Like the good slavering Sandboy that I am, I bought all the glorious Sandstuff that fell off the Vertigo bandwagon. The Death poster, the Death t-shirt, Platinum Death for $5 (my dealer owed me) -- you name it. Being the low-quality snob that I am, I was more than pleased and sated with my horde. I stapled the ol' poster up, tossed the Platinum issue on top of my "read recently" pile, and otherwise was satisfied.
Then I wore the t-shirt.
Now, it's a great design, I think. It's a wonderful shirt, and it's worth every penny I spent on it. This is where it gets weird:
Every time I've worn it, I've been propositioned by long-time lady friends of mine who have, until they saw me with Didi on my chest, been far more interested in remaining a bit more, um, distant in our relationships. As you can see, this is a bit of a delicate subject.
Yet, out of the blue (black?), three separate women suddenly ask me to sleep with them, who have been before basically no more than good bar buddies or fellow journalists.
I'm trying hard not to come off like a cad here, but, frankly, I'm scared. Three times I've worn the Death t-shirt. Three times a new woman has asked me home. Are there explanations? Should there be? Was the Death picture on my shirt silkscreened over one of the fabled "lost Desire" designs that DC mysteriously cancelled just before the Vertigo explosion?
More importantly, has any one else experienced this difficulty? All I ever wanted was a neat t-shirt with a classy anthropomorphic personalization on it. I didn't want the fame, I didn't want the attraction; I just wanted to be another brain-numbed fanboy on the path to self-somnomulation. What do I get? Women! Ick! Cooties! I mean, I collect comic books! Isn't it obvious enough that I don't want to deal with real life?
I'm really nervous about putting the thing on again. When it happened the first time, I didn't even notice it, obviously. The second time, as I was remarking to someone how the last time I wore it, I was picked up. The third time was a deliberate test. I said nothing, did nothing, just sat down at my job and worked on my next column. And, sure 'nuff, another woman just walks over on her way out and asks me out for supper. Among other things.
So, rac-gurus, what should I do? I've considered a couple of options, but I want some input before I put the thing on again -- it's hanging, right now, from my rafters, already having dried from the wash, grinning seductively at me. I don't know how long I can stand the temptation, the driving, mocking glare daring me to try its luck again. What course should I follow?
1) Magnaminous charity:
Obvious. I give the shirt to Elmo, who certainly needs it far more than I. Yet, in doing so, how can I live with my conscience that a friend will be trapped with this cursed shirt for the rest of his life (or until his Annotations run out, whichever comes first)?
2) Cautious skepticism:
I keep wearing it. The trouble is, the next time I'm planning to wear it is to Gaiman's apperance at Dreamhaven down in the Twin Cities. There will be a Death lookalike contest there. I fear, quite simply, for my life in that case.
3) Bold ignorance:
I forget superstition, past experience, and personal scientific field research and just wear it whenever I feel like it. My current path of choice.
4) Daring indulgence:
Like a latter-day Jim Morrison, I wear it -- and I don't take it off! Never! Not until Christmas! I'll never shower the upper half of my body 'till it's ripped off of me. How long can its power last in *that* case? Unfortunately, probably longer than my job, in this case.
5) Archeological indifference:
I file it away with my Elton John mirror-shirt, lava lamp collection (largest certified collection in eastern North Dakota!), ABBA 8-tracks, and other odd relics of my life. Some future day, someone more needy than I shall use its powers to bring him great happiness. I'd leave a journal, of course, warning the indifferent discoverer.
Personally, I just don't know what to do. Maybe I'll just put it up for auction on rac.marketplace. Any takers?
"Confound it!" --Gordon Moss
"Could I just shoot it instead?" --Richard Darwin