The strict dress code of bad guys is telling. What it is telling, I’m not sure, but we can learn much about the society we live in by studying this fascinating topic. Namely, why being a Bad Guy pays and pays big.
Dress codes are, or used to be, the norm. Now, of course, you can wear sweats and flip flops to depose a client, but not in previous eras. Oh, no. You had to wear a suit, a tie, and shiny black shoes, unless you wore spats. Spats were the end all of the well dressed man. Just look at Al Capone if you want to know how to dress like a bad guy.
The other night I watched Live and Let Die with Roger Moore as James Bond. Throughout the movie, he chased a Bad Guy named Mr. Big around, and he chased, or was chased by, Mr. Big’s henchmen. Mr. Big was a drug lord, fabulously wealthy, and killed off British spies as a hobby, even though he was based in New York and Jamaica. What was wrong with whacking our spies? Some people think anything British is better. Tch.
It struck me during a scene in Mr. Big’s huge underground caverns–complete with iron gates, hollow missiles, sharks, martinis, and lots of Bad Guy henchmen running around–that Bad Guy employees always dress in uniform.
The point of being a Bad Guy is lost on me at this juncture. I thought it meant you lived outside the law because you didn’t follow the rules. You spit on the rules, is what. The rules are for fools, when you’re a Bad Guy, which may be true for the head Bad Guy, but not for his employees. To be clear, main henchmen, or Bad Guy Assistants, wear suits and ties, so presumably they have a closet full of suits in case of blood splatter, and are paid accordingly.
Mr. Big’s Bad Guy henchmen in Live and Let Die wore red polo shirts tucked into neat fitting blue jeans. Very sharp. Like Disney employees. Dr. No’s employees, the ones who worked in his fabulous underground caverns, all wore overalls and hard hats, if I recall.
Perhaps Bond villains had a hardscrabble youth and worked their way up through the ranks of lowly henchmen, but I have never seen one break a sweat, and I do have questions. For instance, is there a main laundry for the uniforms? One that picks up and delivers? Is there a designer for Bad Guy uniforms, or did Mr. Big sit down at his fabulous desk and work one out for his ever loyal and never ending source of labor? Is Mr. Big creatively inclined, as well as being entrepreneurial in nature?
For that matter, don’t governments sit up and take notice when someone starts detonating explosives in mountainsides and building underground caverns?
Mr. Big Should Be President
I say that because he clearly can accomplish more than any current president can, not the least of which is building fabulous caverns. He employs hundreds, commands loyalty, and his organization runs smoother than Jif peanut butter.
This particular Mr. Big not only had entire restaurant staff to do his bidding, but voodoo practitioners, cavern henchmen–and, get this–a funeral cortege complete with assassin to jump to when a British spy lounged around outside spying on his restaurant, the Fillet of Soul, and being quite obviously, a spy.
The restaurant itself was the last word in high tech whacking, such as tables that turn around into another room, or sink into a basement. Stuff like that. Then, insult to injury, the waiter grabs your martooni before it too, can disappear, and drinks it.
As for the uniform, it doesn’t take long to come up with “red polo shirts–tucked in–and blue jeans”, but Mr. Big did have to find someone who could keep his organization supplied with shirts and jeans. Maybe dose guys have regular houses and a little woman at home to launder the Bad Guy uniform, but that is not made evident, not even when bunches of uniformed henchmen meet their end at the hands of Bond or Mr. Big. No crying widows or grieving mothers come forward to castigate the head Bad Guy, or try to claim a pension.
So Many Questions, So Little Time
When I flew for Pan Am, and worked at the Golden Nugget as a dealer, we wore uniforms. The airline hired Edith Head to design the flight attendants’ uniform. Of course, Pan Am–other than a few top executives–was not known as a Bad Guy organization, so they could be aboveboard with things like that.
When it came to laundering, we dry cleaned our uniforms on layovers, or at home. I threw mine in the washer with Woolite and it came out perfect.
I have lots of questions about other things, too, like how Mr. Big commanded such loyalty among the locals, how he managed to meet payroll after his excessive real estate ventures, and why he whacked government agents, which normally carries a pretty hefty penalty. Why bring the wrath of the government down on your head? Not to mention why spies seem to walk into traps they are highly trained on our dime to avoid.
Strict dress codes of bad guys aside, I have other real estate and permit questions. How did Mr. Big or Dr. No, or whoever, manage to build huge caverns underground and keep it on the down low? Just to post notices about a yard sale is fraught with complexities; how do you blast out a mountainside and build weapons without tons of paperwork and attorneys? Permits? Geologists? Scientists? Rocket experts? Osha interference?
Without a Bad Guy to give me some idea of the inner workings of Bad Guy, Inc, I am in the dark about all of this. Like everything else, I just thank the powers that be that someone else wants to tackle the profession and I don’t have to worry about it.