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