Photo illustration: Emma Cosgrove

Band t-shirt nation

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Emma Cosgrove 

A student trudges his way through the chaos that is Gould Street. He averts his eyes from the brochure-thrusting lady on the street corner and sifts through his iPod, searching for the perfect track. Just as he selects a punchy punk tune he can flawlessly synch his footsteps with, he collides with something. It’s a person. He looks up. There is a moment of realization; a collective gasp. Both individuals are wearing Black Flag shirts.

“Black… Flag…” one boy mutters, eyes wide. The other stares in shock.

Suddenly, a girl bumps into one of the dudes. She, too, is wearing a Black Flag t-shirt.

“You listen to Black Flag? I guess we share the same interests, values, and sense of humour,” the girl says. The others nod in agreement. “Let’s be close friends!”

Another girl walks by in a t-shirt of a similarly generic punk band. The magnetic pull of these three individuals’ connection is enough to inadvertently draw her in, and soon the four of them are high-fiving. Several other band shirt-wearers stop by to see what all the fuss is about. The group grows to nearly 10 members.

Just as they are making plans to cut class and browse a record store, there is a low rumbling sound. The t-shirt wearers squint to the horizon and see a massive cloud of dust kicked up by the speedy feet of 200 sprinting people. As they get closer, it becomes apparent that each of these people are wearing band t-shirts. There is a massive collision of bodies.

All punk band t-shirt wearers in a 2-kilometre radius have amalgamated at the Devonian Pond. They clamber on top of one another, making friends at an average rate of 3 pals per second. Within several minutes, they have built a very strong network of music nerds and they continue to squirm and mingle in the pond. There is another rumbling sound. A pile of people in indie music t-shirts comes rolling down the street.

“LOOK OUT!” someone shouts. It’s no use. There is another collision, and a sonic boom. The aftershocks draw every band shirt-wearer in the far reaches of Toronto to this pile at the Devonian Pond. Police try to subdue the multi-genre t-shirt mountain. The military is called in but they are unable to pacify the horde. The heap of nearly 7000 people rolls down the street, crushing everything in its path. The weight of this pile of humans proves to be too much for our fragile earth; the ground beaks open. The city crumbles and descends into the fissure, engulfed by molten lava. For a moment, there is silence as the city burns. And then, with the grace of a phoenix, Black Flag’s Henry Rollins rises out of the ashes of our dead city and begins a spoken-word routine.

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