When participating in fantasy conventions, one is right where the mainstream falls over the edge into the bizarre and sacrilegious. This is prominently advertised on the myriad T-shirts seen about the place. The range starts with the merely devotional ones that proclaims the wearer’s loyalty to the green lantern or his favorite beer. It then travels through a range of sexy characters to humor where it finally ends with the inside joke. These are the ones requiring the specialized geek knowledge necessary to recognize the foundations of the humor. If you don’t get the joke then you probably didn’t watch the show of read the comic. “And then Buffy staked Edward, The End” is only funny if you are a fan of Buffy and annoyed with Twilight. And lets face it, if you’re at a convention, you probably are.
I don’t deal in T-shirts myself, but I do have my own inside jokes. I have long been known for my vampire slayer kits. Recently, by popular demand, I have added a zombie kit to my inventory. Each Zombie kit includes a Twinkie. About half of my customers ask “why a Twinkie?” The other half burst out with a variation on “oh my god that is so funny.”
Their reaction makes it worth explaining Zombieland to the others.