ANCHORAGE - Like most matters on the treacherous tropical island of ABC's "Lost," the tale of how a Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse logo T-shirt arrived on the torso of one of the show's main characters was clouded in mystery.
At least it was a complete mystery to Humpy's manager Cyndi Ramirez. Ramirez said she didn't even know what "Lost" was until she started receiving e-mails and phone calls earlier this winter from folks who noticed a Humpy's shirt on the show.
"I thought those people were crazy, but I kept hearing it and hearing it," Ramirez said during a break following a weekday lunch rush.
Ramirez started digging. She had no trouble finding information on "Lost," a television adventure-drama featuring a cast of plane crash survivors stranded on a strange and steamy island somewhere between Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles.
The show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Channel 13 and has quickly developed a cultlike following.
Ramirez also found visual confirmation that one of the show's characters - the hunky antihero Sawyer, played by Josh Holloway - indeed wore a Humpy's T-shirt as part of his wardrobe rotation. Ramirez found a few Internet stills of Sawyer sporting a dark blue T-shirt with a faded black Humpy's logo (a monstrous pink salmon) pasted across the front of the shirt.
"He's a rebel, and I think that fits," Ramirez joked of Sawyer's personality and choice of shirts.
One question remained: How did Sawyer get the shirt? No one at Humpy's seemed to know. Ramirez dialed Hollywood and eventually reached Touchstone Television publicity department, which patched her to Billy Ray McKenna.
McKenna is costume designer for "Lost" and a longtime showbiz wardrobe guy. Ramirez tracked him down on location in Hawaii, where "Lost" is filmed. McKenna told Ramirez that one of the show's creators stopped in at Humpy's during an Alaska vacation and was enamored with the brewhouse's logo. The executive imagined Sawyer as a perfect match for a Humpy's shirt, something the character would probably purchase after visiting an Australian pub.
"He's sort of a redneck character from the South, someone who probably hadn't been too many places," McKenna said. "They wanted to give him an element of something Australian. And he's the only character (tacky enough to) wear something like a printed T-shirt."