Thursday, October 29, 2015

23a: Happy Halloween!

I glance nervously around and, sure enough, there he is.
     "Ana, you look like you've just seen a ghost," my mother says, coming over, and, in her concern, passes out on the floor at my feet.
     "Christian, this is my mother," I say, introducing the two of them. "She's not drunk, she's just resting her eyes."
     "Should we move her someplace more comfortable?" Christian offers, helpfully.
     I nudge her with my foot. Christian too.
     "I think she'll be okay," I tell him and pick up my book from where I left it.
     He looks at the cover.
     "Ah," he says. "Leopold Stotch. His childhood nickname was Butters, you know."
     I knew, but pretended I didn't, like a good girlfriend does.
     "I read his second novel, The Poop That Took A Pee,  just after I flunked out of Pencey Prep, a preparatory school. It was the only thing I took with me. I read it while I was hanging around the Dakota in New York."
     "What did you think of it?"
     His eyes grow dark.
     "It inspired me to kill the phonies."
     Hunh? Ah? Wha?
     And then I remember his "dinner" with his "friend." That just brings my dander up all over again. I dust off my shoulder and say, "I thought you and your 'friend' would be out trick-or-treating or something."
     "Please, Ana," he says, his voice becoming hard, "it's not like you caught me at London's Cirque Le Soir. My 'friend' and I are just that: friends. What we had, we had years ago. She was having problems in her marriage, and I was having problems getting laid. Her husband was cheating on her with an intern at work, and we, ah, 'consoled' each other, but it never went any further than the physical. Now we're friends, and I'm grateful to her. She helped me start my first business, in fact. Clips & Nips, a topless barber shop. She saved me from myself and introduced me to myself."
     "That's ridiculous," I tell him. "Only a crazy person has different 'selves.'"
     My subconscious and inner goddess both nod their head in agreement.
     "Aren't you at least going to tell me her real name?" I continue. "I'm tired of referring to her as Mrs. Robinson."
     "All I can tell you, Ana, is to never see a physician by the name of Dr. Acula. All he ever wants to do is draw blood."
     "I'm serious, Christian."
     "So am I," he says, rubbing his neck.
     "Please," I whine. "Please, please, please, please, pleeeze!"
     "I'm afraid I can't."
     "How about her first name? Surely, you can tell me that much."
     "Well, I could, but not if you keep calling me 'Shirley.'"
     I unleash my secret weapon: my pouty face. He finally gives in when I tilt my head pathetically.
     "If you must know, her first name is Hillary and the reason I can't tell you her last name is because she's running for president."
     My jaw drops to the floor, tripping a careless passerby. Surely, he can't mean...
     "The last time we had sexual relations," he tells me, "we were in North Carolina for a weekend drive, just seeing the sights and stopping every now and then to 'scare the raccoons,' if you get my drift. Our fuel was low, so we stopped at a gas station. The attendant's name was Goober, at least according to the nametag stitched over the breast pocket of his uniform, and he asked us if we wanted the tank filled.
     "'Yes," Hillary told him, 'and please check the fluid levels under the hood, as well as the air pressure on the tires. All four of them.'
     "I laughed at her.
     "'What are you laughing about?' she said, laughing too.
     "'Well, I know you're married to the President of the United States of America, but what do you think would have happened if you had married Goober instead?' I asked, pointing to the attendant who was trying to figure out how to open the hood.
     "Her look turned serious, and then she told me even more seriously, 'If I was married to Goober, then he'd be the President of the United States of America.'
     "'Point taken,' I said, duly chastised. So you see, dear Ana, it wouldn't have worked out between us in a romantic way even if I wanted it to, which I didn't, as I've no interest in ever being the president. I couldn't afford the pay cut."
     "Oh, that's a scary thought."
     "What is?"
     "You, as president."
     "Is it really?" he says with a smirk.
     "Yes, that thought's scarier than a haunted house."
     Christian's smirk turns into a full-blown smile at that.
     "What are you smiling at?" I ask him.
     "That reminds me of my college years living in the dorm, when my friends and I would huddle around the Victrola crying to Judy Garland records. You see, the scariest haunted house I ever went to was on Halloween in Florida at the Chi Omega sorority house at FSU. I remember walking down the long hallway and each girl would open her bedroom door and tell me, 'Christian... I'm pregnant.' 'Christian... I'm pregnant.' 'Christian... I'm pregnant.' It was terrifying. I still have nightmares."
     "What happened to those girls?"
     "Sadly, my best friend Ted Bundy broke into the sorority house the following January and solved the problem for me."
     He curls his forefinger up and down.
     "Redrum," he says.
American Chimpanzee

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fifty Shades of Parody (Chapter 22b)

