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William J. Dagendesh

The other day I was browsing through a catalog of Halloween costumes when I happened upon several pages promoting, of all things, T-shirts.

Now, I realize the Halloween costumes of yesteryear don’t inhabit today’s fright-fashion universe. Gone are the days when this former ghost wannabe wore only a white bedsheet or when my dad smeared charcoal on my face so I blended with the night.

But why T-shirts? No doubt nighttime temperatures will have plummeted to near freezing by Oct. 31, prompting the kiddos to cover their arms from the evening chill. Unless worn over a jacket, I don’t see how these T-shirts will enhance the trick-or-treat experience.

Even now I see youngsters wearing these T-shirts and wonder, “Is this the ‘in-thing’ for Halloween 2019?” Although not scary, the inscriptions are, I admit, hilarious, and there is a shirt to fit every situation.

The following tees provided a good belly laugh: “I have stopped listening, so why are you still talking?” “If you’re offended, I’ll help you pack!” “I can’t be held responsible for what my face does when you talk.”

Here’s a few more: “No need to repeat yourself, I ignored you fine the first time.” “Some days the supply of curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.” “Before you judge me, make sure you’re perfect.” “Obviously, you have me mistaken for someone who cares.”

Then there are T-shirts promoting a different kind of spirit: “I’m full of Halloween spirit — it’s called Vodka,” “My glass is empty! Quick, call wine-one-one!”

If you’re looking for the perfect comeback with which to verbally defend yourself, consider these: “In my defense, I was left unsupervised.” “If I say I will do it, I will do it. I don’t need to be reminded every six months.”

There are even T-shirts for the non-physical fitness enthusiast: “Does running late count as exercise?” “I just did a week’s worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.”

Even the color black has its place among these offerings. My daughter, Rosemary, owns the following tees: “I will continue to wear black until they make a darker color,” and “My favorite colors are black, faded black, light black, pastel black, dark black and pitch back.”

If you’re considering entering the journalism profession where people interaction is required, you might refrain from wearing the following: “I tried to be nice to people, but I didn’t enjoy it.” “I saw people through the window today — that’s enough social interaction.” “Karma takes too long — I’d rather smack you right now.”

There’s a T-shirt for the elderly that reads, “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened.” My personal favorite? “You can’t scare me — I have a daughter and I am not afraid to use her.”

Lord knows I love a good laugh and I have even stopped people on the street to read their T-shirts. That’s when I got to thinking, “Perhaps there is something to these Halloween tees after all.”

That being said, I will too, be out and about this Halloween, chatting with parents and reminiscing about my favorite childhood trick-or-treat adventures. I will be the Hollywood handsome hunk wearing a T-shirt bearing the inscription, “I read Life Happens and I am a perfect 10. What’s your IQ?”

William J. Dagendesh is an author, writer and retired U.S. Navy chief journalist and editor. He has lived in southern Colorado 20 years. Contact him with comments or ideas for his column at

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