Surprise Wolf Shirt. We Had A Good Run.

They say bad things happen in threes and I am really counting on that to be a truism. In one day I had to replace the entire rear brake system in the car, destroyed my iPhone and the epic shirt that has come to be known as the “surprise-wolf” shirt is stained beyond wear because I do laundry about as well as this guy can lull a baby to sleep with a lullaby. The brakes and phone are just a fact of life but I can’t get over the loss of this shirt. For five dollars at a Value Village it has brought me fame and fortune. Well, maybe not that but it has complimented my version of style. Let’s take a trip back to 2008.

I had just recently moved to the great white northwest and trying to blend in I figured that corporate attire might not translate so I figured what better way to show the natives that I too was down with style of the time. So I bought a wolf-scape shirt and was eager to grow a beard to complete the transition from suit to mountain man. (minus the Cubs hat)

The joke was kind of on me though because most people in rural North Idaho freaking hate wolves. I mean they will shoot them and leave them on the side of the road. Apparently these majestic (once endangered) creatures like to rove in packs and destroy all in sight. And they just do it for fun too. It’s not uncommon to see a bumper sticker stating their approval of the “kill all wolves bill” that was actually voted on in the state congress.

So it is completely my modus operandi to rock this shirt to a bar where 9 out of 10 people believe that by wearing this wolf shirt I am not only a bleeding heart liberal but also with the Taliban. I felt like I showed up to a breast cancer awareness rally sporting a shirt that says “I’m more of a butt and leg guy”. So the shirt only had a few wears until I moved down from the mountain and to a more progressive city where it was looked at as more of a hipster shirt than my real intension of wanting to be…tough?

There was a particular party that a little hidden gem was found in this infamous shirt. While mingling with the masses as I proudly sported my wolf shirt a girl stopped  and paid a compliment to my “beautiful four wolves on the tummy”. Four wolves?? From what I had known there where just three but before I jumped to conclusions and poured my beer on her head for confusing math with feet I went to the restroom to take a closer look. And I found a…

FUCKIN’ SURPRISE WOLF…IN A TREE!!! This blew my mind. There were so many thoughts running through my mind like why did I never notice this before? How many people have I met while wearing this and told them how proud I was of my three wolves (Alex, Joan and Dale)only to look like quite the fool to leave out the surprize wolf that has since been named Paul? Why did the artist put this wolf up in a tree? Does he/she just like to draw wolf heads? So many questions.

Well, I came out of the bathroom enlightened and proceeded to show off the surprise wolf to anyone who would listen. It may have been similar to a two-year old carrying around his potty to a dinner party gathering showing what he did. Regardless, that night changed the scope of that shirt and I walked a little taller knowing I had a shirt with a wolf in a tree. Or standing behind a tree trunk. No matter.

Today I look at the stained shirt and after writing this odd obituary I am not yet ready to let it go. No, I think there is a time and a place where I can get away with this shirt that has survived my time in Idaho and reminds me all the time of the most beautiful people who are still in my life. Strange how such silly things bring back the best memories. So when I wear this and people comment on its less-than-white appearance I will ask them who the press secretary is. FACE!

But I will admit there was a grown man who cried in his shirt when he thought he ruined it.

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