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The recent Randy Shirt contest drew an avalanche of entries. Not a huge one. Sort of like when the side of an anthill collapses.

We’re talking five entries.

The clear winner was Diane Larsen (shirt pictured at left). Alert readers will note that—as the name implies—Diane is a woman of the female sex. And her Randy made the rest of us look like, well, sissies. In order of merit, I present the entries:

1. Diane Larsen. She writes: “I bought my shirt in December of 1995. I was thrilled to have landed a job after the company I had worked for went bankrupt. I remember thinking that I might be working in a warehouse but at least it’s a ‘girly’ purple color. I left that job a long time ago but the shirt represented a time when I had bounced back. Now, I wear it for hauling wood into the house and yard work. As you can see in the pictures, the cuffs are missing material, it has a paint stain and beige stitching from when I had to sew the back on after it frayed loose from the shoulder piece. And yes, it does have the curl.”

2. Wesley Scott (below). This wool shirt is technically not a Randy because it lacks the polyester lining. It does have an impressively worn cuff and a sizable stain/hole in the sleeve. What moved Wesley into second place was the photo of him bird hunting. The man looks like a Fudd of the best sort, the kind of guy who loves being out there and doesn’t particularly care what he looks like. (Anybody got an ID on the birds in the pic? I can’t make them out.) Note the black rubber boots (they look unlined, bonus points), ill-fitting jeans, cheapo blaze vest. (Anybody got an ID on the shotgun? Looks like a single-shot to me.) You can tell he loves being out there. I nominate Wesley as a Hunting Everyman.


3. Third place goes to some guy who only included a blind email address, so I can’t name him. The shirt is faded and does has have a nice curl (see inset). Bonus points for hanging it from the handle of what appears to be an old Mitchell spinning reel.


4. Bryan Fitch. He didn’t say a word about his shirt, but the way it hangs from the handle of an axe buried in a stump tells you a lot. Although I’m not entirely sure what. The shirt might be old. What the entry does convey is the sense of a guy with enough stuff to do that he couldn’t be bothered to do more than snap a pic and get back to work. Presumably back to more wood chopping. Sometimes this sort of near rudeness just warms the cockles of my heart.


5. Ben Long. Ben came in last because his Carhartt looks like it might have just come back from the dry cleaner’s. Worse, he admits that he keeps it clean by washing the beer and blood stains out with cold water. Ben, don’t you know that blood and beer stains are a large part of what makes a Randy Shirt? As it happens, I recently hunted elk in Montana with Ben—who is with a great nonprofit, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Everyone carried bear spray, even in camp. He was kind enough to give me a copy of his book, Great Montana Bear Stories, saying that I might want to wait until I was on the plane home to read it. This was excellent advice. The odds of being attacked are extremely low. When they do occur, the bear tends to come out on top.


In keeping with the times, we’re running this contest just like your kid’s soccer program. You show up, you get a trophy. Or book. Everybody goes home a winner, and I move five more copies of You’re Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck, which Publisher’s Weekly called “Remarkably engaging and often hilarious.” Unless they meant that for somebody else’s book.