Saspurilla used to go in his backyard and play with his ugly dogs. The two of them, born retarded from a breeder in Wyoming, liked to bark at the same huge tree that scarred his otherwise perfect grass patching. He grew out of playing with them around the time he realized he would have to touch their poo with his hands. It all became too real, especially the first summer.
The smaller one was named “Yogi”, after Saspurilla’s
eight-year-old speech impediment couldn’t pronounce “the younger
puppy”. “How do you know he’s younger?” his mother asked over
her glass of gin. “Gorilla is bigger. That’s how I know.” So it
was: Gorilla and his brother The Younger; “Yogi” for short. For
Even decent names, dreams of playing fetch, or watching Old
Yeller over and over wouldn’t make the two retarded runts be
the dogs he wanted. He wondered if this was what it was like to have
a child like Gnarly, his friend from next door with Downs Syndrome.
But only briefly, as Yogi hopped away from a small pile he’d
created, and Saspurilla snapped a glove on his hand.
An overcast comforter of humid clouds slugged above his head as he
winced, gripping the warm pile in his palm. It squished between his
fingers. He slid it in a small plastic bag and flung it to the
trashcan, missing the opening with a heavy thump, opening up
on his sidewalk.
“God damn it!” He put his hands on his hips and turned to walk
away. He would leave it there for another, more tolerable day, when
he hated the dogs less or felt more inclined to have responsibility.
“Come see what I found.”
Saspurilla pivoted on his heel and stared at Gorilla, hoping that
a dog didn’t just say that, or if he had, he would do it again so
the two of them could have a redeeming feature.
“What did you say to me, retard?”
“Don’t call me that.” Gnarly wiggled his shoe out of a
landscape bush and wiped his face off. His shirt was dotted with
crumbs from animal cookies.
“I wasn’t calling you that. I was…”
“Then who are you talking to?”
“Nothing. Nevermind. What did you find?”
Yogi bounced over to Gnarly who gave him a cookie, and knelt to
scratch behind his ear. “I have to show you. I can’t tell you.
The dogs will hear.” He sighed at them all.
They left the dogs to bark at his tree and made their way across
an overgrown field. A few years back, it was a cement canal that
drained the water from floods, but after awhile they decided too many
kids were drowning and filled it in. If you didn’t watch your step,
sometimes you could sink like quicksand. It had become a small right
of passage to the kids in the neighborhood, but ultimately less fun
to fish in.
“Gnarly, I’m not really in the mood. Can you just tell me what
you’re looking for? I bet I’ve seen it already.” As lucid as
Gnarly seemed for the most part, he had episodes where he would take
Saspurilla on long journeys to the same boulder that separated his
house and the fire station. At first it was kind of tolerable, but as
he got to know him better he realized Gnarly genuinely believed it
was a new, jarring pock on the landscape to investigate each time.
Over the years it just appealed as stupid to walk around the block
several times before “discovering” it time and time again.
Gnarly was nonplussed, “It’s not a rock; this is definitely
something you’ve never seen before.”
“How did you know I thought it was a rock?”
“You always think it’s a rock.”
“…Because it is always a rock.” Saspurilla mumbled,
plucking at a fray in his jeans.
They walked at a slow pace abreast the old canal, over a patchy
knoll and eventually across a vibrantly green field. Gnarly picked up
speed to a full jog, darting towards an off-colored patch of grass,
Saspurilla shook his head, “At the grass? Are you kidding?”
Storm clouds gathered over their heads, threatening like Nature can.
If he got it over with and went home, he wouldn’t get wet and being
under an actual roof would decrease his chances of being struck by
lightning. He sighed to himself, unbelieving, as he drug his feet to
where Gnarly was still actively excited.
At first glance, he supposed it was kind of odd. Where all the
other grass kept a healthy green, this particular patch did not.
Moisture from the morning clung to each blade in a perfect square,
and you didn’t have to be too close to feel the cold stale air
coming off it. The Down’s was right; Saspurilla had never
seen this before.
“Is it frozen?”
Gnarly got down on his knees and picked a few clumps, tossing them
aside, “It’s been real hot this week. There’s no way it could
be frozen. Maybe something’s down there?”
He stopped and stood up, “We need a shovel.”
“Oh, no way. If there’s a dead guy or something, I don’t
want to know.”
“Doesn’t Carlo’s family mow this?”
Saspurilla didn’t move his eyes, just shrugged. As much as he
didn’t want to admit it, there was something ridiculous about a
patch of grass being frozen during the summer. High School dictated
that for the air to be colder underneath the ground while the air
above was hot, it had to either be a natural cavern or an
air-conditioned man-made one. Either option was creepy enough to
warrant going home and never leaving his house again.
“We should ask him, I bet he’d know.”
“If he does, can we just leave it alone?”
Both boys stood for a moment. Saspurilla's shirt pressed on his
chest, compressing his lungs. He was starting to have a panic attack.
