Vice Squad
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Dirndl Drama

Workplace smoking bans that apply to restaurants and bars have been adopted in many locales (including Italy, Ireland, and NYC), ostensibly to protect the health of employees. One way that a bar or restaurant could continue to cater to its smoking customers is to set up an outdoor dining area, where smoking is permitted. But careful -- outdoor workers are exposed to a different hazard: sunlight. And so the European Union is thinking of requiring (via the Optical Radiation Directive) outdoor employees to cover up. Such a requirement, however, might necessitate that barmaids in Bavaria abandon their traditional costume, the dirndl. What will happen to the label of St. Pauli Girl? Come to think of it, judging from the 2005 St. Pauli Girl poster, they already abandoned the dirndl -- but they aren't out of the woods with respect to the Optical Radiation Directive.

I ran across the Optical Radiation Directive and its implications for Bavarian barmaids on a blog connected with

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