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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gimme a T, for Trouble

Ever the follower, today I'm propelled by vortices into the slipstream trailing behind Whiskey Prajer and DarkoV, both of whom confess to guilty-secret T-shirts they're way too old, or too embarassed, to wear in front of their families, let alone a gawping public.

The impression I receive of both gentlemen from their writings is that they are, most likely, far better dressed than I in the everyday? Since leaving behind the mandatory uniforms of high school, and the shame of wearing mother-bought trousers that were always a half-mast too short, I have been strictly jeans and T-shirt; and since arriving in the sun-blessed Golden State, strictly shorts and T-shirt. True, I am in middle-life; but there has been no crisis to cause this - at least, not of the regular flavor - but rather a redemption. After thirty-five years of grey-skyed gloom and perpetual rain, it is almost a duty to expose pale-weathered legs to the soaking sun. It is a form of celebration: Shorts, T-shirts, farmer tan - that's me, that is.

I do dress well occasionally - quite literally in keeping with some or other occasion. I dress fittingly for weddings or for funerals - and I was indeed shocked to attend one funeral here where "Beach Casual" remained the bereaved's code; southern California's catholics do not wear Sunday Best, in my experience - and I dress smartly whenever we go out, my belovéd and I, to theater or opera or dinner or parties or dances. She, on the other hand, is always impeccably and beautifully dressed. She buys clothes and shoes; I buy computer gear and games.

I am a tink, and had thought incorrigibly so. Until around a year ago, that is, when through medical necessity I began to dress smarter: a healing surgical scar on my throat would cause a mild choking sensation when worn with a T. Since that time I've been wearing linen breeks and silken shirts to work, and people have been talking! This might be my mid-life crisis! Finally too old for shorts?

I have many, many T-shirts, then, in various states of disrepair. None of them are of bands or albums: no AC-DC, no Zeppelin or Hendrix, no Beatles - those are worn by my kids. Most have something written on them: just no bands. Two or three I would say are too embarassing to wear - one sentimental, one political, and one K.I.T.H Satan Worship shirt that people won't get.

But: there is one shirt I wear often which was a gift from my father-in-law, who bought it at a local "Highland Games" he took the kids to one year. The caption reads: "SCOTTISH DNA - BETTER THAN LIFE INSURANCE"; but I have absolutely no idea what that means?

Seriously - what the heck is that supposed to mean? It puzzles me every time I wear the shirt. Answers, anyone?

12 Comments:

Blogger Whisky Prajer said...

I won't hazard a guess as to what it "means", but it sounds suspiciously like a pick-up line.

But speaking of Highland Games, a friend who attended a local HG event said the fastest way to get a bunch of men in kilts roaring with laughter was to say, "Ach, that's gruesome!" Thought I, That hoary old joke? It must depend not only on these men's level of inebriation, but on the spirit their spirits have invoked. If they looked the least bit surly (and what Scot doesn't?), I'd be inclined to just keep the punchline to myself, for fear of having the piss beat out of me.

8:05 AM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

It's always interesting reading your blog. I pick up at least one new word or I'm re-familiarized with an old one. You always link to dictionaries so as to cut short an exasperated reader from saying, "Ha! He's invented this one, for sure."
So did I think when I saw "gawping public". A mis-spelling! FCB meant "gawking", or "gaping", or even "japing". My Webster's New College Dictionary had no mention! Caught him! O.K., I'll double-check on-line....
Rats.
gawp
Definition of gawp
v. - Look with amazement
(from http://www.morewords.com/word/gawp/ )
But, hold it. It's a verb, and FCB's using it as an adjective. Guess that counts as a partial gotch..

Re: "SCOTTISH DNA - BETTER THAN LIFE INSURANCE"
Please. Not trying to offend the Scots, but could this be referring to something as boring as Money? You know the traditional take on folks of the Scottish persuasion here in the States is that they are as cheap and thrifty as a human being can be.
So, since life insurance is supposed to cover you for a rainy day or a traumatic event, wouldn't a person blessed with Scottish DNA have a considerable amount of cash piled away somewhere for such an event, since they are so thrifty?
Or is that too much of a reach?

8:45 AM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

I'm not sure about the thrifty, tons of cash stored away part.

Here's the thing about the slogan, though: Scottish DNA, if anything, assures an early death: we are the world leaders in heart disease and cancer rates. Now, "Scottish DNA - who'll give ye life insurance?", that I could understand.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Cowtown Pattie said...

As a wife of a wonderful Scottish ancestry guy, I might suppose it to mean:

stability, loyalty, and a Braveheart virility!

I am smitten, yes.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous stephenesque said...

One assumes that Scottish DNA is better than Life insurance because it doesn't knock on your door and ask you to buy it, nor does it send as much spam email.

10:52 AM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

I think a combination of Pattie and Stephen's responses... yes... Husky stud fond of fried foods who will not come knocking on your door unsolicited, except to "First Foot" at New Year?

10:08 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Oh - and Darko? FCB was using it as an adverb, as in "a crowd that gawped". So no "gotch" there, pal. Though I do make-up words now and then.

A word that I did not make up, and which is an adjective, would be "gawkit", which has nothing much to do with "to gawk".

The definition given here is not what it means at all. At least, not what it means in today's usage.

10:14 PM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

Like the gawkit. Love the Scottish Dictionary you linked for its definition. Quite the gaddie site.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Mortimer Shy said...

My wife, who is descended from Queen Catherine Parr, came up with this explanation of your T-Shirt: What DNA and Life Insurance have in common is passing on something that represents a person after they die. Scottish DNA in that light is the best thing one can pass on, or inherit, certainly better than any sum of money. I, who am descended from Welsh poets, agree with my royal English wife on the obvious meaning of this wry Scottish sentiment.

4:21 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

At last: a meaning of sense that causes me to thump my forhead and cry myself a dunderheid for not getting it sooner.

That sounds like a winner to me.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friends decided that it makes you extremely hard to kill.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

That "Scottish DNA--Better than Life Insurance" T-shirt is also available in Second Life.

2:56 AM  

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