Don’t Forget Your Byronic Man Blog-Post T-Shirt…

November 15, 2011


President Obama attended the APEC summit yesterday, as part of the important international exchange of whatever the thing is that happens at this summit.  There’s probably something about trade agreements, though it seems to revolve largely around shirts.  Lots of matching shirts.  I’ve never understood the shirt thing (at conferences and whatnot.  I’m pretty clear on the concept of shirts, as an entity).  Frat parties to team-building workshops to, apparently, meetings of world-leaders, you gots to have a shirt!

This has been awesome, guys. And years from now, when I grab this shirt from the rag pile to wash the car or clean up dog vomit, I'll think of you.

Poncho. Poncho. Poncho. Hey! The guy in the back! HOW DARE HE.

It also touches on an odd element of international diplomacy – the wearing of the native clothes.  I get the show of respect to the culture you’re visiting, but generally the visiting dignitary wears the outfit with all the grace and naturalism of a 14-year-old white girl dressed as Tituba for a high school production of The Crucible. So why keep it up?  Does it matter that much?  “Well, Mr. President, we have a great deal to offer one another, and could have decades of trade, but you refused to wear the poncho we gave you, so instead we are declaring war.  Poncho battalion!  ATTACK!”

Whatever the reasoning, it seems to be iron-clad.  It seems like there’s a few approaches one can take to these situations.  There’s the “I’m going to look serious to the point of hostility” approach.

Does the president of Guam look bad-ass in this shirt? No, he does not. It's all Clinton, baby.

There’s the “They really wear this?  Well, that’s just nutty” approach.

“Hey, Pooty-poot! Look at me! I’m a girl!” (Sidenote: W. Bush supposedly really did refer to Vladimir Putin – ex-KGB, trained killer, president of Russia – as Pooty-poot)

The “Jesus, I’m the one of the most powerful people in the world and I have to endure this crap?  Fine.  Whatever.” Approach.

Oh, now we have to wave? Fine. I'm waving. I suppose we have to do a funny one next?

And finally, the “Hey, we can re-enact our favorite movie scenes!” approach, which I suspect would be mine.

Let's not let free trade enter "The Danger Zone," but instead make deals that "Take My Breath Away." Now who's up for some shirtless beach volleyball?!

So, good luck, Mr. Obama.  Remember, be dignified, be respectful, be courageous, and remember that even if the tag says it won’t shrink, it generally will a little, so you might want to go a size up from what you normally wear.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


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21 Comments on “Don’t Forget Your Byronic Man Blog-Post T-Shirt…”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    This reminds me to pick up a set of man jammies next time I go back to Afghanistan.


  2. angrymiddleagewoman Says:


    “Poncho battalion! ATTACK!”

    scary part – it might be true!


  3. becomingcliche Says:

    So offended. Use that shirt to clean up dog vomit? Those things are thin and barely absorbent. Get real. How dumb do you think I am? Don’t answer.

    Also, what are the chances of a presidential team shirt being made out of a sham-wow? Practical, and soft against my skin.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      You know, as I wrote it I even thought, “Hm, that would be a terrible shirt for cleaning up vomit.” But I just really like the image of a world leader getting groggily out of bed and stepping in something gross and squishy, muttering angrily and finding a rag to clean it up.


  4. madtante Says:

    I wonder how much those would be worth on ebay, rather than saving up for the Obama Museum and Library.


  5. gojulesgo Says:

    Ha! Those poor shirts with the dog vomit fate. I definitely have a pile of those. Although…I have a guilty [pleasure] t-shirt confession. We started this annual Wii bowling tournament in my family, and I designed t-shirts. The tag line? “Show Mii the Money!” *cringe*


  6. Blogdramedy Says:

    Jealousy does not become this blog, Mr. MacLymont. Tisk-tisk.


  7. midsummerdreamsandwintertales Says:

    I bet they eat a lot at those summits. You can hide a lot under the matchy shirts.


  8. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface Says:

    Clinton looks very Tony Soprano in that shirt.


  9. princessvonvoodoo Says:

    The word poncho is funny. Period. Presidential poncho….that would sell like the Snuggie.


  10. Lenore Diane Says:

    What a collection you’ve shared … I’m surprised these pictures have not appeared on the website Awkward Family Photos.


  11. pithypants Says:

    First: having just seen a community theatre production of “The Crucible,” that reference has me rolling. Second: GW’s star smock looks like he should be in Disney’s “Fantasia.” Third: that last photo looks like they should wear flippers. Kind of lined up like the scuba dancers on the dock in Mamma Mia!


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