Annals of the Naked Rowdies #78

by Kevin Myrick

Sarah and David met on the metro heading toward the Dupont Circle station and work. She spent her days slaving away at a law firm and he worked as an assistant manager at the Borders. Neither would have given the other another look had it not been for the Rowdies. The band had the power to make opposites attract.

Sarah had noticed the Naked Rowdies patch on David's bag as he stood in front of her. She tapped him on the shoulder and he pulled out his ear phones, the Rowdies hit "Washing Machine" playing on his CD player.

"You like them?" she asked. Her finger playfully rubbed over the giant balls of the naked leprechaun. It was the same leprechaun that Notre Dame used. Her father wanted her to go to school there until he learned she was a Rowdies fan.

"I'm their biggest fan," David said. And he might have been. His writing room was filled with posters of the band. He had every CD, including the legendary Toyko Blues concert where Paddy gave a guy the Heimlich who was choking on a piece of sushi. In the background of the recording, Paddy yells at the guy. "Who the fuck eats sushi at a fucking rock concert. Let's blow the roof off this joint already!" 

"Did you know that Notre Dame tried to sue the band over the logo? The Supreme Court said it was fair and transformed use of the university icon."

A true Rowdies fan begins every conversation about the band with a legend. She would be impressed if he knew the story.

"Wasn't that the same decision that Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote in her opinion 'any band that rocks this much is immune in this nation's courts?'"

"Its high law of the land," she said.

Their only date was a show together. Like the band, the date was legendary. He made all the right moves, told all the right stories. She danced with him and her hips rotated like the agitator in a washing machine. Then the band played "Washing Machine" and the crowd joined in.

"We're going crazy like a washing machine!" they all shouted.

On the way home in a cab that smelled like Roddy after rioting at a football match, he asked her if she ever heard the story about the time Paddy and Roddy got into fight over a red flag call on the pitch.

"No way," she said.
"It happened, really. Roddy punched Paddy in the eye and they had to call off the show because Paddy couldn't see."

"I love the Rowdies," she said.

She asked him if he wanted to come over to her place for a night cap. He said yes. The rest was legend.

They went crazy like a washing machine into the night with one another. After he slipped out before dawn to go back to his apartment, she stripped the sheets and threw them in the laundry. They saw one another at a show again, after they were both married with children. The Naked Rowdies were crazy as ever, but the years had softened the two old lovers. She promised to call, but never did. He promised to e-mail, but forgot to get her address. Their lives were too busy now for their old flame and the band.

The memory of that night was the best legend for David and Sarah, better than any crazy story about Paddy or Roddy.

Whenever David couldn't sleep late at night, he liked to listen to "Washing Machine" and thought about what life would have been like if he'd stayed in bed a little longer with her. Had held her, told her she were beautiful.

Sarah cradled her son Paddy sometimes late at night and rocked him in his slumber after a bad dream. She sang the chorus of "Washing Machine" in a soft melodic whisper, doing no justice the angry, chaotic original. She ran her fingers through the boy's hair like she had his father's on that night, and thought about those old times. They seemed so long ago.