From childhood, I was entranced by all things geeky.
While other kids were out playing tag and riding bikes, I was in the basement setting up my first underground lair.
My lab centered around my interests and was quickly cluttered with comic books, chemistry sets, empty Mountain Dew cans, and gutted computer towers.
My friends swooned over new baseball gloves or hockey jerseys while I polished my first telescope.
In high school, I saved up for two years to attend space camp. I can’t tell you how many term papers and tutoring session it took, but it was worth it. By the time I went off to college, I had a huge collection of trophies from the National Forensics League and I had permanent calluses on the pads of my thumbs from gaming controllers.
I walked uphill both ways in four feet of snow to sit for my exams!
I was seduced by a love of learning and of analytical competition. Cerebral pursuits beaconed to my scholarly soul.
However, my colleagues in nerdery and I were constantly under derisive scrutiny by the low-IQ, more-brawn-than-brains set. Who were they to judge? What gave them the right to dole out wedgies and smash projects? Oh no, this would not do.
Tired of being a fashion victim and equally sick of sports jerseys, I devised my diabolical plan to spread geek pride with t-shirts for real men and women of substance.
I decided to take a stand and launch my own business. My wares would be a call to my brainy brethren to stand up and be proud of their studious selves!
Gump Tees extols the virtues and illustrates the subjects that nerds care about. Science, mathematics, computers, gaming, and more are no longer relegated to cereal box order forms or the last pages of technical manuals and pulps.
Here are four of my most prized selections from our outstanding line of super-soft tees shipped from my new and improved subterranean sanctuary.
As one of my first designs to be offered, this shirt is just a mash up of two nerdy pursuits, math and gaming. If the muscle-bound folks can wear Gold’s Gym shirts and athletes can walk around with the name of some star player plastered on their back, why can’t geeks be proud of their mathematical mastery?
This game would challenge both the brain and manual dexterity of the most dedicated mathletes of the world.
From my first visit to the planetarium, I have always been entranced by everything to do with space exploration, aliens, stellar phenomena, and NASA.
While the vast majority of guys with a telescope are peeping in on their neighbors, I was more interested in tracking the phases of the moon. Lunar or solar eclipses were treated as national holidays in my house growing up!
This design is for everyone who mourns the retirement of the space shuttle as the end of an era or anyone who simply adores the heavens.
Speaking as someone who is appalled and a little saddened by the proliferation of ‘reality’ television, I added this design to the site to fly in the face of such insipid programming.
Honestly, who cares about New Jersey beach bums with burnt-orange skin, hideous accents, and single-digit IQs? While their version of GTL is gym, tanning, and laundry, the proud geek’s translation of gaming, telescope, and library is far more accurate for the intellectually-gifted among us.
Strap this across your chest and everyone you encounter will know that your interests lean to the intellectual and converse accordingly.
Impatience with the inconsequential comes naturally to most nerds and I am no exception. I have this design printed on every color available for my own private wardrobe.
Why? Someone brings up reality TV, someone invites me to a Justin Bieber concert, someone has the nerve to ask me what I think about emo music- all I have to do is point to my own chest. Sometimes, I even follow it up with pointing to my bemused, slack-jawed facial expression.
You can use this same technique to stymie these conversational volleys and turn it to subjects worthy of you sharp perception and quick wits.
From a childhood of infatuation with all things geeky to my current status as Nerd Grand Nagus and clothier, I am building my empire of well-dressed minions.
Together, we can stand together against stupidity and banality!
Together, we can shed button-down oxford shirts and pocket protectors!
Together, we will be comfortably and fashionably dressed!
Update 05/08/2012 – Gump Tees is no more :(