My mom was never in the Navy, but she was once an honorary member of the Sixth Fleet. They even voted her Miss Congeniality. She still has the trophy. To this day, whenever she has too much to drink the sailor in her comes out.
     "See you later, Popeye," she'll say.
     "Aye, aye, Brandy," he'll tell her. "You're a fine girl."
     She likes to spend her off-time drinking grog, getting drunk, and singing drunken sailor songs.
"Who's that knocking at my door? Who's that knocking at my door?
Who's that knocking at my door?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I need the loo and then it's you!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     Unfortunately, when I drink I have the bad habit of joining her. I put down my favorite book, a copy of The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs, and that's exactly what I do.
"Are you young and handsome, sir? Are you young and handsome, sir?"
Are you young and handsome, sir?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'm rigid and rough and turgid and tough!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     And together we annoy the other patrons in the bar with our singing of sea shanties and dancing of jigs.
"What if I should lock the door? What if I should lock the door?
What if I should lock the door?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'll use my Glock to shoot the lock!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     "Bartender!" my mother calls out. "Another pint of grog!"
"What if my parents should come home? What if my parents come home?
What if my parents should come home?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'll kill your pa and then your ma!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     Swinging our arms rhythmically from side to side, and hopping on our sea legs sideways from one end of the bar to the other and then back again, we were having a wonderful time.
"Will you take me to the dance? Will you take me to the dance?
Will you take me to the dance?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, forget the dance and off with your pants!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     The other first class passengers waiting with us are so entertained by our drunken shenanigans they complain to airport security, but we have our Get Out Of Jail card in the form of the sponsorship of one Christian Grey.
"Will you vow to marry me? Will you vow to marry me?
Will you vow to marry me?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, first we bed then maybe we'll wed!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     Some of the gentlemen passengers toss dollar bills up on the bar in encouragement, taking pictures of us with their smart phones.
     "I'm gonna put this on Instagram," a stranger yells excitedly.
     "Put this," my mother yells back, grabbing her crotch Michael Jackson-style. "Wee-hee!"
"What's that thing between your legs? What's that thing between your legs?
What's that thing between your legs?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, first it swings and then it stings!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     I've never had so much fun in my life. I wonder what Christian would think of me having so much fun. I think, to him, fun is an abstract concept, like an honest politician or military intelligence.
"What if I should have a child? What if I should have a child?
What if I should have a child?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'll shove it back and that's a fact!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     I know there's a human being in there somewhere, but first I'd have to peel back all his controlling issues, stalking tendencies, and perverting perversions.
"What if you should go to jail? What if you should go to jail?
What if you should go to jail?" said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'll swing my balls and tear down the walls!" said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
     But right now, drink in my hand, I just wanted to dance my problems away and my inhibitions into hiding, so I did a two-step, quick-step, and a bossanova. A little Victor Sylvester and a Rudy Valentino. You should have seen me moving, right across the floor.
     "Hand me down my tuxedo," my Inner Goddess salad dressing sang. "Next week I'm coming back for more."
“What if you should get the gas? What if you should get the gas?
What if you should get the gas?” said the fair Young Maiden.
"Well, I'll blow the gas right out my..."
     "Hey!" my mother yells over the noise. "I'm gonna work the crowd."
     She jumps off the top of the bar, leaving me to do the Lindy Hop on my own. I decide this would be a good time to fire off a quick email to Christian on my iPhone. I used to own a Blackbury, but Apple offered me more money for product placement.
     Ana, I tell myself, you can never, ever tell Christian about this.
     With a little arm-twisting, I agree.
     I write:
Hi, Christian. What are you doing?
     He writes back:
Nothing. What are you doing?
     I tell him:
Nothing. What are you doing?
     He tells me back:
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
Nothing. What are you doing?
     I can't believe I'm over 400 pages into this story and this is where we're at.
Where are you?
     I type, throwing caution to the wind. The wind throws it right back.
Right behind you.
     "Cowabunga!" I say.
     And surf's not even up.
American Chimpanzee

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fifty Shades of Parody (Chapter 22a)

