A brief discourse on avian contraband …
Having enjoyed a couple of trips to the thermal baths during my recent foray to Germany (see posts passim), I was interested to hear that a colleague on a visit to France had also indulged, but being in the land of the Gauls he was, of course, confronted by the French ban on the wearing of swimming shorts in public pools – a ban on any swimwear that is baggy and not skin-tight. In other words, Speedos were the order of the day for him.
I first came across this bizarre constraint a couple of years ago when attending a wedding in France. The Speedo requirement was enforced in all public pools including the one on the campsite at which we were staying. We were told this was for hygiene reasons and I have since read that this is, indeed, the case. So, whereas I’m quite happy in my baggy dookers (as they are known en Écosse), we looked for, and found, a tighter-fitting pair that passed muster in the French pools; a sort of hybrid between so-called budgie smugglers and boxers.
Meantime, back in Germany, my sister’s family always dread the moment their pater familias emerges from the changing cubicles at their local spa as he is a relict of the golden age of budgie smugglers and an unapologetic advocate of the Speedo approach to swimwear. Slim, athletic youths may be able to carry it off, but late-middle-aged men can’t and that is not debatable!
Anyway, the point of all this is to bring you a limerick, so here it is:
A chap should know when he goes
To France, they will always impose
A sartorial rule
When you bathe in a pool,
That forces you into Speedos.
Postscript: I don’t think that it is widely appreciated that the person to blame for the Speedo blight on the world was, in fact, a Scot.
According to the Rampant Scotland website, Alexander MacRae was born in Kyle of Lochalsh around 1890 and emigrated to Australia in 1910 where he established a hosiery business at Bondi Beach in 1914. Ultimately his business marketed Speedo swimwear in 1928; a product that eventually evolved into the abomination that are the budgie smugglers of today.