I was walking into the grounds of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center yesterday and I hear a voice: “I love your t-shirt!” It belonged to a young woman who was handing out sunscreen at the Mount Sinai Hospital booth. She and her friend laughed at the words on my blue chest: I Only Wear This Periodically which make sense only when accompanied by the art work – the Periodic Table of Elements.
Most of my cool t-shirts arrive as Christmas presents from my sister-in-law Nona and my brother-in-law Lance. They have a weird sense of humour which meshes nicely with my own.
Today I arrived wearing red. I didn’t even notice that I was passing the same booth. “The t-shirt man!” Same voice. She was ooing and ahhing about today’s message: The First 70 Years of Childhood Are Always the Hardest. I tried to convince her that I was really 39, that my in-laws are mathematically challenged, but she wasn’t buying it. I promised her another jolt tomorrow. Think I’ll wear black, with a message from Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist.
“She addressed world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, 2019. ‘How dare you,’ she roared. ‘How dare you look away… and come here saying that you’re doing enough!'” Three words just begging for an exclamation mark.
After tomorrow, I’ll have three more days at the US Open. My clothing choices will return to the land of humour. Here are some possibilities:
1. Yes, I’m Here Unsupervised. I Know … It Freaks Me Out Too
2. There’s a Fine Line Between Numerator and Denominator. Only a Fraction Will Understand
3. Never Underestimate an Old Man Who Loves Tennis and Was Born in January
Yes. Those will do nicely.