Holy Hand Grenade Not Included

Me: “So, to honor and memorialize the discovery of my thing…”

Everyone: “Please don’t say you bought another T-shirt.”

Me: “… I bought another T-shirt.”

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Photo credit: Seth. (Click to embiggen.)

“Everyone: “Why would you do that?! You already own like 10,000 T-shirts.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what was that? I can’t quite hear you over the sound of how awesome this T-shirt is.”

Everyone: “T-SHIRTS DON’T MAKE SOUNDS.”

T-shirt: “I’m feeling very attacked.”

Everyone: “…”

Me: [winning smile]

Everyone: “Why are you like this?”

Carlisle says I need to narrow my scope and only focus on the murderous bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I’ve assured him that it’s already covered:

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Look at the bones!

Yeah, I don’t know why I’m like this, either. But it’s a lot more fun to be this way instead of any other way, so I’m going to keep hopping rolling with it.

Catch Us on the Rebound (or the Rebroadcast. Whichever.)

Noah and Scrappy joined us on this month’s Facets of Leather, and while topics ran the gamut (fetish vs. kink; safe calls and safe words; the time I thought the wax statue of Betty White at Madame Tussauds really was Betty White), we did hit upon two important theses that must be shared with the world:

From now until the end of eternity, the act of fisting should only be referred to as the Queen’s Wave.

Laura Branigan’s 1982 hit single “Gloria” is the shadiest song in the history of popular music. (Lyric video provided by our trusty Superfan).

We also talked about the upcoming Spirit of Leather Awards, because holy snackpacks, Marjorettes! Facets of Leather got nominated for Entertainer of the Year! Voting will be held at Tony’s Corner Pocket on January 18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., so if you’re in the Houston area and want to support our show but don’t have the funds to make a donation to KPFT, checking our box on the ballot is a great way to do it.

Oh, and while you’re there, maybe vote for me for the Individual Award as well? If I win, I’ll thank every one of you by name in my acceptance speech.

Don’t Be a Richard

Customer: [bursting into the store] “We need to fit Richard for a harness.”

Me: “… Okay. Do you have a particular harness in mind?”

Customer: “Yes. Richard needs a bulldog harness.”

Me: “Great! Let me show you what we currently have.”

Customer: “Hmm. No, no, these won’t do. Richard needs a harness with silver buckles instead of these black ones.”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t have any of those in stock right now, but I’m expecting a shipment within the next week or so.”

Customer: “Oh, good. Once you get the new harnesses in, just put one aside for Richard. Thanks!”

It took me a good 30 minutes to realize that Richard is one of the Ripcord bartenders, and that the customer wasn’t referring to himself in third person. Which? More than a little disappointing. It would’ve been awesome if he’d freaked out over the lack of harnesses and gone, “RICHARD SMASH,” then thrown a shelving unit through the wall.

Then again, had Richard smashed, Marjorie would’ve had to clean up the damn mess, like Marjorie always does. Marjorie would’ve been profoundly unamused by that. Marjorie would’ve smashed back.

Marjorie thinks Richard needs to check Richardself before Richard wrecks Richardself.

SOLVENTS. He meant solvents. Best visual pun ever, though.

[Another online conversation with my friend Mike.]

Mike: “If you don’t get this and fill it with poppers for the next birthday party you attend, it will be a crime.”

Me: “I’m going to take the tube out and replace it with a dildo.”

Mike: “That was my second choice. Or put a butt plug in it.”

Me: “BUTT PLUG FTW.”

Mike: “Live mice would also be entertaining.”

Me: “A gender reveal, but cockroaches.”

Mike: “Ewwwww.”

Me: “…”

Mike: “Yessss.”

In conclusion, please don’t invite Mike and me to any parties. Or, y’know, invite us to all the parties. Your funeral.

It is also probably best not to invite us to any funerals.

A Switch’s Strangled Air

Customer: [while browsing through our solvent selection] “Ooh, you have Maximum Impact!”

Me: “We do!”

Customer: “You should use it in a hot tub.”

Me: “Um… yeah, I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”

Customer: “It’ll make you hallucinate.”

Me: “Definitely not good.”

Customer: “My friends and I have this inside joke, and every time I use Max Impact in a hot tub, I get the joke more and more.”

And now I can’t stop thinking about Bugs Bunny relaxing in Witch Hazel’s cauldron. Like, I get that it’s all warm and soothing to the bones, but eventually, bubbly death can’t help but become an inevitability.

Mainly, though, I just really, really regret not asking him what the inside joke was. I mean, c’mon, a gag whose punchline hits only through boiling oneself into a vision quest? There’s gotta be some quality revelation in there. And it’s a much less claustrophobic ordeal than, say, a witches’ cradle. Or a Transcendental Meditation seminar.

But oh, hey, guess what else was apparently an inside joke: Bunnicula. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the misuse of chemical inhalants, but it this author’s opinion that a boxed set of novels about a vampire bunny falls squarely into the horned rabbit camp.

It Must Be Bunnies

From the initial idea to the final reveal, I love the entire gift-giving process. The best is when a loved one accidentally drops a hint without realizing that I’ve noticed (and I always notice), but it’s also cool when someone has a motif or design they really like, or a totem they collect: As a child, for example, my biological brother had a bookshelf overrun with penguin figurines, and in the present day, Scrappy adores Disney’s Stitch to an almost reverential level.

