Up to No Good: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Growing up, my folks often likened me to “Dennis the Menace.” That’s cool, I liked Dennis; he seemed like a fun kid that I definitely could see myself hanging around with. Personally, though, I always felt a stronger bond to Beaver Cleaver…the Beav, from TV’s Leave it to Beaver. [I also thought that Eddie Haskell was one cool mofo.] But, hey, both characters were always filthy dirty, reeking of guilt and up to their ears in mischief, so I can’t say my parents were terribly off the mark with their choice. Except that Dennis always seemed to be lighting a fire under his neighbor Mr. Wilson’s ass, and like the Beav, I was a thorn in the ass of our entire neighborhood. Regardless, this was the image my parents pegged me with from the time I was five or so…
From an early age, I always seemed to be somewhere or doing something that I really shouldn’t have been. [I think you can tell from my first two posts here on 30POV that this trend hasn’t really trailed off in my adulthood.] And as such, I found myself struggling with this month’s topic of “Making Mischief,” because what would I write about exactly? Should I share another personal story? If so, which one? After all, there are a lot to choose from. And if not share a story, what insightful advice might I offer to the readers? [Ugh…who am I kidding, nobody wants my advice on this.]
I’ve decided to share another personal story for this month’s topic of “Making Mischief.” Okay, a few stories. Fuck…fine! I’m going to share a lot of personal stories, a greatest hits selection, if you will. [Greatest Hits, Vol. I, we’ll call it, because there may be an opportunity to expand on this in the future.] And what better way to present one’s greatest hits than in the style of a kickass “greatest hits” album [complete with sweetass liner notes, obviously], right? So without further adieu, here we go…
(Circa ’82) One hot summer day, a childhood friend and I spent the afternoon playing “war.” Not in a makeshift fort built from couch cushions in one of our apartments, or even on the sprawling perfect-for-playing-war-grounds of our own apartment complex. No, we chose the backyard of a home that ran along the side of our building, just beyond a Great Wall of thick brush and thorny bushes, in a beautiful, lush vegetable garden belonging to […if memory serves me right…] an elderly woman whose days revolved around the upkeep of her own private Eden. And there, we unmercifully kicked in the heads of our enemies (i.e., squash and melons), bravely sacrificed our bodies diving on top of IEDs (i.e., lettuce and spinach), crawled on our bellies through what felt like miles of barbwire (i.e., cucumber vines), and made use of our vast supply of grenades (i.e., tomatoes, bell peppers, peaches and figs). That afternoon, we won the battle. But that evening, when our parents learned of what went down, we lost the war.
2. The Fuck Heard Around the World
(Circa ’81) My mother had just returned home from a trip to the supermarket and I insisted on helping her bring the bags in from the car. She walked them into our building, two at a time, and set them at the bottom of a looong staircase up to our second floor apartment. Bag after bag, she’d set them down and say “Joseph, leave ‘em. I’ll do it. Go upstairs.” And, like I always did, I disregard my mother’s wishes, picked up a bag and struggled mightily to the summit. On one trip [my last trip that day], I picked up a watermelon the size and weight of my torso. Bumping and banging it up each and every step, I had almost made it to the top…just one more…uh oh. There it went, through the air, down the steps, as if I had launched it with a catapult. [It had such impressive velocity.] I reached out in a half-assed attempt to catch it, but it was gone. And that’s when it happened. I let loose my first, and perhaps most appropriately used, “FUCK!”s to date. And as I followed the zeppmelon’s flight path down the steps, it landed at my mother’s feet. Even from that distance, in that poor hallway lighting, through the tears that immediately began to well up in my own eyes, I could actually see her blood boiling.
3. Washing Prepubescent Pussy (Out of your Mouth)
(Circa ’84) One day, while messing around on the monkey bars during recess, a friend tried talking a bunch of us into doing some completely asinine flip maneuver from atop its highest peak. [If you’ve never met me, I assure you that at no point in my life have I ever had the…um, physique?…for such an acrobatic maneuver. Let alone as a ~7-year-old.] I stalled, letting others attempt it, knowing that all it would take was for one kid to get hurt, or chicken out, and I’d be off the hook. As the first kid climbed up to the top, he turned to us and started whimpering some sadsack excuse. Obviously we mocked him quite a bit, urging him to keep going. It was then that I hollered, [something very close to this…] “Just do it, you fuckin’ pussy!” Before I even had a chance to enjoy the hilarity of the over-my-7-year-old-head “pussy” taunt, Mrs. Manzi [a nasty bitch of a teacher…and still teaching today!] had grabbed me by the back of my collar and was dragging me off the playground. As I watched through glass as my mother, teacher and principal discussed my “foul mouth,” I knew this was the worst thing I’d done to date. And later that night, as my mother washed my mouth out with a big, fat bar of brown soap, I sobbed and promised never to curse again.
