Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tees and Ties and and My Friend Scott

My friend Scott has a useful suggestion for neckties and Federal judges. I was a judge myself for a short time man years ago. Scott was my law clerk. I hate neckties—right now I own three, which is about two to many. But I felt that propriety required me to wear a tie in court, so I kept one on the hook behind the door and popped it on just before I made my appearance.

I suppose you could say this is a matter of taste, but don’t people understand that neckties cut off the blood flow to the brain? Which is why I am delighted to read that the European Union is thinking of outlawing ties. They call it an environmental measure—cut down on air conditioning and all that—but I dare to hope that it will mean an end to all the idiotic overregulation they seem to favor so much.

If we must be decorative, I really think we could do more with message tee-shirts. Yes, I realize that most of them are pretty dumb, but so are most neckties—a “Bong Hits for Jesus” tee-shirt is no dumber than a “Will You Kiss Me in the Dark, Baby?” light-up necktie. I’m willing to start the ball rolling by supplying the wife of every Republican presidential candidate with a tee that says “I’m with stupid.” Right now, I’m wearing a tee that I picked up last year at the New York City Opera: it says “The Most Happy Fella,” which captures the mood nicely (although I acknowledge that I did not wear the tee-shirt to the opera).

But anyway, Scott. He had no quarrel with my decision to go around tieless in chambers, but he did have what he thought to be a constructive suggestion. He noted that United Airlines supplied its counter clerks with clip-on ties. It was a safety measure, so that when the clerk said “We’re sorry, we seem to have sent your baggage to Warsaw,” then at least the clerk would not get strangled. Scott said he thought the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts ought to show the same courtesy to the judges.

Fn.: Looks like I'm not the only one (link). But I don't think I'm on videotape.

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