‘Kiss Me, I’m Contagious’ T-Shirts Raising Eyebrows at Gaylord Michigan Bar
A Northern Michigan bar that has been rather vocal about its disapproval of Michigan's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is raising eyebrows once again by printing irreverent t-shirts.
The Iron Pig Smokehouse in Gaylord is celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year with t-shirts that read, "Kiss Me, I'm Contagious." The shirts were made available over the weekend at a St. Patrick's Day event held at another Gaylord establishment, the Ellison Place. Food was provided by the Iron Pig but alcoholic beverages were sold by Ellison Place.
The Iron Pig had its liquor license suspended in 2020 for violating protocols for bars and restaurants issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services during the pandemic. On December 2, the restaurant's owners were also slapped with a hefty $5,000 fine for violating the terms of Michigan three week 'pause to save lives' order which began on November 18.
Iron Pig owner Ian Murphy tells Mlive that the "Kiss Me, I'm Contagious" slogan on the shirts is a take on the popular expression "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" which is often said around the popular Irish holiday. But he maintains that his adaptation of the phrase has nothing to do with coronavirus.
“A lot of people are quick to be upset about the conclusion of ‘kiss me, I’m contagious’ about it having something to do with COVID,” Murphy tells Mlive. “Frankly, that’s not really the case... [The shirt means] I’m contagious because I’m Irish, I’m fun, we’re having a good time. Contagious is part of being the life of the party.”
He goes on to say that he and his patrons are just trying to get back to normal and having fun doing so.