I still haven't figured out what happened with the vanishing fire ants, nor have I contacted CafePress to remedy the situation, but this snafu along with a special request from a friend for some new products caused me to revisit the Gazette's store and my business model related to said store.
My goal has never been to make money with the Gazette merchandise, and it occurred to me that there was no reason even for the measly markup (averaging about $2 per item) in the store, so I used CafePress's management tools to reduce the markup to a big fat zero. In other words, if you have the questionable judgment to actually want, for example, a Fire Ant ball cap or hoodie, you'll pay the minimum price CafePress charges. It's like getting wholesale prices with a retail shopping experience! Whatever that means!
Plus, if the shirts are going to be missing the logo, you probably should get a price break. But that's a whole other issue.
On a more seriouser note (it's really, really hard to be serious about merchandise sporting a Fire Ant logo), I also tweaked most of the t-shirt designs a bit, deleted some of the lamer products, and added a few new ones.
What hasn't changed is that anyone who sends me a photo of a Fire Ant product in an exotic locale, like Kermit or perhaps Enid, Oklahoma, will be featured in the virtual pages of the Gazette. No need to thank me; it's how I roll.
[cue obligatory stock product photos]