Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baggy, Saggy Pants

As much as I love living in Tennessee—I've been here 19 years now—I still have my doubts about our state legislature, which seems to go out of its way to draw attention to the inane. 

A bill that would have made it a crime to wear pants below the waistline, "in a manner that exposes the person's underwear or bare buttocks," was recently moved to a summer study committee, according to the Tennessean.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Joe Towns, a Memphis Democrat, proposed changing the bill to allow the offender to yank up his or her pants at the request of a police officer, and thereby avoid a fine.

The sponsor likes to joke it’s an “anti-crack bill, because people are tired of seeing the crack of folks’ butts'." Ha. Seriously. Ha.

Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine the discussions on the floor of the Tennessee House? "What if we allow the perp to yank up his pants to avoid arrest?" "I'm good with that. The important thing is that my constituents should never see another person's underwear." 
"Is there a way we can tie this into the funding I need for the bridge to honor my mother?" "I'm sure there is." "OK, let's roll with it as long as they have the chance to pull up their pants."

Tennessee is not the first to try to outlaw saggy baggies. A similar bill failed last year in Louisiana. South Carolina also tried. 

Diana Carter, a ninth-grade teacher at Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla., thinks making saggy pants illegal will work.

“If you legislate it, I think we will have a better response to it,” she said. “I know people are going to say ... you’re taking away their rights to be individuals. But I also have a right not to look at your underwear.”

Yes, you do, Diana. I think it's mentioned in the Third Amendment. Or maybe not. I'm not really sure, because I've never really thought about our government regulating baggy pants.

Do we really need laws to regulate how people wear their pants? After all, I'm probably 25-30 years from wearing my pants pulled up above my navel. Will that be illegal?

Actually, I hope it is, because I've never been good at dressing myself. 

I'm ready to move to Texas. It was there that comedian Ron "Tater Salad" White was recently honored with his own day—he recommended that the legislature "go home and drink"—and Willie Nelson was named State Musician.

That's a state that has its priorities straight.


  1. See? Democrats can be concerned about the bottom line too!!

  2. There should be a discussion as to how anyone can wear pants that low and still have them hang. It's like a magic trick! I am constantly impressed! - John Butler

  3. It should be outlawed in all states of individuals wearing clothing to show their underwear or butts uncovered. Just creating more problems for the young individuals looking at their roll models dress attire.