Yesterday, I saw a guy wearing a T-Shirt that said, “I Fucked Your Mom” and I had to laugh because we were in a huge corporate toy store (I was buying a present for my niece). Little kids were running around, picking out toys and being generally noisy, and this guy (who purchased four super soakers, by the way) had green hair in a mowhawk, was wearing black jeans (current Tampa temperature is six thousand and seven degrees Fahrenheit) and had on the aforementioned shirt. Anyway, because I am who I am (read: a total idiot who doesn’t know when to shut up), I asked homeboy a question.

“Don’t you think that shirt’s a little inappropriate?”

“You’re just mad because I fucked your Mom.”

Now, I’m pretty sure he had that line in the can (it wasn't his first time wearing that old shirt) but I had to admit, it was a pretty good line. So good, in fact, that it took me all of eight seconds to respond.

“Actually, I’m more bothered by the fact that you stole all her hair products in the morning.”

Kinda lame, I know. But the guy had me. Between the green mohawk, that line, and his shirt… I mean I had no edge. I was wearing a pair of slacks and a button down shirt. The damn shirt was even tucked in. I looked like I fell from the pages of Conformity Monthly, and he, well, he looked like he really despised people who looked like they fell from the pages of Conformity Monthly. If we were black, he would have called me an Uncle Tom.

Anyway, I threw in the towel and followed that zinger with, “I’m sorry, man. Wear what you wanna wear. It just seems like this is an odd place to wear that shirt, with all these kids around and everything.”

“It’s cool, man,” he said. “I really don’t give a damn.”

Just then, a young boy walked by and said, “Mommy, that man’s shirt has the F word on it.”

“I know,” said his mother. “You stay away from people who look like that. They’re all on drugs.”

And we both laughed rather heartily.

So why am I telling you this story? Because, the experience got me thinking. I mean, there has to be an acceptable middle ground, doesn’t there? Is wearing a shirt that says ‘Fuck’ in a place meant for children really okay? For that matter, is it okay to assume someone to be a drug user just because he has a green mohawk and a shirt with the F word on it? And if not, where’s the middle ground? How much do you really need to respect the children? How much do you really need to respect the adults? And furthermore, how much for one of those shirts?

And where can I get one?