Erma Bombeck Writing Competition: Essay

Photo of Erma Bombeck
"Hook 'em with the lead. Hold 'em with laughter. Exit with a quip they won't forget." ˜ Erma Bombeck

2010 Honorable Mention - Humor - Global

Amy Mullis - Moore, SC, United States

"The Bra Whisperer"
Okay, I’ve had enough. The Horse Whisperer was mystical. The Dog Whisperer was engaging. The Cat Whisperer was just plain crazy, but there will always be those who hang their hopes on a hairball and a miracle.

Leaning against the Chiclets and reaching for a handy newspaper in the express lane today, I found The Bra Whisperer making headlines at the supermarket checkout.

Excuse me?

What could the Bra Whisperer hope to accomplish that I haven’t already dealt with in four decades of fighting the underwire war? Surely I have enough longline experience to try her techniques myself. Charter membership in the mall Rah Rah Bra Club should count for something. According to my punch card, I have plenty of support.

I gave my sweater a pointed look and directed my comments toward the gravy stain over my heart.

“Hey you,” I said in a throaty whisper, “could you keep your straps up in traffic? Yesterday at school pickup I almost took out two minivans and a slow-moving crossing guard because my elbows were lashed to my body. Honestly, it seems like Spandex would understand the meaning of Yield."

A man behind me holding a case of light beer and a roll of breath mints cleared his throat and retreated a step. I drew the neck of my sweater closer and continued.

“And furthermore,” I murmured, “if you’re going to fasten in the front, could you try to hold together when I’m armpit deep in the freezer case? I almost froze my pierogies off back there.”

Charlie Suds dropped his drinks and headed toward the electronic door at a trot. “It’s easy for you to run.” I yelled. “All you have to do is make sure your Fruit of the Looms face the right direction. The grapes go in the back!”

Just then my underwire snapped like the point of a pencil.

Looks like I’d better go for the professional. If tabloid headlines can be trusted, The Bra Whisperer will make sure the thing fits better than braces on buck teeth, gives you the lift of an Olympic ski jumper, and separates the concerned parties with the cunning of a Hollywood divorce lawyer.

At my age I already have to rig up a pulley to keep my Cross Your Heart from hanging up on my hip replacements. I’m beginning to see the need for the Bra Whisperer.

I just have one question.

While she’s whispering secrets to my bra, could she give my panty girdle a pep talk? Things aren’t holding up so well down there, either.

Author's Bio:

Amy Mullis lives in upstate South Carolina where people avoid talking to their underwear in public. Her essays have appeared in various Chicken Soup, Ultimate Series, and Cup of Comfort anthologies as well as The Christian Science Monitor and Sasee magazine. See more of her work on her blog, and hear her read blog selections on Unless there are pirated copies of her Diaper Derby days on You Tube, her lingerie remains private and unavailable for questions.