Getting dressed for work, I buttoned up this nice new flannel shirt that Cy & Peter gave me, and it fits perfectly.

I'm a Goodwill guy, so I never buy new clothes, and the label surprised me. A shirt's brand name used to be on the inside of the collar, and it's still there on this shirt, but someone's decided that isn't enough. Nobody could see what company made your clothes when the brand name was inside the back collar, so now the logo is also on the front of the shirt, on the outside.

And it's not discreet. The shirt is dark, subdued, kinda classy actually — or it would be, if the brand name wasn't stitched onto the front pocket in fluorescent blue on a white background. It's about one inch tall, two inches wide.

I hate advertising, and of course, I know that I'm more sensitive to it than most people are, but jeez, the manufacturer's name stands out like the 'S' on Superman's chest.

So of course, I'm removing that label, which is written in a script so ugly that I'm not even sure what company I'm cursing — is it 'Bessell'? 'Bogseu'? I don't give a rip, I just want it gone, but it's sewn right into the seam. It took ten minutes of careful snipping to get it gone, then another few minutes of sewing to repair the damages.

And I can barely sew, so it looks like it's been sewn by someone who can barely sew. It sure looks better than the logo it came with, though.

I wonder if the company knows or cares that people are annoyed by all this. Ah, but that's a stupid question. Most people aren't annoyed, I think.

When I complain about advertising that hits me like hailstones everywhere, nobody ever says "me too." Maybe I'm the only person who's ever removed the logo from a shirt, and people are proud to wear the 'Bessell' or 'Bogseu' brand. Chances are, it's a status symbol.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Riding the F bus to work at Black Sheets, I noticed a new attraction on the huge marquee of a porn palace on Market Street. In addition to the "Girls girls girls" that the sign's always bragged about, there's now the promise that one of the strippers will be "doing the Zen butt thing."

Can't imagine what that might be, but I won't be paying to find out. Any Buddhists out there, please explain "the Zen butt thing" to me.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Whoops, I forgot to send my mother a Christmas card, and didn't call her on the 25th. And what's worse, I forgot to feel guilty about forgetting. I might forget again tomorrow.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I do feel lousy, but it's physical, not meta.

My sore throat has gotten worse, and that tooth that crumbled under yesterday's Milk Duds doesn't particularly hurt, but it sure does stink of rot. It's dead, and sooner or later it'll have to go. Probably sooner would be smart, but where am I gonna get the money for a dentist?

From Pathetic Life #19
Tuesday, Dec. 26, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


  1. May have mentioned this to you awhile back, but I knew a guy who loved to deface billboards. There was one for a local strip joint, so late one night when the world was asleep, this guy stuck a sign in thick blank ink with a pink pastel backing that said LIVE SEX WITH ANIMALS onto the billboard. Countless cars drove by it the next morning, many sat at the red light staring directly at it and within a day it had been roughly scraped away only to be replaced with a new one a few days later. The back and forth continued until the company changed signs. It always gave me a chuckle when I saw it. I only wish someone had a camera to capture the reaction shots. Who was now interested in visiting this place? Who was shocked? Who pretended to be shocked? Who was "outraged"? Who laughed? Who figured it was a prank? Who was indifferent?--Arden

    1. This made me laugh and laugh. Great defacement, great story, and if your friend is still alive — or better yet, if he's you — tell him he's fabulous!


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