TV advertisements that gross me out, get my goat.
Like when watching a show on how to cook chicken peppered with paprika, and an ad comes on for a pharmaceutical to treat psoriasis. Of course they must show me a guy pulling up his t-shirt to expose a plateful of red, scaly skin, looking like paprika chicken.
Lately, a new television commercial riled me, which means the advertising folks succeeded because I remember it, right?
The ad’s for an everyday liquid product that unclogs sink drains. The ad shows people with their pants down far enough to expose an inch or so of their bare “butt crack.” It is based on a common American phrase, “plumber’s butt,” which describes a plumber bent down under a sink with his “butt crack” poking out of his jeans. In this TV commercial, after showing us a few male and female butt cracks, it proclaims, “there is a little plumber in all of us.”
Kids and likely a lot of adults get a chuckle out of seeing these butt cracks. Still, if I want to see butt cracks I’ll stroll sidewalks of Los Angeles or Chicago, where it seems, everybody under twenty-five is a plumber.
In the past few years it was just guys wearing pants low around their butts. A year ago, however, a young woman walked by me wearing her pants like that. She wore underwear, thankfully, but the sight still surprised me.
This fashion phenomena of wearing trousers down around the buttocks stems from the stylish haute couture of the maximum-security prison, where killers (after being treated for head lice) walk, holding up jail-pants because they don’t get belts either to hang themselves with or to strangle cellmates. At first, on the streets you’d see only gangster types wearing pants down around their butts. It never bothered me because I figured they couldn’t run from cops with their pants so low. But, even the little gangsters wore underwear, so while you could see outlines of their butts you never saw skin.
Not anymore. Today, the look of flashing the tush has not only spread to middle-class neighborhoods, people also seem to have jettisoned underwear, ala Mick Jagger, to help flash it alfresco. Thusly, with pants pulled down like a prisoner’s, naked butt cracks smile back at you like some happy ass.
I wouldn’t be writing this if bare butts hadn’t gotten closer and closer to home. Months ago at the local supermarket, we turned the cart down an aisle, and bang: a butt crack.
I turned away, but it was too late. I’d already been mooned.
In the aisle a woman wore tight, hot pants sizes too small for her rear, sans underwear. Her shorts were pulled down, and the world was allowed to view inches of bare and puckered butt crack.
Turning to my wife I deadpanned, “If it were the ass of a supermodel I probably wouldn’t complain.”
This was no supermodel’s rump. The woman bulged from her shorts in several spots, and frankly looked like a “before” photo in a Nutrisystem weight loss ad. Had I had a magic wand I would have “zapped” under panties on her.
This butt-crack incident happened in the supermarket’s produce section. You’ve all seen those misshapen gourds on YouTube. Well, ever since, I’ve sworn never eat a cantaloupe shaped like a person’s rear end.
Following this traumatic viewing, was another weeks later at Walmart, which seems apropos. Walking towards us in the store was a mother and her two daughters. The kids held up their britches with the backs pulled down around their prepubescent bottoms. God, they looked nine or ten!
I pointed them out to my wife and said, “That mother ought to put an end to that crap right now.”
My wife who often sobers me up with commonsense said, “It’s probably too late.”
What happened days ago brought it all home.
While I watered flowers in my yard, a neighbor’s nephew parked on the street across from me. He waved, and opened the back door of his car to get something, turning his back to me. His pants were so low on his hips that his butt shined in the sunlight. Rolling my eyes, I went on watering the irises.
Later I couldn’t escape even inside my house. That night, for the first time, I saw the “plumber’s butt” TV commercial for the liquid drain cleaner.
I had to write this blog.
Trends come and go. We can only hope this “butt-crack” fashion fad fades faster than a summertime moon.
Postscript: Last night, standing in front of the mirror I tried the “butt crack” look on myself, wrinkled skin and all. My wife shook her head no, and I agreed, pulling my PJ’s up around my waist. I never was much of a plumber.
Novelist R.D. Byron-Smith’s e-books and paperbacks are available at Amazon.