Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Definitive Home Jersey

At the keen age of eleven my family took a vacation to El Rancho Stevens, a kitschy kickin' dude ranch in Gaylord, Michigan. That's right. Sink it.

Other than the fact that some genius befitted this place with a superior moniker, El Rancho Stevens was excellent. Ponies, canoes, swimming, poker games, fucking tetherball...easily my favorite family vacation spot.

But the coolest thing about El Rancho Stevens wasn't just being completely captivated by a Tennessee Walking horse named Babe or eating bacon every morning or the ranch-wide nightly Ghost in the Graveyard game or participating in their "Dudeo Rodeo," or you know, fucking tetherball. You see, at El Rancho Stevens, I obtained the best sweatshirt ever.

It's been through a lot, my sweatshirt. I wore it all throughout junior high, where I was probably ruthlessly mocked. Then in high school I became all unsure and self-conscious, pulled in the sleeves and reversed it, afraid to be labeled because of the imprint galloping across my chest.

Once I hit up college I decided to see if I would get the stares for wearing it, and instead my friends shook their heads and laughed. "You are such a fucking dork," they'd say. I still turned it inside out sometimes, when I was particularly lonely and ashamed of the illustration.

Then came "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and "Flight of the Conchords." All of a sudden, my sweatshirt is now the coolest thing anyone has ever seen.

It's amazing, really, how the tables have turned, how easily television shows can change a cultural perspective. Perhaps, just perhaps, they could have recognized my sweatshirt's awesomosity having never seen the show. But the fact of the matter is, whereas before I would get, "I cannot believe you are wearing that, you are such a fucking dork," the comments have turned into, "That is the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life. Where did you get that?"

El Rancho Stevens, bitches.

This sweatshirt is peerless, nearly perfectly rendered and loveworn in all the right places. When my eyes glance downward at the label on the corner, I remember, fondly, those days at El Rancho Stevens, and how graciously this sweatshirt epitomized my personal essence and evolution, from adolescence to, like, second adolescence. My gothic shield of arms, my home jersey, my Sunday driver, devoted to my character until I've passed from this world into the next.

And etched upon my tombstone, instead of the usual years, the adopted measurement with which we limit our life, or even my name, given to that which cannot be summed, I choose this permanence, this last effort at eccentricity, my personal glow within the murk and the gloom--

"On a field, sable,
rearing-palimino-stallion-engulfed-in-wicked-ass-lightning, pink."

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Edit: I was going to wear it for the picture, but I decided against it. Boobs fuck up the silk screen. Booyah.

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18 comments:

Rassles said...

I think I should add, that this post was inspired by Boomer.

Erin Alberty said...

El Rancho Stevens?

I thought you were making it up, and then I looked it up online. Perhaps the best-named anything in Michigan.

Schmee said...

Is that where Gaylord Focker is from? dka;sflks No? Fine. This makes me wanna sing the "Hey Dude" theme song.
"Start your horse and come aloooong...but ya can't get a ride if ya can't hold on..."
Oh how I miss Donkey Lips.
And I used to be obsessed with Ghost in the Graveyard but I can't remember how to play??? Lame!

Betsey Booms said...

First, you didn't need to throw that I inspired you in there. While I want to be your muse, I thought we should just keep that between the two of us. All private like.

Secondly, I really need to see a picture of this sweatshirt. And by need, I mean if I don't then they are going to be carving "Being a Zombie Right now Wouldn't suck" into some granite like in the next day. If you catch my drift.

Third? Well? Will you take me there? I've confused this with the post where you got to touch a burro in my mind. They melded together and I want to play burro tetherball.

Forth? My word verification is ruggally... it seems fitting for reasons I'm not witty enough to convey.

Betsey Booms said...

PS - You had to know I was going to leave another comment.

Tomorrow? You should be inspired my post today and the title should be "Humping Hobos is Fun" and from there you can do whatever you want.

