But not a real dead hooker. We’d hire an actor with crazy good biofeedback skills.

Dear everyone at the Jeffrey Payne meet-and-greet last night:

While I really don’t feel the need to apologize, I do want to point out that we all have that friend we’re not supposed to sit next to in class, and mine happens to be a nice young man named Nuke. In case you don’t know Nuke, he was the guy to my right who, when Jeffrey asked, “Why would one person need 42 guns?” responded with, “Because he’s into some fucked-up shit?” And if you don’t know me personally, I was the guy to Nuke’s left who couldn’t stop laughing at that.

Anyway, regardless of how serious we may have sounded about it, please know that we are not actually planning to sneak a dead hooker into the house of the guy running against Jeffrey for the Democratic nomination. I promise that was just a joke. We would never use a dead hooker for political gain, because it’s easier to plant drugs we value human life above all else.

Oh, and speaking of, we were also totally joking when we announced we were going to burn down Chicago so that Houston could be the third-largest city in the nation. Burning down Chicago is not going to happen until after I win IML never the answer. I shouldn’t have to explain this.

Look, what’s important here is that we all support Jeffrey in his bid for governor, so that we can get the evil monkeymen currently running Texas the hell out of office. And it’s also probably important that Nuke and I not be allowed to attend any live, televised debates, although I have to say that the campaign slogans we came up with are guaranteed winners. Here’s our favorite:

Jeffrey Payne

Rise 4 Texas, y’all.

Racism: Not Actually That Sexy (Updated)

I’ve read a few opinion pieces over the last couple of days about Blake Shelton being named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” and they all seem to follow a similar formula, the steps of which I have thoughtfully deconstructed. They are as follows:

1. Feigned Ignorance. The authors, all apparently lifelong People subscribers, go to great lengths to make it clear that they have no idea who Blake Shelton is. “We’ve never even heard of this guy!” they exclaim with wide-eyed confusion. “Is he a singer? Is he on TV? We just don’t know.” According to these articles, the People editors were basically sitting around all stymied over the Sexiest Man conundrum, and then one of them was like, “Hey… what about that temp in Accounting who’s kind of tall and looks like he might have some DIY projects going on around the house? What if we put him on the cover?” This was ostensibly nothing less than a tragic miscalculation on People’s part.

2. A Long, Gleeful Diatribe on Blake Shelton’s Unexceptional Appearance. While taking care not to actually call him ugly (because that would be mean), the authors otherwise give themselves permission to really cut loose with the flaming projectiles, condemning Shelton as the most gray-on-beige white man to ever blend in with the wallpaper. “He’s just so bland,” they complain. “We are undeniably the target demographic of this magazine, what with our affected disdain for pop culture and refusal to acknowledge celebrity, and yet they want us to believe that Middling McAnyperson here is the sexiest man alive? Pshaw. We are far too evolved to accept this. Also, his clothes are stupid.”

3. A Brief Mention of the Racist and Homophobic Things Blake Shelton Has Said on Twitter. “This is probably not okay,” the authors aver.

4. A Comprehensive List of Men Who Are Far Sexier Than Blake Shelton Could Ever Hope to Be. At this point, the authors bang out one last paragraph on Blake Shelton’s sad passability (“Did we remember to make fun of his clothes?”) before concluding with a grand tour through the stable of eligible studs from which People should have picked, the majority of contenders being Jason Momoa’s torso.

As an author myself, as well as not being a huge fan of Shelton, I thought I’d try my own hand at writing one of these essays. Please find below a draft, which, while admittedly rough, doesn’t need too much tweaking before publication:

Headline – Blake Shelton is Not Attractive, on Account of He’s Racist and Homophobic.

Byline – Misfit Marjorie, Esq.

Body – See headline.

Do Pulitzers come with cash prizes? Because I’d like mine up front in small bills.

