The following is a true story. The names of those involved have been changed to protect the “innocent”. This is their story…
Around Christmas time, my friend’s son *Paco (just kidding, that’s a terrible fake name) *Paul was wearing a t-shirt that said “I’m on a boat” and nothing more. When I questioned 10 year old Paul about what the hell it meant, he simply replied “Just what it says, I’m on a boat!” I chalked it up to him being a preteen, a boy and an all around nut case (in a good way).
About a month later, Peter was doing some kind of sports related thing on his lap top and I happened to glance over and see an ad on the side of the screen with some young chicky wearing a shirt that said “I’m on a boat”. I realized then that there’s no way a 10 year old and some hot co-ed are wearing the same shirt.
After some digging, Peter found an Andy Samburg video from Saturday Night Live called, what else but I’m On A Boat. I’m going to play the baby card here and say that we weren’t aware of such hilarity because we were preoccupied with our kiddo when this was popular. The video may well be one of the funniest and also most explicit things I have ever seen. The skit is about the fact that you can make a rap song about anything. It features T-Pain (if you don’t know, just go with it) and Andy and they are, well on a boat and rapping about it. I’ve attached the edited version below. Still, be advised if you’re at work and watching!
Then it dawned on me, my friend Anna has no idea that her son’s favorite shirt (which he has in 2 colors, btw) is about THIS. I reluctantly wrote her the following:
“Ok, I admit that I’m old, but we finally figured out what *Paul’s “I’m on a boat” shirt meant. Please tell me I’m not the only one in the dark…”
“I AM DYING!!!”
“I’m going to hell on a mother f*#king boat!!!”
After recovering from her last email, I was able to talk to Anna and find out that she was totally unaware of what her son had been wearing. More so, he had worn it to his Catholic school free dress day just last week (thankfully, no on there is hip either so all is well). In response, Anna wrote the following letter to Mr. Abercrombie:
Mr. Michael S Jeffries
Abercrombie and Fitch
6301 Fitch Path
New Albany, OH 43054
Dear Mr. Jeffries – or whoever reads Mr. Jeffries’ mail first,
My son loves A&F t-shirts. It’s a fairly new love, but it is a deep love. He wears them every minute he’s not in his school uniform and sleeps in them every night. He loves how soft they are and he likes all the graphics – especially when they are funny graphics. He’s only 10 and he doesn’t care much about clothes, but he cares enough that his t-shirts are A&F. So I buy them.
My question to you is, why in God’s name would you make a t-shirt for a 10-year old boy that has a saying on it from one of the most foulest skits/songs on Saturday Night Live – “I’m On a Boat”?????? Don’t get me wrong, I love Saturday Night Live and I personally think it’s hysterical. But I don’t think that a 10 year old – any 10 year old should wear a shirt that’s from a song – I’m on a Boat Motherf**ker!
I didn’t happen to see the “I’m on a Boat” skit and so when my son was laughing at the t-shirt in the store and saying to me “what don’t you understand about – I’m on a boat” we both thought it was funny and kind of “out there” and so we bought TWO – different colors!!
He wore the shirts and he told his friends that he was on a boat and life went on. A couple days ago, my friend and then my brother sent me the skit. I was horrified that my son had been in public wearing this t-shirt. I about cried when I thought about how he wore it to free dress day at his Catholic school. I am so utterly embarrassed that my friends and family think I would allow my son to wear something like this.
I’ve read a lot about you and I know that you are considered in some circles to be an open minded entrepreneurial genius. What makes you think that any decent mother would want their child to wear something that is totally intended for adults – skanky adults at best, but adults?
I’m not saying that I’m going to stop buying your t-shirts, because I’m not. But, am I really going to have to research your t-shirt sayings on youtube before I buy them? Do I have to now double-check that I’m buying something age appropriate or not even age appropriate but just “not foul” before I purchase? Am I going to walk into your store in the future and see shorts with “d*ck in a box” on the rear? I mean, come on – help me out here – it’s hard enough raising kids!
I think the letter speaks for itself. Happy shopping!