He said: Take caution when washing laundry
I had hoped the Collegiate Times would engage in some April Fools’ Day shenanigans. I imagined that News would be something like The Onion, Walking the Line would be sensitive and inoffensive, and my column would be completely devoid of sarcasm and actually interesting. It would have been the perfect ruse — no one would see it coming.
After a long, mostly humorless day, I thought my dream had come true Monday evening when I read the phrase “underwear larceny” lurking quietly beneath an April 1 dateline. The timing seemed too good to be true; it’s one of those phrases like “yoga orgy” that a journalist could spend an entire career waiting to drop.
As it turns out, there really is some creep with nothing better to do than molest women’s laundry, like some tawdry Law & Order: Special Victims Unit plotline with stolen undergarments being marketed online to the sex offenders’ registry.
Where are Benson and Stabler when you need them? I know the VTPD is working hard to get to the bottom of this. They’ve encouraged victims of undergarment heists to report the robberies, but they just don’t have the kind of pervert awareness that Captain Cragen’s team brings to the table Wednesday nights on NBC.
Granted, I watch a lot of old episodes of SVU on Netflix. Even though each one leaves me disturbed and ashamed to share a species with the ripped-from-the-headlines antagonist, I really like the characters and their various backstories. Richard Belzer and Ice-T make a hell of a duo.
Now, I may be falling into the old “hear hoofbeats, think horses, not sex offenders,” fallacy that doctors warn me about. And by doctors, I mean that House used a similar metaphor and it stuck with me.
At any rate, while my SVU-addled mind jumps straight to panty bandit, I suppose it could just as easily have been an honest dryer mix-up. That, or the possibility that someone in Pritchard is tired of paying for his or her lingerie and found a way around such late-stage capitalistic constructs.
No matter the cause of the missing knickers, it’s something that needs to be addressed. What we really need to do is nip this problem in the bud — in the laundry room.
Some good suggestions have been floated, like individual keycard locks on each washing machine and dryer. Clearly, locking the room isn’t enough in a modern world where everyone’s drawers are at risk. If your Hokie Passport gets stolen, or you turn your back for a moment while folding, your underclothes remain susceptible to mischief.
But the real solution is so simple, I’m surprised Mayor Bloomberg hasn’t proposed it already: tag everyone’s undergarments. We do it to animals like cattle and migratory birds, so why not throw some radio-frequency identification chips onto everyone’s undies? Some may say it violates privacy, but to them I ask: Do you really want the underwear thieves of the world to win?
This is a national problem, the consequence of which cannot be underestimated. The American Civil Liberties Union types will object to round-the-clock government panty surveillance. However, they would be wise to remember Ben Franklin’s old adage: “Those who sacrifice liberty for a bit of temporary security will deserve neither but keep their lingerie.” And Franklin knew a thing or two about young ladies’ corsets.
Another alternative might be to keep an eye on your laundry. And, if you’re reading this right now and are seriously contemplating going out and stealing underwear from dryers, don’t do it.
It’s really weird, creepy and no one appreciates it.
Why not just take to Craigslist, like other socially inept fetishists? Either that, or get ready for Stabler to kick your door in.