Given that Dad’s removal of his shirt last summer caused consternation, ridicule, and temporary sensations of queasiness, and in consideration that the situation since then has undoubtedly worsened, the parties of the household, hereinafter known as Dad, Spouse, and Children, agree to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Dad shall be restricted to taking his shirt off only while actively swimming or participating in water-leisure activities, including but not limited to water-skiing, water parks, and standing thigh-deep in water while psyching himself to take the plunge before ultimately chickening out.
  2. Once swimming/water-leisure activities have concluded, Dad will re-shirt as quickly as possible. Dad may not get a little sun. Dad may not “air dry.” Dad may not play his belly like a bongo.
  3. In addition, Dad shall be permitted to take his shirt off while doing light yard work if,
    1. The outdoor temperature is at or above 87° F;
    2. Said yard work is confined to the back yard and/or out of view of passing cars/people we might know;
    3. He is either solo or accompanied by Spouse, who reserves the right to laugh derisively and say, “Really?”
  4. Notwithstanding Points 1 and 3, Dad shall not remove his shirt when Children’s friends are around, even if he did 50 push-ups earlier that week and is feeling totally jacked. In such an event, Children shall be permitted to remind Dad that he is embarrassing and kind of gross.
  5. With the exception of Points 1 and 3, Dad must keep his shirt on at all times.
  6. Specifically, Dad shall not remove his shirt within common areas of the house while Spouse/Children are in the vicinity, even if the interior temperature is at or above 87° F, because the house is tight and no one wants all that up in their face.
  7. Moreover, Dad shall not remove his shirt in any public areas including parks, sports venues, concerts, festivals (street, food, music), places of worship, retail outlets, carnivals, parades, drinking establishments, birthday parties, political rallies, funeral homes, and any other location where being shirtless will inevitably get you on the news.
  8. Dad shall not remove his shirt while washing the car because he thinks he looks cool with his shades, his Tommy Bahama shorts, and “Abracadabra” blasting on the radio. He does not look cool.
  9. In the event that Dad finds himself in a public non-swimming/water-leisure situation where other dads have removed their shirts, Dad is not automatically granted license to remove his shirt also, as the other dads may be bound by their own agreements and possibly hot.
  10. In addition to adhering to minimal shirtlessness in accordance with these terms and conditions, Dad also agrees to limit as much as possible the wearing of tank tops. At no time may he refer to said tank tops as “wife-beaters,” nor may he ask whether you have bought your tickets to the “gun show.”
  11. In exchange for all the above, Children/Spouse agree to confine themselves once per season to laughing at Dad’s farmer tan.
  12. In addition, Children/Spouse are forbidden to make mockery of Dad’s pasty white chest, whether verbally, through pointing, snickering, and/or eye-rolling, or by exaggeratedly shielding their eyes from the glare.
  13. Notwithstanding Point 12, Dad reserves the right to shout out, “Look at me! I’m shimmering like a Twilight vampire!” or similar self-deprecating and not particularly timely comment, though this shall be limited to one Dad joke per shirtlessness.
  14. Children/Spouse may not make derogatory comments of any nature regarding Dad’s physical fitness or lack thereof, though would it hurt to give a compliment once in a while?
  15. Moles may be referenced only in the context of preventive health care and not as allusions to connect-the-dot games or constellations in the known or unknown universe.
  16. Nipple hair, whether unsightly tufts or freakishly long, shall not be mentioned by Children/Spouse within the hearing of other individuals, though discreet grooming tips in private shall be welcomed.
  17. In addition to the above conditions, Spouse agrees not to sigh heavily and cast languid glances at the lifeguard and/or the shirtless hot dads.
  18. Finally, all parties acknowledge that Dad going topless is a privilege, one that has been accorded to men only, despite the commonality of nipples and the statistical likelihood of male torsos being objectively yucky. In the event that Dad boasts that he is taking his shirt off “just because I can,” Spouse and female Children reserve the right to knee him in the nuts.

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