That's Just The Booze Talking

Friday, August 19, 2005

You’ve Got to Be Shitting Me

In this post , our not-all-that-secret blog crush points us to this , which makes us feel not so alone anymore.

Seriously, we have asked everyone we’ve ever met if bookstores make them poop, and people always looks at us like we’re crazy. Used bookstores, like The Strand, are the worst offenders. It’s as though Samuel Clemens is piloting a riverboat of cocky down our gastrointestinal tract, while Jane Austen looks on from the muddy banks, furitively Putting Mr. Kleenex’s Children Through College Patting the Badger. Or something.

Our guess is, the culprit is either some kind of magical poop mite that lives in the dust generated by all that old paper, or we’re just conditioned to associate printed matter with taking a smash. Actually, since women also seem to have the same reaction, and since they never bring reading material into the shitter with them, we’re going to assume that the latter is just a matter of coincidence. Of course, the primary difference is that when girls poop, rose petals come out. And corn. And poop.

Oh, and: In a doomed bid to make her think we were incorruptible, for the first year we lived with the Former Girlfriend of Sakebomb, we used to travel 20 blocks to the nearest Barnes & Noble whenever we had to poop. If that’s not love we don’t know what is.

In other news, we are suffering the kind of hangover normally associated with discharging automatic weapons in day care centers. At present, we are chasing a pile of Oxycontin down with a tiny airplane bottle of Stoli Gooseberry that we’ve kept squirreled away inside our desk drawer for just such an occasion. Oh, sweet Death, come pick us up in your Mustang 5.0 and we will do lawn jobs at Silvia Plath’s house.

This is the place what done us in. It’s got the best jukebox in the Slope––it’s the only place we know of where you can play “Where Eagles Dare” by the Misfits (“I ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch/You’d better think about it baby”) and follow it up with Arvo Pärt’s Litany and not get your head kicked in––and it’s positively festooned with corny “goth” nonsense. Commanding significant real estate is that old standby, the screaming skulls with wings jutting out of the sides that delight metalheads, punks and retardees alike. Besides the gift of flight, the skulls without fail tend to be ablaze, mysteriously generating a particularly tenacious brand of hellfire from within their boney carapaces. One day we are going to consult a physicist to see what kind of airspeed would need to be generated in order to make bone combust, but our guess is that those wings have a certain infernal power to them that can’t be measured by puny human science.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Drugs Don’t Work

This morning finds us out of the little blue pills that silence The Voices, the ones that tell us to get up at three in the morning and count our postage stamps (nine) and suggest that it might be a good idea to set fires to things that don’t exactly belong to us. While we’re waiting at the pharmacy counter in Duane Reade, we strike up a conversation with a pretty and exasperated woman who is literally tapping her foot in annoyance as we wait for the druggist-in-training to figure out some arcana having to do with the prescription of the portly gentleman at the front of the line.

We ask what she’s getting and she happily waves her scrip in the air between us.

“Birth control! You know it!” she says.

We notice that she is also carrying a box of condoms. We tell her that this is like wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time.

She laughs. “You can’t be too careful these days,” she says. “Maybe you should pick some up too.”

Now at this point we’re suppressing the urge to say something along the lines of Oh, I’ll just roll over and borrow one of yours, but we don’t want to spoil a moment of genuine bonhomie. Instead we say, “They don’t have the ribbed kind. I like them the best because they say ‘ribbed for her pleasure’ on the box. The hell with that––I bought ‘em, I’m turning them inside-out.”

It’s an Old Joke, but a good one.

Speaking of jokes, back at the doctor’s office, we observed to our GP that it was “a bad time to be a heroin addict.” To which he responded, “When is it ever a good time to be a heroin addict?” Touché, doc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Elvis Was a Hero to Most (But He Never Meant Shit to Me)

On this day in 1977, Elvis Aaron Presley took the Dump That Never Ended, going peace out on the shitter inside the trashy citadel that was Graceland. We recall not being old enough to care either way, and we still don’t really give a toss, although knowledge of the event, and a fair amount of moxie on our part, once helped us net a cool $100.

Here’s what happened: A handful of years ago, we were running this bar located in one of the rowdier precincts of a blueblood island resort. Toward the end of the summer we began ceding the lucrative night shifts to our junior associates at said bar, because after four months of work hard/play hard, we were more beat up than Farrah Fawcett at the beginning of The Burning Bed. So we’re setting up the bar at about 11:00 in the ayem when a huge outlaw biker looking dude and a blowsy blonde woman come sailing into the place.

At first, we entertain the notion of chasing them out of there with the news that we won’t be serving booze for another half hour, given the fact that we’ve got the kind of hangover that would give Fred Exley a boner and haven’t gotten around to icing down the beers, cutting the fruit, etc. etc. But then a spark of recognition burns a pinky-sized hole through the neural fog and we realize that the blonde woman is Tanya Tucker. Now we could care less about much of what passes for country music, favoring the kind of unholy skronk and barf of mental defectives like The Replacements over that whole woe-is-me, I’m-drunk-and-the-birds-are-so-sad-they-cannot-even-produce-actual-tears thing that you get when you combine an asshole in a pair of Dingo boots and a gee-tar. But Ms. Tucker had just been on CNN hyping her new autobiography, and we were particularly impressed by the forthright manner in which she discussed Glen Campbell’s long-running gig as the Special Nightly Guest inside her vagina. She told some (nose) hair-curling cocaine stories as well.

