Spontaneous Combustion

I wasn’t going to watch The Tyra Banks Show today. I don’t very often watch The Tyra Banks Show. But a little bird told me that today everyone on the show was stripping down to their underwear and then it just happened to be 4 pm PST and I happened to be holding a sleeping baby and sitting on the couch and hey, have you heard, the west coast is blowing into the ocean tonight so we don’t have much time?

Tyra came out on stage in a robe. Her audience all wore robes too, looking like a very nervous Polyphonic Spree. Then Tyra took off her robe, revealing her pretty blue knickers and bra (and a more toned body than I would have expected, from what I’ve seen of her clothed – perhaps she just has terrible taste in clothing? What am I saying – she’s TYRA BANKS). She commanded the audience to disrobe. Fearing her wrath, they did so. They all wore knickers and bras too! Tyra shrieked at the camera, “IT’S A PANTY PARTAYYYY!” Commercial. On returning from commercial, Tyra had another robe on but the audience was still in its underwear. Ha ha!

She brought out an underwear consultant. One girl from the audience had a crisis: her pink, lacy thong kept poking out from her low-rise jeans! The solution? Not higher-waisted jeans, no! LOW RISE THONG! She disrobed to reveal a pink lacy bra and a matching thong. “Take off that thong,” Tyra demanded. Tyra then took a moment to reassure us that all the women on stage were wearing full, flesh-tone body stockings under their underwear, so they weren’t, you know, nude.

Wha? But they LOOK nude. But. OK.

The girl removed her bad thong and we got a glimpse of her nude, body-stocking’d crotch. It looked like that Marilyn Manson album cover. She put on the good thong and went offstage to put on her low-rise jeans again and live a new life, visible thong-free.

The next woman had a little belly that stuck out over her tight skirt. The solution? Not a skirt in the right size, no! A GIRDLE! (Actually, a “slimming short” or some such misnomer) The best part was that the woman referred to her little belly as a “donut.” That’s what I call MY little belly!

She removed her knickers (again with the Marilyn Manson crotch) and put on the spandex bike shorts, pulling them up over her donut. “YANK!” said Tyra and yanked the shorts up to the bottom of the woman’s bra. The woman grimaced and went offstage to put on her too-tight skirt again. Ah, brave new world, she was certainly thinking.

The next woman had small boobs. Duh. Padded bra to the rescue. But wait: even though she was wearing a nude body stocking? The camera was artfully turned to the audience while Tyra and the consultant helped the woman put on her new boob-hancing bra. “There you go!” trilled Tyra, tossing the old bra in the trash, “Next!”

I thought it had perhaps been just a fluke. I mean, the camera had pretty much been trained directly on the crotches of the first two women. So why would they shy away from the boobs? Isn’t someone’s vagina more taboo than her breasts? In the world of television, I mean?

Next (and last) was a woman whose boobs were just too darn big. They were busting out. And here I was thinking perhaps she just needed a bra fitting but no, what the consultant thought she needed was a garment that I’m sure was sold on the same rack as the slimming shorts. Again, the camera went and trained itself on some 13 year old audience member’s ribbed undershirt while we, the folks at home, were spared the horrible, horrible visage of the overendowed woman’s nude, body-stocking’d nipples. I’m assuming.

Thusly strapped, she went backstage and then we got to see all our women in their new underwear and old clothes.

“Bend over for me!” said Tyra to thong-girl. “Hey, I don’t see NO-THING poking out of there!”

“Where’s the donut, show me the donut!” she cackled at woman #2. Where the ‘before’ shot had the woman in profile, her shirt riding up over her belly, the after shot was head-on. So, you know: no donut. “Ain’t no Krispy Kreme there!”

Woman #3 had added a necklace as well as her padded bra. “Lookit you!” said Tyra, “You got it goin’ ON!” The woman smiled awkwardly, “Mm, I sure got something…” she trailed off as woman #4 stood up.

“GIRL!” said Tyra, “I think I wore this shirt last season!” The woman looked at Tyra as we all tried to figure out if this was meant to be a compliment. It was. “I love this shirt! It looks great on you!” The woman smiled, unconvinced. She pulled at the darts near the armpits. “It’s a little big, now,” she said. “What were you, a double D?” Tyra went on, “Girl now you a D FOR SURE!” The woman looked distinctly unhappy. She sat down.

“It’s time to find out what MEN THINK,” Tyra said. “Because you know when we buy underwear, it’s really for the men. I mean, even if we don’t have a boyfriend, you KNOW we’re buying it just in case – you know – ”

And then smoke started coming out of her eyes, “It’s about the BOOTY YOOTY YOOTY – ” her mouth opened and closed like that of a very well-made-up bottom feeding fish – “Y’all! Booty! My Momma!” The smoke gave way to two-foot pyres of flame and suddenly, Tyra had vanished. Only a pair of smouldering boy-cut, blue, lace knickers remained on the stage.

On Friday there will be Diddy. Whose ego will survive?

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