It’s fairly well known that a lot of football players used to wear panty hose underneath their uniforms in colder weather. Joe Namath and the Oakland Raiders were well known offenders. Several magazines felt the need to sensationalize the issue. It made perfect sense to do so in spite the insecurities and biases of many homophobic football fans. The sheer nature of the fabric provided warmth without being bulky or obtrusive. I sometimes wore panty hose under my football uniform when I was young. It was helpful to performance. The panty hose barely showed so people generally wouldn’t notice if you were wearing them. You really only had a small area of the calf between the sock and the shin guards. Of course, I always dreaded that that would be the precise area where I got a run. I have hairy legs poking through and causing problems. You know if a run is visible someone is going to notice. Alert the social pages, we have a major breech of protocol. The embarrassment was always hard to live down when it happened.
I was 16 years old and in all probability working illegally. I had taken a gig as a busboy at a local diner. I was working the graveyard shift from midnight to 5:00am on weekends.
After hour gig
bussing tables of the drunks
virgin cherry popped
I befriended the dishwasher. He told me everyone called him Pakistan Joe. He assured me I couldn’t pronounce his real name. I only asked once but we were pretty high at the time. We got high out in his car during breaks. It was usually my weed. My weed was usually cheap dirt weed. I was buying it on a busboy salary. He did offer me swigs of some rot gut whiskey in return. He talked about the world, weed, wine and women. He was always quick to crack a joke about anything and everything.
That rot gut whiskey
burning brightly in my gut
eyes popping open
It was always a good time. Every 16 year old needs to be exposed to the suburban drunks filtering into an all nite diner for 3:00am breakfast. It’s really how you learn about life. They say it causes great harm but I survived and thrived. I learned since to drink better whiskey and smoke better weed among other things. Pakistan Joe may not have been the best sensei but there was wisdom gained from the friendship and I pour a shot to his memory tonight.