My family vacations at Torch Lake in Northern Michigan each summer. Well, actually these days it's not every summer, because of Michael Moore. He bought a multimillion dollar home on the lake, drove all the property taxes up and and now no working families can afford to visit there. At any rate, every few summers we go to Torch Lake and visit a place called Butch's Tackle and Marine. They sell all sorts of stuff there; tackle and marine stuff, predictably as well as things like elk jerky and very old magazines and sample sized of over the counter medication, chewing gum in a single flavor and single serving chilled (as they say in Michigan) pop.
They also sell a whole bunch of Butch's merchandise, much to my delight. And when I say Butch merchandise I mean merchandise made to allegedly advertise the marina and tackle shop commonly known as Butch's. But of course, for us of the queer persuasion it really means merchandise to take photos of and by for folks back home so we can all enjoy its collective irony, with much giggling of course and wondering “do they know?”
Last summer I was there and spent much time picking out my Butch slash butch merchandise for myself and friends. It had to be just ironic enough, because if you get a tee shirt that just says “butch” on it, that seems a little obvious, like one of those “I'm not a lesbian but my girlfriend is” shirts from the 1990s that I really hate.
When I came to the counter, the older guy, who has known my family for three generations now, pushed his hat back on his head a little bit. He looked at me for a moment “we sell a lot of these tee shirts” he said, with a little smile, “to people with the same haircut as you.”