Call us old-fashioned, maybe even stuck-in-the-mud, but here at BoomerCafé we love this rant by retired network newsman Larry McCoy of Long Island, New York. As baby boomers, we hear him loud and clear! Larry’s title is just a preview: “An ode to socks, winter coats, and unmarred skin.”

AUTHOR’S WARNING: This will probably be the most politically incorrect thing you will read today, tomorrow, and the day after that.

Although I don’t really miss working, occasionally I wish I still had an office with the power to hire and fire. Why? For one thing, because of young men I see in suits and no socks.

While it would surely be a violation of various laws as well as the policy of any company that would dare to hire me in the first place, I would authorize Help Wanted notices that say, “Socks required of male applicants,” or “Sockless male geniuses need not apply.”

I suppose an argument can be made for men to skip socks in the heat of summer, but I was at a doctor’s office recently on a 45-degree day when in came two guys – drug company reps, I’m guessing — in decent suits but bare-ankled.

Last night on the CBS Evening News a male correspondent showed us his ankles, adding to the growing incentives to skip that broadcast.

Do these guys thinks a bare ankle is sexy? Don’t their ankles get cold? Do they want to go through life wearing pedal pushers? What do their shoes smell like? Do they powder the dickens out of them? (By the way, in case you didn’t know, there was a pretty good country song writer named Powder Dickens. Among his songs, “Old and Cranky But Still Likes a Spankin’.”)

As a lover of winter, I also wouldn’t hire any person who didn’t wear a proper coat. You can be driving around in the coldest of weather and spot a flock of young ladies, none wearing a winter jacket. They have on hoodies and run from place to place because they’re freezing. You can’t tell me a hoodie is as warm or looks as good as one of the many well-made coats from L.L.Bean or Eddie Bauer or North Face or 15 other places.

Larry McCoy in his armchair in front of his house watching the world go by.

Here’s a sampling of other people I would refuse jobs to:

  • Anyone who says “between you and I.”
  • Men or women with tattoos on their faces or all over their arms and legs. If their tattoos were hidden during the job interview by long-sleeved shirts or pants and discovered only after they started working, I’d make up some excuse to fire them. It’s inexplicable why attractive people want to deface their skin and make themselves ugly. (Yes, I’d keep the company lawyers busy and on their toes, tattooed or otherwise.)
  • Anyone whose cellphone went off during their interview or who kept checking it while I was talking.
  • Anyone who kept asking how long it would be before they could expect a promotion.
  • Anyone who couldn’t quite explain a six-month gap in their resume.
  • Anyone who couldn’t name the capital of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa or Ohio.
  • Anyone who said someone had “an unpronounceable Polish name.” If that were true, how could Poles remember anyone’s last name?
  • Anyone who doesn’t like bread pudding.
  • Anyone who has never tried bread pudding.

Of course the truth is, I’m probably just another big phony and would change my tune about sockless men if I saw an interview with an 18-year-old Austrian ski phenom who thought only idiots wore socks in their ski boots and that even old guys like me could make sharper, quicker turns if their feet were unencumbered by cloth.

After that it probably would only be weeks before I started wearing only a hoodie outdoors on even the coldest days and ran out and got a bunch of tattoos, including two or three on my sockless feet. $%^&*$%^&*() .


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