The cruel irony is that all I want to do right now is hit somebody.

A person (or persons) unknown broke into my car last night. I’ve been running back and forth between two jobs and two residences (I’m currently dog-sitting) and have not paid much mind to keeping valuables out of view — as such, my briefcase with all my notary supplies, my formal leather, and most of my paddles (including the Notarizer) are gone.

I thought about throwing the mother of all privileged, white-boy tantrums, but instead decided on due grownup diligence and called my insurance company. I filed a police report as well, since I’ve got to submit formal notice of the stolen notary stamp and journal to the Secretary of State’s office. The police took my name and number and said an evaluator would be calling me back shortly, and the conversation that ensued when she did almost totally made up for the whole traumatic violation of personal property thing.

Evaluator: “Hello, I’m [name], calling from HPD. I understand your vehicle was broken into?”

Me: “Yes, it was, unfortunately.”

[She runs down a list of questions about make and model, license plate number, extent of damage, etc. And then…]

Evaluator: “Was anything stolen from the vehicle?”

Me: “Yes, several things.”

Evaluator: “What was the first thing you noticed missing?”

Me: “A gray leather shirt and black leather pants.”

Evaluator: “And what else was taken?”

Me: “A bag of paddles.”

Evaluator: “A bag of… paddles?”

Me: “Yes.”

Evaluator: “Like ping-pong paddles?”

Me: “Paddles for spanking.”

Evaluator: “Spanking.”

Me: “Yes.”

[long pause]

Me: “I figured honesty was the best policy.”

Evaluator: “Um… I’m not sure how to catalog this.”

Me: “Well, you could call them recreational items.”

Evaluator: “…”

Me: “Or theatre props.”

Evaluator: “Yes! Theatre props! That’s perfect!

Me: [dies laughing]

Evaluator: [trying to remain focused but clearly tickled out of her mind] “Okay. Theatre props.” [guffaw, deep breath] “Got it. What next?”

Me: “A gray canvas briefcase.”

Evaluator: “What was in the briefcase?”

Me: “A notary stamp and journal.”

Evaluator: “WHAT?!? OH, MY GOD. SOMEONE COULD BE OUT THERE FRAUDULANTLY NOTARIZING THINGS UNDER YOUR NAME.”

Me: “I KNOW.”

Evaluator: “I AM SO GLAD YOU REPORTED THIS.”

Me: “SO AM I.”

Even if we didn’t really need to raise our voices, the solidarity was as refreshing as it was validating. Also, I want to marry her, if only because she probably owns a gun, and that is high up on my list of relationship ideals at the moment.

I hope she doesn’t make me live in the suburbs, but I’m pretty sure people don’t steal paddles there, so I guess it’ll be okay.

UPDATE: I got another call later this afternoon, from a random CPA who was like, “You don’t know me, but I just found something belonging to you in the alley behind my office.”

imageedit_4_7436868034

Out of everything that got stolen, this was the one truly irreplaceable item. The Dark Gods of Vengeance may not have come through on my humble request for a crimson spectacle of divine retribution, but at least I know They’re down with consolation prizes.

Colonel Marjorie R. Jessup, Olive Drab

[A customer and his straight female friend enter the store. After the requisite pointing and sniggling, they start poking through a selection of leather armbands.]

Customer: “Which color means I’m versatile?”

Me: “Color really doesn’t denote versatility. However, you could wear a band and your left arm to identify as a top, or on your right to identify as a bottom, or both to identify as vers.”

Customer: “So which color would that be?”

Me: “It’s all about placement, not color.”

Straight Female Friend: [holding up a black armband] “What does this one mean?”

Me: “A black leather armband means you like wearing black leather.”

[This is hysterical, apparently.]

Customer: [wiping away tears of helpless laughter] “Seriously, though. Which one means vers?”

Me: “There isn’t an armband that means vers. You’d have to wear one on each arm.”

Customer: “People really do that?”

[I hold up my hands and display my leather wristbands for inspection.]

Customer: “… Oh. Okay. So which color am I?”

Me: “That would depend on what you’re into.”

Customer: “So all of these colors mean different things?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But people don’t actually walk around with them, right?”

[I swivel, revealing my fuchsia pocket flag.]

Customer: “Wow. You’re, like… prepared.” [He turns to his SFF.] “Which is your favorite color?”

SFF: [brandishing a teal hanky] “I like this one! What’s it mean?”

Me: “Cock and ball torture.”

Customer: “…”

SFF: [runs away]

While I’m happy with how this played out, to save time in the future, I’m going to work on a recognizable Jack Nicholson impersonation and scream, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH” anytime a heterosexual wanders into the shop. Scaring them off before they ask questions will really cut down on the repetitive educational talks that eat up so much of my workday.

Would you stamp me? I’d stamp me.

Customer 1: “Do you carry butt plugs?”

Me: “No.”

