Let's talk about thongs.
Among my great insights regarding these items is that they immediately open to confusion: is the user referring to a type of undergarment, or a very casual type of footwear? Maybe we should use separate, unequivocal terminology: backless underpants and shower shoes. This caused some confusion a few years ago when newspaper fashion mavens tut-tutted about some girls' athletic team visiting the White House and some were wearing thongs! Sorry, newsies, no immodesty or lésé majesté intended!
This is compounded by the common misprounciation of the word tong. A tong can either be the word for a grasping tool used by barbecuers, or a Chinese secret society. Therefore, using a thong to turn your meat on the grill is not advised, using tongs is! And a thong war is not likely to break out in Chinatown, unless it's in a strip club!
Another observation of the Rick Romero variety is that thongs are a delight when worn by an attractive person of the opposite sex, not yourself. You see, there's the strap thingy to deal with! And thongs have a way of riding up in a way that is particularly evident if the person is wearing lowrider jeans -- the dreaded or aspired to whale tail!
[I was going to tell one whale of a tail of whale tales, or is it the other way around?]
Anyway, thongs can serve a cultural function. They can serve as something to focus on when you want to deal with anxiety: Imagine you're a novice lawyer arguing before the Supreme Court. You can deal with performance anxiety by imagining the nine Supremes all wearing thongs! Oops, there goes your lunch!
Or imagine our Presidential candidates speaking while wearing thongs.
They can be used to differentiate your vehicle in parking lots, or for major celebrations:
Thongs can even provide an excuse for increasing the role of government. Under the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act, it is possible to conceive of the government adopting regulations governing the sale of these articles of fashion, licensing who may sell them, and restricting who may or who may not wear them.
But, would this provide another point of political contention, as if we don't have enough, already. I can see Conservatives eschewing thongs as a protest against government encroachment, and Liberals adopting, enduring, and openly hinting that they're wearing a thong, just to indicate that they're cool with the government regulating their underwear! The Rev. Billy Bob Driscoll observed that thongs are a Deity's punishment on people who are liberals!