“It’s not a pretty picture, Gannon. They start out as boys sneaking to look at pictures of Fred Astaire, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper. A few years later you’ll find them hiding in their grandfather’s closest mixing and matching tweeds. Before long they are afflicted with a lurid fascination about having their shoes shined. Of course, all the attention they get from young ladies does not help a bit, it makes things even worse. They start drawing and designing on their own and finally and inevitably get mixed up with the hard stuff…!”
“The hard stuff?” gasped Gannon looking with a mix of horror and disgust, “You mean, an incontinent interest in stylish dress does in fact lead to the hard stuff, Sgt. Friday?”
“It’s a proven fact, Gannon. Don’t believe for one minute the experts who see no relation between early recreational interest in style and long term hard core addiction to elegance! I tell you it’s the dealers, the heartless traffickers in the illusory pursuit of beauty that need to be contained: the tailors, shirt makers, and cobblers. They are all involved and they’ve got protection from City Hall!”
“Style should be banned, outlawed, abolished…!”, offered Gannon with decided panic in his voice.
“”Where have you been Gannon? Style has been outlawed in Los Angeles for the last forty years! What good has it done? Most of the dealers have been eliminated, but now they come from other countries to ply their devilish trade. For years they have smuggled elegance in from England…and the latest word has it that the Neapolitan mafia and the Rubinacci gang is getting involved, the big boys, Gannon, the big boys from Italy. ”
“Goodness, you mean natural, unprotected, unlined, unsafe Elegance …?”
“You betcha, Gannon, the most virulent form of Elegance known to man. The kind that makes grown men wear their suits and ties to bed they are so comfortable. We got by the Anderson & Sheppard scourge a few years ago and now it’s the Neapolitans. They incite to addictions that are irreversible!”
“What are we to do?”
“I have informed the House of Representative’s “Committee on Aesthetic and Elegant Activities.” We are deploying the very best we’ve got to fight this plague. Detectives Saks, Neiman, Marcus, Bergdorf and Goodman are being deployed to strangle Elegance where ever and how ever necessary.”
By the way, Gannon, where did you get that necktie you are wearing?”
“Well sir, Chief Inspector Marinella brought it back from his vacation in….in…”
“In Italy?”, Barked the hardened officer cruelly.
“Ah yes, I think it was…….well, yes, Italy sir.”
“Well, I will have to confiscate that tie Gannon. Hmmm yes, internal affairs will have to have a look at this pretty strip of silk. Here you can have mine in exchange, but I’ll want it back, you can’t find 100% virgin nylon like that anymore Gannon!”
“Yes sir, of course, gulp, sir. Thank you, sir.”