Customer 1: “YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE TO HAVE FUN.”

Considering I’d just sold him what he insistently referred to as “gallons” of lube, I guess I assumed the proof of my willingness to facilitate fun was in the pudding. So to speak.

But then, later…

Customer 2: [observing the new “Beware of Notary” sign over the front counter] “So. you’re a notary?”

Me: “I am.”

Customer 2: “Huh. That’s… that’s kind of hot, actually. Just sitting back there… stamping things… mmm…”

You hear that, Customer 1? I bring all the fun. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m about to end up as part of a skin suit. Please postpone the plug hunt and send help.

A Little Psychological Warfare Never Killed Nobody

I walked into my day job a few minutes late this morning, and two of my co-workers immediately ran at me with flowers.

Apparently, one of our accountants gets flowers from her husband on a regular basis, and one of our HOA managers (who is single, as far as I know; I don’t really care pay attention to these things) has expressed a fair amount of envy over it. So the rest of the accountants got together and decided to make her feel special by sending a surprise bouquet from “an admirer.”

Don’t let her know it’s from us,” they hissed. “Just call her and tell her she has a delivery.”

So I paged her and was all, “Hey, you have a package at the front desk,” and she eventually wandered up and saw the flowers. Her eyes narrowed to slits.

“Who are these from?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied noncommittally.

“Well, then how do you know they’re for me?” she asked.

“Your name was on them,” I lied pleasantly.

She turned and stormed into the accounting department and was all, “DID YOU DO THIS?!” and the accountants were like, “Of course not! You have an admirer.” And then I heard her say something about not actually seeing anything that identified the flowers as being for her, so I quickly scrawled her name across a Post-It, balled it up and tossed it in my trashcan. Moments later, she appeared back at my desk demanding to see proof of botanical ownership, so I pulled the note out of the trash and handed it to her, then went back to typing, while the accountants quietly high-fived each other behind her.

I figured they’d keep the facade going for a few minutes and then fess up, but instead they freaking committed. Word soon spread through the office, and now everyone is cooing over the flowers and asking her who she thinks might be sweet on her. And yeah, I went along with it at first and abetted or whatever, but I also didn’t expect the situation to last as long as it has. We’re now into hour six, with the accounting department starting to realize that telling the truth at this point might actually do some emotional damage.

Straight people are weird, y’all. Were this an office of gay men, the accountants would’ve hired a stripper and been all, “We did that and want full credit. Dibs whenever you’re done with him.”

She’s had guns pulled on her but never actually been shot. That’s my new litmus for determining job security.

[A telephone conversation between myself and Douglas, who called specifically to talk about recovery.]

Me: “So I answered a help wanted ad posted by an engineering firm. It’s an entry-level position, but they’re only accepting applications from commissioned notaries.”

Douglas: “That’s awesome!”

Me: “And right after that, I was playing around online and found a historically-accurate Medieval notary costume. So I can go to the Renaissance Festival as a notary.”

Douglas: “Very cool!”

Me: “And also, a process server came into the office today, because some rando is suing one of our HOAs.”

Douglas: “Okay…”

Me: “She was very nice. And as she was leaving, I asked her if she’s a notary. She is, and she gave me her card and told me to call her when I get my own process server certification, so that she can show me the ropes.”

Douglas: “Wow.”

Me: “I know! It’s like three signs that I’m on the right path. OH, and I got a package in the mail this afternoon — it was a fake license plate that says ‘Beware of Notary.’ I’d totally forgotten I’d ordered it. So that’s an additional half-sign.”

Douglas: “…”

Me: “PLUS I found a reasonably-priced reference book on the history of notaries in early modern Rome. Fascinating. And probably a bonus sign. Like a sign-with-purchase.”

Douglas: “Right. We’re changing the subject now.”

He never did get around to discussing recovery. But I figure if I haven’t made him drink yet, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Speaking of, though, I asked my sponsor if I should use my domtopnotary.com email address on my résumé, so that potential employers would see how dedicated I am to notarization, and he was like, “Please just use Gmail like a normal person.” I feel like Douglas got to him first and told him to say that. My support network needs to set some damn boundaries.

My New Drag Name is Train Wreck Debauchery

I took some notes during last night’s Facets of Leather, but I failed to write down why I was taking notes, and as such I am presently staring at a piece of scratch paper with the following phrases scribbled across it:

-Wheel of Morality

-Higher Powers Against Humanity

-lesbian glory holes (how?)

I’m sure it all makes sense in context. Much like the official video of the song we neglected to play.

Shall we? (Hint: We shall.)

Or maybe he’s just the worst undercover ICE agent ever. That would explain a lot.

