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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

The Form and the Uniform

The Form and the Uniform.

The right suit in the right place is the glossary to glory, and if the man makes the uniform the uniform makes the man. The butcher bereft of his stripes is no more a butcher than a zebra. Sailors don't care, but jerk off their jerseys and they don't know Davy Jones from Sam Brown. Soldiers are as putty without putties and lack tone without tunics. Tram conductors are non-conductors and lack punch without their tram-linings. Snatch away an engine-driver's hat and oil can and his loco-motives become so mixed that he doesn't know an Ab. from a gee-gee. And choir boys who, in their human moments jubilate in jazz, on Sunday restrain their surplus air under
“Could Napoleon have gone nap in ‘bun’ and ‘boweyhangs?’”

“Could Napoleon have gone nap in ‘bun’ and ‘boweyhangs?’”

page 16 a surplice air. And would telegraph boys “get their man” if they were not dressed like the young of sea captains? The mischances are that their wires would short-circuit and they would refuse. Firemen would go cold on the job if their helmets were converted to coal scuttles. Policemen perhaps are the eating which proves the pudding; they can never forget they are policemen, even when they are dressed like ordinary dishonest citizens; but of course there is so much of a policeman to remind him that he is a policeman. Anyway, a policeman who forgets he is a policeman is no longer a policeman. Even a traffic cop loses control of his commotions outside his uniform and might be mistaken for a “barmy” barber practising the Marcel wave with all hands aloft and the combers clambering over the toff-rail, should he attempt to brave the bitumen dressed like a human being.