Sunday, August 07, 2005

Another mystery solved

T-shirt back

I found this t-shirt at Goodwill's late, lamented Buy The Pound outlet last year. The picture above is on the back. Here's what's on the front:

What does this say?

The shirt was roughly the size of a pup tent, so I did a little surgery on it and turned it into a fitted, sleeveless top. I like it, and have worn it a lot. But something bothered me: I didn't know what the text on the front said, or even what language it was in. What if I was parading around Toronto with the name of some terrorist group printed on my chest? What if it said "I AM A MORON" in Sinhalese, or something?

Naturally, I decided to turn to the internet to solve the mystery. Regular readers will remember the success I had in identifying a mysterious bird of prey and, unexpectedly, finding the owner of some wayward pickles, after posting pictures here. I uploaded the picture of the mystery word to Flickr, and waited.

Soon, my Flickr pal Ranjit weighed in: he didn't know what the text said, but thought I might find my answer on Omniglot. I poked around there for awhile -- what a great site! So many beautiful and unusual scripts and languages to sift through! The site author, Simon Ager, seemed like a good person to ask, so I e-mailed the photo to him, and received a prompt reply. He thought it might be Thai or Lao, but wasn't sure what it said, so he put it on the site's Puzzles page. It was only up there a day or two before it was moved to the Puzzles Solved page.

So now I know: I'm wearing a shirt that says "THAI KICKBOXING."

Well, that's fine, if a little ironic, given that I'd probably sprain an ankle if I tried to kick anything heavier than a beachball. As I told Ranjit, maybe it'll frighten away predators -- Thai-literate predators, at least.

(Incidentally, I'm taking a closer look at that picture, which is usually on my back. Wow, you really wouldn't want to mess with that guy. Look at the bulge in his shorts! It's the same size as his head!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, I thought it was Thai. I feel all smart now.

-- maggie

7:35 a.m., August 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture is the character Sagat from the Street Fighter series of video games.
Frankly, I want that shirt. BAD.

1:55 p.m., March 26, 2006  

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