Sunday, July 31, 2011


What started as a one time gag, has reached an unexpected milestone: 

Shirt of the Day is celebrating its 50th shirt! 

In honor of this momentous occassion I wanted to do something special, something different. I have gone to great lengths and bribery to procure for you a Very Special Guest Tee. 

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you my beautiful wife and her amazing Wonder Twins!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The third time I ran away from home it was because my brother's face was a bloody mess, and I'd caused it to be that way.

Some quick stats: my brother is 4 years older than me, and at the time about 100 lbs heavier than me. He also had a serious mean streak. He would use this age and weight difference to inflict all sorts of pain and humiliation upon me, as older brothers are licensed to do by the very nature of being an older brother. I have come to believe that Older Brothers are all part of an Ancient Secret Society that gather in hidden and darkened alcoves to share both new and archaic forms of torture devised expressly for application on Those Born Last. Years later I deduced that in actuality my brother was a classic self loather, taking all his pain and rage and projecting it onto something he could control: Me, his sweet, innocent, angelic little brother. Or maybe he's just jealous because I got all the looks AND the brains. 

One day in 1980 he demanded I help him string an entire box of elastic bands together end to end. To what end or for what purpose I never found out, nor did I ask, I just did as I was instructed for fear an inquiry would result in a pillow being forcibly held over my face or, even less favorable, a wedgie. Once the last elastic was tied in the chain he ordered me to hold one end and not move. He then proceeded to walk backward holding the other end, stretching the elastic chain the full length of our basement until it was so taut it could stretch no further. 

I squeezed my eyes shut and braced myself, sure I knew what was going to happen next, just wanting to get it over with. After a minute and I had not yet felt the expected sting of the elastic I was positive he was going to release, I slowly opened one of my eyes, only to find my brother fastening his end of the chain to the wire of his braces. "Look ma, no hands" he mouthed around the rubber construction, holding his hands out in mock supplication. 

Confused, I blinked and stared down the expanse of the 20 foot long room at his pear shaped and adipose infested body, and 9 years of Indian Rug Burns and Charlie Horses welled up inside me. I looked to my left and snatched up an old metal click pen that was innocently lying on top of the fire-red-shag-carpeted wet bar, and slid it's pocket clip into the final loop of the elastic rope I was still tightly holding. I paused for a moment, watching, relishing, as the realization of what was about to happen dawned on my brother, and I smiled...and released the slender missile. All he managed was a squeaked nearly inaudible "no" before the pen made contact with his round face. 

His upper lip, erupted, like Mount Vesuvius at Pompeii. Blood splashed on the stucco ceiling, covered his face, and gushed from his ruptured lip soaking his favourite North Carolina Tar Heels tee. I saw all of this in an instant, because I was in motion at the same moment the pen was hurdling towards him. I ran past him, up the stairs, and out the back door before he hit the floor. Once outside I hopped the back fence and kept running until the feeling in my pale skinny chicken-legs graduated from rubber to Jell-o. In between gasps as I ran through the cramps and the bastard of a stitch in my side I was smiling. Davey had slain Goliath. And then reality ripped me away from my biblically inspired fantasy. David didn't have to live with Goliath's short-tempered father.

This was bad, real bad. If I went back, surely my brother would pummel me into oblivion. If I didn't he may bleed to death. I was in a pickle. I viewed running away the most prudent choice, imminently better than facing the umbrage of my father if I had killed his first born, or the combined wrath of my brother AND my father if I had only wounded. 

I paid an unexpected social call to my buddy Paul and invited myself to dinner. His parents fell for my Eddie Haskell routine and graciously agreed...conditionally. First I had to obtain permission from MY parents. Goddamn them and their kindness, responsibleness, and overall sense of community! After faking a suspiciously loud, dramatic, and overlong call to my parents (which in actuality was my very confused 90 year old neighbor Mrs C), we sat down to a hearty meal of mashed potatoes smothered in pork AND beans. Hot damn things were looking up! After washing down this carb laden delicacy with a tall glass of Red Kool Aid (only pennies a glass!), I invited myself to sleep over, but it being a school night this was out of the question, the proverbial wrench in my gameplan of throwing myself at the mercy and kindness of Paul's parents and making a case for never returning home in exchange for a 10 year contract of unconditional servitude under their roof.