ETA: The “Sexiest Man Alive” thing started in 1985, and of the 29 winners, only two (John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patrick Swayze) have died. So each year’s cover model is not, in fact, “The Sexiest Man Alive,” but “One of The Sexiest Men Still Living.” This is People, not Highlander. Let’s get that straightened out.

Also, one of the angrier articles I read was all, “And what about Dwayne Johnson?! He’s WAY sexier than Blake Shelton!” Yeah, thing is, Dwayne Johnson was named Sexiest Man Alive in 2016. Bring it down a notch and check Wikipedia before clicking “submit,” Mr. Internet Shoutyhead.

Gutter Balls

Customer: “Ooh, you have union suits!”

Me: “Aren’t they cool? We just got them in.”

Customer: “I love a man in a union suit.”

Me: “Well, the Misfits are hosting our annual Union Suit Night on December 16. You should definitely check it out.”

Customer: “Who are the Misfits?”

Me: “We’re a local social and service club, and we bartend at Ripcord once a month to fundraise for our beneficiaries.”

Customer: “How fun! You know, my husband and I just moved to Houston, and we’ve been looking for ways to get involved in the community. He’s really into bowling, and I enjoy group sex.”

Me: “Okay…”

Customer: “Yeah, we’re going to like it here. So… think you could model one of those union suits for me?”

A quick memo to future Forge patrons: If you ask me to model something for you, and I say no, asking me seven more times will actually not magically cause me to cave. In fact, I will be strangely less agreeable about it than the first time you asked. That said, and owning there’s nothing new under the sun, I do hope he and his husband find a nice, welcoming, polyamorous bowling league, because the couple that plays together stays together. And I also hope that he never, ever comes back into the store to tell me about it.

Deep Down Under

Customer: “Hi, I have a question.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “What colonoscopy caps do you carry?”

Me: “Pardon me?”

Customer: “What colonoscopy caps do you carry?”

Me: “Um… I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

Customer: “I want to know what colonoscopy caps you carry.”

Me: “I… I don’t think we carry colonoscopy caps.”

Customer: “Argh, no!” [through clenched teeth and what I suddenly realize is an Australian accent] “What. Color. Nasty. Pig. Caps. Do. You. Carry?”

The lesson here is that proper enunciation is critically important during international travel. Hit those consonants, people.

PS: We were out of the color he wanted (which thank Zeus and Jesus wasn’t brown).

Marjorie in the Mist

Me: “May I help you?”

Customer: [languidly] “Zipper…?”

Me: “We do. Are you looking for pants or briefs?”

Customer: [staring off into space] “Bottom…”

Me: “Yes, but only in a neoprene singlet.”

Customer: [possibly astroplaning] “Gah…?”

Me: “Right this way!”

And you know what’s funny? Until that moment, I didn’t even know I was fluent in Vacant Gay Barfly.

The benefits of cultural immersion can really sneak up on you.

We may never know what happened to that barback.

My friend Orin has loyally followed me through any number of my online writing endeavors (both successful and abandoned), and he never fails to entertain me with his running commentary. He recently messaged me some thoughts on Marjorie’s Forgeries, and while reading them I realized that a) he remains as hilarious as he is adorable, and b) damn, you guys, the boy pays attention.

Here’s an excerpt from his latest missive:

I’m learning a lot from your online training program. (No, we don’t sell poppers; cockrings are on the endcap; largest lube is 16 oz; we only have that shirt in medium; the fitting room is right behind this curtain… but be careful, because a barback went in there once to try something on and may not have ever come out; closing the fitting room curtain requires a feisty flick of the wrist; only stuffed animals are allowed to have sex in the store; inventory requires counting a bajillion hankies.)

At this rate, I think I should be ready to help run the seasonal booth at the mall come Christmas time. (No, you may not try on the assless leather pants just so you can sit on Mall Santa’s lap and have your picture taken.) See? I’m ready.

I really should fly him in to interview for a holiday help position. I’ll bet he’d look delectable as a leather elf.