How a t-shirt conquered Concord

I have a brother, sister-in-law, and nephews living in Concord, and I like to visit them. The nephews love their Uncle Dave because he used to read them funny and violent comic books, and he showed them the movie “Repo Man” when they were still pretty young. I like to kid my brother on rare occasion about his Republican politics (I am Green because Democrats are too right-wing for me). My sister-in-law is very smart, I love her cooking, and I like that she keeps several cats.

One day, several years ago in the dead of night, I was leaving Concord after a visit. I had to stop at a phone booth to look up a phone number. Upon opening the phone book, a bunch on 3×5 index cards tumbled out. I read one. It had some obsure, misquoted Old Testament verse telling me that I should start hating other races. As a left-wing white male, I was not amused. I tore up the cards, jumped up and down on their tattered remains, and left.

Fast forward a few years.

I was at a street fair, and found a T-shirt with a very entertaining message that poked sarcastic fun at the WHITE MALE. The shirt had the words WHITE MALE on the front. The “M” looked like the “M” in IBM. It also displays the head of a white male wearing a tie with a commie hammer&sickle design on it. Same kind of jerk in the US and the USSR (yes, this story is that old). I bought the shirt for two reasons. I liked the shirt, and the lady selling them was young and very pretty. She was African American, and had what I call royal Nubian features. Or maybe I should just say she was very very gorgeous, since I don’t really know what Nubian means or looks like. And she had an air, a proper poise, of intelligence. Sigh.

Oh, stop thinking nasty thoughts about me. Even then, I knew I was both too old and not nearly good looking enough for her. But I wanted to talk to her about the shirt. The Concord incident was high in my mind. After talking to her a minute (I think she told me that she had some position of some importance in the company, I can’t remember if she owned the company), I said: “This is a pretty entertaining shirt. But I was wondering, do you get any unusual reactions to it, like maybe in Concord?”

She said, “Well, it’s funny you should mention that. I was in that city for a street fair a while ago. Some white teenage guys came up to my booth, looked at the shirt, they looked at me, they looked at the shirt again, and at me again, and they asked me: ‘You?!? You’re selling THAT shirt?’ And I said to them, ‘Well, yes, yes I am.'”

She told me that their jaws dropped. She waited a beat, to show that the knowledge took a few seconds to make their brain cells fire a little. Then she told me they said stuff like, “Whoa,” “Cool,” and “Uh,” and then they bought the shirt. After reading the words, “WHITE MALE,” and nothing else.

Ever since then, I have wondered if there are still people in Concord running around with 3×5 cards, wearing White Male T-shirts, and not reading the shirts.

You can read the T-shirt in the image, or in the text below (the punctuation is mine).white-male-tshirt

WHITE MALE. He’s tough as nails, he’s got nuclear capability, and warrents for your arrest. He gets 40,000 on his radials. He’s stronger than dirt, he’s got drilling rights to your ass, he’s college degreed. He’s big he’s tough when the going gets rough. He’s homo erectus, a card carrying jerk, this guy’s in love and he’s dangerous serious. He’s a low grade moron with high blood pressure. He’s hungry and he wants it all whatever it is. So back off pal, get a job. He’s a white tornado, he won’t take no for an answer, he’s tried other brands, refuses to switch, WHITE MALE.

1 thought on “How a t-shirt conquered Concord

  1. Pingback: I added some essays. | Dave M. Strom: author of Holly the superheroine

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