(Circa ’86) Every 4th of July, my father would take a ride down to NYC’s Chinatown to get a huge box of fireworks – “Whistlers”, Jumpin’ Jacks, Roman Candles, bricks and belts of Black Cats, M-80s, etc. This one year, during a family bbq, my cousin and I snuck away with a handful of packs of Black Cats [You know these, they’re the small firecrackers about half the size of a cigarette.] We thought it would be fun to deconstruct a pack or two of these firecrackers, emptying all of the gun powder in a new larger firecracker made of toilet paper. [It looked like a giant thumb-size joint.] My cousin had reservations about this plan that I had masterminded, but I assured him “We’ll be fine.” [As I’ve said before, more often than not anyone who’s uttered the words ‘I’ll/We’ll be fine’ usually regrets it for one reason or another.] We had strung together three or four of the deconstructed firecrackers’ wicks for this Frankencracker, but it didn’t work as we’d hoped. Almost instantaneously as the match I was holding touched the wick the firecracker exploded with exactly the bombastic result we’d hoped for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear a thing. Well, except for that high pitch whistling in my ears. My cousin was talking to me, but I could barely make out his words. I avoided my family members for the rest of the night, as I hoped, wished and prayed that my hearing would return. Honestly, when I fell asleep, I still couldn’t hear. Luckily, today it’s fine.
5. Regurgitating dinner
(Circa ’86) I didn’t like school as a kid. In fact, I hated it, what with all that sitting quietly, behaving, doing homework, learning and whatnot. Blegh! [Yeah, I know, what a unique kid.] Unfortunately, the only chance I had of not going on a particular day was if I were sick – and I wasn’t sick very often. But I figured out a way around it. Sure a fever would keep me home, but I couldn’t fake a fever. Vomiting would keep me home too. But I couldn’t fake vomiting. Or could I? I woke up before my parents on this morning, snuck down into the kitchen and scooped a few heaping spoonfuls of the previous night’s pasta and some veggies into a big glass. [You see where this is going yet?] I went back to my bedroom and sat on my bed chewing on this cold, grimy food, spitting each mouthful onto the floor. After I had finished it all, and had formed a nice vomit-like pile, I began gagging myself and making vile sounds. With my eyes watering and nose running, my mother came running to the rescue. “Oh, you poor thing! Shhh…it’ll be okay.” I think I then took a nap so I’d have my energy for a full day of playing Zelda. [I know, in hindsight, that it would’ve been much easier to simply scarf down the grub and pull the trigger for some authentic vomit, but I wasn’t a smaht kid.
6. Urine in trouble now
(Circa ’86) He’d sit there in the cafeteria each day, eating his peanut butter and caviar sandwiches or herring filets in cream sauce. [I mean, c’mon! Who sends their kid to grammar school with such lunches?] Leor was one weird kid; and not just weird, but a fucking dick. He was also the class bully. He fancied your traditional bully antics – knocking books out of your hands, sticking shit on your back, jamming your locker with gum, whipping you with towels in the locker room, etc. One day in gym class, before we even got started, Leor whipped a dodgeball into the back of my head, knocking me to the ground and leaving me teary-eyed. While kids laughed, and he was being reprimanded by a teacher, I ran off to the locker room to get myself together. I was fuming. But what could I do? I should’ve gone right back out there and punched him the throat and pulled out his eyeballs! That would have shown him! [Thinking back to this day still gets my heart racing.] At that moment, I made a decision that I still can’t fully explain. I threw open Leore’s gym locker, pulled his school clothes out onto the floor, and I let loose with what felt like the longest piss that had ever been released – ALL. OVER. HIS CLOTHES. Leore wore his gym clothes for the rest of the day and I was blamed for “wetting” his clothes, though urine was never entered the discussion/accusation. We had to serve detention together that afternoon – cleaning the boys’ locker room. It was worth it.
