The Space Between the Cushions Collective Tour: Philadelphia

As announced last week, The Space Between the Cushions Collective met their Kickstarter goal and have embarked on their mission to build couch forts across America (as long as they never mention “Kickstarter” ever again). Here is a dispatch from their first stop.

I’d like to say our trip to Philadelphia was a success. So I will! The Space Between the Cushions Collective refuses to be bound to conventional notions of what constitutes “success” and what constitutes “miserable failure.”

We could literally feel paradigms shifting as we drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge. That may have also been our transmission slipping, which is why we stopped at the first gas station we could find to get it checked out. Unfortunately, the guys in the garage did said they couldn’t open the hood of the van unless we removed our custom stitched jean-jacket cover. Yolando Mattress, the artist who made it for us, told us we could not remove or adjust it in any way without destroying his vision, so we had to cross our fingers and hope for the best. But can you believe the gas station had all these old cutout cassettes? We bought 17 copies of The Jets’ greatest hits for like a buck!

We continued on to Pat’s Steaks, figuring we could drum up some interest and followers to come with us to our next stop, but the crowd there wasn’t ready to liberate their vision of urban landscapes just yet. Plus, when Tyler asked the guys at Pat’s if they had any vegan platters, this huge fry cook threw a huge unpeeled onion in his face. Tyler said it stung worse than a thimbleful of Dr. Bronner’s soap.

Our groundbreaking Abandoned Couch Location app did not work with the efficacy that we hoped, as we did not get a single blip on our radar anywhere within the city limits, thus forcing us to rely on our sharply honed couch-locating skills. We thought we spotted an abandoned sofa in the parking lot of Citizen’s Bank Park. Unfortunately, the second we started to tip it, some angry dude in a Shane Victorino jersey said it was his “tailgatin’ couch” and threw a portable grill propane tank at us. I guess our first clue that the couch wasn’t abandoned should have been all the guys sitting on it drinking beer.

When we got back to the van, it had five flat tires (all the ones on the rims plus the spare). It took quite a while to get new wheels, even though there was a stadium parking lot full of people who could’ve helped, but chose instead to whizz bottlecaps in our direction. Eventually, a team official came out and told us he called up AAA to replace our tires “just to get get that hideous thing off our property” because “sooner or later, someone will set it on fire.”

Though we didn’t actually create any couch forts within Philadelphia, I feel that we really changed some notions of what is possible in a blighted urban landscape (even though every time we referred to Philadelphia as a blighted urban landscape, someone inevitably responded “go fuck yourself”). Also, we got to stop at the Mutter Museum and see that really huge colon. It was so gross, it was awesome.

I look forward to even more perspective shifting once we get to Pittsburgh, a town whose downtrodden working class residents could use couch forts more than anyone. Look, I know all about it, I’ve seen Deer Hunter.