To grasp the full weight of this story you have to understand a few things about my mother. First, she doesn't really make jokes. It's not that she doesn't have a quick wit or the capacity to be humorous, it's just not something she does. I guess that's my dad's "thing", and she let's him have it. Second, my mom is very kind hearted and compassionate, but even more so when it comes to people typically seen as "less fortunate". She's so politically correct that she's reverse PC.
It should also be noted that while it doesn't appear often in the blog, I love non-PC humor.
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to mix up the white T-Shirt collection a little bit and throw in something different, so I bought the following four shirts from www.bustedtees.com.
I thought it was the right mix of obscure humor, sarcasm, fun with words, and just plain silliness. Most of them are off the wall enough that I don't have an issue wearing them to work, but one morning as I put the "Your Retarded" shirt on I realized that probably wasn't work appropriate. Oddly enough it didn't occur to me, until I was out on the town in said shirt, that it was somewhat offensive.
My dad was out of town that weekend so I decided to go spend the weekend with mom. If I don't visit her she gets lonely and ends up spending the whole weekend donating money to that Native American kid that she sponsors. Personally I think the program that she participates in is just a tad sketchy, but I don't do enough charity work to feel I'm a valid judge. You'd think they'd at least give her a picture of him and maybe a letter once a month, but that's neither here nor there.
We invited Mory, and the three of us decided to go to Pei Wei and to see a movie. This was my first time wearing the shirt out, and I was quite surprised by the attention I was receiving. I had also recently switched to a new hair product, and at first was quite pleased with the results. It wasn't until the second or third disgusted look from a girl after I had winked, blown a kiss and said, "What's up girl?" that I realized, Oh yeah, the shirt.
One particular gawker was a bald man in his late 40's who vaguely resembled a turtle with glasses.
"Where did you get your shirt?" the Koopa-Troopa asked me.
"Huh? Oh uh... the Internet" I responded, caught slightly off guard(As any interaction with real people will do to me).
"What does it mean?"
"What does it mean?" I repeated. That's an odd question. "Well, it's just a funny shirt"
"Your is spelled wrong though"
"I'm pretty sure that's why it's funny"
"But... but... what does it mean?"
I didn't know how to respond, so I just didn't. After a half hearted shrug of the shoulders I returned to my table with my mom and sister.
At the movies in line for popcorn there was a kid pointing me and my shirt out to his older sister. They both giggled for a while. It was at this point looking around that I realized I could potentially run in to a mentally handicapped person who could easily be offended.
"I guess this shirt is kind of offensive" I told my mom who was waiting in line with me.
"Don't worry" she said dryly, "Most of them can't read anyhow"