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HIM NOT JOHNNY RAMONE

November 1, 2010

 

A while ago I got a t-shirt that said the same thing as this one does, only of a slightly different design. This one is produced by Worn Free and is based on the original design of the shirt that occasionally adorned Johnny Ramone himself. The one I got was from Pulp Kitchen, is black with white writing and uses a different font.

I didn’t get a general Ramones one, not because I don’t like them – I do – but because I only own the first album and Rocket To Russia, which to some people – snobs I call them – would mean I don’t really qualify to own other items of their merchandise. Not that I should care really, but I know people like that and I hate confrontation. I would look like someone who knows about MC5 because I saw Jennifer Aniston wearing one of their tees on Friends. AND HONESTLY I’M TOTALLY NOT.

So why get this one? Well I quite like wryly amusing text-based designs like this. But ultimately it’s an example of me being a sucker for compliments from alt.girls who work in trendy shops. I had a voucher and there was a sale on at Dangerfield so I had a look, just to see what was on offer. You would, right? The assistant was porcelain-pale with short jet-black hair, a ring through the nose and cheekbones that could have slit my throat. The glare of her emerald eyes suggested she would have done if not on CCTV. Yet as soon as I was browsing and placed the shirt against me to see if it would fit my abnormal body, distorted through years of cider appreciation and curry abuse, she started purring sycophantically about how well it suited me. Not flirtatiously you understand, but it didn’t have to be. I knew really that it was all for a sale, and that I could have put on a mauve boob tube with a picture of a praying mantis buggering Simon Cowell on the front and she still would have said ‘ooh that looks nice’. But her flattery was enough to convince me buying it was a good idea, so I did, alright? I waddled off with it under my arm, my consumer deed done, my brain pickled with endorphins, and it felt great. IS THAT SO BAD?!

Well, apparently so. Even though I hear black is a good colour to wear if you’re ‘cuddly’ and henceforth ashamed of your body, I put it on at home and, looking in the mirror, wondered why there was a pile of misshapen tubers where everything below my neck used to be. My girlfriend hated it on sight and still does. But worst of all, even though I didn’t think the grammatical inaccuracy would bother me, it obviously bothers everyone else.

I know there’s not an apostrophe there, where there should be one. You don’t have to tell me. It’s nice you noticed and care and everything, plus language is my mistress and I respect it dearly, but I also like to think I’m not a complete fascist regarding its proper usage. Without going into too much detail, I’d rather people wrote well and spelt badly/punctuated erratically than wrote awfully but grammatically impeccably. I appreciate it’s important that standards in linguistic education shouldn’t slip, but it’s a dumb t-shirt. The message gets across and pretty much everyone who sees it knows what the error is, which is encouraging surely?

Anyway, it still sometimes sort of bothers me when I thought it really wouldn’t. So, I know that only about a dozen people read this blog on a good day, but if you do see me in the street and I’m wearing this tee, please walk up to me and say to me either a) “that’s a good t-shirt, even if it doesn’t fit very well” or b) “there’s no apostrophe there. There should be. Get rid of that t-shirt you dunce”. Even if you don’t know me, don’t even introduce yourself, just walk up to me and tell me. I’d like that, even if I you think I look scared and confused. And later in the year I’ll calibrate the results.

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