frequently unasked questions
Repar T here to answer your frequently unasked questions. This is the definitive source for arcane, esoteric trivia of the most obscure sort. If you have a question you’d like to see added to this page, use the form below to ask it.
Your pen pal,
T stands for Toscanini. My parents didn’t have a name ready for me when I was born and actually waited a couple of weeks to come up with a name for me. During that period, my father could only get me to go to sleep by playing one of Toscanini’s recordings. Apparently only Toscanini music would put me to sleep. So, to honor Arturo Toscanini for his heroic contributions to household tranquility, my middle name became Toscanini. Hence, Repar T.
Your pen pal,
Like a lot of things these days it is completely meaningless. My father wanted me to have a name that I could make my own, one no one else had, and one that had no baggage or expectations associated with it. Legend has it that Mom wanted to call me Robert. Mom and Dad discussed it for days before deciding. In the end, they played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ for the privilege of naming me, and Dad won.
Your pen pal,
Your pen pal,
You never see super heroes put their hands in their pockets. They don’t seem to have allergies or sneeze. Don’t have to shower. Don’t get poison ivy. They never seem to ever have to clean their house like the rest of us. How do they get away with that? At my house dirt just seems to materialize out of thin air. When was the last time you heard of a super-hero sweeping their kitchen? That’s another thing. None of them cook. Have you ever seen a vegan super hero? Can you imagine what a nightmare that would be?
Your pen pal,
I don’t think they’re outrageous considering the value, but that’s a fair question…
I had a number of options to choose from for pricing. Naturally I asked My Billionaire Pen Pals first. None of them could relate to paying anything less than $300-$400 dollars per shirt. But, since billionaires don’t buy their own clothes, I moved on to my next option, (recommended by one of My Billionaire Pen Pals oddly enough), an astrologer specializing in customer relations.
The problem with this approach is that I had to record the exact time each design we ‘birthed’—that was her word—so I moved on to my next option which was to stop fucking around and factor in all the costs involved with delivering great value—better-than-average infrastructure, excellent software, exceptional materials, reliable logistics, bulletproof security, impeccable privacy, and the resilience to deal with all the unexpected crap that happens whether you want it to or not.
So that’s what I did.
Somewhere along the way I decided not to become a bargain basement business. There are plenty of those out there.
You may have noticed that prices are going up, up, up, these days. Your best option is to get a great value today before prices go up and a great value costs a little more tomorrow, cuz from where I’m sitting, that’s what will happen sooner than anyone wants it to.
But, more importantly, here’s what’s really going on out there. When you buy a shirt that has the name of your favorite band on your chest, you’re paying your money to advertise that band on your body. When you wear a reparTEE, you’re sharing something more personal about yourself and connecting with people, even strangers, on a more personal level. We need more of that in our world, and you can’t achieve that with a bargain basement generic whatever.
Your pen pal,
Repar T here to tell answer your question about the Law of Unattraction.
The Law of Attraction gets a lot of attention these days, but you’ve probably never heard of the Law of Unattraction. Unattraction is not pushing things away. Unattraction is just kind of ignoring things and allowing yourself to be indifferent to them. There’s nothing more unattractive than indifference.
It sounds simple, and it is, but for some reason, humans have trouble with this one.
There’s a trick to it.
Turns out you have to be indifferent to the whole process of Unattraction, too.
Technically, attraction is the same way. You have to care a certain amount, but not too much. If you do, the ego tries to take charge and run the show.
With both attraction and unattraction, you have to unfocus on it while still being aware of it. It can actually lead you to a very spiritual approach to life. It’s like you’re not trying to not try to do something you want to do, but can’t care about it and actually do it, because if you do you’ll screw it up. Quantum entanglement looks like a boring sermon compared to this shit.
The closest we have to language for this approach to things is the Taoist concept of wu wei.
It helps to think of it as a minimalist approach. You get rid of stuff that doesn’t matter to make more room for the stuff that really does matter. Getting rid of stuff you don’t want or is in the way is just a good way to stay in practice.
