Recently, while daydreaming, Intel Chris wondered what the best things were about America. The things that make America — which is not the best in a lot of ways — really singularly spectacular. There's the hamburger, of course, and Google, and jazz, and American Vogue, and the Ivy League, and the Constitution, and a diversity of legal pornography, and Civil Rights, and baseball, and the McFlurry, and football, and the Rockies, and spring break, and the fact that our president once mentioned Gossip Girl. A lot of it was up for debate, but really, he came to realize, the one thing that best represents America being best is Michael Phelps. And, frankly, he really was thinking of Michael Phelps's body.
Now, luckily, America is afforded many opportunities to ogle the Olympic hero's goods. We here at nymag.com have made something of a cottage industry out of it (even the not-so-best parts). Which is why, when news came today that an international swimming regulatory board is considering eliminating the full-body performance-enhancing costumes that have been bringing down world record times at alarming rates. Phelps is stoked about this. "Swimming will actually become swimming again. We're all going to have the same exact suit. It's not going be an issue," he told reporters in Italy after kicking ass in a 4x100 relay. "I wish it went back to the old school, like, banana hammocks," added his equally national-treasure-worthy teammate Ryan Lochte. "Jammers, I mean, I'm cool with that." Reuters helpfully translates, in case you don't know, that a banana hammock is: "a slang term for tight-fitting men's swimwear or underwear." We'd actually classify it more as "something that is generally abhorrent unless worn by Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, in which case it is wondrous."