I can tell that Christmas is only two months away because my mailbox has started to bend from the weight of the annual avalanche of catalogs.
Many of the catalogs, such as those for big and tall men or coin collectors, go directly into my recycling container. But there are a few I always read because they are good for a laugh. The two that immediately come to mind are, “What on Earth” and “Things You Never Knew Existed.”
For one thing, both catalogs feature endless pages of T-shirts with witty sayings on them. When I was younger, I used to love to buy and wear T-shirts that made a statement. However, something happened that made me never want to wear one again.
I was in Market Basket and was wearing a T-shirt that said, “In Training to be Tall and Blonde,” on the front. A lot of people read it and chuckled as they walked past me, and I felt happy they were enjoying it. But then, in the checkout line, the woman behind me kept giving me a look – the kind of look that someone who’d just sucked a lemon might have – every time I turned around to remove the items from my cart.
Finally, she snapped at me, “Why on earth do you want to draw attention to your chest? Most women are offended when men stare at them there…unless they’re exhibitionists!”
To say I was shocked is an understatement. The woman made me want to take one of the grocery bags, cut a hole in it for my head and wear it over my T-shirt.
I never bought or wore another message T-shirt again.
But I must confess I’m tempted by the new batch of shirts in the catalogs I just received. Some of this year’s witticisms made me chuckle out loud. Here are just a few examples of the dozens they offer:
For a pastor or minister: “The Sermonator.”
For a baker: “Bakers follow the path of yeast resistance.”
For a hunter: “Lucky hunting shirt” (the shirt is full of simulated bullet holes).
And for no one in particular:
“I go the extra mile…usually because I’m lost!”
“All my life, I thought air was free…until I bought a bag of potato chips.”
“Why do I have to press ‘one’ for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?”
“What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?”
“Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?”
“Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out.”
“I would grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.”
“Whenever birds mess on my car, I sit out on my front porch and eat a plate of scrambled eggs…just to show them what I’m capable of.”
“I don’t think senior citizens should get discounts. After all, they’ve had twice as long to get the money.”
“I am cautiously pessimistic.”
“I don’t need anger management. I just need people to stop ticking me off!”
“At my age, happy hour is any hour spent still above ground.”
“I’m not lazy. I just really enjoy doing nothing.”
“My wife says I never listen to her – at least that’s what I think she said.”
“I’m not bald. I’m a person of scalp.”
“I took nude photos of myself with all of the lights off. You’re welcome.”
“I think my cat is plotting to kill me.”
“You can tell a lot about a woman’s mood by her hands. For instance, if they’re around your throat, she’s probably angry.”
“Am I getting old, or is the supermarket suddenly playing great music?”
And speaking of supermarkets, there’s a shirt in the catalog I’m seriously thinking about buying, just in case I meet up with that woman in Market Basket again. It says, “I am visualizing duct tape over your mouth.”
In addition to the T-shirts, the catalogs also feature a variety of “fake” novelties: fake parking tickets, fake bed bugs, a fake squirrel wearing a safety helmet and climbing gear, and one I think is pretty clever – a pile of fake dog poop that conceals a secret compartment in which to hide your spare house-key.
I can see it all now…my future emergency call to 911. I’d say something like, “Help! I’ve fallen in my kitchen and hurt my leg. All of my doors are locked, and I can’t get up to unlock them. But don’t worry – you can use my hidden key to get in! Just pick up the big pile of dog poop by the front porch. The key is in there!”