[Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from my friend Kosmo who runs The Soap Boxers. A couple of days ago, he mentioned a business idea that I thought was brilliant. My linguistics degree (and Steven Wright fanaticism) required me to give him the stage to tell you about his idea.]
I wear t-shirts a lot. Although I work for one of the largest financial services companies in the country, the company’s recent dress code changes make it possible for me to wear jeans and t-shirts nearly every day of the year. That’s a huge fringe benefit for me, as I’ve always been a comfort over style sort of person. You can have your 401(k) matching – I’ll take a relaxed dress code.
I have a rather large stash of baseball themed t-shirts. So many, in fact, that I separate them into a pile of Rockies-themed shirts and a pile of general baseball shirts.
There’s a stretch of months between October and March that lesser fans refer to as “the offseason”. I refer to this time period as “free agency, Latin American leagues, and spring training”. Nonetheless, it’s a time of the year when I can’t see my favorite players swinging a bat – a time of year when Kosmo swings dangerously close to clinical depression.
Instead of getting therapy or popping bubble wrap, I use my baseball shirts to get me through the dark days. I’m very cold blooded and often dress in layers during the winter – t-shirt on the inside and sweatshirt on the outside. More often than not, I grab a baseball t-shirt. It might be twenty degrees below zero, but my 2007 Colorado Rockies National League Champions shirt will warm me up – every time I think of that magical run (well, until we hit the BoSox buzz saw), I get a smile on my face.
Disarm Your Enemies (And Kids, Too)
I also have an assortment of shirts that are just a bit odd. Several months back, a friend of my commented a shirt I was wearing. It’s a long sleeved t-shirt featuring an image of a penguin.
“You must really like Linux,” he said.
Nah, I just like penguins. I also have shirts from nearly every zoo I’ve been to, including two from my local favorite, the Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities area (including a cool design with the Zebras painting stripes on the other animals). I also have a shirt from Disney’s Animal Kingdom featuring A.A. Milne’s favorite bear front and center. Mind you, I’m a fully grown adult – married with kids and a normal job. I study serial killers in my spare time, for crying out loud.
Is there a method to my madness, beyond the psychological benefits mentioned above? Certainly. How long could you stay angry at a guy wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt?
If I’m going to be at an event with a lot of kids, I try to wear one of the fun shirts. They often put a smile on little faces – and happy kids are much better to hang around with than grumpy kids.
I Make My Own T-shirts At Home
Well, not exactly. I outsource the tricky stuff.
During lunch with a friend a few weeks ago, the topic of conversation turned to the Electoral College. My mind tends to veer down strange paths every once in a while (occupational hazard of an aspiring fiction writer) – I suddenly looked up at Martin and asked:
“Why doesn’t the Electoral College have a marching band, glee club, or cheerleaders? Pretty lame excuse for a college.”
That’s crazy talk, of course. Everyone knows that the Electoral College is just a group of 538 people who vote for the president. It’s not an actual academic institution with a campus and professors.
Times have changed. As of today, Electoral College has cheerleaders, a glee club, and even a rowing club. I actually paid good money to have a graphic designer develop a new logo for the Electoral College, registered a domain name, and create shirts on Zazzle. There are a dozen designs to choose from, with more to be added in the future. You can find them at ElectoralCollegeGear.com.
How many shirts will I sell? At least two. I’m planning to pick up a short sleeve Admissions Department shirt and a long sleeved Intramural Luge one (I’m a big fan of luge). If I sell a few more, great. If not, at least I’ll have some cool shirts to add to my collection.