There's a new boutique down the street called "The Pencil Test." It's a bra shop, named after the antique advice that if you can hold a pencil under your breast, you need a bra. The word "need," here, is in the context of adolescence, which operates under strict social rules, rules that are absorbed by the adolescent quickly and so thoroughly that she can remember them fifty years later even if she is foggy about everything else. This is why I can recall exact uniforms associated with the caste system of Williamsburg Junior High. Outfits from Villager and Ladybug secured with a circle pin put you at the very top, and Lerner's knockoffs kept you just above the Untouchables. Anyway, the pencil test serves as the last opportunity to get with the program, although there are plenty of opportunities to jump in early via the Training Bra. The training bra is employed at a stage when the only thing that needs holding up is the child's social standing. It's there to fend off mockery and introduce her to needless discomfort early, lest her childhood be squandered on joy. A true training bra would be much more useful late in life when the little wheels might help keep things from sliding off the sides.
I don't think there is a jockstrap pencil test for adolescent boys, and it's just as well. They'd be dropping that pencil every ten minutes.
That's undeniably handy, but it doesn't stop there. Many of us have proven to be able to grow entirely new body cavities over the course of our lifetimes, allowing us to cache contraband in our own back folds. I'll give myself another ten years and I'll be able to line up all my pencils one by one down my front and roll them all up jelly-roll style, tucking in between a pair of chins. By that time nobody will be looking anyway, and it beats carrying a purse.
Link round-up for 19 February 2017
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