Show #035: Magic Brickamajig

c090_1_sblThe thirty-fifthst episode of our podcast, Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average), is now online.

This week’s episode: we’re handy, both indoors and out; mattocks, yucca, injuries, and killing and eating one’s enemies; alternate options for Paul’s family room; Storm’s history of the American tunic, the t-shirt; Paul forgets what year It Happened One Night was made, but presses on; the joy of the heat transfer; braces and glasses and pithy iron-on phrases; dirt bikes, resenting McDonalds and black Trans Ams.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALERT: Tell us of your coveted t-shirts, preferably from your childhood.

Featured post-show song: “Bubble Gum and Braces” – Bobby Sherman

Show #035: Magic Brickamajig (Some content NSFW)


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  1. Marty
    Posted April 7, 2009 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I had a totally awesome Timon and Pumbaa, “Hakuna Matata” shirt from The Lion King. I was maybe 6 at the time.

    Also, I got braces the day before my 12th birthday, which meant I couldn’t eat cake, or anything but soup really, because I was in too much agony. No “Tin Grin” shirt for me though.

    -Recursive Minion

  2. Doug
    Posted April 7, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    My favorite t-shirts were both comic book related. I had a Lone Wolf & Cub one, no idea why it stuck with me so much. The other though, was a Rorschach face from ’87ish. Plain black on white t-shirt. One of the many full frame panels of Rorschach’s face from the comic book.

    As a fat nerd, it fascinated me to have people tell me what they saw in the shirt. (For the record, I think it was just the ink from the first image in this matrix of them

    Today, I treasure my “Science, It Works Bitches” t-shirt from

  3. Posted April 7, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I love it when Storm takes us on a journey, especially when it leads to something as awkwardly awesome as “Glasses are Great.” At least you weren’t older (like junior high or high school aged). I can imagine all of the horrible things my freshmen would say if one of their peers showed up wearing something like that.

    I’m having trouble coming up with any t-shirts I coveted as a kid/teen, outside of anything related to the Minnesota Twins (living in Michigan in the pre-internet days made it difficult to get my hands on their memorabilia).

    BTW, Storm, your gardening anecdote reminds me; didn’t you mention something about disliking gardening in a previous episode of the podcast? Something having to do with radishes?

    I have a love/hate relationship with the way you tease us about good things to come. Part of me is intrigued and hopeful, but another part says, “Minions demand moar nao!!” (Yes, it turns me into a LOLcat.) You two really are cock teases. And yet, we all keep coming back for more…

  4. Posted April 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Listening to the podcast now. For some reason, mattocks appeared a lot in video games in the late 80s and early 90s–usually adventure/RPG type games out of Japan. Beats me why.

    For my tenth birthday, I think, my then-best friend gave me a shirt with Beast (from X-Men) on it. It was an awesome shirt, and I think I still have it in my closet, despite that it hasn’t fit me in years. (Conversely, I am currently wearing a shirt that I bought at a comic convention four years later, which still fits me perfectly. It has Ash on it. Not Evil Dead/Bruce Campbell Ash, but the now-obscure character created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe “I Fucked Up Spider-Man” Quesada.)

  5. Posted April 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I hate to disagree with our hosts on facts used in the show, but “It Happened One Night” (1938) caused a DROP in t-shirt sales, because Clark Gable was seen in the movie removing his shirt without wearing an undershirt.

    OK, I’m a bad geek.

    I used to make t-shirts for my junior high school friends that said “I smoke Spam, do you?” They were fairly popular, but it was 1978 at the time.

  6. Posted April 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Do pics of this shirt exist? I might want to recreate it and wear it.

    American Tunic? So like is this D&D: America edition?

    A long long time ago I used to watch professional wrestling with some sense of regularity. There was, at the time, a group of wrestlers, I guess, calling themselves the “New World Order” who sort of split off into another “New World Order” group. It’s hard to explain in context, so check the Wikipedia article. Anyway, the shirt I wanted was the shirt from this splinter group. They were the “good guys” that you cheered for, while the original group was the bad guys you hated. I ended up seeing the shirt for sale at a carnival/home days type of event, and yes, I got it. And I wore it for years, too. Eventually it became an under shirt, and now… I have no idea where it is.

    “Let me reach around here… so I don’t have to be straining…” ~Paul. XD

    Wow you’re already planned out through May? Another Coultonic Convergence, I hope?

