The Shirt Allergy

There is a terrible disease spreading around the tropics: the shirt allergy.  It mostly affects younger white men, and can last for an entire vacation.  Evidence suggests that it is contagious.  Already epidemics have been noted in Florida and Southern California.

Symptoms are obvious: notably, the inability to properly cover your torso.  All fabric is simply repelled, and the victim is forced to walk around bare-chested for the duration of the illness.  Some are even forced to continue this state in public, or during meals.  Other symptoms include excessive subconscious flexing of the abdomen, puffing out of the chest while leaning back slightly, unnecessary pointing or stretching of the arms, and being unable to turn the body from anywhere below the waist.  Symptoms worsen while on the beach, under direct sunlight, or in the presence of females.

If not properly treated, the condition can worsen and lead to sunburn, decreased self-awareness, derision by the locals, and complete lack of respect for cultural social norms.  Isolated incidents have reported the disease mutating into full-blown pants or clothes allergy.

If you are a foreigner in a tropical country, and find yourself walking around without a shirt, you may be susceptible to shirt allergy.  Talk to your guide or hosts for more information.  Avoid spring-breaker-themed youth hostels.  Pay closer attention to what locals are wearing.

Note: if you are hiking, doing physical labor, or relaxing on the beach without a shirt, this is normal behavior and completely acceptable.  You do not have shirt allergy; you are just sweaty.  Just remember to clean up and cover up before returning to town or going to dinner.  Or going inside someone’s home.

This has been a public service announcement.

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