make daily. 

Take underwear, for instance. Women have whole catalogues, even stores dedicated to just undies. Not that I don’t enjoy perusing the occasional catalogue or peeking out of the corner of my eye at the window displays as we pass “no man’s land” in the mall. I do try to keep up with certain fashion trends, although I would like to tell Victoria that if she wants to keep things secret, maybe she shouldn’t display her wares so publicly.

Underwear for guys consists of either boxers or briefs. I am a brief kind of guy, have been all my life and will be until I die. Early on, guys have to make a choice and usually stick with that type forever.

I personally know no male who alternates; you pick one and stick with it. Usually, you don’t even have to make the choice, your mother makes it for you and to honor her, you stick with it. 

Back in the day, briefs were called Jockey shorts, don’t ask me why, I don’t even want to know. 

Most of us Jockey wearers are solid, faithful types and stick to plain white; boxer wearers are wilder, they come in all sorts of colors and patterns. They even have some with cartoon characters on them. Just too gaudy for me since I don’t plan on much in the way of public display time for them anyway.

I don’t know who designed the Jockey short, but I hope they won an award or some kind of recognition. They are the original, one-size-fits-all garment. I never forget my underwear size because of this convenient fact. I wear size 36, I’ve worn it since I was in my 20s. My waist is now 40-something and size 36 still fits! Sure, they’re a little tight at first, but a few washings and they stretch out in the right places and voila — a perfect fit. After a few more years, they’re downright comfortable; a few more years, about the time you have to start hiding them from the lady of the house, they’re perfect. 

I think many of the world’s problems could be solved if Victoria would just come out with a line of Jockey bras and panties in white cotton. It would make my life easier.

Thought for the week — The lottery is a game for people who don’t understand statistics.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at

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