Old People and T-Shirts

I have a weakness for t-shirts with writing on them. The more preposterous the better. My t-shirts say things like Diesel 1862 – Dance with Gertrude Pompidou or Adidas – 7373 Twit Cotswoldy or Armani – Squirrels of Milano You get the picture. The whole idea is that you ignore the writing and pretend it isn’t there.

But something happens when people hit the age of 80. They suddenly start asking questions.

What does it say on your t-shirt? they ask. Why does it say 1969 on your jeans? Why are you promoting squirrels? Why does it say Calvin Klein on your underpants? Can’t you afford a belt? Can I buy you one from M&S or the Edinburgh Woollen Mill? Who was Gertrude Pompidou? Why does it say Diesel?

And then you tell them the words are nonsense and that Diesel’s a fashion label.

‘What a cheek,’ they reply. ‘Those Diesel people should pay you for the free advert.’ And you find yourself huffing and puffing like an angry teenager. And it almost gets nasty.