This is about so sound as old and grumpy as it gets: Wildwood is looking to ban the baggy pants look on the Boardwalk. It’s about time…
According to a story by my friend Wayne Parry of the Associated Press, Wildwood’s mayor is out to stop the baggy look via a law set to pass Wednesday night. The new law will regulate how people dress on the Boardwalk. If the law passes then there will be no more baggy pants as well as going shirtless and walking on the Boardwalk in bare feet.
Wayne’s story notes that the part of the law getting the most attention is the prohibition on pants that sag more than 3 inches below the hips, exposing either skin or underwear. Mayor Ernest Troiano said Wildwood has been inundated with complaints from tourists upon whose money the popular beach town depends for its survival.
From Wayne’s story – and here’s the link: http://bit.ly/170EuBt — “When you have good families who call you up and say, `I’ve been coming here 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and I’m not going to any longer because I’m not going to subject my children or my parents or grandparents to seeing some kid walk down the boardwalk with their butt hanging out,’ you have to do something,” he said. “I’m not one of the Fruit of the Loom underwear inspectors; I’m not one of the grapes. I don’t want to see it.”
Sorry to say I couldn’t agree more. Most of us old geezers have had our kids on the Boardwalk and really the last thing they need to see is the butt cheeks of some 16-year-old kid. I know I don’t want to see it.
Now here’s something from his story I didn’t know: Known popularly as “sagging,” the trend originated in the U.S. prison system, where inmates are not allowed to wear belts. It was popularized by hip-hop artists and embraced by youths.
The issue has cropped up in towns across the country and authorities in suburbs of New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Miami and Jacksonville, Fla., are among those who have passed laws banning the baggy pants look.
The proposed Wildwood law would set fines of $25 to $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. Having to do 40 hours of community service is also possible.
Of course all of the experts on the Constitution are weighing in on the subject. One law professor says the law appears to be unconstitutional. And of course ACLU chapters elsewhere in the country have denounced similar bans as unconstitutional, says the AP story.
Do matters like this ALWAYS have to become legal issues? Can’t we agree that the Boardwalk isn’t the place for the baggy look? Perhaps if the ACLU and others don’t like it, we can make the Boardwalk private, charge admission and require a dress code. Then what? C’mon, trips to the Jersey Shore for families are meant to be relaxing and not for parents to have to explain to little Johnny and Sally that the big boys are exposing their rear ends because that’s what prison inmates do. Sheesh, really?
Have a little class folks. No one is suggesting suits and ties for the Boardwalk but if I want to see a full moon, I will wait until the sun goes down…
– Andy Hachadorian