PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Here, amid the raunchy and the raucous, is the political, which makes sense given this is New Hampshire. And at I like That, a custom T-shirt shop where nothing is sacred except a sense of humor, even democracy comes with a bit of attitude.
Mixed in with the sexual double entendre, pop-culture references, and downright corny (that’s a compliment!) are the names and faces of presidential candidates.
There is a patriotically hued homage to Republican front-runner Donald Trump, a reality television showman known for his, ahem, unique comb-over and outsized personality.
“Trump 2016,” it says in red and blue ink. “There Will Be Hell Toupée.”
Above that hangs a white T-shirt emblazoned with an image of the White House and the words: “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Get it? It’s a reference to the ’80s comedy that’s become something of a cult-classic of the same name.
Oh, and those who watched last month’s MTV Video Music Awards just might appreciate the newly-minted “Yeezy 2020” shirt, which has an image of Kanye West looking presidential. After all, the 38-year-old rapper did announce at the end of his acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard award: “I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
“I take credit for Kanye,” Karin Bendeck said while printing a shirt. “That was straight up me. I knew someone was going to say something stupid enough to go on a T-shirt. That’s the only reason I stayed up to watch.”
Everyone who works at I Like That comes up with design ideas, but certain people have their specialties, Bendeck explains. Storeowner Joe Kelley is “the pop culture guy,” she said. She tends to favor touristy stuff, and her co-worker likes to make baby onesies.
“We like the ironic. The fun. The popular,” she said, adding they’re constantly coming up with new designs based on the news.
They’ll print up a shirt and display it in the window or from the door. It helps draw people inside to look at the wall of shirts, even if that particular one doesn’t particularly sell well.