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Exploding Bras and Other Pandemic Ponderings


Someone sent me a video of a 94-year-old woman telling the story about a bra her mother bought for her. It was inflatable and she set it for the size she wanted and then wore it on a flight to South America, where the pressure started to have an impact on her bra. That is, it started to inflate to well beyond the size she had preset and when it could no longer inflate, it exploded. The pilot and passengers thought the obvious – a bomb. The poor young woman could not speak English and since she was unable to explain what had happened (which might have been a challenge even in English), the plane landed, she was escorted off by the police, and taken to a room where she was searched. The exploding bra was finally understood, and she was released, although when she returned home, she received a bill for $400.


What does this have to do with pandemics?


My first thought, nothing. My second thought, everything. This is such a challenging time, but it is also a time when we need to laugh, and absurdities help us do that. Help us keep things in perspective perhaps.


During this year of lock downs, people have written about wearing more casual clothes as they work from home online. As the months progressed, the jokes started about what was worn underneath the desk: formal shirt on top and jeans or pajamas below. Once the computers were off or the video not turned on, it might get worse. Or better depending on one’s point of view.


Women have been trying to figure out bras for years: wired or padded or stuffed with Kleenex (less costly alternative). Now in 2020 the question has become, really, do I need one?


There is no legal message in this little story. No grand advice, no words of wisdom, just something that may make you smile.


If you want to hear the 94-year-old woman’s story, check out Story Corps.org. It might help you get through the day and maybe even the rest of the year. And it will definitely make you laugh.





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