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Down on the Farm -- Sagging pants

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In my mind, I think people have a right to wear whatever they want and do whatever they want and be however they want and it is none of my business as long as they don't intrude on my space or hurt others.

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Then some kid walks by with his jeans hanging half-way to his knees and six inches of underwear showing and I want to yell, "Pull up your pants, buster!"

In fact, I don't just want to yell at the kid. I want him to explain: Why do you insist upon looking like an idiot? How far will you go to impress your equally idiotic peers?

Of course, that would be the very reaction the kid wants--if not from me, then from his poor parents.

So, I keep quiet and mutter to myself.

My tolerance also disappears when those cars with boom, boom, boom sub-woofers drive by, disturbing the peace as they go. What is the point? Why are you adolescent males so desperate to make yourselves obvious?

During an exam in college, I was seated near a person who had chains hanging from virtually every limb and also from her eyebrows. As she wrote down the answers, she rattled like Marley's ghost. I was furious and could barely finish the test.

I thought afterwards, if that person had been disabled in such a way that she could only complete the test with a machine that made the same noise, it wouldn't have bothered me at all. What really got to me about the noise was that it was utterly unnecessary.

I'm not a repressed prude in all ways. There are reasons I live in the woods with no neighbors nearby.

But when I do enter society, I'd prefer if people observed a little decorum as a matter of politeness. I mean, isn't it basic manners that you don't want to create anxiety in everybody around you that your pants are about to fall to your ankles?

Many things don't bother me. Weird haircuts are pretty harmless. Everybody knows they don't last long. Even dyed hair goes away after a while. Nobody gets upset about hair much anymore, and that is just fine.

In fact, if you're lucky enough to still have your hair, do what you will!

But, although they don't irritate me, I have yet to understand the point of tattoos. They seem to have some sort of religious significance to those who get them.

Perhaps it is the permanence of tattoos that has always made them the ultimate sign of rebellion. Tattoos are more rebellious than dyed hair, pierced eyebrows or dog collars with spikes.

I mean, your little sweetie can marry and divorce the drunk she met at treatment more easily than she can get rid of the ink dragon around her neck.

Parents cling to the hope that their adolescent child will get over the partying, the irresponsibility and the joblessness. But a tattoo makes the statement, "I am going to be like this forever!"

Not exactly what Mom and Dad want to hear. They have other plans for their basement.

So, I suppose tattoos have had a special place--but even they may be on their way out.

Yes, suburban mothers and even grandmothers are getting tattoos. Stockbrokers, ministers, judges, everybody is getting in on the act.

The kids are going to have to find some other way to freak out their parents!

Earrings for men were a big sign of rebellion for a while, but you can't shock anybody but Great Aunt Agnes that way anymore.

Stop to think of it, once that nice young minister showed up with an earring, even Aunt Agnes came around!

So, the basic problem is: As older people take over and tame the younger generation's methods of rebellion, the kids have to invent new and ever more bizarre ways to send their elders into a panic.

Suddenly, the sagging pants make sense. When tattoos, dyed hair, chains and earrings have failed, I guess you pretty much have no choice but to drop your pants half way to your knees and show off six inches of underwear.

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