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March 3, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
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Shirt & Sweet

Dear readership of Salient. This year, I have taken it upon myself to instruct you in the ways of successfully being shirty at things in your life that warrant shirtiness (and some things that don’t). It promises to be a year of growth and learning, a year full of freckle spatters and forehead creases and all things cute or annoyed. However, before we embark on this magical journey together, I first need to make sure we’re clear on the meaning of the word ‘shirty’. This is because it’s a better word than annoyed, and if you get shirty rather than annoyed, you’re already on the way to cuteness.

Feel free to google the definition, but for those of us who would never dream of doing something that actually betters ourselves in any way at all, I will lay it all out for you. ‘Shirty’ is olden-time slang for ill-tempered, which is olden-time fancy words for kind of a bit fucked off about stuff. Examples of stuff that make me shirty include:

   – people who wear bright purple shirts

   – people who aren’t cute

   – the weather

   – earnestness in any context

   – people who are angry about the weather without being cute.

But now let’s get on with practical applications of ‘shirt’, which is henceforth the preferred noun form of ‘shirty’ for the purposes of pun-making.

How to Be Annoyed About People Not Wearing Shirts Even If They’re Helping You.

It’s that time of year. Salient columns are opening with ‘it’s that time of year’. The first-years are here, all the other years are back and are complaining about it. (Well done to all of you: complaints about first-years are some top-notch examples of shirtiness.) Flats are breaking up, establishing and re-establishing. People are Moving.

Some would say that annoyance during the Moving Process comes naturally, and people don’t need to be told how to do it. People who say this are the people who fill their lives with unsuccessful shirtiness and who probably also wear terrible shirts.

The truth is that sometimes good things happen when you’re moving. Cute things happen. Cute things like other people doing stuff for you. For example, my bed (read mattress and shipping pallets) and a number of boxes of my books were moved from my old flat to my new flat and I was not involved at all. This is the cuteness of other people (thinly veiled shout-out).

For example, imagine you have recently moved into a flat and you don’t have the right storage furniture. Your flatmate calls you on his way to work and tells you that there is a specimen of the right storage-type furniture-things on the side of the road. Presumably, it is there to be taken by you into the bosom of your room to support you through another trying year of university by concealing the horror of your personal belongings. Here is what you must do. Don’t go outside in your underwear. You must put on clothing. You must put on cute clothing. You must go forth to examine the specimen. It is a good specimen, and you desire its presence in the bosom of your room. You must pick a door in the vicinity of the furniture on which to knock. The residents will not answer immediately. You must be persistent, for only in your persistence will you be rewarded with an opportunity for shirt (remember what we talked about? It’s the preferred noun). Eventually, the residents will come to the door. They will be dudebros. One of them will be shirtless. This is the point at which you should summon your shirt. To compensate for his shirtlessness.

It will come to light that the furniture specimen is indeed free to a good home. Shirtless dudebro will help you carry it back to your flat about seven houses down. He will help you and you will be shirty at him. How dare he have such a torso *and* be getting rid of the right kind of storage-type furniture. How dare he talk about how he and his new flatmates went swimming at Oriental Parade when this, the sweltering hour of 3 o’clock, is the first time you have stepped outside all day. You must answer friendly enquiries about your studies with superiority and economy of words. Do this, and you will have been shirty about someone not wearing a shirt even though he was helping you.

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