Portage la Prairie, MB –
Riley Rossburn knew he was pushing the tolerance boundaries by wearing a new floral print dress shirt to a social in Portage la Prairie on Saturday, but he didn’t think the move would create such a stir in the fashion conservative community of 13,000.
Like the majority of male, and a substantial number of female citizens of Portage, Rossburn wears a variety of long-sleeve plaid shirts when attending social events like socials or parties. On Saturday he decided to break things wide open by putting on a non-plaid shirt he had recently picked up at a discount fashion retailer in Winnipeg.
“I knew I’d be the only guy there not wearing plaid,” Rossburn admitted. “I didn’t realize things were going to get that outta hand.”
Not long after arriving, Rossburn was the target of verbal abuse and taunting. Many plaid covered partiers referred to the shirt as feminine and unacceptable. Some asked him why he had worn his wife’s shirt even though Rossburn is single and has never been married. The barbs wounded him deeply.
Portagers have a long-standing tradition of donning plaid shirts for social gatherings. In the summer they are usually short-sleeved and in the fall and winter longer sleeves are recommended. At more casual events, the plaid shirt is allowed to be worn open with a coordinating t-shirt underneath.
Rossburn’s attempt at anarchy was immediately denounced by local civic leaders also in attendance.
“At the next City Council meeting we will be bringing forward a by-law prohibiting this kind of senseless individualism,” Penny Rollins said. “We have social norms that have served us well and have made Portage the great place it is.”
The by-law will make wearing non-plaid shirts to socials, parties, weddings and public gatherings a finable offence and the offender the object of public scorn.
“There is an almost endless selection of plaid to pick from so we don’t think wearing non-plaid is necessary,” Rollins said. “You can still be an individual while wearing plaid.”
Rossburn expresses deep regret for his wardrobe selection and is upset he is the cause of a new and likely ineffective bylaw.
Notice to readers/disclaimer – click here to read more about the satirical and fictional reality of this story and website. This disclaimer is for those people who might actually think you weren’t allowed to wear non-plaid clothing in Portage. Most people realize the abundance of plaid in this place is the result of years of assimilation into some sort of strange rural Canadian sub-culture rooted in beer drinking, pick-up driving and lack of exposure to alternative life-styles and cultures.