Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Indestructible Wonder: A Requiem

You've got one in your closet, or in your dresser, or in a heap on the floor next to that box of junk that you keep meaning to sort through. It's your favorite shirt, the one that your Beloved Spousal Unit despises and that you cannot live without.

Mine was indestructible, until today. This is its story.

My Esteemed Paternal Unit, whose off-hours wardrobe is more Montgomery Ward than J.C. Penney, had declared its design unwearable by any serious, self-respecting, lawn-mowing male -- something about the two enormous front pockets, I think, though I'm still not sure -- so of course he passed the Indestructible Wonder and two others like it to his son. Sold as travel shirts; constructed of unnatural fibres to render them sink-washable and air-dryable; short-sleeved, with more pockets than buttons; in colors Almost White, Light Greenish-Grey, and Mango-Mustard; the shirts soon embarked upon their lives of second-hand service and achievement.

Their paths soon diverged. Mango-Mustard was worn twice, then donated under threat of pain, divorce, and more pain. Light Greenish-Grey was in the minor-league starting rotation -- low minors -- until it pilled and frayed beyond pragmatic utility six or eight years ago. Which left Almost White, a.k.a. the Indestructible Wonder, whose stoicism and indefatigable spirit through a long career of latex housepaint spatters, Secret Stadium Sauce drips, and assorted other cruel indignities serve as a model for us all.

"I thought you got rid of that thing," said my Beloved Spousal Unit this morning, with pro forma disgust -- yet, surely, with grudging admiration for my courageous steadfastness in the face of the omnipresent temptation of reckless fashion. A pair of pinhole-sized flaws had appeared above each pocket, their symmetry rightly suggesting the harmony and inner balance of the garment's occupant. Another blissful Milwaukee summer, sweating happily through the shirt at ballgames and festivals, loomed ahead.

Until...r-r-r-rrrrrrip! Tugging upward on the shirt's collar in back to relieve a bunched-up, folded-under, lumpy and itchy spot [Note to self: possible dog names - Lumpy & Itchy], I'd inadvertently separated the yoke from the back of the Formerly Indestructible Wonder.

My Beloved Spousal Unit's eyes widened, the corners of her mouth suddenly rising into a near-demonic grin of triumphant exultation. Leaving no chance that her long-awaited moment of deliverance would be further delayed through a deft repair with a mending kit, she set about to rip and ruin the shirt irretrievably. It is possible, Dear Reader, that I had not yet fully exited the damaged garment when this action was executed. (Oh, grow up!)

No longer indestructible, my favorite shirt lies in tatters, its cotton-polyester fibres sorrowfully stuffed inside a wastebasket in anticipation of the weekly trash collection; an unworthy fate, you'll agree, akin to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's shrouded corpse being tossed unceremoniously into a pauper's grave. I am in mourning.

I wonder if I can find another one on eBay?


  1. you wrote in depth of mind in your blog it is necessary for understand, its like a intellectual story fantastic, i really impress.



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