A couple weeks ago I talked about my "Four S'mores and Seven Beers Ago" t-shirt. You may recall, if you read the post, that I really loved that shirt but that it was effectively ruined by the oily drippings of a Wendy's hamburger.
Well, something kind of magical happened after I posted that. My step-mother, Patty, made me a new shirt with the imagery on it. It's a darker version - both the image (this time an iron on) and the shirt are darker - but it's just as awesome. Honestly, it was one of the coolest things someone has done for me just out of the blue.
My step-mother and I have not always gotten along as well as we could. However, she has, even when times have been kind of dark and gloomy, done some pretty cool and thoughtful things for me. Things that she didn't have to do, things that wouldn't benefit her at all, but that have really blown me away.
Way back in high school, when I was a junior, I was on the Speech and Debate Team. For those who know me, but who didn't know me in high school, me being on a debate team probably isn't a real shocker. Anyway, I competed in a few different events; extemperaneous speaking, student congress*, lincoln douglass, and team comedy. When I signed up I didn't even know there would be a team comedy category. However, it did exist and so I signed up for it too. I wasn't particularly comedic even if I was funny (yeah, I amused people like a clown). The good news was the event didn't require that we write our own comedy bit - instead we could use one written by a proven comic. All we had to do, the "easy" part, was deliver the act.
But what act? That was the question. My teammate and I settled on the classic, "Who's On First" by Abbot and Costello. It turns out we were no Abbot and Costello. Our delivery was wooden and generally not well received. It was, easily, my worst event during the various competitions.
At this point you may be wondering what this has to do with S'mores. Well, it has nothing to do with S'mores. However, I am getting to a point so just bear with me.
While the delivery of "Who's on First" turned out to be much harder than we anticipated it wasn't even the hardest part of the contest. First, let me remind you that I competed in debate back in the late 80's. There was no internet. I could not just ask Google for any bit of information that exists and get it back in about 20 milliseconds. Thus, finding a copy of the Who's on First transcript was really hard. Like, impossible hard. You couldn't go to your local bookstore and pick it up, the library didn't have it, I couldn't order it via Amazon. We couldn't find the damn thing.
But then Patty stepped in to save the day. Unbeknownst to me she went out, found a vinyl recording of Abbot and Costello that included "Who's on First" and then she transcribed the whole thing. I knew she was transcribing it becuase, when I came home from school she was hunched over the old record player listening to two second long snippets of the act, scribblig furiously, and then picking up the needle and moving it back to listen again to make sure she didn't miss anything.
Go ahead, listen to the video and imagine trying to transcibe that damn thing. I don't know how she did it - and with an old album at that. But she did and it has always stood out as one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
Well, creating this shirt for me ranks right up there with "Who's on First." It was that cool. She did it without fanfare, hell she mailed it to me without warning so I just had a random package on the porch when I came home from work. When I picked it up I could tell it was a t-shirt but it didn't even cross my mind it would be "Four S'mores" - I mean, you can't get it anymore. But she did.
Oh, and if you remember why the Four S'mores shirt was so cool to me then here is a bonus surprise photo of me, as a little kid, wearing my Huey, Duey, and Luey Shirt.
Damn I was a cute kid.