Release the Hound

[Scrappy and I are looking at my phone and cooing over those ornaments I found on Etsy, when a bearish customer wanders in, towers over us, and points at a pup hood.]

Customer: “How much is that there dog mask?”

Me: “It’s $69.99.”

Customer: “I want my ex to buy it for me for Christmas. Can you write down the price, so I don’t forget?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “I’m gonna wear it to the homeless shelter I work at.”

Me: “…”

Scrappy: “…”

Customer: “…”

Scrappy: “But… but why?

Customer: [shrug] “Just cuz.”

Scrappy was deeply concerned with how the homeless might react to a gargantuan, neoprene werewolf tearing through their safe space, and I can sympathize with that. On the other hand, our worry is probably unwarranted, since I suspect dude won’t be working there much longer.

While I do have what it takes to make a pro blush, I’m sad to report that none of the boys think I’m a spy.

[A customer walks in without a mask.]

Customer: “Hi, I have a question.”

Me: “Okay, but first I need you to put your mask on.”

Customer: “It’s in my pocket.”

Me: “And I need it on your face.”


He immediately showed himself out, which saved me the effort of banning him, but honestly, at this stage in the game, I do not understand why people still get uppity about masks. Personally, I plan on wearing them long after the various vaccines become available, for three basic reasons:

1. They’re an inexpensive way to satisfy that normally irresistible compulsion I have to buy and hoard T-shirts.

2. I did not survive alcoholism, nor any number of questionable life choices, just to be taken out by some random queen breathing on me.

3. I have gotten so good at smizing, y’all.

First row, l to r: Bam, bam, bam. Second row, l to r: Bam, bam, bam. Third row, l to r: Bam, ka-pow, bam. Congratulations, Marjorie — you are America’s Next Top Vers Top.

Word of Mouth

Customer: “Can I take a picture in here?”

Me: “Well…”

[Ed. note: I’m usually pretty non-negotiable about people taking pictures in the store, because a) I want to protect the privacy of the other shoppers, and b) I’m not running a damn side show, Sparky.]

Customer: “See, I’ve got this man — married, Salvadorian — and I bought him a cock ring and gave him Viagra, and he was hooked. So I’m his Sex Goddess, right?”

Me: “…”

Customer: “But now his wife wants to know where he’s learning all these tricks.”

[extended silence]

Customer: “So… can I take a picture?”

Me: “With my blessing.”

A Competition and the Dead

A random text message from Sarah:

Last night I dreamt that you were going to the Witch Olympics. I told you it was an honor just to be chosen for the team, and you said, “I have to get the gold in incense. That’s the only one that counts.”

Which? Totally sounds like something I would say in real life. I love it when other people’s subconscious minds clock me.

Alas, the Witch Olympics do not exist in the waking world, but my friend Mortellus did recently win a Witchie Award for Outstanding New Blog of the Year, and that is legitimately the next best thing. Mortellus also blends their own killer incense, so even if I didn’t place, at least first prize would still go home with the Gardnerian contingent.

Plus I’d definitely remain the favorite to take Extemporaneous Candle Anointing and Mid-Ritual Crisis Management, which is where all the money is anyhow. As any true champion can tell you, the real Olympic medals are the endorsement deals we make along the way.

In Which I Win by a Lot

[Two customers are standing in front of a display, contemplating the attached “Everything Orange Must Go” sign.]

Customer 1: “What’s wrong with orange?”

Me: “We’re celebrating the election.”

Customer 1: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “The very orange person currently holding office is no longer going to be president. To mark the occasion, we’ve put discounts on all of our orange merchandise.”

Customer 2: “He means Trump.”


And then he stormed out, muttering, “Y’all are gonna be upset [grumble grumble] second term [grumble grumble] voter fraud [grumble grumble] stop the steal [grumble grumble]…” with Customer 2 trailing meekly behind him.

Humor is always subjective, of course, but I submit that it if it sends a gay Republican into a fit of fuming rage, it is in fact a very good joke. And I, for one, am very proud of myself for coming up with it.

Demidaddy of Lies

[I’m wearing a heavily decorated denim vest, which includes a pink and orange devil pin that Dean gave me for my birthday. A customer meanders in, stares at me for a bit, then approaches the counter.]

Customer: “Are you a practitioner?”

Me: “Pardon?”

[He points at the pin.]

I have so many names.

Me: “Oh! Gotcha. Yes, I am.”

Customer: “Me too!”

