Rock solid research on the Piccadilly Line

What does this look like to you?

The Man Writing a Romance has made a fact- and romance-finding journey to merrye olde Englande, so that you might be enlightened without having to suffer ye olde jette-lagge.

Romance abounds in England, because old stuff is generally romantic, and England oozes old stuff. It helps, too, that old stuff like Canterbury Cathedral and the Tower of London often oozes murder and debauchery, which, in an odd way, kind of enhances romanticity.

Salisbury got a little romantic-er when our tour guide said someone recently suggested that Stonehenge was built to depict the “female reproductive organ.” Sounds right. What else would straight, hard oblong rocks, erected upright and thrusting forever into the sky, depict? One thing’s for sure, though: Predating the pyramids, Stonehenge has the ever-after part of HEA down right.

In London, the subway system is also known as “the tube,” and that conjures conjugal imagery of its own. But in addition to the obvious Freudian interpretation of what it means to have missile-shaped vehicles penetrating long, dark tunnels, you have stops at places like Shepherd’s Bush, Cocksfoster and St. John’s Wood. Putting the latter two and the first one together gives you a good logline for an erotic romance, which we all know is not just porn for women.

Heathrow airport even had its own tit-bit of romance (yes, that is how they spell it over there) in the form of a magazine called Zoo that was mostly about athletic events I’ll never understand, electronics I’ll never use and cars I’ll never drive, plus 23 pages of naked women. Kind of like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, only without the swimsuits, and in every issue.

Said magazine devoted one back page to backsides, which I found interesting in the country that, according to a study by a European maker of ladies undergarments, leads the world in average bra size.

That’s right. In a place where big breasts abound, blokes pine for hiney.

The study by Triumph International found that the average bra size in Britain is 34DD. Everywhere else in the world, the average size is somewhere between 32 and 36B. Still, 78% of British women surveyed said they “weren’t completely satisfied” with their breasts. On the other hand, 75% said they were “completely satisfied with how they look,” which indicates that converting U.S. to metric measurements may not be the only aspect of math these researchers struggled with.

Why are British breasts getting bigger? No one knows, but Julia Mercer, head of fit and technology for department store chain Marks & Spencer, told The Guardian newspaper that “there’s been a huge growth in the small-back, larger-cup lady, particularly among young girls. The younger girls just seem to have bigger breasts now.”

And, for the record, bigger something else that starts with b. Bush. The kind that’s not to be confused with a former U.S. president or the stop on the Jubilee Line of the London tube. According to the British edition of FHM magazine, which I also located at Heathrow, younger women are scuttling the scorched-earth pubic policies of the past twenty years and returning to the naturalistic glory days of their grandmothers. “Down there,” at least.

So that trip to England was quite successful. And merrye. And enlightening. I must end with a footnote, though. I looked long and hard, but found no evidence to support the veracity of that double-D thing. Which makes me wonder if I should go back during summer.

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