Filthy Lucre

Customer: “I’d like a bottle of Max Impact, please.”

Me: “Sure! That’ll be $24.89.”

Customer: [counting out ones] “Heh. It’s my stripper money.”

[I chuckle. He hands me a wad of cash.]

Customer: “No, really. I’m a stripper. This all came out of my g-string.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “The ladies at the bank openly judge me whenever I make a deposit. And oh, hey, look! Someone tipped me a two-dollar bill.”

You know, I have not led a sheltered life, and I have many wonderful friends who make their livings in and around the sex industry, but still… I really don’t need to know when I’m handling sweaty junk-money. Not even when it’s in unusual denominations.

My novelty hand sanitizer is getting such a workout tonight, you guys.

Keeping the Weird in “Keep Austin Weird.” You’re welcome, Austin.

Dear Holiday Inn Express Housekeeping Staff,

Look, I’m not going to hedge here. I stole the Do Not Disturb sign, and I apologize for that. But in my defense, it’s just laminate paper. I’m sure you have piles and piles of replacements. Besides, most Do Not Disturb signs simply say, “Do Not Disturb.” They’re not witty or droll at all. Yours, however, says, “Hang on! I’m Busy,” which conveys a lighthearted sense of flustered urgency, making it the ideal signal flag to wave at my customers when six of them try to check out at once.

With that awkwardness out of the way, and your generous forgiveness accepted, let me just say that our room was spotless and comfortable — you clearly take pride in your work, and it shows. The walls of the hotel itself are a little thin, though, and while I own that this is a only a minor design flaw and almost certainly not your fault, it does explain why you heard what you did. Should it please you, I’d like to offer some clarification on that incident, because I’d really prefer you not assume I’m not a horrible, horrible person over one innocuous, misheard exclamation.

Our IML brother Scotty had come to the Hill Country to officiate a wedding, so Ben (an upstanding and religious young man like myself) and I decided to drive down to see him. We chose your hotel as our accommodations, which? No regrets. We will both be recommending you to family and friends. Anyway, we were packing up after two days of assuredly not-ungodly activities, and I was telling him about the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” parody that’s all about boundaries and consent, and he mentioned how funny it would be to write our own version involving a BDSM relationship.

So when he softly crooned, “I really can’t stay…” I understandably responded by screaming, “ON YOUR FUCKING KNEES, PIG.” But what you couldn’t see was the mortification on Ben’s face as he jabbed his finger frantically in the direction of the hallway and mouthed, “Oh, my God, the housekeepers are out there,” which probably would’ve helped you view the matter in a much more relatable context.

It’s also quite important to maintain Ben’s innocence in this whole affair. As additional evidence, please find below a conversation we had earlier in the morning.

Me: “Would you like coffee?”

Ben: “Sure.”

Me: “Great! I’ll make some.”

Ben: “Hey, Thomas?”

Me: “Yes?

Ben: “Why is the shower running?”

Me: “…”

Ben: [gently, as if to a toddler who wants to know why his goldfish is sleeping on its side] “Were you going to take a shower, but then got distracted by making coffee?”

Me: “… Yes.”

Ben: [carefully removing the k-pods from my hands] “I think I’ll make some coffee. Why don’t you go take a shower?”

See? Ben is a goddamned saint, whereas I was born with a tragic disorder that leaves me incapable of controlling my impulses or using an inside voice. But I do my best to get by. I’m kind of a saint too, when you think about it, especially when given the opportunity to let my guard down in a judgement-free environment such as your fine establishment.

Which reminds me! I picked up a couple of souvenirs when we visited the Museum of the Weird, including the following novelty:

The ceramic No Face butt plug pin in the background is another momento but sadly not relevant to the story.

It’s not much, but I’m going to have a few bottles sent over as an expression of gratitude, and also so that we can have our own little inside joke, because God only knows what you thought was going on in Room 516, am I right? Ha ha! Again, thank you for your prompt service and attention to detail. I’m not even going to mention the tiny speck of poop someone may or may not have completely unintentionally left on that one washcloth, because a) we both know you deal with way worse on a daily basis, and b) it’s not like I have a norovirus or anything — Ben and I just partook a bit too mightily of your fair city’s rich, fiberless cuisine, and there was a situation, and I handled it to the best of my ability.

Your discretion is greatly appreciated as well. I’ll get extra sanitizer in the mail to you ASAP.

I Knew My Background in Graphic Design Would Pay Off Eventually

Ben: “How’s your night going?”


Ben: “…”

Me: “I may have a resentment.”

In an attempt to give me something constructive to focus on, Ben suggested I make a small, tactful sign for the register, which would hopefully circumvent any trite attempts at humor and/or wearisome questions. Inspired, I put pen to cardstock, and a few minutes later, I had an array of informative options ready to go:




I feel back in control of my life already.

PS: Ben’s concept for a sign was, “One in 10 Double Scorpio bottles contains an actual scorpion. Please understand our refusal to open them in the store.” This is why he’s the idea guy.

Repeat Business

[The always dapper Ty and his equally fanciable husband Michael have stopped by to say hello, and we’re having a lovely exchange on the dos and don’ts of impact play, when a visibly dissatisfied customer flounces in and interrupts.]

Customer: “I have a complaint.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I bought some poppers here last week…”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “… and they were not good at all.”

Me: “Which solvents were they?”

Customer: [pointing to the Double Scorpio fridge behind the counter] “Those. The red poppers.”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “They didn’t work. My butthole stayed tight.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Customer: “So which poppers are better?”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “AARGH. Whatever you call them.”

Me: “We call them solvents.”

Customer: “So which… solvents… are better?”

Me: “Try the Amsterdam.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll come back next week and get those.”

[He flounces out.]

Ty: “…”

Michael: “…”


I’m running late to this semi-formal event, but you know what? Fuck it. I’m going to control the earth with my yodels.

Our regularly-scheduled Facets of Leather broadcast was preempted by LUEY Weekend, so Robert and I took to the airwaves this past weekend instead. We didn’t have much in the way of relevant topics, so we brought in Melinda D., founder of Houston Sober Leather, and goaded her into telling us stories about the shit she got up to before she quit drinking.

The lady puts me to shame, you guys. I mean, before I got sober, I occasionally woke up in a cheap motel room with not a lot of clues as to how I got there, but mainly I just stayed home and passed out on the sofa.

Anywho, somewhere around two in the morning, Melinda got on Facebook and found pictures of our superfan Orin, declared herself bi-curious, and demanded his undying affection. Unfortunately for her designs, Robert had totally already called dibs, and what followed was something between a bidding war and a far-left episode of The Bachelor. I’m not sure who actually came out on top (so to speak), but Orin memed the whole thing, which is as good of a participation award as any.



We also drifted into conversations about lesbian pirates and the ghosts in New Orleans who stiff taxi drivers on cab fares, and at one point we had an animated discussion about Eurovision, which included me waxing emotional on who I thought should’ve won back in 2017. I’ve included their official video below, because no matter what, there will always be room in my heart for stompy boots, daytime ball gowns, and Transylvanian street yodeling.

May there always be room in yours as well.