Tired of Thatcher? Well now there's an even better way to suppress erections! The Codpiece.
In the 14th century the King of England, Billy the Kid, issued a decree that, as winters were getting colder and frostbite was claiming more and more of the country's fine breeding stock, it was finally time something was worn over the naughty region. And thus the codpiece was born! Since that fabled day the codpiece has spread far and wide, encompassing all of England and most of my genitals. Unchallenged, the codpiece lived harmoniously with humans for centuries, sticking with, and often to us, no matter how hard things got.
In the 20th century the role of the codpiece changed. After suffering the loss of both his buttocks during World War I (to an Irishman in a poker game 50 miles away from the front line) statesman Tubsy Malone realised he needed to find clothing that encompassed both his genitals and his backside, before the cold wind against his rear end blew more bacteria into his exposed innards. Within days pants had been invented, effectively saving Tubsy's life, and earning him the thanks of millions of agonised men.
However his briefs were taken from him in a freak panty raid and with his wounds exposed the pioneer quickly succumbed to the elements. Pants quickly moved in on the codpieces, gangs of them beating individual codpieces into unrecognisable lumps of dark matter. The Y Front was formed, a political organisation aimed at refusing codpieces citizenship and basic human rights. The motion was passed through parliament with an alarming 90% majority, largely on the grounds that as codpieces weren't humans they didn't deserve human rights. Before long the codpiece had all but faded from view, (which was a considerably amazing feat given the codpiece's highly visible eyesoreity).
Driven underground, the Codpieces stayed off the radar; whiling away the years playing online bingo and hoping the emergent Boxer administration would be more tolerant of their kind. However, they had no such luck. In 2002 the new President, George W. Boxer declared war on the codpiece, wanting their large elastic resources for himself and his considerable waistband. This drove the codpieces further underground, and by 2002.4 they were largely considered extinct. One of the many losers in Darwin's race.
Now so far underground they were in danger of breaching the earth's core, the codpiece exiles decided it was time to take action. Or better yet, prevent it. Flooding the surface world, the codpiece attached itself firmly to the crotch of any government official who stood in their way. Unable to breed, or properly go to the toilet, the old political class soon died out, replaced by a fresh pro-piece government, which was charismatically headed by radical codpiece advocate M.C. Hammer. In a whirlwind of legislature mixed-clothes marriages were legalised and crotches were ensured of unsightly protection for years to come.
 Codpiece Safety
Though relatively harmless to females, codpieces are known for occasionally turning on their male masters, usually when the guy in questions suffers a rush of blood to the head. This trappage can result in an all too similar rock and hard place situation in which many men are deprived of children. To counter this, codpiece safety regulations have been brought in, limiting the clinginess the codpiece is allowed to have to the body. Aswell as this, the critically acclaimed fluffy codpiece has been introduced, winning the hearts, minds and genitalia of all who wear it (except for Santa, the beard of whom was mistakenly used as one during the winter of '74.)
 In Politics
The introduction of codpieces into parliament has had noticeable effects on the political system, first and foremost allowing politicians to call more frequent erections with confidence, no longer in fear of their shortcomings being made apparent. (i.e. massive underwear bills charged to their expenses).
Recently, codpieces were banned from the United States as authorities claimed they might be used to conceal terrorist weapons.
 In Transport
On the whole, codpieces aren't very useful as transportation, as they lack wheels and an engine. However, Batman noticably drove a codpiece in the first few movies, eventually favouring the batmobile after an incident in which Robin was squashed against the ceiling by a suppressed erection restricted by the codpiece and forced to contort embarassingly upwards.
 In Fashion
Notorious codpiece Gok Wan coordinates fashion for the codpiece nation. Current styles range from fabulous to cleverly-marketed-as-fabulous-but-really-slightly-less-than-fabulous. All of which can be seen in regular fashion shows, for which models sporting the latest codpieces attempt to negotiate the 'cod walk', which is made ever harder by high heels and the overlarge codpieces used which splay the legs out at an awkward angle. Most fail to make it back without pitching off the side; pictures of which can be found in Vague Magazine and that State's obituary column.
 In Entertainment
- Codpieces are seen as part of the uniform of Imperial stormtroopers in the Star Wars movie series, largely because of the effective protection they offered the Storm Troopers ganglies from Darth Vader's crushing force grip. However, the follow-up neckpiece's production delay came at a heavy price for some.
- In the British sitcom Blackadder episode "The Archbishop" the eponymous anti-hero Edmund wears a vast, erect "Black Russian" codpiece.
- For a time, a pink codpiece played the part of Phil Mitchell's head in Eastenders.
 Now what?
If you see a man wearing a large piece of leather (or cotton wool) around his sensitive parts... Run.
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