We’re seeing some shirts we have never seen before.
Michael Bergin’s heavily circulated, excessively quoted video of a self-described Masshole’s mind being blown by the sight of a surfacing sunfish has written itself into the Bay State lexicon. His words will live in Massachusetts infamy right next to "this is our f---g city,” “Boston Strong,” “Havlicek stole the ball,” and “why not us?”
His voice-of-the-people delivery has earned him a national audience, social media glory, several fan-made spin off videos, spots on news networks, late night television, and now T-shirts.
"I’m just a local neighborhood kid," Bergin said. "Nobody exciting or important and all the sudden I have this happen. It's increddible."
New England novelty clothes company Chowdaheadz has introduced a new line of T-shirts with various Bergin quotes about "baby wheels," "sea monstahs," "tunas" and the need to "call the Aquarium!"
Bergin said that he and his friend Jay Foster were out by Graves Light in the first hour of a fishing trip when the sunfish surfaced.
"Don’t think we just met that fish, man. That fish came and met us," Bergin said. "We were out there for about five hours after that. We didn't even catch nothing."
Bergin said the last 20 years of his life were far from easy. But now, four years sober, Bergin said that this experience has solidified a life turned around.
"I've had people all over the country, even England, hit me up on Facebook and say 'thank you for making me laugh. I really needed that,'" Bergin said. " I think I made people miserable for a few years and now I get to give something positive back."
Bergin said he hadn't been out on the water in about 10 years before he and his pilot Jay took to the high seas and found "a sea monstah."
“Everyone in Mass. knows a Michael Bergin character,” Chowdaheadz owner Ryan Gormady said. “He’s the epitome of a Chowdahead. If aliens came to Earth asking what a Masshole was, I’d show them that and then they’d probably leave.”
After a quick meeting of the minds, Chowdaheadz had the design, artwork and agreement to get Bergin a well-deserved cut, the shirts hit the market at about noon on Monday and are going fast.
“It’s funny to watch where these are being ordered from,” Gormady said. “There’s Bostonians all over the country who are probably a little homesick and don’t get to hear the accent that often. It seems like they embrace it more as a badge of honor.”
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Chowdaheadz has been dishing out New England pride gear for 12 years and has slapped plenty of local slogans on their clothing, but this is the first “authentic Masshole voice” they have ever distributed.
“We are a different breed out here, folks around the country get to see it firsthand now,” Gormady said. “I don’t know if people around the country fully get that, but we are characters up here. If I saw that fish, I’d probably lose it too, but I don’t think I would be the same if that was my voice or anyone else’s."
Bergin said that his sister works for a radio station in town and has been facilitating all of the public relations. He said that she has the people skills, and his naturally foul mouth is as much of a liablity as it is a source of entertainment for his friends. Her connection with the Chowdaheadz crew led to another venue for the internet-gold quotes.
"If ever a brother needed his sister, this is it," Bergin said. "She stepped up big but that’s what Boston family does."