Me: “Cool!”

Customer: “Card-carrying?”

Me: “Um…”

[Inner Me: I mean, you’ve got ministerial credentials and a Pope card, but I feel like neither is the correct answer here.]

Me: “I am not.”

Customer: [disappointed] “Ah.”

Me: “Are… you card-carrying?”

Customer: “Yep! We just moved the temple into a new house downtown.”

Me: “…”

Anyway, that’s how I found out that the Satanic Temple has a Houston chapter.

There have been several times in the past where I’ve had to explain to someone that I’m not a Satanist, but — had the customer not suddenly left to take a phone call — this would’ve marked my first time explaining to a Satanist that I’m not a Satanist. It’s been awhile since my life has felt like a B-rated horror movie, though, so I’m looking forward to spooky tomfoolery when he turns back up with the rest of the temple in tow to recruit me.

Discordian Player

[An online conversation with Nuke, after I’d posted some Discordian stuff on Facebook.]

Nuke: “So what is Discordianism? I’ve heard about a lot of things in passing but never that one.”

Me: “Discordianism was founded in the late 50s by two guys who had a spiritual experience in a bowling alley and decided to start worshiping Eris, the Greek Goddess of Discord. It’s basically a parody religion for conspiracy theorists.”

Nuke: “Well that sounds delightful.”

Me: “It has its moments. It attracts a lot of really fun, hysterical people, along with a bunch of right-wing nutjobs.”

Nuke: “Sounds about right, from what I imagined.”

Me: “There used to be a Discordian commune in Houston, but it disbanded right before I got sober. The Universe was most likely saving me from myself.”

Nuke: “Fun fact — my entire knowledge of Eris stems from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, where they featured her constantly at odds with the Grim Reaper. All she really ever did was show up, scream ‘Chaos,’ and bikinis ensued.”

Nuke: “Hijinks ensued. Not bikinis.”

Nuke: “However, she did wear a bikini-styled yoga, so I’m not entirely wrong.”

Nuke: “Yoga.”

Nuke: “Toga.”


Me: “I love how your AutoCorrect went splooey as soon as we started talking about Eris.”

Nuke: “SHE KNOWS.”

Another successful conversion. I am going to win a toaster oven.

Speaking of, I recently started reading Chasing Eris (which is awesome and basically the Discordian version of Drawing Down the Moon), so Eris has been on my brain a lot. As of late Friday night, I caved and made the formal decision to write a Discordian book of my own.

On Saturday, I stopped at a convenience store to grab some mouthwash before heading into work. There were a couple of options to choose from, but one bottle in particular jumped out at me (click to embiggen):

Minty apple breath for the fairest.

I’ve never been much of a believer in omens, but the random appearance of Greek Listerine in the midst of me going through a Discordian author phase can only be interpreted as divine encouragement. I’ll be sure to save the bottle and fill it with a custom incense created in Eris’ honor. Or possibly Sea-Monkeys. I feel like either would be pleasing to Her.

The Forgotten Lyrics of “Sweet Caroline”

[My friend Mike and I are leaning against the counter and catching up on each other’s lives, when a drunk, maudlin customer slowly wanders in and stares forlornly at the selection of hankies.]

Customer: “Which… one… is… penis?”

Me: “There is not a color that specifically means ‘penis.'”

Customer: “Penis…”

Me: “It’s more about what you’d like to do with the penis.”

Customer: “Penis… touching… penis.”

Mike: “…”

Me: [to Mike] “I know. But we’ll get through this.” [then, to the customer] “A white hanky means you’re looking for masturbation, but there’s not a hanky color that only represents frottage.”

Customer: [visibly disappointed] “… Oh.”

[long pause]

Customer: “I’ll… come… back.”

Mike and I took to the Internet after he left and went through the full list, but yeah, there were no colors for frottage (or docking, or sword-fighting, or friendly fire) to be found. I did come across another site that categorized frottage as a form of safer sex to be filed under black-and-white checkerboard, but we don’t have that design in stock, so I guess it’s a moot point.

I think I’m going to order a bunch of random camouflage patterns and just assign significance as the need arises. Like, “So you want to have an anonymous, bisexual encounter in the bayou while your boyfriend watches? Frog skin. Follow me!” This feels like a good way to reinforce my role as an authority on the subject while contributing to the evolution of my subculture.

PS: Belgian Jigsaw means “sexually aroused by subcultural authorities.” I read that in a book.