He stepped away from the whole shitty situation, flipping out his
“Who're you callin'?”
“Carlo? Gnarly wants you to see something.”
There was a murmur.
“It's not a rock. I'm standing in front of it.”
Another more soft murmur. Saspurilla looked at Gnarly, who had
resumed digging around the patch.
“No, really. It's not. I need to bring beer. I mean, a shovel.”
He clapped it shut. He wasn't sure why he would continue with
this. He wasn't sure why he would call Carlo instead of the police,
or why he was half-interested.
“P, G, 13.”
The boys paused in their respective positions and ignored Carlo,
who had arrived with both a shovel and a couple six-packs. Saspurilla
hated that nickname letter crap. Carlo thought he was pretty witty
when he said it; sometimes he would come to one of the house parties
the neighborhood slut threw and walk in saying the same thing. Some
drunk, sexless guy would always ask, “What's thirteen?” and Carlo
would gloat, setting down two six packs to reach in his pocket for a
newly rolled joint. It was never funny. Why say "p"? Why denote "s" to the middle letter? No one ever laughed.
He set them down next to his feet and lit the joint from the
breast pocket of a second hand denim jacket. “Are we drinking
Gnarly dusted his palms and ripped open one of the boxes, “Yeah.
Take a look at that.” He pointed to the grass.
If you've ever felt guilty mocking someone with retardation, you
should know that there's redemption in letting them mock themselves.
In this case, Saspurilla loved when Gnarly started drinking. After a
few beers his face looks normal to everyone and not just his mom.
“Saspurilla wants to open it.”
He stopped guzzling a can, “No I don't. I definitely don't.”
There wasn't much of a choice really, Carlo was already pelting
the grass with his shovel, working it around the patch. Something
“That's it. I'm going home.”
“Hijo de puta... It's just an old maintenance hatch from the
canal.” He stepped on the shovel lip and worked it back and forth,
with his joint still hanging from his mouth. Slowly, it started to
flap up and down as he worked it, occasionally releasing freezing air
in their faces.
Gnarly gripped the lip and flung it up. It was a metal hatch
stamped, “Maintenance Only”. They all gave a relieving laugh.
“I told you pendejos.”
ppsdonsmokedat: R we lvd 4 dis?
argo-nuclearsoso: don't be a bitch.
MickeyWASclean: ya i'm not sure
ppsdonsmokedat: I dun wan 2 die like dis man
MickeyWASclean: you won't we're 2 good
argo-nuclearsoso: how much did this cost??
ppsdonsmokedat: like 14
argo-nuclearsoso: that's the most retarded number.
MickeyWASclean: for indie? Ya
argo-nuclearsoso: level design is solid as fuck.
Ppsdonsmokedat: load timmmmmmeee
Carlo was the first to
jump down. He had found ground, or something like it, and yelled at
Gnarly to toss down a flashlight. Saspurilla waited; he didn't like
dark places he didn't know: a paramount to his self-induced
virginity. The front of his skull felt numb and his palms were
mixing seat with beads off his beer. Gnarly hopped down, a flashlight
in his hand.
“Come on, Sassy.” the tips of
his fingers came just above the hatch like the risen dead. This was
all nightmare. Saspurilla thought he was feeling what the kids had
felt before jumping in the canal. A nervous, excited, worrisome
energy creeping behind his neck started to scream jump,
jump, just do it, jump. But that
might have been pretentious.
He sat on his but, his feet
dangling in the dark pit, and slowly wiggled his way in. Carlo was
swinging the flashlight everywhere like a beacon, but it shook as he
laughed watching Saspurilla land on his tailbone.
“You aren't any kind of Indiana
Jones, that's for sure.” Gnarly said, helping him up.
“Shut your retarded mouth.”
Carlo bellowed over, “Haaa see how he
gets? Racist prick.”
Freezing air slapped their faces. They
had gone from a humid winter to a freezing fall in a five foot drop.
He's not sure how, but the beer had made it and was being passed
around again. It had cooled down in the second-long decent.
“Ai dios, it's COLD, QUE FRIO!”
Carlos shuddered a bit as he scanned a nearby wall. His light stopped
near a small box hung by huge bolts, “I think this is a light. Hold
on.” His footsteps were timid but heavy, a little spooked, but
Saspurilla seemed to be only one to notice it. A sound similar to a
thousand buzzing hornets signaled a blinking florescent light, and
the entire room lit up and screamed like an old engine.
Gnarly noticed an exposed bulb, and
couldn't stop himself. He drenched his hands in beer, reaching up.
