A Schizophrenic List of T-shirts

This afternoon I found a paper scrap dated August 31, 2010. On it I’d noted the messages from all the T-shirts I saw while waiting for a friend outside St. Mark’s Bookshop in NYC.

It was a hot night. Sidewalks were crowded. I thought I would go in the store to cool off, maybe check out their new arrivals. But then a mohawked punk walked by with a shirt that read: “Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil.” Behind him an “MIT Mom” (as declared by her maroon jersey) took a big lick of her chocolate-swirl cone. She looked proud. The night’s schizophrenia drew me in.

No need to browse bookshelves – our vast culture was available on Chinese-manufactured cotton and cotton-poly blends. Between 8:02 and 8:07 I glimpsed assertions of sexual and athletic prowess, existential and political conviction, intellectual aptitude, brand allegiance, aggression, wealth, and the pleasures of travel and drink.

Here’s the T-shirt list in strict chronological order from top to bottom:

  • Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil
  • MIT Mom
  • New Orleans is for lovin’
  • Iron Man 2003
  • King of Cool
  • Dallas Cowboys football
  • Try pestering somebody else
  • Harvard University
  • Coral Springs 9th Annual Marlin Tournament
  • DKNY
  • I have the dick so I make the rules
  • Shut down Guantanamo
  • Game Over
  • Ogden newspapers
  • All-County Player of the Week
  • Tahiti Nui Cocktail Lounge
  • Live Free or Die
  • CPDSA staff
  • Squirt
  • I Am Carles
  • It’s ok I’m with the band
  • Ohio State College of Medicine
  • Graffiti changed my life Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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