As loyal Houstonians, far be it from us to pass up a chance to make fun of our neighbors a few hundred miles up I-45, but this time we’re hardly the only ones. Dallas showed up on NBC’s Today show, popular music blog Idolator and XXL magazine’s Web site – and that’s just this morning - for a pair of new billboards on major Metroplex thoroughfares requesting the local citizenry pull their got-damn pants up.
Two such billboards were unveiled this week. One cautions, “Don’t Be Lame, Elevate Your Game,” while the other advises, “That’s Not Hip-Hop, That’s Flip Flop.” One more, scheduled to go up soon, says “Represent Yourself Like You Present Yourself.” According to Dallas Fox affiliate KDFW-TV, as many as two dozen more are scheduled to go up across the Metroplex as part of the city’s “Pullem’ Up” campaign.
Improper apostrophe usage aside, let’s pause for a bit to let all that sink in. Still giggling? Us too. Go ahead and take another moment or two.
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Ahem. The billboards are located at the intersections of Interstate 45 and Lamar Street, and Interstate 35E and Illinois Street – strangely enough, both in the largely African-American South Dallas area. “I’m sure this is also aimed at the white skateboard kids in the suburbs who wear their pants like this as well,” notes one observant XXL commenter.
Last year, some Dallas officials wanted to pass a city ordinance making it against the law to wear low-slung trousers, but that idea stalled when some local attorneys and the Dallas ACLU chapter could barely stop laughing long enough to label the idea ludicrous. Still, even in a city where today’s headlines include “Man Denies Molesting Boy in Wooded Area of Dallas,” “Screaming Match Prompts [Dallas Mayor Tom] Leppert to Order Council Recess” and “Woman Found Slain in South Dallas Parking Lot,” Big D’s pants problem may turn out to be a serious issue after all.
Pastor Milton Traylor Jr. of Praise the People Ministries said he was pumping gas at a Mesquite Shell station when he was offended by a local teen’s attire. “They weren’t on his behind, they were around his legs,” Traylor told KDFW’s Lynn Kawano. “I just had to say something.” In return, the youth told the pastor to “shut the eff up” and pulled a gun on him. “I don’t know where he came out with it, considering his pants was hangin’ down,” Traylor added.
“"It's an embarrassment to our city if we can't keep our pants up," councilman Bill Blaydes told the Dallas Morning News last year. If anyone knows how embarrassing it is to be caught with your pants down, it’s got to be a politician – and now all of North Texas knows what it feels like as well. – Chris Gray