I’ll do what ever it takes to avoid getting bored on this trip.
One device, that works well for me, in striking up conversations , has been concert T-Shirts.
For the past 5 years, I’ve averaged one concert every two weeks. I get a shirt at every show. I have dozens of others from the previous years. I’ve a lot of concert t-shirts. Lots to talk about with random strangers. Q.E.D.
As an ongoing social experiment I have monitored which of my many concert souvenirs promote most conversation and what type of person they attract.
My “Escape from New York” tee, from John Carpenter’s Themes tour, attracts the most attention. A random assortment claim its their favorite film. The Twin Towers background adds a dimension of curiosity even for those who have never heard of a Snake Plissken.
As a friend once said, “There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as a fat, old Goth”. The Cure shirts attract quite a few of those . Surprisingly the large red lobster from (obviously) The B52s seems to attract that lot also. No one has shown any interest in my Primus and the Chocolate Factory shirt, despite its creepy Wonka look. Maybe an image of Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver would work better. My retro plane design from The English Beat gets a lot of commentary from boozy looking Brits and Paddys and surprisingly Jhonattan Vegas’ caddy at the Honda Classic.
AC/DC is always a draw for the aged rocker (as in my age). They enjoy pointing out the good old days to the kids. It’s likely the final tour shirt for the Aussie lads. Their last legs have given out after 40+ years touring. Death, deafness, dementia and murder plots will take it out of a band.
My Gorillaz shirt, worn for any type of hike (or as we Irish call it – a walk) invariably prompts the same, “I hope we don’t bump in to one of them things out here chortle chortle chortle”. Irritating.
I did have a woman tell me her husband would love the neon ice cream designed shirt from the Blur show at MSG. When I asked her if he liked Blur, she explained no – he loves ice cream . I can’t argue with that.
I’m not sure how my Pet Shop Boys and Erasure , sparkly , skull themed garments will play across states. But let’s see.
My ugliest t-shirt award, to date, goes to both Gary Numan and the Ronnie Spector Christmas Show. Both artists look oddly like a cross between a naked mole rat and a lazy eyed vampire. Neither will ever see the light of day.
Anyway, I will closely monitor my t-shirt/conversation correlations during my cross country adventure. Maybe Montana is full of Primus fans. Maybe Pet Shop Boys are the spin of choice on the Jukeboxes of Deadwood. I am anticipating Tom Petty’s final tour shirt be a great conversation opener. Nothing quite like an image of the recently deceased to get people chatting. My Bowie and Prince shirts are back in the old country somewhere.
I’m married to a lawyer, so I think I know everything there is about the law. One of the many little factoids I’ve learned from her big brain is that lawyers will sometimes ask the panel, on jury selection, if they have bumper stickers. Bumper stickers typically denote a pushy, self-important or bullying personality. I really don’t give a toss if your kid is at Penn State or you love your cats but, I will be paying close attention to how bullies of the road differ in their vehicle messaging across the country.
As the ultimate consumer, I am also curious to see what mass produced crap best represents each destination. Are you a ceramic cactus state? A state of Styrofoam cowboy hats? A multicolored plastic rooster perchance? Moose-head shot glasses? Or are you just another mug? I’m swearing at this early juncture no purchases. But my office does need more stuff.
As I said – easily bored. Anything to amuse myself.
Enough rambling . There are t-shirts to try on.