Yes, a TDTD t-shirt. The Day Tink Died. I shall be the envy of millions. OK, three or four, three or four being the number who get it.
When Tink died, pretty much no one but his wife gave a rat's ass, as documented by my driving around that Sunday morning announcing the news to the neighbors. To a one, the response to my interruption of breakfast was an "OK" mumbled through mouths filled with eggs, bacon, and coffee.
A few days later, we didn't have enough people to carry his cheap coffin and single rose to the grave, and the family, that being my parents, brother, and me had to pitch in to tote his sorry self to the hole in the ground under the magnolia tree my grandmother planted to mark her first daughter's, Loa's, death.
The back side of the shirt is in reference to an even on TDTD that occurred while I was sitting in first class sipping a double rum and Diet on an airplane in Chicago. My phone rang. It was my brother. He loves Jesus, but he drinks a little, much like me, and that day he was entertaining Tink, and now Addie, with Carolina fight songs played loudly from his truck while sipping from a series of Bud Lights.
Here comes the neighborhood dog that then did what dogs do.
Well, that's going to be the story I relate here. There's more, and some of you know it, but that part will remain an oral tradition for a while longer.
Now, before the armchair psychologists have a field day psychoanalysing me, and probably coming up with only a headache for all the trouble, let me assure you all that I've long gotten over the deep and abiding anger I long harbored for Tink and Addie. Those two did nothing but make a mockery of loyalty to extended family as they used everyone around them, especially my mother and father, to get things done for them without having to pay.
One of Addie's favorite things to say was that if you keep people owing you a little, they'll work for you a lot better.
When that estate was finally settled and the some over a million dollars shared by the dusty museum they built, UNCG, UNC Chapel Hill, and the lawyers new office building, my mother received exactly nothing for the lifetime of periodic enemas she'd given to Addie, and worse, to Tink. That's how Mama learned Tink had a wart on his junk, which was the likely reason Addie wouldn't do him. Ever.
Bear in mind that in celebrating TDTD, I am not celebrating the death of an individual no matter how much it might appear so to the outside observer. Nope, I'm celebrating having survived that idiocy. I'm working hard to be sure I never forget, and then accidentally heap such abuse on the others around me.
Surely, I can be more creative than that.