The lights were on on the suburban streets and I had run out of options. I headed home, slowly, deciding to plead ignorance, but knowing full well that that particular dog ain't gonna hunt. I formulated a dozen explanations and excuses, none of them good, but when I got home the house was empty. A hastily scribbled message in my mother's immaculate handwriting on an "I Hate Mondays" Garfield notepad revealed that my parents were at the hospital having my brother sewn up like a patchwork Frankenstein's monster. Small mercies. 

An even more hastily added PS in my father's brutish near indecipherable chicken-scratch directed me "Don't even think about going anywhere". I tore off another piece of paper from the notepad depicting the fat orange feline stuck dangling and suspended between the arm of a chair and a table upon which rested a steaming turkey, a paw on each, and hurriedly began to transcribe my Last Will and Testament.

When my parents returned home from the hospital an hour later with my sullen brother in tow sporting four jet black stitches on and in his grossly swollen upper lip, I tried to feign slumber, a classic defense for those aged 4 to 11. Needless to say my beauty rest was not on my father's agenda at that particular juncture and I did indeed face the ire and faux leather belt of my father that night. I was also subject to the misdirected and now elevated animosity of my permanently scarred brother for the next 5 consecutive years.

To this day my brother can actually whistle with his mouth closed. 

So he's got that going for him.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sleek, elegant, contoured. Timeless. 
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...The Brando.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Birthdays in THE CITY. Apparently if you live in A city, it becomes THE CITY, well at least to those who define themselves by where they live. Me, I'm more of the Country Mouse type. I grew up in a Smallvillian town that was on the outskirts of no less than five everyday average cities of varying sizes. I personally prefer lawns of green, forests alive with both flora and fauna, dales and dells a-plenty, and perhaps even a fiord or two. I feel stifled and trapped when I'm surrounded by concrete and steel, like being in Cell Block 7 without the guards, and all the inmates are roaming free. 

There wasn't much to do in my lazy little whistle-stop. Well not much to do other than dance that is, and dance we did! But thanks to the the tireless efforts of an uptight crusading clergyman, the town council put a strict ban on dancing and rock and roll music. I just couldn't take it, I was either going to hit the ceiling or tear up the town. I just had to cut loose. So I moved to one of the surrounding cities. Just A city, mind you. 

Although a bustling metropolitan arena, I'm in the good part, considered the 'burbs. Its all sprawling parks where the dogs bring their Starbucks slurping owners to socialize, framed by a plethora of mature trees housing the tufted titmouse, and immature trees that giggled when I said titmouse. However, a ten minute drive brings you to the arrhythmic black heart of the Concrete Kingdom of crumbling grey towers and forgotten trash, both literal and human. Ever since I moved to this interurban metropolis I've felt like an outsider, like I didn't fully belong. Sure, I made efforts to fit in, the obligatory local losing football team flag tackily mounted to my car window and the ever popular "If you don't stand behind our troops why don't you go stand in front of them" bumper sticker; hanging out in a lawn chair in the garage wearing a wifebeater and flip-flops, and trying to drive without ever taking the cigarette out of my mouth and I don't even smoke, but the proud indigenous locals still always seemed to stop and stare, their disgust practicaly screaming "Interloper! Outlander!". In a moment of desperation I considered knocking a few of my front teeth out as my full set of chompers are a noticeable anomaly, but chickened out at the last second and opted for soiling myself in public instead, but that only goes so far. 

