The t-shirt…I do not think it means what you think it means

I bought the t-shirt featured in this post back in 2010 when BP’s Deepwater Horizon assploded in the Gulf of Mexico and sprayed plumes of oil far and wide. It cost something like $15 and it contributed a donation to the Gulf Restoration Network (please go there, donate something – if that picture of the oily sea turtle doesn’t have you grabbing for your credit card, then you have no heart).

Now, when I wear this shirt in public, it’s normally to the gym – this has nothing to do with the message, rather, it is the perfect gym t-shirt for reasons I don’t need to go into here.

Until today, I’d never gotten any sort of comments on it. Despite the clarity on this picture, I think that’s because in real life you actually have to look pretty close to see the oil drips and since staring at women’s chests is generally frowned upon unless she’s swinging around a pole in a g-string, I think people just assume I actually believe BP…cares… (They DO care. About money.)

I went to Zumba class today and noticed partway through the class that the guy behind me sported a full-color BP shirt, complete with the green and yellow logo. As I went to get a drink from my sports bottle which was conveniently located behind him, he said, “Are you affiliated with BP at all?”

“No…I um…I bought this after the spill. The proceeds went to clean up the Gulf.”

And he thanked me.

Like, really sincerely. No snarkiness detected at all.

So the question is… Did he get that this shirt was a satirical and snarky poke at petroleum giant BP? Or did he just glance at the shirt and assume? Was he thanking me for helping clean up the mess BP made?

My feeling is the latter is accurate. I was caught sort of off guard and I’m not sure I even replied to his thanks.

What do you think?

 

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