‘Why I love my jan­dals’

Nelson Mail - - Summer -

Ilove my pair of jan­dals. They are an iconic New Zealand sum­mer item but I wear them all year round. It’s great when sum­mer comes along be­cause it means that I don’t get any strange looks when­ever peo­ple look at my feet. I’m not self con­scious about my feet, either. It’s one part of my body that I don’t have any con­cerns about.

My jan­dals are very prac­ti­cal be­cause I wear them as soon as I get out of bed and still have them on when I’m head­ing into work.

I al­ways have four pairs of jan­dals at one time. When I see a good pair at a shop, I’m like a jan­dal con­nois­seur and I’ll snap them up.

I know lots of Ki­wis who wear socks with their jan­dals but it’s some­thing that I will never do. Not be­cause I think it’s a fash­ion crime but be­cause I don’t want to see peo­ple’s dirty socks.

I wear my jan­dals in the shower be­cause it helps to keep them clean.

I learned that when I started wear­ing jan­dals in the pub­lic show­ers at the camp grounds.

You do it there for prac­ti­cal rea­sons, so you don’t pick up any hor­ri­ble dis­eases from other peo­ple, but I re­alised it also keeps your jan­dals clean.

I’m lucky to play a role in Short­land Street where I can wear my jan­dals as part of the cos­tume. I play Drew McCaskill who is the head of the plas­tic surgery de­part­ment at Short­land Street. I wouldn’t get plas­tic surgery be­cause I don’t see any flaws in my­self and I’m happy with the way God made me.

This year, I had a great scene in my jan­dals, which should be­long in the an­nals of tele­vi­sion. My char­ac­ter was on home de­ten­tion for a year be­cause he got in trouble with the IRD. Wear­ing an an­kle bracket, he’s told to wrap tin foil around the bracelet to kill the sig­nal.

That’s what my char­ac­ter does when he goes to the beach with his baby.

Of course, his bag gets stolen, he has no car and he’s forced to run home wear­ing only his speedos and jan­dals. I think it’s a very funny scene.

I’ve been on Short­land Street for nearly four years. Be­ing on the show makes you feel like you’re liv­ing a dou­ble life.

Most act­ing jobs, there’s an end­ing. You do a play or a film and it fin­ishes. Short­land Street goes on and on.

My char­ac­ter has had dif­fer­ent love in­ter­ests, I’ve got en­gaged, I’ve been mar­ried, I’ve had a child on the show. My char­ac­ter is three years older. It’s like I’m half me and half my char­ac­ter and it’s like I’m liv­ing a lie. It’s a weird feel­ing as an ac­tor and it’s some­thing I didn’t’ an­tic­i­pate be­fore I started on the show.

My 2-year-old daugh­ter Harley, is just like her dad and loves to wear her jan­dals. Since she was born, my free time is gone.

Leisure time has been swal­lowed up and per­sonal re­cre­ation is at a pre­mium. But I’m not com­plain­ing, be­cause I get to spend time with my daugh­ter. It’s like hang­ing out with a lit­tle mid­get.

– As told to Aroha Awa­rau

Ben Barrington al­ways has four pairs of jan­dals at one time, and was thrilled when his Shorty Street char­ac­ter got to wear a pair on set.

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