Pardon my absence last week, but I was laid low by a back which decided to go a tad haywire on me, and creative writing was the furthest from its mind.

So, a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Beloved Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays – and if I’ve left anyone off that list do forgive me, it is my ignorance, not my ignoring.

Meanwhile, however, back at my back. This particular ailment caused all the nerves between my ribs to go into sparkle-arkling mode, leaving me with the feeling that I had a band around me, slowly and inexorably tightening until I cried uncle. Top that all off with the necessity to wear a bra, and my discomfort was complete.

Now at this point, gentlemen, you might want to turn your faces to the wall, plug your ears and shout la-la-la-la for a while, because this one is really aimed at the girls, so to speak. See you men get off so easily. You don’t have to wear over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, and you should be on your knees in awe of the women around you, admiring – naturally at a distance and quietly so as not to offend anybody, heaven forefend – the stamina of women in lugging these burdens around on a daily basis.

So I’ve decided 2018 will see the birth of an invention I have in mind. I have absolutely no clue how one would go about producing it, but a girl can dream.

There are many theories as to who invented the modern bra, and it seems a Dresden lass by the name of Christine Hardt, credited with patenting the first modern version in 1899 is deemed the winner. I much prefer the urban legend stating that it was invented by Otto Titzling, but you can’t win ‘em all.

Just as the evidently outdated dog collar and leash has been supplanted with a more humane method of restraint by virtue of not choking the life out of Fido on his daily walk, it just seems to me that something so prone to gravitational pull in the female chestal area should be supported by something other than the existing rib-irritating bands of elastic underneath and being hauled into place by shoulders already carrying the onerous weight of everything else.

So I propose a device somehow cunningly and comfortably attached at the base of each boob, through which one can attach a strapping device which will haul the flesh upward, leaving the straps to be secured in place in a suspender-like contraption, to the back of ones knickers. This may give rise to interesting episodes in bathroom visitation, so I may have to re-work the suspenders so they may be clipped onto the back of one's socks, or in the case of women endowed with more than their fair share of busty-substances, the device could be attached to the heels of ones shoes. And as an added benefit, imagine the improvement in your posture.

OK, OK - it’s a work in progress, ladies. I will get back to you with my perfect solution. 

-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com