Hat Trick

Drunk Straight Dude: [pointing at a Nasty Pig baseball cap] “I like this hat!”

Gay Friend: “Ooh, you don’t want to wear that.”

DSD: “Why not?”

GF: “All the colors mean something.”

DSD: [to me] “So what is this?”

Me: “That’s a hat.”

DSD: “Um… yeah. But what does it mean?”

Me: “The only time color has a meaning is if you’re flagging a hanky. Hats don’t really mean anything on their own.”

DSD: “But if this hat meant something, what would it be?”

Me: “Well, it’s maroon, so if it were a hanky, it would mean blood.”

DSD: “…”

Me: “But it’s not a hanky.”

DSD: “So you’re saying if I buy it, I’ll have a chance?”

Me: “A… chance?”

DSD: “With the ladies.”

Me: [gesturing towards the bar] “If you can find a lady out there, I’m sure you’ll have a shot.”

He bought the hat. But you know what’s funny? A couple of weeks ago, I had the following conversation with a drunk straight girl on the very same subject…

Drunk Straight Girl: “What do you think of this hat?”

Me: “What do I think of the hat on you, or what do I think of it in general?”

DSG: “On me.”

Me: “It’s a good color on you. Do you like it?”

DSG: [staring intently at me] “You’re very genuine.”

Me: “I try.”

DSG: “Do you like the hat?”

Me: “I like the gray one better than the maroon one.”

[She pulls a gray cap off the shelf and hands it to me. I put it on.]

DSG: “God, you just… put it on so effortlessly.”

Me: “… Thank you?”

DSG: “Do you have anything girlier?”

Me: “We do not.”

DSG: “Why not?”

Me: “Because most of our customers are gay men.”

DSG: “Oh. Huh.”

She took a moment to digest that, then decided to try on a harness. Except she forgot to take it off of the hanger, so she ended up just quietly dangling from the display until some friends finally noticed and came running over to untangle her.

I can’t help but think how romantic it would’ve been if these two had wandered into the store at the same time and found each other. It would’ve been like a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. Or When a Man Loves a Woman, with Tom Hanks taking over Andy Garcia’s part. Or maybe just a lost episode of Jersey Shore. I kinda feel like that last one is the most feasible.

Text Me in the Morning, and Then Just Walk into a Plate Glass Window

So the other day my IML brother Ben and I decided to have a contest to see who was the worst at sexting, because that’s the kind of thing that happens when leatherpeople get bored. The battle was short-lived but inglorious:

“I’m glad our man regions get on so well.”

“Me too. I am super moist in my privates now.”

“Your damp nethers make me tingle in the bad place.”

“You have no idea how badly I want to get caught shamefully touching myself over that.”

“And when I catch you, I will punish you with mops and water balloons and things.”

“So hot. I love misunderstanding watersports.”

“I’m going to claim you like an indigenous land by Europeans.”

“PUT IT ON A HALLMARK CARD, NATIVE.”

“Wait. Terrible sexting is one thing, but terrible race play is not so appealing.”

“It’s not race play if you’re dominating my white male privilege with your white male privilege.”

“Oh. Okay, sweet.”

“Like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran wrestling over a Fleshlight.”

“…”

Conclusion: There are no victors in war. Only casualties.

The door didn’t even hit me in the ass on the way out. I blame pneumatics.

The HOA management company I’m always kvetching about employees a part-time file clerk, a sweet little old Southern lady a few years shy of 90. She’s been there forever, and everyone adores her, and personally, I trust the bitch about as far as I can throw her (which really isn’t that far, since I haven’t been going to the gym lately). She’s always just struck me as a wee bit too sweet and Southern — it’s like, “Oops, I opened your personal mail again! Oh, dearie me, I’m such a bumble-thumb! Tee hee!” Basically, she’s the kind of person who seems almost comically intimidated by modern technology, yet somehow knows everything in your browser history.

A month or so ago, the owner of the company told me he wanted to make sure the file clerk was getting enough hours and asked me to train her to handle the phones whenever I’m on an errand or sobbing in the kitchenette or whatever. So I printed out every office extension in a nice, giant font and gently went over the operating instructions with her, until I was 100% confident that she could answer the phone, press three buttons, and put the phone back down without starting a fire or breaking a hip.