Long story short, we start serving up straight Chivas to the both of them, and in no time at all, our relaxed mid-week day shift has become utter bedlam, with Ms. Tucker alternately bellowing along to the jukebox and running through a mélange of bizzaro impersonations. After toppling her drink and breaking her glass while trying to do the world’s most alarming Brando imitation, we tried to steer her toward a safer, dryer island of conversation, viz, music trivia.

“O.K. smart guy,” she says, impatiently snapping her fingers at the biker dude, “I got a little Elvis trivia for ya.” As she says this, she fishes a crisp Franklin from the eely interior of her friend’s wallet.

Sipping our own drink––an employer-deceiving vodka and lemonade, heavy on the potato juice––we indicated that we were up for some wagering.

“Here’s the bet,” she says, slapping the bill down on the bar between us. “You tell me exactly where and when Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n Roll, died and that money’s yours.”

Clearly we weren’t about to let that bill slip through our aristocratic little fingers. Problem was, we knew the generalities––August, 1977, the throne room––but we couldn’t recall the actual date.

Fuck it, we thought. Grabbing the bill from the bar and folding it in half, we nonchalantly tossed it over our shoulder and into the tip jar.

“The King ain’t dead, baby.”

There was a moment of silence as the biker decided where he could bury our freshly-pummeled corpse, a moment broken only by Tanya Tucker’s exuberant Texas whoop. “That’s the exact right answer, sugar!” she yelled, and we were the richer for it.

Our boss didn’t fare nearly as well. Long into that afternoon, Tanya Tucker and her gentleman friend drank deeply from the top shelf. The final tab was somewhere in the neighborhood of $20.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Deeper Into Movies

Our weekend plans were scuttled, thanks to a sudden and debilitating financial crisis at Team Sakebomb World Headquarters, so like most of New York’s hoi polloi we were beached in the city, stranded like an unlucky boatsman on the wrack and wreck of the hottest fucking 48-hour stretch in recent memory. We were like this close to pulling a Mookie, except the pizza place around the corner already has its windows boarded over as its owner mulls the logistics of converting it to yet another infant sundries store. Anyway, our garbage bin is plastic. So there was that.

Saturday night found us trying to make up for a recent bit of bad behavior, which called for ironing a shirt and hoping that our American Express account could bear the weight of a restaurant tab that added up to resemble a Midwestern zip code. (Gents, heed this advice: If you’ve made a botch of your romantic affiliations, nothing gets you back into I-lick, you-scream contention than an expensive meal. It’s a small price to pay, metaphorically speaking. Literally, not so much.)

We were doing well, all charm and dash and clever patter. We flattered but were not glib; certain endearments were whispered. We were Cary Fucking Grant and Fox Mulder all wrapped into one delightful package. Then it happened.

We excused ourselves to repair to the men’s room, not realizing that we were about to see something that would forever change the course of our personal history. Swaggering up to the urinals, we picked the one on the far left of the row, glancing to our right and taking in a compact middle-aged man with a carefully trimmed beard. We were about to return our attention to monitoring our micturation, when it struck us: The man peeing beside us was none other than film critic Leonard Maltin.

Anyone who’s a regular reader of this blog probably intuits what happened next. As surreptitiously as these kind of situations allow, we stole another peek, only this time we aimed our gaze further south and to the right.

People, we saw Leonard Maltin’s penis.

After returning to the table, to the young lady who’s possessed of more grace and beauty than we have a right to, we tried slipping back into our Magnificent Bastard role, but it wouldn’t stick. Finally, after hemming and hawing and playing with our wine glass, we blurted out a confession. “I just saw Leonard Maltin’s dong,” we said.**

“Pardon me?”

“The film critic. Leonard Maltin. I saw his dong. He was standing at a nearby urinal and I just had to look.”

“You had to look?”

“I had to. I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t.”

“I see.”


“Well, how was it? Was it nice?”

Now this was something we didn’t expect. We know plenty of women who would ask what Leonard Maltin’s penis looked like; it’s an understandable question, given that it reflects the sort of human curiosity that led us to peek in the first place. And then there are those women who’ve seen every permutation of male genitalia on offer, you know, the ones with the thousand-dick stare. They might ask a similar question in order to file away the information in their vast back catalogue of wieners or to come to a basic understanding of the owner himself. (What’s that you say? It curved slightly to the left and bore a purple helmet? No wonder he liked Curly Sue.) This particular girl, however, is not like that at all. The grand total of her all-time sexual partners couldn’t field a bowling team.

“Was it nice? I’m not sure how to answer that.”

“I mean, was it trustworthy? Leonard Maltin has a face you can trust. He’s very smiley and seems like he’d be a good next-door neighbor. Like, he’d water your plants when you were on vacation and fetch your mail for you. That’s what I mean.”

“Trustworthy? My God, I…”

“Like versus yours. You have a completely untrustworthy penis. If it could get up and walk around on its own, it would probably commit crimes. It just looks like it wants to get into trouble. But Leonard Maltin’s probably isn’t like that at all.”


For the first time in our life, we were struck dumb. We had learned more about our lovely friend and ourselves than what would have been dug up by years of cohabitation and couples therapy. We learned that the woman who regularly allows us to see her naked thinks our dick has criminal tendencies. We also learned that other men’s dicks can be seen as “trustworthy.” And we learned that Leonard Maltin is packing a good eight inches, which is probably the source of that beatific smile of his.

Thank you, Leonard Maltin, for the gift of your unexpectedly large penis.

**The limitations of deploying the royal we are never more evident than when one is attempting to recount dialogue. Tough titty.