  7. Posted April 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    @Roman: A guy I dated in high school (for about two days) used to wear that same nWo shirt all the time. I’m glad to hear you’ve lost yours. 😉

    Also, re: Your reaction to the “reach around” comment… Hahaha! I <3 it. 🙂

  8. Posted April 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, no memorable t-shirts from childhood, for which I blame several years of private school uniforms. By the time I hit high school and escaped, I am ashamed to admit that my t-shirts were almost exclusively snarky/ironic t-shirts from Hot Topic or shirts from musicals I had been in.

    Somwhere in there, though, I got a shirt that I still treasure: it is a pie chart labelled “The Battle”. 50% of it is “Knowing”, and the rest is divided between “Running”, “Stabbing”, “Gouging”, “Weasels”, and “Tactics”.

  9. Posted April 8, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Here‘s my favorite shirt from high school (or shortly after). It’s a map of “the world according to Ronald Reagan.” Being a native Californian, I’m particulalry amused by the depiction of my home state. I still have it, although much of it is now illegible. Runner up: a shirt that simply says, “Don’t postpone joy.” Truer words were never spoken.

    My current favorite shirts are one I got from the Smithsonian with an Uncle Sam-like finger bursting out through red and white stripes with the caption, “Are you doing all you can?”; one that says, “Make the dumb man go away: Vote;” an “Advanced Dungeons & Hamsters” t-shirt from Goats, with a panel from the comic on the back; and the one I wear to the first rehearsal of each sememster, “I can’t … I have rehearsal,” which is not so much funny as a statement of fact.

    In case you haven’t noticed, I love t-shirts.

  10. Posted April 8, 2009 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    P.S. I’m totally placing my pre-pre-order for the “Glasses are great” shirt. 🙂

  11. Cybermudgeon
    Posted April 8, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Hmm, can’t remember back to childhood, but two of my favorite tshirts in undergrad were Bloom County-related. One was Opus playing a plunger above the slogan “Sold my soul to rock n roll!!” The other was the “Billy & the Boingers Tour” shirt.

    Frankly, I buy more tshirts now; mostly from ThinkGeek, Paizo & y’all. Currently wearing the capsaicin molecule one….wore the Dept. of Geek Affairs yesterday.

  12. Richard
    Posted April 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    In 1983, when I was 19, my ship (I was in the Navy) stopped in Surabaya, Indonesia for 3 days. There were all kinds of weird pseudo-English signs, and one that particularly struck me was a restaurant called “Moon Rabbit”. I thought it was a cool name, so when I got back to San Diego, I bought one of those sleeveless polka-dotted t-shirts (white w/ black dots), like a really tacky(er) version of what Billy Idol was wearing at the time. On this shirt, I had them put (in that same font as “Glasses are Great”) “Moon Rabbit” in big red letters. I wore it for at least 5 years, and not one single person ever asked me what it meant.

    As for the shirt I wanted as a kid, I’d have to say “Darth Vader Lives!” My mom wouldn’t let me have it because it was “Satanic”, as was every other fun thing at the time.

  13. Posted April 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Spence: …a shirt that I still treasure: it is a pie chart labelled “The Battle”. 50% of it is “Knowing”, and the rest is divided between “Running”, “Stabbing”, “Gouging”, “Weasels”, and “Tactics”.

    I MUST HAVE A SHIRT LIKE THIS. 🙂 If you can find it online anywhere, please post it here. Please. Really. Want.

    As for my memorable T-shirts: My parents took me somewhere in Florida or maybe it was Gulf Shores, Alabama for a vacation, and I got a pale yellow t-shirt air-brushed with some silly beach scene.

    I wore that shirt until it was threadbare and the design was almost worn off. My mother threw it out one day while I was at school, but luckily I happened to see it in the garbage and rescued it. I still had it until a few years ago. I’m not sure where it is, now.

    Then, years later, EPCOT center opened. We weren’t there for the grand opening, but we went as soon after that as we could. And I got me an EPCOT shirt with the big geodesic dome and EPCOT written on it. THAT one I still have. It’s in my closet in a position of honor. I can no longer wear it, but I have faith that one day I will wake up several inches shorter and about 100 pounds lighter and voila! it’ll fit me again. 🙂

  14. Jack F.
    Posted April 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Since I’m the only ZuneHead that listens to the podcast, thanks for mentioning me.

