|The joy of t-shirts
||[Jun. 20th, 2008|01:11 am]
Over this last weekend and now, I've discovered the power of t-shirts. My main feeling towards cleverly worded t-shirts was best described in this comic strip. Strangely, it was the author of that same strip that produced a t-shirt proved to be a really interesting ice-breaker. The t-shirt is a blue one that reads "Just shy not antisocial (You can talk to me!)" - I bought it because, well... in real life, in one-on-one conversations I can be quite shy, until I get to know the person I'm talking to.
So, when the Irish contingent descended upon Barbara Carellas in Sh! there was some waiting around, and at one point someone asked what my t-shirt said. Once they saw, the reaction from the entire staff was "Awwwww!"; I felt mildly embarrassed, it wasn't exactly the effect I was going for. However, all through the transfabulous festival, people either recognised it as an xkcd creation, or just complimented me on it. The power of it as a conversation starter was amazing.
Today, I went to the Firefox party. For all of those saying "Pick me up a t-shirt", there were only 5 available. I did manage to get one, but I paid someone else for it (however, I am happy as I now have a t-shirt from both launch parties that I've attended). For that, I was wearing this random "cd /pub; more beer" t-shirt. I'm realising just about now how nauseatingly vapid this must sound but, trust me, there is a point to this. I figured it would match the nerdy feel of the night.
So, I wandered about, not knowing people, until some others I knew actually attended. Once they went, I had to do this socialising thing again, and I noticed some people pointing and wondering. I talked to them, and ended up with some fantastic companions for the night. When we were being kicked out of Cineworld, we decided to go onto Pantibar, where we discovered that we had friends in common (such as a particular guy with an emo hairstyle - deadlybuzz knows exactly who I'm talking about).
All tolled (or is it "all told", I've only ever heard it, rather than seen it written), I've discovered the power of the right t-shirt to start conversations and meet random people.