7. Schedule Payment
(Circa ’87) I was once the paperboy in my neighborhood. The long, hilly route had nearly 70 customers and would earn me some pretty sweet tips each week. After I had quit, I returned from time to time to those houses that left their weekly (cash) payments/tips under their doormat or mailbox, and I’d take it. And then I’d go to the baseball card shop and hope to get a McGwire “Rated Rookie” card in a wax pack of Donruss.
8. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Living Daylights
(Circa ’88) I loved James Bond movies as a kid. My dad and I watched the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond films over and over and over again. But when the franchise was turned over to Timothy Daulton in The Living Daylights, I jumped ship. And when I was introduced to the awesomeness that is Indiana Jones, shortly thereafter, I had found my action movie replacement. In fact, after renting Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I declared it the best movie ever made. [I was ten years old, so please forgive me. I’ve since realized that title belongs to The Empire Strikes Back.] I loved Temple so much – and hated Timothy Daulton so vehemently – that shoddily swapped the VHS tape labels and returned the shitty Bond movie to the movie rental shop. A few days later the jig was up. They called my house, my mother chased me with a broom, and the rest is history.
(Circa ’89) The very first time my parents allowed me to go “hang out” at the mall with my friends, I was in sixth grade. [It turned out to be the last time they let me do so for quite a few years afterward.] While I would have rather spent a couple of hours in Record Town, my friends wanted to go to Spencer Gifts instead. So off we went, perusing all the titty beer koozies, inflatable dolls and lava lamps. But as we were leaving, one of my friends had a brilliant idea – “let’s buy silly string!” Fast forward an hour, when the three of us were on the floor of the women’s department in Jordan Marsh, in the middle of a moist, hot pink stringy battlefield, surrounded by mall security and the store’s employees. [Clearly not the best decision given my newfound independence.] My father had to leave work to come and “claim me” from the security office. That was not a fun night in the Poopoopachu household. [It’s worth mentioning that my hole was dug even deeper by my purchase of a “Kill a Commie for your Mommy” t-shirt earlier in my mall adventure.]
10. Breaking and Enter(tain)ing
(Circa ’92) Shortly into the summer before my freshman year in high school a new kid arrived on the scene; his family rented a house in my neighborhood directly behind mine. He was cool and fun, and he fit right into the gang from day one. But two things in particular made him the new kingpin on the block, 1) his parents hardly did any “parenting,” […yes, I know this sounds completely fuckin ridiculous coming from me, as I sit here sharing story after story of my mischievous acts from childhood…] so all the no soda, candy or chips rules, curfews, homework before watching TV…those didn’t exist at 265 Tulip Road – not for him, and not for the kids hanging out there everyday, and 2) he had the all-new Super Nintendo game system. [Ho-ly-shit wasn’t it mind-blowing to go from 8- to 16-bit graphics!?] Obviously, when my friends and I learned that our new pal was going on vacation for a few weeks with his family, our spirits were crushed. We were lost and desperately searched for things to occupy our summer days. But just a few days into his absence, we realized that the answer was right in front of us – he went on vacation, not his house. And, after all, it was his house that we really enjoyed, not him per se. So one morning, we went around back onto his deck, gently cut the screen and shimmied the kitchen window open. Viola! For the next week, we spent countless hours playing TMNT and Tecmo Bowl on Super Nintendo, eating every bit of food they’d left behind, including frozen Omaha Steaks pork chops, rifling through their belongings, and even selling some of some old coin collection to the antique shop so that we could buy […you may have guessed it…] baseball cards. While we thought we were being very conscious of our activities (e.g., packing out any trash we accumulated, keeping everything as we found it, etc.), we did some awfully fucking stupid things that could have gotten us caught, such as making hundreds of prank phone calls and messing around with his sister’s birth control pills. But we never did get caught. So we enjoyed another week in his house later that year, when they went to Florida for the holidays.
