It was a boring Sunday morning and Syafika and Fanta were not doing much, just sitting around at Syafika’s place and wishing that something would happen. They were both looking forward to their Monday night meeting with John and D’arby. Both of them had already done their homework for the meeting, which was to write a list of things that they thought were wrong in the world and things they could do to make everything better. It was hard to resist discussing these lists before the meeting, but so far they had both managed to avoid the topic.
Then the phone rang. It was John. He said he needed Fanta and Syafika’s help urgently and that it had something to do with T-shirts. Then he said where to meet him and hung up.
Fortunately Syafika and Fanta were in the type of mood where they would volunteer for anything rather than stay at home doing nothing and so they left to meet John immediately. After a bit of walking Fanta and Syafika found John and D’arby right where they said they’d be – in the alley behind an old warehouse. Someone had left an enormous box of T-shirts out on the street, with a cardboard sign saying “Free to a good home”. John was sure that his place was as good a home as any. As soon as he and D’arby had come across the T-shirts they had thought of a way to use them. D’arby had once been a fan of screen printing and still had all the equipment. He and John were going to print T-shirts and give them away at the restaurant. They just had to get them home first.
Fanta and Syafika were assigned the task of convincing a taxi driver to come up the back alley and let them fill the taxi full of T-shirts. It was easy enough to stop a taxi on the busy road nearby but when the taxi driver got to where John and D’arby were sorting through the T-shirts he had to be offered double the fare to let them stuff them in the taxi.
“See you back at our place!” said D’arby as he left in the taxi. Fanta and Syafika were beginning to wish they were still sitting around doing nothing as they began the walk back with John. All three of them were carrying large piles of T-shirts that hadn’t fitted in the taxi.
“At least this pile is so high that nobody passing can see my face” said Syafika. She was embarrassed. She didn’t want to be seen scavenging.
“Yeah, the disadvantage is that I can’t see where I’m going” said Fanta and then walked straight into a post. After that, John insisted on carrying all of Fanta’s T-shirts, as well as his own. Fanta walked in front and guided John and Syafika past any obstacles on the footpath.
“Dog pooh coming up” said Fanta “At the third step, take an extra large one.” She was enjoying herself. There seemed to be a lot more dog poohs on the walk back than John or Syafika had ever remembered.
“So, what are you going to print on them?” asked Fanta when they were all back at John and D’arby’s place.
John and D’arby were arranging the T-shirts in piles on the floor of the lounge room.
“Something risqué” said D’arby. “The point is to see what ridiculous slogans we can make people wear by making them free.”
“Free to a good home?” asked Syafika
“I’m free, take me?” said Fanta
“Discarded” said John
“I was thinking about something to do with money” said D’arby. “Only I can’t think of a way to say what I want to say”
“Try” said Fanta
“Something distilling how I feel about the importance we give the economy not being justified – that it has become a beast that we are slaves to” said D’arby
“Why don’t you just say ‘Fuck the economy’” said John.
“Ha ha, won’t people get arrested for wearing something like that?” said Syafika
“I wonder” said Fanta. “Why don’t you ask Vincent?”
“Why don’t we just try it!” said John “Lets print some up now and I’ll give them away at the restaurant tonight.