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Lyndon B. Johnson Buys Pants
January 18, 2011 9:21 AM   Subscribe

"In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants, so he called the Haggar clothing company and asked for some. The call was recorded (like all White House calls at the time), and has since become the stuff of legend. Johnson’s anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar are some of the most intimate words we’ve ever heard from the mouth of a President." From Put This On. (Via).
posted by chavenet (68 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously.
posted by blucevalo at 9:25 AM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


So he needed more room for his Johnson then?
posted by dibblda at 9:28 AM on January 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


"Does Ho Chi Minh have anything like this"

-President Lyndon Johnson
posted by clavdivs at 9:28 AM on January 18, 2011


The Johnson tapes are often quoted around the Slack household.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2011


This is pretty old.
posted by anniecat at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've always assumed that LBJ had large balls, but confirmation is always nice.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 9:35 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's it? I was expecting something a LOT more graphic based on this description and previous stories about LBJ. "Nuts" and "bunghole".

I was more struck by the odd combination of ultimate power (he called the CEO of the pants company and gave a custom order and then passed it to his "boy") and down-home self-reliance ("give me 2 or 3 inches so I can let them out or take them up").
posted by DU at 9:37 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"... some of the most intimate words we've ever heard from the mouth of a President."

Obviously, they've never listened to the Nixon tapes.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:37 AM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obviously, they've never listened to the Nixon tapes.

I was gonna say Clinton, but that'll work too.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:41 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


brand-gnu wrote: "Obviously, they've never listened to the Nixon tapes."

Nixon wasn't referring to actual fucking, unless ratfucking counts.
posted by wierdo at 9:42 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is pretty old.

The audio is (obviously) old, but the video is new, commissioned by Put This On.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:48 AM on January 18, 2011


I need to get out more. I've only seen this linked on 327 web sites. It is winter in the Eastern USA, though.
posted by fixedgear at 9:51 AM on January 18, 2011


This is a man who knew how to work political machines to get results...for his nut sack.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:56 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was unaware that people used the term "bunghole" seriously.
posted by odinsdream at 9:56 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was unaware that people used the term "bunghole" seriously.

Yeah, I had to listen to that twice.
posted by jnnla at 10:09 AM on January 18, 2011


In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants

I like the implication that he had not before then.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:09 AM on January 18, 2011 [31 favorites]


Johnson was very particular about that area of his body. The White House plumber recalled that Johnson had his shower modified to include a nozzle on the floor, pointed up.
posted by Sculthorpe at 10:13 AM on January 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Down where you nuts hang.
posted by Danf at 10:20 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


your
posted by Danf at 10:20 AM on January 18, 2011


Yes, this is old, but until recently put into a context that those who do not identify themselves as wonks can understand or even find interesting, hence the cartoon.

Personally, they should make a feature-length movie of these types of recordings as they do elicit an emotion, almost sympathy, from the listener as they tune into the private conversations of people who make up the power cupola in Washington, DC. It's almost as if they're being overly polite and warm to one another as they plan for a decade-long war that would shape the nation for generations to come, awaiting the inevitable confirmation to escalate the war as the president performed seemingly obligatory one-man debates with himself to clear his human side of the decisions the political would take and further acquiescing to his wishes with a simple, yes, no or ok, sir.

Does President Obama call Jeff Bezos if he needs a new Kindle? And how come Mr. Haggar, Jr. doesn't have the address to the White House?
posted by jsavimbi at 10:23 AM on January 18, 2011


metafilter: it's like riding a wire fence
posted by pyramid termite at 10:24 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, he was fuckin' nuts.
posted by zzazazz at 10:26 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is nothing. Just wait until they release the tape of LBJ ordering "Daisy Dukes" for Lady Bird.
posted by Senator at 10:30 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like the part where he says these are the best pants he's ever bought in the United States and then proceeds to ask that they change pretty much everything about them.
posted by coppermoss at 10:30 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Down where your nuts hang," if you get rid of all naughty connotations, would actually make a pretty good nursery rhyme or children's book title.
posted by ORthey at 10:31 AM on January 18, 2011


I can't think of anyone who has ran for political office in any race in the last 40 years that I would have voted for over Johnson were he a contestant.
posted by vapidave at 10:34 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Down where your nuts hang," if you get rid of all naughty connotations,

Do let us know how that works out for you.
posted by odinsdream at 10:36 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great post.
posted by electricsandwich138 at 10:43 AM on January 18, 2011



I can't think of anyone who has ran for political office in any race in the last 40 years that I would have voted for over Johnson were he a contestant.


