Well, right off the bat, I can see three problems here.

A) “Hog” has never, in this or any parallel universe, been short for “hedgehog”.

The hedgehog depicted here looks to be either paralytically drunk or suffering from severe mental retardation. Either way – unsavoury.

C) Sticking “yummy!” on there totally changes the meaning of “Let’s go the whole hog” from “Let’s take this activity to its limits” to “Let’s eat a hedgehog”. Why, in the name of all that is sacred, would I want to eat a hedgehog?
The idea of it isn’t even particularly comical, just baffling and a bit nauseating. Queasy confusion – is that really the sensation you want people to feel when they look at you?

It makes you wonder if these T-shirt manufacturers employ any kind of quality  control whatsoever. If they do, I’d imagine that the Quality-Control Manager is the oldest, blindest, deafest, thickest person in the factory, and when they finally keel over, the cigar-chomping floor manager simply grabs whoever’s to hand and pins the still-warm Quality-Control Manager badge on them.

“Here, you!” he barks at an elderly man in brown overalls, wringing out a mop. “What’s your name, old-timer?”

“It’s Sid, Mr Whipsnade, sir,” comes the frail response. “Sid Chumley, sir.”

“Well congratulations, Sid Chumley – you just got promoted. Put this on and go stand over there. You’re Quality-Control Manager now.”

“But… But Mr Whipsnade, sir, I’m just the caretaker ‘ere – I ‘ave been for 46 years now. I don’t know anyfin’ about controllin’ any managed qualities…”

“Oh pish-posh, Sid – you’ll soon get the hang of it. Off you toddle now.”

It’s a fretful, heavily burdened Sid who returns home that night to his kindly wife of 52 years.

“Ada, I’ve absolutely no idea what I’m doin’! They showed me somethin’ with a hedgehog on it and asked if it was okay to get ‘signed-off’, and I just stood there  noddin’ away like a daft flippin’ monkey! I’m out of me depth, love. I just want to go back on the mops!”

“Eeeh, don’t fret Sid love, I’m sure you’re doin’ a grand job! I’m so proud of you. My husband, the Quality-Control Manager! I’ll make you some extra-special butties for your lunch tomorrow. Special butties for an important businessman!”

Thanks to Mike Shaw

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Style tip:
Hoping that your T-shirt will make passers-by assume that you’re affiliated with a gang of hardened “street warriors” called the Orphans? Striding around with a tousle-haired kiddy in one hand and a frolicking Shih Tzu in the other will do little to bolster your image as a lawless bad-ass. Instead, try accessorising with a broken bottle and a big bag of uncut drugs.

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Translated into English, this reads “silence, road, girl, milk”. If you can deduce what the next word in that sequence is, you owe it to your country to contact MI6 and inform them of your prodigious code-breaking skills.

Thanks to Helen Amazing

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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

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You’d think that a T-shirt urging onlookers to “NEVER STOP” would at least encourage persistence with a reasonably well-known activity that suffers from a high drop-out rate: learning the guitar, going to the gym, breaking into acting – that sort of thing.

As pastimes go, however, taking Polaroid photos of poppies while topless in the great outdoors is pretty fucking niche. It’s actually more something you’d advise a person to stop doing.

To be clear: If you find yourself in a field, semi-nude, using antiquated equipment to compulsively capture endless images of flowers strongly associated with war and death, you’ve crossed the line from eccentric hobbyist to window-peering, bin-rummaging, neighbour-worrying fetishist – and don’t let any T-shirt tell you different.

Thanks to Helen Amazing

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1999 is strangely, suspiciously recent for a randomly plonked-on year – tradition usually dictates a more refined vintage, such as 1964, 1951, or even 1884. With that in mind, I’m going to assume that this T-shirt actually dates from 1999, and that it’s been hanging forlornly in this London branch of TK Maxx for over a decade.

The branch manager – let’s call him Geoff – just can’t quite bring himself to consign the T-shirt to the 50p bin. In its own funny way, seeing The Movement swaying there on its hanger has become something of a comfort to him. Whatever Geoff went through – his divorce; his money worries; that bloody kidney stone – he could always rely on The Movement: it was there when he opened the shop in the morning; it was there when he slammed down the shutters at night.

“For Christ’s sake, come on, Geoff,” says the area manager. “Either mark it down to 50p or stick it in the bin. We need that space for new stock!”

But Geoff would never give up on The Movement. “It’ll sell, I just know it will,” he’ll say, his voice as certain as a bow fired from an arrow. “It just needs a bit of extra help, is all. A bit of time. A bit of encouragement in a nurturing environment.”

Sometimes he’ll spot customers eyeing The Movement – perhaps even rubbing its fabric between their fingers. His heart races. He’ll suddenly perceive The Movement as a watery-eyed puppy at a dog pound, desperately hoping for an owner to rescue it from certain execution. Those hopes are always cruelly dashed, however, as the customer is distracted away by a newer, prettier garment, with a less unappealing year emblazoned across it. At those moments, Geoff finds The Movement’s spirited message of “Best Of Luck To U” heartbreakingly poignant and naïve.

One day, of course, Geoff is going to be crossing the shop floor, making the journey from tills to stockroom, and out of the corner of his eye he’s going to notice that The Movement – in all its faded, misshapen, XXL glory – isn’t hanging there any more. It will have finally found the home it had craved for so long. Its absence will feel vast and overwhelming.

His feet welded to the spot, Geoff will be taken aback by the tidal wave of melancholy that crashes down upon him – stirring himself into motion, he’ll probably have to dash into the stockroom lavs to have a quiet little weep. But ultimately, sadness will be replaced by an immense and enduring pride. His little bird grew up, flew the nest – and soared.

Thanks to Will Jack

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This is a bit like one of those Magic Eye pictures, in that if you stare at it for long enough, you start to see words hidden beyond the surface. Unfortunately, those words appear to be “woe”, “tit” and “stye”, none of which really evoke the air of breezy chic that the designer was probably going for.

Thanks to Helen Amazing

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