Shirts and Certs
"Shirts and Certs"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Californian on September 28, 1993
As you no doubt recall from the column I wrote nine weeks ago, I work at Millers Outpost in Lake Elsinore. This is overall an extremely blissful experience, as you would expect, but we have recently had a problem at Millers Outpost that I feel must be addressed. It is the problem of guys shopping without shirts on.
It strikes me as being very odd that people would go out in public half-naked. Isn't getting dressed a natural part of the Leaving-the-House process? Were these guys getting dressed, and they got as far as pants and shoes, and then they got sidetracked? Is it possible that they have actually forgotten to put on shirts? That seems unlikely, but then, so does the other possibility, which is that they think people find them attractive with their fully-visible, fluorescent white bellies flopping out all over creation.
And here's the interesting part. Many times, these guys without shirts will purchase one of the many high-quality and extremely fashionable shirts that we have for sale at Millers Outpost (at low, low prices, I might add), then put it on and wear it out of the store. There's nothing wrong with buying a new shirt, of course, but when I buy one, I usually have an old one to wear while I'm buying it. Am I to assume that these guys have never had a shirt before, and that they're buying their first ones? Maybe it's like when people turn 21 and they go out for their ceremonial First Beer. Maybe it's their First Shirt. It must be a highly sentimental occasion for the young lads, and I would imagine that their mothers get pretty choked up about it, going on about how quickly they grow up, and how they never thought the day would arrive when their little babies would be old enough to wear shirts.
Which brings me to another major problem I've had lately, which is the problem of breath mints. There is a commercial on TV in which the Tic Tac woman tells us that we should eat (Eat? Suck on? Use?) Tic Tacs because they have only one and a half calories apiece, whereas Certs breath mints each have a full ten calories. The Tic Tac woman does not even address the issue of Retsin, which Certs have and which Tic Tacs do not have and which no scientist to my knowledge has been able to define, but that is beside the point.
Personally, if I feel that I need a breath mint, I will eat/suck on/use whatever variety is closest. Sometimes this just means biting off a wad of toothpaste and swishing it around in my mouth. If I'm in a big hurry, a spritz of Right Guard also does the job quite nicely.
But assuming one has a need for an actual, legitimate breath mint, I think I should point out that we are talking about a difference of eight and a half calories here, and I don't think that is a large enough difference to buy one brand over the other. If you are in such a physical condition that you need to worry about consuming eight and a half extra calories, you have worse problems than your breath, let me assure you.
You know how easily it is to burn off eight and a half calories? Watch I'll do it. There. That period I just typed? I burned off at least 50 calories doing it. Question marks are even more beneficial, because they require pushing the "shift" key first.
So my point is, if you really prefer Certs to Tic Tacs, you may consume them safely, even if you are watching your figure. You may not, however, go shopping without a shirt on, no matter how attractive your figure is. Know your limits, please.
(Eric D. Snider is a college student who is for some reason still hanging around his home in Lake Elsinore.)
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