Australian Possums Are Cuter Than American Possums, and Other Hard-Hitting Headlines of Relevance to the Leather Community

As has become tradition, Facets of Leather superfan Orin Slade created a meme abstraction of last night’s episode, and this one is without a damn doubt my new favorite:

The pin on the possum’s Muir cap says “Team Hades.” The number of religious-themed gifts in my Zazzle shop is about to quadruple.

Robert and I also spent an inordinate amount of time comparing and contrasting the regional differences in Episcopalian Eucharist ettiquette, because I don’t know why we did, either. Hopefully, at least one of our listeners has a High Protestant fetish. You’re welcome, That Guy.

This month’s forgotten track was not actually on our playlist, since the artist hasn’t released it for sale (we played this one instead). However, I am a fool for electronic breakup anthems turned into acoustic, sexually-ambiguous breakup anthems, so I’m sharing it here anyway. Robert says the song would be easier to listen to if McKillen took his clothes off. While I’m inclined to agree, I’d rather focus my energies on talking him into covering “I Touch Myself” next.

Second Bar to the Right and Straight on ’til Morning

Customer: “Could you help me find something?”

Me: “Sure. What are you looking for?”

Customer: “I really want an Eagle Houston T-shirt.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Nothing embellished or anything. Just a plain, solid color T-shirt that says ‘Eagle.’ Do you have something like that?”

Me: “No. We don’t.”

Customer: “Really? Why don’t you have those?”

Me: “Because you’re in Ripcord.”

[long pause]

Customer: “Oh. Right.”

Guys, you know I don’t judge, and in fact this one time, back when I still drank, I got lost in a Dillard’s and couldn’t find my way out – like, I had to call a (very concerned) friend to help me navigate to the exit. But at least I knew I was in Dillard’s, y’know? I wasn’t stumbling around looking for Nordstrom memorabilia.

Be aware of your surroundings, people. And learn your leather bars when you’re sober. This is my life-saving advice to you.

Tonight, on a very special episode of Long Lost Family…

The CPA who found my briefcase called back this past Tuesday to report that one of the cleaning ladies in his building came across a bag “with some notary things in it.” I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I went ahead and rushed on over to inspect the discovery.

I was not to be disappointed.

Thumper & Notarizer

My aluminum paddle, my leather ping-pong paddle, and the Ox-Ox were missing, but the Notarizer was happily waiting for me. Plus Rok, Tank and Carlisle all gave me replacement paddles before the original collection resurfaced, so I’m even more thwacky than I was before the burglary.

On the downside, that CPA will never hire me. (The “Let Me Show You How the Guards Used to Do It” button on the side of the bag kind of dinged my professional credibility.) But hey, at least now he knows where to go if he’s ever a bad little boy who needs to be punished. Diversifying into niche markets always pays off in the end.

There She Goes Again on Her Own

[Half of the Ripcord regulars are in New Orleans for Southern Decadence, and the other half are in Dallas for ILSb-ICCB, but the bar is packed anyway with heavy drinkers who normally frequent other establishments in the area. Carlisle and my Misfit brother Mike have both dropped in to say hello, and the three of us are merrily jabbering away between transactions, when a straight girl floats dreamily into the store and starts squealing with delight at the merchandise.]

Straight Girl: “Oh my God, I love these shirrrrrts!” [The squeals go up an octave. Outside, several hundred disoriented bats crash into the side of the building.]

Mike: “Okay, seriously, how can you stand that?”

Me: “Eh. You get used to it after a while.”

Straight Girl: [to me] “Hey. Heeeyyyyy.”

Me: “Yes?”

Straight Girl: [gesturing to a T-shirt that reads, ‘Bearded For His Pleasure’] “Can I have this changed?”

Me: “To what?”

Straight Girl: “It needs to say ‘Bearded For Her Pleasure.'”

Me, Mike and Carlisle: “…”

Straight Girl: [stretching herself across the back counter and writhing about like she’s on the hood of a Corvette in an 80s hair band video] “Because I’m a herrrrr.”

Me: “No, it needs to say ‘his’, BECAUSE THIS IS A GAY BAR.”

[She stops gyrating and stares at me, then makes a pouty face and stomps out. For a few brief moments, the store is blissfully silent.]

Carlisle: “I’d like to shake your hand.”

Thoroughly Leather Thumper

As previously mentioned, I am in the process of switching careers (more on this in a couple of days), and at some point it occurred to me that potential employers might be a little alarmed/appalled/aghast if they looked me up on any social media platforms. A public rechristening, I reasoned, was definitely in order.

I co-emceed the Houston Sober Leather contest last weekend, and because Robert was one of the judges and wrote all the pop questions about me without my knowledge, I ended up with a new nickname. (Question: “If your emcee were an animated Disney character, which one would be be and why?” Answer: “He would be Thumper. I don’t know why. He just would be.”) I was actually out of the room when this particular query was pitched, so when I came back in, everyone backstage was like, “Well, hey there, Thumper.” By the end of the contest, even the Misfits were calling me Thumper. My initial reaction was objection, but since the crowd seemed happy with the moniker, I just gave up and rolled with it.


So, new first name: Check. And a lot of Ripcord employees use the bar as their surname online, so “Forge” was the obvious choice for mine. I logged into Facebook and made the appropriate updates, thus unleashing my new identity on an unsuspecting world. And then I posted a quick explanation, because I realized everyone would otherwise assume my account had been hacked.

Welcome to the club!” My IML brother Taliesin posted in response. “Also, ‘Thumper Forge’ is a porn name.”

And yeah, okay, it does kind of sound like the name of someone who makes special movies for bachelor uncles, but it also sounds like someone who handles in-person debt collections for the Mafia. Or, even better, a character from a British spy novel:

“We’ve brought in Taliesin Wolf and Thumper Forge to handle the situation, Your Majesty. They are expertly-trained, international espionage agents who live outside the law, and frankly, they are adorable.”

And so we are.

Messrs. Wolf and Forge, Esq. Although I legitimately thought Taliesin was his legal name and figured he had Pagan parents or something. Live and learn.

Of course, right after I officially changed names, Tank texted me all, “Are you okay? Why did your Facebook page just disappear?” Turns out, the Algorithms That Be flagged my account and want proof that Thumper Forge is the name I use in daily life. I’ve stuck to “extenuating circumstances” as my defense, but if it escalates any further, I’m going to shift tactics and contend that Facebook is daily life, which will either cause some Zuckerbite’s head to explode or get me ejected me from the Matrix.

My handle on Twitter is @mjforgeries, by the way. I don’t tweet that often, but I’ll have a lot more gumption to do so once Facebook changes the locks on me.