    My first slogan T-shirt(s): My mom came home one day with T-shirts for my brother and me. One was “It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature.” The other was “The Devil Made Me Do It.” That was pretty funny stuff for the early 70s. (If you don’t get the references, check and

  15. Posted April 9, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    @Jack F: As Michael Jackson once said: You are not alone. I’m also a ZuneHead. 🙂

  16. Robin
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t recall actively coveting any t-shirts as a child — certainly not the way I do now and damn the interwebs for that — but I was pretty fond of my New Kids shirt in fifth grade. Once they weren’t cool anymore I still wore it to bed for several years.

    In high school, one of my favorites was a parody of the Twister(TM) spinner with “Twisted” as the logo and the four quadrants labeled “left brain”, “right brain”, “right mind”, and “wrong mind”. It doesn’t fit anymore, but it’s still in the back of my closet waiting to become part of a nostalgic quilt I’ve been planning.

    My magic brickamajig is of the Creative Zen variety, but I tend to listen to podcasts on my computer at work as a distraction from repetitive data entry. (That’s not the whole of my job, by the way, just the one I need the least concentration for.)

  17. Tommy
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    My favorite t-shirt ever is a t-shirt I found on the ground at a convenience store, obviously discarded after having been used to check the oil in someone’s car, torn, worn, and frazzled, but I keep it to this day. It had a ‘Death Valley Tequila’ logo on it. The slogan was ‘when you’re so thirsty you’ll drink anything’

    AFAIK, there is no such brand of tequila.

    magic Brickamagig – it’s the new ‘widget’

  18. Posted April 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    This wasn’t exactly a t-shirt since it had long sleeves, but it was close. It was twilight blue and in glittery silver lettering, it said “Tell Your Boyfriend Thanks.”

    I wore it on Valentines Day.

  19. Ann
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    You know, I now have this mental picture that Storm’s front yard looks like the last scene in “Little Shop of Horrors” with all the little baby Audrey II’s planted out front.

    I remember really really wanting a “No Fear” shirt and I actually still have my rather threadbare “Co-ed Naked Martial Arts” shirt (‘Get your kicks below the belt!’) that I got in my early teens.

    If we’re going to talk about the 70’s-era fuzzy letter mall t-shirt kiosk, I feel the need to point out it’s 80’s-era cousin: The airbrushed boardwalk t-shirt: Sporting bad script fonts, neon colors, sunsets or the Italian flag (occasionally all 4 elements) wearing one at the Jersey Shore pretty much immediately identified you as a benny (tourist) and were found at every other souvenir shop along the boardwalks next to the hermit crabs for sale.

  20. Jack F.
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Most of the “heat transfer” T-shirt places I remember from the 70s also doubled as the local head shop. Being pretty naive, I had no idea what all the weird glass tubes, clips, and bongs were for. But the place did smell funny.

  21. Jack F.
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    “Local Head Shop” is the name of the new EP from my emo band.

  22. Wendy
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Most of my favorite tees were from my teens and early 20s. A tee my parents brought me back from Hong Kong with an embroidered mask on it. A “Jewish-American Pagen” shirt. And though it was a sweatshirt, not a tee… My elementary school sweatshirt which I wore around my college campus.

  23. Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    When I was about 5 or 6, my mother made a t-shirt for me that I loved and still have. It was green, and had a Cookie Monster embroidered on it. CM was my kind of guy.
    In high school, I had a t-shirt with Bill the Cat, which only about three people in the school got. Good times.

  24. Chord
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I went to a Michael Jackson themed birthday party as a childe and had a much-coveted THRILLER t-shirt!

    Speaking of glasses t-shirts, I highly recommend Kate Beaton’s “Glasses make you sexy.”

    – Main Tank Minion

  25. Posted April 13, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I had this awesome t shirt when I was <= 5 that had a picture of a 70’s era car on it (generic) and it said Race Car. It was my favorite shirt, but, one day, I puked on it. I refused to wear it ever again.

  26. jason poth
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m listening to the podcast a week late buuuuut I “googled” a bit and found the do it in the dirt decal.

  27. Mrs Flibble
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    1. Morris the Cat
    2. Paul Newman
    3. Slim Jim logo

    PS: I vaguely recall cutting a “Bubble Gum and Braces” 45 from the back of a box of cereal. It actually played on my stereo turntable!

  28. Kieran C
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The day after this certain podcast was my birthday,

    So I salute everyone who responded on the 7th! 😀 woo

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