Just a suggestion.

pistols at dawn said...

That is powerful stuff. I think I finally lost my favorite sweatshirt, which said "Barry in '94," because supporting a crackhead for mayor was/is/will be awesome forever.

MoLinder said...

i do know that if you should die unexpectedly, you want to be buried in said sweatshirt. unless you find someone worthy, like that's going to happen.
the horses and lightning are wonderful. i'm very happy i can spell this well. being that i'm drunk and i fell on la salle tonight. oh happy hour.
people really, if you are me, get some help. public drunkeness is never pretty. i'm living proof.

nursemyra said...

Flight of the Conchords is the best show ever!

hey rassles, why don't you feature your sweatshirt on T-shirt Friday?

by the way, did you ever pick those dvds up from the post office?

formerly fun said...

Rassles now I want to take my kids to a dude ranch.

Mathdude said...

See that's why I never get bothered when people mock me. I know 10 or 20 years down the road, it will be proven that I am cool.

The word ver, which I hate BTW and someone should stab you 87 times for the time we have to waste typing in a few letters, is "diseases". Yikes.

mongoliangirl said...

ha ha ha! You're so funny Rassles! ha ha ha! Good for Boomer for inspiring this post. And, you know, fuck those naysayin' bitches. Your sweatshirt rocks.

Gypsy said...

Any item of clothing I would have bought at that age would now be several sizes too small. Sigh.

But this was some righteous shit. You hang on to that snuggly little bit of rancho history.

hereinfranklin said...

A Tennessee Walking Horse on a Rancho in Michigan. Poor horse was probably really confused. Fun to ride though.

Bluestreak said...

Have you seen that seinfeld episode where Jerry talks about his t-shirt he calls "golden boy"? This post totally reminds me of that. "Touch golden boy".

Bluestreak said...

by the way, I can't believe how ridiculous it is that when I had a job I had more time to read blogs than now that I am unemployed. I wish that fact would have enabled me to get fired thus making me eligible to collect unemployment as opposed to having to quit my boring, life-sucking job. Now I'm wondering, why did I quit a job that allowed me to always be updated on Rassles life?

Rassles said...

Erin: I would never joke about something so gravely serious as El Rancho Stevens.

Schmee: Singing...yippee kai yai yay (yipee kai yai WHAT?)

Boomer: We should all have a blogger party at El Rancho Stevens. They have poker tournaments. And a bar, too. With booze. Drunken tetherball sounds perfect.

Pistols: True. Almost as great as supporting a crook for a governor. Fucking Illinois. I voted for the Green Party guy.

MoLinder: But someday, I may find someone whose genuine appreciation for my sweatshirt is great enough that I will feel obligated to pass it along. We'll see.

Nurse: Yes I did -- have I not thanked you for that yet? I am the worst. Person. Ever. They're fantastic, so thank you! And the Yoshitomo Nara postcard is totally up on my wall.

FF: It really was the best vacation ever. My sisters were eight and five, I was eleven, and we always had stuff to do. I mean, it's a family vacation spot. I think, as a child, you would have to try not to have fun.

Math: I guess I could get rid of the word verifier. Maybe. I think it's fun.

Mongo: No one's a naysayer anymore. It's kinda hard to say nay when my sweatshirt renders you speechless, anyway.

Gypsy: Ah, you'd think it would be small, but since everything was fucking huge back then, it totally still fits. And I don't think I'll ever let go.

Franklin: Sometimes, the best places are an uncomfortable blend of styles.

Blues: I know, right? How could you do this to me?

Betsey Booms said...

If ever there was a more bad ass shirt to ever exist, I don't want to know about it. Because it would just blow my mind.

As it is? I don't think I'm equipped to deal with this.

Rassles said...

Boomer: I'm barely able to deal with it, and I wear it every Sunday.


And seriously? I was so proud of my Hester Prynne reference. Anyone? Anyone? Damn.