Keeping Abreast Of The Times

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Chinese women out in front – so to speak.

Now we all know the folks in the Far East are light-years ahead of us in electronics. It is no secret also that every preschooler in Japan can dismantle and rebuild the most complex of computer systems while we are still trying to figure out how to get it out of the box. The screen on a Korean TV set can be as big as a living room wall or so small it could be shoved up your nose (assuming a person would want a TV set up his or her nose). They have fine automobiles that will start on the coldest of days without a shivering husband waiting behind the wheel while his wife turns the crank.

We know all that, but frankly we could care less. The people on this side of the Pacific dedicate their lives to knowing and producing the things that really matter – like brassieres, right?

Au contraire, mes enfants, au contraire! I was horrified to learn that Orientals not only make most of the electronic stuff we have in our homes, they have cornered the brassiere market. Here we sit by the fire trying to picture Andrew Scheer bare-naked, while over in Tokyo and Beijing their scientists are up to their eyebrows in Maidenforms.

How could Canada and the United States, two proud nations that gave the world Jane Russell and Pamela Anderson, have allowed this to happen? Whilst Americans were sitting on their duffs wondering whether Donald Trump had lost his mind (Canadians weren’t. We knew it the first time we saw him on TV.) Asian manufacturers were hiding in department store change rooms with tape measures and abacuses studying – well, I’m sure you can guess.

It’s no wonder their bras are out in front. The people from the Pacific Rim don’t waste time watching Reality TV, they are thinking of one thing and one thing only, bras. I guess that’s two things.

Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University offers a degree in bra studies (Ed. Surprisingly, this is quite true). What a brilliant idea! I ask you, what high school grad of the male persuasion wouldn’t jump at the chance of enrolling in a bra course?

I’ll bet their professors never have problems with students skipping homework assignments. I’m assuming Hong Kong P.U. is a co-ed institution. Measuring his friend, Seshue, wouldn’t exactly set a young male’s heart a-flutter. If a student had to leave the campus to look for a female study partner, he might never come back – especially if he found one.

Japan has gone even further. The Japanese recently marketed a heated bra that not only will keep the ladies snug and warm when the temperature hits 40-below, but is also being heralded as a weapon in the never-ending battle against global warming (Ed. OK, stop the world, this is true too).

Think of the savings on the family fuel bill. With a heated bra, milady can actually turn down the thermostat once the cold north wind starts to blow around her pagoda. Of course papa-san will freeze to death. But what does she care? His chattering teeth were becoming annoying anyway. When her bra starts to cool, there is no problem. A few minutes in the microwave along with some fried rice and an egg roll and the modern miss is good for hours.

Note: The instructions suggest milady remove her bra before heating. Climbing into a microwave is not recommended and may void the warranty – and milady too come to think of it.

China’s biggest lingerie manufacturer, Top Form, pumps out 60 million bras a year. A staggering number that’s true, but we must remember China has 450,664,933 women between the ages of 14 and 64 and another 58,886,182 who are older. If those figures are even close to correct, a lot of the ladies are going topless.

Top Form has a lab right on the premises where its scientists work night and day on new designs. Odd really since what goes into the bra hasn’t changed much.

To help the slimmer girl, they are attempting to come up with several models crafted to enhance the bosom. So far results are disappointing. The air-filled models have a tendency to go flat – especially if the wearer plays darts. The oil-filled prototypes were a total failure. They were too expensive and far too heavy. Anyone who has carried two hot water bottles up a flight of stairs will understand.

Yes, it is sad that yet another industry is leaving our shores. But that’s life!  Or as they say in the underwear business – “That’s the way the bra bounces.”

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