Aug 31, 2014

So Long, Dong Sarong: Tomme du Bonhomme

The sun is setting earlier, the school year is upon us, and it is time to mourn not just the end of French bathing suit season, but -- perhaps -- the end of a French bathing suit itself.
Yes, it's another posting that discusses the European men's Speedo, which I like to call the Teeny-Weeny Manokini. But are the days of the Teeny-Weeny Manokini, the Banana Hammock, the Grape Smuggler, the Nantucket Nad Bucket, the Ballbushka, the Nugget-Hug-It, the Manberry Pudding Pack, the Daytona Dong Sarong, and the Saint-Tropez Truffle Duffle really over? (In case you're wondering where I got these names: The Internet truly does have everything and more.)

The Manokini's monopoly -- the Manokiniopoly? -- may indeed be over at the beach. But, of course, the caleçon, a.k.a. briefs-style suit, is de rigeur and still the only legal option at all public pools, bien sûr.

There are some distinct pros and cons of wearing the "new" American-style bathing suit:

Advantages:                                                             Disadvantages:                                                            
Comfortable when dry, like shorts                            Clings to legs when wet, so less comfortable
Covers more surface area --                                    Upper thighs cannot get beautifully bronzed
                 less sunscreening, less sunburning
More room for patterns and designs                        Obvious when it's last year's pattern
Leaves more to the imagination                               Can't display one's manhood in all its glory
Looks hip, like a California beach boy                     Looks sloppy, like a California beach bum

These particular board shorts look extra American.
It's not just for the young, but also the young at heart:

All of these shots are, indeed, taken on French beaches (Bretagne and the Vendée to be specific). But if you feel like hanging out on a beach in France with a man in an Ouch Pouch is the only way to really feel like you're in Europe, you're still in luck...for now. While board shorts may not be only for the young, it does seem that the Pickle Pincher is only for the older generations.

Will people start wearing their pants with the crotch down by the knees next? Uh-oh....too late.
Or, at the other extreme, will this new German invention, called a G-string for men, hit the French beaches? Oh Lord, I hope not.

THE CHEESE: Tomme du Bonhomme

Tomme du Bonhomme sounds like it would be named after a "good man" (literally a "bon homme") or at least a "fellow" (the more common translation of "bonhomme"), but in fact, it's named after a place: Le Bonhomme, which is a commune in the department of Haut-Rhin, in the region of Alsace. The town's male residents are called Bonhommiens (as opposed to simply Bonhomme from Bonhomme) and the females are called Bonhommiennes, which pretty much defies any attempt at translation and just goes to show how crazy the French language is when it comes to gender.

The cheese is made from cows' milk that is raw, but nevertheless still cooked (just not pasteurized). As you can see, the cheese is not just perfumed but filled with thyme leaves.

It's a nice cheese, but not super exciting. Even with the thyme in it, it has a mild flavor and a somewhat rubbery texture.

Well, a Tomme du Bonhomme could be translated as a "Fellow's Big Wheel". And since this posting is about gentlemen's bathing suit choices that show off the wheels, big or small, to differing degrees, I figure this is the cheese. As the town is located in Alsace and has many times belonged to Germany/Prussia, it has a German name also -- Diedolshausen -- which sounds like yet another euphemism for a skimpy men's bathing suit that's "hausen" the "diedol".


  1. Laughed out loud from this one, although I'm strangely not hungry now.


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