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The shocking truth about women's implants

A COUPLE OF Sundays ago, I was thumbing through the newspaper when two unfortunate, unstoppable forces met at our kitchen table and I found myself caught in the center.

The first unfortunate but unstoppable force appeared as I was flipping through the advertising sections of the newspaper and came across two or three pages of photos showing young women modeling the latest fashions in swimwear and undergarments.

Ha! I'll bet some readers can guess what second unfortunate but unstoppable force appeared as my eyes accidentally (but uncontrollably) wandered over the pages of young, scantily-clad women.

Yes, the Truly Unpleasant Mrs. Johnston glided into the kitchen and, naturally, she made a beeline for the table to see what I was up to.

(I must digress here for a moment. When wives were invented at the dawn of time, they received an implant that allowed them to see through walls and around corners to wherever their husbands were. This second sight happens only when the husband is doing something he isn't supposed to be doing, like looking at young women in bathing suits or fancy-pants underwear. This implant is for a man's own good, a wife will explain, to keep him from doing something stupid and getting into trouble.

(In my case, Mrs. Johnston can usually catch me when I am making a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich just before dinner or feeding the dog something that will give him gas. Of course, I always need to be saved from lingering too long on advertising photos of women in bathing suits or underwear. Mrs. Johnston sometimes gets mad at me for doing something stupid, but most times she looks disappointed, like I didn't live up to her expectations. After all these years together, that shouldn't come as a big surprise.)

This particular Sunday, before Mrs. Johnston could cluck her tongue in disapproval of my viewing material, I took the initiative and said: "Will you look at these bathing suits? It looks like they are wearing their underwear! And they cost $100! Good lord, is there no shame?"

I shook my fist at the ceiling and made a disapproving face.

This tactic threw Mrs. Johnston off balance for a moment, and she looked over my shoulder for a better view. She agreed that these two-piece bathing suits were more revealing than those suits the girls wore when she was a young lady. Of course, when Mrs. Johnston was a young lady, wearing a two-piece to the beach meant you brought your bathrobe to wear over your one-piece bathing suit.

Not only do these swim suits hardly cover these young women, I said to Mrs. Johnston, but also they don't look very practical for swimming. It didn't seem, I said, like they would be good for diving into the surf or doing a cannonball off the diving board.

Then Mrs. Johnston told me something that gave me insight into a world that I find a complete mystery. It's the world occupied by women. Guys like me aren't allowed to go into this world. We are allowed only to peek in, hear bits of conversation from women who do go inside, then make wild assumptions about what these women are up to.

On this guided tour, Mrs. Johnston informed me these bathing suits were not designed for surfing or doing cannonballs off the high dive. No, she said, these suits are designed to wear on dry land and not much else.

"Why would you buy a bathing suit for 100 bucks and never wear it to go swimming?" I asked Mrs. Johnston.

Mrs. Johnston gave me one of those looks — the ones she saves for when she thinks I just crawled out from under a rock — and she said, "To drive guys like you nuts."

I pondered this for a moment and then made a decision. I promised myself I would go to the beach the next warm day and look at women in skimpy bathing attire to see if I'd go nuts.

I won't do this for myself, of course.

It's for science.

Steve Johnston is a retired Seattle Times reporter. He can be reached at Paul Schmid is a Seattle Times news artist.

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