So in an effort to quell my feelings of being segregated and ostracized, for my birthday my beautiful wife didn't just give me this incredible shirt, she has given me the gift of Acceptance...Acceptance howling at a green moon.

A Green Moon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


It ain't easy having pals.

They rib you, insult you, exploit your insecurities and foibles. Generally giving you the gears. Like a living diary written in indelible marker they never let you live down the embarrassing goofy stuff you have done in your life, like the skin tight leather pants or the drunken dance-floor makeout session with a 300 pound cougar who left her cheap ruby red lipstick all over your face like you'd been bobbing for pistachios.

But all that really means is they know you, and accept you for who you are. Regardless. 

My blood relatives put the func in dysfunctional, so over the years I have invested in my small circle of friends in lieu, and consider them my family. They are a good bunch, albeit somewhat damaged, each in their own special way. Like a Super Team, each member with their own unique ability, thankfully minus the spandex....except Josh, but what happens behind closed doors is his business.

I have a milestone birthday rapidly approaching, and this merry band of miscreants helped me celebrate the other night by partaking in the time honored tradition of getting me shitfaced.  This is the gift that keeps giving as it is still making itself known today, like a house-guest that sleeps until noon and uses all of your toilet paper, and although I feel as though a pig has shat in my brain, I'm smiling. I've got good pals.

In addition to plying me with copious amounts of alcohol, mi amigos also presented me with gifts. Anyone that scoffs at the idea of grown men purchasing gifts for each other as being gay only does so because they don't have anyone in their lives that cares enough about them to buy them cool shit. Now if my pals had purchased and signed a birthday card, that would have been totally gay.

The group gathered was a good mix of childhood, highschool, and newer friends, and the gifts were representative of the mix. All the geek staples were covered: comicbooks, Star Wars, Lego, Thundercats, rockabilly, and t-shirts a-plenty! Including the painstakingly crafted handmade 100% cotton masterpiece featured above. This tee is the equivalent of the birthday card a parent receives from their kid that is crafted out of macaroni, glitter and Elmer's paste, and as it's proudly mounted on the refrigerator you can't help but fleetingly wonder if the child might be a tad slow. 

Future frackin' awesome Shirts of the Day also gifted included Deadpool, Charlie Brown, Robo Cop, and Han Solo! What makes this drenched in awesome sauce is that this group of friends don't speak geek, well at least not fluently. They don't get an obsession with pop culture rooted in the realm of sci-fi and superheroes, comics and cartoons. But they do get me. And that's what makes them pals.

I think William H. Bonney summarized it best when he said "See, you get yourself 3 or 4 good pals, then you've got yourself a tribe. And there ain't nothing stronger than that".

To my tribe, to my PALS!


Thursday, July 14, 2011


Well gang, we are only 45 Tees into Shirt of the Day and I have already received a mixed bag of comments and questions, as well as 1 marriage proposal (Suzi, "No" to the marriage, "Yes" to the tattoo) and a smattering of death threats from you, the esteemed readers. I thought I'd take this opportunity to address some of the commonly themed queries that have been posed thus far.

Q: Shawn from Ireland wanted to know "Exactly how many freakin' t-shirts do you have?!"
A: This is actually one of the most frequently asked questions. The answer: I'm not entirely sure, but enough to warrant an intervention. Probably enough to wear a different one every day for a year, and then some.  Will I showcase them all? No, just the good, the bad, and the geeky. Huzzah!

