Before there were pre-made blog editors such as WordPress, people updated their blogs by way of a text editor or a WYSIWYG editor. Way back in 1999 I started writing down what was happening every week and posting it on my personal website at college. On January 18th, 2000 I posted an entry that was very simple. You can read it here.
This is the story behind that post.
When I was a senior in college I attended a Christmas concert that was put on by our community choral union. I attended with Matt and my (unbeknownst to me) future wife, Bridget. We had arrived later than we expected so it was necessary for us to find a seat near the front of the concert hall. This turned out to be a huge mistake.
As we sat down, we perused the list of songs that were to be performed. Just as the concert started, Matt leaned over, pointed at a song title in which the first word was a lone “W” and he whispered to me, “what?”
I burst into laughter and immediately stifled it. Matt began to laugh. Hard. We both were infected with what some call “church laugh.” This is the laughter that is made worse only by the fact that it is completely inappropriate at the time. Everyone behind us could see that we were obviously choking on our own laughter. The 100+ choral union could see us laughing because we were sitting in the third row of seats.
We laughed for about 15 minutes. Our guts hurt. Our eyes watered. Finally, it subsided. We were able to control ourselves for another 10 minutes. That is, until they got to the chorus of the song that Matt had pointed out in the program. The song in question was a Polish carol entitled “W zlobie lezy, ktoz pobiezy.” Earlier he had pointed at the “W” and fueled our laughing fit. Now, when the chorus came around, the “W” didn’t appear to be sung in any way that we could hear. Perhaps because we are unfamiliar with the language, but more likely that we were delirious from our laughing fit. After the apparent absence of the “W” Matt leaned over again and whispered, “Ohhhhh. The W is silent.” Of course, this started the process again.
We laughed until the end of the show. It was highly inappropriate, but it was uncontrollable.
The following Monday, Matt came to my dorm room and threw a white t-shirt at me. It read in giants letters, “A Silent W.”
That was 7 years ago and I still wear the shirt. It is in rough shape at this point, but I love when people ask about the meaning. It reminds me of a simpler time in my life and I enjoy thinking back to that year.
I submitted this story to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in response to an advertisement that stated they were looking for stories about people’s favorite t-shirt. It was accepted and a photographer is coming out today to take a picture of me in the shirt.