Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nurse the Hate: The Polk Audio Sweatshirt

I found an old faded sweatshirt in the back of my closet.  I haven’t worn it in years.  I haven’t even seen it in a half decade.  It is a Polk Audio sweatshirt, one that was given to me as a gift a million years ago.  My memory of acquiring it is a bit foggy, but I seem to recall a guy named Matt (or a guy that looked like a “Matt”) gave it to me.  He was the husband of a woman that I was visiting with my lady friend of the time.  He worked at Polk Audio doing something uninteresting and had a stack of the shirts in a closet.  I owned a pair of Polk Audio 5Jr speakers, which still perform remarkably well.  Matt seemed to almost pity my enthusiasm for his employer and gave me a shirt in an almost disdainful manner.  Still, it was a good quality promo item and I appreciated it.

The whole trip is rather foggy for me.  I remember the couple as being very pleasant but a bit uptight.  Their home was a tastefully decorated townhouse that felt like Target had set it up as a company demo.  Things were extremely neat and in their place.  It was the kind of house that had a bowl of fruit on the table that was forbidden to eat and was placed strictly for aesthetic purpose.  These were people that watched network TV, listened to commercial radio, and looked like everyone else.  They had a Ford Taurus and a small terrier named "Rusty".  Good neighbors I'll bet.  They were very nice normal people.

Meanwhile, I had begun to transition into being not very normal at all thanks to the emerging opportunities for The Cowslingers.  I was starting to gig and travel a lot.  It was becoming increasingly difficult to pretend I belonged in these people's home.  No less than 48 hours earlier I had been in the basement lair of Brownie's in the East Village with the Devil Dogs and the Lyres talking all kinds of shit with my various new degenerate friends.  Now I was trying to make small talk with Matt and find some topic which we could converse for this 48 hour window while the ladies got caught up.  It wasn't going well.

At some point well past when it should have been suggested, we all got in the Taurus and drove to a shopping area near their home.  They had to be thinking "we have to find something to keep this guy engaged or he might take a bite of our fruit on the kitchen table".  We went to some white bread area near their home.  It was almost all chain stores.  I recall stopping in a record store where I bought one of those lounge music compilations, the one with the fur cover.  I think the three of them were at Orange Julius or some such shit.  This day was going nowhere fast.  There was only one thing to do.  Pour some beer all over it. 

Looking back, I should have realized that Matt and his wife didn't have quite the tolerance of a touring deadbeat struggling musician dude.  I just kept ordering rounds.  By the time we got back to the townhouse, they were struggling a bit.  I'm pretty sure I drove the Taurus.  I walked in, cranked up Matt's stereo with the Ultra-Lounge CD, and saw the sheer uptick in quality in Matt's top-of-the-line Polk speakers from work.  Matt had a truly horrified look on his face when "Mondo Exotica" exploded out of his speakers.  He hurriedly turned down the volume and collapsed into the love seat, careful not to displace the tastefully arranged pillows.  Within minutes I saw the ladies huddle.  My female companion had been informed that Matt needed a "power nap".  I was just getting going, but if Matt wanted to crash with his bride that was fine with me.  It was agreed we would reconvene for some type of meal in a couple hours.  I could care less what they wanted to do at this point.  I went and fucked my female companion in the guest room with great gusto.

It was dusk when our hosts dragged themselves out of their bedroom.  Meanwhile I just kept going.  I had showered, split the beers in the fridge with my lady friend, and was ready to keep this going.  This is when an image that sticks in my mind to this day came to fruition.  I was standing on the stairs heading down to the kitchen.  My lady friend was talking to our hostess above me in the hall.  We were deciding where we would go to eat.  This was when Rusty the Terrier came bounding out of our guest room with my used condom in his mouth, the end squirting liquid onto the still new smelling carpet of the hallway.

I know for a fact I realized what Rusty had in his mouth before the ladies did.  I say this because our hostess said "Rusty!  What do you have there?  Were you in the garbage again?".  Yes, indeed Rusty had been in the garbage.  It must have been right about then when it hit my lovely companion as to what Rusty had in his mouth.  She then made the mistake of trying to grab Rusty while also exclaiming "Oh My God!".  This in turn made Rusty think this was a game and he began to tear around the house leaking the contents out in all directions as it hit our hostess as to what had happened.  It was not an ideal situation.  Not with the high pitched screaming and all.

I can't recall what happened after that.  I have no memory of leaving in shame or going to dinner awkwardly.  I'm sure something unpleasant happened, but that's all I remember.  But I do know I have this reliably toasty sweat shirt with a Polk Audio logo on it, and I would like to thank Matt and his wife for both the hospitality and the shirt once again.  


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