“What the fuck are you doing!” the
tow of them lunged at him, but it was too late. His body shook
furiously; the smell of crisping skin lacing their air.
argo-nuclearsoso: are you serious?
ppsdonsmokedat: had 2 no tho
argo-nuclearsoso: don't do this right
argo-nuclearsoso: seriously. I swear to
fuck I will block you.
ppsdonsmokedat: y u got 2 b a dick, bro
MickeyWASclean: there goes our trophy
MickeyWASclean: “full clear” every
ppsdonsmokedat: we do it 1 more time
ppsdonsmokedat: aight fuk u both
ppsdonsmokedat: I dnt no y u 2 mad he
xtra crispy now
argo-nuclearsoso: …. god damn it.
Saspurilla broke down in a sob;
Gnarly's body falling to the floor. Carlo stood at the corner
“Oh god, oh fuck. Why...why would he
do that?” He crawled over to his best friend, lifting his head and
holding it close. “Jesus fuck, why did you do that, stupid? Why.”
He gripped him close, crying in heaves
he couldn't control. His stomach poured into his throat, creeping out
of his mouth. It dripped down his chin and throat, leaving a warm
slide of putrid lunch. He held tighter, hoping the lack of space
would bring Gnarly back.
“What...the hell...” Carlo said in
a wavering voice. Gnarly's body began to disappear.
Saspurilla didn't want to open his
eyes, but he felt it; felt his arms coming closer to his chest until
he was pressing himself. Gnarly had been erased. Disappeared.
Invisible, entirely. His head wanted to explode. This wasn't normal.
Nothing was alright.
“Why...did that happen?” Carlo said
again, unsure of himself. The crotch of his pants turned to a puddle
of urine, dripping down his thigh an in his boots. The flashlight he
was using shook in small intermediate earthquakes.
They were silent in their grief for a
small moment, misplaced.
A hand reached out of a previously
“What the fuck! Carlo, what the fuck!
“I don't know! I don't know, okay?!”
They both screamed an intervene. The hand snapped it's fingers. Carlo
began to pray.
“I'm done! I'm done with this!”
Saspurilla shot up and ran towards the vent, drop-kicking the vent,
and landing on his tailbone again. Pain shot up his neck, increasing
his headache. His rage went free. In several kicks he smashed the
hand to a bone-broken pulp. Blood gushed from a silent arm.
“Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck, fuck
fuck--” his canvas show dealt blow after blow; so thin that he
could feel the bones moving under the rubber sole.
“Stop it, man. Just stop....let's
just get out okay? Let's get out of here.” Carlos ran to the hatch
and gripped the opening.
Gnarly met him, a silhouette against a
“What're you guys doing?”
“AHHHH!” He fell back, terrified.
Choking on tears, Saspurilla looked at
the hatch, “What the fuck! Oh Jesus. I'm so sorry. I'm so fucking
sorry. I believe. I believe in you. Just let me wake up. Please.”
Gnarly hopped down, his mouth a smile,
“What's a matter with you two?”
PART II: ETA 1 WEEK
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
As one of my first jobs in journalism, I was sent to "investigate" a lighthouse. We were all pretty sure it was light hazing, until we got there and learned that these people--all of them--were legitimate about wanting me to deliver a serious, upstanding and crowning jewel of journalism. It was pretty much around that time that I realized these people who expect me to do these things have absolutely no idea who I am. If you needed someone to babysit a stack of cash, would you call someone you know, or call me to do it? Have you ever wondered what a stack of cash looks like on fire, before a half-naked lesbian pees on it?
The Grand traverse Lighthouse crowns the tip of Leelanau peninsula, separated from Northport by acres of grape vineyards that charmingly molest fertile soil as you wind your way up narrow claustrophobic road. During this time of the season, thousands of strong bushy trees change their colors in a schizophrenic scramble to hide from winter. Our drive is calm among the three familiar shades of yellow, orange and brown until our car struggles to find grip in the road through light rain. It's a 2009 KIA Spectre, which enjoys hydroplaning on less than an centimeter of moisture; entirely dangerous during particularly wet flu seasons.
The paragraph above was entirely removed in editing.
“It's me. Put on a costume.” There was a small, audible squeal before he hung up. I looked back to him now, attempting to fill our flasks as our car threatened to kill us all, and could finally remember how I got here, now, holding a notebook that said "News" on it.
We arrived at around 3:45p.m. And wasted no time asking the important questions. Like where the bathroom was; if they served beer; why was it so fucking cold?
Volunteer groundskeepers were busy rolling up inflatable castles for the children, who were nowhere to be seen. A small wind picked up through my leather period armor, and I took a stale breath as I approached the door inside. No one stopped us, no one cared.
“Hi there! Well look at you!” A beautiful elderly woman stopped herself from embracing us like long awaited grandchildren, stepping aside to give us a clear path to a cash register. A decent part of me wanted to hug her and never let go; to tell her the story of my life and how I hate Halloween with all it's little frights. How I'm one of those people when I get scared. Instead, I lethargically managed to scrape $12 from my wallet and pay for admission, which, if I can say so, is a bit much to ask of three people in beat-up costumes who appear to be irreversibly intoxicated.
