Mac&Cheese shirt

St. Thomas native Alayna Belshe was inspired to create a T-shirt line based on Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s quote, “sluxing down macaroni and cheese.”

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. wants V.I. residents to know that it’s OK to “slux down” this Thanksgiving.

Bryan, who has said he wants residents to stay safe by being vaccinated against COVID-19, noted at a Monday press briefing that he also knows that Thanksgiving is time for a little indulgence and fun,“or some macaroni and cheese.”

“This is the one time it’s okay to slux,” Bryan said, jokingly.

It was a reference to a previous comment relative to getting vaccinated that soon became an internet meme and subsequently emblazoned on T-shirts, although at the time the governor wasn’t joking.

The term “sluxing” is defined in Urban Dictionary as “the activity of swallowing down or ingesting high carbohydrate content foods.”

At Monday’s briefing, which was called to update the public on the administration’s ongoing pandemic work, Bryan took time to discuss the need for food donations to support Catholic Charities’ Thanksgiving luncheon on St. Croix. He announced that he will be volunteering to serve meals with the nonprofit today.

At a July briefing, Bryan expressed his frustration with vaccine doubters and conspiracy theorists, contending that people do worse to their own bodies all the time.

“The number one killer in the Virgin Islanders is hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, and people sluxing down macaroni and cheese, stuffing, seasoned rice every single day,” Bryan said at the time. Shortly after Bryan’s July press briefing, DJ Avalanche used the governor’s comments for the chorus to a catchy soca video posted to YouTube.

In the music video, featuring a woman eating macaroni and cheese and various dancing groups, the governor can be heard at different intervals with: “People sluxing down, every single day / Macaroni and cheese, every single day / Stuffing, seasoned rice, every single day.” In July, as jokes about the governor’s comments also began to fly on social media, some like St. Thomas native Alayna Belshe were inspired to create T-shirts featuring the phrase.

“I was watching the press conferences pretty religiously, and I knew it was going to be iconic,” Belshe said.

Belshe has a communications degree from the University of the Virgin Islands, and using skills gained in her digital entrepreneurship class, she designed the T-shirt and set up an Etsy store, Belshe by the Sea, in six hours.

“My first couple shirts I barely broke even. At the end, I broke even with a little bit of a profit,” Belshe said.

In addition to the mac and cheese shirts, she sells a sluxing down souse shirt and sluxing down bush tea mug. “I’ve actually sold a couple more mugs than the T-shirts,” she said.

Asked by The Daily News whether Bryan would sport a sluxing down T-shirt — perhaps at today’s Catholic Charities luncheon — Government House declined comment.

Belshe and Bryan’s constituents will have to wait to see the governor sporting one of the T-shirts he inspired.

— Contact Sara Kirkpatrick at 340-714- 9109 or email skirkpatrick@dailynews.vi