Stocking Filler

The onslaught of the winter months has persuaded me to invest in a pair of Long Johns. However, before purchasing Long Johns I think every man must come to terms with the idea that they will essentially be wearing a pair of tights.

In the late nineteenth century John Smedley, of Lea Mills in Derbyshire, invented Long Johns in an attempt to increase the likelihood of being able to make love in the cold weather.

Before then, of course, love-making was designated to the warmest day of the year, itself only a fraction above freezing temperature but just enough to allow nature to take its course.

However, Mr. Smedley faced quite a predicament when the first pair came off the press. He suddenly realised that they bore an uncanny resemblance to his wife’s stockings, something previously unnoticed in the design process.

Rather than go back on years of painstaking research, he decided the only way to avoid being branded a lady would be to give them an incredibly manly name. Hence, he combined the two most masculine words available at the time, “long” and “John”.

So if there are any men reading this and thinking about buying Long Johns, remember: It takes true ingenuity and unfaltering determination to persuade yourself that you are not, in fact, wearing tights.

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