Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mau-Mauing the Bodywash Bourgeoisie
And Other Sorted Tales


OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- She wasn't going to respond because the guy was, well, a Grade-A douchebag of a chachball, primped and waxed and reeking of overpriced cologne.

"I dunno. I guess I'm just into, ya know, more real guys now... like waking up from a bad dream or something..."

She'd met the caller through a friend of a friend. They hooked up once, junior year. And recently he'd tried to kiss her at an Oxford bar, grabbed her ass and asked her to go home with him one last time...

And she went home alone. Yes, she is so hot - guys tell her that all the time. But it takes a whole hell of a lot more than bourbon on a guy's breath to get into her pants these days.

"I guess that's why I'm ready to get the fuck outta here, ya know?"

Unfortunately, he still had her number. When she was much younger, back when she was much less sure of herself, she would've hooked up with the guy in a heartbeat. Back then, super-preppy guys were her type. When they flattered her and bought her drinks, she'd spread her legs at the end of the night, pass out, and hope to God the condom didn't break...

She looked at the text message for a few seconds, deleted it, and turned off her cellphone.

"Anyway... what was I saying... Oh! This guy I've been seeing up in Columbus... we were talking last weekend, about punk music..."

Her new guy is about my age, 30ish. And he, too, grew up listening to a lot of hardcore punk music, enjoys reading the most obscure things, and, much to the embarrassment of her well-to-do family, is unrepentant when it comes to his militant, individualistic political views.

"It's weird, ya know? You remember talking online, what you said about guys who declare their independence just by being themselves? He's like..."

The new beau even comes complete with piercings and real (not bullshit emo, she adds) tats, as well a fondness for David Lynch films and Walt Whitman. And over the last few months, he's introduced her to all sorts of interesting people -- aspiring artists and poets, musicians and writers and even a chess-playing truck driver.

He even took her on a midnight picnic -- complete with wine and cheese!

There's just something breathtaking about her story, beautiful and simple -- the stereotypical former high school cheerleader finding her Prince Charming in the form of a tattooed punk who works in a warehouse...

"As the saying goes, well... just because I dress like this doesn't mean I'm a communist."

"Um... okay. Kinda weird, there. What the fuck?"

"It's a quote. Sorry, random."

"Oh. A poem or something?"

"Sorta. Billy Bragg. Or Lars Frederiksen, depending on who ya ask. Ask your boy. He might know it..."

And for some reason, I'm sure that, well, even if he didn't know the source of the quotation, he knows it now.

There's nothing in the world like a good love story, nothing like a tale of chess-playing truckers and moonlit picnics to leave me, well, without anything original to say.


HAMILTON, Ohio (ZP) -- A sentence or two, a laugh, and a quick, black spit onto the parking lot.

I'd seen the old man pushing his loaded lumberyard cart across the lot as I pulled into the hardware store. I offered, with a holler, to give him a hand before he killed himself.

Well into his eighties, and, well, he'd promised the Missus a new fence. And, goddammit, that's just what he was going to give her.

The steel plant retiree, round as a pumpkin and just as sunburnt orange, tossed the five 80-pound bags of quick-setting concrete into the back of the old station wagon while I loaded his pressure-treated fence posts onto the roof. I'd offered to do it all, but he insisted that he was still just as strong as he was when he'd retired back in the 1980s.

He offered me twenty bucks for my trouble. I declined. He offered me a six-pack of beer, the one sitting on the passenger seat. I explained that I was on a work errand and couldn't, well, drink on the job.

But the old man was a pillar of conviction - he would not take charity. Finally, we struck a deal. I'd run out of cigarettes, and he had a brand new pouch of chewing tobacco poking out of the pocket of his overalls...

Talk a bit, laugh, spit. A dirty joke here, a woman story there, and black juice shot forth into the air like cannon fire. Our conversation must've been a thing of beauty, a marvel to watch and to overhear. Carl Sandburg and Woodie Guthrie couldn't have done the workingman's lament any better.

And our lack of, well, urban sophistication must've driven the weekend warriors back into the safety of their gleaming SUVs, probably sent the soccer moms shopping for lawn chairs and garden fountains running for the nearest bottle of gin at the goddamn garden club.

"All these goddamn rich bastards," the retiree said, "Wouldn't know shit 'bout how to build their own goddamn fence..."

"Ain't that the truth, man? Up in Oxford, we've got em everywhere."

If there were such a thing as a repellent for the American Bourgeoisie, it'd come bottled as a few minutes' worth of hard, manual labor for no pay other than a chew of Levi Garrett.


OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- I took a large gulp of my drink, almost choked on it, as one of the women seated on the other side of the booth attempted to shove her high-heeled foot into my crotch.

I looked down between my legs -- gold hot pants! My God! Will somebody shoot whoever decided to resurrect that 1980s fashion nightmare?

I'd returned to the table too early. The two drinking companions I actually liked were still outside, still smoking their cigarettes. Sucks serious ass, sometimes, being the nicotine speed freak...

"So... hehe... you still wanna know? Okay... you get so many points for 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds... all the way up to, like, seniors and, like, grad students..."

I couldn't help but stare. Bright pink -- PINK! -- lipstick, lime green polo, spray-on tanned with the collar popped, trendy bobbed haircut styled in such a way as to cover one eye. And there she sat, this petite little woman, perched on the lap of an Amazonian blonde.

They were giggling, drunkenly fondling each other. It would've made for one hell of a sapphic tale had the conversation been different and the bar less crowded...

The Amazonian, for the record, was the owner of the crotch-violating golden leg. And, for some odd reason, I felt like I was trapped in a goddamn John Hughes flick.

"Okay, I got that. So... how many points do you get for librarians? Or faculty? What about, like, a lawyer or doctor?"

The Amazonian answered. Faculty, she said, were extra points in the game, rated based on hotness and age. Librarians? Well, librarians were of a point value that had yet to be determined.

Both women claimed to have already earned their faculty bonuses. Little Ms. Pepto was up a few points on Ms. Hot Pants.

Or...wait... No. I may have that backwards. Dammit. They just kept giggling, fondling each other, speaking in strange, tipsy Ohio Girl squeaks...

As I inquired about their points-for-sex game, I prayed that neither woman took my curiosity as an attempt to flirt, hoped that it didn't indicate any desire to become the sexual equivalent of a basketball free throw.

"So you're, like, really a librarian, right? Like, that's like really big here, huh?"


"Like, do you, like, enjoy reading?"


"Oh. My. God. Really? You don't look like you read a lot."

"Hooked on Phonics worked for me."

"What? Oh. Never mind. Did I tell you I, like, LOVE your hair... OhmyGod... it's, like, PERFECT!"


And with that, my friends returned from their slow-ass smoke. I jumped out of the booth, let the golden Amazonian leg fall to the floor as my compatriots slid back into their seats.

Thank you, Jesus. Saved by the buzzer.

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Anonymous said...

Asking how many points for a librarian, if you're a librarian, can and would probably be construed as flirting. As long as you wear like two condoms with them you'd probably be safe...

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