Life on Tapp column by Blaise Tapp: I owe my dear mum a vote of thanks

Flickr / Michael 1952Flickr / Michael 1952
Flickr / Michael 1952
Ask any child of the 1980s to recall the sayings and old wives' tales which punctuated their early years and there will be plenty of choice.

Back then, long before Google and the all-knowing Siri, children were much easier to fob off, so were susceptible to yarns such as carrots helping you see in the dark.

Nowadays you don’t often hear parents warning gurning children that if the wind changes their faces will stay like it. Why? Because kids today are far savvier than their parent were 30 odd years ago.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But that doesn’t mean that some of these bygone pearls of wisdom should be dismissed as bunkum.

Since my school days I have always had my mother’s words of advice ringing in my ears whenever I get dressed in the morning and always make sure that I have decent underwear on before I skip off on my merry way to the Promised Land of the school run and the office.

Never mind that clean, smart undies should be a fundamental requirement of any right thinking person, I have always had that nagging doubt in my head that today might be the day that I step out in front of the number 66 bus while updating my status on social media.

But thanks to a childhood of brainwashing, it is not the prospect of losing my life in a needlessly tragic road accident which worries me the most, it is the risk that I might be wearing substandard smalls, underwear which won’t stand up sartorial scrutiny in accident and emergency which holds the most fear for me.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is mainly for this reason that I have not donned Y-fronts since Jason Donovan was last in the charts.

Back in the late ’80s there was a fashion revolution which ushered in the age of boxer shorts, much to chagrin of traditionalists such as my late father, who regarded their existence as an affront to masculinity.

In the 1960s, youngsters had rock ’n’ roll while two decades later, their sons had loose fitting kecks – but we haven’t really looked back since and the humble boxer short has evolved and is no longer the silky or polyester effort as worn by middle aged lotharios in period northern drama.

We now have trunks which while offering, ahem, a degree support are nowhere near as restrictive as grandad’s Y-fronts and, let’s be honest, are far more appealing to the naked eye.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But it isn’t just fashion where boxers and trunks win the day as a study released last week seemed to put the argument to bed once and for all – when it comes to producing children, boxers are best.

A study published in the journal Human Reproduction examined 650 men at a fertility clinic and concluded that the half who wore looser fitting undergarments produced healthier sperm.

What surprised me most about the study was that academics were able to find 300 or so virile men who were prepared to confess to wearing old-fashioned underpants.

The news of this conclusive evidence about what is best to wear underneath your jeans was somewhat buried last week under the tsunami of column inches devoted to Boris Johnson’s seemingly deliberate controversial musings about burqas but was arguably more important as it directly affects millions of us.

As a proud dad of two I think I owe my dear old mum a huge vote of thanks.