About a month ago, while strolling through SM mall, my American husband and I saw an old woman, probably way into her 60’s, sporting a t-shirt with these words in large letters: “I EAT MORE PUSSY THAN ALF.”
It was a real head turner for us. We laughed instantaneously after we read it. Shortly thereafter, we were scratching our heads: Why would a grandmother wear a shirt with obscene wordings? We think the reason is because she didn’t know what the words implied. And luckily for grandma, most Filipinos don’t know either. (If you don’t know what it’s about, the phrase is in reference to the 80’s show with the title character “Alf” who was an alien who liked to eat cats, and a play on the word “pussy”.)
I’ve notice that there’s a proliferation of t-shirts with similar phrases. My daughter’s nanny has one that says “Gold Digger”, though I hardly believe that she’s the type. My assistant has one with a colorful blown-up Lichtenstein like drawing of a Popsicle. It would have been fine (it might even be taken from a real Lichtenstein painting), if only the Popsicle wasn’t placed in front of her chest, and didn’t have the words “Suck Me!” beneath it. Maybe I should have her wear it at the office. Might draw in more male customers. Both of them bought their shirts from ukay-ukay, stores selling imported vintage clothing, which have become a ubiquitous establishment in recent years in the Philippines.
I’m sure you’ve seen one of these t-shirts, worn by a Filipino who isn’t familiar with English idioms and slang, and most probably pre-owned by an American who knew exactly what the message meant.