Jelly Spills and Underwear: A Manifesto

I am not wearing pants. This is the optimal thinking position. And this makes my recent failure slightly humiliating. You see, there are several globs of grape jelly that spilled onto my boxers. This was because I faced the common domestic problem of making a jelly sandwich with the hope of using the maximum amount of jelly possible. The trouble was that there was just enough jelly left in the jar for about a sandwich and a half. An immediate decision was made. Finish off the jelly. Who would want enough for only a half sandwich? We don’t do half sandwiches in this house. One hopes to get the most in such scenarios. I got cocky, and it wasn’t just because I was wearing boxers. The remainder of the jelly — all one sandwich and a half of it — was spread onto the bread. For a while, it looked like everything was okay. The whole jelly sandwich, despite the slightly overflowing mass of jelly contained between the two slices of bread, would stay together. The mass would hold. There would be streamers and pinatas. But then the jelly dripped as I raised the jelly sandwich. Gravity was not on my side. I should have performed better calculations. The jelly dripped and plopped and fell atop my boxers. And now I have to do more work — specifically, Shouting it out — when I next wash these boxers. In the meantime, I am wearing boxers with jelly stains. The congealed jelly seems more shameful and disgusting than, say, semen stains. But the manner in which I got to where I am right now is, from a certain subjective viewpoint, less shameful and disgusting, and is more common than most people think. But we cannot talk about it in contemporary America. And since the final results — purplish stains close to the vent where my penis is most likely to pop out, should I be equally careless — are an aesthetic eyesore, you can see why there would be bad feelings incommensurate with the circumstances. This was, after all, an accident. Well, not really, given my overscooping of the jelly. But we can call it an accident. Men like to take off their pants when they are indoors and it is the autumn time of the year. We do this as often as we keep on our black socks when we take all other clothes off. But the black socks move lasts all year round.

I will likely have to wear pants at some future point tonight. After all, one cannot stay in the house forever. One certainly shouldn’t wear the same boxers forever. And yet if not wearing pants is the optimal thinking position, my optimal thinking position has proven to be less than optimal. I might blame the jar of jelly, which had the misfortune of possessing a few extra scoops extra of jelly. I could claim that the jar of jelly caused my present philosophical contretemps. But then that would be pointing fingers and evading my responsibility. The only person to blame here is me. Optimally, I am the source of my jelly problems. And by relaying this domestic anecdote in a public forum, the hope is to encourage all men who have experienced a problem of this sort to emerge from anonymity and to declare that they too have spilled jelly or some other food upon their boxers, and to be perfectly okay with the awkward folly of a slight miscalculation gone awry. I am sure there are also women who have stained their panties with jelly. Frankly, I find that development a little sexy. It doesn’t seem nearly as ignoble as a man spilling jelly onto his boxers. Now I realize that there is a double standard when it comes to spilling jelly onto underwear. I will turn myself into the appropriate authorities at Berkeley.

But I have moved beyond political correctness and into greater possibilities. Perhaps when we next protest some terrible political development, we — men and women — can all march upon the appropriate government wearing nothing more than underwear and with an overstuffed jelly sandwich in our hands. The jelly sandwich can be handed to each protester just before they approach the ideal protesting position. The jelly can then fall onto each protester’s underwear and therefore suggest some diabolical smearing of the pure human spirit. If the protesters eat all the jelly sandwiches, perhaps they might throw jelly at the appropriate political opportunists. (The truly honest protesters can throw jelly at themselves.) Perhaps exciting pornography can be created that involves jelly spills. Perhaps celebrities can appear on television dropping jelly onto their underwear. Perhaps we can get a jelly company to sponsor all this. Or maybe not. Maybe that would corrupt the pure behavioral liberties.

Was this worth writing about? Some would say yes. Some would say no. Some will find this revelation to be creepy; others quirky. For my own part, writing about something embarrassing has caused me to see its potential. I think I will make more deliberate efforts to spill jelly onto my underwear.

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