Oh, yeah… You have to practice to get good at it.
Humans invariably make the law of attraction about wanting. That’s not what attraction is. Gravity doesn’t want anything, it just is. Love doesn’t want anything, it just is. Magnetism doesn’t want anything, it just is.
When it comes to attraction, the ego gets excited and gets involved, and messes up the ‘just is’ balance and starts wanting more. For some reason, the ego doesn’t understand the concept of enough.
Just think of all the shit you can unattract.
This list is truly infinite when it comes to humanity.
The law of unattraction is scientifically based on the Newtonian physics principle that nature abhors a vacuum. Eliminate one thing, and something will fill the void created.
With the law of unattraction, you have some say in choosing what that is, you just can’t be attached to exactly what it will be, and when it might be fully present. With the law of unattraction, expectations screw up the outcome just like they do in every other instance they’re involved with.
Once you master the law of unattraction, you will never even miss the law of attraction. It’s way easier to unattract than it is to attract. Leave attraction to gravity and magnetism and sex, they’re already good at it, and don’t need to learn it.
It’s really easy to get started with the Law of Unattraction. Just stop wanting stuff you don’t need. That’s all there is to it. You should give it a try. It’s the perfect hobby for an Unfluencer.
… and the perfect Unfashion gift for the Unfluencer who has everything.
Your pen pal,
Repar T here to answer your question about why I’m in favor of AI.
It’s pretty simple really. It’s just a matter of playing the odds. Let me break it down for you.
At least with AI, there’s a chance AI can outwit humanity and do things in a sustainable way that is in sync with nature. Without AI, there is no chance in hell humanity will get its shit together in time to prevent us from fucking everything up for billions of years.
At the same time, these are pretty long odds because any AI would have to be created by humans or derived from an AI created by humans, so there’s plenty of opportunities for humans to screw this option up, too.
But there’s a chance AI could outwit us and convince us to do the right thing. It’s our only hope, as a species.
BTW, judging from all the recent hype about ChatGPT, I’m not the only one who isn’t afraid of AI.
Your pen pal,
Repar T here to tell you about unfree shipping.
Hang out on your front porch and wait for the next UPS driver to show up—it won’t take longer than trying to get a real person on the line from the DOT, I promise—with a package for you and ask them if they do that shit for free.
You know what they’ll say?
From their perspective, it’s pretty damn close to free, because they’re way the fuck underpaid for what they do in all kinds of weather. These men and women really are essential workers. And most of them have a damn good attitude most of the time.
But the truth is, and this should not come as a shock to you, but free shipping doesn’t exist. It’s a little psychological ploy marketers cooked up for gullible consumers.
Look at it this way. Demanding free shipping is a way to let businesses know how gullible you are so they know who is more exploitable.
There, I’ve let the cat out of the bag, and it just went right back in there. What is the deal with cats and paper bags?
Wanting free shipping is the same attitude humans use when we pump oil out of the ground without giving something positive back to the Earth in exchange. It’s the same attitude con men have when they exploit gullible people. It’s wanting to extract value without contributing value in return. It’s a sickness unique to humans and we really do need to find a cure for it.
Nothing is the only thing that’s free, but fortunately, there’s plenty of that for everyone. You can even hoard it if you want to. Knock yourself out.
We all need to grow the fuck up about free shit, and acknowledge our obsession with free rides has to come to an end. It was always an illusion.
You know exactly how the free shipping scam works. The supplier charges more to cover the shipping, so you’re paying for it anyway.
With ‘unfree shipping’ we show you what we pay for shipping and that’s what we charge you. If actually paying for the shipping rather than patting yourself on the back for being able to pretend the free-shipping fairy made a special deal just for you, is too painful, I’m not going to argue with you. There are plenty of companies out there who are willing to pretend along with you—for a profit, of course, so go for it.
Here’s the scoop on ‘unfree shipping.’ I’m constantly on the lookout for better shipping rates, but when fuel prices are rising, and drivers need to feed their families in the face of rising inflation and a host of other insanity-laced predicaments, where do you draw the line?.
