October 11, 2009

My pet peeve, men in shorts, was Larry David's pet peeve in tonight's new episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Excellent. Larry also had trouble with doctors who won't give you their home phone number, people who eat more than their share of caviar at a buffet, the sound of the human voice, and the taste of food.

The episode began with Larry lighting into a guy in shorts who was sitting next to him on an airplane. Here I am on very subject of men in shorts on airplanes last April:
The guy seated next to me on the plane was wearing shorts. Presumably, he didn't recognize me (and know my anti-shorts writings), but wouldn't it have been funny if he did?

He was also wearing a t-shirt with a hole under the arm, which hole he displayed to me more than twice.

He was up to page 503 on his Stephen King novel. Those King books are clumsily thick, yet the print is quite large — to give readers a feeling of accomplishment?...

Don't wear shorts on a plane. You're in an air-conditioned environment and sitting close to a stranger. It's bad enough that your clothed thigh may touch the stranger sitting next to you. Don't wangle the naked thigh near her!
Her, I emphasize. Unlike Larry David, I was a woman sitting next to a man in shorts. Larry was also in first class. I was not. The degree of imposed familiarity was really atrocious. Plus, I think men should have more pride in their genitalia. By wearing shorts, what are you saying? Either: 1. your genitalia are too small to be in any danger of protruding beyond the hem of your skimpy garment, or 2. you don't care what happens to fall out.

68 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Ann Althouse peeves = Larry David peeves? Do you seriously want to admit that about yourself?

blake said...

Well, now, most men don't extend to their knee.

But I am impressed, Meade!

Ann Althouse said...

The men in shorts on the show and next to me had mid-thigh shorts that hiked up when seated. There was real thigh flesh next to my leg, which I thought was disrespectful to me.

Elliott A said...

Is a guy wearing shorts any worse than an unattractive woman wearing a dress and no stockings?

traditionalguy said...

There is a time for everything, and men in shorts is a leisure time thing. No shorts in Court nor in Church is a proper respect for authority. But is every woman we meet in public an authority figure? If so, then white shirts and ties are also needed on men in public along with their long dress slacks with a proper pressing. Was your Dad in the military?

Revenant said...

The genitalia issue might have been a problem back in the 70s or 80s, when men wore shorts that ended well above the knee. With modern shorts, though? Unless you're hung like Thunder the Wonder Horse, nobody's in danger of seeing anything inappropriate.

As for me, I wear shorts on airplanes. They're more comfortable, and modern air travel is so miserable that I'll take all the comfort I can get. But I'm careful not to touch the person next to me -- I hate it when that happens.

traditionalguy said...

The Professor has opened my eyes to proper hairy leg decorum. Growing up among boys and attending college with an Animal House type of fraternity does not result in all of the decorum lessons that a man needs. Thank you for the lesson.

chuck b. said...

I have to say this constant snipping about men in shorts has really...brought me around. I've decided that I look stupid in shorts and now I don't wear them outside...my neighborhood. (Hey, it's a start.)

chuck b. said...

But I still think excessive fragrance (e.g., perfume) is a bigger problem.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

The men in shorts ... next to me had mid-thigh shorts that hiked up when seated. There was real thigh flesh next to my leg, which I thought was disrespectful to me.

I didn't know we had to ask permission.

At the risk of being accused of playing armchair Sigmund, you seem to have some issues with the male anatomy. There are guys (and women) who look lousy in shorts; there are those who don't. I've been complimented (yes, by women) on how I look in shorts, but I played soccer for many years, so the muscles are well-developed. Some guys and women have chicken legs (or dumpy ones) and look bad in shorts, it's just an individual thing.

There are women who look so bad in pants (any kind of pants), it should be illegal, but I don't go off about it. Life's way too short.

Diamondhead said...

I'd like to know when a male becomes too old to wear shorts. Or is it a certain physical characteristic rather than age?

ContraMan said...

Of course all men in shorts on planes are vaguely distasteful, but is this not part of a larger issue for the aging boomer?

Why is it the the 60+'s think that it's OK for them to be seen in public (say the movies) in washed out sweat pants, complemented by a ratty tartan shirt, hanging to their knees, covering an old Kiss t-shirt, and a pair enormous white Nikes?

