They called me Len Pants Falling Down.
This catchy moniker wasn't bestowed on me by my tribal chieftain, but rather by my chief rival in second grade. She meant it as a humiliating slur, a means to degrade me in front of my peers in Mrs. Rodriguez's class.
She would yell, "There's Len Pants Falling Down!" Then all the kids would look at me - my frame so slight and squirrely that I couldn't find any pants that were able to hug my hips - and they would laugh.
Who's laughing now?
Today, for young people, being hipless is hip, there's droopy drawers galore, the bootyless are ballyhooed, and the meek shall inherit the Earth.
As is my luck - I am no longer young.
But in Hawkinsville, pants falling down are no laughing matter - unless you find passing laws about sagging slacks funny.
Recently, the Hawkinsville City Commission banned droopy drawers, unanimously passing an indecent exposure ordinance, making it "unlawful for any person to appear in any public place or in view of the public wearing pants or shorts below the waist, which expose the skin or undergarments."
Violators can be fined $250 and forced to perform 40 hours of community service, although the city has asked police to issue warnings before writing a citation.
"I think it's a disgrace to walk around with your pants like that. You know, with your underwear and all that," said City Commissioner James A Colson in a Macon Telegraph story. "There's no sense in wearing pants if you're just going to show your underwear."
Not wearing pants? Another good idea.
The story further states that the city commission considered banning floppy pants five years ago. A state official reportedly told them then, "if you can't see crack, (there's) nothing you can do," which explains why so many plumbers end up in jail.
Other cities around the country have also acted on this epidemic. In Georgia, the cities of Atlanta, Rome, and Brunswick - apparently tired of dealing with mundane issues like taxation and street paving and wastewater treatment plants and such - are also currently considering enacting legislation that would make wearing pants that are ill-fitting illegal.
Some would argue that this type of measure infringes on our rights to clothe ourselves as we please. I beg to differ. I say it doesn't go far enough.
For instance, I find tank tops offensive. Why should my eyes be forced to witness a man's, or European woman's, hairy armpits, and arms, and back? A statewide ban on tank tops would put an end to this scourge, and as an unintentional bonus, prompt a mass exodus of Florida Gator fans from the state.
I also believe cities should consider banning polyester bell bottom pants - citing people retroactively, going back at least 35 years.
These kids today, with their crazy clothes and wild hair and loud music... sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News.