THE RETURN OF THE
DON'T MENTION PANTIES GAME
Gordon was the biggest jerk I ever knew.
I do have him to thank for introducing me to the
Don't Mention Panties Game.
legendary and unstoppable Godzilla had just
traipsed through the city I live in, and my
apartment was among the casualties, so I was
having to live with Riley until the insurance
company could work out some way to phrase 'act of
had been thrown out of one of my favourite bars
for being improperly dressed, and the two of us
were now staggering through the back alleys
looking for somewhere to change. It was Riley's
idea that we both wear the matching pink
ballgowns, and I really don't remember why I went
along with it. I suspect he had been slipping
things in my drinks.
hem is trailing in the puddles," I whined.
up," he replied.
shutted up. After another twenty minutes, he
suddenly stopped at the mouth of an alley, stared
at the moving traffic, and reacted as if he'd
just remembered something.
he said. "You wanna do something fun?"
more fun than running around shady alleys at
night wearing matching pink ballgowns?"
with me," he said, leading me back into the
didn't speak again until we arrived at a large
wooden door at the rear of a menswear shop, and
for a moment I thought that perhaps we were going
to get some trousers. Instead, he led me into a
murky basement, where several rough-looking
gentlemen were waiting. They all turned at our
appearance, and watched Riley expectantly. I
narrowed my eyes and stared at him. He was
definitely some kind of ringleader.
he said, folding his arms under the padded bosom
of his dress. "Welcome to Don't Mention
Panties Club. The first rule of Don't Mention
Panties Club is, you do not talk about Don't
Mention Panties Club. The second rule of Don't
Mention Panties Club is, you DO NOT talk about
Don't Mention Panties Club."
wondered who the hell Riley thought he was as he
listed his rules. By the time he'd gone through
"when someone says panties, or any word
meaning panties, the game is over" and
"if this is your first night at Don't
Mention Panties Club, you have to play", I
only knew what I thought Riley was: A jerk.
Don't Mention Panties was, it was clearly popular
among rough types with too much money to spend.
As two chairs were set up and two fellows sat
opposite each other, quite a few bets were being
placed. Riley took them, counting through the
money and stashing it away in the folds of his
two men took off their shirts and shoes, and
silence fell. I sneaked over to Riley and
whispered to him.
aren't there any women here?" I asked.
advantage," was the reply.
wondered what he meant by that, but I couldn't
make any more enquiries, as a bizarre chant had
been taken up. Everyone in the damp cellar except
the two combatants was saying "panties"
over and over again while slowly clapping their
hands. They began to speed up, their clapping
becoming deafening applause, until Riley yelled
"Stop!" and silence fell once again.
"Play," he commanded, after a brief
said one of the men.
said the other.
players went on like this, reciting an endless
list of words, while the crowd looked on
silently. It seemed to me that both players were
doing their best to sneak in as many words
beginning with 'pan' as possible. Whenever either
of them did so, the crowd would murmur in awe
like an audience watching a professional snooker
player prepare a very difficult shot for his
opponent. It was as if they were executing
extremely complicated strategies.
sweat began to break out on their foreheads, and
it took only ten minutes after that for one of
them to snap.
said one player.
- Put," stammered the other.
said the first player, going in for the kill.
soon as the player realised the word that came
out of his mouth, he buried his head in his hands
and the crowd erupted into deafening cheers.
Riley began handing out large sums of money to
those who bet on the winner, while the others
berated the sulking loser.
games of Don't Mention Panties were played that
night. Sometimes there were four or five games on
the go at once, and everyone present played at
least three times. I took part once, but all
could see I was a newcomer. No bets were placed,
and I was easily beaten by my more experienced
opponent. Riley himself played six full times,
and whenever he did, I noticed something odd.
single game he played ended the same way: his
opponent sweating after only five minutes, Riley
sitting relaxed at a slight angle in his
delightful ballgown. Riley's matches always
commanded the highest audience, but few people
bet, as the outcome was always a foregone
conclusion. It was always just a joy to see the
master at work.
wasn't until the fifth game that I realised how
Riley did it.
opponent was a large, bald man who the others
referred to as 'Martha'. The game had been going
on for a whole hour. Martha was definitely
showing signs of stress, but Riley remained
extremely cool and collected, sitting
cross-legged in his chair.
was a killer pause, and I noticed it. No-one,
least of all me, had realised that Riley had
hitched his skirt up to his knees. It just seemed
a natural thing to do. And as he delivered the
word that could conceivably be followed by
'panties', it happened.
uncrossed his legs, then swiftly re-crossed them
the other way round.
blurted Martha, unable to stop himself. And the
crowd went wild.
should have known a jerk as big as Riley wouldn't
stop at just wearing the woman's dress. He had to
be wearing women's underwear, too. Now I
understood what 'unfair advantage' meant.
was the start of a very long night.
later transpired that Riley was actually an
aspect of my own personality, but we have come to
terms with that.
I still think he's a jerk.
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