On her first shift, she accidentally hung up on someone. Since that day, I’ve found her:

asleep.

reading a book.

asleep with an open book in her lap.

reading a book while patiently waiting for the caller she put on hold to give up and disconnect.

Most recently, I returned from a break to discover her in the middle of a full-blown tizzy. She’d tried to transfer a call to a manager who was not in her office, and she was at a panicky loss as to how to deal with the situation – like, she was literally wringing her hands. I did my best to calm her down and told her I’d sort it out, and she thanked me profusely before tottering away at top speed. I sat down and reached for the phone, and that’s when I noticed the forget-me-not she’d left in the middle of my desk:

kleenex

… at which point my last fuck wheezed and faded from existence.

I’m happy to say I left on good terms. I did the whole official two-weeks notice thing, and I cheerfully trained the girl who’d been brought in to replace me. (She’d actually been hired the week before, so I was already fully aware that the countdown to unemployment had begun.) It’s a tricky thing to actively search for a job when you already have one, but I managed to sneak in a couple of long lunches for clandestine interviews, and our IT department (bless them) did not rat me out for all the time I spent posting résumés online. Eventually, I was able to put in notice with a devil-may-care self-assurance that came from knowing I had somewhere better to go.

As of last Wednesday, I am a scheduler for a financial advisory firm; the responsibilities are eerily similar to what I was doing at the HOA company, except nobody calls and yells at me just because I happen to be the one to answer the phone. And I’ve taken on some contract projects that I’m not quite ready to talk about, but that could potentially lead to the happiest occupational outcome I could ever predict for myself. So, y’know, shit is about to get merrily real. Stay tuned.

All that said, I am not leaving the Forge, because a) money, and b) there is very little sarcasm to be found in long-term financial investing, and therefore no decent topics to harvest, so I will be blogging away well into the foreseeable future. But I will say this about the new job: right after I started, my boss walked past my desk and noticed my notary name plate. I’d stuck it behind some random stuff so that I could look at it (it makes me happy), but so that it wouldn’t draw any undue attention.

My boss felt differently about it.

“You’re a notary? That’s important! Give me that sign. People need to know this.”

And he put the plate where it could be seen, which, more than anything else, is why I think I’m going to like it here — it is very nice to finally feel seen.

deskplate

Sound Off

Customer: “So I was just looking at your urethral invasion kit.”

Me: “Um… yes, the sounding rods.”

Customer: “Yeah, those. Are they available individually?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. We only sell them as a set.”

Customer: “Ah, okay. I bought a rod at a different shop, and it looked smooth, but it actually turned out to be pretty abrasive…”

I’m sure there’s more to this conversation, but there seems to be a gap in my memory. Maybe it’ll all come back to me once I stop screaming.

Are you – Nobody – too? (Answer: Yes. Yes, in fact you are.)

Customer: “I want to tie someone up.”

Me: “Great!”

Customer: [blank stare]

Me: “…”

Customer: “I want. To tie. Someone up.”

Me: “And I’d be happy to help with that. We’ve got several rope options right over here, so let’s see if we can find you some–”

Customer: “HA! I’m just kidding.”

Me: “… Ah. Yes. Ha.”

Okay, so his particular brand of comic styling left me “unimpressed” and “wanting to close early,” but I always try to be supportive of struggling artists. And at least he’s got a framework that can be adapted to any situation:

At the car dealership — “I want. To buy. A hybrid.”

At the bakery — “I want. To eat. Some pastries.”

At the free clinic — “I want. To get tested. For syphilis.”

If anything, perhaps he’s just one of those visionary savants whose genius will never be recognized in his own lifetime. I’ll bet he knows exactly how it feels to be Emily Dickinson.

We’re accepting paper, cotton, and clocks, depending on the gift list to which you ascribe.

Last night marked the one-year anniversary of Facets of Leather, and we celebrated that milestone by completely forgetting about it. We did, however, bring back our “Ask Thomas” segment, and next month we’re debuting “Ask Robert,” so let fly with the trick questions via Facebook or Twitter and see if you can stump us. Prizes awarded if you manage to make one of us curse on the air.

