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At School, a Most Uncomfortable Subject
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Children & youth; Humor; Social life & customs
Author: Stuever, Hank
Date: Sep 2, 2002
Start Page: C.01
Section: STYLE

It's time to give the wedgie its due. (Give the wedgie a fond tug.) Somewhere out there, freshmen boys are keeping the lowest possible profile in the hallways, hoping to avoid senior football players, who seek to wedgie them or worse, and this is a good thing, in that it's a firsthand lesson in the human condition: Sometimes life stinks. Elementary school kids are fawning over the "Captain Underpants" book series, whose hero is vested with special wedgie powers, and we approve.

Dads wedgie sons. Brothers wedgie one another from birth to grave. Everyone has that one uncle -- Uncle Wedgie -- who can lift you all the way to the ceiling by your tighty-whities. (In some families, Uncle Wedgie was Cousin Wedgie, and sometimes you weren't entirely sure how, or if, you were related to him. Sometimes Uncle Wedgie went over the line. Sometimes Uncle Wedgie would pin your arms, sit on your chest and "stinkyface" you. Sometimes the phone would ring in the middle of the night and your mom would announce at breakfast that Uncle Wedgie was in jail again.)

Sometimes your garden-variety wedgie is called a Melvin, depending on where you grew up. A school year hasn't really started until someone gets an atomic wedgie (front and back), or a jockstrap wedgie. Then there's the atomic swirl (lift and twist), or the skid- mark wedgie (bonus points). Don't forget the hanging wedgies, such as the coat-hook wedgie, the tree wedgie, the stop-sign wedgie.

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