It was actually Scrappy I was thinking about when I came across the following tweet, which resonated with me unreasonably:

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I myself have never really had a thing. I mean, sure, people occasionally give me notary memorabilia, and some of my friends do have a habit of presenting me with devil-themed lapel pins, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about that as a lifelong signature.

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Why, yes, I would like to live deliciously. How did you guess?

When I got stuck with the nickname Thumper, I thought maybe that would become my new thing, especially since one of the Misfits immediately gave me a Thumper plush toy to commemorate my rebaptism. (He sits on my bed as we speak, sporting an armband I fashioned out of a leather cock ring, and he is precious as fuck. The stuffed toy is sitting on my bed, that is. Not the Misfit. That would be a boundary issue.) I decided to announce my thing to the world on Halloween, and I showed up to the Forge that night in a Thumper T-shirt appropriate for the festival in question:

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Scrappy’s on the left, unambiguously displaying his thing for all to see. Despite how this looks, I promise he’s wearing pants.

The T-shirt garnered way more attention than I thought it would, and it quickly became my favorite garment, eliciting compliments wherever I wore it. It was while I was in Los Angeles visiting Ben over New Year’s, and some dude at a bar was gushing over it, that I realized why I get as big of a kick out of the shirt as I do. And then my thing hit me.

You know, I really could be phrasing a lot of stuff in this post differently. I see that now.

Anyway, from here on out, my thing is horned rabbits.

The lepus cornutus is a fairly common icon in mythology and folklore, although 19th Century taxidermy hoaxes contributed a lot to the popularity of the image. It’s now understood that alleged horned rabbit sightings were more than likely just regular rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus, which causes hornlike carcinomas to form, usually on or near the head. Not terribly romantic — and kind of depressing tbh — but I’ve always been a big fan of rational explanations.

So. Horned rabbits — including jackalopes, wolpertingers, rasselbocks, raurakls, and the Al-mi’raj — are what you should seek if you find yourself needing to either celebrate my birthday or bribe me. (While not necessarily horned, moon hares, skvaders, and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog are also acceptable.) Hopefully, this will make things easier on anyone who is under the impression that I’m hard to shop for, or who wants to help me develop another obsession. Or, even better, this will inspire people to call me and be like, “I saw a jackalope postcard today, and it made me think of you.” Because sometimes, just being thought of is the greatest gift of all.

But you can find my wishlists here, here and here, just in case.

PS: I wrote this whole post before remembering that people have been giving me Krampus memorabilia every Christmas for close to a decade. In fact, the pin on the far left in the picture above was Douglas‘ gift to me this year. So I guess I’ve always had a thing and never knew it. Am I allowed to have two things? Are there rules to this?

You know what? just get me gift cards. I feel like Emma would be okay with that.

PPS: I yoinked the title of this post from the lyrics of this song. Feel free to sing along if you have the full episode memorized like I do.

Color Guard

Customer: [pointing to an olive green jockstrap] “What does this color mean?”

Me: “Well, according to the Hanky Code, olive green means military, but the color of a particular jockstrap doesn’t really mean anything.”

Customer: “I don’t follow.”

Me: “Some people wear certain colors as flags, but some just wear colors they happen to like. The only way to tell if someone is into a kink or fetish is if they have a hanky in their back pocket.”

Customer: [pointing to another jockstrap with alternating black, white and maroon stripes] “So what does this one mean?”

Me: “That one definitely doesn’t mean anything.”

Customer: “But all the colors have meanings.”

Me: “They do in the Hanky Code, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to other articles of clothing. Like I said, flagging a hanky is the only real way to tell what someone’s into.”

Customer: “No, it’s not.”

Me: “I mean, it really kinda is…”

Customer: “Wrong. I like sucking dick, so I wear a light blue baseball cap turned to the left.”

[Ed. note: If we’re really going to split hairs on this, he should have his cap turned to the right. But let’s not encourage him.]

Carlisle: [who’d moseyed into the store at some point] “A light blue hanky does signify an interest in oral sex. And it’s cool if a light blue hat signifies your individual interest in oral sex. But someone else might not realize that that’s what you’re looking for, unless you’re flagging a light blue hanky.”

Customer: “THE HANKY CODE IS DEAD.”

[I point to the multihued array of hankies affixed to the side of the lube display.]

Customer: “Okay, fine. But nobody uses them anymore.”

[I point to my pocket flag.]

Customer: “Listen, I’m 60 years old, and I’m telling you that nobody uses hankies anymore. I only carry one in case I need to blow my nose. Say, do you boys ever travel?”

He went on to tell us all of the things we needed to do and see when we go to Amsterdam and Brussels, then asked if we’d ever been to Palm Springs. Carlisle mentioned that he’d recently gotten back from Palm Springs Leather Pride, which naturally led to…

Customer: “Which sex clubs did you go to while you were there?”

Carlisle: “I stayed at the Bearfoot Inn, but I didn’t go to any sex clubs.”

Customer: “I’m not asking where you stayed. I’m asking which sex clubs you went to.”

Carlisle: “I didn’t go to any sex clubs.”

Customer: “But which sex clubs did you go to?”

Carlisle: “…”

I feel like a lot of the above conversation could’ve been avoided if we’d just thrown an “OK Boomer” at him and then hidden under the counter. Lesson learned on that one.

The Hanky Code for Boomer would be either brown corduroy or gray flannel, by the way, depending on whether one leans towards headmasters or business suits. Or maybe it would just be a book of S&H Green Stamps. I’ll do some research and get back to you.