My cousin Eli




9.5 x 11.5 inches

Illustration for McSweeney's Issue 33 »The San Francisco Panorama«
Shortstory by Matthew Klam

I’m helping my cousin Eli put women’s panties on plastic hangers. They’re heaped on a table, all different kinds. We’re in the balcony of his factory in Ashdod, an industrial port city south of Tel Aviv, in mid-December, the day before Hannukah.

He’s been in business for more than twenty years, and designs the underwear himself—these big square granny ones and dainty white ones and high-cut ones in electric green with lace crotch panels.