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The tee-shirt wars. April 1, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Aaauuugghhh!!! The most dreaded ritual of spring has finally arrived. I knew it the moment I walked into the bedroom my partner, Silence Dogood, and I share here in the precise middle of nowhere, PA and saw the piles of tee-shirts on the bed. The Tee-Shirt Wars had begun again.

Our friend Ben is extremely fond of tee-shirts, especially tie-dyes and colorful tee-shirts that commemorate places we’ve been and things we enjoy. Unfortunately, for some reason, Silence feels that by the time you can’t open a drawer because of all the tee–shirts crammed in it, and by the time you pry it open, they’re so compressed that they’re all too wrinkled to wear, then something has to go. In fact, as many things as possible. It always goes something like this:

Silence: Ben, look at this mess! I must have extracted 50 tee-shirts from that one drawer alone. Some of them have to go!

Our friend Ben, muttering: Not again.

Silence: Ben, don’t you have enough collections without insisting on hanging on to every ancient, hideous tee-shirt you’ve ever owned?

OFB: What do you mean, hideous?!

Silence: Well, just look at this one from the Albuquerque Rattlesnake Museum. Or this: “Black Death, European Tour 1347-1351,” with that loathesome orange rat on the front!

OFB: That tee-shirt has historical significance! And besides, it’s funny.

Silence: I doubt the victims would have thought so at the time. And how about this blinding orange-and-yellow tie-dye, “Swampstock 2009”? Unless you’re standing in for a street light in a power outage, I don’t see how you can bear to wear it.

OFB: That tie-dye is a piece of local history! It’s all we have left to commemorate Swampstock!

Silence: Ben, do you see the date on these two tee-shirts, 1992? And these are even older. I know you loved those cute little Belted Galloway cows, but do you really need three identical tee-shirts of them?

OFB, sullenly: I was afraid they might wear out and then I wouldn’t have any left.

Silence: What about this Lynyrd Skynyrd tee-shirt?

OFB, horrified: Hey, give me that! That’s Lynyrd Skynyrd!

Silence: How long have you had this Hawk Mountain tee-shirt? I’ve never seen you wear that!

OFB: Hawk Mountain is our greatest natural landmark! I’m keeping it pristine for, uh, ah…

Silence, brandishing the wrinkled, crumpled tee-shirt: You call this pristine? And Ben, look at these! They’re covered with stains. Eeewww!!!

OFB, chagrined: I’m keeping them in case I need to paint the house again.

Silence: When did you paint the house before?

OFB, hastily: I mean, for when I need to paint something in the house.

And so it goes, until the inevitable moment I’ve been dreading above all others, when Silence looks at me and says innocently, “What about this Dr. Smith tee-shirt?”

Dr. Smith, the cowardly villain of the otherwise tedious “Lost in Space” series, was our friend Ben’s childhood hero. I rolled on the floor every time he would whine dramatically, “Oh the pain! The pain!!!” over every least little thing. (Admittedly, I was very young and was, and remain, very easily amused.) So when I actually found a tee-shirt picturing my erstwhile hero and his famous phrase, I was completely ecstatic. That tee-shirt is one of my most treasured possessions. So when Silence comes to it at last, I know I have to surrender. But she’s not getting the Lynyrd Skynyrd tee-shirt.

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