For years, the south Florida city of Opa-locka, already one of the most unusual communities in a very odd state, had one of the more bizarre ordinances on the books.
The city, famous for its Moorish architecture and home to myriad CIA ops, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, had a strict dress code.
It was illegal to show up in public places wearing saggy pants.
By saggy pants, we are referring to the once-trendy hip-hop fashion statement in which gentlemen allowed their pants to slip so low on their hips that their boxers showed.
Showing one’s boxers in such a manner was viewed by the city’s fathers and mothers – yes the dress code applied to women, too—as such an affront to the municipality’s dignity that wearers faced civil citations—up to $500 in fines and six months in jail.
For those daring to go commando, presumably other laws—such as indecent exposure—would come into play.
Widely ridiculed as pointless, racist, and seriously old fogeyish, the city of Opa-Locka stubbornly kept the laws on the books for more than a dozen years.
But a new day has dawned (or, perhaps, a new moon has risen).
In a 4-1 vote, the Opa-Locka City Council recently decided to repeal the ordinance, no doubt confident that since the craze has long since passed, the community’s moral standards were no longer threatened by the sight of underwear, which, let’s face it, by definition is supposed to be “under.”
And the town has had bigger issues to deal with. The governor a few years ago declared the city was in a state of “financial emergency” having fallen millions of dollars in arrears on its bills, the FBI had launched a corruption investigation, and a previous mayor had died when he drove his SUV into a tree the day before he was to turn himself in on bribery charges.
So, yeah, saggy pants, has been the least of the town’s issues.
So, say goodbye to those street signs warning saggy pants wearers of the hazards of flaunting fashion norms. They read: “No ifs and or butts … It’s the city law.”
STRANGE FACT: The city of Opa-locka was founded by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and was based on the One Thousand and One Nights theme.