ASK DR. BOLI.

Dear Dr. Boli: Why is it that establishments where cheerful and polite customer service is normally a point of pride will nevertheless post a vulgar notice on the front door that says “NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE”? It is not that I object to the dress code—I myself seldom go shopping in less than full morning dress. But I do not like to be spoken to in that tone of voice. —Sincerely, Albert van Vaughan Andover-Ewart, Schenley Heights.

Dear Sir: People will forget themselves and their breeding if they feel they have come up with a very clever put-down. Even the well-intentioned and well-bred find the vulgar cleverness of the slogan “NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE” irresistible. The only way it could be rendered more clever is by adding rhyme, which would make it positively mesmerizing to the middlebrow mind:

IF YOU DON’T WEAR A SHIRT
YOU’RE GONNA GET HURT

or

WHAT, NO SHOES, SIR?
YOU’RE A LOSER!

In fact, even as Dr. Boli makes these facetious suggestions, he suspects that someone somewhere will find them, fall under their thrall, and post them in a store window. The only way to break the upward spiral of vulgarity is for county health codes, in addition to specifying the minimum clothing required in commercial establishments, to specify the wording of the posted notice as well, which should be something like this:

SHIRT AND SHOES REQUIRED
BY ORDER OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Once that is accomplished, we can work on the question of whether anything else should be required, or whether we shall continue to raise no objection to sans-culottes shopping in our stores.

Comments

  1. Martin the Mess says:

    I always thought the French sans-culottes should merge with the Brazilian descamisetas movement to form a topless, bottomless, Voltron of disaffected people from the bottom of society trying to overthrow those at the top.

  2. Jared says:

    I vigorously object to the obscene practice of going out in public sans-culottes, and sometimes wonder what great tragedy might have been averted had this revolutionary practice been curtailed in the name not only of decency but of public safety, for which a committee might well have been formed. But perhaps I am too harsh; perchance they simply know not where to obtain their culottes, in which case I can only advise them to look to the Directory.

  3. “NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE”?

    And these shops brag about this? Bad enough that one cannot purchase a shirt or pair of shoes, but such shops also withhold service? What? They just ignore their customers? How do these shops not go out of business?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  4. Dies Irae says:

    How standards have fallen, when any apparel will do. Whatever happened to “NO KILT, NO BROGUES, WE THROW YOU IN THE LOCH.”

  5. Kathleen miller says:

    “What will this restaurant be like,” I asked.

    “Not good,” answered my companion. “The sign says that barefoot topless waitresses ignore you.”

  6. RepubAnon says:

    Horace Jeffrey Hodges is correct as far as he goes – but it is a stinging indictment of these shops that their employees are so underpaid that these workers cannot afford shirts or shoes, and are so undernourished that they cannot provide service.

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