T-Shirts: An Accidental Collection

  I don’t have a habit of collecting specific things, but one theme has always been with me in my life: I don’t care, but all kinds of things come close to me. Stacks of vinyl records, most of which I’ve never heard; books that I won’t read a second time; cluttered magazine clippings; pencil ends that can’t be cut. Gizmos like this keep hoarding.
  T-shirts also fall into this category. It’s cheap, so whenever a fancy t-shirt pattern catches my eye, I buy one. Friends will bring me all kinds of interesting T-shirts from different parts of the world; commemorative T-shirts are given away every time during the marathon; and when I travel, I will simply go to the local area to pick up a few, which saves a lot of money. luggage. That’s why I have so many T-shirts that I can’t fit them in my closet. I had to put the extra t-shirts in a cardboard box for safekeeping.
  Every time I go back to the United States, get off the plane and go into the city, I always want to go out and have a hamburger. For me it’s an instinctive impulse, but you can also understand it as a ritual of my life. Ideally, go to a burger joint around 1:30 p.m., avoid the lunch rush, grab a seat at the counter, order a freshly-made Silver Bullet and a cheeseburger. I like medium-rare burgers with raw onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. Another fries, like visiting an old friend, and a cabbage salad at the end.
  The key to holding these dishes together has to be Dijon mustard and Heinz ketchup. I sat there, quietly sipping my ale, listening to the chatter of diners around me and the clinking of cups and plates. I waited for the cheeseburger to be served, and the ambience of the land soaked into me along with the beer. That’s when I really realized, yeah, I’m in America.
  I have a T-shirt that says “I drizzle ketchup on my ketchup”. Obviously, this is the declaration of the ketchup fanatic, and it is also like a joke about “everything can be dipped in ketchup” Americans. But it’s interesting that ketchup giant Heinz is one of the distributors of the T-shirt. Humorous and self-deprecating, a kind of American spirit that is highly optimistic but lacks introspection, “Regardless of his refinement and rigor, I want myself!”
  When I’m shopping in this T-shirt, I’ll come across Americans with generous comments like “I love this,” usually accompanied by a deeper “I love ketchup” emoji. Sometimes I want to say, “Hey, I’m not like you again.” But usually I just laugh and say, “Yeah, that’s pretty cool, right?” These “T-shirt greetings” are a great way to liven things up. In Europe, you can never encounter such a situation. Besides, Europeans basically don’t eat ketchup.

  ■ I bought this T-shirt at a surf shop in Ventura County, California. With the slogan “Ventura Surf Shop Makes Life Better,” it sounds good, but does going there really improve your life? I have no comment on this.

  ■ In the US, I drink Heineken a lot. There are so many people in the bar that you have to shout loudly when ordering, and then you will find the advantages of the “Heineken” brand in pronunciation.

  ■ Wearing T-shirts related to car culture takes more courage than I thought. I can hardly find the right occasion to wear this t-shirt with the “Shelby Cobra” sports car logo on it, but I can imagine how cool it would be paired with Rei Kawakubo’s CDG jacket.

  ■ This T-shirt, produced by the British magazine The Economist, features the motto “Think Responsibly”. Even if it’s just a T-shirt, it’s quite stylish. It always reminds me to figure out how to deal with such sharp aphorisms.

  ■ I got this t-shirt when I attended the Reykjavik International Literary Festival in Iceland, where I was also speaking at the host university. Iceland’s total population is only over 360,000, and school students account for 10,000, an astonishing proportion.

  ■ I found this T-shirt with the logo of the Ramones rock band from the Kyoto chain second-hand store “Shinko Bookstore”. But for a seventy-year-old like me, it’s really inappropriate to wear a rock T-shirt when going out.

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