As one of their number, I find nothing sadder to see my fellow Golden Agers express their youth envy aping the style of a homeless sixteen year old.

**************

By the way, great word verificatin for this post: "euromp." Sounds like fun to me.

Methadras said...

Genitalia and shorts. Now there is an ice breaker on a plane.

[Althouse]Excuse me sir, but your genitalia is showing.

[man next to Althouse] Huh, so they are. What do you think?

[Althouse] Seriously? You want me to qualify your genitalia that is peeking out of your shorts?

[Man next to Althouse] Well, it's either that or I can let you look at the hole in my shirt under my arm, not once but maybe twice. Sound good?

[Althouse] Excuse me Steward(ess)?

[Steward swishing towards Althouse and then lisps] Yes, how can I help you?

[Althouse] This mans privates are peeking out of his shorts and I find that offensive.

[Steward looks over at said genitalia] Oh my. I can see how that might be a problem, but not for me of course, ha ha. So what would you like me to do.

[Althouse] Can I sit somewhere else please?

[Steward] Unfortunately no. This is assigned seating and the flight is full. Uh, why don't you just ask him to tuck them back in?

[Althouse] I would have but I was being polite in telling him that they were showing and then he asked me to rate them.

[Steward] Really? [Steward looks over at genitalia] Not bad overall.

[Althouse is now fuming] Look can I get another seat or sir can you please tuck in your junk?

[man next to althouse] Yeah, sure. Not a problem, give me a minute to let them calm down and I'll get them back into place. Hey, I'm reading a cool story by Stephen King. I've gotten pretty far.

[Althouse smacks forehead] Oh dear God. MEADE!!!

Greg Hlatky said...

I'd like to know when a male becomes too old to wear shorts.

There used to be an expression about a boy getting his first pair of long pants. For a male, that should be the age of the last pair of shorts worn in public.

However, Professor, look at the beam in your eye before pointing out the mote in that of males. Some men look good in shorts. But no, repeat no, women look good in capris.

Methadras said...

Oh, perfect name for a game show. Rate My Balls.

Methadras said...

Greg Hlatky said...

Some men look good in shorts. But no, repeat no, women look good in capris.


I beg to differ. My wife looks scandalously hot in capris. Hot, I say.

Penny said...

Oh for cripes sake. Now she thinks it's OK to be nuts about shorts.

...Larry David said so too!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Does Methadras ever comment without making some sort of homophobic (and yet, homoerotic) remark? Earlier he was talking about soldiers being attracted to each other in the military and calling me a "creampuff," and now he's written out an entire dialogue with a gay flight attendant and a passenger's junk. Dude's got issues.

Penny said...

Althouse, how about you adopt a pet and let someone else be a peeve?

rcocean said...

Most women are dying for some RcOcean "Thigh flesh" - that's why I always wear shorts.

john said...

As did Laura Petre.

Or, perhaps, still does.

john said...

(That was about capris, BTW).

Methadras said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Does Methadras ever comment without making some sort of homophobic (and yet, homoerotic) remark? Earlier he was talking about soldiers being attracted to each other in the military and calling me a "creampuff," and now he's written out an entire dialogue with a gay flight attendant and a passenger's junk. Dude's got issues.


What are you afraid of? Does your whining never stop? I'm amazed your mother didn't stab her own eardrums out with a rusty ice pick just to be able to stop listening to your mewling.

Chip Ahoy said...

My present pet peeve which has superseded the one about stealing welcome mats, is Blogger closing down a blog because of it algorithms then blaming it on imaginary bots and then apologizing for the the non existent trouble making traffic-destroying bots. Aaaaaaand doing this on a weekend, a long weekend at that, but not reviewing the situation until the work week picks up again. As you can see, that has aught to do with men in shorts or airplanes.

Writerz Blocked said...

In today's air travel, you wear whatever and you takes your chances. These people are much braver than I.

With my luck, I'd end up squished between a lousy view of thunderstorms on one side and Andrew Sullivan on the other.

---you never can tell---

WZB

Chip Ahoy said...