Customer: “So, what do you have that’s popular [air quotes] ‘South of the Border’?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “What’s popular [wink] ‘South of the Border?'”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “You know… [eyebrow waggles] ‘South of the Border’?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

Customer: [disappointed] “Never mind.” [exit]

So what exactly was he looking for? Drugs? Dildos? Tex-Mex? Because I’ve got outstanding leads on all of the above, provided you tell me what the actual fuck it is you want.

Seriously, dude: own your addictions and speak your truth, and I won’t judge use your real name on the blog. Quid pro quo, amigo.

Ball Drop

Customer: [pointing at the T-shirts hanging along the back wall] “Oooh! I love those! Did you make them?”

Me: “I’m afraid I didn’t.”

Customer: [reading them off] “‘Chubby and Hard to Kidnap’… ha! ‘Resting Itch Face’… ha! ‘Free Protein Shake’… OH, MY GOD.”

Me: “Everything okay?”

Customer: “So a couple of years ago, I was at a Chinese restaurant, and this other diner had the audacity — he had the audacity — to wear a shirt with an arrow pointing down, like on your ‘Free Protein Shake’ shirt. Except his shirt said, ‘Women and Children First.”

Me: “Christ. That’s really awful.”

Customer: “I know! It’s been engraved on my brain ever since.”

Me: “That is… also not good.”

At this point, his partner ambled up to the counter and was all, “Please explain in graphic detail how to properly employ every manhood-related adornment in this establishment, so that I can thoughtfully compare them one by one before settling on a $2 cock ring,” (I’m paraphrasing), and then this guy came back in to let me know that his calf fries had shrunk even further, and to ask if a ball stretcher would help them grow back (it would not).

Hey, you know who else gets paid to deal with testes all damn day? Doctors and fluffers. Although we differ in that I have to wash my hands a lot more often than they do.

Click All The Links, Buy All The Things (But only if you feel like it. No pressure. I don’t work on commission.)

It started innocuously enough: I wanted a key ring with my notary logo on it, so I traipsed over to Zazzle (a print-on-demand retail site for designers, artists, fringe nutjobs, etc.) and made one. And then I thought stickers might be cool, so I made some of those. And then I was like, “you know what would be awesome? A DomTopNotary T-shirt…” and suddenly it was like three months later and I’d created around 200 products, all of which I totally wanted to buy for myself.

Eventually, it occurred to me that other people might want to buy some of them too. And so, if you have disposable income and a differently-sane sense of humor, please join me in applauding the official grand opening of…

Dominion Topography Notary Solutions and Souvenirs!

A lot of these designs evolved out of nervous energy and aborted panic attacks (hence the myriad Anxiety Awareness products): I would need something to do with my hands, or need something soothing to pull my mind away from restless fatalism, so I would log in and start making shit until I calmed down. But I’m actually pretty proud of some of the stuff I’ve come up with. For example, I made a wristwatch for every esoteric Pride flag I could think of, and I snuck several kink-related items past the website’s (very forgiving, praise Lucifer) censors, who kindly looked the other way when I blatantly ripped off and vulgaraized Stranger Things. The Leather Pride section is fairly comprehensive, and it features one of my favorite items in the whole shop, which is a coffee mug emblazoned with something Robert Helms once shouted in the middle of a crowded diner in Dallas. (My other favorite items are here and here.)

There are of course inappropriate notary supplies all over the place, including sarcastic stamps and (Ye Gods but I’m in love with these) Hanky Code stamps, and I just added a line of gimcracks for Pagan notaries. I’ve been working on a geomancy collection as well, and, because I know my readers, I’ve posted (you’re welcome) a Lesbian Seedling T-shirt.

To be honest, I really don’t care if any of this gear sells or not; I’m entertaining the hell out of myself making it, and I’ll continue to do so regardless of any profit or pop culture recognition. But with that understood, if I’m ever out in public and see someone wearing this shirt, I will lose my damn mind and die of ecstati-seizures… so, okay, maybe don’t buy that one. In fact, just go with the one that’s equally snarky but much less noticeable, and keep my delighted, screamy death off your conscience.

The makers of Flonase need to hurry up and offer me an executive position before a competitor whisks me away to sell patented steroid inhalants to children.

Customer 1: “Here are all the poppers.”

Customer 2: “We’re not supposed to call them poppers.”

Customer 1: “Oh, right. Here are all the sniffles.”

Customer 2: “…”

Customer 1: “Would you care for some sniffles?”

While I’m always amused by creative euphemisms for solvents, “Sniffles” sounds like an over-the-counter sinus spray for kids. Their mascot should be a cartoon teddy bear with an adorable, stuffy-nosed voice. And his name should be Sniffles, too. Oh, my God, this is going to be a groundbreaking advertising campaign that is in no way rooted in plagiarism and/or copyright infringement. I look forward to raking in my first million by the end of this week.

Sniffles (tm)
He’s holding a tissue, not a blanket. I’m not even sure why I have to explain that. Anyway, I’d like a corner office with a sitting area and a view, please. And a sassy gay assistant.