The truly brave don't brag, but sometimes you have to make an exception.

Otherwise, how will future generations know what you've done, what you faced, what you overcame? You might wonder if I fought off three rabid dogs to protect a small child, or perhaps parachuted out of a plane into a disease-ravaged village with the serum that meant life or death for the afflicted below. No. Close, though.

I ordered pants online.

This is where you may gasp, and say, "My exploits cannot compare. For one thing, parachutes are double- and triple-checked, and there was a large clearing, and I'd been immunized against the disease that struck the sick, which turned out to be pyorrhea, so I was basically bringing Listerine. You bought pants online? Isn't that a real chancy thing to do?"

It is. But I had the exact type of pants I wanted, because a while ago I found a pair of name-brand jeans that fit. This is not easy, because there are many types:

Slim: Tight in the hips, thighs, shins, cinches the ankles, no blood flow to feet; hip and stylish with a minor risk of gangrene.

Relaxed: Easygoing waist, nonconfrontational thighs, casual sense of cheerful fatalism around the shin; previously known as "jeans that fit."

Athletic: Somehow your thighs developed the dimensions of elongated watermelons.

And so on. Whatever the style, it doesn't matter, because no store carries my size. They will have tottering stacks of XXXXXXLs as if anticipating a sudden surge of half-naked Orson Welles impersonators in need of pants, but not my size.

To be fair, it's the absolute end of the size spectrum. I've had clerks note I could go to the Juniors department for a Husky size. Sorry. There is a special page on the Perkins menu for people my age. I'm not going to the little boys' department.

The clerks say the same thing when I stand forlorn, looking for my size:

"You can always get them online!"

Sigh. Yes, of course, I can find them online. I can buy a bank vault stuffed with lutefisk if I google hard enough. The point is I am here now, with money, and I desire pants. No, let me refine that — pants I can try on, to see if they fit. That's how it usually works, no?

Not these days, apparently. So I went online to get the exact brand and size I know fits. I realize that no one my age cares what brand of jeans they wear. But this particular brand slips a little elastic in the waistband. Like overdraft protection, it's there if you need it. And I can wear the same size I had in college! It's a nice blend of cotton, spandex and self-delusion.

Amazon had 392 sellers. Not one had the same price, but of course they were all 31% off the theoretical price that no one ever pays.

Then Amazon, having keenly noted I was buying pants, suggested I take a look ...

At the Amazon Pants.

For those of us who started out early on the internet and saw Amazon as a source for books and movies, this is like going to a clothing store to buy DVDs of Spider-Man movies. Still, the styles and selections were better than anything I'd seen in the stores, and the price was lower. And there were reviews!

First review: "So tight I heard every capillary in my extremities burst. I normally don't buy pants online, but these looked good, and the price was wright, so what the heck. I managed to get them on after liberally greasing my limbs with cooking oil. It's been a month now, and I am past the point where I can return them, because I can't get them off. Beware."

Second review: "Best pants ever. I love Love LOVE the front pockets that are so deep I can scratch my kneecaps, and because I have a condition that makes my kneecaps itchy, these are a dream come true."

Third review: "One star. They fit nice, but there's a third leg, and I don't know what that's for, maybe a tail. LOL."

What do you do? You order three pairs and hope for the best.

Happy ending: They fit. Perfectly! I also got three shirts. I think the cuffs are 6 inches past the tips of my fingers.