11. The Good Ones Swallow
(Circa ’95) Shortly after high school, one of my friends got his own apartment. He was by far the most “mature” of my friends; he went into business with his brother, fully supported himself, and he had an apartment that didn’t look like it had just been the scene of a 24-hour kegger, but rather an actual home. In said home, he had a big fish tank in the living room. It was his prize possession. On the night of his house warming party, he was running around entertaining guests, giving them the tour from room to room, etc. While he was doing that, the drunkards and I sharing space in the living room thought it would be hysterical if each time he came in to show people the aquarium there were less and less fish in it. [Yeah, okay, it was my idea.] A friend quickly reached in, grabbed a fish and tossed it in a cup on the table. That wasn’t going to work. I raised the bar, declaring “Ok, we’re going to eat all the fish! We can’t just hide them in cups of beer.” So one by one, we’d wait for an opportunity, reach in and grab a fish, and then…GULP! Swallowed ‘em down alive. Honestly, each of us must have gobbled down 7, 8, 9 fish, until there was one remaining, a massive goldfish the size of a pack of cigarettes. By the time our host realized the fish were gone, we had to come clean with what had happened, because everyone at the party was in the know and in tears […and some were dry-heaving]. Was he angry? Upset? Nope, he reached in and grabbed that big ol’ sumabitch of a fish and tossed it in his mouth. Unfortunately for him, it was too big to swallow. He tried multiple times, spitting it out onto the carpet, putting it back in his mouth with its tail flapping through his lips. Then, as a last resort, he chewed it up, took a BIG swig of beer, and it was over. And the partying began.
12. Canon Ball!
(Circa ’97) I was visiting some friends at the University of Albany one weekend when all the morning drinking caught up with me real quickly and I was in dire need of a lunchtime nap. When I woke up on the couch a couple of hours later, everyone was hootin’ and hollerin’ out on the front porch. I peeked through the blinds and saw a friend jumping up and down on the hood of a car parked out in front of the house. Without thinking for even a split second, I ran out the front door, hopped the porch railing and hit the sidewalk in stride, took a few galloping steps, and with my toes planted on the car’s bumper, I leapt through the air, tucked my knees to my chest and went ass/back first through the windshield. Why? I have no fucking idea. But here’s a photo of the damage:
The bitch of it was that the car was my friend’s. I paid for the windshield. You know, because that’s what friends do.
(Circa ’97) Some buddies and I headed to Vassar College one weekend to visit my girlfriend and partake in their annual Founder’s Day festivities [read: drunken debauchery]. During a late night, campus-wide “keg hunt,” [think: Easter egg hunt] we joined hordes of students who were roaming the darkest corners of the school’s grounds in search of the next hidden keg from which to drink to our liver’s content. We were along for the hunt, but lingering outside of the pack, hoping to find it first […and keep it to ourselves]. As the masses descended on an area of campus townhouses, my friends and I were walking through the little front yards in hope of finding a house party that may offer up some booze to a few thirsty journeymen. I came upon an open cellar door. The lights were on, so I peered down the steps and saw…WHOA! FUCK! There was something…skinned…in a big garbage pail filled with ice. I bolted. While everyone had settled around the keg that they’d finally found, I grabbed my friends and we went back to the cellar. Sure enough, two SKINNED LEGS were sticking up out of this ice-filled bin. We were all drunk and fucked up and this had us FREAKING out! I needed to get a closer look, so my friend and snuck down the steps and as I was creeping closer my buddy dumped over the bin, spilling all the ice and this carcass out in my direction. I don’t know why, but I grabbed it by a leg and took off running up the cellar steps. BA DUMP! BA DUMP! BA DUMP! I dragged it up the steps, running full tilt, across the yard and into the parking lot, about fifty yards from where a few hundred (drunk) kids were getting drunk(er). I took it by two (of its four, skinned) legs and started spinning around, whipping this giant meaty beast above my head and screaming “CREATURE! CREATURE! CREATURE!” And on one final spin, I let it go, like an Olympic hammer thrower, and it sailed about thirty feet, skipped off someone’s car and onto the gravely pavement. Me and my friends took off running as if we were being chased by the undead. The next morning at breakfast in the cafeteria, we all sat down with some of my girlfriend’s friends; none of us uttering a word of what had happened last night. Just then, this girl looks up and asks, “Did you guys hear what happened last night? Some guys stole the lamb that so-and-so bought for the field hockey team’s barbecue today, and she found it in the parking lot this morning.”
(Circa ’95) I was driving home with a friend following an afternoon of pickup baseball. On the way, we stopped by 7-Eleven to pick up Slurpees – Big Gulp size, of course. Up ahead, on the shoulder, a guy was waiving us down. I slowed up and rolled down my window. He was lost and asking for directions. [I heard him clearly.] “Excuse me, what?,” I shouted. He came closer and repeated himself. “Sorry, what?,” I said again. Now he’s just a few feet from my window. I popped the top off my Slurpee and fired the remaining few dozen ounces of icy slop right into his face and sped off. The End.
