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I Bought Tiki Barber Underwear

(From Sean Reis, TODAY Producer)I bought Tiki Barber underwear. They were green, and blue, and white, and had the word BEAR in the waistband. They are more of the boxer brief variety. Snug. He likes them.   As Dave Barry would say, "I am not making this up." I'm just going to come out and admit it. If you work at the TODAY Show, and are subjected to a task like this, you're really never going to

(From Sean Reis, TODAY Producer)

I bought Tiki Barber underwear. They were green, and blue, and white, and had the word BEAR in the waistband. They are more of the boxer brief variety. Snug. He likes them.   As Dave Barry would say, "I am not making this up." I'm just going to come out and admit it. If you work at the TODAY Show, and are subjected to a task like this, you're really never going to hear the end of it. I'm going to be known as Tiki's Personal Shopper, whether I like it or not. So I might as well set the record straight. But I've really started this story in the middle. 

On his way to Cape Town, South Africa, for "Where in the World," Tiki missed his connection in London, and his bags went to another part of Europe (we think). I got the phone call over dinner with my mother (did I mention she came all this way?). He had missed his connection because of a delay in New York, which happens in the least wind and rain. Ordinarily, even under the most direct route, it takes about 19 hours to get here from the East Coast. His arrival was going to be delayed by more than 12 hours. His bags weren't going to make till the next day, if then.

Here he was, a man traveling six time zones, two continents, and he did not have so much as clean socks. The morning after he arrived I had to produce a shoot, where, um, I had to stick him in a cage in the ocean, and Great White Sharks were going to come by. (Video coming soon)   He needed new clothes (underwear could be important for this story). He was going to hit the town after the stores were closed, so it was up to me.

I contact Tiki via the Blackberry saying I was going to have to buy him clothes. Please enjoy the following exchange:

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From: Reis, Sean

To: Barber, Tiki

Do you think you are going to need clothes?

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From: Barber, Tiki

To: Reis, Sean

Yes, my bag is hopelessly lost.

From: Reis, Sean

To: Barber, Tiki

 Sizes please?

I will get you some pants, some shirts, and some unmentionables. Ok?

You need toiletries too?

From: Barber, Tiki

To: Reis, Sean

I have essential toiletries, so I’m good there.

Pants are tough to fit, I have a 32 waist but my thighs are generally too big for them so you'll prob need to get 34.  Length 33.

Shirt: large is good.

I have tennis shoes, i'm not sure what i'll need but in case, i wear 11.5.

Hopefully, they will find my bag and get it to Capetown tomorrow.

Thanks, i appreciate you getting the stuff for me.

From: Reis, Sean

To: Barber, Tiki

 

Treetrunk thighs.

Got it.

Armed with that information, now I had to buy clothing for a thankful, but seemingly difficult to fit former professional athlete. It's a strange errand, but not the strangest I've ever performed in my service at the TODAY Show.

Anyhow, I was off to a local department store. Now, I think perhaps I sound a bit fussy in this posting. I'm not. I'm a 34 year old father of twin boys (Hi Charlie and Brady!), who when it comes to his own personal appearance, is a bit of a slob. I'm more prone to cargo shorts and sweatshirts, even in the posh 30 Rock offices.

A word about buying clothing overseas. Americans are BIG. I'm not sure if you're aware, but apparently, there's some kind of obesity epidemic happening in our country. Take a look around. Other countries, well, not so much.   So, American sizes are actually a size up from some overseas sizes. A U-S large is actually an XL. You get the idea. So I go to the store.

I started mentally dressing Tiki, of course.

I started with the underwear. Now, I've never bought them in a foreign country. I've got my brand and my style and that's my business. I'd never find myself in a position like this on my own, trust me. But, at least in the store, the selection was limited. It would appear from this experience that South Africans are really really really big fans of the bikini brief for men. NOT the jockey. The bikini. It's referred to in some circles as "The Grape Smuggler" or "The banana Hammock". You could buy them by the dozens in this store. But I really wanted something a bit more traditional. I looked high and low and finally found "THE BEAR". They were awesome. If I was shopping for me, it's what I would have bought. Really.

After that, it was pretty much a blur, some pants, a pair of new Nikes, a Fleece (bit colder than you'd imagine in Cape Town in fall), a couple shirts, and I was done. I have to say, I'm not much of a shopper, but I did ok. It's a rather odd experience shopping for another man. Especially when you are buying things fast because the stores about to close, and the women are looking at the sizes you are buying (I'm 6'7", Tiki's 5'10" ) and shaking their heads. I told them they were for my son.

In the end, Tiki liked the clothes, and took a little too much joy in my role as his manservant, teasingly me incessantly. Thanks Tiki. Jerk. Welcome to the Show.