funny It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

“Think of it, Ellen — a world full of WEIRDOS!”

While hanging out on Queen Street West back in the summer of 1985, I saw a T-shirt with the image below and bought it immediately. I wore it all summer that year:

Old comic panel: “Think of it, Ellen — a world full of WEIRDOS!” “That would be wonderful…”
Click the image to see the source.

Yesterday’s entry, “Thank You, Mask Man!”, got me thinking about that time and what was then my favourite t-shirt. A little Googling led to me to this entry in the blog We Saw a Chicken, whose author had scanned the image from the magazine Strange Things are Happening.

I’m going to invert the image and make it the desktop background on my computers.

18 replies on ““Think of it, Ellen — a world full of WEIRDOS!””

I got the same t-shirt from a store called STRANGE on Queen west and wore the hell out of it too.

They sold a lot of clothes that made their way onto the set of Degrassi.

I printed that T-shirt. For years I printed Punk T-shirts under the moniker The Razor’s Edge. That image spoke to many of us back then. The image was designed by two of the Weirdos, Cliff Roman and Dave Trout, for “the” Weirdos calendar 1978. Check out page 98 in “Fucked Up + Photocopied: Instant Art of the Punk Rock Movement”. Interesting note: Steven Spielberg had a short-lived TV show and on the first show the main character, a sorta nerdy, Ugly Betty kinda girl wore the Weirdos T throughout.

I had that shirt (down here in Albany), in what I seem to recall as 1982.

The best part of it was that a pal of mine was married to a woman named Ellen. It was worth it just to hear his reaction when he laid eyes on it:
“I *GOTTA* have that shirt!!!”

i bought this shirt today at a thrift store in connecticut. i feel like i’m carrying on a legacy.

I “borrowed” that t-shirt back in 1986 from my brother. He got while going to LSU. As an art student at La. Tech, my color theory professor just about had a cow over the shirt! Many a good memories. Would like to get another one to give back to my brother.

Any one know where I could get one of these nowadays? I too, owed one a long time ago and I LOVED it to death!

I bought that t-shirt in Woodstock NY in 1986 and wore it until I painted the house with it on…not so good. then I photo copied it and thank you because now today its on my facebook page. Thanks again t-shirt guy!

I printed this image onto a t-shirt myself a few years ago. Scanned it from a book of Punk images. Wore it to death. It tended to generate quite a bit of attention and comments from like minded people.

I bought the T back in the summer of ’86 in Albany. Wore it to death the whole summer and into freshman year of college, along with one or two other “punk” T’s. Sister borrowed this and it was appreciated by her HS sociology teacher. Want it again…

Had this image blown up from “England is Dreaming”, the big punk rock history book. I scanned it and got it onto a drafting copier. Hung it up in my barber shop in Montana. Everyone loved it. It speaks to the best kind of optimism. Weirdo optimism.

I saw the same shirt design at around the same time and wanted it badly. Sadly, it was on a strange sort of T-shirt designed for girls, with puffed out sleeves.

Now I think I might use one of your high quality image versions to make one of my own.

Nuts, I thought I was the only one in the world with that one… Got mine around ’83 from a closet-sized t-shirt shop in Victoria, Canada. All-time favourite…

I saw that shirt – also in Victoria, BC – but didn’t buy it although I often thought, “What a great shirt. I should buy that!”

believe it or not, i knew the guy who created that image. he was, i believe, a schizophenic, at least he was described to me as such. he was living in a house in Chapel Hill, NC at the time, maybe 1975 or 76. I first saw the image as an original, about 2 feet by 3 feet (approx, it was big), on the wall in the laundry on Franklin ST (the main drag). i hung out with friends that summer in the house where the artist lived. he was tall, muscular, blond, and interesting. i only met him a few times.

I bought that shirt in August of 1982 in a small shop in San Francisco. A bit of a story…

Me and my friend Amy had planned a cross-country adventure on a shoe string while we were in college in Albany, NY. We planned to stay with any friend that would have us, and otherwise use campgrounds. Three weeks before we left Amy decided she’s gay and gives me the option to cancel the trip. I saw no reason to cancel and Amy gots it into her head that we must go to San Francisco so she could be with her people. And so we did.

We arrived in the city one cloudy morning, dipped our feet into the bay water so we could say we did, and found the water to be oddly cold. They we did some sight seeing near the docks and then took a tour of the shops in one of the neighborhoods. In one of the shop, we found that T-shirt about the world full of weirdos. Amy decided I needed it since my given name is Ellen and we both felt a bit like weirdos, or misfits simply because we refused to be as compliant as our siblings, parents and fellow students.

I bought the T-shirt as my only souvenir on that trip, money was tight and so was space in the Toyota Corona. It cost $5. The shopkeeper as one of the rudest people I ever met considering I was giving him money I almost didn’t have. He acted like we were squalid dirty travelers and he was doing us a favor. Amy and I were furious.

Amy and I left the shop and as soon as the door was closed she turned to me and said, “Let’s get out of this city” and we did. That afternoon we drove we drove north through the mountains. We met some wonderful people on an Indian reservation. After all that trouble to get to San Francisco we spent 4 hours there.

I liked the shirt so much I never did wear it. It must be in my house somewhere in pristine condition hopefully. I’ve been back to California times but have never returned to San Francisco, I’ll always remember that shopkeeper.

Looking back, I realize that Amy and I weren’t the weirdos at all. The weirdos were everyone else who were busy playing by the rules, questioning nothing and doing what society expected of them. Amy and I always did what we wanted, what we felt was right and worked hard to make the world a better place. That T-shirt said something that needed to be said at that time.

I have the same image printed at the back of my shirt and at the front left side of the chest area that says “ Gathering all or Nothing”. Instantly fell inlove with it as soon as I saw it. I bought it at a thrift store in Philippines for only 1 dollar.

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