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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

October 20, 2003


I was driving past my old parochial school and noticed that the kids weren't dressed as sharply as we had been when I was an inmate, I mean student there. Back in the sixties and seventies, we boys wore blue blazers, gray slacks, white shirts and red ties; the girls wore blue jumpers with white shirts and knee socks. There was an optional uniform crest, sort of like the ones you see at fancy prep schools with names like The Spongeworthy Academy or the Schwepps School for Boys. Not many of us wore them, though, and it was definitely uncool once you got to junior high (which in our case was the third floor of the building). Things had changed. The boys weren't wearing jackets, in fact, they weren't even all dressed the same. Some wore what I assume to be the current uniform, sweaters, dress shirts and dark slacks of some sort. Some wore sweat pants. Some of the girls were in uniform, some not. When I was in school, the dress code was only slightly more rigid than the Marine Corps. In fact, first grade in parochial school was very much like boot camp. They took a bunch of green kids fresh out of kindergarten, where your biggest challenge was to remember to zip your fly after returning from the boys room, and tried to mold them into Christian Soldiers. Our first grade teacher, a nun who I'll call Sister Mary Hitler (not her real name), was best described as a cross between R. Lee Ermy and the Glenn Close character from "Fatal Attraction". After we survived that first year we graduated to second grade, where we got the fat, jolly nun. It was as if they were saying, "you made it, now you can wear the uniform proudly. Just relax until third grade, when things REALLY get tough, you little bastards!". Nowadays I'm surprised there's any dress code at all, even in Catholic school. Of course, in a public school, if you try to do something like tell a student he has to wear pants you'll have the ACLU and a half dozen lawyers suing you for irrevocably damaging his delicate little psyche, so it could be worse.

As you can tell, I'm a big supporter of dress codes not only in the schools, but in everyday life. Pick up a picture from the 1920s, 30s or 40s. Everyone is dressed to the nines, even the crowd at the ballgame. In fact, it took triple digit heat and 98% humidity to get folks to even take off their jackets. I'm not suggesting that people go back to baggy suits and fedoras, and straw boaters never looked good, even on dapper gents like Douglas Fairbanks or John Dillinger. I'm just saying that people with no taste should be reigned in for the good of us all. So, in the interest of the public, I'm proposing the following be banned, by Constitutional amendment if necessary:

Wearing one's cap at anything but the proper way. That is (for you readers under 25) with the bill to the front. Wearing it backwards will get you a warning; wearing it off to one side at that "look, mommy, I dressed myself!" angle will get you hard jail time.

Wearing more than one hat at once. Unless you have two heads, of course, although that's a pretty rare occurrence.

Wearing excessively baggy clothes the color of Easter egg dyes. Especially those with pseudo-logos all over them. There's no excuse for this. If we wanted a Village Idiot we'd hire one.

Wearing Clown Pants. You know what I mean. Those baggy, harlequin colored trousers that make sweat pants look like tailored slacks.

Wearing pants that are neither shorts nor long pants. Those that aren't covered by the baggy clothes or "Clown Pants" rule. The Spanky from the "Little Rascals" look definitely isn't flattering to anyone.

Wearing tight clothes when you don't have the body for it. I'm not saying you have to have a body like Britney Spears; I'm just saying that morbid obesity and spandex are a deadly combination.

Lest you think I'm singling out the Youth of America, some of the new laws relate directly to the over 60 crowd:
Wearing pastel polyester. No one looks good in polyester. No one.

Wearing synthetic polo shirts. While polo shirts have become acceptable business dress and can look good with khaki slacks, I'm talking about the kind with the six-button plackets and pockets.

If we all make an effort, these laws won't be necessary. Still, I fear, there will always be those with no taste who will ignore the greater common good. It's to those that these rules are directed, not, I'm sure, our readers.




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©2003 Brian Codagnone
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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
. .
Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11