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briefs encounter of leopard print kind

"AS if life isn't hard enough," said Josie. She was reacting to Maggie's news that leopard print is back on trend for this winter. Maggie, along with Patsy, is a big fan of the print and, apart from a very revealing one-piece swimsuit, she also has a wardrobe that includes dresses, trousers, tops, shoes and underwear, all in the print.

She has such a gra for it that, at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom when she was shopping in New York, she bought her King Charles spaniel, Derek, a little leopard print coat to wear when he went out for walkies. It had a big sparkly collar on it – a bit like what Elvis used to wear in Las Vegas. Derek sadly died a couple of months later, and the three of us reckon it was from mortification.

"It's always a good feeling to be on trend," said Maggie, with a certain degree of smugness.

"Jaysus, Maggie, you're 52, five-foot-nothing and live in Kildare. Which bit of 'not on trend' don't you get?" said Josie.

"Ladies, let's change the subject. I know exactly what I'm getting Jose for Christmas," said Patsy.

When Patsy is this excited, it usually involves underwear. This was no exception.

"Frigo number 1," she said, and gave a "down with the homies" hand gesture as if she knew who Dizzee Rascal is.

When all the slagging had died down, she explained that Frigo Number 1s are boxer briefs that are made from 'sonically-bonded' lycra and mesh. What 'sonically-bonded' meant, I had no idea, but there was no need, because Patsy was on the job.

"It keeps everything in place without the need for seams."

Kept what in place, Maggie wanted to know.

"You know, his, like . . . his genitalia."


The way she said it, it was as if Jose's nethers go on walkabout on their own and end up poking out of the bottom of his trousers.

Anyway, the jocks cost $100 (€75), and the reason for this, apart from them being sonically-bonded, of course, is because they have 'laser-cut vents in the rear for added ventilation' and 'breathable mesh zones to keep you cool'.

In other words, if your other half's nickname is Johnny Fartypants, then these are just the job for him.

Patsy showed us a picture of a male model wearing the Frigos. Slim of waist and strong of leg with nice rounded buttocks, he was a perfect specimen of manhood.

I'm not sure how the same underpants will look on Jose, who has a flatpack bum and legs like cheese strings.

"Do they come in leopard print?" asked Maggie. Let's hope not.