A Logo On A T-Shirt

Chaos in Print

Hey, look at me, I’m on a yo-yo! — Woody, in Toy Story 2, as he marvels over all the merchandise dedicated to him.

There’s this one idea for a Chaos In A Box tie-in that’s been tickling the back of my brain for quite some time. I originally hatched this idea with my sister way back in the summer of 1996, as I prepared to begin my second year at Augustana. The radio show had gathered enough of a following, and since I was unemployed that summer, I began looking at how I could use the show to make money. As my sister and I sat around brainstorming, we soon hit upon the most obvious idea. What does every hit movie and TV show have to tie in with it? T-shirts.

My sister and I soon came up with a simple formula. Since those No Fear T-shirts were currently all the rage, we decided that we needed to spoof these. So, our shirts were going to feature obscure quotes from obscure cartoons, and in place of the No Fear logo, there would be a Chaos In A Box logo. Of course, since I was unemployed for that summer, I didn’t have the start-up capital to begin producing all these T-shirts, and that’s why they weren’t all the rage on the AUC campus in the fall of ’96. But the idea never really went away.

The idea really began returning with a vengeance about a year or so ago, when Kenten Bowick created the logo that now adorns this site. You’ve got to admit, that was just made to be slapped on a T-shirt. I remember back in university, when I was still using the original logo that I whipped up myself, I shared this T-shirt plan with Kenten. Since he had already made up Dag T-shirts for his staffers, and was in the midst of making bootleg G.I. Joe T-shirts for himself, he told me that he knew a company that did it and could hook me up. In true Kenten fashion, he never did. I tell ya, I love him like a brother, but sometimes I think he’s got that A.D.D. Falling back on the old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” I decided that if the Chaos In A Box logo were to ever pop up on a T-shirt, it would be one I made myself. I’ve got a good colour printer. The iron-on transfers are available at all stationary stores, and you can get plain black T-shirts cheap like borsht.

I started thinking that I’d put off making these shirts until I bought my URL. That way, I could stamp “chaosinabox.com” on everything. I’ve currently drifted away from the desire to get my URL, but the desire for T-shirts remains. And besides, the “.com” thing has been overdone. I’m glad that No Fear died before we started seeing No Fear.com. Maybe there is “nofear.com.” I should enter that URL simply out of curiosity. But I digress.

So we have a logo. Naturally, one of the T-shirts in the line would simply be the logo, nice and prominent across the front. But what about the quotes? Sadly, I lost the list my sister and I concocted back in ’96, so I’ve been making up a new one. Here are some of the ones we could features.

We’ve got my favorite quote from Samurai Pizza Cats: “If you talk to the wind, you’re normal. If the wind answers you, you’re crazy.” This would be a simple enough design, not too complicated. We’d have “If you talk to the wind…” across the front and “If the wind answers you…” across the back. We’d still need a little guess-work to figure out where to place the logo.

Another quote I’m toying with is one from the movie Men In Black that’s been rolling around in my head lately: “Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” The whole quote from the movie goes like this: “People are not smart. A person is smart. People are stupid, panicky animals. You know it. 1500 years ago, we knew the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, we knew the Earth was flat. 15 minutes ago, you knew that we were alone in the universe. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” But still, that one, final line is catchy enough to stick.

One that I’d like to stick on is a very obscure quote, and I doubt that even you would get the reference: “But it’s a rock.” This comes from A Bug’s Life. We’ve got that scene near the opening where Flik gives a rock to Princess Dot and tells her to pretend it’s a seed. He then goes on this emotional speech about how seeds grow into trees and that Dot is still a seed, but all Dot can say throughout this speech is, “But it’s a rock.” Sticking just that quote would be rather obscure. Perhaps it would help if we put Flik’s follow-up quote on the back: “I KNOW IT’S A ROCK! I spend a lot of time around rocks! Don’t you think I know a rock when I see one?” But on the other hand, Kevin Smith did say once that sometimes the funniest jokes are the ones that only four people get.

Let’s see, another one I like is one that I used in one of columns from university. Chef said it on South Park. “There’s a time and a place for everything. It’s called college.”

Oh, and we would be amiss if we didn’t create a shirt featuring my now-classic self-portrait. Yes, the Scarecrow Happy Face that adorns the main page!

So, we’ve got a good preliminary run of six T-shirts, here. Now, if only I could stop buying DVDs for a while and save my money, we’d be in business. Yes, the official Chaos In A Box T-shirt. The realization of a dream. And who cares if they don’t become the new trend across the nation? There would be at least one in existence, and that would be enough for me.

And let’s be honest, people. I’d really be happy to see just one other person wearing it. And that person would be my girlfriend. Oh, come on, all you young, virile men out there. Admit it. It turns you on a little to see your girlfriend sleeping in your T-shirt, doesn’t it? *sigh* But, baby steps. First, T-shirts. Then, a girlfriend. Then, Newfoundland. And then, the world!