My grandmother told me they would steal “your nasty drawers” if you’re not wearing them. I used to laugh at such a thought until it happened to me. I’m not talking about a skinny-dipping prank where you sneak upon some poor unsuspecting nude swimmers, hide their clothes, and then get a few belly laughs. I’m talking about actually stealing your drawers. It happened to me and I couldn’t believe it. My parents were raised in Chicago and St. Louis, respectively, and they knew the ways of the world. So, I was always careful. I was at the Funky Penny Washateria when it happened. I watched as every piece of my clothing was agitated, spun, rinsed, spun again and then dried. After I folded my clothes, I kept them with me as I read next weeks Political Science review. However, when it came to my underwear and socks, I felt that I could let my vigilance down. Wrong! Someone actually stole my underwear and socks from the dryer. What kind of person steals underwear and socks, especially mine. During that time I was a die-hard athlete and kept a good case of jock itch and athlete’s foot. Who the hell would want to put any of those contaminated clothes anywhere close to their body? Hell, I didn’t even want to wear them. In my mind, I rationalized it. I made myself believe that whoever took my drawers and socks needed them much more than I did, but I knew better than that. Whoever took my drawers was just a petty thief and a nasty one at that. Think about it, would you put on a friend’s underwear? Men, would you wear someone else’s jockstrap? I don’t think so. I went to school with Freddie “Funky” Phillips. They didn’t call him funky because his music was good. They called him funky because he stank to high heaven. He smelled like a sack of wild ******** left over from a weekend party. I couldn’t stand to be in the same area as Freddie much less think of ever wearing anything he had even held next to his body. Freddie was nasty. He would show up at the gymnasium, which was filled with years of dried up perspiration and sweating basketball players, and could still make your eyes water like you were peeling onions. Even when we played outside, he could create a protective aura around himself that defied people to get within fifteen feet of him. He played basketball in his street clothes and then wore the same outfit to a party that night. Anybody who smoked was afraid to light a cigarette around him. No one knew what would happen, but no one wanted to take the chance. With that much funk we all knew it just had to be flammable. I can’t imagine anyone stealing Freddie’s clothes especially his underwear and socks. They had to be crusty and nasty. You probably could have crumbled a pair in your hands like eggshells. I don’t even want to imagine the nicotine stains, skid marks, dirt and whatever other surprises lurked inside. Who would want those drawers? He couldn’t give them away. Who would steal them? There could have been a multitude of reasons for Freddie’s funk. He could just been born to be funky like George Clinton. The point is underwear are personal items of clothing. They fit against your most personal and private parts. Would you actually wear someone else drawers? Well, it seems that the answer to that question is yes. Somewhere out there, there are people willing to wear someone else’s clothes. These are the same people who will actually use your toothbrush, ask to use your chapstick or lipstick and will use your hairbrush or comb in a New York second. Some how I thought that the last thing I ever had to worry about was someone stealing my drawers. When it happened I couldn’t believe it. Granny used to tell me that folks will steal anything that’s not nailed down. I’m not talking about money; gold, expensive jewelry or clothes but chicken **** stuff like clothespins, paper bags and even air if they could bag it up and sell it. To test her theory after my drawers had been ripped off I conducted an experiment of my own just to see if she was right. I spent several days collecting an assortment of things from trashcans, restrooms, dumpsters, lover’s lane and my dad’s dog run. I wrapped these things in neat packages and left them setting in public places and then I would hide and watch to see if anyone took them. I missed the first one because someone took it before I could get to my hiding place. The remaining four I watched in disbelief as a potpourri of people took the packages as casually as picking fruit at the grocery store. I couldn’t believe it. They had no idea of what they had taken. Those packages could have had anything in them even a bomb or a nest of hornets. There was nothing a dangerous as that, but I imagine there must have been a few pissed off people when they found out they had garbage collections. The moral to my story is keep your drawers where they belong and no one will steal them. However, beware. I have heard of people who were so good at it they could steal your drawers while you’re sitting down. But that’s another story and it really doesn’t have anything to do with thieves.