It's time once again for the calendar you all know and tolerate: The Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Calendar. This will be our third year of chunky goodness—but if and only if enough brave dudes doff their tops and grab a quilt and a burrito while someone digitally immortalizes it and sends me the resulting photo.
Unfamiliar with the QSMASBC? It started out, as nearly everything in my life does, as a joke. On my professional web site, megandougherty.net, I said on my bio page that I had been lucky enough to combine two of my great loves—quilting and writing—into one career, but that someday I wanted to gather all of my passions into one publication: Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Monthly. Being the thrifty humorist that I am, I recycled the joke on the blog, made a pinboard on Pinterest devoted to the concept, and soon readers began suggesting that if I didn't mind potbellies and fur, they'd take a photo of their own personal man-companions bare-chested, be-quilted, and, well, holding a burrito. And I counter-offered: if I get 12 such photos, I'll make us a calendar. I got 14. I made us a calendar.
I decided that I wanted to make this calendar a fund-raiser for my brother's family. My big brother had been fighting brain cancer since January of 2010. I wanted to give him and his family both a little extra money, to help ease some of the burdens this illness has brought them, but also maybe a laugh as well. My brother passed away in January of this year, but I would still like to pass the money on to his family—a little something I can give them in his memory. My brother was one of the funniest people I have ever known and whenever we were together we laughed like lunatics. It seems fitting that I should carry on this project in his honor so he can keep on laughing with me, wherever he is now.
THE RULESIf you would like to submit yourself, your personal man-companion, a beloved relative, or some dude you bring home from the bar one evening, please read the following so that you will know what to do, what not to do, and what you're getting yourself into:
• This is a calendar that celebrates ALL our guys, not just the ones that are cut and ripped. If your man-companion is hesitant because he thinks his Buddha-belly isn't welcome, just show him the pictures from the last two editions here and here.
• Nudity is not required, but shirtlessness is. HOWEVER—I am more than happy to consider any and all submissions that have naked booty. I will consider them very, very closely, spending long hours determining their artistic value. If you decide to go for full frontal, I'm afraid I'd have to put a modesty quilt patch over your personal burrito, but I think that would be awesome, too, so go for it if you want.
• There must be a quilt in the photo. The gentleman can be lying on it, wrapped in it, contemplating it as it hangs on the wall before him, or even making it himself.
• The gentleman must be holding a burrito. But please ask him not to begin eating the burrito during your photo shoot. We want to see his lovely face in all it's glory, not with his maw wide open, stuffing in a steak-n-chorizo special.
• I would love to promise that your photo will be in this year's calendar, but I just can't do that. Lots of people who didn't do last year have expressed interest, and I want everybody to have a chance to participate if they want. The first year, I got exactly 14 entries and I made them all fit. If I manage to get significantly more than that this year, I will have to pick the ones I consider to be the best. So, if you were in last year, and want to be in again, just make sure your photo is so epically awesome there's no way I can't not choose it.
• If you can take your photo outdoors, please do. Natural light will produce the best photos.
• Be sure to take your photo in a horizontal, not vertical, orientation.
• Use the highest quality setting on your camera and send in the full-size file. Photo files that have been reduced in size by programs such as Picasa for ease in emailing cannot be used. The file you attach should probably be at least a couple megabytes if not more.
• Email your photos to me at dontdrinkandquilt (at) gmail (dot) com.
• By entering, you acknowledge that the photo you send essentially becomes mine to do with as I damn well please. You can, too, of course. I won't take away any of your rights to eventually use that photo for your own purposes (wooing strangers over Twitter comes to mind), but I will also have the right to put that photo here on the blog, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and any other venue for publicizing the calendar that I find necessary. There is no remuneration for being chosen to be in the calendar, other than the pride that can only come from knowing you are in a calendar that is routinely given away as a gag gift at Christmas.
• I reserve the right to refuse to use any photograph for any reason I see fit. If your picture is not displayed on this blog on the day the calendar is released, I chose not to use it. It might have been an issue of image quality, or it might have been the bizarre socio-political statement you chose to make with your photo for some unknown reason. You may never know for sure.
• The deadline for entries is September 30, 2013.
As I have mentioned, interest in this blog and the calendar diminished significantly during my sojourn as a respectable human being with a semi-real job and the resulting neglect the blog suffered, so in order to get all the men necessary to keep our little tradition going, I need your help. I am hereby officially begging you, my dear readers, to help me get the word out that the QSMASBC is alive and well and searching for beefcake. Please grab the image at the top of this page or the smaller one below and link it to this post. Pin it on Pinterest; post it on Facebook; ANYTHING you can do to let people know about it and link back here will be a significant help. I thank you from the bottom of my twisted little heart and I look forward to seeing you or the male of your choice gracing my inbox with spicy, shirtless, quilty awesomeness.