The Taneytown Police Department put out an unusual public service announcement this month that was noticed far beyond this small city — and Maryland, for that matter.
It might have appeared to outsiders that the department was taking a harsh tone on a serious issue in an April 14 Facebook post. But considering that the department is locally known for often using a joking tone, that’s not necessarily the case.
The post read, “Please remember to put pants on before leaving the house to check your mailbox. You know who you are. This is your final warning.”
That’s right: The police want you to keep that belt buckled and those buttons buttoned. Of course, with many Marylanders holed up at home — so as to not pick up and spread the coronavirus, or violate the governor’s orders — there’s no doubt plenty of Marylanders out there working from home with, er, particularly casual apparel.
But the same rules don’t apply outside. Sweatpants? Sure. Jeans instead of slacks? You bet. Boxers and briefs, uncovered? No can do.
The quirky post has been noticed by media outlets all over, and it even came up when Gov. Larry Hogan appeared Thursday morning on ABC’s “The View” talk show.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg posed a “really dopey” question to the governor, in reference to the Taneytown post: “Now, I know they weren’t talking about me, but do you know who they were talking about?”
Hogan was game.
“You know, apparently, there’s somebody in this small town who keeps going to check his mail without any pants on. This is not part of any executive orders on our part. I’m hoping he was wearing a mask at the time," he replied. “On the other hand, I think it’s probably going to help with social distancing because people are going to 6 feet apart away from him, so I don’t know. He should probably put on pants, but at least he’s not getting people crowded around him. He’s probably being safe and he’s not catching the coronavirus. I don’t know what else to say about that one.”
The police department has made no announcement about any suspect. But they got their message out there. Another high-profile figure to notice was Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show” on CBS.
Colbert riffed that it was unclear whether public pantslessness was related to the pandemic, or just “a long-running problem in Maryland.”
That dig aside, Taneytown residents should be able to appreciate one detail, at least — he did pronounce Taneytown correctly.
Baltimore Sun reporter Nathan Ruiz contributed to this article.