I think there's a little crack in the family tree

I have one of those families that's strewn all over hell's half acre, so it always seems like getting together on the holidays never happens. It's a shame since I have nieces and nephews I don't get to see without making a three hour drive. As far as my wife's family, her brother is the only one we see pretty regularly. Her mother is a bit "colorful," shall we say, and we tend to avoid contact with her and my sister-in-law. To digress for a second, let me tell you a short story.

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.)


  1. Truly, that is one awesome shirt!

    But your story about it is even awesomer!

  2. If you walk into a bar wearing that shirt, don't be surprised if some ornery drunk decides to try to kick your ass.

  3. That is priceless! Where in the world do you shop to FIND such an article of "clothing"?

    Oh and you better be wearing it the next time you visit her!!! She WILL remember unless the weed hasn't worn off.

    Peace <3

  4. Holy cow...that was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. I long to hear about the buried alive bird incident...I can only imagine.

  5. I think it would go very well with some gold lamé pants.

  6. That shirt is all kinds of sexy. Pair it with a wife beater & some pumped-up kicks and ---

    WATCH OUT! We got a badass over here. Seriously. You need to keep that.

  7. You think those pot-bellied, beer guzzlers who wear NFL jerseys all over the place are actual professional football players? That said, I agree with Comrade Misfit. For your own safety put that sucker away.

  8. this is easy - she's trying to get you an ass whuppin'. probably still pissed that you busted her for being a stoner. you wear that shirt into a biker bar? you're dead meat.

    come to think of it? you wear that shirt into a gay bar, you're dead meat. White stitching? Really?

  9. Anonymous12:47 PM


  10. After seeing the shirt, it reminded me of a pre-teen Halloween costume. You know the kind, where a young boy dresses up in an Army man uniform - only this is for those up-and-coming MMA fighters. What every mom dreams her son of becoming...NOT!

    My advice? Only wear this bad-ass shirt for a Halloween costume. Preferably where other people are dressed up as bananas or fruit-of-the loom underwear people. Only then will you be safe wearing it in public.

  11. Anonymous7:07 PM

    I agree...I think it would work great for Halloween! Don't get rid of it just yet

  12. Why don't you have one of your awesome contests and the shirt can be the prize?

  13. Maybe your wife could knit you a nice Che Guevara beret to go with it.

  14. I'm still trying to wrap my head around things like UFC and Full Metal Jousting (holy shit that looks effin' painful), to even contemplate a line of clothing associated with it.

  15. Screw UFC. Ultimate Taser Ball is the next big thing.

  16. Anonymous12:37 PM

    The sad thing is, it was probably expensive. My hubby enjoys watching UFC (ugh!) so around Christmas time I went to their site to order a shirt. Yikes! Very expensive.

  17. Anonymous8:30 AM

    "we repeated told her? "
    "Surprised into swallowed?"
    Just saying...
    Good story, though.

    1. What the heck are you talking about? Hey, it was first post using an iPad and I haven't mastered cut and paste yet.

  18. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Hahaha. Ok.
    No need to be so grumpy.
    Your wasps on Draw Something look good, at least.
    By the way,I've been recommended your book by my professor, who says it's a good read.
    He deserves a prize.

  19. I wasn't grumpy, I just forgot the smiley. :) I just meant that I fixed the typo so that's why I asked what you were talking about since they were gone. My wasp was a giant fail!

  20. Anonymous9:10 AM

    It did take me a minute... But I saw what you saw. Or thought you saw.
    That halfpipe was crazy, though.
    After the first attempt, I completely forgot that it was not just "pipe. "
    But you finally got it.
    After feeling compelled to spell "hump"...
    Y'all should visit Ft. Worth, Texas sometime soon.
    And, yes, I just said "Y'all. "
    Cowtown. Stockyards.
    You know you want to.

  21. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Was greeted by a copy of your book this afternoon after leaving campus :) :) :) :)
    This shall be an amazing weekend with "The Snitch, Houdini, and Me."

    1. Hope you enjoy it! Find me some typos!

  22. Anonymous9:49 AM

    Fucking hilarious!! It's a challenge just to put it aside for a second.