Keep Houston Press Free

Memories of ACLs Past: The Halliburton Shirt

As I head out the door to Austin, I’m reminded of ACL Fest 2003, back when the world was young and people actually gave a shit about the Polyphonic Spree.

I was living in Houston at the time, writing for the paper version of Houstoned, and I’d come across this bad-ass, bright red Halliburton T-shirt at Value Village. Of course I bought the sucker and began pimping it around town, getting the knowing nods that come with sporting an ironic T-shirt. (O, Urban Outfitters, if only you could bottle the feeling.)

Everyone got the joke, although I admit, when I threw on the T and a pig nose for Halloween, people couldn’t quite figure out what I was going for. Sure, it was a little oblique, but here's a hint.

And then came ACL Fest 2003. The perfect time to pimp the Halliburton shirt. Or not, as I soon learned, when people started yelling out stuff like, “Yeah, like they need those no-bid contracts,” as I walked around Zilker Park.

An old-school hippie woman came up to me and said, “That’s an interesting shirt you’re wearing.”

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“Yeah, I know,” I said. “Isn’t it hilarious?”

She swayed, and stared, unsure what to say, finally deciding on: “Very interesting.”

Thanks, lady.

Anyway, let’s just say this time I’ll be leaving my “I heart W” shirt at home. – Keith Plocek

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