Q: Saeed from the United Arab Emirates writes "أحب القمصان الخاصة بك والقصص السخيفة. أنها تبقي لي الشركة ويعطيني ابتسامات كثيرة. ليس من السهل أن يبتسم هنا. لقد حاولت من أي وقت مضى لجعل شطيرة في بولونيا كهف مظلم؟ هناك على الرمال في كل لدغة. لو كنت هنا أود أن أشكر لك من قبل قاسم ابنتي والماعز معكم لصنع الجنس."
A: First off Saeed, your grammar is atrocious (LOL-hugs), and thank you for your kind words. I can't say I do, because I don't like bologna. As for your gracious offer, tempting, but I couldn't. Now if you had said your daughter and a dugong...haha

Q: "Why?"
A: This covers a broad array of questions from all over. Why t-shirts, why stories, why bother? The answer is simple: I have a collection of tees and a catalog of tales. I like t-shirts, I have t-shirts, I also like to tell stories, I have stories to tell. A fellow t-shirt aficionado told me he reckons I'm a t-shirt wearin' front porch raconteur. Why the blog? To preserve both the shirts and the stories, before age and beer increase my girth and diminish my ability to recall and relate the yarns.

Q: Señor b00bie$ is a childhood friend who I am both embarrassed for and by, someone who has been a constant in my life and has born witness and been party to many of my youthful shenanigans. If I am Id, the Señor is my Mecha-Id. In a booze and Ativan fueled email he demanded to know "Where's all the fuckin' good stuff you hobo humpin' slobo bitch?! The sex, drugs, and rock and roll stories, dickweed!? I know you have 'em to tell, I was there! Well not for the sex stories, except that one time but we agreed to never speak of that again. But I've heard 'em, seen 'em, and unfortunately even smelled ' spill it douchebag!".
A: Ah Señor b00bie$, your flattering pet names warm the cockles. Yes, I do have R and even X rated tales, but not for this forum.  Some of my stories may have illicit elements, or be set against a backdrop of debauchery, but out of respect for my wife and to preserve the continuity of the lies I have told her about my puritanical past, I will leave the sordid tales of hedonistic decadence to the professionals like Tucker Max.

Q: Speaking of my enchanting bride, WaxMyMonkey69 wanted to know if "we'd be seeing any more of her".
A: Due to the graphic nature of the subsequent verbification of the email, and the accompanying photographs, I will choose the wording of my response carefully: Although my wife has begrudgingly agreed to model the occasional guest Shirt of the Day, no you will not be seeing MORE of her Mr. WaxMyMonkey69.

Q: Several readers have inquired "Did that really happen / Are these stories true?"
A: Absolutely, 100% grade a true, with a healthy dose of creative license.

Q: "Are you really that big of a geek?"
A: Whereas I do not own a clock or watch that displays all the world time zones, I do measure time in how many episodes of Buffy I could have watched. Greedo did not shoot first. I know what TARDIS stands for, but don't care what HTML means. I have no interest in Xbox, but still play Atari. I have read Lord of the Rings more than once, and comicbooks hold my interest more than the news. I have met Bruce Campbell, but not William Shatner. So you decide, but if you are already here then you may want to ask yourself the same question.

Q: "When did you first realize you were a geek?"
A: Stardate one-eight-seven-one point seven.

Until next time dear reader...Excelsior!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I went to a Catholic grade school, not by choice. Religion's popularity is in part due to having it forced upon the impressionable and confused who have no voice. Like date rape. 

I used to have a set of rosary beads (again, not by choice) that were baby blue except for the flesh colored Jesus who was pinned to his baby blue cross with these ridiculously miniature nails. 

I also used to have a toy Batmobile with a removable Batman & Robin. 

When Sister Joanette discovered Jesus had come down off his cross and was now riding shotgun in the Batmobile I was taught a very memorable lesson in penance. 

I never saw Jesus or the Batmobile again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


As much as I wanna rock and roll all night, I can only really party every second day.

Friday, July 1, 2011


(Related post: Day 31)

I was at a BBQ, enjoying a cold beer and engaging in friendly discussion on how time dilation when applied to the concepts of general relativity could allow for time travel into the future. The general consensus was that it is unlikely that travel into the past is possible, but playing the Devil's Advocate I postulated its plausibility. The term "Paradox" was being thrown around like so many "I Love You's" in the backseat of a Chevy Nova on Prom Night. I was proposing that the application of quantum mechanics into the equation mitigates the paradoxical conundrum created by the laws of causality by allowing for historical divergences, aka Multiverses. It was a congenial enough conversation until some clown broke out Hawkings' Chronology Protection Conjecture. Hello...Party over!

