Summer vacations are a time to relax. To me, that means putting on short pants and a T-shirt. I can complete my outfit with either sandals, or sweat socks and sneakers. Of course, if I’m lucky enough to be walking along a beach, I’ll go barefoot and enjoy the water.
T-shirts are definitely a part of my warm weather wardrobe and when it comes to vacation destinations, I’m a sucker for the souvenir T-shirts that can be found in most gift shops and department stores. The souvenir T-shirts come in two basic varieties – those with a pretty picture of wherever it is you happen to be, and those with silly sayings emblazoned across the front, or back, or both. The pretty pictures are nice, but I prefer the silly slogans.
One of my current favorites (that I wear even when I’m not on vacation) has “Will work for beer” written across the front. I bought that one during an extended weekend in Bradenton, Florida. One of my older favorites – that I wore into oblivion – said, “Give me coffee and no one gets hurt!”
I love T-shirts. I love T-shirts with humorous messages even more. “The only thing active about me is my imagination” was a favorite that worked its way into my bride’s rag bin. “Life is too short to waste on cheap beer” is one that is relatively new, but will most likely follow many others into the pail of discarded cotton garments.
One of my all-time favorites wasn’t even mine. A friend wore it; I could only yearn for one just like it for myself. It said, “Had I known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of my body.” That reminds me of a T-shirt I wear when I sing with a group that entertains at retirement homes. It says, “Nostalgia – The older they get, the better they were.” In my sixties, I’m still young enough to find humor in jokes about getting older.
I think people who wear humorous T-shirts demonstrate a willingness to make fun of themselves. In some cases, however, it demonstrates a willingness to be the butt of someone else’s joke. A case in point is the combo T-shirts with one saying, “I’m with stupid” while the other says, “I’m stupid.” That’s like the hat I once saw that said, “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.” I think anyone who wears messages like these might have trouble with a basic intelligence test, but that’s only my opinion. I could be wrong.
Some of the other slogans that have made me laugh over the years include: “I live in my own little world, but it’s ok . . . they know me here”; “My imaginary friend thinks you have serious mental problems”; “No Job, No Money, No Car, but I’m in a band”; and “My wife ran away with my best friend. I sure do miss him”.
The list of humorous slogans seems endless. “Be nice to your kids, they’ll choose your nursing home”, “Don’t get married, just find a woman you hate and buy her a house”, “99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name”, “Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up”, and “All men are Idiots, and I married their king” are a few that are good for some real old-fashioned belly laughs.
Some slogans are loosely based on puns or the transposition of words. Two examples that come to mind are “Time’s fun when you’re having flies — Kermit the Frog” and “My wild oats have turned into shredded wheat.”
One T-shirt slogan that you probably would not like to see on a retail clerk is “I can only please one person a day. Today isn’t your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either”.
And then there are the slogans designed for people of various age groups. “I’m retired. This is as dressed up as I get” would not have much impact if worn by a three year old. However, “That’s it!! I’m telling Grandma” would work well for any toddler.
“Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth” would certainly be fitting for many of us who have a tendency to say things we later regret.
My all-time favorite, that I wore out long ago, had the following inspirational thought on it, “No man is completely worthless; He can always serve as a bad example.” That one has been tough to beat, but maybe this is the summer that I find the perfect replacement. My hopes to find that replacement were heightened this morning when a friend told me about a T-shirt he recently saw. It said, “What if the hokey-pokey is what it’s all about?”
If you have a personal favorite, click on the comments button below and tell us about it. Thanks.