"Thank you, Mr..." I take a quick look at the security guy's nametag, "...Johnson."
     "Ma'am," he tells me, indignantly, "my name is Raymond J. Johnson Jr. Now, you can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me Junie, or you can call me Junior, or you can call me Ray-Jay, or you can call me Jay-Jay, or you can call me RJ, or you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJJ Jr... but you doesn't hasta call me Johnson."
     Um... that's good to know. For future reference, I mean.
     "Thanks you," I tell him, "...sir."
     While in the First Class waiting area, I have a drink or two, a nosh or two, and a massage or two. I didn't know they gave massages at the airport, and the masseuse is kind enough to take my purse for "cleaning." Wow, I could get used to this kind of life.
     I send Christian a quick email.
"You are such a thoughtless jerk, spending money on me the way you do. I never want to see you again ever! Also, I am drunk. And how long does it take to clean a purse anyway?"
"Ana, you're rambling."
     My mother arrives just then.
     "Sorry I'm late, honey," she tells me. "I was working the truck stop."
     I'm in the middle of getting another massage, so I'm laying stomach-down with my face in the donut, just like I do every Saturday night.
     I see 2 pair of feet.
     "Hi, Ana," says the second pair. "What's new?"
     It's my step-father, Bob Bitchin.
     "Oh, nothing," I tell him playfully. "I just got a job in the last chapter."
     "Oh, honey," my mother says, "that's wonderful."
     "Yes," my step-father concurs, "it is. But you know you could have always come work for me, like your mom."
     I tell him I know, but I'm just trying to be kind.
     "I wanted to do it on my own," I explain.
     "I know, Ana," he tells me. I know, he knows, everybody knows. "Well, I've got to go. Dear..." he says, turning to mom, "how much did you earn for me at the truck stop?"
     "Twenty dollars and ten cents," she tells him proudly.
     "Tent cents?" he yells. "Who the heck paid you ten cents?"
     "All of them."
     While my mother is busy counting out all the dimes, I decide to send off another quick email to Christian.
"I'm sorry about before, Christian. I've been upset ever since John Boehner said he was retiring."
"That's okay."
"What are you doing?"
"Eating. With a friend."
"WHAT? You're EATING? With John Boehner RETIRING? I've never known anyone so callous! And, yes, I do know what the word 'callous' means. I never want to speak with you again... EVER! Oh, and can you send me your American Express number? I want to pay for things MYSELF."
     My mother is done, kisses my step-dad, and sends him on his way. Now she can turn all her annoying attention to me.
     "You have to lower your standards to get a man," she says, offering me unwanted advice. "Remember Ike Turner? From Ike & Tina Turner? I think he was Tina. Well, no sooner did he get out of prison for using drugs than he found himself a girlfriend. They made a whole movie about how he used to physically abuse his wife, and he still found a girlfriend. Do you know why? Because he found a girl with low standards. That girl would be alone today if she had set her standards any higher."
     "But I do have a boyfriend, mom," I tell her, beseechingly. "His name is Christian, and he's rich."
     "He's not like all your other boyfriends, is he? The ones you had in high school? The ones who always lived out of town so no one could ever meet them?"
     "No, mom. This one's real."
     "Because I don't want you to be like me, Ana. When I was younger, I set my standards too high. I remember one time, I was working a bachelor party when the future groom told me where I could find a husband. It was a building filled with single men who were looking for wives. He gave me the address and I immediately went there after servicing him and all his friends. I was greeted at the front desk by the receptionist, who told me, 'If you'd like, ma'am, you can go to each room down this hall, see what they have to offer, and choose your husband accordingly. The only restriction is that you can only go forward, not back.'
     "'I can't go back?' I asked.
     "'That's right, you can't go back.'
     "'Back, as in the direction I can't go?'
     "'That's right. back.'
     "'Back, as in recede, regress, or retreat?'
     "'That's right, back.'
     "'Back, as in move back, fall back, or turn back?'
     "'That's right, back.'
     "'Back, as in moving in a reverse motion?'
     "'That's right, back.'
     "'Back, as in no longer being able to advance in a backwardly direction?'
     "'That's right, back.'
     "'Back, as in...'"
     "Mom," I cut in.
     "What?" she answers.
     "You're rambling," I tell her.
     "Oh," she tells me.
     She searches for her point, and finds it. It had rolled under the mini-fridge.
     "'Aren't you listening to me?' the receptionist finally asked me. I must admit I wasn't, but that didn't stop me from immediately agreeing to the condition and starting my long walk down that long hallway longingly. When I got to the first room, there was a sign on the door that said: 'Short, Fat, Ugly, Stupid, and Poor.' I shook my head in disgust. Even us hookers have standards. They just happen to be in the form of U.S. currency. So I walked to the second room. There was also a sign on the door. It said: 'Tall, Fat, Ugly, Stupid, and Poor.' Not my cup of tea, so I walked to the next room, and the third sign said: 'Tall, Fit, Ugly, Stupid, and Poor." Still, no sell. My nose itched. I scratched it, and then made my way a little further down the hall. The sign to the fourth room said: 'Tall, Fit, Handsome, Stupid, and Poor.' Hmm... now we were getting somewhere. I like my men like I like my coffee: stupid. But that poor thing. Yeetch! I walked to the fifth room, and the sign on that door said: 'Tall, Fit, Handsome, Smart, and Poor.' These were men who had everything I wanted in a man, except what I wanted most: money. So I threw caution to the wind and went straight to the sixth door. The sign there said: "Tall, Fit, Handsome, Smart, and Rich.' Whew, finally! I stood there for a second, wanting to go in. I almost felt like crying. In a moment all my dreams would come true, but... I could see a final door at the end of the hallway. I decided to double-down and see what more I could get. So I walked the final few feet to the seventh door, turned the knob, and entered the room. Only it wasn't a room. It was the alley behind the building. This time the sign was on the other side of the door. It read: 'This Proves That Women Are Never Satisfied.'"
American Chimpanzee