Updated: July 18, 2006
This article is about the clothing accessory that we wear to make sure our trousers do not slip below the waist line. And we're mainly talking about men's belts rather than female ones, because 1) female belts are more of a decoration than an actual necessity 2) women have wider hips - this does not prevent them wearing trousers in a manly fashion, half the cheeks out, but this is something any decent man will visually ignore - and any decent woman refrain from doing; if we want to enjoy the Plumber's Syndrome, there are some experts in the field, no women required, thank you ... Anyhow, the wider hips, as well as the fact the conventional female pants ride higher than men's, makes them less prone to slip down without being fastened by, let's say, a belt.
Lastly, imitating the other sex never gives quite the impression like the original. I could wear a tutu, but that won't turn me into a ballerina. This is what we're talking about, the evil object that so fascinates us:
Well, it's the matter of hygiene, believe it or not. Just like the communal bowls of peanuts served in pubs are epicenters of biohazard, thanks to the fact many of the patrons fail to wash their hands now and then, the belts are the most infected, least clean piece of "clothing" we possess.
Here's an analogy. Cars undergo periodic maintenance visits in the shops. Mathematically speaking, a car is in the best shape just after its 15,000-km overhaul (3,000 miles for Americans). As time and Kilometrage (mileage) add up, the car's shape gradually deteriorates until it reaches its lowest point just before the next visit to the shop.
Similarly, our hands are cleanest just after being washed, get dirty with time and wear and get dirtiest just before they are washed again. And accidentally, the last piece of garderobe that we usually touch before washing our hands are - make a wild guess - belts.
Belts are unique in being midway between our hands and our privates. So any time we go for number one or number two, we fiddle with belts. The sensible thing would be to keep your trousers undone until after you have washed your hands, but strutting half-naked in public restrooms can cause a bit of discomfort to other people.
Thus, unfortunately, we are forced to handle our belts after taking care of our needs, merrily applying the germs collected from our private parts, the door handle to the stall, the water tank handle, the roll of toiler paper, the toilet seat, all thoroughly abused by thousands of other people (except, maybe, our private parts).
To make things worse, belts are a "precision" accessory. Unlike shirts, which you can manhandle with fingertips, belts usually require a firm grip and lots of finger-smearing in order to get the pin into the right hole. Which makes the translation of all those lovely biohazardous particles - from our epiderm to the worn leather of our belts - all the more successful. And now, the punchline ... we never wash our belts!
Yup! They are usually made of leather-like products that do not react well in contact with water and soap. Of course, there are other available methods of cleaning belts, like UV lamps, X-ray machines, heat sterilization, salt, and other exotic treatments. The problems is, very few of us keep radioactive sources in our backyards, with the rare exception of David Hahn.
And so, belts, especially the good ole indestructible ones, which we're so proud of and wear year after year, are probably the foulest, most contaminated pieces of processed textile (or whatever) on the planet.
Aha! You got a point there, n'uncle. All in all, it would not really matter as long as we washed our hands after playing with our belts. The problem is, belts are not only used for wearing. They are also a disciplining item. Y'know, when you're wife is our of line and you need to keep her in check?
Therefore, I implore you, dear citizens of Planet Earth, if you intend to use your belts on someone's flesh, please make sure you use a dedicated, clean belt, used solely for this particular purpose. After all, hygiene is very important for our health.