Ok, I’ll tell you.
These are all man-made substances developed by DuPont, a company which was also involved in the Manhattan Project, producing Plutonium for atomic bombs.
All of these inventions have become indispensable in today’s world and have made our lives richer, simpler and more enjoyable.
Except for Plutonium, that is. Plutonium just killed lots of people.
These inventions have simplified the way we live and work, and a world without them is now unimaginable.
I mean, picture your life in a kitchen bereft of non-stick frying pans. It’s just too awful to contemplate.
Or put yourself in a fireman’s shoes, and imagine running into a burning building without your Nomex gloves. Nope, not going to do it.
And imagine pulling on a Policeman’s uniform and facing up to a crook without a bulletproof vest. May as well be naked.
From a personal perspective I am very glad they invented Nylon for the manufacture of parachutes, otherwise my skydiving career would have been over after only one jump.
The brains trust at DuPont also developed gunpowder and dynamite, not entirely bad in the grand scheme of things, and the use of their compounds in space suits meant they became an integral part of the Apollo lunar landing program.
They also invented CFCs; responsible for blowing a hole in the Ozone layer, but to their credit withdrew them from sale once the environmental scientists showed them the error of their ways.
But all of these achievements pale into insignificance when measured against their greatest contribution to the world. A substance so prevalent that the World’s sporting codes would be lost without it. A discovery so monumental it makes the wheel look square and turns penicillin back into a plate of mouldy bread.
A polyurethane-polyurea copolymer it is also known as Spandex, an anagram of “expands”, and is woven into special uniforms for elite athletes where its high-tech properties help in their quest for gold. I know this because I’ve been watching the Olympics currently being played out in London and have seen its application first-hand. The stuff’s everywhere.
And it is this last use that worries me.
Whereas the female set might love seeing men wearing fabulously coloured skin-tight garments I find it a tad weird.
If the guys wore undies I mightn’t find it so bothersome, but the sight of some bloke’s meat and two veg swinging in the breeze is, I think, quite disturbing. It is even more disturbing when seen en-masse, as it was during the quad sculls medal presentation at the Rowing.
There they were, twelve of the world’s fittest blokes from Germany, Croatia and Australia, all lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on the podium. As the camera pulls back we see twenty-four thighs the size of tree trunks, two dozen incredibly strong, muscular arms, and beaming smile after beaming smile.
Twelve of them jammed in various positions announcing their presence beneath sprayed-on pants. Trouser snakes pointing at all angles, suggesting the penis had become some human anatomical clock spelling out the time in different parts of the world. A virtual sex-organ semaphore.
The Croatian crew, a name befitting a European gangsta-rap quartet has arranged their tackle to tell us it’s midday in Johannesburg, 4 am in Singapore, 12 noon in Brussels and 10am in Ouagadougou.
The Brits, thankfully displaying only their upper lips as stiff, have one of their number promoting the 11am local time, and the other three letting us know it’s 1pm in Djibouti, 6pm in Ulaanbaatar and half past 2 in Kabul.
The Aussies, pumped full of national pride, tell us it’s 8pm in Sydney, 7.30pm in Adelaide, 6pm in Perth, and 1963 in Queensland.
It’s enough to bring a tear to the eye of every red-blooded male. Not out of any misplaced sense of masculine unity, but out of sheer bloody embarrassment.
And don’t tell me you haven’t noticed this phenomenon because I won’t believe you. I even heard nuns at a bus stop comparing the size of Portugese athletes to that of our own Aussie blokes.
“I thought he was just saving his salami for later ” said one.
“Must be the drugs” said another.
Somewhere in all of this there is a joke just waiting to be told. Something along the lines of “Three old ladies are sitting on a bench when Usain Bolt jogs by. Two of them had a stroke but the other one couldn’t reach.”
You get my drift.
And it’s not only male rowers doing this. This aberrant behaviour extends to the long jump fraternity too, although not all of them could really be classified as “long”.
The hurdlers have also cottoned on to the Lycra craze, if you’ll pardon the pun, however it’s pretty obvious that some of those guys have a bit more of a hurdle than others. Of course, the cyclists got into the spirit long ago, but they went one step further on the weirdness scale and shaved their legs too. Check out the guys in this picture.
Even our own Aussie blokes are into it, happily stuffing their semi-flaccid appendages into canary yellow spray-on tights. Nothing butch about this lot.
Who in their right mind would advertise their bits like this? I ask you.
What’s going on?
I suppose we should just be thankful the weightlifters have a bit more padding in the trouser department when they do their thing – the sight of exploding testicles would be a bit hard to take.
I could go on, there are just so many bizarre examples waiting to be shown, but for now I must take my leave. The commercial break has finished and they’re showing another rowing event.
Thankfully we’ve been given a reprieve, because this time it’s the coxless fours.
I’ll catch you later.