Are you – Nobody – too? (Answer: Yes. Yes, in fact you are.)

Customer: “I want to tie someone up.”

Me: “Great!”

Customer: [blank stare]

Me: “…”

Customer: “I want. To tie. Someone up.”

Me: “And I’d be happy to help with that. We’ve got several rope options right over here, so let’s see if we can find you some–”

Customer: “HA! I’m just kidding.”

Me: “… Ah. Yes. Ha.”

Okay, so his particular brand of comic styling left me “unimpressed” and “wanting to close early,” but I always try to be supportive of struggling artists. And at least he’s got a framework that can be adapted to any situation:

At the car dealership — “I want. To buy. A hybrid.”

At the bakery — “I want. To eat. Some pastries.”

At the free clinic — “I want. To get tested. For syphilis.”

If anything, maybe he’s just one of those visionary savants whose genius will never be recognized in his own lifetime. I’ll bet he knows exactly how it feels to be Emily Dickinson.

We’re accepting paper, cotton, and clocks, depending on the gift list to which you ascribe.

Last night marked the one-year anniversary of Facets of Leather, and we celebrated that milestone by completely forgetting about it. We did, however, bring back our “Ask Thomas” segment, and next month we’re debuting “Ask Robert,” so let fly with the trick questions via Facebook or Twitter and see if you can stump us. Prizes awarded if you manage to make one of us curse on the air.

Speaking of forgetting, I keep adding the following song to our playlist, and we keep blowing right past it. But the refrain is the EDM equivalent of “I wish I knew how to quit you,” so feel free to scream it at the unrequited love of your choice.

The English translation is, “You have an unusually hairy chest, madam.” I probably should’ve left that one in context.

Another GLUE Weekend has come and gone, but it left in its wake a multitude of random conversational snippets, which I have lovingly gathered, spit-polished, and set on display for the world to read. Fasten your safety belts, my loyal Marjorettes, because it’s finally time for…


“It’s the ones you don’t hear coming… until it’s in your eyes.”

“I’m putting out firecrotches.”

“Is mixing Nike and Adidas like mixing polka-dots and plaids?”

“‘Deer in Headlights’ looks well on you.”

“Like you’ve never seen brothers make out before.”


Dirk Caber molested me. If I die tonight, I die happy.”

“I don’t want to know your name. Put something in my mouth.”

“I have had way, way, WAY too many conversations about meat trays.”

“I put out the Do Not Not Disturb sign, because I don’t want the maid to have to deal with those sheets.”

“Ihre brust ist ungewöhnlich behaart, gnädige Frau.”

“Yeah, you like it, hamster-pig.”

“Walk into the room paddle first.”

“That sounds like a soap opera. Or a Cher movie.”

“IML is not backlit.”

“If I take off anything else, it’ll be a felony.”

“Your hair is so pretty. I just want to scalp you and hang it on my wall.”

“I can punch you in the balls if it’ll make you feel better.”

“Leather moved in, kaftans moved out.”

“That’s the cutest picture! I don’t even feel violated.”

“Are those poppers organic?”

“He’s Dr. Jekyll and Fister Hyde.”

“No, YOU suck my banana.”

“Just because you’re riding it doesn’t make you a top.”

“We appreciate that you wore your special pee-on shoes just for us.”

“Go have your midlife crisis in someone else’s room.”

“She died doing what she loved: making everyone uncomfortable.”

“This is the best GLUE ever.” “Me too.”

But I’m buying it anyway, in case I ever decide to get that Satanic courier business off the ground.

[A conversation between myself and my bestie/artistic collaborator Sarah.]

Me: “I need a new domain name.”

Sarah: “Oh?”

Me: “Yeah. I got invited to a networky, business-card-trading thing, but the organizer said that DomTopNotary might be a wee bit too out there for the other professionals. What do you think of”

Sarah: “To be honest, I’m not sure that alluding to criminal offenses will be well-received by the unimaginative. I personally like the name, but I can’t recommend it.”

Me: “Huh.”

