We need a clothes door policy
“Don’t stop, people are watching.” That’s what was emblazoned across the orange T-shirt.
They were printed a couple of years for the cheer zone of a road race.
It was big and bright and super comfortable.
I wore it everywhere. I wore it a lot. I wore it out.
Last going off, there were huge rips down each side.
You could see my belly and, depending on what I was doing, my armpits. Sorry.
Even in that tattered state, it was amazingly comfortable. A little breezy, but amazingly comfortable.
Last week I wore “Orangie” — yes, I named the shirt — on an early morning walk.
There wasn’t a lot of traffic, but the motorists who drove by were staring. Living up to the shirt’s credo, I didn’t stop because people were watching. I walked on, assuming the T-shirt caught their attention, not my chiseled abs or well-coiffed hair.
A few steps from my driveway, I ran into my son’s friend on his way to school.
“Steve,” the nine-year-old said, “that shirt is disgusting!”
I smiled and walked on, channeling Mick Jagger under my breath, “Orangie, Orr-anngie, when will those comments disappear ...”
Washed after that walk, I wore my BSF — Best Shirt Forever — to bed Friday night and around the house Saturday morning.
It was a beautiful, warm late-summer morning, so my wife and I sat on the back deck drinking coffee and planning the day ahead.
As I savoured the freshly-ground black java, with a serious look on her face, my wife said, “Steve, look at your shirt. It’s time.”
I looked down, saw my uncovered naval, and realized Orangie was no longer performing any of a T-shirt’s expected functions.
Yes, it was indeed time to get my shirt together.
“Orangie, you’re beautiful,” I sang to myself, “But ain’t it time we said good-by-ah-ah-eye.”
But not just yet.
After finishing the coffee, I walked into the house and my six-yearold daughter told me she was bored.
A light bulb went off and I quickly caved, asking my daughter to take a hold of my shirt and start pulling. “Seriously?” she asked. “Seriously!” I replied.
She grabbed on and let it rip, circling me with wide eyes and a bright smile. She was thrilled.
Soon my fave shirt was just a long orange rag.
“Look what I did to Daddy’s shirt,” she said, running outside to show a friend.
“Was he mad?” her buddy asked. “No, he let me do it,” she answered. They were both surprised. And so was I, that it happened.
Comforted by the fact I still had those $5 sweatpants from Wal-Mart, I tossed what was left of Orangie in the garbage.
Obviously, the story of my shirt rates second last, behind discarded dryer lint, on the list of important issues facing the world.
But I know many of you — I won’t name names here — also have old pieces of clothing that are well past the best before dates.
Orange you glad you’re not alone?
Steve Bartlett is an editor with SaltWire Network. He dives into the Deep End weekly to escape reality and T-shirts with a chest pocket. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.