Every year we go through this same charade: Four days before Christmas, me and a bunch of other guys, say about 160 million of us, walk around the malls in America with an empty shopping cart and a vacuous look on our faces. We stare straight ahead, walking stiffly around the store, narrowly missing one another in an oddly choreographed zombie-like daze. During that time, we visit the auto parts section, the home improvement department and the candy aisle looking for possible gifts for our wives or girlfriends. This goes EXTREMELY well. At the end of the hour we have accumulated a bunch of stuff. No, we didn’t find anything for the wife or girlfriend, but we picked up a really cool five-in-one folding screwdriver and an awesome tactical flashlight that makes me want to upgrade my tactics.

How did this go so wrong? I started out in the women’s lingerie section, where I encountered articles of clothing that are supposed to cover parts of a woman that I didn’t even know existed. No wonder Victoria kept them a secret. Pantyhose in the color “nude?” Why don’t you simply just not wear them? Aren’t bra sizes the same as battery sizes? You have your triple-A batteries, those really tiny ones, and you have your D cells, etc. I found myself checking my tactical flashlight to make sure I had the right bra size. Would it be out of line to ask the salesgirl to try these things on? (She’s about my wife’s size.) Is this real leopard skin? Somewhere there is a leopard with no underwear on. As I’m touching this garment with the new-found concern of an animal activist, women around me are appraising me for my criminal history.

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