Two men. Two arrests. And two ironic T-shirts that turned out not to be that ironic after all. Recently, two men were arrested in separate incidents for driving while intoxicated. They lived different lives, in different states, yet they shared a mutual affinity for T-shirts that expressed their unabashed enthusiasm for getting lit on the sauce, which they wore while lit on the sauce. Meta or moronic? You decide.
Elwood Gutshall, 44, of Newville, Pa., was pulled over for multiple traffic violations two days after St. Patrick’s Day, and determined to be driving under the influence, not just of booze, but also the poor judgment of wearing a “Drunk Lives Matter” T-shirt. The shirt is already controversial for its tone-deaf St. Patrick’s Day goof off the Black Lives Matter movement, managing both to insult black lives and even Irish lives in one stupid fell swoop. Gutshall’s blood alcohol level was 0.217, a point at which driving skills are significantly impaired, and also at which sartorial skills are beyond repair.
In a nearby state, 25-year-old Harris Wootton of Woodstock, Conn., was arrested after drunk-crashing into the low stone wall of a graveyard in an unregistered, uninsured car. Presumably, he uttered HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS as he careened into burial ground, since it’s the same phrase printed on the T-shirt he was wearing at the time.
While the two misdeeds seem like mere coincidence, both serve not only as cautionary tales for the way attitude is unequivocally reality, but also as entry points in the growing canon of regrettable T-shirts worn during arrests, where people dumb enough to wear shirts that say “98% Naughty; 2% Angel” or “Trouble Finds Me” manage to commit the very crimes you might expect from people in such shirts. It’s tough to say which comes first — the ironic t-shirt or the stupidity — but either way, it’s clear they’re interconnected in the human lore of powerfully self-fulfilling drunk prophecies.