Anne Palumbo: How to ignore a Speedo

Anne Palumbo

Speedo. Just saying the word makes my tongue sweat.

With swimsuit season creeping up on us like a pair of ill-fitting underwear, now is the time to tackle the dilemma that has plagued humankind since the invention of Lycra: How do you maintain composure in the presence of a man wearing a chipmunk hammock?

I’m not just talking about women keeping their cool, either. I’m talking men and women. Yes! Men, too, find Speedos, uh, how to say it? Aesthetically disconcerting? A tad revealing? Heinous enough to make one drop to his knees and whimper like a rain-soaked puppy?

Not everyone gets rattled, of course, but enough of us do to warrant some advice from yours truly. “Why me?” you may be wondering. Well, let’s just say I have been around the Speedo block many, many, too-many times.

My uncanny ability to stand tall in the face of a spandex slingshot came to light in my early ‘20s. Two months into my first “real” post-college job, I was attending a company pool party when my boss waltzed up to me wearing nothing but a Speedo. I can still feel the warmth of organs melting as I toiled to stifle the volcanic giggles brewing within. I can still hear the sound of neurons crackling as my mind scrambled for meaningful conversation. I can still recall my mantra: This too shall pass.

Despite all that was stacked against me — youth; co-workers who were flailing about like wicked elves behind my boss’s back; gastric reflux — I maintained composure and, if memory serves me, was able to reach my car before the snort heard ‘round the world was released.

Subsequent Speedo encounters, too numerous to mention, confirmed that I had a true gift for thwarting Le Speedo’s ability to induce shellshock.

But enough about me. You’re looking for some tips, aren’t you? OK, here’s what to do next time you’re confronted with a male bathing suit the size of a milkweed pod. First, take a deep breath to bolster your strength with oxygen. Then, lock eyeballs to prevent downward glances. Next, count facial moles to stay focused. Then, ready your pen to stab yourself if your eyes start to wander. Finally, agree with whatever the swimsuit offender has been yammering on about, and kindly excuse yourself to go get the drink you wholly deserve.

See? Totally doable! Slaying the Speedo dragon is not so hard, after all. Plus, the more you do it, the better you get. Before you know it, you’ll be so good at rendering the Speedo rudderless that you’ll be seeking opportunities to test your mettle.

Yes! You’ll be running after Speedos on the beach, screaming, “Wait!  Wait!” But ... I wouldn’t know anything about that.

Anne Palumbo writes for Messenger Post Media. Email her at