A Sheer Microcosm


(Monte Dutton sketch)

I haven’t had time to write short stories recently. With a seventh novel on the way to publication, and an eighth in an ongoing state of repair, I’ve been excising episodes from the latter manuscript. It’s hard to remove items that are amusing but unnecessary. It occurred to me that I could turn them into short stories. This short exercise in trivial description is the first.

On Monday, the eighteenth day of July, Mickey Statler thought his biggest problem was underwear. Underwear was, however, just a foreshadowing of what was to come because it involved his balls, and his ass was hard to keep clean.

By Monte Dutton

The older a man gets, the more he appreciates reliability, and underwear must be the most reliable of his garments. Mickey, like most men, tended to wear underwear right up until the dryer started sucking up the lint to the point where the briefs began to disintegrate. Then he kept them a while because, well, they were clean, if no longer wearable. Indecent underwear – and not just drawers but also tee shirts – turned into one-use wash cloths for filthy messes. Mickey had adapted to some modern developments in underwear design. He’d come to love the modern compromise, the boxer brief, which was built like briefs, only boxier. They were longer briefs, or, perhaps, briefer longs. Mickey had reached the progressive point where he wore all “boxer briefs” except when they were all dirty, at which point Mickey reluctantly turned to the briefs he kept in reserve. These he was wearing when he decided it was time for reinforcements and drove to Costco. In addition to a ridiculous amount of Sweet ‘n’ Low for his coffee and a half-gallon container of shampoo – with a convenient pump! – Mickey bought nine pairs of boxer briefs, each in packs of three, and took a leap of faith that they would be made up of the same reliable cotton he had come to know and love.


The next morning, when Mickey put these cutting-edge facilitators of support and efficient waste disposal on, they were not what he expected. Three of them had no “doors” in the front for his “release.” All nine were made of a sheer, elastic material, undoubtedly a synthetic with an origin derived somewhere in oil.

They were slick. They were slippery. Mickey felt like he was wearing panties. He had invested nearly thirty dollars in these sappers of manhood, and that was sufficient an investment for him to realize his manhood was in jeopardy. He would just have to adapt to the unfrilled panties, because, by the next time he purchased any underwear, they would undoubtedly be standard, universal, and, quite possibly, decorated in marijuana leaves. He would die in a car wreck, and an autopsy would be conducted to analyze his coagulating blood solely because of the underwear he was wearing. Perhaps he would live long enough for cannabis to be legal and everyone’s clothes would be decorated with sly green leaves, not just the ones bought in surfside beach outlets.




(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).





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