Riker's Mailbox

Friday, June 30, 2006


So, I have a pal from college who is (1) Hysterical Or Maybe Insane, (2) Creative, (3) Entrepreneurial. One of the companies he and his partners run is BustedTees, a website which apparently sells t-shirts that are broken. Luckily (or is it peculiarly), every BustedTees shirt I've bought or received as a gift has been fully-functional. I guess they have a slacker in charge of quality control.

Anyway, the t-shirts invariably feature humorous graphics and captions, typically 'retro' and understatedly ironic. All of them are hilarious. Even cooler than that is that they accept suggestions from the populace for new shirt ideas, and it is on this note that I'd like to comment today.

I've had a few ideas rolling around in my head for a while for what I believe would be funny t-shirt ideas, even if they aren't busted. Since Prose Justice is back in business, and since I long ago pledged to make this place an additional repository for my creative gushings, I figure I'll put the ideas out in the open, see what people think, and when I get the chance, make a few illustrations to show a rough draft of what I think the shirts could look like.

The following are presented chronologically from date of conception.

Idea #1

A silhouette of a person tilting his head back, raising a bottle of liquor to pour it into his mouth.
Caption is something to the effect of "Drinking - lifts your spirits". I was going for the pun here, since while drinking alcohol can indeed elevate ones mood, the action of raising a liquor bottle over your head is quite literally lifting spirits. Not too funny, I know. I'm willing to put all ideas up here, not just the ones I think will get good reactions.

Idea #2

Posterized image of Castro, wearing a pair of old-school DJ-style headphones.
Caption is "Hi Fidelity". I feel this is funny because if we assume the headphones are of sufficiently high fidelity, then their being worn by a man named Fidel is an example of what is potentially the highest fidelity observable in the natural universe.

Idea #3

Communist Russian propaganda-poster styling, perhaps showing a statue, or at least a strong figure, holding a fork. Caption, written in a very Soviet-esque font, "Cannibalism - For the People". Play on words, self-explanitory. Oh, fine. It's a common sentiment that Communism is For the People. Cannibalism, which sounds (phonetically, not ideologically) an awful lot like Communism, is also, in fact, for the people.

The fact that both ideas #2 and #3 were rooted in, um, alternative governmental models, is entirely coincidental. I am as capitalist as they come; it's just hard to recognize me without all the money.

So, in self-critique, I think #2 is the best candidate for BustedTees, as its particular brand of humor is analogous to what is typically featured on the website, and in my opinion is the funniest of the three. #1 needs a little work. Okay, a lot of work. #3 Would maybe be better destined for a site like T-ShirtHell, but would need to be made even more tasteless (<--Unintentional Pun #1)*. All in all, it's a good exercise to try and be creative outside the scope of what you are used to. If anyone's reading this, let me know how I've done!

*I'm going to start keeping track of the unintended puns that appear in my writing. That is to say, I have to recognize that it's a pun only after I've written it. Oh, in the case of this one, the pun isn't in the sentence, it's because it's in reference to the shirt about eating people, which is in rather bad taste. P.S. That was the same pun right there.

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