Just look at this. Breaks the heart, doesn’t it? Barely out of the womb and already indoctrinated into a life of adorning senseless garments.
“Mummy, is South Side Sharks Baseball a real thing? Can we go and see it, Mummy? Can we?”
“No, darling, it’s not a real thing. As jaunty and amusing as it doubtless appears to your naïve little eyes, the design on your babygro is as hollow and meaningless as life itself.
“The time has come for you to learn a valuable lesson: Words mean nothing, and nothing means anything. All is lies. Hopelessness reigns. Morality is dead. Chaos is your god now – chaos and soul-scorching nihilism. Your father and I have long danced amidst the sweet, seductive flames of pure anarchy, and soon enough, and forever more, so shall you.
“Do you understand what I am telling you, my child?”
Thanks to Will Jack
I’m not entirely sure I want to experience “the sinking feeling” and possibly “loose it all” under the tutelage of a surfer who’s managed to earn himself the nickname “Crippled”. I can just picture this Charles Markton lunatic, insisting on having his paraplegic body strapped to a surfboard and paddled out into the ocean, so that he can be tossed savagely around by ferocious wave after ferocious wave, like a flimsy plastic bag at the mercy of a violent gale.
And what, pray tell, does “The Ace” make of all this? Does he applaud his paralysed partner’s uncowed, gung-ho attitude – or does he grimace bitterly at all the wide-eyed adoration it affords him? Johnny’s always had to play second fiddle to Charles: the surfing world might know them as the Crazy Bros, but it was always Charles who won the trophies, Charles who got the girls, Charles who got the glory. Wonderful Charles, perfect Charles. And even now – even as he eats and defecates through tubes, and communicates through winks and twitches – even now, Charles is still the star.
Bide your time, Johnny. Bide your time, my boy. You’ve already engineered one “accident” for Charles – just make sure that the next one finishes the job. Maybe one day you “forget” to strap Charles down to his surfboard properly. Maybe his body slips loose, at the crest of a thundering wave. Maybe he’s smashed below the water’s surface, helpless, terrified, a silent scream roaring behind his paralysed lips. And maybe you feign horror, guilt, and eventually, bereavement – as all the while, maniacal laughter staggers around your mind like a drunken, unhinged whore.
While snapping a pic of this brainless beauty in a central London branch of H&M, I was accosted by a member of staff who informed me that it was strictly forbidden to take photos, “because you could be working for another store, who might want to copy our designs.”
An hour or so later, I was again nabbed for blatant industrial espionage, this time by a Primark floor manager who called over a jumbo-sized security guard to forcibly delete from my camera any photos taken inside their store.
These stores’ vigilance to this sort of thing – and the speed and righteous anger with which they pounced on me – suggests that they truly believe that rival stores are sending in sneaky-fucker spies to surreptitiously take photos of their latest nonsensical designs (this, despite the fact that they could simply purchase the actual items for about four quid a pop).
“Yeah, I got the pics alright – nearly got collared in New Look, but I kept my cool. You ain’t gonna believe what Primark are up to. Brace yourself: they’ve got a sweatshirt that says 1982 Canoe Systems. We’re in real trouble. 1982! Why the hell didn’t we think of that? I want our entire team working on some 1982 designs, ASAfuckingP!”
(Obviously, I didn’t tell the H&M/Primark staff that I was only taking pictures so that I could piss-rip their shoddy wares on a cowardly blog: I’d actually mentally prepared a lengthy and convincingly intricate back-story involving me helping out with the wardrobe on a small, independent film. Yeah, in retrospect, that seems a bit weird, but it made total sense when I was dreaming it up on the Tube).
Does the fact that “Casdia Reef” is an entirely fictional place make this Meaningless T-Shirt less pointless, or even more pointless?
It’s hard to say, although it does at least indicate a rare flash of imagination on the part of the designer. Alternatively, it could indicate that they couldn’t be titted to fire up the low-level synapses required to remember a location – any location on Earth – where a fishing trip could take place. They simply tilted their exhausted, demoralised gaze over to the catering-size bottle of anti-depressants sat atop their monitor, squinted at the label, and copied down the name of the active ingredient.
Casdia 35mg. May cause itchiness, wincing, palpitations and foaming.
Well let’s hope for H&M’s sake that their stores are suddenly flooded with people for whom Santa Barbara circa 1976 holds some very dear memories – memories they’d like to have forcibly jogged every time they look down at their T-shirt.
Otherwise, H&M aren’t going to sell many of these buggers, are they? Because, y’know, why the cock would you want a time-and-place that you’d never actually experienced proudly splurged across your torso?
And therein lies the riddle of many a Meaningless T-Shirt, and the puzzlesome bozos who wear them.
Sadly, the thin, silvery lines of ‘handwriting’ were illegible, but I’m guessing that they probably relate, in weirdly specific and uncomfortably intimate fashion, an intense moment of sweat-drenched copulation that took place in a motel, in Santa Barbara, in 1976. Duuuude. Helluva summer, dude.