Germany – a nation of 'tuckers'?

Germany – a nation of 'tuckers'?

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It could just be a new trend or maybe something left over from childhood, but Nick Woods is mystified as to why so many German men seem to prone to tucking their shirt into their underpants.

It’s the kind of habit that helped lead John Major to a staggering defeat in the 1997 UK election.

Press cartoonists went wild over a knockout rumour that the rather grey Mr Major, who apparently enjoyed eating frozen peas, also tucked his shirt into his underpants. Subsequent attempts to portray the beleaguered PM as a serious policy politician were immediately dashed and the rest is electoral history.

The practice does say something rather sad about a person. So why in the last two weeks have I seen seemingly rather cool Germans doing exactly the same?

I was dumbfounded to see a young man after a recent dance class quite blatantly drop his trousers to tuck his rather trendy techno T-shirt into his briefs. Maybe he’s the kind of techno fan that likes to make sure each tune has the advertised bpm by actually counting them.

*quote1*The image of someone who ‘tucks’, Superman aside, is generally of a little boy inside a man’s body, in need of some additional emotional support from ‘mumsy’. It’s hardly a habit to attract the ladies.

It could also be related to a high level of anal retention. Those people who cut up a Kit Kat bar with a knife to ensure a clean break rather than a more unruly snap probably like a good ‘tuck’.

It could of course be a practice taught in youth and merely carried on into adult life.

But in all cases it has to relate to the state of mind, as there can be no practical reason for it.  Why dirty two items of clothing when one has already been specially designed for the job?

The only excuse I have heard so far that comes anywhere near to acceptable is that it is a barrier against the cold; though I’ve yet to be convinced it has any effect.

“In winter fashion flies out of the window,” one well-loved friend told me, having been caught in the act.
*quote2*But it’s so uncomfortable only regular tuckers are likely to appreciate the benefit.

In repressed old England, a good candidate for the habit on a large scale, the current trend, even among heterosexual men, is to have low-cut jeans that reveal at least the underwear label if not the backside itself.

So my question is whether Germany is top dog for tuckers?

In a way it’s a good thing for philanthropists to recognise, should they get close enough to appreciate it.  Support can be targeted in the right direction.

And think of what psychological advantages there could be in high-powered business or political meetings if you know your opponent tucks. The problem with this is that Germany by my reckoning would be on the wrong side of the table every time.

Think of John Major, all you German guys, and think on.

March 2005


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