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 Thomas were to get a tattoo of a Disney character, which one would it be and why?” Answer: “It would be Thumper. I don’t know why. It 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.

Thumper & Talie
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.