Snakes on a Plane countdown 1: The T-Shirt


A story that I didn’t get to tell from the Mozart residency at Tanglewood: I walk into the Pittsfield Subway store, having less than 30 minutes to get lunch before a conference call for work. I’m waiting for one clerk to finish my order. The other one, who looks a little like a burgeoning hipster but is probably still in high school, is ringing me up. She looks up, then does a double take.

“Hey, is that Snakes on a Plane??” she asks, pointing at my t-shirt.

I pause for a minute; I’ve just come out of a morning’s orchestra rehearsal at Tanglewood where no one noticed what I was wearing. Then I remember. “Well, technically,” I said, “it’s snakes flying a plane. You know… copyright. But yeah, Samuel L. Jackson wears this shirt in the video for the movie’s theme song.”

“Cool,” she said. I told her where to get the t-shirt (TopatoCo, home of discriminating Snakes Flying a Plane merchandise) and went on my way, marveling. I may be getting older than dirt, but I’m hip enough to have an inside secret that proto-hipsters in Pittsfield, MA want in on. Thanks, TopatoCo!

—Seriously, if SOAP turns out to be a lousy movie, it will still be memorable for having spawned snarky hipster knock-off merchandise and other leading indicators of cool even before it hits the silver screen. I’ll spend a few more posts this week hitting some of the other high points. (And, yes, therefore feeding the viral star-making machinery. Oh well.)