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Keep Houston Press Free
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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

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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