Handkerchief in back pocket: fashion statment or signal?

There’s a guy who works in the building, and he’s always got a red handkerchief in his left back pocket. There would be nothing at all unusual about that in this environment, except that a) he never blows his nose on it or does any other sort of handkerchiefy things with it, and b) it always protrudes a bit from his pocket.

I’m a bit too shy to ask him about it, but I recall vaguely something about handkerchiefs being some sort of signaling device within the gay community. At the time that I heard it (some years ago) I dismissed it as a stupid urban legend, like the earring in the wrong ear thing. I’ve found a few “decoders” online that say that suggest that based on his hanky display, this mild-mannered fellow is into fisting–giving, not recieving.

Uhhhhh, okay. Interesting thing to advertise in the workplace.

So, I prevail upon Dopers In The Know! Does anybody follow this convention any more? Or has something else taken its place? Or is it more likely that this guy just think it looks good to have a hankerchief poking out of his jeans pocket?

All I can tell you, Podkayne, is that Sylvester P. Smythe, the Alfred E. Neuman of Cracked Magazine, always dresses in white painter’s overalls (although the magazine calls him the “janitor”), and always carries a polka-dotted (various colors, in covers painted by John Severin) in a hip pocket. He is never shown doing anything with his hanky, either.

Well, when I had gay roomates, they explained to me how a handkerchief in the left pocket signalled the person was a top and in the right pocket signalled a bottom. (I might have gotten those backwards but you get the idea.)I think different colors can be used to signal interest in bdsm and stuff too. I saw a guide to interpreting hanky wearing in one of the local gay rags arond here but I didn’t memorize it.
The thing is, unless your environment has a significant gay population, I don’t see why this guy would wear a handkerchief as a signal. There’s no one to communicate with.

For those that don’t know (or don’t remember) the Hankie Code, well, there goes the link.

I’ve noticed alot in the music industry (especially in thier videos) the majority of rappers will wear a small towel (like the ones from hotels) in their back pockets.

I think you’ve found the allusive ‘Boss’.

That is, Bruce Springstien.
I was wondering what happpened to him.

Well, according to that website, he’s a pooper poker. So you might want to watch out. If ya drop yer wallet at work, kick it over to the wall before you bend to pick it up! :smiley:

As for what breaknrun said, there’s no one to show the hankie too… Guys are ALWAYS looking for a grip. They don’t care where they get it, so maybe he’s just showing his colors in the hope someone at work suddenly decides to play Doctor! And hey! it got Podkane’s attention didn’t it? :eek:

Jeezus, Falafel Waffle, think you could post with less class? :rolleyes:

maybe he is in a gang. Where I work the accounting , marketing and IT departments each have their own gang and they are always throwing gang signs at each other. Good thing its against company policy to do a drive-by or who knows what would happen

That sort of post is inappropriate here. Please don’t do it again.

moderator, GQ

Where do you work? Hmmmm???

From the hanky code:


Some of those colors are awfully close together… I mean:

Light Blue
Robin’s Egg Blue (whatever that is)
Medium Blue

They are all very different, um, signals. But at least I know which one to sport next time I’m caught speeding!

And who can tell the difference between:

Pale Yellow

Especially after they’ve been through the wash a few times!

I’ll just bet Christopher Lowell can.

My question still remains: is this code really used anymore, or was it something that has lived longer in parody than in practice?

A lot of people still take it very seriously. I know that the code has been around since at least the 60s with minor changes throught the years.

I don’t remember seeing Mosquito netting on any official list. I guess I have to update my list.

As far as I know, there is no lesbian parallel to the hanky code.

[sub]it would make my life easier…[/sub]

You mean like Herb Kornfeld and his Accountz Receevable Krew?

Well hell, don’t be shy, excercise some creativity and make one up ;). Who know’s, maybe it’ll catch on…