I like to think of myself as a pretty reasonable person. I pay my taxes.I drive the speed limit in my car. I even volunteer at a soup kitchen every other weekend! But my instinct to stay on the straight and narrow goes right out the window whenever a free T-shirt is dangled. The lengths I’m willing to go to get one terrify me.
Any veneer of morality is stripped away the second a plush NBA mascot reveals that tantalizing T-shirt gun. Then I’m not me anymore. What’s left is a feral beast hunting, shoving, scratching for that tee.
The quality of the T-shirt has nothing to do with this. I’ve done unspeakable things to get a tee that with a shitty ironed-on decal and loose stitching. Yet, I feel that same sense of triumph when I hold the T-shirt aloft among the crowd. It’s the closest thing to being a God. The allure is far too potent to tamp down. Besides, even if the tee is garbage, I can always wear it as a nightshirt.
A discounted T-shirt stirs nothing in me.
Last month, I fought to catch a T-shirt from a band I don’t even like. That’s how bad this has gotten. Sometimes I don’t even keep the shirt. What I’ve come to learn is that it’s not about the garment per say, but about conquest. The hunt.
I’ve seen what the mere possibility of a free T-shirt does to an audience. One moment, they’re a reasonable group of individuals enjoying a fun game, but once that switch is flipped, their true nature is revealed. Look into your heart and tell me you wouldn’t shove some little shit aside if it meant you get that sweet 76ers tee.
Fuck that kid. The shirt probably wouldn’t even fit him.
I want to apologize to those I’ve hurt in my hunt for free T-shirts, and those I will hurt in the future. More will suffer at my hands. Please know that it’s nothing personal when I elbow you right in your dumb face.
You have a free T-shirt in your knapsack right now, don’t you? Don’t lie to me. I can smell it on you.
I would burn the world for a free windbreaker.