15. Just Do It
(Circa ’96) Like many teenagers, when my folks went away, I’d throw a house party. I learned my lesson early on not to have an all out, balls to the wall, “everyone’s invited!” bash. [I’m still paying for those.] But from time to time, I would still invite 20-30 of my closest friends to partake in some swimming and keg stands […in whichever order they preferred, of course]. In an effort to spice things up a bit […and because, lets face it, I was/am a young horny man], I introduced my guests to a game, appropriately called The Balloon Game. Think of it as Truth or Dare without the truths. Like fortune cookies, I’d slip a little ticket inside each of the balloons before blowing them up. The tickets would direct the holder to do this or that to the person to the left, right, three people over, etc. The actions were crude, no question. But I explained to players that no matter how terrible or embarrassing they feel their action is, just do it, because everyone else has an equally awful ticket in their balloon. [The sales pitch always worked, the game was a huge success party after party, and it became a calling card of sorts for me.] Some of the acts called on for players to do included the following:
- Drop your pants and undies, bend over, and get spanked with a fish by ___
- Take off your shirt and bra and have a stick of butter rubbed all over your breasts by ___, who will be holding it in their mouth
- Eat a slice of bread that has been rubbed on the underarms, ass crack and crotch of ___
- Perform a (clothed) “69” with ___ with whipped cream covering your dick/pussy
- Drink a full beer as it’s poured down the back of ___, trough their ass crack and into your mouth
- Go in the bathroom, strip down, and replace your undies with nothing but plastic wrap
- Suck peanut butter off the toes of ____ (pictured below)
16. On the Lamb
(Circa ’99) For the most part, my mischievous behavior has been free and clear of police activity. Except for this one time… http://30pov.com/2009/08/28/on-the-lamb/
17. Mean Green Unethical Machine
(Circa ’03) Everyone has that one friend who always seems to be the butt of the joke. Thankfully, I’m not that guy in my circle of friends… http://30pov.com/2009/09/27/mean-green-unethical-machine/
BONUS TRACK: Antique Road Show
(Circa ’03) During the same road trip that gave us the hilarious dyeing of “Chubby’s” mouth, teeth and face green, we also “antiqued” him. For those of you unfamiliar with antiquing, it’s the act of throwing a handful of flour into someone’s face. Poor Chubby.
BONUS TRACK: Skin to Win!
(Circa ’05) [I can’t explain this any better than 30POV’s “jasonleary” did in a write-up a few years back for a now defunct, though supremely fantastic, outlet called Some Other Magazine. I apologize for not simply providing a link, but this piece of brilliance no longer resides online, so consider yourself lucky to have an opportunity and enjoy!]
I should have seen it coming, really. The signs were in front of me the entire time. The evocative shape and sensuousness of the pears and plums I ate for breakfast. The throbbing dance music I heard in my typically quiet neighborhood. The random panties that emerged from the snow pile in my front yard (actually, that’s probably a sign for a number of bad things).
Beyond these, I should have known that fate was dragging me to this fantasy baseball draft on a Saturday afternoon for reasons other than fantasy baseball. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “poor” and 5 is “superior,” I suck shit at fantasy baseball. I used to do decently for four months of the season; sadly, it’s a six-month season. But at least I had some months of enjoyment. Now I start off horribly and get worse as the season goes on. Do I suddenly not understand baseball? Is my mind so weak that I lose mental battle after mental battle to men who know more characters in EuroTrip than members of Congress? Am I accidentally drafting hockey players? Hell, even Radek Bonk could get more RBIs than some of the human waste that I end up picking for my team.
(Quick note: For those of you who don’t know much about fantasy baseball or sports, don’t worry—that part of the story is about to end. For those of you who do know a lot about fantasy baseball, I hate you. And if you haven’t heard of fantasy baseball at all, how did you find yourself online at this magazine? Have you ever watched TV or a read a newspaper? Do you have electricity in your home? Surely you live in a cave in the ocean.)
