Category Archives: Mystical numbering


This is actually part of a set that includes stick-on arm bruises, a hammer to knock your front teeth out with and an apocalyptic crystal-meth habit.

Thanks to Helen Amazing

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Meaningless T-shirts are evolving, all around us, all the time.

Back in the ’80s, a slogan that read “New York College Sports” would’ve been considered cutting-edge, perhaps even a little daring. Nowadays, you can stick all manner of crazy babbling on there – the kind of frantic lunacy you might overhear a drunken homeless man shouting at himself in the street – plonk it on top of a nightmarish kestrel/lobster hybrid, and nobody will bat an eyelid.

These are jaded, unshockable times we live in.

Thanks to Daniel, Hanover

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Superstars don’t need apostrophes, goddamnit – let the little people deal with lowly concerns like punctuation. Once fame embraces you and places that magical silvery 63 upon your shoulder, you become a part of an elite and untouchable club, and if you want to rub the world’s nose in that by wearing a flimsy, shapeless sweatshirt with an askew print-job on it then that is very much your right and privilege.

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It would take a super-computer the size of Ipswich many, many years to find the connection between that lighthouse, that 93, and all those equation-ish squiggles. My puny human brain is turning to frightened porridge just thinking about it.

Thanks to Elliott Clarkson

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Some solid work here: a random year, a fictional sporting event, a Japanese city, and a made-up company manufacturing non-existent motor parts (which should always be lubricated with pretend motor oil). That’s quality cock-waffle.

However, they’ve missed a trick with those Japanese katakana characters. Katakana is the alphabet that the Japanese use to write English words, and those symbols there spell out that well-known English phrase, “chitatoteh enkehtota”. (It is possible that you’re sat next to a great big chitatoteh enkehtota and wryly chuckling at my ignorance right now, but I’m prepared to bet a ball and both of my elbows that that’s not the case).

What a wasted opportunity. Let’s have a return to the halcyon days of the early noughties, when Westerners were decorating themselves with ‘spiritual’ Far-Eastern tattoos that turned out to translate as “I Pleasure My Grandpa” or “Bum Me And Win Big Prizes”. Come on, faux-Japanese garment designers – a thousand quid to the first of you that manages to sneak “Farts And Plops Intrigue Me” onto a T-shirt.

Thanks to Jon Lawton

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A serious public-service announcement: If you were planning to pack a pair of these for your holiday to Florida, please be duly forewarned that a “352-1”  is US police-scanner code for “Intoxicated person concealing methamphetamine and an unlicensed firearm within swimming shorts”. You can expect to be Taser-ed to a charred husk within moments of stepping outside the hotel lobby.

Looks like some rogue American designer is attempting to play a nasty practical joke on us Limeys here. They’ve even included the code in reverse, so that cops can spot it in their patrol-car mirrors. Well, the joke’s on them, because they’ve committed a flagrant 231-D (“Inciting false arrest by means of distributing erroneously incriminating summery apparel”) – and that gets you 15 to 20 in The Big House, mister!

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Sure, you can buy yourself a T-shirt that’ll breezily mislead others about your recent whereabouts (New York, Jamaica, Paris – the world’s your made-up oyster!), but if you’re truly serious about imaginary holidaymaking, you’ll need garments that provide a convincing back-story for the entire experience: from the 5am dash to the airport right through to checking-out time at the hotel.

This particular T-shirt covers you for the fictitious flight. “Yes, we flew with 101 International in the end. I was initially a little apprehensive, as you would be about an airline with such a devil-may-care attitude to having numbers face in conventional directions, but d’you know what? They were so impressive that I was actually moved to buy this souvenir T-shirt, and whenever I wear it, I’m reminded of their peerless aviating excellence.”

Good one! Now, quickly: make up a funny story about locking yourself out of your room and having to shuffle pathetically down to reception, crimson-faced and Billy-Bollocks naked.

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