It was at that moment that I became distracted by a new arrival blustering through the back gate. He was a greasy rotund fellow, the type of guy who is always sweaty in winter. He was wearing a shirt that read "My PERL script is smarter than your Java code". There was something oddly familiar about him. I vaguely registered that he made me uncomfortable but I couldn't remember why. I also recalled that he smelled funny. Like pickled eggs and taxidermy.

His beady eyes furtively darted around the guests, and when they settled on me he hastily made a stumbling beeline for my position. I gingerly placed my beer on the patio table, adjusted my footing, and got ready to rumble!

Then I noticed the other guests were not at all alarmed by this rampaging unctuous behemoth. Some were even casually greeting him as he charged past. I relaxed my ninja fighting stance, but only slightly.

As he huffed and puffed right up to me the first thing I noticed were the crescents of perspiration framing his breasts. The second thing was the stench. They say that smell is a powerful memory trigger, and this particular assault on my olfactory senses was setting my Spider Senses a-tingling!

By way of greeting he heralded himself by blurting "So I got to thinking about the Submariner-Iron Man death match we were discussing".

Oh. Fuck.

Now I remembered. It all came flooding back to me. The Geek By Association, or GBA for short. I hadn't immediately recognized him because it appears he had suffered some sort of severe allergic reaction. He had swelled to twice the size since I had last seen him several months prior, bloated like a plastic jug of apple cider long forgotten under the kitchen sink left to ferment and expand as it produced foul smelling gas, and he had some strange rash covering his face. As it turns out his condition was the product of a steady diet of fast food coupled with trying to grow a patchy set of mutton-chops over his acne.

I looked around for support, back-up, but my companions had quietly and wisely chosen to absquatulate, leaving me to fend for myself. That's not pals. That's not buds. Fiends! I had but one recourse: feign ignorance. A crude but historically effective defense.

"I wasn't discussing anything with you. Ever", I replied with a subtle raising of one eyebrow, hoping this quizzical and bemused affectation would throw him off the scent.

"Indeed you were sir, and I quote 'The only person who ever wins in a death match is Baby Jesus. That's how He garners new recruits for the coming war'. End quote". I couldn't help but smirk at my own assclownery. Damn it, busted! All I could muster was "Ah".

Raising his voice so the audiences' collective attention would be drawn he confidently continued, "So, my question to you wiseguy, if they did go to heaven, God's Army aside, would they get wings? Well, I'm waiting", GBA looked around triumphantly, arms resting across his ample bosom, a smug look on his face that was just begging me to smack it right off. 

The quizzical raising of my eyebrow and look of disbelief were both genuine this time "...the fuck....??".

"Well boy wonder, they can both fly, and have no need for wings. Namor has wings on his feet, and Iron Man's suit has propulsion. Who looks the fool now?", he concluded, poking me in the chest with a moist pudgy finger. A collective gasp went up. 

I responded in a quiet, measured tone, "Go. Away. Before I knock you into last week. Please."

His eyes had taken on a feverish maniacal quality. He'd been stewing over this for months, he couldn't stop himself if he wanted to. His over analysis of our last encounter had a choke hold on both Fear and Common Sense. He continued on, his voice raising an octave in pitch, his words coming quicker now, something about "...if there was a Red Sun in heaven, and the tensile strength required to support The Thing, and what about...".

I interrupted him, "Were you really just about to comment on the fact that DC's Hawkman and/or Marvel's Angel already have wings?" 

There was a mix of awkward uncomfortableness and anticipation emanating from the crowd.

A long pause, then a tentative nearly inaudible "Yes", followed by the sound of me knocking him into last week.

Hawkings' Chronology Protection Conjecture be damned!