But just like that time I went to see Daredevil in the theaters, I ignore my better judgment and take part. Maybe I just hate having $40 in my pocket—“get it out of my wallet, it burns!” The draft is at my buddy Green’s house. Our old friend Ravioli, who lives in New York, is the commissioner this year, so he’s driving up to oversee the day and then “score some Boston trim” that night. (I declined his offer to be his wingman for the evening.) Old friends arrive and new guys show up, and we banter like it’s the Gilligan’s Island reunion special. Beyond Green and Ravioli, attendance comprises Mark, Luke, Marcel, Darnelle, Sully, Pokey, Weebs, and Squeeze Box. (If you find these names unlikely, that’s true, I made them up. Keep reading to see why.)
And it starts. The eating of pizzas and drinking of beers, I mean. The draft part of the draft is delayed a bit as we try to get Green’s roommate Dwight on the phone. Dwight is to fantasy sports as Dennis Hopper is to cocaine, so the thought of him missing the draft—even though he’s vacationing in Vegas—is impossible. We laugh as we picture him outside of his hotel trying to get a cell signal, blinded by the sun after days in the casinos, carrying his laptop with his color-coded Excel spreadsheets of whom to draft, all while nursing a hangover the size of the stage at the Elton John show. (Note to self…Elton John is to a fantasy baseball story as water is to Natalie Wood.)
Dwight finally gets situated, and the draft begins. I have the first pick—talk about a friggin’ waste of good fortune. I take Albert Pujols, yadda yadda yadda, 90 minutes go by, and there’s a knock at the door. Ravioli jumps up to answer it, and it’s the boyfriend of the neighbor downstairs. Their exchange, may it never be forgotten:
Boyfriend: I’m almost sure the answer is no, but did you guys order strippers?
Ravioli: Yeah, that’s for us. Thanks. You want to join us?
Ravioli, in his quest to be the best commissioner ever, actually ordered strippers for the fantasy baseball draft. Yes, plural. Yes, strippers. The reactions varied quite a bit, as this was a surprise for all of us. Some laugh nervously. Some high-five. Weebs actually leaves. Ravioli bellows in excitement. Meanwhile, poor Dwight has no idea what’s going on. He’s out in Vegas, and there are strippers in his house in Boston. As Bart Simpson once said, the ironing is delicious. Then we hang up on him.
What a scene, friends, as this nasty, smoke-reeking old dude named Mike busts into the place, saying “we’re going to put on a show for you today, fellas!” He can’t weigh more than 110 pounds—how this pipsqueak got a job working with strippers I’ll never know. I’m sure he thinks his job is sweet, and that is so sad. But he’s not the attraction: Right behind his wretched body comes two lithe women, one really attractive and one with a butter face (i.e., everything’s nice but her face…), saying hi to everyone like they are waiting our table at Bonanza. “Can we go upstairs to change?” they ask. Green sends them to Dwight’s room, probably because if strangers are going to steal CDs and do lines of coke, you don’t want them in your room.
Ravioli, Mark, and Luke work to convert the living room into a dance club. Chairs are moved, floor space is created. I see Luke look at the open space quietly, as if to think “why didn’t I bring a pole?” Green, meanwhile, is shutting his curtains, lest sweet old Mrs. McGillicuddy across the street look in and see the foul company with which he is cavorting.
This bizarre scene is so typical of Ravioli, one of the most inspired men I’ve ever met. Think how many times in your life you’ve said “wouldn’t it be funny if…” or “wouldn’t it be great if…” It never leads to anything for any of us…except Ravioli. When he says something, he not only believes it can happen, but he makes it happen. I’m sure he was talking with someone about the draft, saying “it would be great if we got some strippers to come!” I’m also sure that within 30 minutes he had the strippers booked and a wad of $1s ready to go. I expect nothing less from a man who, on a roadtrip with friends, took a shit in the back of a van in a garbage bag because, and I quote, “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” I wasn’t there and I still gag thinking of the atrocious affront to all of the senses for those unfortunate enough to be trapped inside that Ford Aerostar.
Back to Boston. Dirty Old Mike thoughtfully brought tons of $1 bills to make change with since, as he says for the first of 500 times, “the girls work for tips” (like we thought they worked for the sense of fulfillment). As this is happening, the room splits into two: those who are going to participate, and those who are going to eat pizza in the kitchen. I could tell you who was in which group, but then I’d be breaking a code that pre-dates Hammurabi’s. As your narrator, though, I must be honest, so I will tell you my choice: I stayed away from those gaping snatches like they had fangs, smelled of week-old egg salad, and emitted carbon monoxide.