Didjya ever see that show about a detective in Hawaii, Magnum P.I. or something? That guy wore the shortest shorts ever. The show I saw freaked me out. I was all WTF?

Planes are a drag. This one guy with hairy ape arms was sitting next to me and kept touching me with the hair on his arms. It creeped me out. Like a spider walking on my arm. So I moved my arm. He moved again. I moved again. He moved again. He kept doing that, it had to be on purpose. It bugged the piss out of the entire flight.

Penny said...

Althouse seems to have created an environment of irrational discontent tonight, yet she and Larry David appear to be in bed? And not with each other...

What do you make of that?

ethan said...

Ann Outhouse is also peeved by uppity niggers.

But she's not gonna write that. It'll endanger her job.

m00se said...

I do wear shorts on the plane, but I normlly sit in first class, so I'd have to flip my furry leg over the center armrest to touch you with my disrespectful thigh-flesh.

Cedarford said...

Gosh, given Althouse is joking on about shorts possibly only being appropriate for men with inadequately sized genitals...imagine how Meade feels knowing he had that pic of him in shorts on his page a while back!

Hairy legs brushing against a reticent, barelegged female sounds like the start of one of those bad female porn bodice-ripper romance novels ladies lap up...

"He was tall, dark. When he sat next to me, his hairy warm leg brushed against me. I felt a heated weak feeling go from my thighs to my face. I felt a confusion, an outrage over the imposition of this man...wondering if it was accidental...or he would brush his hairy, muscled exposed leg against me again..more since his shorts had rucked up. There was no escape! What if he did it again? My breath grew shallow at the thought of it..
I suppose I could say I would then firmly tell him not to touch me so again..but I somehow doubted I would sound confident. I would then be in even greater danger of another incident....had the last been only 2 years back? Of another airplane encounter going to places I never wished for..Would my voice betray what I was thinking...that I might be receptive to him...his brawny hairy legs. A side glace told me his chin was strong, his lips calm but - I know could twist in cruelty in a different moment..."


Zachary Paul Sire said...
Does Methadras ever comment without making some sort of homophobic (and yet, homoerotic) remark?


I thought Methadras was pretty funny. And it seems on airplanes gay Stewards with a lisp are as common as the paranoid 1 or 2 who fly convinced (by the look in their eyes) that some Muslim is going to jump up at any moment and scream "Allah u Akbar!"

Penny said...

Oh, I don't know, Cedarford. When I fly, I like to know that I can land.

Softly.

paul a'barge said...

Either: 1. your genitalia are too small to be in any danger of protruding beyond the hem of your skimpy garment, or 2. you don't care what happens to fall out

I'll take door number 2.

wv: gabin (what you were probably not doing with the mutt in shorts)

John said...

Shorts are like tattoos. There's no convincing the people wearing them of how utterly stupid they look. Someday, both fashion trends will die a merciful death, the way leisure suits did. In the meantime, where would sites like "Awkward Family Photos" be without them?

Michael Hasenstab said...

Shorts on a plane? Nope. At a festival, on a golf course, bicycling, working out, doing yard work, hiking, yep.

What's worse is really obese women wearing very tight pants. Totally awful. Should not be done in public. Gah.

pura vida said...

The men I know wear long shorts, kind of surfer length. If something were to protrude, it would have to be very, very large.

Robert Cook said...

I think this antipathy to men wearing shorts must be related to the region of the country where one grew up. Although I'm midwestern by birth and early residence, I grew up in the south, during a time when air conditioning was not ubiquitous. When one must endure nine months a year of hot clammy weather one learns very quickly that shorts are not a style choice, but a necessity. Now that I live in NYC, I still wear shorts during the relatively brief summers we have here, (I have no air conditioning in my apartment).

That said, there are places one doesn't wear shorts: in church, if one is a goer, (I'm not), at slow food restaurants...and on airplanes. I never fail to be surprised at the way people dress when traveling. One needn't be dressy, but one should be dressed.

Dogwood said...

...which I thought was disrespectful to me.

Sometimes, on very rare occasions, it's really not all about you. I know, difficult to believe, but true.