Sarah: “With DomTop, I felt like you were just being true to yourself, and therefore willing to accept the repercussions of reduced marketability. So, do you want the new name to be edgy for edgy’s sake? Or reflective of you, but in a way that won’t make conservatives clutch their pearls?”

Me “The second one, I think.”

Sarah: “Doesn’t Mercury rule notaries? ‘Mercury Notary’ doesn’t sound right, but what about a sly association like ‘Quicksilver Notary Services?'”

Me: “Mercury and Saturn both rule notaries. Looking at epithets as we speak… Ooh, what about caducifer? It means ‘He Who Carries the Herald’s Staff.'”

Sarah: “I don’t know. The ones who figure out how to pronounce it are going to think Satan is involved just because it rhymes. And rhyming leads to dancing, so that’s gotta be the devil’s work.”

Me: “Phooey. Maybe diactorus? It means either ‘guide’ or ‘messenger.'”

Sarah: “That will just read as weird. Go less intellectual. ‘Regular’ people distrust smart people. The vast majority of even college-educated people never read a book again after they leave school.”

Me: “And I have dated most of them.”

Sarah: “Hah! Oh, hey, also, unless this is an LGBTQ event, many of the people involved will be conservative or libertarian. Like the crazy lady who owned that health food store. Or worse.”

Me: “Hmm. I could go with, after Thomas Fugill. He was the first notary commissioned in the US.”

Sarah: “That sounds innocuous and appropriate. But expect to explain eleventy-billion times that it isn’t your name.”

Me: “Coincidentally why I’m not using St. Mark in the domain.”

Sarah: “Right.”

Me: “Although isn’t taken…”

Sarah: “Sounds like a men’s fashion line from the early 1980s.”


Sarah: “And available exclusively at Neiman Marcus.”

Me: “I’m going to buy that domain just to spite you.”

Sarah: “Understandable.”

Me: “What about”

Sarah: “Implies something other than an equal exchange of cash and services. And if you read a lot of historical novels, it has a sexual connotation. ‘Take me, my beloved notary! Take me right here in this moving carriage! I don’t care if John Coachman hears! I want the entire world to know of our love!‘”

Me: “FINE. Let’s go back to planetary associations.”

Sarah: “Okay.”

Me: Mercotary. Hermotary. Saturnotary.”

Sarah: “Bibbity bobbity boo.”

Me: “…”

Sarah: “I do like Saturn, though.”

Me: “Chronotary?”

Sarah: “I can’t say anything against chronotary, other than some people might expect you to be chronically ill. Although the more I think about it, some allusion to Chronos is good. It implies a good relationship with time — like, you’ll be quick — but also that you might eat all of your young.”

Me: “That is he most entrepreneurial thing you have ever said.”

Sarah: “I KNOW, RIGHT?”

I figure the right name will eventually present itself, or else Sarah will get tired of being the voice of reason and let me run with something ridiculous. In the meantime, I may start another side project and write a series of cozy mysteries featuring Caducifer Fugill, an amiable yet wily notary public. Maybe he and Thumper Forge can join forces and take down a shadowy cabal of shifty librarians or something. I can’t wait to see who gets cast in the PBS adaptation.

UPDATE: Carlisle just won the Internet with Go home, other domains. You’re drunk.

The Queen of the Camellias

Customer: [bursting dramatically into the store] “MY LOVE. I need that shirt.”

Me: “Okay. Which shirt are you interested in?”

Customer: [points at the back wall, where seven or eight different T-shirts are on display]

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: [clutches chest and continues pointing emphatically]

Me: “Which one, please?”

Customer: [sighing desolately and/or death-rattling] “THAT ONE. The one that says ‘Chubby and Hard to Kidnap.'”

Me: “Ah, gotcha. What size?”

Customer: “I’m a FAT BITCH, my love.”

Me: [blank stare]

Customer: [dropping character] “Extra large.”

Me: “That’ll be $27.06.”

Customer: “My love… thank you.” [deep bow]

At least he wasn’t overcome with the vapors or anything. The slings we just ordered won’t be here until next week, and I’ve got nothing else in stock that would work as a fainting couch.

