We lived at my in-law's house for about four months while we were building our house, and I once spent about forty minutes smelling candles. Let me explain.
One day we came back from the store and when we walked into the house, we were hit by the stench of weed. The house smelled like backstage at a Peter Tosh concert. Being the tactful sort of guy that I am, I immediately said, "Holy shit! It smells like you were smoking weed in here." Her mom stammered for a bit then managed to think of a lie and think of it quick.
"No, no, that's not what you smell," she managed to say, "I had some candles going, and I blew them out. That's probably it."
"Noooo, I'm pretty sure that's weed," I said.
I should have just kept my mouth shut, because then she made me sniff every one of her multitude of scented candles to determine if any one of them could have been the culprit. I finally told her that unless Yankee Candle had released a new Purple Kush line of candles that I was currently unaware of, none of her candles came even remotely close to smelling like the cloud of smoke we walked through to get to the kitchen. She eventually relented and let me go.
We agreed to disagree on what I had smelled. Even though we repeatedly told her that we didn't care whether or not she smoked or didn't smoke, she never admitted to it, even though she had obviously been exhaling the last lungful 30 seconds before we walked in the front door and had probably been surprised into swallowing a lit roach.
So that sort of sets the stage. (Remind me to tell you guys about the time she buried the pet bird. Alive. That's a fun story.)
Anyway, with the family such that it is, we always end up holding on to Christmas and birthday presents until they finally get so far past the intended date that we end up shipping them weeks or months later -- which explains why my mother-in-law told my wife that she wanted to have lunch because she had some Christmas gifts for us.
My wife was kind of dreading it, but her mom was all excited, especially about my gift. "I found a really nice shirt for Johnny!" she said. "I can't wait for him to open it." The lunch went off without a hitch, and they caught up a little on the craziness, and the gifts sat in my wife's car for a few days. The other night, she remembered to bring them in and we opened them up.
I do have to say, my mother-in-law knows my taste in clothes. You know how I can tell? Because the first thing I saw when I opened my gift was a mirrored sticker that said "OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE UFC" in block letters. If you don't know, UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I am pretty sure she didn't even know that I am currently training to become the ultimate fighter in between working and blogging.
The shirt itself is black (befitting its bad-ass status) with white stitching, and has "MMA FORCE DIV." in block letters over the pocket. I'm not sure what MMA stands for, but it might be either "Mixed Martial Arts" or "My Muscles Atrophied" since I haven't worked out for a few months.
Not to be outdone by the pocket, the sleeves have their own ridiculousness to share. On one side there's an embroidered patch that said "ELITE DIVISION" on it, with a sillouette of a Lion and two crossed spears, and on the other is a shield with what appears to be a phoenix and three stars.
I really can't argue with the the ELITE status since I am sure if I wore this shirt my ELITE status would already be confirmed. The phoenix seems to indicate that I will rise from the ashes, which I am interpreting to mean that my plans to become the ultimate fighter are completely justified.
I immediately put it on (for the first and most likely last time), threw a spinning back kick at my wife and shouted, "I WILL FIGHT YOUR ASS RIGHT NOW!" Then I took it off and wrote this blog.
Just in case you cannot seriously believe this shirt exists, I present you with this photographic evidence:
I am torn between keeping it for its sheer awesomeness, or dropping it into the salvation army bin and taking a chance on having to fight a homeless guy wearing it at the final round of a UFC tournament somewhere.
(p.s. -- totally unrelated -- but check out my friend pootie's first vandyke brown print. Awesome.)