Whatchamacallit 163: Still Naked in Laramie

Still Naked in Laramie

What a find this was: I started digging through my cupboard.

Either it is overstuffed or the flatpack cupboard is starting to see the end of its lifespan, some 17 years after it was initially assembled. I’ve had to reattach one of the doors about 3 times (an easy enough fix, but still….).

Maybe both are true: so to make space for newer T-Shirts, I pulled some from the bottom of my stack and found this gem: Still Naked In Laramie.

I’m showing you the backside, where the definition of “Nudity” proposed by the Laramie, Wyoming, City Council, was displayed for the amusement of all.

As I recall, and my dates might be slightly off, in the fall of 1997, the Laramie City Council proposed an ordinance to ban nudity – but as any sane person would define it, but in a way that the more conservative, easily offended, folks might define it:

Section 1: Definition: “Nudity” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, public area, or cleft of the buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering, the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple, or the showing of the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state

What a splendid definition – it could conceivably ban underwear advertisements from Sears (which existed at that time) or Walmart (did then, still does, but in a bigger store!). The definition was vague enough that one could imagine it causing trouble for plumbers – with plumber’s crack.

The outrage among students at the University of Wyoming was loud – and, as a columnist for the Branding Iron, I ended up using it as the basis for a discussion about “vacation sneaks” – when governments or organizations take advantage of the fact that people are out of town to implement new laws/ordinances/rules.

My t-shirt has remained in my closet, moving across the Atlantic, for at least 22 years – an impressive record for any t-shirt (I have another 22-year-old t-shirt, but that is more personal and not worth explaining).

The collar is faded and I’m not sure that I would wear it all that often (I mean, the record is pretty clear: I do not wear it all that often!) – so it will remain in my closet, reappearing whenever I need some amusement.

I have no idea if Laramie, Wyoming, has a nudity ordinance today – and if it does, to what extent it reflects the proposals of 1997.

During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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