At long last, Bob’s free of his long johns

At long last, Bob's free of his long johns By Bob Karolevitz Now that Easter has come and gone, I can finally get rid of my long johns for another season.

In case you wanted to know � and you shouldn't ��I put them on in the first week of October when the temperature changes and take them off when the vernal equinox comes.

How do I know when the vernal equinox comes? I don't � but when spring arrives and the crocuses poke out, I know it's time to shed the long underwear.

To let you know how much research I do for this column, I looked up vernal equinox in a book I found laying around in my office. Here's what I found:

"In locating the position of heavenly bodies, the vernal equinox serves as the initial reference point for the measurement of right ascension along the celestial equator and for the measurement of celestial longitudes along the ecliptic."

Wow! I don't understand that scientific stuff, but now I'm educated at a higher level.

Oh, and by the way, Easter apparently has nothing to do with eggs, bunny rabbits or the resurrection. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess named Eostre.

But I digress!

Everybody should have a pair of long johns. It feels so good to take them off when March Madness arrives with all that basketball splendor on TV. Sure, that lengthy garment keeps you warm when winter blasts prevail, but when pussy willows emerge, the coccoon must go.

I can remember the white flannels of the past, with the drop-seat opening in the rear and the buttons down the front. But they have been mostly confined to the cobwebs of history, like buggy whips and rumble seats.

Now long johns cover just the bottom half of your body, and they come in different colors, too. For instance, if your underwear matches your socks, you don't have to worry about their creeping up to show off the white attire of yesteryear.

Some months ago, I wrote a piece about longies in which I told about taking them off in the locker room to get ready for gym class. BVDs were bad enough, but when you had to divest yourself of long underwear � in front of God and everybody � you were embarrassed to no end.

That was more than seventy years ago, and I still get red-faced when I think about it. Thank goodness, taking off the thermal apparel for another year doesn't require that traumatic experience.

I can take them off, and even Phyllis doesn't know about it.

And so the vernal equinox (whatever that means?) has occurred one more time, and the long johns have been shed for the springtime season. The robins have come, and the underwear goes.

Once again I am unencumbered. I feel like scratching. It's a joy to be released from that self-imposed strait jacket.

When I told Phyllis that I was going to write a column about long johns, she said I didn't have enough material for that. She didn't know how I felt about taking them off.

When I did, I almost shouted: "Free at last. I'm free at last!"

© 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz

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