They are unfluencers just like you and me. We unfluencers need to stick together and support each other.
We all know free shipping doesn’t really exist—someone always pays for it—so we don’t try to blow smoke up your ass by saying we offer free shipping.
To find out more about unfree shipping, there is a link in the footer of this page that will explain it in detail and expose the pernicious personal perils inherent in the concept of free shipping.
You will never think about shipping the same again.
My promise to you is I will only charge the lowest shipping rates I can find.
Your pen pal,
P.S. If you still can’t wrap your head around this, and insist on free shipping, contact me directly because I’ve got a lot of shit in my basement I need to get rid of, and it’s all for sale with free shipping.
Micro-stories are the stories within the story.
Ever since I encountered Ernest Hemingway’s incredible six-word micro-story, I’ve been fascinated by them.
For sale, baby shoes. Never used.
Only, Hemingway didn’t write it—at least not the original version—though attaching his name to it probably accounted for much wider distribution.
Still, it’s a masterful micro-story, and a worthy standard to aim for.
Micro-stories are the stories that get woven into larger stories. The story inside the story. The story hidden beneath the layers of a story. Story fractals reflecting the twists and turns of plot and action, the nuances of intention and voice. Micro-stories are memories and dreams, aspirations and fears, feelings and insights captured in moments. Micro-stories are the bedrock on which themes and memes and dreams are build. They are the essence of archetypes.
Everyone is telling micro-stories all the time. It’s the things we do and the things we don’t do that tell the most telling stories. Micro-stories are moments in time distilled from actions and attitudes, feelings and moods, achievements and the things we refuse to do.
The micro-stories reveal the nuance and significance in larger stories. Larger stories are always more than the sum of the micro-stories.
When we connect with the story, it’s the micro-stories that connect us. It’s the micro-stories that cause us to care. It’s the micro-stories that divulge meaning and declare intention.
Micro-stories are the foundation of all relationships.
When we are with other people, we are surrounded by micro-stories. Stories within stories. Stories that overlap. Stories where serendipity and coincidence collide, collude, and even delude. We are each a story made up of stories within stories and our story is just one story within many stories.
It is stories that pull us together and push us apart. It is stories that unite us and stories that make use feel separate.
An attitude, a mood, a mindset, a reflex, a well chosen word, a concerted or consistent effort, no effort at all, a selfish thought, a perfectly timed smile. These are all micro-stories.
I’ve spent the last four years studying and writing micro-stories. I’ve experimented with dozens of ways to tell micro-stories. I’ve practiced condensing, abridging, shortening, abbreviating, simplifying and summarizing. I’ve practiced cutting, pruning, editing, chopping, paring, deleting, trimming and shaving.
Every reparTEE is a micro-story.
Every reparTEE is a micro-story that evokes emotions and give you a glimpse into the inner life of someone who feels vulnerable and is struggling to make sense of life.
Every reparTEE is a micro-story that personifies some essential aspect of what it means to be human in these times.
Every reparTEE is a micro-story with a plot already in motion, moved forward by an individual who is in the middle of figuring out what to do next. Or what not to do. Just making it up as they go.
Every reparTEE is a micro-story that is an invitation to start a conversation.
reparTEES are the micro-stories that reflect your moods and attitudes, your mindsets and beliefs. The micro-stories that reflect who you are back at you.
I’ve spent the last four years studying and writing micro-stories. I’ve experimented with dozens of ways to tell micro-stories. I’ve practiced condensing, abridging, shortening, abbreviating, simplifying and summarizing. I’ve practiced cutting, pruning, editing, chopping, paring, deleting, trimming and shaving. I’ve looked into exaggerating, comparing, bluffing and down-right lying.
In all those adventures, I’ve come across some pretty good micro-stories. There’s a chance some of your micro-stories are on a reparTEE waiting for you to notice them. I invite you to find your micro-stories and use them to connect with other people. It’s powerful… and endlessly entertaining.
Your pen pal,