Read the Caro biography and see if you still feel the same way. (Maybe you have, and in that case, why?)
posted by seventyfour at 10:43 AM on January 18, 2011


Johnson’s anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar

Eponysterical?
posted by notion at 10:47 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Blessed are the burps to balls to bungholes.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 10:50 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm amused to find out that LBJ carried a knife in his pocket.
posted by redyaky at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think lyndon wanted the slacks for the Tom Jones concert.
posted by clavdivs at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tailor: Do you dress left or dress right?
Me: I'm ambidextrous.
posted by Gungho at 11:00 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tailor: Do you dress left or dress right?
Me: I'm ambidextrous.


Lost on us growers.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:10 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


His weight fluctuates 15 pounds every month?!
posted by basicchannel at 11:13 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


...in that case, why?

Immigration act of 1965, Great Society, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, Medicare, Medicaid, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Public Broadcasting Act.

Perhaps I'm pining for something long gone and perhaps I'm attributing too much to LBJ personally but we got Sesame Street out of the deal.
posted by vapidave at 11:36 AM on January 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


They should make the animatronic LBJ at the museum and library say something about needing space for his nuts and bunghole.
posted by djduckie at 11:38 AM on January 18, 2011


I'm amused to find out that LBJ carried a knife in his pocket.

a lot of people from his time and his kind of place did and still do - it's just something a rural man carries with him
posted by pyramid termite at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


His weight fluctuates 15 pounds every month?!

So that's TWO things he and I have in common.




I also took over the presidency when my younger, more cosmopolitan running mate was shot in Dallas
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:52 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


even Kubrick supressed the Dallas jokes.
posted by clavdivs at 11:54 AM on January 18, 2011


I must have missed the part where LBJ discusses payment for the pants.
posted by mygoditsbob at 11:55 AM on January 18, 2011


but Dick Wolf did not.
posted by clavdivs at 11:55 AM on January 18, 2011


that was lyndons way, he could call some guy up and talk about what he wants and include his nut sack. He personalized everything presidental. "my Boys fighting, my airplane (my matchbooks), my war, my house, my country. It was the Johnson effect. Who was in the room when the phone rang, Joe Kennedy on the other end? (oh do peak)
posted by clavdivs at 12:02 PM on January 18, 2011


And how come Mr. Haggar, Jr. doesn't have the address to the White House?

Johnson wants his aide to get the address of the clothing company in order to send one of the pairs he already owns as a reference. Remember back in the 60s things weren't branded to the same degree so it wasn't just a case of "send me a pair of your 'executive suite' pants with a 38 inch waist and a 34 leg." Now everything comes with 6 different labels telling you who made it, who checked it, what size it is (in theory), how to take care of it, whether it's fire retardant, and how the marketing team would like you to describe it to your friends, your facebook friends, and people you've slept with but wouldn't necessarily call friends.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:17 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, is "bunghole" a fairly common euphemism in Texas? The first I ever heard it was from Beavis and Butthead, who are also Texan.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:32 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


it's just something a rural man carries with him

Or the lady in your life
posted by stormpooper at 1:06 PM on January 18, 2011


Is that why his Spanish mistress called him "L B.J."?
posted by Ratio at 1:14 PM on January 18, 2011


My favorite story about the character that was President Lyndon Johnson. They say if you worked for him and you were in his doghouse, you had to meet with him and get your instructions and orders for the day and interrogations from him while he sat on the crapper. My memory is hazy but I think I read this in Caro's book.

Also: his euphemism for big-tent consensus building: "do you want them inside the tent pissing out or outside the tent pissing in?"
posted by bukvich at 1:14 PM on January 18, 2011


I always carry a pocketknife.
posted by ColdChef at 1:33 PM on January 18, 2011


I always have my bunghole on my person.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:38 PM on January 18, 2011


"It isn't just a big white car...."

Lyndon's Cadillacs
posted by clavdivs at 1:57 PM on January 18, 2011


When I first found out that LBJ said "bunghole" on tape, I was a junior in college, and it made my week. Nothing was funnier. I'm not sure anything will ever be funnier. I still think about this at least once a week. LBJ said bunghole! On tape! Point for god!
posted by millipede at 2:25 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was an amazing snippet of audio ephemera. It was wall to wall fascinating, from the bizarreness of a president calling to give long winded, detailed measurements to a commercial
trouser manufacturer, rather than have his pants tailor made, when he'd obviously been long suffering from a nasty inner seam induced, male version of camel toe, to that resoundingly unapologetic mid-sentence belch.

The "where the nuts hang" and "bunghole" were icing on the cake. In his favor, at least he wasn't Tricky Dick.

Apparently LBJ was proud of his long shlong, called it "Jumbo" and notorious for whipping it out for effect.
posted by nickyskye at 2:37 PM on January 18, 2011


pyramid termite, you win.
posted by shoepal at 3:50 PM on January 18, 2011


Hang on there -- this is the definitive link (especially if you want to know what LBJ was watching on TV during the call).
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 4:06 PM on January 18, 2011


Hey hey LBJ! How many sperm did you kill today?
posted by loquacious at 4:35 PM on January 18, 2011


I always carry a pocketknife.

A gentleman should never ask for a knife, a handkerchief, or the time.

Though I've gotten out of the habit after too many times going to the state Capitol or the airport and realizing at the door that I forgot to leave the damn thing in the car.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2011


"What were Lyndon B. Johnson's Oval Office drink buttons?"


'Lyndon Johnson had 4 buttons installed in the Oval Office: One was for coffee, one for tea, one for Coke and one for Fresca.'
posted by clavdivs at 8:42 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lyndon Johnson Oval Office Chair
$2,095.00
posted by clavdivs at 8:52 PM on January 18, 2011


Janet Leigh's FBI Background Check

(Edgar and Lyndon sound like Peanuts parents)
posted by clavdivs at 9:05 PM on January 18, 2011


President Johnson: " And of course, they got it wrong on the beagle dog. All I've done was holding the beagle up so he could get the front of his picture instead of his ass.

Humphrey: [Laughs.] "I know; I know..."

"The Greatest Man In The World"
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 PM on January 18, 2011


>>I'm amused to find out that LBJ carried a knife in his pocket.

a lot of people from his time and his kind of place did and still do - it's just something a rural man carries with him


Precisely. I carry a pocket-knife, just as my father does and his father before. I also carry a utility knife, because I'm a little bit country and a little bit BACK THE FUCK OFF ASSHOLE I DON'T WANT ANY TROUBLE AND I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING WORTH STEALING COME ON MOTHERFUCKER I'LL CUT YOUR FUCKEN NOSE OFF AND FEED IT TO MY DOG!!!

I don't, however, own a dog.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:35 PM on January 18, 2011


you should get one- and lose the knife, you look silly.

President Johnson's Dogs
see the pattern
one was named 'Edgar' after the man who gave it to him.

that is mother fucking power

posted by clavdivs at 1:10 AM on January 19, 2011


> Lyndon Johnson Oval Office Chair

Is it just me or is George W. Bush's chair far and away the awesomest of the bunch? I mean, it doesn't quite exude patriarchal executive authority (more like a rich yacht owner stopping in for a meeting with his financial advisor), but damn if it doesn't look comfy.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:22 AM on January 19, 2011


Once when I was reporting, Lyndon Johnson's top guy gave me the word they were looking for a successor to J. Edgar Hoover. I wrote it and the day it appeared Johnson called a press conference and appointed Hoover head of the FBI for life... And when he was done, he turned to his top guy and the President said, "Call Ben Bradlee and tell him fuck you."
-- Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) in All the President's Men
posted by kirkaracha at 8:05 AM on January 19, 2011



"Individual characters are not crucial to soap opera, but broad-stroked action is. Washington packs in more instances of official malfeasance than even the series' marathon running time would lead one to expect. Covering a period from Lyndon Johnson's 1968 abdication speech to the Watergate break-in in 1972, Writers David W. Rintels and Eric Bercovici manage to dredge up White House wiretaps and enemies lists, CIA assassination plots, FBI domestic surveillance activities, L.B.J.'s love life, various dirty tricks of the 1972 campaign, C.R.P.'s convoluted money-laundering maneuver and more."

Jason Robards plays 'The President'
posted by clavdivs at 7:29 PM on January 19, 2011


'He's a nice guy, but he played too much football with his helmet off'. (About Gerald Ford)
More funny Lyndon Baines Johnson quotes
posted by clavdivs at 1:25 AM on January 25, 2011


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