Fill disclosure: I wear shorts everyday until the temp gets below 55.

Pogo said...

Althouse needs to release her inner Samuel L. Jackson:

"Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherf***ing shorts on this motherf***ing plane!"

m00se said...

Of course, if we are to mention Larry David then we can bring up Seinfeld and the "Puffy Shirt". Which would then lead us to the "Puffy Skirt" of Althouse fame. Combined with those neato "Dead End" tops she seems to favor as well.

All in good taste...

rhhardin said...

Shorts everywhere all the time.

Picking up babes is always secondary to comfort.

John said...

When one must endure nine months a year of hot clammy weather one learns very quickly that shorts are not a style choice, but a necessity.

Air conditioning in the South became widespread around the 1970s. For 350 years (or however long the region has been inhabited by Europeans and Africans) only children wore short pants.

Find me a photograph of anyone wearing shorts in the South (except at a beach) before the 1960s.

class-factotum said...

I used to date a guy who was a gate supervisor for an airline. He had a lot of latitude about upgrading people. He wanted first class always to be full, refused to upgrade men in shorts or sleeveless shirts (even if they had the miles -- he told them there was a dress code in first class). "Nobody wants to be next to someone else's armpits or naked legs," he said, "especially if they've paid for first class."

rhhardin said...

Find me a photograph of anyone wearing shorts in the South (except at a beach) before the 1960s.

I personally pioneered shorts at work and shorts on airplanes in the late 60s.

The pioneers take the arrows, but come out correct in the end.

Women are not as fragile as they want you to believe, was the insight.

Donna B. said...

Most men in most styles of shorts in most places don't bother me in the least.

Exceptions are too tight, too short, ragged in any public place. Unless it's a construction site and they're also not wearing a shirt. And they are young and have a good tan.

muddimo said...

Well, we could always go back to kilts.

AJ Lynch said...

Methadras:

Very funny!

m00se said...

John -

"Find me a photograph of anyone wearing shorts in the South (except at a beach) before the 1960s."

The entire British Army in the South Pacific during WWII? I think there are some photos somewhere...

Lockestep said...

Back in the day, it was expected that we dress for a flight. "Good" clothes were required. With the explosion in air travel which followed deregulation, though, air travel became much more populist. No jackets and ties required; "Kiss Me I'm Irish" t-shirts became the norm.
While I certainly respect Ms. Althouse's preference for avoiding skin contact, I really do not see the difference between brushing up against the arm of your fellow passenger and brushing against his or her leg.

wv: earvi. Cute new tiny plush toy for six year old girls to wear in their ears.

m00se said...

Class-factotum:

Your choice - a typical guy in shorts or a 300 lb sweaty guy in a business suit? I would venture a guess your ex-date probably wouldn't have upgraded him either.

Larry J said...

When it's hot out, I wear shorts for comfort. Quite frankly, I don't give a damn what Ann or anyone else thinks about it, either. She and anyone else who feels that way can quite politely get stuffed.

ironrailsironweights said...

Wearing shorts on an airplane is not the best idea if there's an emergency and you have to use the evacuation slide. Those things can be abrasive.

Peter

Sokmnkee said...

Ewww! LOL! Poor Ann. I don't necessarily have a beef with men wearing shorts as long as they're wearing "tighty-whiteys" underneath. Fellas, unless Mother Nature has shorted you (pun intended), boxers and outerwear shorts don't work well together.

Sokmnkee said...

Sorry, I had one more thought. I believe when traveling by plane or anywhere else where you're going to be in the presence of strangers, you don't necessarily have to dress up, but look "first date" acceptable, or in whatever you would wear on a casual Friday to work. Guys, jeans and a nice t-shirt look hot with a casual sport coat and oxfords or loafers. No running shoes. Ladies, similar type of dress for you but with a more feminine spin.

Okay, I've put in my fashionista "2 cents' worth."

William said...

Apocryphal story about Samuel Johnson: Woman looks upon his tattered clothes and is scandalized: "Dr. Johnson, your penis is sticking out." Dr. Johnson's reply: "Madam, you flatter yourself. My penis is hanging out."

