Japan: Getting There Is Not Much Fun

"I wouldn't mind," said the anxious housewife at the Atami station of Japan's National Railways, "except they were a New Year's gift from my husband and he will kill me if he finds they are missing. He will not believe what happened.'' An understanding man, the stationmaster wired ahead to Nagoya. Sure enough, in one of the empty cars, there were the black lace panties that the woman had been wearing until she was caught in the rib-crunching free-for-all involved in getting on and off a train in Japan.

The lady's plight, presumably the result of failing elastic or...

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