Who Are These People With No Shirt and No Shoes Who Get No Service?

I see the signs: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service!”  But I’ve never seen “them.”  I’ve never seen all the shirtless guys who are not wearing shoes yet are clamoring for service.  They must duck for cover whenever I approach.  But they can’t be too shy.  Apparently, they’re brazen enough to go waltzing into stores barefooted.

It’s perplexing.

Is it just an “ambience” thing?  Are high-end restaurants under siege from shirtless, shoeless people demanding steak tartare?  

Do strip clubs ever put these signs up?  That would seem a little hypocritical.

There’s a bar two doors down from my office in downtown Eugene with one of these signs, but they’ve put a twist on it –

In their defense, we do have a fair number of “disenfranchised” folks hanging around on that corner.  It might just be me, but when I hear someone use the term, “no dice,” I picture a seventies guy with a wide-open polyester shirt and enough exposed chest hair to choke a house cat. 

A pizza place down the street decided to put their own spin on it.  Here’s the sign in Sizzle Pie’s window —

I’ve been in Sizzle Pie.  I’ve seen their customer base.  Heck, I AM their customer base.  Trust me on this Mr. Sizzle Pie manager, people without shirts are the least of your problems.

I recently conducted a survey of downtown Eugene businesses (this is code for: I got bored and took a stroll).  At a bare minimum, 95% of businesses (as calculated by their lack of No Shirt / No shoes signs, welcome customers without shirts or shoes.  Some appeared to actually encourage it, like a body waxing place a couple of blocks away.  (The whole process is FAR more efficient if the customer arrives without a shirt.)  They should have a sign that says, “Shirt? Shoes? No Service.”

This makes me wonder whether, in a jail somewhere, some old, grizzled convict has ever turned to the inmate next to him and asked, “What are you in for?” And the guy answered, “No shirt, no shoes, but sadly, asked for service.”

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