In a rather cosmopolitan bar, the owner had a T-shirt proudly suggesting, “Kill the yuppie bastards”; in a busy shopping street, a rather conservative-looking middle-aged man proudly sports a pullover emblazoned, “Doggy Style”; and, most bizarrely of all, a handsome father, young son in hand, who walked towards us on the beach wearing a sweat-shirt boldly proclaiming, “I take it up the bum”.
Now, said father may or may not indulge in this particular practice, but it strikes me as bizarre that it wouldn’t cross his mind to check the meaning of the words proclaimed across his torso to the world. Perplexed, we asked a Spanish friend to explain what we had observed, and he confirmed what we suspected: that English of any kind on clothing is regarded by some as fashionable; that they trust the manufacturers not to play games at their expense; and that they don't have a clue what the words on the garment actually mean.
Which prompts us to consider the motives of those who design such products? Do they really intend to humiliate their customers, or do they regard it as some sort of huge sartorial joke? Is it the revenge of a slighted designer upon a monolingual wholesaler, or a bored youth in the
Which reminds me: some years back, I brought my other half a gift from