How to pick a t-shirt for a weird child


I hesitated posting this photo of me from the 80s. I had some concerns that you would feel inadequate in the presence of male beauty at this level. Don’t worry, dudes. I’ll post a list of my personal care tips later.

Ladies, please resist the urge to lick your screen.

But check out that t-shirt. Hawt! This was back in the days of iron-on transfer t-shirt shops. Remember those?

Jenni and I grew up in Phoenix and spent a lot of time at Metrocenter mall. I used to drag my parents to this t-shirt shop in “The Alley” where they made t-shirts to order while you waited. I love the smell of heated plastic in the morning. Smells like victory.

I’m still drooling over this memory.

They had rows and rows of record-like racks where you sifted through designs. When you found one you wanted, you’d take it to the counter, choose a t-shirt color, and they pressed it for you right there. Simple concept, magical to a geek like me.

I think this Elvis shirt was likely one of the more “normal” designs I chose. During one very special visit I picked out my design and handed it to my mom, who got an unmistakably uncomfortable look on her face. “Are you sure you want this one? Do you even know what it means?”

I assured her that yes, I knew what I wanted. By some miracle, she eventually steered me towards something else (the alternative would have been to scream “FIRE!” and run us all out of there). The shirt I originally chose read:


I stand behind my choice to this day. These days, I could make that shirt for myself anytime I want. Hmm. I smell an experiment coming on.

I still think that kind of t-shirt shop needs to resurface. Heck, maybe we’ll open it up. And I’ll be watching out for the weird kid with the questionable taste in design. I’ll hand him an application.

6 Responses to How to pick a t-shirt for a weird child

  1. I had forgotten about those iron-on places! My mom would never buy me one, so the summer after 5th grade a friend and I walked downtown and used our own money to buy matching sweatshirts to impress everyone in middle school. Good memories!

    I definitely think you need a ‘blondes have more fun’ shirt. I know you’d have a hilarious take on it.

  2. Gina says:

    Oh, I’d give anything to have my iron-on from Ft Lauderdale – all of 12 years old and proudly proclaiming, “Superchick” in glittery rainbow letters. (That and my “Jaws
    tee.) My mom got one too, which read, “Look but Don’t Touch”. Only the word ‘touch’ was, um, ‘below the fold’ as we say, so all you could read was “Look but Don’t”. Gotta love the 70’s.

  3. jenni Billings says:

    you could still rock that shirt, mr….. with a certain blond on your arm anyway…


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