“Excuse me, um, is there someone I can talk to about, um let's see, the history?”
I was eloquent, if not entirely out of place. J. Staley, the daughter of Stefanie Staley: Executive Director, met my question with a chipper smile, “You can talk to my mom. She's outside, there. In the denim jacket.” I looked over my shoulder through a window built for Chinese acrobats, to make eyes with a woman giving instructions to some idle groundskeepers, who for some reason had unfolded all the inflatable castles again. I nearly died twice making it down some tiny steps.
“Hi there, my name's Lucky. Can I ask you some questions?” She finished some directive dialogue and turned to me, “Sure.”
She didn't actually say that. Or anything remotely friendly. Ever, probably.
I'm paraphrasing because in all honesty, the woman hated everything. It's hard to think of the descriptive words for unapproving grunts, which is what she gave when I asked her anything.
Really it was more like, "Is the basement haunted?"
"Oh, well. Um. Is the lighthouse haunted?"
"You advertised this event as a haunted lighthouse."
"So is this for children, then?"
I came across one while we took the tour with J. Staley, where she told us from the years of 1972 to 1985 the lighthouse was closed down entirely, due majorly to the fact no keeper would stay. She said this in the same manner her mother had earlier, without cheesy holiday spookiness, and with a generally businesslike air.
We wound our way up incredibly narrow stairways to the lighthouse tower. What ever architect decided that lighthouses needed both narrow stairs and general eery hallways should be cursed. I personally cursed them over and over to suffer in central Florida; to live an eternal life on it's public transit, forever two blocks away from their destination.
J. acknowledges our struggle to fit between cross-bars as she navigates with unheard of ease, and uses the moment to remind us that McCormick, one of the attendants years ago, was astoundingly short. I find this incredibly punctual. and also wildly hilarious. He was 5ft of Napoleon complex.
Our suffrage pays off with a breathtaking view 17miles out from where we stood, complete with distant islands hugged by fog you could only previously see in your mind. Except it was cloudy, and you couldn't see dick. She explains flatly to us as we marvel in it's beauty that there are numerous shipwrecks that pock the water in surrounding shore. But there is a hint of vagabond desire in her voice as she explains the islands seemingly painted on the other side of the window.
It's right about this time there is a loud THWAK on the window, to which I responded with several curses, and pivot with speed unmarked by man to face a chipper, smiling, energetic woman dressed as a pirate. “ARRRRRR, face the ladder when you go down! ARRRR.”
I briefly contemplated if she was mentally retarded, then quickly told myself they wouldn't let a retarded lady be in control of the tip of the lighthouse. Then tossed all of those ideas away, because honestly, who wouldn't want that?
J. leads us to the furthest most descended point in the lighthouse, the basement I had been actively avoiding since my arrival. Ashley is piqued by the day's events and finds himself asking questions that sounds much more professional than my own. I consider for a small moment letting him finish off the day with my driver by himself, but couldn't decide if that was jealously or just an incredibly morbid fear of having to go through the basement. They tell me I can have a flashlight, assuming it will make it easier. I tell them that's like raping for consent. No one finds me funny. But I take the flashlight anyway, because I'm not dying of fucking shock on this or any other day of the year.As we step down, we're met with a dark maze fraught with every possible danger. Slowly, cautiously, I lag behind the rest of them to check every single nook and corner before taking another step. My flashlight is a beam of justice and death to anyone or anything that may come near. J. assures me in a consistent rhythm that there is absolutely no one with us, and it's safe to move forward. I am not immediately apt to believe her, we're building a budding trust, so it's uncertain. Plus she lied to me like seven times already.
It must have taken seconds, but I'm told it was upwards of 15 minutes, I safely navigated the 6ft space to the exit. Because I'm no holiday's bitch.
Near the end of our tour, we were shown a fog horn, pictures of the nearby shipwrecks, the gift shop, and an incredibly neat Lego replica of The Grand Traverse Lighthouse that took over 6 months and 1000 separate pieces to assemble.
Alright, you know what? I'm going to stop this shit right here. The rest of this article is basically written to get people to think I gave two shits about this job. The real ending to this story is being asked to leave by Staley, who was both unpleasant and didn't give any of us prizes for wearing costumes. Luckily her daughter did. Three tiny bouncing balls saved a slew of lives that day, and not having to put up with a frustrated 50 year old lesbian did us all a world of good.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
If you’re homeless and are for some reason needing something to read, you’re welcome to this. It’s a collection of recipes.
Unless you’re a lazy dropout, in which case these recipes are super complicated and consuming in both time and money, with the end result being nothing you can put on an résumé. Observe the following key acronyms:
IYR: If You’re Rich
TFIU: This Food Is Ugly
MUS: Makes You Shit
An important thing to notice is that most but not all of these recipes require a purchase of some sort. This is of course because America hates freedom. Back when Kennedy was around, everything was okay. Now we have bedbugs in New York that aren’t practicing law, and lawyers in our hospital beds like bugs; “Are you sleeping? I know you can’t be sleeping because I’ve seen you open you’re mouth to drool a little. I can make you millions off this accident. What matters here are you’re rights.”
