Shirt Messaging

People just don’t get it. Well, that’s hardly a revelation. And it’s a little ambiguous, I probably need to be a bit more clear. Cause a statement like ‘people just don’t get it’ is quite broad, as much as saying ‘people are by and large not terribly inclined to critical thinking’. This is, from personal observation, true, but it really doesn’t add anything to sum total of human knowledge. Saying instead, that people on average have a hard time understanding concepts more advanced than ‘do not stick a fork in a electrical socket’ well, I think that’s not hard to argue with, right?

But, back to people not getting it. I have a t-shirt. One of many. This particular t-shirt is one I picked up Disneyworld a couple of years back. Now before you go – oh he’s the kind of person who buys souvenirs at Disneyworld, what a rube, I will remind you that we have to go to Disneyworld on business, several times a year. Well, Mary’s business, I have to go along to haul bags, and also to start the rental car.

See, we came to an understanding some time ago. When we arrive in Florida I have to get the keys, jump in the car, and get it started up and the air conditioning dialed up to Arctic Winter within the first thirty seconds. We established this routine because after a long flight from Colorado, the sudden immersion in the fetid, hot and humid swamp that is Orlando, brings on an attack of the ‘Bad Mary’, the one you really, really don’t want to meet. And if she isn’t getting some primo air conditioning within the set time limit, this being thirty seconds (read above), there will be hell to pay. Literal hell, she starts speaking in a foul and obscure demonic tongue, and the earth cracks open, and Lovecraftian horrors emerge to drive us all insane. When confronted with a new automotive conveyance she somehow finds all her vaunted technological prowess evaporate, and there is much searching for the key slot and how to start the ignition, and getting the damned air conditioning to working. I could go into a multi-page account of the first time we rented a Prius, but that would take a long time, and most of the surviving participants signed binding non-disclosure agreements, so we pretend that it never, ever happened.

In any case, Disneyworld, check, bought a t-shirt, check. Continuing on. I purchased the t-shirt printed with a message, which I normally am not a fan of, liking simple graphic designs of molecular structures and robots, because it had a point that I thought people might understand. Basically, the shirt had a large image of Grumpy from the Seven Dwarves, and a short printed message that ‘This Is My Grumpy Shirt’. I saw this and said, I have to have it. It conveys a perfectly clear concept I thought. When I’m grumpy, I wear my Grumpy shirt, and then people will know that I am, indeed, a grumpy person. And if someone said to you “I’m grumpy,” the natural inclination is to think, well, if he’s grumpy I should just leave him alone.

But, nooooo, people think it’s funny. But it’s not. It’s an effort at communication and it says, don’t bother me, I’m not in a good mood. Maybe, it’s the dwarf. Maybe, I should have gotten one with an image of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Guy with the more explicit message ‘This Is My Grumpy Shirt and I’ll Chainsaw Anyone Who Laughs!” Actually, what is the correct verb to use when conveying the mental image of chopping up hapless teenagers with a chainsaw? “I’ll saw you up, so help me God?” Not “I’ll chain you into little pieces,” cause that makes no sense. Hmm, I’ll have to ponder this.

Anyway, if you see a guy wandering the streets with a scowl and a Grumpy Dwarf t-shirt, muttering to himself, it’s either a homeless guy who’s been to Disneyworld, or it’s me. In either case, it’s best to stay far, far away.


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