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Forty-one Shirts

November 3rd, 2006 · Written by · No Comments

I was one of those evil little bastards. I remember one time when I was eleven, at the old Giantway Supermarket I begged and begged my mom to buy me this tee-shirt – yes, I know – that had a crude, comedic head above the words “Freak Boy.” Well, my mom crumbled under the weight of my cracking, pubescent whine and slapped down sixteen bucks only to watch me wear the shirt a grand total of three times. (Apparently, while donned the shirt made me feel like an alienated loser when all I wanted was to be liked by my peers. Go figure.) Why did my mom crumble? I believe it was appeasement. Ads and commercials pressured me to desire a product, and I passed that pressure onto someone that could buy that product for me. This spineless blob of consumerism slithered into my brain, forcing me to demand a pointless object of worthless value. Taking hard-earned money and eating it; making my single, suffering mother part with cash she could ill afford to part with.

What was the fucking point in that entire transaction?

Now this isn’t a lesson in responsibility, it’s a lesson in futility. What was the fucking point in that entire transaction? A mother trying to clothe her child? I had plenty of clothing. A personal statement to the public via fashion-for-a-moment-of-self-definition? I wore the shirt three flippin’ times! Payment for doing my chores at home? No! Throughout childhood I was notorious for having a disaster-area room inhabitable only to myself. The true end result was simply a needless sale – a seed of desire was planted in me along with the idea that I needed something (anything!) at all times, regardless of financial means. But I transcended the gap between desire and actual purchase by finding a way to buy the product. Once that was achieved the floodgates were left open, so now in 2006 I own forty-one tee-shirts.

So, what about you? What kind of secret hoarder of useless treasure are you? Are you the woman who owns thirty pairs of pink earrings or the guy with twelve snowmobiles? Who has you buying their product insatiably? Wal-Mart? Burger King? Nike? Do you have the newest Lion King DVD, Timon and Pumbaa, or is it Mel Gibson action flicks that line the shelves of your entertainment center? Please don’t be mistaken, I’m not speaking in a tone akin to “think of the starving, shirtless kids in Africa,” but I am asking you what’s the goddamn point of owning and needing all of this worthless shit? I’m not going to tell you what you should be spending your hard-earned dollars on, but I am thinking about having a party, and at this party I’m thinking about burning some shirts. So maybe you can join me and bring your own extra crap that’s clogging up your brain, taking up space in your storage areas, and draining your wallet like you have an infinite amount of dollars to spend.

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