Several packets of soy sauce (a cup)
Few packets of sugar (1/3 cup)
3 decent potatoes (canned if you have to)
IYR: sesame oil (three drops)
1. Find a campfire, radiator, or stove.
2. Cube potatoes.
3. IYR: fry the potatoes in the oil a bit.
4. Add sugar, soy sauce.
5. Fry until done.
1lb ground meat
1 spoon of chunky peanut butter
2 cans of chicken stock
shake of cumin
shake of coriander
shake of thyme
2 cubed potatoes
½ sliced onion
whatever other vegetables you want to consume
1. Fry meat with onions and spices in pot.
2. Add chicken stock, peanut butter, and potatoes, all your other shit.
3. Put on the lid and cook for 30 minutes or until you feel like messing with it by adding useless crap.
4. Salt and Pepper to taste.
1 cup of white rice
¼ cup of milk
few packets of sugar (2 teaspoons)
1. Start boiling rice. (for 1 cup of rice, add 1 ½ cups water)
2. With a fork, whisk eggs, milk, sugar.
3. Drizzle mixture in pan; fry.
4. When rice is done, mix with ketchup.
5. Lay omelet flat on a plate, put rice inside, fold over.
6. Drink sake.
7. Don’t cry.
For a little while, I enjoyed the hell out of the beach. I say the beach because basically anywhere with large bodies of water and sand is considered a beach by bum standards. There was a particularly nice beach off the East side of The Springfield Power Plant. They told us not to fish there; probably because of all the angsty teens that tested their manhood by leaping from a connected bridge in to the shallow water. I put a couple of bets down on a lanky kid from uptown, going against a beefy 2nd string from downtown on who would come back up. They shoved off, I won money. I think. I’m not sure. Come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure they were kids. They might have been adults. With cameras. Real tourism feel to them. Either way, good times.
Beef Sack (TFIU)
Rack of ribs from any hot deli
1. Separate ribs and put in plastic bag.
2. Find beach.
3. Eat from the bag.
4. Wash self in ocean.
5. Leave bag for seagulls.
Oni Balls (MUS)
1 cup white rice (rinsed, don’t be dirty you shit)
1 ½ cup water or more, probably 2 max
1 can of tuna (in oil IYR)
2 big spoons of mayonnaise
1 ½ spoons of curry powder
½ spoon of onion powder
½ spoon of garlic powder
salt & pepper
1. Start rice 15 minutes before you need to care about anything else.
2. In a bowl, dump the tuna and all the other crap I listed, mix.
3. Add salt and pepper, because this is the 20th century.
4. Lay out a small square (bigger than the palm of your hand) of saran wrap.
5. When rice is done, spoon some in to the center of saran.
6. Spoon tuna mix in center of rice.
7. Pick the saran up by the corners and place the lava-hot ball of starch in your palm, closing the corners.
8. Work it in to a ball by gripping.
9. Put on plate; repeat.
10. To serve, place 4 balls on a tire rim or whatever and add soy sauce.
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 spoons soy sauce
2 spoons lemon juice
2 spoons (olive IYR) oil/butter
2 spoons Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
1lb chicken (cut it however the hell you want)
1 onion (also cut it however you want)
10 wooden skewers or piercing instrument
1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. Mix everything except onions and chicken in a zip bag, because I’m running this show.
3. Put halved chicken in the bag; marinate that shit for as long as you have time for.
4. Skewer marinated chicken and onion.
5. Find fire; cook on each side for 3 minutes.
The library is closing, so I'm going to have to cut this a little short. If anyone needs me, I'll be right outside.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
What happens when you take a Psychology 101 class, feeling under appreciated, like you've somehow been bamboozled into giving vagrants $2000? You tell a rubric to go have a drink, on you, and write an essay that makes your teacher reevaluate if your attendance is even necessary.
Coincidentally, this essay earned me a perfect score, which has nothing to do with me having a Doctorate in Literology. Which was founded and mastered by me.
Pangaea on Planet Porno:
An Observation of Women in The Workplace
As a dedicated recluse, it was difficult choosing a place to conduct the observations I needed. As luck would have it, I found a decent chunk of cash stuffed in one of my shoes as I was making my way out the door. By shoes I mean an ATM, and by out the door, I mean too drunk to stay in the casino anymore. There were some papers and another pint waiting for me at home, but to get there, I either needed a German boxcar racer, or Ashley. We decided, or maybe I had, that a trip to a strip-club was sobering and depressive enough to cool jets and make it legal to be on the road for longer stretches of time. That’s how it works really, the more drunk you are, the shorter distance you can manage between stops. At half-cocked, Joel and I could make it from Traverse City to Mesick with little to no issue.
For legality purposes, I’ll refer to the club we were entering as “XOXO” from here on out. For non-legality purposes, we went to Fantasy’s.
XOXO charged us $15 each to walk inside a practically empty club. As it was Monday, I felt distinctly royal. The DJ responsible for the horrible music blaring from every shady crevice had decided in some fit of sadomasochism that pestilent Rock & Roll would be a suitable enjoyment. He was very wrong of course, but what other people do with their sobriety is their business.
The issue with being a woman in a male-oriented demographic is the ridiculous conversations I’m forced to have after I’ve shelled out $20 for a lap-dance. These women, who are trained to have a distant veneer to make money, have no problem humping my knee while they tell me how smart their kids are in preschool. I find this unfair, but I wasn’t allowed to intervene during my observation; so I’m speaking past tense.
Women in the workplace general tend to be two different tiers: the first type underlines women as an equal force to men in employment; they can work as hard, get paid as well, and have earned their spot in a company and the respect of their peers. The second type is considered less ethical, but plays on the same principles used by women in a place like XOXO’s: seduction sells.
If you’re in the metaphorical market for a raise, promotion, or specific favoritism, there’s a fair trade in selling seduction to co-workers in the exchange for those gains. In some cases, the intended receptacle for these salacious advances isn’t always a male; that’s simply the more justified gender for women to single-out. At times these advances can backfire, especially when in contention with other females for the same male attention. This creates a competitive air, even among those women who aren’t taking this particular method as a means of personal gain; an air that spurs some to dress with less social tact, behave desperately/mysteriously, take unnecessary risks, or in some more extreme cases abandon home duties to get a lead on the other women.
XOXO and places similar to it are perfect controlled examples of this hypothesis, as it’s a concentrated area where both tiers are dominantly present. I gave Ashley enough money to sit closer and I hung back to watch. It didn’t take long for the first few confirmations of my hypothesis erupted on the dance floor.
Tootsie was announced as our first dancer, marching on an imaginary catwalk with a stomp each time her foot dropped and wasted no time gripping the pole to hoist herself above our heads. I was much less impressed than Ashely, who threw dollar bills to the air in competition with an elderly male who was garnishing her attention. She noticed, but only after the elderly man decided to wave her off as he left for a cigarette. Ashley puffed out his chest and patiently waited with his best tough-guy expression while she took her time making it over to his side of the floor. She dipped, dropping her bottom in his face and shaking it over his cheeks, but stole glances to the door the elderly man had left from. Meeting Ashley’s stupefied gaze, she smiled sweetly and snapped her g-string, leaning forward to take his sweaty dollar. Before the elderly man returned, Tootsie’s music cut off, and she quickly dropped to her knees to shove dollars where ever they would stay, shuffling offstage quicker than she came. Our second dancer burst on stage, introduced as Candy.
Though her face was less attractive, Candy immediately drew herself to Ashley instead of the old man. She slipped out of her stringy clothes and showered herself in his money: rolling off the stage to put her crotch under his nose, shaking her chest over his forehead and forcing his hands to edge dollars in her genitals. She was trying harder and it was obvious, however Ashley’s growing disinterest was becoming equally as apparent. He released his tension, sinking deeper in the grubby seat, refusing to throw cash until she pattered off to tease his nemesis. I later asked him why he did this and was told simply, “She tried too hard.” This put broad strokes under an issue that also affects this type of method women use: if they make themselves too obvious or try too hard, it’s noticeable and conjures an opposite intended effect on men in the workplace.
But what happens to women who aren’t interested in making gain in the workforce who interact with those women who are? It was time for me to interject and answer this question. It was perfect timing for my semi-sobriety and we had been there for a few hours already with little to know entertainment for myself. I gripped a folding of cash from Ashley’s lap and picked both Tootsie and Candy for my experiment. Both had looked in my direction during their shows, but without enticement, both had left me to my relative state of depression to think about my choices in life.
Tootsie took my hand and led me back to a bed, where she let me take off my shoes and be horizontal for the first time in sixteen hours. She mounted my hips, occasionally asking me if I’d like to continue. Tootsie was business oriented I noticed, often looking over the divide to watch the other dancers and keep an eye on better paid or correctly gendered clientele. After three songs, she leaped off of me, took money from the bedside table and made her escape to another customer. I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened until the bouncer asked me to put my shoes on and get back to seating. Had she been more forceful and less upfront about her distaste for me, I would have been smitten.
Candy kept with growing tradition and went out of her way to make my time enjoyable. For the same money, she straddled my hips, brushed hair out of my face, kissed my ears and forced my hands on her thighs. However, this wasn’t in silence. Candy felt more comfortable dancing on women, she told me, and for five songs she proceeded to tell me everything about her life and her work. She illustrated her frustrations with the DJ, told me how much of an asshole he was to the girls, how mean they were to her in general and the competitiveness than kept her relatively low on the respect bracket for the entire club. Candy’s children were in pre-school, and they were very smart, as she told me while grinding my knee. She asked if red was my natural hair color, if I liked calorie counting and other friendly chit chat subjects you could easily over hear in a cafeteria. After my dance, she thanked me, so I gave her my business card. She was impressed and called me nice. I was not impressed and thought she smelled like a scrotum loogie.
Ashley’s dance with the same two women went entirely different. I overheard through the divider how drastically altered the women became when one was in competition with the other. Tootsie moaned, Candy giggled. No talking about family’s. No silence. Just seduction while eyeing each other over the divide.
In conclusion, my observation of XOXO’s dancers Tootsie and Candy helped prove my hypothesis that women in the workplace are either competitive to make gain, or business oriented and fluid in their approach to success. My time with both girls was longer than this essay permitted me to write, however, I did find conclusions to my questions and stand by my statement that a strip-club is the best observational area for this hypothesis. Or, if you're less inclined or more married, then this hypothesis could be applied in a women-only prison, provided you've run in to some trouble at the titty-bar.
On the back of this essay, I hand-drew a graph of the other women I met there, and compared them according to level of competitiveness using dicks and balls to stress levels of high and low. A dancer with less enthusiasm for my cash and more for wanting to cat-fight other chicks had a big long cock next to her name; for the girls who were just trying to pay their way though cosmetology classes and didn't care, they received a chode. Compliments of the chef.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Last night, as I was reflecting on the cruel neglect the Lord has shown Nicki Manaj, we got a text from Ashley* telling us to be ready by 6pm. Good god, I said to myself, it’s already late into five; if we’re doing this, whatever the fuck it is, I have to put my good boots on. That’s one of the moots of this wondrous woodland glen; you are apt to receive any manner of demands via text message without explanation, a heritage of their ancestors no doubt practiced through history. Though I do have small difficulties picturing the facial expression of Grog when he realizes with some dismay that by the time the carrier pigeon arrived, it didn’t allow him enough time to put his good mammoth furs on before company would call. I work on trying to see his frustration in my head as I thunk the back of my heel into my Toby’s, black and reliable.
If I can say one thing for Ashley, it is that he is very sturdy; an imposing mass of a man that slumps and drags his legs, not bothering with the effort needed to lift them, leaving what I believe to be evidence of Bigfoot with each thud of his shoe meeting snow. Children have used his sweet kicks as sleds since his balls dropped at four. You can imagine the embarrassment he felt, having all your friends climb you instead of the jungle gym or having to push the rollercoaster up the track instead of riding in it with the rest of his class. Having to be Chewy from Star Wars every single year since you could stand.
It doesn’t bother him much outwardly; what he lacks in physical speed and agility he makes up for with his quick tongue and lack of giving many fucks. Which I guess develops pre-t quick when your name is synonymous with comfortable furniture but your physical appearance denotes to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
~~This is my friend cuddly wumpkins, fluffy ambassador of plushy sunshine candy happiness. He likes bunnies, hugs, the color pink, and microwaving hamsters. (>^o^)> UffuuuuUfuuuuu~~
He showed up a few seconds after I got my other boot on. I snorted. Maybe it wasn’t the loyalty of carrier pigeons after all. He bowed as low as he could to make it through our bedroom door, and fell back with an alarming amount of trust on the edge of our bed. The room groaned.
“So where do you guys…want to go?”
King fluttered around, presumably cementing the supports back into the foundation.
“You um, did you have something in mind?”
“Want to go to the bar?”
“Whelp,” I said standing to my feet. “I’m out of ideas.” And I was. Normally that idea is only shot down if the bar explodes or I’m dead. I had drank fifteen beers before he arrived.
King wrapped a scarf around her neck, “Let’s go eat.”
This is a fantastic revelation according to Ashley, who musters the strength to stand up without a word and punch his pocket for keys.
For some reason I started to reflect on my life during the 45minute drive to town. Anytime I get in a car I reflect on my life. It’s my only indication that I’m not dead.
I tried to count my friends, got to three and told myself to stop lying.
Ashley reminds me of Nardo in some way. That is to say, they are nothing alike and aside from gender there is no reason I should have related them in my head at all. But I did, and it got me reminiscing on the things I’ve done to him since the day we met.
#1: I Spartan kicked him down a flight of stairs.
“Hey. Give me the mace.”
“Uh, sure here.”
We bought these really awesome Nerf weapons for bashing purposes, and I had drank my weight in whiskey. The ending of this story is me punching him in the back of the head repeating the word “mace” like the fucking Rainman.
#2: I told Facebook he was gay; nobody doubted it.
The way he found out was several phone calls from family members; half congratulating him, half asking if it was true. I found out that he found out by listening to the softness of his sob through his bedroom door. It was the second most hilarious shed of tears since I realized tapestry isn't the name of a country.
#3: I punched him thirty-seven times in the gut and told him he was a champion.
Technically, I told him that he could be famous if he could take more punches than the founder of PUNCHY, a faction of fisticuffs brawlers that doesn’t exist. I said this periodically though the night in convincing and frequent bursts until he agreed to let me punch him. I told him it would be filmed, reviewed by a board, and if he took enough punches, he would be considered Champion of PUNCHY. I stuck my fist into his gut thirty-seven times until I “missed” and socked him in the rib. It was a mercy snap. He didn’t know what was good for him.
#4: I told him to pursue a woman he didn’t know was an unshakable lesbian.
Nothing gives me more joy that creating social unrest. Since they pulled all the decent trash TV, I’ve been having to get wildly inebriated and talk to myself in the mirror for effect.
Me: We should hook Nardo up with uh…
Me: Thas’ a good idea.
Myself: Thank you.
Me: No thank you.
I sent a text to her explaining that Nardo was new to dating, and it would be super nice if she could help me out by rating his ability to flirt.
“Out of ten.”
Before she came over one day I told Nardo that he had to use all of his charms. To which he nodded solemnly and dried the sweat off his hands. He studied what I told him for hours. Absorbing his life’s worth in droves of secret female knowledge.
For the rest of the night it was an awesome mix of the worst possible pick up lines and random outbursts of the number two.
#5: I slipped him a special cookie; told him he got high off canned peaches.
Hopefully this story will go down in my friendship with Nardo as one of the best things I’ve done for personal hahas. I’m chuckling an evil chuckle as I remember this story next to Ashley and King, who have no idea why I’m laughing.
One of the major things about Nardo is that he’s bottomless. He can eat a ton of food, and sometimes, he can even eat things people shouldn’t eat. To put that in perspective, he once made mashed potatoes in a pot that had grown mold in the bottom. He ate the mashed potatoes without noticing, and puked for a mere hour when the rest of humanity would have been either dead or dying. Nothing phases this guy. And since nothing can touch him, Nardo will often pick at food he sees on cutting boards or stovetops, regardless of whether or not something is questionable. He just doesn’t have that thing that most people do that says, “Negative Ghostrider. Mouth is full.” Or “Looks dangerous. Let’s not.”
In this case, I brought a cookie that had tons of marijuana baked into it back from a trip. As soon as I got home, I split the thing in quarters and put an entire half on the cutting board in anticipation for him to come in looking for a snack. After a couple of hours, he raided the cabinets. He must have eaten several things that had expired, but he stopped when he saw the cookie.
“Whose is this?”
And he plucked the whole thing up, swallowing it whole. I had been advised when I took the cookie not to eat more than a quarter at a time, so I was beside myself with giddy, waiting for him to notice.
Minutes passed. Nothing.
He clears a bowl of cereal and talks incessantly.
He eats some bread, talking fast and excitedly.
Just as he’s halfway through a can of peaches, he stops.
“…What?” try not to look excited.
“I don’t feel right.”
“Well you ate a ton, so…” I’m going to fucking lose it.
“No. I don’t feel right.”
“I don’t feel right. Do I look okay? I don’t feel right.”
“You look fine.”
“DO I LOOK OKAY? ARE YOU SURE? IM FUCKING FREAKING OUT.”
“Calm down. What’s the matter?” ohgodohgodohgod.
“IT FEELS LIKE I’M IN MY BED BUT I’M NOT. I’M FREAKING OUT. DUDE. SHOULD WE CALL SOMEONE? WHATS GOING ON?!”
“You’re okay. What’s the matter?”
“I’M…I JUST…I CAN’T FEEL ANYTHING. AM I OKAY?”
“The…did you eat those peaches?”
“DID YOU EAT THOSE FUCKING PEACHES?”
“THEY WERE BAD. THE PEACHES WERE BAD. OH GOD.” I’m a monster, oh my god.
“YOU’RE…OH… oh…okay. Calm down. Let me get rid of the peaches. Go lay down.”
“I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS.”
“I’ll help you. IT’LL BE OKAY.”
I helped him to his room, explaining to him how the peaches were bad and how it was making him feel numb. He started talking about time and focus. I had to laughed into a pillow for an hour why he intermittently yelled nonsense to himself for an hour.
The next day, Nardo went through our entire food stock and threw out every single can that had expired.
It was glorious in a we-won’t-survive-a-food-shortage-now-but-that-shit-was-jokes kind of way.
Back in the truck, Ashley and King decided on Olive Garden.
We took bets on the tranny sitting next to us, drank a bottle of wine, and tipped the server in precious uncut sapphires. Something cold. Bitter. Betting tables. Blackjack. Cash winnings, $.40 slip. I woke up nested in the depression Ashley had made when he sat on the edge of the bed. They aren’t the same in any way. But according to the hole I woke up in, they aren’t imaginary either.