Oligonicella said...

rhhardin --

"Women are not as fragile as they want you to believe, was the insight."

True, but some of them are rather pissy about things.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I have competed an extensive survey of men regarding the question of men wearing shorts in public. Huge data field, but thanks to my Cray 2000 super computer, with it's 1 terraflop per second processing speed, I can accurately quantify and report the outcome.

Men have, by a high margin of accuracy and with a P>.95, agreed with the statement "we will stop wearing shorts in public if women will stop wearing bras in public".

Drop 'em if you've got 'em.

Peace is at hand. Now where's my damn prize?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So would wearing long pants be enough? Why stop there? If we required men to wear a full burka then you would never have to be exposed to their naked flesh.

bagoh20 said...

I now have a number of NEW motivations to wear shorts, one being that I may encounter Ann or some other perfumed totalitarian. It's just too inconvenient to carry frogs, and snakes on a plane is so cliche.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is a guy wearing shorts any worse than an unattractive woman wearing a dress and no stockings?"

I love the comparison of *any* guy to an "unattactive woman." That says a lot.

Anyway, as to a woman's skirt, the shorts guy on "Curb" makes that argument to Larry, and Larry's answer is that it's the same problem if the woman has *hairy legs.*

I would say what matters is the length of the skirt. I like to wear a long skirt on a plane, because it does completely cover my legs and it gracefully covers my lap too (unlike pants, which cling to the crotch). A long skirt is more comfortable and more modest than pants.

One problem with the long skirt, though, as the linked post shows, is that I *always* have to get the additional screening with the wand. The undefined crotch area is suspicious, you know!

But a short skirt on a woman? 1. It's uncomfortable for hours of sitting, and 2. It's distracting to seatmates and actually is a little disrespectful.

So, everybody: Keep your naked thighs to yourself on airplanes.

m00se said...

May I decide who may and may not share their thighs with me on a flight?

Thank you.

Methadras said...

ethan said...

Ann Outhouse is also peeved by uppity niggers.

But she's not gonna write that. It'll endanger her job.


I think The Crack MC would take issue with that buddy.

Michael Hasenstab said...

There' an anti-thighite amongst us. Who knew?

pinkmonkeybird said...

This entire topic is psycho-ward material.
Larry David is a confessed psycho case...that's where his humor comes from.

Robert Cook said...

"Air conditioning in the South became widespread around the 1970s. For 350 years (or however long the region has been inhabited by Europeans and Africans) only children wore short pants.

Find me a photograph of anyone wearing shorts in the South (except at a beach) before the 1960s."


Well, it was in the 70s that adults everywhere started dressing like children.

I kid, I kid (you not). I suppose it depends on where in the south one grew up, and the era. I grew up at the beach in Florida, and I entered my adolescence with the advent of the 70s. (We did not acquire air conditioning at our house until late in the decade.) Actually, I was a bit more repressed than most of my peers and I did wear long pants most of the time, and I never wore sandals.

elpolacko said...

wow.. i had no idea this was an issue for some people. i'm a californian who doesn't even own a pair of long pants. however, i've never had any episodes of unwanted leg rubbing. i do not see the difference between a man in shorts and a woman in a skirt.. perhaps it would help if you thought of the shorts as culottes ?

Lionheart said...

The rants against men in shorts are always good for several good posts. But if we are going to lump short skirts into the jihad, a line must be drawn in the sand. If one gets the vapors over men in shorts, tough. If one fails to notice that the "dress code" on airplanes has disappeared , where have you been for 30 years? In any case, please leave the women in short skirts alone. Sometimes it is the only thing relieving the boredom waiting for the gate to open at the airport.

jacksonianlawyer said...

Thank God such a worthwhile topic is being discussed. Who would have thought that the bastion of civility and decorum is located in Wisconsin?

Only pissants fly commercial anyway. Do yourself a favor and, at a minimum, charter.

thebubbreport said...

I was just searching for a shot of LD in shorts for a shorts-related post and found you. The last guy I had to sit next to on some crappy Comair commuter flight that didn't even have first class was what we call a Masshole. He hogged half my space, and he had a red white and blue Red Sox circular tattoo on his calf. He was disgusting.