Monday, May 02, 2005

My t-shirt slogan can beat up your t-shirt slogan

After trashing t-shirts in my rant on ugly Americans, I feel obligated to provide a caveat that I think t-shirts can be a healthy way of expressing one's self. I was merely expressing the sad implications of buying a t-shirt in Mazatlan that reads, "Official FBI (Female Body Inspector)" as a way of remembering your trip to Mexico.

In fact, I think some of our greatest literature these days is being sported on people's chests and backs. Though I'm not sure who actually writes them. I mean, is there this room somewhere in Cleveland where a guy is sitting with his computer cranking out t-shirt slogans? And is he or she doomed to die anonymously having written thousands of pithy and witty sayings that are helping people break the ice at bars across the country?

Regardless, t-shirt slogans seem to fit in a few key categories. Some rely on word play and twisting old proverbs to garner attention:

"Summer in Nags Head, Some Are Not"
"Statistics Means Never Having to Say You're Certain"
"Where Are We Going? Why Am I in This Handbasket?"
"Due to Budget Cuts, the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Cut Off"
"I Wish the Buck Stopped Here – I Could Use a Few"

"Where There's a Will, I Want to Be in It"
"If You Can't Speak Softly, Just Use the Stick"
"If Idiots Could Fly, This Place Would Be an Airport"

"Diplomacy Is the Art of Saying 'Nice Doggie' Until You Can Find a Rock"
"Make It Idiot Proof, and Someone Will Make a Better Idiot"
"I Used to Have a Handle on Life, but It Broke"
"Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder"
"If All the World's a Stage, I Want Better Lighting"
"Army: Be All That You're Told to Be"
"Five Out of Four People Don't Understand Fractions"

"Yes, It's Lonely at the Top – But I Eat a Lot Better Than You"
"The Quickest Way to Double Your Money Is to Fold It in Half and Put It in Your Pocket"
"If You Can't Beat Them, Arrange to Have Them Beaten"

"The Weather Is Here – Wish You Were Beautiful!"
"I Don't Think Much – Therefore, I May Not Be"
"Frankly, Scallop, I Don't Give a Clam"
"FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It comes bundled with the software."
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance"
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
"Two rights do not make a wrong. They make an airplane."
"NyQuil: The stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine."
"Quoting one is plagiarism. Quoting many is research."

Some play on animosity between the sexes:

"Ran Into My Ex – Put It in Reverse and Hit Him Again!"
"I've Been on So Many Blind Dates That I Should Get a Free Dog"
"Marriage Has Cured My Fear of Being Alone"
"Men and Women Are From Earth – Deal With It"

Some refer to the owners love of pets:

"Got Rid of the Kids, the Cat Was Allergic”
"My Cat Kneads Me"
"My Dog Can Lick Anyone"

Some express a view on life paths or ways of life:

"This Is Not the Life I Ordered"
"I Am the Only Hell That My Mother Ever Raised"
"I Didn't Climb to the Top of the Food Chain to Be a Vegetarian"

"Unproductive People Revolve Around the Earth at the Same Speed as Productive People"
"I Have the Body of a God. Unfortunately the God Is Buddha"
"I May Be Wrong"
"You Non-Conformists Are All Alike"
"Repent – and Sin Some More"
"Growing Old Is Mandatory – Growing Up Is Optional"
"Rehab Is for Quitters!"
"HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF LATER. LAZINESS PAYS OFF NOW!"
"When Your Dreams Turn to Dust, Vacuum"
"Procrastinate Now"

And some speak of a person's mental state:

"Out of My Mind – Will Be Back Shortly"
"I Know About Stressed – It's Desserts Spelled Backwards"

"I'd Kill for a Nobel Peace Prize"
"You're Just Jealous Because the Little Voices Are Talking to Me"
"I Live in My Own World But It's OK – They Know Me Here"
"...And You Say Psycho Like It's a Bad Thing"

"I Hear Voices – And They Don't Like You"
"I'm Not Shy – I'm Just Examining My Prey"
"Some Days It Just Doesn't Pay to Chew Through the Leather Restraint Straps"

Or ask questions:

"What Part of Eelymosynary Ratiocination Do You Not Understand?"
"What's the Difference Between In-Laws and Outlaws? Outlaws Are Wanted"
"IF THERE IS NO GOD, WHO POPS UP THE NEXT KLEENEX?"

Or educate and inform:


"Shin: A Device for Finding Furniture in the Dark"

"How Long a Minute Is Depends on Which Side of the Bathroom Door You're On"
"Stop Following Me – I'm Not a Shoplifter"
"Be Nice to Your Children – They Choose Your Nursing Home"
"Consciousness – That Annoying Time Between Naps"

"Bomb Expert – If You See Me Running, Try to Keep Up!"
"Damn Straight I'm a College Grad – Paper or Plastic?"

"I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts -- Do You Want Fries With That?"
"Heck Is Where People Go Who Don't Believe in Gosh"
"Don't Worry, It Only Seems Kinky the First Time"
“Upon the Advice of My Attorney, My Shirt Bears No Message at This Time"
"Filthy, Stinking, Rich -- Well, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."
And my personal favorite:

Beware a man who quotes t-shirts


5 comments:

shandi said...

This one: “Upon the Advice of My Attorney, My Shirt Bears No Message at This Time" is my favorite.

I don't know how you managed to collect all those slogans....but I certainly enjoyed reading them.

Tim ID said...

A little google, some cutting and pasting. It was nothing.

Lights in the wake said...

I haven't seen any of these before, but loved 'em. Funny stuff. Thanks for the laugh.
Regarding your post on the ugly american: I went on my first cruise last year. Alaska, on Norwegian. Had a great time. But I saw some of the obnoxious and self important behaviour you describe. And we didn't even leave the freakin' country. (Unless you count Canada, but they're only technically foreign as far as I'm concerned).

Tim ID said...

So many t-shirts, so little time...glad you enjoyed them.

We went on an Alaska cruise last 4th of July on Norwegian. Beautiful scenery, but you are right, the ugly Americans are still ugly when they invade Alaska. But I think the Canadians are literally foreign, eh.

Hrishi said...

Great Collection dude!! Loved 'em!!