I sit in offices all day and wear "Dockers". I suppose if I drove large vehicles I would wear "Truckers". Fortunately, I don't hang around in bed all day. But I was outgrowing my already ancient wardrobe and needed new trousers. The interesting thing is like fast bowlers, pants hunt in pairs. Ants hunt in pears but that is another story. You have to buy a pair of pants or trousers to get one.
According to my favourite source of arcane and unusual information, The Straight Dope, "First of all, let's note there is a class of objects that are thought to consist of two independent but connected parts, usually identical or at least similar to each other.
"In addition to pants and trousers, there are eyeglasses, scissors, tweezers, shears, pliers, and so on. The terms for these objects are always plural in form, and they are usually referred to as "a pair of... ." This usage goes back to at least 1297 AD, when we have the expression 'a peire of hosen'.The implication is that the two parts are separable in some sense, and in fact a pair of hose can often mean two separate pieces. (True, you can't separate tweezers, but I never claimed the English language was rational.)"
Now, some of you may dismiss all this as pure pants since the American definition of "pants" means the garment you wear that covers your legs, and they go up to your waist. British people call them trousers. However, "pants" in the UK means underwear (underpants) but if someone says "this is pants", then it means something is rubbish. This whole paragraph is pants.
In my case, because of my lack of fitness, my breath comes in short pants but my thin, hairy lower legs are not designed to win friends, influence people or show me at my best hence the long Dockers. The ones I prefer are called "comfort fit" to distinguish them from all the other fits—classic, relaxed and easy. Enough variations to give you fits.
The ones I like or "comfort" have extra, hidden elastic in the waist band so a 38 can accommodate a larger calibre. I use the excuse that because I do a lot of flying in LIAT and the seats are uncomfortable, the Dockers with the stretchy waistbands are ideal for me. Of course it is because of my increasing waistline but why go into such sordid details?
The fact is these pants are not available in Trinidad where I am temporarily based and the old Dockers are almost threadbare and share with me the predicament of being past retirement age. I decided (after some urging by my son George) to purchase the pants from Amazon.com, the Internet-based retailer. When it comes to exploring Amazon, George is better than the original "discoverer" Don Francisco de Orellana who took a whole year travelling from Quito. Now it takes seconds.
Having purchased the pants, I realised how ironic the whole process was. I had bought the pants online facilitated by new technology that allows us to use money we don't have, to go into a store which doesn't exist, to buy things we don't need.
When I was little my pants went online after my mother washed them. In that sense, she and all the other ladies in the village were pioneers—they were online long before I was. And we had a mother-board before any computer was built—some called it a "jooking" board and others a "scrubbing" board but it was an important part of going online.
We ate chips and took large bytes. We had keys. And screens for privacy. My grandmother had memory like bush. When my cousin Joe sent a letter to his sister in England, 'e mail it. Worst of all, don't talk about mouse! At Christmas time, about ten of our friends dropped in and before you know it, mo' dem reach. It took 65 years after I discovered it for Google's Android phones to have "Ice Cream".
Our neighbor Maharajin had lived in the US and brought the first television set to the village of Carapichaima which, unfortunately did not have electricity at the time and television had not yet come to Trinidad. She was the first person to have wireless.
Now, even more amazing, is what is happening to good, old-fashioned sex as well as food and money. The good news, according to a new Harvard University study, is that when we post things or indulge in "self-disclosure" on "Facebook" it feels so good, our brains respond the same way they respond to pleasure triggers like food, money or sex.
Brain scans of participants revealed even more about the rewards of self-disclosure. "When you look at the neural regions generally associated with rewards like money or sex or food, those same regions seemed to respond more robustly when people were engaging in self-disclosure than when they were not," says Diana Tamir, one of the researchers.
"From the evidence we see, there are a couple of different metrics of value—both monetary and neural—that show that self-disclosure is subjectively rewarding to people. It's valuable. It goes towards explaining why people do it so often." The bad news is that while posting on Facebook is the same pleasure that is released when having sex, just not to the same amount.
The research has everyone a-twitter with the possibilities. One wit said he thought that because it is "Facebook" it would duplicate only the pleasure of oral sex but it seems that it penetrates other pleasure centres as well. Where will this passion for self-disclosure take us particularly given the way technology is facilitating it? According to the Late Night Comedians, it will come at an economic cost. Jimmy Fallon quipped, "A new report found that Facebook has created more than 450,000 jobs. Unfortunately, photos posted on Facebook have ended 550,000 jobs."
• Tony Deyal was last seen
asking, "When FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter merge into one super social networking company what will it be called?" My Twit Face.