Monday, March 14, 2005

First Place, Shacker Shirt

Shacker Shirt

by Melissa Cresswell

I am telling you this story in an effort to be returned to my rightful owner. You see, at one point I was happy and carefree looking forward to spring days cruising around with the windows down in my owner’s Land Rover and making my rounds at Gallette’s where I was surrounded by my old familiar friends. “Old South, how’s it hangin?” “Fall Rush 2003, whatcha say boy?!” But those all seem like a million years ago now. Here I am crumpled up in the back of ’74 El Camino just wanting to go home! I was his favorite t-shirt from his favorite formal. But next thing I know, I’m being passed around like a joint at an Allman Brothers Concert. Once the pride and joy of his t-shirt drawer, I’m now the foster child of my brood. That’s right; I’m a shacker shirt.
Let me take you back now to what I refer to as “the night of doom”. Tonight was like any other night, or so I thought. I was taking a nice rest on Robert—my long lost owner’s—futon. He was heading out for a big night so he was dressed to impress. That’s fine with me; I understand the need for an upgrade sometimes, but as Hanes Beefy T as my witness, that snooty little pony on his Polo blew me a kiss and winked as Robert cruised out the door. Snob. “You came from the outlet mall!” I shout after him. That probably knocked him down a notch or two. Now fast forward about 5 hours. I hear Robert come in just short of 3, and he’s got that letter hungry little trick Vanessa with him. Last time she came home with him, she made pass at me the next morning, but he handed her a generic “Bradshaw Baseball” high school shirt. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky this time.
She beat him out of bed the next morning. Damn, I knew I was in for. I saw her stumble over to his chest of drawers, searching desperately for the pot of gold at the end of her slutty rainbow. It was a form of prostitution really. But instead of Robert brushing girls off with a casual “your money’s on the table, sugar”, he paid them in t-shirts. And if he was in a particularly good mood or was particularly impressed with her sexual prowess, he would “pay” them with a fraternity t-shirt which was every shacker’s goal. To the casual observer, she had all the coolness of actually going to the party without them knowing how she truly earned it. Back to the letter hound fumbling around through his drawers. I could see her inch closer to my hundred percent cotton brethren. And then it happened. I think she could feel me staring at her, wishing she would hurry up and leave. But out of nowhere, she turned and looked square at me. She came over and picked me up, eying me; you would have thought she’d picked up a Louis Vuitton purse. I could see her take mental note of my worth. Fraternity letters? Check, prominently displayed on front pocket and on rear. Good party? Check, New Orleans Formal the crème de la crème of fraternity parties and the most sacred of t-shirts. Damn, Robert was waist deep in an alcohol induced mini coma while this skank threw me on over last night’s jeans. Then we were off, her stilettos clicking hard against the pavement as she hurriedly made her way back to Tutwiler.
I could see them before she even opened the door to the lobby. They were already eyeing me. I could here the snickers as we walked through the hallway towards the stairwell. The sorority shirts. Piss, this would be up all 13 floors of Tutwiler and making its loop down sorority row before lunch was over. The humiliation and the shame are overwhelming. I despise this girl. She wore me to class. She wore me to workout. She slept in me. She wore me everywhere she knew she wouldn’t run the risk of seeing Robert. And then one day she was gone. She packed up and moved out of Tutwiler unaware that I’d been kicked under her bed in the moving out process. So I waited there, alone and in the dark longing for the occasional beer spill, toothpaste drop, or even pit stain from Robert. But pretty soon I would be wishing for the solitude of room 311. As the summer clean-up crews made their rounds throughout the dorm, I knew someone would eventually find me and come to my rescue. Well they found me alright and shipped me off to Goodwill. Now I’ll admit, I am somewhat of a snob, and the Goodwill shirts were frankly below me. I don’t care if me reading you means the bitch fell off or about Grandma’s Little Angels with their names spelled out in half crumbling puff paint. I prefer being worn under a gore-tex North Face with a pair of Carhartt’s. I need leather seats and high thread count sheets. I spent last spring break in the Cayman’s for Christ’s sake! And now I’m slummin it at Goodwill. You can imagine my horror when a grease-monkey with “Dewayne” proudly embroidered on his mechanic’s uniform bought me for a dollar!!! Simply degrading. I’ve been reduced to an undershirt. I spend my days covered in sweat and grease, clinging to his man-breasts. His gut full of chicken wings and Busch Light has stretched me to twice my normal size. I have a permanent ring around my collar and stains in my underarms from the vile stench that seems to spew forth from him while he grunts to and fro at work. And now, here I rest in the back of his car—or is it a truck? hmm, El Caminos are tricky—while waiting for him to pick me up and throw me back on in the morning for another day of blue-collar hell. I just beg of you, anyone out there reading this, if you see Robert hanging out at the Houndstooth or hoofing it across the Quad, please direct him to Doc’s Automotive Repair and Chicken. Tell him to ask for Dewayne


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