Tuesday, June 2, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 13

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on March 25th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 3

The crack problem

It's a full moon over at the Krider household


I have this new problem in my life. It’s a pretty serious matter, one that could potentially get me arrested. This new problem is also something that embarrasses my children (although I personally see that as a glass-half-full situation since embarrassing my kids is the most fun part of being a parent). You see, somewhere along the line—and I’m not sure when this really started to occur—I became one of those men who continually has his butt crack hanging out of the back of his pants.

“Plumber’s crack” is the technical term for the disorder that is plaguing me these days. However, I’m not, and have never been, employed as a plumber. If I were working in the plumbing arts, I at least would have a vocational excuse for letting my butt crack creep out of the top of my pants. Unfortunately for me (and my children), I have no excuse for mooning the neighborhood when I am hunched over in the driveway washing the wheels of the Corvette.

The part that bothers me the most about my new “crack on display” condition is that I don’t even realize it’s happening until my kids say, “Dad, gross! Your butt crack is showing again.” This surprises me every time. I’m baffled because I remember as a kid being very self-conscious about my T-shirt not covering the lower portion of my back. If I was to bend over in junior high school and I felt the slightest breeze between the top of my 501 Button Fly Levi’s and the bottom of my T&C Surf Designs T-shirt, I knew instantaneously that my lower back was exposed. This would cause me some anxiety and I would immediately pull my T-shirt down. Nobody wanted to see a man’s lower back; it just wasn’t done. The only people who did that were overweight men and plumbers—two kinds of people I had no interest in becoming when I grew up.

Eventually, I grew up and I didn’t become a plumber, but the overweight thing sort of snuck up on me as a lifetime of sucking down cheeseburgers and milkshakes can do to a person (because, let’s be honest, cheeseburgers taste gooooood). After being put on notice by my wife, whom I love, that half of the time my butt crack is out for God and everyone to see, I started to wonder how this condition befell me. I did some soul searching, and used science and some mathematical equations (I even used pi, the 3.14 version, not the pumpkin version—though there was some of that kind of pie involved).

After doing the math, I also just looked into the mirror and deduced that my butt-crack factor comes down to waistline circumference. You see, geometrically, it’s impossible for a pair of pants and a T-shirt to remain joined at a man’s lower back as he bends over, especially when that man has an enormous beer belly. As the man bends over, the beer belly deforms and enlarges from gravity (and also from Sierra Nevada Pale Ales) so the diameter between the belly button (also referred to as “The Lint Storer”) and the lower portion of the spine begins to increase, which augments the circumference—and, let’s be realistic, cotton and denim can only stretch so much. The end result is me bent over to fix a broken sprinkler head (because my wife likes to park her car directly on top of plastic sprinkler heads), and, once again, the entire neighborhood has to stare at my butt crack.

It would be one thing if it were just a sneak peek at the top of the crack, maybe half an inch, which is socially acceptable. In my case, the correlation between my beer belly and the amount of butt crack visible is a 2-to-1 ratio, meaning for every 2 inches of extra waistline, I give the world a glimpse of another inch of butt crack. Right now I am showing, on overage, about 3.5 inches of butt crack. This, in my opinion (and the opinion of my wife, children, my neighbor across the street, and anyone who is unfortunate enough to drive by my front yard), is about 3 inches too much, and is not socially acceptable. You see—and hopefully you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing—once you hit the 3-inch mark, you are getting low enough to reveal ... the hole. The difference between seeing the crack and the hole is the difference between just embarrassing your kids and being arrested for public indecency. I don’t want to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life because I leaned over to pull a weed in my front yard.

What bothers me the most about this butt-crack-display phenomenon is that I actually have no idea when my butt crack is hanging out. Somewhere along the line, all of the nerve endings in my lower back have gone away.  Without those nerve endings informing me that my back and butt are exposed, I essentially have no shame. It could be a 10-degree day and I could bend over to pick up a golf ball at the driving range and I’ll have no realization that the top of my butt is hanging out. I won’t feel any of the cold air on my backside. I don’t know how this happened. It is a great irony that I could gain such a large waist and then coincidentally lose the nerve endings in my back at the same time, creating the perfect storm to bend over with impunity and moon the world (or, in some extreme and disgusting cases, wink at the world).

So what is the answer: Never bend over again? Wear overalls or maybe women’s maternity jeans with the elastic expanding panel in the front? Lose weight? No, losing weight is a ridiculous notion; I want to actually solve the problem, not dream up pie-in-the-sky unrealistic solutions. That reminds me, I could really use another piece of pie right now. Instead of losing weight or wearing pregnant women’s jeans, I think I’ll just hire somebody else to wash the wheels on the Corvette. I’ll sit in a lawn chair, hiding my butt from the world, and enjoy another Sierra Nevada. Cheers!


Rob was given a pair of suspenders as a birthday gift. They came from his neighbor across the street. Send comments through the executive editor at rmiller@santamariasun.com.

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