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Swedish army must get a clasp on bra woes

September 28, 2009

o If you like reading Tim Rowland, you'll love watching him. See what else Tim has to say

First, let's stipulate that this is a serious issue that must be rectified, and not some excuse for embarrassing catcalls and juvenile behavior on the part of men.

Let me restate that. Juvenile behavior on the part of men beyond what we have normally come to expect.

The serious issue is outlined in the English version of The Local, a Scandinavian newspaper, which reports:

"The bras issued to Swedish female military conscripts easily catch fire and are prone to coming undone, making them inappropriate for the battlefield, claims a conscripts' rights group."

OK, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! What did I just get finished telling you? Don't howl about how the Swedish infantry always goes for the jugular. If we are going to make inappropriate jokes about this, we are going to do so in a calm, dignified manner and not like a herd of braying cattle bellying up to the silage bar.

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One more outburst like that and I'll have to clear the room.

For just one moment, stop thinking of just yourself and try to put yourself in the place of the average soldier in the Swedish Army.

You have a serious job to do, and just because a female soldier's bra might shoot off into the sky and burst into flames, it is no reason for -- all right, who said that? You. You in the back. Out. Right now.

OK, where was I? Oh, right. According to the paper, "The women complained that the bras' fasteners have a tendency to come undone when the women performed rigorous exercise, forcing the female soldiers to take off all of their equipment in order to refasten the brassieres."

The potentially grave consequences of -- no, you would not refer to this as a "flanking maneuver," thank you very much -- having to refurnish the breakfast nook after every shot cannot be overstated.

Of course this is not the first area where similar malfunctions have occurred. I understand that bras with a tendency to easily come undone are a real problem in -- hmm ... I'll be in trouble no matter what community I insert here, so I'd better move on.

Recruits further complain that the Swedish military establishment (Motto: Don't Clasp, Don't Tell) has been "dragging its feet" on the matter of supplying bras that stay fastened.

Yeah, their feet if they're lucky. But knuckles is more like it. You don't suppose the Swedish military establishment is predominantly male, do you?

"Let's see, on today's agenda we have bids on a new jet fighter, a request for forces from the United Nations, drawing up a comprehensive deployment plan and the matter of women's bras falling off. Which should be our first priority?"

It shouldn't be too hard to solve, really. Sounds like the bra makers are getting their fasteners from IKEA and their material from the Chinese. That's unacceptable. We expect spontaneous combustion in children's toys, but not in female delicates.

Or this could be a cunning strategy on the part of the Swedes. If the enemy sees a battalion of soldiers advancing with bras snapping off like flaming popcorn, there are only two words I can think of that they will say:

We surrender.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or by e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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