Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but in spite of the crummy economy there’s lots to be happy about this summer. First of all, there’s summer. That tends to brighten up moods. And second, well, there’s Pollyanna. If you are feeling morose, take a drive up to Littleton to pose with the Pollyanna statue on the lawn of the city library. Something about that arms-flung-to-the-sky pose puts a recession-proof smile on your face.
For those who don’t read classic children’s literature unless it features adolescent wizards, Pollyanna is a character of unquenchable optimism created by Eleanor H. Porter who lives in a town inspired by Porter’s childhood in Littleton. But maybe you need some solid evidence on which to base your optimism. Well, somehow, here in the downward swirl of the econopocalypse, new blood is flowing in the veins of the state’s culture and commerce. For instance there’s the cool new Concord Arts Market, a budding music venue at Studio 99 in the Nashua mills, the uber-urbane Portsmouth Museum of Fine Art, a brave new Common Man restaurant opening up in Claremont, and the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium has expanded into the spiffier McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. We’ve singled out a number of these signs of life in our Best of New Hampshire list.
Or perhaps you require something deeper and more mystical to cheer you up and affirm your security in the cosmic order.
Then consider the mysterious powers of the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt, produced by Keene-based T-shirt company The Mountain. It’s currently the hottest item for sale on Amazon.com and the staff of The Mountain is struggling to keep up with demand.
The company produces a variety of screaming eagle, spiritual Indian warrior and jungle animal montage illustrated Ts, but the seemingly innocuous image of three howling wolf heads superimposed before a bright full moon has transcended them all.
In the review section of the Amazon.com sale page, more than 1,000 presumed buyers of the Three Wolf Moon T (or TWM, as it’s now known) testify to the shirt’s power to change lives, lure supermodels, bloat wallets with unearned income and, perhaps, defy death. It all began about six months ago when, as a joke, a student at Rutgers University saw the shirt online and typed up a review, expressing his satisfaction with the TWM shirt (which he did not in fact own) because it “... fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women.” When some jokesters at collegehumor.com saw the review, they began adding their own more outlandish encomiums and soon a viral snowball of postings clogged the site and real orders began to flow in.
Many in the media who have observed the phenomena wish to chalk it up as an example of the madness of crowds. But not so fast. Just because those who have posted the miraculous claims about the power of the TWM shirt are making it all up doesn’t mean that there’s nothing remarkable at work.
Success and happiness is almost always a combination of persistence, good fortune and a great idea. That’s why I’m busy designing my own T-shirt.
The Three Pollyanna Moon (TPM), available soon on Amazon.com (in my dreams).
Curious? Check out the TWM T here: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Official-T-Shirt-Cotton-Sleeve/dp/B000NZW3IY
This article appears in the October 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine