Monday, June 30, 2014

Fifty Shades of Satire (Chapter 11)

Inside the manila envelope there are several papers... and a duck.
     Not a real duck. A photograph of one. Did you think I meant a real duck, silly? That's because you're stupid.
     I fish the papers out, my heart pounding in my freshly-shaved chest. There's a hand-written note attached. It reads, "Don't worry about wearing any jewelry. I'm planning on giving you a pearl necklace."
     I sit back on my bed and take a closer look.
     Hmmm, it's a menu.
     Here, I'll describe what I can, but some of you may have just eaten. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary later, if you're still curious and aren't a Hollywood celebrity.
Christian Grey's Homestyle Sex Buffet
Alabama Hot Pockets
Charleston Chews
(You put your top lip on top, you put your bottom lip on the bottom, and you work the middle.)
Cleveland Steamer
For Breakfast
Boston Pancake
For Lunch
The Hot Lunch
Texas Hot Plate
For Dinner
Mississippi Meathook
(You hook your thumb and forefinger like you're carrying a six-pack. Only it's not a six-pack, if you get my drift.)
The Houdini
(You pretend to do something, but you don't, and, when your partner looks back, you do it.)
Canada's History
(Something so depraved, it can't be explained on TV.)
The El Paso Theory
(There's a sex act named after every major metropolitan city or state... except El Paso.)
Clam Jam
Canton Crab-Walk
Hot Carl
(No, I'm not talking about that annoying kid on The Walking Dead.)
Chili Dog
Toledo Taco
Alaskan Pipeline
Jersey Turnpike
(This one requires someone eventually yelling out, "I'm a blast in a glass!")
Celebrity Specials
The Kanye West
(Stopping in the middle of what you're doing, telling your partner how a previous partner did it better, then continuing.)
The Tony Danza
(Somewhere along the line you yell out, "Who's the boss?" Then you give your partner a donkey punch, and answer, "Tony Danza!")
The Cosby Sweater
(This one sounds fun. You eat your fill of a colorful cereal, then vomit on your partner's chest during--well, you know--giving them a colorful "sweater," like the kind Bill Cosby used to wear on his TV show.)
The Paris Hilton
(I don't want to be too specific, but, like Kansas, it's flat, white, and easy to enter.)
For The Kids
Panamanian Petting Zoo
(It's better that I don't even try to describe this one.)
Strawberry Shortcake
Toledo Raspberry
Maui Mudslide
Toledo Mudflap
Donkey Punch
Dirty Sanchez
(It's when you... and then you... and then...  and then... excuse me, I need to throw up.)
Rusty Trombone
Angry Dragon
(You smack your partner in the back of the head so that something in their mouth shoots out of their nose, making them look like an angry dragon.)
Angry Pirate
(Like a sniper, you shoot out your partner's eye with, well, you know, and then, when they get up to yell at you, you kick them in the shin so that they hobble around like a one-eyed, one-legged angry pirate.)
Pink Sock
(You don't know. You don't wanna know.)
Teabag (no charge)
No substitutions.
(And everything comes with a nice "glaze.")
     That was the single most disgusting thing I've ever read, and I've read all three of the Twilight books. Twice. You think Christian would have included something a bit more classy in his menu, like butt plugs.
     I read it again. Yeah, still disgusting. What would my parents think? Oh, that's right, they don't care.
     My subconscious warns me to tread carefully. My inner goddess says to go for it. The third voice in my head keeps telling me to kill. Silly voice.
     Whenever I think about Christian Grey, my inner goddess' eyes pop out like Jim Carey's in The Mask. Her mouth opens and her jaw hits the table. Her tongue rolls out of her mouth and flops to the floor with a wet thud. "Whatta man!" she'll say.
     I think she's smitten with him.
     Holy frijole, am I hungry. If the menu selections were food they would sound delicious, but they're not. They're just a list of different acts of hibbity-jibbity. I wanted to explore my sexuality, not be the main course in some psycho's decadent one-man dinner party. I look over the menu again. Should I start with a nice salad, or go straight to dessert? I wonder why there's not a Philadelphia Pizza on this thing.
     Mmm... pizza.
     My phone rings. It's my editor, Sid Rosen.
     "An, Ana, ANA!" he greets me. "How ya doin', babe?"
     "I'm fine, Ed," I tell him. "How are you?"
     "Not good, babe," he answers. "Not good at all. You're killing me, Ana. Killing me."
     "Why, Sid? What's wrong?"
     "It's those pages you've been sending me."
     "What about them?"
     "They're so thin on content they'd have to run around the shower to get wet."
     "Well, I'm doing my best, Sid. I don't..."
     "Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't you write about you and Christian exchanging a bunch of emails with each other? That would really fatten things up."
     "I don't know, Sid. Do you think that's realistic?"
     "What do you mean?"
     "I mean, a man--a billionaire--don't you think he'd be too smart to put something in writing that could be hacked or exploited by some exploiter? You ever hear of Monica Lewinski?"
     "You ever hear of Anthony Weiner? I rest my case."
     "I SAID I REST MY CASE! Trust me, babe, this idea's a winner."
     "I don't know, Sid."
     "Hey, I've gotta go, babe. What a surprise, Michael Jackson just walked through the door."
     "Isn't Michael Jackson dead?"
     "That's why it's such a surprise."
     "Okay, Sid. Goo..."
     Too late, he was done before I could finish. Just like Christian Grey.
     Now, what am I to think of all this? The man--Christian Grey--drives me nuts. On the one hand, he has the dreamiest eyes a girl could get lost in. On the other hand, there's that limp. He told me he got it in Viet Nam.
     "But you're too young to have served in Viet Nam," I told him.
     "I was there for spring break," he answered, "and the hookers. I love their hairless little bodies."
     "Vietnamese people are hairless?"
     "They are when I get done with them."
     Personally, I don't care for Vietnamese food. It makes me too gassy. There was a time when I was on a strict water-only detoxification diet. That's when I found out water made me gassy, too.
     "Maybe you're lactose intolerant," my gay Mexican friend José once offered.
     "How dare you call me intolerant," I chastised him. Why couldn't he have offered me a hot dog instead? "I'm as tolerant as the next guy, as long as the next guy is Mel Gibson."
     As it turns out, lactose is some kind of thing in dairy products that some people's digestive systems can't break down and process. If you eat diary it can give you gas and explosive diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea is just like regular diarrhea, except more explosive.
     I can live with that. And pizza.
     Mmm... pizza.
     But if there's one thing I love most of all, it's ice cream. I love ice cream, and if explosive diarrhea is the price I have to pay for eating a gallon or two in one sitting, then that's a price I'll gladly pay. I think this love affair with diary goes back to my childhood, when my father used to beat me with a cow.
     Wasn't it the late, great humorist, Will Rogers, who said, "I've never met a mayonnaise I didn't like."? Well, when he said that he must have been thinking about me. That's been my problem my whole life, dead men thinking about me.
     As opposed to Christian Grey, who's very much alive, except for his soul. And his cold, lifeless eyes. Eyes I could get lost in. But I've already said that. Thank goobers I get paid by the word.
     I haven't been this confused since I had to figure out which bathroom to use at a LGBT convention, and I hate it, I Hate It, I HATE IT! I hate me, I hate my life, I hate Christian Grey, and I hate what he's doing to me. Why couldn't he have given me roses, preferably the edible kind, instead of some menu filled with some of the most vile, vulgar, and delicious-sounding selections this side of Madam Suki's Sushi Emporium & Nail Salon.
     I close my eyes and drift off into a heavy sleep.
     Mmm... pizza.
     I don't know what my editor could even have been thinking about, I don't even own a computer, so I don't know how he expects me to exchange emails with Christian.
     "Wake up, Ana," my roommate Kate interrupts my revery, "you have a delivery."
     "Is it a pizza?" I ask, hopefully.
     "No, it's a computer."
     Aw, you can't eat a computer. Believe me, I've tried.
     "That's right, ma'am," a male voice says, malefully. "A laptop, to be precise. It's the HAL 9001, a Heuristically programmed Algorithmic computer, and it's courtesy of Christian Grey, Ltd."
     What a jerk that Christian Grey is, I thought to myself. How dare he GIVE ME SOMETHING!
     That's right! my inner goddess agrees with me.
     You go, girl! my subconscious says.
     The third voice in my head offers no opinion. It just sits there, cleaning its gun.
     I look up and see a walking side of beef. If this were a movie, Rocky would be punching on him to get ready for a fight. Kate's noticed him, too, and she likes what she sees. I can tell by the puddle of drool at her feet.
     "How thoughtful," Kate says. "Christian sent you a computer, and he sent me... him!"
     "Sorry, ma'am," the delivery guy says to her, taking a step back. "But I'm supposed to set the computer up for Miss Steele here and show her how it works."
     "Pish, posh," Kate says, taking his arm and leading him into her bedroom. "Pish, posh, I say. Have you ever heard of an Dominican Head Dunk?"
     "No, ma'am," he answered. "I haven't."
     "Well, you're in for a treat," she tells him and then turns to me and says, "You don't mind if I steal him from you, do you, Ana?"
     "Well, can't he set up the computer and show me how to use it first?" I ask.
     "I didn't think you would," she answers, and disappears with him into her room. She closes the door behind her. I hear her turn the lock. And then the other lock. And then the other.
     She wasn't letting this one get away.
     Oh, well... how hard can setting up a computer be?
     By the next day, I've just about got it figured how to take my new laptop out of its box. Kate and the delivery guy are still in her room. I hear her charging up her defibrillator. She must have really shown him a good time.
     With the computer out of the box it's a simple matter for me to plug the three-pronged electrical thingie into the three-opening electrical thingie in the wall and I watch--amazed--as the computer comes alive in my hands. There's probably a sexual metaphor there. Crap if I know what it is.
     A large red light, round and located in the center of the computer, comes on. It reminds me of an eye--my father's, after a night of entertaining one of my "aunts"--and looks as if it's looking at me. I lean to the left, it seems to look to the left. I look to the right, the same thing. If I didn't know any better, I'd think...
     Ding! the computer says, interrupting my train of thought. How cute. the computer dings! when it wants to get my attention. I wonder if I can get it to tell me where Kate hides the kielbasa.
     I look. Oh, my. I already have a message. It's an email. And it's from Christian Grey!
     I open it. It reads:
From: Christian Grey
To: Anastasia Steele
Date: 7-14-14
Knock, knock!
     What? A knock, knock joke? I... uh... don't understand.
     Another message from His Majesty. I open this one as well.

     Oh, my. He sounds rather testy. I quickly answer back. I don't want him mad at me.
From: Anastasia Steele
To: Christian Grey
Date: 7-14-14
Who's there?
     Buster? Hmmm...
Buster who?

It sure was fun to Buster cherry.
     How... how... romantic! If there's one thing Christian Grey is full of, it's romance. Yeah, he's full of it, all right.
     I look back at the emails. My editor was right, they sure do take up a lot of space.
Knock, knock!

     I don't make the same mistake, and I answer back quickly.
Who's there?


Dewey who?
For future reference, Dewey have to use a condom?
     A what?
A what?
Knock, knock!
     Man, is this getting tiresome.
Who's there?
     Oh my gosh, don't tell me Christian is one of those Star Trekkie freaks? Crap, do I find that hot.
Khan who?
Khan-dom! Do we have to use a Khan-dom?
     Oh... a Khan-dom. Now it's all beginning to make sense.
     Not use a Khan-dom? How stupid does he think I am? In this day and age where sexually transmitted diseases are as common as a White House denial, he's asking me if he can get out of using protection? I've never been more insulted in my life, so I write back:
Not if you don't want to.
Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Little Boy Blue.
     Wow, I wonder what incredibly romantic thing he's going to tell me this time?
Little Boy Blue who?
Little Boy Blue Michael Jackson.
     Hmm... lemme see that menu again.
     I shut the computer off. The big red eye stays on. Does it ever turn off? I look into the black screen. My god! It's full of stars!
     But I can't worry about that now, I've got to get to work. I'm not scheduled, and they're not expecting me, but it is my last week. Mr. and Mrs. Clayton will be glad to see me. They're like the parents I never wanted. I just wish Mr. Clayton didn't have such a hard fist. Mrs. Clayton, too.
     Do I need a shower? I take a quick whiff. Hmm... nothing a little deodorant can't take care of. Or do I mean antiperspirant? My armpits are so confusing.
     All thoughts of personal hygiene go out the door when I think about Christian Grey emailing me. Emailing me.  Emailing ME! I hate to admit it, but Knock-Knock jokes make me hot ("Knock-knock!" Who's there? "Dwayne." Dwayne who? "Dwayne the bathtub! I'm dwowning!" [Mmm...I wonder where I left my vibrating toothbrush.]). How does Christian Grey know?
     Still, I can't worry about that. Following the good example of my thoughts about personal hygiene, I head out the door as well.
     "Bye, Kate!" I yell on my way out.
     "Hep!" she yells back, sounding an awful lot like the delivery guy.
     I wonder what "hep" means and why I'm hearing it all over the place these days. It must be a new way to say hello and goodbye, like "aloha" or "I'll call you."
     I'm hard at work when José gives me a call around 11. That's 11 on the clock, not the volume knob on Spinal Tap's speakers.
     "Hey, have you read my humor blog yet?" he asks me, sounding like the old José, lispingly pathetic. José is one of my oldest and dearest friends, but I have to admit that he's a bit of a--what word did Christian use?--spic-n-span?
     I hate the thought of having to read his blog. It's such a pain when friends and relatives use their relationship to get you to do something for them that you don't want to do. Like drugs.
     I really don't want to read his blog, it's probably written in Spanish, but how do I break it to him?
     "I'm reading it right now," I tell him.
     "I thought you were at work?" he asks me. Dang, how did he know? Besides my telling him, I mean.
     "I am..." I say, choosing my words carefully. "I'm on a break."
     "I thought you couldn't use the computer at work?"
     "Did I say 'break'? I meant lunch. I went home for lunch. That's where I'm reading your blog."
     "But I'm calling you on your work phone."
     "You didn't let me finish, I went home for lunch, and now I'm back, and that's why I was able to read your blog."
     "You said you were reading it right now."
     "I am, only not right now right now, but right now earlier. When I was home. At lunch."
     "I see," José says. He sounds as confused as a one-humped camel who likes to hump twice. "Well, which story do you like the best?"
     "I like the one that was about that guy who did that thing at that place where all that stuff was going on."
     "I thought that one would be your favorite. It's mine, too."
     I can see Mr. Clayton, he's giving me the eye. I stock it with all the others.
     "I've got to go," I tell José. "Come by in half an hour and we'll do lunch."
     "I thought you already went to lunch?" he says. Man, that José sure does think too much.
     "I'm talking about my second lunch. The one after my first."
     José shows up exactly a half hour later. It's not that he's punctual, it's that he's unemployed, illegal, and has nothing better to do than live off the tax-payer's dime. He can do that, because the Democrats say so.
     He bounds into the store like an idiot, which he is.
     "Ana," he tells me, honestly happy to see me. He's also happy to see a free meal, which he knows he'll be getting from me. It's dark in the stock room where I am, and all I see are his eyes and his teeth. How can I stay mad at this Latin loser?
     "Let's go," he says. "I'm starving. I also forgot my wallet."
     "Don't worry," I tell him. "I've got it covered. Let me just tell Mr. Clayton I'm leaving."
     I find Mr. Clayton. He's with Kate. She's buying a new battery for her defibrillator.
     "I'll be with you in a second, Miss," he tells me. "Let me finish with this customer first." He turns back to Kate and tries to whisper. " And does that hundred get me a happy ending?"
     "Don't be silly, Mr. Clayton," I say, trying to get his attention, "I'm not a customer. It's me. Ana."
     "Ana. Ana Steele. I work here."
     "Miss, I know every person who works for me, and I've never seen you before in my life."
     "Kate," I beseech, "tell Mr. Clayton who I am."
     "Do I know you?" Kate asks.
     I give up.
     "Well, I'm leaving for lunch," I tell the two of them.
     "Be back in an hour," Mr. Clayton orders. "Whoever you are."
     "Yes, sir," I say.
     I respond well to orders.
     I can't wait to get home. I have to empty my bowels, and I'm not allowed to use the one at work. I usually have to go behind the dumpster with the rest of the homeless.
     Crap! Kate's home, and she's on my new computer. I really wanted to get on it and see if you-know-who has sent me another you-know-what.
     "Kate," I tell her. "I can't believe you didn't back me up with Mr. Clayton."
     She looks up from the screen. So does the red eye.
     "Do I  know you?" she says, her eyes never leaving the screen.
     Oh, how can I stay mad at Kate, dear Kate? If I stayed mad at all my friends, then I wouldn't have any. Much like I don't now.
     I look at the top of the screen. Ooh, ooh! I have something in my inbox! I'll go to the bathroom and take care of it later, meanwhile I can't wait to read the new email I see I've gotten from Christian.
     I look at the screen. Kate's researching pictures of Bigfoot. Hmm... I see it's not just his foot that's big. Wait a minute! That's not Bigfoot! That's... that's...
     ...Ron Jeremy!
     After throwing up, I'm practically bouncing out of my chair with glee as I read the message that Christian has emailed me.
I'm sending you this via email because, as everybody knows, email is the most secure form of correspondence. There's not been a more secure form of communication since the mega-phone. I'd hate for any of this to be made public, like that unfortunate video I made with Kim Kardashian. Or was that Paris Hilton? I get the two of them mixed up, since they look so much alike.

     Eh? Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton look nothing alike.
Christian: From my angle, they did.
     How does Christian do that? It's like he can read my mind, or something.
Christian: Far from it, my dear. I know so much about you, Ana, and yet I know so little. 
Me: What would you like to know, Christian?
Christian: I'd like to know what makes you who you are. What were your parents like?
     My parents. Hmm...
Me: My parents, they always fought about the silliest things. The last time I saw them argue, they were fighting over the toilet plunger. My father didn't like being hit with it.
Christian: Well, that explains a lot.
Me: It explains what?
Christian: Like why you've never been on a date.
Me: I, too, so have been on a date, I type angrily. I remember my first date very fondly. I was so excited. My date wasn't as excited as I was, though. He never showed up. But what about you? Tell me something about yourself.
Christian: Well, I love fat chicks, baby. No matter where you grab them, it's like you're grabbing a breast. It's your turn, now. What was your first job?
Me: Well, believe it or not, my first job was at Hooters. I worked in the kitchen.
Christian: Your favorite food?
Me: I love a good burrito. They're like sleeping bags for beans. I used to like to drink carrot juice with them, but then I realized that carrots don't have any juice. What the heck had I been drinking all those years?
Christian: I've noticed, Ana, that there's not much you won't put in your mouth.
Me: Is that a bad thing?
Christian: Not from a man's point of view.
     I'm starting to get tired of Christian's arrogance and the feeling of superiority he wields over me like some kind of wieldy-thingie. It's time to bring him down a peg or two.
Me: How would you know what a man's point of view is? I mean, other than the fact that you're a man, of course.
Christian: Ana, dear, I didn't mean to upset you, but everybody knows that sex is God's cruel joke on humankind. As a man gets older, he loses his natural horniness. As a women gets older, she gets hornier, but, unfortunately, by the time that happens, her virginia is already past its expiration date.
Me: Are you saying my virginia is past its expiration date?
Christian: I'm not saying anything of the sort. I'm just saying that women don't age like wine. They age more like milk. You might drink a glass of milk that's past its expiration date, but, trust me, you won't enjoy it as much.
     Crap, the guy makes sense.
     He continues:
Who's there?
Urine who?
Urine secure, aren't you?
     Well, I never. I'll show him that two can play at that game, so I type:

Who's there?

     "Idaho," I write.
     "You certainly are," he writes back.
    Well, how rude.
     I take the opportunity to type in "submissive" into Wikipedia. If you can't trust Wikipedia for good information, then who can you trust?
     Oops! I accidentally type in "submarine" by mistake, and I spend the next few hours reading about these underwater miracles that were inspired by a longer-than-it-is-wide sandwich. Mmm... longer-than-it-is-wide. That makes me hungry. Now, where can I get a nice submarine sandwich?
     I got it.
     He's in the Navy, after all.
     Only Popeye's doesn't serve sandwiches, they serve chicken. I'm so disappointed I can only eat two buckets of their extra-crispy. On my way there, I accidentally ran over an old homeless woman, but it wasn't serious. There weren't any witnesses.
     Back home, I try my luck at the computer again. Submachine gun? No. Submerge? That just leads me back to "submarine." Submissive? Jackpot! Now I can see what all the fuss is about.
     Hmm... so that's what a Pink Sock looks like. Why do all those Japanese people like to play with chocolate pudding? Is that a Baby Ruth?
     Sorry, Christian, I think to myself, but there's no way I can go through any of this.
     It's Christian.
     "What do you mean there's no way you can go through any of this?" he yells at me through an email. "Give me a second, I'll be right over."
     A second later, there's a knock at the door.
     "Holy smoke," I say, only I don't say smoke. Do I really need this? Right now? I need space. I need to think.
     Why is thinking so hard?
Fifty Shades of Satire

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fifty Shades of Satire (Chapter 10)

"Christian, who's that queer little fellow?" I inquire about the odd looking creature I mistook for his mother.
     "That's Doobie, my man servant. And believe me, he's no queer. He keeps going on and on about some girl he left back home."
     "I can't believe you really do have a manservant. I thought it was just a dream."
     "Yes, I acquired him in England when I was going to college."
     "Hogwarts. I found him during Spring Break. He was buried by the sea in the gardens of Shell Cottage, a little place we rented on the outskirts of Tinworth, Cornwall. That's right next door to Plegm Falls. Some four-eyed hooligan had left him for dead, but I dug him up, gave him an aspirin, and he sobered right up. Aspirins are good for everything. Everything, except bringing a dead hooker back to life. Just ask my old college roommate, Dave Attell. Anyway, Doobie claims I saved his life and he was therefore indebted to me for life. Personally, I think he was just a doper who saw an opportunity for a free ride. Be that as it may, whatever you do, don't give him any socks."
     I wake up and realize that's the longest bit of exposition I've ever heard from Christian Grey. I wipe some drool from one corner of my mouth--the droopy one--and say, "He looks like Larry King with pointy ears."
     Indeed, he's even wearing suspenders to hold up the potato sack he was using for clothing. I find that... odd.
     "Don't be an idiot," Christian chastises me. "That potato sack is made from the finest imported burlap money can buy."
     We see Doobie escort Christian's mother off screen.
     "I guess we'd better get dressed, Ana," he tells me. "That is, if you want to meet my mother."
     Meet his mother? Meet His Mother? OMG! He wants me to MEET HIS MOTHER! The last time I was in this position... aw, who am I kidding? I've never been in this position. The closest I've come is when my best friend invited me over her house to meet her family. We played Hide & Seek. I hid for three days before I realized they had moved.
     I look at my inner goddess. Hey! Put that cucumber down! That's disgusting!
     "Christian," I say, "it's so soon. Do you really want me to meet your mother?"
     "Of course I do, Ana." he tells me. "You see, my mother fears I'm gay. She mistakenly got that impression when I told her Crocket won't stay on his side of the tub when we bathe. So, you see, you'd actually be doing me a favor, allaying my mother's suspicions and what not."
    Is this the Pillow Talk I've always heard so much about? If so, what a disappointment. Yet, in the few hours I've known Christian, I've never seen him so... so... talkative. Revealing little bits and puzzle pieces of his life, leaving it for me to put the picture together. I wonder if it's a picture of something to eat?
     "Now, be a dear," he tells me, "and get dressed. Let's see, where did I put my Haz-Mat suit?"
     He's ready before I am. My hair's a mess. It has the matted texture of a dead cat. I do what I can with it, which isn't much. Larry, the third Stooge, had more manageable hair.
     I pick up the same jeans and top I've been wearing for, oh, five days now. My jeans look as if they can stand on their own. I give it a try. They can. I smell the pits of my blouse. Hmm... why am I suddenly in the mood for a pepperoni pizza with extra parmesan cheese?
     As usual, Christian comes to the rescue.
     "If you like, you can pick something out of that closet," he tells me, pointing to a closet.
     "You bought me clothes?" I say, offended. "How dare you be so presumptuous."
     "Nonsense, they're Doobie's. He bought them for the day his girlfriend might visit."
     Oh, that's different. Wearing another girl's clothes isn't beneath me. I can do stuff like that ever since I got rid of two little things called pride and self-esteem. Just ask Kate. I see a robe and a scarf. Some black round-framed glasses and a stick. Hmm, not my style. I pick out a colorful summer dress. The perfect thing for winter. I dig around.
     "Hmm, this is a nice bra," I say.
     "It's Doobie's," I'm told.
     "Any panties?"
     "I'm afraid you'll have to go commando, dear. Unless you want to wear some edible panties I bought for you as a joke."
     "I ate those last night."
     "You'll really like my mother," Christian tells me, putting on the matching helmet to his Haz-Mat suit. "She's a feminist in the classic sense of the word. Feminista, from the Latin, meaning: To Hate Men. She likes to spend her time finding out what people are saying about her on Facebook, and then crushing them."
     "What's Facebook?" I ask. "Is it that book with a face on it, like on The Evil Dead?"
     "What's Facebook? Ana, where have you been all your life? You don't own a car, a computer, or apparently a hairbrush. You don't have a job, the internet, or a clue. You barely know how to use soap. And now you're telling me, you don't know what Facebook is?"
     "Oh... Facebook! I thought you said: Tastebook. A book you, um, taste. You know, like Scratch & Sniff." I was bluffing, but I think he bought it.
     "Anyway, she's a doctor. An OB-GYN."
     "An... Obi Juan Kenobi? That old guy from the Mexican version of Star Wars?"
     "Don't tell me you've never been to a gynecologist? That's a doctor for your hoo-hah."
     "Christian, I've never been to a doctor, period, much less one for my hoo-hah.. My hoo-hah's never been sick a day in its life."
     "Surely, you're joking."
     "I'm not joking, and don't call me Shirley."
     That Christian, sometimes he makes me so mad. He is such a Control Freak, and dang skippy I'm capitalizing those two words. First he wants me to get dressed. Then he wants me to meet his mother. And now he's telling me I need to see a doctor?
     I shouldn't be surprised, though. That's what a control freak is, a freak who controls. He's such a freakishly controlling control freak, and I won't ever stop calling him a control freak. Mainly because I've misplaced my thesaurus.
     I look at my inner goddess. She's serving my subconscious a cucumber salad with a nice vinaigrette. They think he's a control freak, too.
     "Ana," he coos apologetically. "My dear, sweet, dumb-as-a-stump Ana. At the very least you should give your hoo-hah an occasional self-examination."
     "How often should I do that?"
     "At least as often as I get a colonoscopy."
     "Once a year?"
     "Once a week. You'd be amazed by how many shiny new pennies my proctologist finds."
     He gives the top of his helmet a jaunty tap.
     "Do think about what I've told you," he tells me, and then leaves. "Ta-ta! Cheerio! And all that."
     When he's out of the room, I think about what he just said. It may seems odd at face value, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
     Hmm... I have a little time.
     I look around. There's a circular mirror hanging by the door. It's about the size of a manhole cover. That would work.
     I carefully take the mirror down and lay it flat on the floor in the middle of the room. I squat over it, lift my skirt and, feeling awkward, check out the view.
     Just as I'm getting a good angle to the dangle, the door swings open.
     "Mother, let me introduce you to Ana," I hear Christian tell her.
     I don't want to, but I look up and give his mother a crooked smile. Christian stands there, shocked into silence.
     "Hello," I squeak from my squatting position.
     His mother eyes me coldly.
    "Hello, dear," she finally forces herself to say. "Do be careful not to fall into that hole in the floor."
     Meeting Christian's mother, Dr. Grace Transylvanian-Grey, is like meeting the queen. I'm talking about the queen who performs in the drag shows at the Old Plantation, a gay nightclub in Downtown El Paso. She is aloof. She is regal. And she smells of mothballs, but the expensive high-quality ones you buy at Target.
     "Mother," Christian tells us, "I'd like to introduce you to Ana. Ana, this is my mother."
     I give her a classy salute, accidentally poke myself in my eye in the process, and say, "Dr. Grey, I am so sorry."
     "Nonsense, my pretty," she assures me. "It's every mother's dream to find her gay son in bed with human toilet paper."
     She's about to say something else, but my cell phone rings. I put up a finger. "Shhh!" my finger says. Thank goobers. It usually says, "Pull me!"
     Crap! Crap! And double-crap! It's José. That pansy's timing is worse than Kate's period's. What kind of worthless information is this loser going to bore me with today?
     "I better take this," I say, politely. "It might be important."
     They assure me it's perfectly fine by standing there with their mouths open in disgust. I press several buttons until I hit the right one that answers the call.
     "Hello?" I say into the phone. "Oh, it's you. What do you want, José? I'm busy. That's none of your business and I'm not going to tell you. Okay, I'm here with Christian. Yeah, we did it. No, I can't tell you how big it is. Because I'm standing by his mother and everything. I also signed a contract. Who? No, she's not. She's quite lovely, in fact." I give Christian's mother a wink, letting her know that I've got her back. "You're such a jerk for saying so. I'm never going to talk to you again. Okay, I'll call you tomorrow. And the horse you rode in on. Bye."
     I try to find the right button to end the call. It doesn't take me as long.
     "I'm sorry," I apologize to Christian and his mother. "I had to take that. It was my grandmother..." I don't know what to say. "...she died."
     "That's quite all right," the two of them say and offer me their condolences.
     Dr. Grey turns to her son.
     "Your Ana is quite the catch," she tells him. "I can see why you're so taken with her." And then she turns to me. "I do hope you'll forgive me interrupting your breakfast."
     Christian and I look at each other. We're perplexed.
     "We weren't having breakfast," I quickly correct her. Oh, great. Now she'll want me to serve her cereal.
     "Nonsense, my pretty. Then why does it smell like bacon grease?"
     Our looks of perplexity turn into looks of embarrassment. I can feel my cheeks turn beet red. Mmm... beets.
     "Because grease is the word, mother," Christian tells her, saving the day yet again. "Grease is the word."
     Mercifully, my phone rings again. It's Kate, the whore. No, really. That's what it says on my phone.
     "I have to take this," I say. "It's, um, my grandfather."
     "Dear me," Christian's mother says, giving  her son a look, "I do hope he hasn't died, too."
     I lift my phone, look at it, and press the answer button on the first try. I guess I'm getting the hang of it after all.
     "Hi, Kate. What do you want? I can't talk, I've signed a contract and everything. Also I'm meeting his mother and I'm trying to make a good impression. That's just plain rude, Kate. She's old, but she's definitely not a hag. Far from it, in fact." I give Christian's mother another comforting wink. "I can't tell you. I can't tell you. I can't tell you. Okay, I'll tell you. You know how a woman has an entrance and an exit?"
     I hear Christian loudly clear his throat.
     "Oh-oh, gotta go. I'll talk to you later."
     I receive five more phone calls. Three are from telemarketers. One is from Publishers Clearing House. Wow! I may have already won a million dollars. The last one I can't make out.
     "Does anybody know what 'hep' means?" I throw out there.
     Nobody does.
     Well," Christian's mother tells me, "it was certainly interesting meeting you, Ana, but I must be leaving."
     "So soon?" I say. "It seems like we barely had a chance to talk."
     "Does it now?"
     "You'd better let my mother leave, Ana," Christian breaks in. "Otherwise she'll turn the conversation, as she always does, to why I'm not married yet."
     "Darling," Dr. Grey tells her son, "you say 'marriage' as if it's a bad thing. Your father and I were happily married up until he had his horrible accident."
     "Father's had an accident?"
     "Give it time," she tells him, and dismisses it with a wave of her hand. "Nonsense, marriage is a fine institution."
     "Mother, it's no coincidence that the word you use to describe marriage, i.e. institution, is the same word used to describe prisons and insane asylums."
     His mother ignores that. She says, "You'll find out that one of the pluses of being married is the pleasure you'll have day-dreaming about being single."
     She holds out her hand to me.
     "I'd like to invite you to lunch some day..." she tells me, "...but I don't want to."
     She turns back to her son.
     "Come kiss mommy goodbye," she tells him.
     Five minutes later, they're still kissing each other goodbye. I guess the filthy rich are different than you and I. Mainly you. Doobie and I are standing there, awkwardly shifting from one foot to the other.
     When did he show up?
     Doobie looks up at me with big watery eyes and offers me a hand-rolled cigarette, like the kind John Travolta would smoke in the movie Pulp Fiction.
     "You wanna get high?" he asks me in that high-pitched English accent of his. "It's... magic."
     "Uh..." I say, taking a step away from him, "no thanks."
     "Abra-ka-dorky," he says, giggling. He takes a deep drag, holds the magic in his lungs for more than a few seconds, and then lets his breath out in a contented exhalation of smoke. He looks up at me again, his long nose pointing at me questioningly.
     "Do you have any socks?" he asks, his eyes giving the impression that he should be building a railroad in the old west.
     "No," I tell him, discreetly taking another step further from him. "Sorry."
     He's busy contemplating the drifting smoke. I don't even know if he heard me.
     He takes another deep drag, holds it even longer, and then empties his lungs in a slow, satisfied puff. He takes his time and dreamily considers the burning ember in his hand.
     "You know what makes me hungry?" he finally says, with eyes that would look quite natural behind the counter of a Chinese laundromat in the 1800's.
     "Smoking that" I say, pointing to his joint. The one between his thumb and forefinger.
     "The smell of bacon grease."
     Thank goobers my phone rings yet again. This finally causes Christian to end the goodbye kiss with his mother. His mother seems a bit miffed, as opposed to muffed, which, Kate tells me, is some kid of fun smothering act you do to your soul mate du jour.
     "Hello," I answer, and then listen. "You don't say. You Don't Say! YOU DON'T SAY!"
     I hang up, and put my phone away.
     "Who was it?" Christian demands to know.
     "He didn't say."
     "Crocket," Christian orders, "bring the Weinermobile around."
     Thank goobers, for a second there I was afraid he was going to ask for the Batmobile.
     "Oh, Christian," I say, and giggle affectionately at his little joke, but when we get to the ground floor, dang if there wasn't the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile parked at the curb, like a hot dog waiting for its master.
     He holds the door open for me and I get in. Christian, always the gentleman, pretends not to notice the Weinermobile tipping in my direction from the added weight. Christian gets in from the driver's side, which makes sense since he is the driver, and the vehicle immediately rights itself from the more even distribution of weight.
     He puts a CD into the stereo system.
     "How 'bout that Slim Whitman," he says as the music comes on. "Did you know he's sold more albums than the Beatles?"
     "Well, that's what it said in the commercial." He begins to sing. "I remember you-ooo!"
     I didn't know he could yodel. Is there not nothing this man can't not do? Wait, how many negatives is that? I think I'm okay.
     "Why me?" I suddenly ask the question that's been on my mind, stuck somewhere between the bratwurst and the polish sausage. "Why not just hire a prostitute to service you when you get your sick urges?"
     "I thought that's what I was doing."
     "Huh? Ah? Wha?"
     "You see, I care more for the produce I grow in my garden than I do for the produce I buy at the grocery store. I feel with you the kind of closeness you can only get in prison with your cell mate."
     I don't know what he just said, but I think it means we're going to eat soon. And we do.
     We stop at El Paso's world-renowned Chico's Tacos for an order of their specialty. A double order of rolled tacos in a tomato-y sauce and topped with a small mountain of cheese.
     "Can I have a hot dog, too, Christian?" I say, my stomach growling in agreement.
     That's too bad, because their hot dogs are a specialty, as well. They're made using hamburger buns. Yum.
     As we sit down to eat, we engage in the normal kind of small talk that normal people talk small about.
     "Why are you such a pervert?" I ask him, sticking the rolled taco in and out of my mouth suggestively. Mmm... tacos.
     I take a sip from my soda. Hmmm, diet. I open four packs of sugar and pour the contents into my drink. I stir the soda carefully to dissolve the sweet granules without disturbing the amount of carbonation in my drink. Christian is saying something. I guess I should pay attention.
     "It all began with my father, I suppose," he confides in me. I look over at the next table. Hey! That girl got a hot dog. It looks good, too. No fair. I grab two more packets of sugar. "I was a mere lad of four or five, when I accidentally walked in on my father masturbating. I was shocked, needless to say, but my father, the loving parent that he was, saw it in my face, called me over and told me, 'Son, this is a perfectly natural thing for men to do, and you'll do it soon as well.'"
     "Because that's what boys do?" I ask.
     "Because his arm was getting tired. Growing up, I had the kind of good looks that attracted come-ons from my mother's friends. Unfortunately, her friends were Michael Jackson and Jerry Sandusky. If that sounds pathetic, let me assure you that it is. Getting women in bed has always been easy for me. I have the looks, the charm, the Vulcan nerve pinch. The problem has always been that these women then try to attach themselves to me the way plaque tries attaching itself to my arteries. I'm on my third heart now."
     "Can I have one of your fries?"
     After eating, we drive the rest of the way to my apartment in silence. What am I to make of this man and all that he's told me? Yes, I have a lot to digest. Not food-wise, one order of rolled tacos by itself does not a meal make. No, I'm talking about the information he just parceled out to me like a rich UPS man. More pieces for me to assemble into the picture that is Christian Grey. If only these pieces would fit as easily into one another as that vacuum handle fit into my hand. So much emotional dandruff, so easily brushed away.
     He dropped me off at the front of my apartment building.
     "I'd see you up," he tells me, "but I don't want to."
     The apple doesn't fall far from the womb.
     And he drives off.
     In his Weinermobile.
     I walk into my apartment and Kate is busy in the living room packing her books into crates. You would think one crate would be enough, but you'd be wrong.
     Did I mention we were moving? Yeah, as soon as we graduate from UTEP we're getting the heck out of Dodge. Did I mention we were graduating from college? I think I did. That's why Kate's packing up. You would think she'd have furniture or something, but she's got nothing but books.
     Kate, meanwhile, is tying to find out all about my weekend with Christian.
     "So," Kate says to me, weaselly, "did he mention my name?"
     "I can't tell you," I tell her.
     "Did he do the nasty?"
     "I can't tell you.'
     "Did he mention my name while he was doing the nasty?"
     "I said I can't tell you. I..." I am almost ashamed to admit it. "I... signed a contract. A confidentiality agreement."
     "You signed a confidentiality agreement?" she sputters. "How... how... romantic. I remember when I signed my first confidentiality agreement. It was for my father."
     My jaw hits the floor, bounces back up, and smacks me in the eye.
     "Your father?" I exclaimed, rubbing my eye.
     "Oh, calm down. It's not what you're thinking."
     "It's not?"
     "Well... that depends on what you're thinking."
     I couldn't tell her the truth, but I had to tell her something. She has that kind of power over me. The kind of power where, if she asks me a question, I answer. So I say, "He wanted me to give him a toe job. He called it getting off on the right foot."
     The whole uncomfortable conversation is interrupted by a knock at the door. It's José.
     "OMG, girlfriend," he lisps. "Where have you been? I had a terrible accident last night and I needed a friend who could keep a secret."
     "An accident? Osh kosh by gosh, José. What happened?"
     "I sat on a cucumber by accident. Seven times! I needed someone who could take it out and not tell anybody. So I called Kate."
     Kate? Holy smokes. I look at her, my eyes as big as saucers. It's a medical condition.
     "It wasn't me," she clarifies.
     "So... what did you do?" I ask José.
     "Kate was kind enough to send over a midget friend of hers. It worked out for the best, because, if he tells, no one will believe him anyway. Nobody ever believes anything a midget says. Just ask Dave Attell."
     That's the first I've heard about it, and the second I've heard about this Dave Attell character. I look at Kate. She's nodding in agreement.
     "That's true," she confirms.
     "So... what happened?"
     "He took out the cucumber and now we're going on a romantic cruise. In fact, I just got back from the pharmacy. I get sea-sick, so I went there to buy some Viagra and Dramamine. Can you believe the pharmacist told me, 'Son, if it makes you sick, then why do you do it?'"
     So... how did my life ever get so out of control? Ever since Christian Grey entered it, I feel like I've been on a roller coaster of emotion in an amusement park of confusion in a city of turmoil in a state of bewilderment in a country of distraction in a world of perplexity in a universe of consternation.
     I turn back to Kate.
     "You're missing the point," Kate tells José. "Enquiring minds want to know: how do you remove a cucumber?"
     José goes into a detailed explanation that includes a pair of tongs, a turkey baster, and some cherry-flavored oven mitts. Thankfully, they're so caught up in the mechanics of cucumber retrieval, they've forgotten all about me.
     Speaking of forgotten I look at my hand and see the large manila envelope I'm holding. I'm only mentioning it now because my editor says I really need to eat up some pages.
     "Just write whatever piece of crap comes into your head," he told me. "It doesn't matter how outrageous it is. By the way, did you know that Bob Dylan once rhymed outrageous with contagious? That man's a genius. Like me."
     I tear open the envelope and look inside.
     Another contract for me to read and sign? If I wanted to read, I would have gone to a better college.
     Just ask Dave Attell.
Fifty Shades of Satire