What does your shirt say?

As I sit here, still ill, with a cold, but drinking vegetable soup garnished with generous amounts of chili, I feel my nose draining itself. Yesterday, James bought me a bowl of spicy egg noodles with wontons. It was great, and it actually got rid of the soreness in my throat. I’m not feeling any pain there anymore, just an odd emptiness. My voice still sounds like P!nk, or as one of my workmates said, “like a man”. 😆

I guess my cold is just stuffing things up but I hope to be better soon. Smelling some Vaporub seems to do the trick, too. I think the wind also gets to me easily. Yesterday I let myself into work (I have my own keys now) and I opened the windows because I was rather out of breath from walking from the station and up the flights of stairs, but soon enough the wind was making me feel cold so I shut them. The good thing about working in a converted loft is that it rarely gets muggy in there.

I caught up with Johnny and Fern the other day – I hadn’t seen them in months! I didn’t have a jacket with me and as I was waiting for them outside our meeting place, I was hoping it wasn’t going to make my cold worse.

I was wearing my shirt that said, “The art of conversation is, like, kinda dead and stuff”. A boy about my age was nearby with another two girls, and he asked, “Hey, excuse me, what does your shirt say?”

I walked towards them and let them read it out aloud. “Hey, that’s cool! Thanks,” he nodded.

Thankfully, that’s probably the only geeky shirt I own that has words on it; the others have prints of LEGO, rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock or a TARDIS, which doesn’t really encourage people to ask what my shirt reads, or say. A popular online store from which I bought some of these shirts is ThinkGeek.com. I used to shop there quite often before I found their shipping costs to Australia were too high for my taste, not to mention they seemed to be out of any good merchandise.

More often than not, I find geeky shirts that quote certain memes or have Pedobear on them, or Double Rainbow, or reference some game like Skyrim or Minecraft or Pacman, or have some programming or HTML or blogger joke on it. I find the majority of these shirts, particularly the ones with jokes on them, to be very unfunny and very lame. Yes, I think a shirt with <body> on it is a pretty cool shirt, but I wouldn’t buy one and wear it.

It’s not hip and it’s not funny or cool or totally rad or fully sick [bro]. Let’s just say, if I saw an English teacher wearing a shirt like the one I mentioned earlier, I’d think he was being rather pretentious or trying to be cool. It makes sense for me to wear it because I’m part of the younger generation and even though I prefer writing formally and with verbose words at times, I do kinda, like, talk like that.

There’s a shirt that reads “Just shut up and reboot already”. If I saw an IT support guy, or just someone working in a computer shop or anyone interested in computers wearing that, I’d honestly think he was a snob.

It’s as if whoever chooses to wear these shirts will think that whoever is interested in the same thing as them or has the same kind of knowledge as them will understand their shirt and likewise, think it’s cool. Perhaps it does seem cool to that person, but you’re just showing off, really. I don’t see my boss wearing a shirt with <body> on it. I would understand it, but if someone else sees someone with a shirt like that and has no idea what HTML is or is unfamiliar with the internet, they wouldn’t think twice about it.

James agreed with me and stated that it was the reason why he wouldn’t buy something like a ROS shirt. (I’m sure that 98% of you would have no clue what that means.)

“It’s sad. It’s like you’re saying ‘I want you to ask me what my shirt is about so I can boast of my knowledge. NOT to converse, but for me to tell you about my specialised expertise on a topic. FOR I WAS HEAVILY NEGLECTED AS AN EARLY TEENAGER’.” And after a pause – he laughed.

If it makes someone feel good wearing a shirt that shows off some of your knowledge, well, fine, be my guest, I’d say to them. Hats off to you, mate. But don’t expect me to ask you what it means if I haven’t a clue, then mope and have a booboo at home because no one asked. Finally, if you do see someone with a shirt with something you like on them, are you seriously going to approach them and say it’s zarking awesome? I still think that giving strangers compliments makes my shoulder feel like spiders have crawled over it. I also think that receiving compliments from strangers gives me the same feeling (but on my other shoulder).

Maybe it brings this sense of community or something. “O HEY YOU LIKE VLOGBROTHERS TOO WELL SO DO I OMG…”
“Then why the fuck don’t you have a DFTBA shirt?”

“I would also take an arrow to the knee omg you play Skyrim? Man I love your boobs.”
“Ugh, go away.”

So even if girls do play Skyrim, or any other game for that matter, it doesn’t mean you get to make out with them. I know couples end up together because they have the same geeky obsession with something – they might have met online through playing a game, or found out in school that they had common interests, but I bet you my left foot that it wasn’t from wearing some godforsaken t-shirt with some geek joke on it.

(If you’re still wondering, ROS = Robot Operating System.)

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