Get in, loser. We’re going mopping.

I’m house-sitting for my sponsor right now, and he just called to ask if I could keep an eye out for any packages left on his neighbor’s doorstep.

“She’s traveling in Europe,” he explained. “And her Tony Award is supposed to arrive today.”

While I’m certainly not ashamed of my own humble achievements, I have got to figure out how to get on these people’s level. Although you know what would be funny? If, when the package appeared, I removed the Tony and replaced it with the following note:

Dear Esteemed Colleague,

We were robbed, and now, so were you.


-the entire cast of Mean Girls

I’d ask my sponsor to talk me out of this, but he’s at a conference and conveniently hard to reach at the moment. As such, I can only assume that the Universe has a master plan and totally wants me to sweep an award the old-fashioned way.

UPDATE: I am currently experiencing feelings of anxiety and regret. Shit. Does anyone happen to know if stealing a Tony is considered a felony? Asking for Victor Garber.

Slap Happy

I showed up at Ripcord this past Saturday for Misfits bartending, and I was heading over to the pool table where a few of the guys had gathered, when I passed by the St. Andrew’s Cross next to the men’s room and noticed a gaggle of straight girls striking poses on it.

This occurs a few times a week. Preppy visitors to the bar see the cross and think it’s a stage prop, so they climb up on it and demand that their friends take pictures. And it’s always the same picture — they put their hands through the restraints and then look back over their shoulder, eyes and mouth widened in mock terror, like they’re trapped in a medieval torture chamber.

Comedy pioneers, the lot of them.

I am not a fan of “anything worse than” comparisons (Them: “Ugh. Is there anything worse than a latte made without almond milk?” Me: “Rape culture?”), but very few things enrage me as much as leatherfolk having to wait in line to engage in kink, because Briffany and Co. are pretending to be contestants on a Halloween episode of America’s Next Top Model. Veering away from the Misfits, I sidled up to a girl who’d already taken her turn and was now wielding the camera, and I whispered, “The cross is not here for photo opportunities. It’s here for the people who actually use it.”

The tour group had the decency to scuttle away at my prompting, although the Misfits themselves were unamused, since I was once again interrupting someone’s fun by belligerently checking their privilege. “So, this is how you’re going to be tonight, huh?” my brother Geno asked. And I was all, “Yes, Geno. Yes, it is. And the night is young.”

The rest of the evening was a blur of debauchery and impact play (the usual), and I got home around 3 a.m., glancing at my phone one last time as I plodded to bed. And immediately I was like, “The hell? When did I take a picture of boobs?”

Even Lady Gaga is confused.

At first I thought one of the straight girls had somehow gotten hold of my phone and was attempting to fuck with me, so I was like, “Nice try, lady, but I don’t act like breasts scare or disgust me like some gay guys do. Same with vaginas. You could show me your vagina all day, and I’d be like, ‘Yup, that sure is a vagina.’ I would neither gag in fake revulsion, nor make shady, misogynistic remarks. So you know what? Bring it. Bring all the vagina, and watch in chagrin as I respond to your lady garden with polite yet aloof deference, whore.” But then I opened the album and was like, “Right, then. This makes much more sense.”

Oh. Hey, Gary.

Clearly a good time was had by all, although I really need to work on my issues regarding contempt prior to investigation. And even if my aim with a paddle is spot-fucking-on, I guess it couldn’t hurt to get my eyes checked.

When We’re Living Our Dream

Some days, I spend my shift helping new customers try on leather for the first time, and I get a special thrill when they look in the mirror and go, “Holy shit. I look good in this.” And whatever insecurities they were wrestling with when they came in start to recede, and I feel like I’ve done something to be of service to my fellow gay men, and that feels awesome.

And other days, I have to get in a customer’s face and literally pull merchandise out of his hands, and make sure the friends he was gleefully trying to bludgeon are unharmed, all while shouting, “THESE ARE ARMBANDS. WE DO NOT HIT PEOPLE WITH ARMBANDS.”

And truth be told, that feels pretty awesome too.