Speaking of snatches, it didn’t take long for the girls to expose theirs. They came down in a way most un-prom-like, stepped into the room, and 30 seconds later they were completely naked. So, maybe stripper isn’t the right word. Dancer? Nudist gone wrong? Efficiency experts?
The participants didn’t seem to mind the rapid loss of clothes. What we did mind was when they start to partake in their version of sexy conversation, which was so horrible to behold. “So yeah, you guys like fantasy footb—baseball, huh?” Like a geek with a naked woman writhing in his lap wants to discuss his draft strategy. We soon realize why this banter is occurring: there’s no music. The strippers didn’t bring their own (nice going, Dirty Old Mike—surely this is your job?), and our host, somehow, has no CDs. We flip on the music stations available through the cable TV, which went as badly as you might imagine. Every time a good stripping song like Warrant’s Cherry Pie or Nelly’s…well, anything by Nelly, it’s followed by something terrible. I’m talking stop-the-dancing, this-music-sucks terrible. This is followed by a desperate scramble to find something better, and the hilarious process repeats itself. When Rick Astley came on—“Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you”—things hit their low point. I took over the remote to make sure “Butterfly Kisses” didn’t start playing and ruin the mood permanently.
Folks, I’ve been remiss in painting a clear picture of the day. Let me crystallize this for you. Two girls working five guys in a room, each of whom is draping his own body with $1s. I’ve seen some funny stuff in my life, but watching men lounging on a chair perfectly still so they don’t tip the $13 they’ve positioned on their legs, chest, and collars is unbelievable. Then the guys start bantering with the girls. “Ahhhh, you never get tired of the smell of strippers—I mean dancers,” someone says. The girls talk back not at all in kind. Rather than tell the recipients of their dancing how sexy or hot they are, they try to talk cool. “So, you’re really into fantasy baseball?” one says to a clearly uncomfortable fellow. “I think baseball is hot.” I wish I were making this up.
So ended Act I, the lap dance portion of the agenda. Dirty Old Mike counted the ill-gotten $1s, which the strippers would funnel over to him in between lap dances. As he waited for the next batch of money, he would speak to those in the kitchen about baseball, or Boston, or anything else on his mind. Truly painful it is to engage this crusty bastard in inane conversation as naked women work the next room.
In normal circumstances, the entertainment portion of the day would have ended, and we’d be back to our draft (we were only halfway done). For most functions—particularly a fantasy draft—30 minutes of lap dances would have sufficed. Not for Ravioli. No, he had to go out and get the “Lesbian Love” package. As the women return from upstairs, probably to finish their coke lines, they hop right on the floor and start in with the cunnilingus—yeah, just another normal Saturday afternoon. Everyone gathers around like they’re looking for a set of keys in some tall grass, angling their heads and staring without blinking. I imagine what the other neighbors are doing in their living rooms. Watching TV, perhaps, or taking a nap. Not here. Nope, we have two women tonguing each other amid a rainfall of dollar bills, taking a break once in awhile only to say “this hardwood floor hurts.”
Then the 69 began. Then the whipped cream came out, which the fellows ate of the women, and one woman ate off the other one (The second woman was a vegan, you see. Funny, Marcel remarked, that this didn’t stop her from eating roast beef earlier.) Finally was the finale for Ravioli, where the pelvises of both women came together and perched molecules away from his face until he couldn’t breathe. The girls kissed during this time—the most unconvincing kiss, by the way, since Rock Hudson and Doris Day—but Ravioli was wearing cooch glasses and could see nothing but the canal from which he was born. Then like that, it was over, and everyone went to eat pizza, just like after a Little League game. Go team!
Dirty Old Mike informed us that we were “alright guys.” The girls told us “we were fun.” Ravioli told us that “I smell like strippers!” As soon as the strippers left, we returned to the draft like none of this happened. In a matter of five minutes, we went from “do you like my pussy in your face” to “I select Craig Biggio, outfield.” Too weird.
Time flew by as we finished the draft. A few of us left immediately, somewhat dazed, somewhat disbelieving this had just happened. Worst part about it: I’m sure that my fantasy performance this year will be the most offensive display of the season. Sorry girls, but you just can’t sink as low as me.