A guest post from writer Laura Gehl:
Woo-hoo! Barbara asked me to write a guest post about UNDERWEAR in honor of my debut picture book One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by the fabulous Tom Lichtenheld. What could be more fun than writing about underwear?
First, quick question: do you prefer the word “underwear” or the word “panties?” Personally, I love the word underwear and hate the word panties. The word panties actually makes me cringe. I do like the expression “Put on your big girl panties,” though. If you are not familiar with this expression, here is how it can hypothetically be used:
An editor I really love rejected my book, so I want to lie on the couch, eat chocolate, watch junky TV, and cry. But instead, I am going to put on my big girl panties and get back to work. (Note: this may or may not be a real scenario from my life.)
Having the word underwear in the title of a children’s book is a surefire way to hook readers and book-buyers. Wonderful, right? Mostly. The one problem is that some readers are apparently disappointed when they discover that my book is also about bears, yaks, goats, candy bars, hockey sticks, and jet skis. In fact, the only negative comments I have received about One Big Pair of Underwear were from people who felt underwear deserved a more prominent role in the book.
So, to atone for my sins (i.e. writing a book that is actually about counting and sharing, then drawing in unsuspecting readers with a picture of giant underwear on the cover), I will now talk ONLY about underwear for a few minutes.
I’ll start with some fun underwear facts (I can’t promise these are 100% accurate):
Ten percent of women own more than thirty-five pairs of underwear.
- The average woman owns twenty-one pairs of underwear.
- Nine percent of men have worn the same underwear for ten years.
- There is a world record for wearing the most pairs of underwear at one time. In 2010, this record was 215 pairs, set by a 10-year-old. In 2012, a new record was set at least twice…first by a woman, who put on 252 pairs, and then by a man, who put on 302 pairs.
- Even squirrels wear underwear these days. Fortunately, you can buy boy or girl squirrel underwear on Amazon, so you have the ability to outfit your squirrels from the convenience, and privacy, of your own home.
Now, a more serious underwear question to ponder: If an astronaut lives on the International Space Station for six months, or 180 days, and if there is no washing machine on the International Space Station…or within 250 miles…what is that astronaut supposed to do with 179 pairs of dirty underwear?
And, in conclusion, some (sort of) serious answers.
- Astronauts don’t actually get to wear clean underwear every day. They have to wear the same pair for 3 days, or longer.
- Huge amounts of built-up dirty underwear are placed in a non-reusable spacecraft and de-orbited, which means that the spacecraft and all dirty underwear aboard burn up in the atmosphere.
- Scientists are working on ways to get bacteria to eat the astronauts’ used underwear. Which really gives a whole new meaning to the idea of edible underwear.
Giveaway: I’m giving away one copy of Laura’s delightful picture book, One Big Pair of Underwear. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment by December 1. U.S. and Canada only. Thanks!
Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, which released in September 2014 from Simon & Schuster. Laura is also the author of four other upcoming picture books. None of the other four books are about underwear, but Laura hopes you will consider reading them anyway. Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com and www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl.