I live everyday with TeeFury regret.
This tragic tale is from last year, sometime in the autumn. It was before I purchased my first TeeFury shirt and this one was a combination of Calvin and Hobbes and Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog.
Let me repeat that- Hobbes and Kermit.
Basically, the artist took an image of rambunctious Calvin carrying his stuffed tiger and replaced it with a child that looked like Henson carrying a puppet of the awesome frog. And for 24 hours I stewed over this shirt, weighing each of the arguments pro and con for getting the shirt (or maybe purchasing it for others). I even shared the link to the shirt with friends and family who I thought might like it! But as the hours dripped by, I forgot about the shirt until it was the next morning… and there I was, head down on the computer keyboard staring forlornly at a new shirt available that did not include my beloved frog.
That is my TeeFury regret and now that I am on the mailing list I think of it each time a shirt appears that I may or may not be interested in purchasing. Do I want to live with that experience again?
I used to have this red shirt of England that I loved. I bought it at Target and it had a variation of the Union Jack with the country’s named spelled out in a crooked fashion. I wore this shirt when I traveled with my wife through Italy. I wore it to the beach. This shirt sang adventure and freedom and weekend to me.
Well, it did until I went to the grocery store once.
I think I was buying some baby food or diapers (I’m not sure what it was but it definitely made me look like an adult), and there were a bunch of frat guys in front of me stocking up on chips and beer. Frankly, they were planning an evening more entertaining that taking care of a screaming baby who was getting new teeth in.
To be honest, I wasn’t really giving a second thought to the group until one of them pointed at me and laughed. He then grabbed his friend by the shoulder, whipping him around so he could see that we were wearing the same shirt.
Someone else had my special, magical England shirt… and he was being mocked because I was wearing it!
The person who was being teased handled it nicely and made a joke that turned down the laughter of his friends a bit, but I still caught the gist of it. I’m not so blind that I couldn’t see it. He was wearing an old man’s shirt.
Really? Did his shirt run through Venice? Get lost in Rome? Lay on the beach of Sorrento? Did it?
Whatever arguments I had about it being a cool shirt (and I was cool for wearing it) were lost in my befuddled mind, and by the time I had reached my car my favorite shirt had gone from being something I grabbed first thing on a Saturday morning to just another shirt bought at Target.
Sigh… Well, to be honest, it did shrink a little in the wash (most shirts from Target do).
For those that don’t know TeeFury, it is a great internet site (which you can find here) that releases one new shirt a day, designed by a freelance artist. Everyday is different and you only have 24 hours to pick it up before it is gone.
As a card-carrying geek with a love of most things sci-fi and film-related, this site, and many of its artists, are my people. Some are crazier than me, some are cooler, but we are part of the same stock- dreamers and lovers of dreams. We are those that wonder what Harry Potter would do in the land of Quentin Tarantino, and know with our whole heart that Han always shot first.
Since my TeeFury regret, I have purchased shirts with Monty Python meeting Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Sherlock, Star Wars (One that references Han as a Nerfherder), the flux capacitor from Back to the Future, Game of Thrones, and Doctor Who (quite a few around Doctor Who).
The site has even become part of my morning ritual! I get my Coke Zero, settle into my chair, check my e-mail, and right before I dip over to Facebook, I visit TeeFury quickly. The visit is never long, only a few seconds are needed, but those seconds are a new part of my day.
Also, the two models on the front page feel like friends now. I have even begun to make up stories in my mind around them.
Even more interesting for me, as a writer, this site has added to my aspirations. See, I have a new dream now, a new goal. I want to wake up one morning… and it will be seemingly just a normal morning, with Coke Zero in hand. I might even dramatically do a really large yawn with arms outstretched, and after my e-mail…. There it is. One of my books has inspired a shirt on TeeFury. And right before my scream of triumph, my can of Coke will fall to the ground (in slow motion), maybe surprising my dog.
I know… I know…
My books and writing aren’t there yet, might never be, but I do fantasize about it, and this is new for me. Maybe it could be a playful rendering around my gothic and twisted novel Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare or maybe something related to my time travel adventure My Problem With Doors… or even my new surprising A Jane Austen Daydream. Whatever the case, I dream of this moment. I long for it…. maybe even more than making the New York Times Bestseller list now.
Yeah, Dan Brown can keep the list… I want the shirt.
These dream-inspiring shirts are 100% cotton and I have never really had any issue with shrinkage. They are not thin or cheaply made (not having that “already” worn thin feeling you get from some shirts you find in stores). No, they are well-made, definitely more than worth the 11 dollars (and shipping) I pay for them.
Plus, they have started offering different color options for the shirts. Assuring me, that little bit more, that I will never, ever be dressed again like a confused frat brother in front of me in a line. No, I am my own person, and I can proudly show my imaginary allegiances.
Yes, TeeFury has redefined my look and when I visit friends or go out, my shirts do sometimes generate a response. Not a laugh or a point, but an expression of envy. I can’t even begin to count the amount of people who have asked me where I got one of my shirts. While I always happily tell them about the site, I know what is about to happen next.
I can see it coming. Just like for me on that autumn day so long ago… but this time I was the giver of the bad news.
These newbies were about to experience their first case of TeeFury regret.
If you liked reading my article, why not check out some of my published books? I’ve had four novels published in the last few years, the new A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here, or Doors and Megan as an eBook on Google eBooks here. Thanks for reading!