Letters to Paula, MA97

Paula Poundstone is waiting to answer your questions about life’s little mysteries. E-mail her at paula@motherjones.com.

Rostoni@tir.com, e-mail: Why do blue jeans have a lump in the outside seam of the leg (usually the left thigh)? I wear Levi’s, but other people have this too with other brand-name jeans.

A: When I read your letter I wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery because I thought I knew exactly what you were talking about, having come across this problem myself time and again. So I called Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco.

But the public relations woman I talked to had no idea what I was talking about. Worse, when I went to prove the point with my own jeans, I had no such lump. (This is why I could never be a doctor. I’d be studying prostate cancer and begin to feel a pain down there.) It’s a good thing I was on the phone, because she seemed to think I was weird enough without knowing that each time I said, “I could swear it was here before,” I was rubbing my finger down the outside seam of my left leg.

She said Levi’s are made with a double seam on the inside and a single seam on the outside. All she could think of was that some men’s jeans have the wash and care tag on the inside of the leg. I was insulted on your behalf and scoffed that that couldn’t be what you meant. I hope that by publishing your letter, we’ll find someone who knows what you’re talking about.

P.S. Check your left leg for a lump with your pants off.

Write Paula c/o Mother Jones, 731 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94103. Fax her at (415) 665-6696; or send e-mail to Paula@motherjones.com