Speaking of forgetting, I keep adding the following song to our playlist, and we keep blowing right past it. But the refrain is the EDM equivalent of “I wish I knew how to quit you,” so feel free to scream it at the unrequited love of your choice.

The English translation is, “You have an unusually hairy chest, madam.” I probably should’ve left that one in context.

Another GLUE Weekend has come and gone, but it left in its wake a multitude of random conversational snippets, which I have lovingly gathered, spit-polished, and set on display for the world to read. Fasten your safety belts, my loyal Marjorettes, because it’s finally time for…

SHIT PEOPLE SAY DURING GLUE WEEKEND
2018 EDITION

“It’s the ones you don’t hear coming… until it’s in your eyes.”

“I’m putting out firecrotches.”

“Is mixing Nike and Adidas like mixing polka-dots and plaids?”

“‘Deer in Headlights’ looks well on you.”

“Like you’ve never seen brothers make out before.”

“I’M NOT WEARING PANTS, BITCH.”

Dirk Caber molested me. If I die tonight, I die happy.”

“I don’t want to know your name. Put something in my mouth.”

“I have had way, way, WAY too many conversations about meat trays.”

“I put out the Do Not Not Disturb sign, because I don’t want the maid to have to deal with those sheets.”

“Ihre brust ist ungewöhnlich behaart, gnädige Frau.”

“Yeah, you like it, hamster-pig.”

“Walk into the room paddle first.”

“That sounds like a soap opera. Or a Cher movie.”

“IML is not backlit.”

“If I take off anything else, it’ll be a felony.”

“Your hair is so pretty. I just want to scalp you and hang it on my wall.”

“I can punch you in the balls if it’ll make you feel better.”

“Leather moved in, kaftans moved out.”

“That’s the cutest picture! I don’t even feel violated.”

“Are those poppers organic?”

“He’s Dr. Jekyll and Fister Hyde.”

“No, YOU suck my banana.”

“Just because you’re riding it doesn’t make you a top.”

“We appreciate that you wore your special pee-on shoes just for us.”

“Go have your midlife crisis in someone else’s room.”

“She died doing what she loved: making everyone uncomfortable.”

“This is the best GLUE ever.” “Me too.”

But I’m buying it anyway, in case I ever decide to get that Satanic courier business off the ground.

[A conversation between myself and my bestie/artistic collaborator Sarah.]

Me: “I need a new domain name.”

Sarah: “Oh?”

Me: “Yeah. I got invited to a networky, business-card-trading thing, but the organizer said that DomTopNotary might be a wee bit too out there for the other professionals. What do you think of RansomNotary.com?”

Sarah: “To be honest, I’m not sure that alluding to criminal offenses will be well-received by the unimaginative. I personally like the name, but I can’t recommend it.”

Me: “Huh.”

Sarah: “With DomTop, I felt like you were just being true to yourself, and therefore willing to accept the repercussions of reduced marketability. So, do you want the new name to be edgy for edgy’s sake? Or reflective of you, but in a way that won’t make conservatives clutch their pearls?”

Me “The second one, I think.”

Sarah: “Doesn’t Mercury rule notaries? ‘Mercury Notary’ doesn’t sound right, but what about a sly association like ‘Quicksilver Notary Services?'”

Me: “Mercury and Saturn both rule notaries. Looking at epithets as we speak… Ooh, what about caducifer? It means ‘He Who Carries the Herald’s Staff.'”

Sarah: “I don’t know. The ones who figure out how to pronounce it are going to think Satan is involved just because it rhymes. And rhyming leads to dancing, so that’s gotta be the devil’s work.”

Me: “Phooey. Maybe diactorus? It means either ‘guide’ or ‘messenger.'”

Sarah: “That will just read as weird. Go less intellectual. ‘Regular’ people distrust smart people. The vast majority of even college-educated people never read a book again after they leave school.”

Me: “And I have dated most of them.”

Sarah: “Hah! Oh, hey, also, unless this is an LGBTQ event, many of the people involved will be conservative or libertarian. Like the crazy lady who owned that health food store. Or worse.”

Me: “Hmm. I could go with fugill.com, after Thomas Fugill. He was the first notary commissioned in the US.”

Sarah: “That sounds innocuous and appropriate. But expect to explain eleventy-billion times that it isn’t your name.”

Me: “Coincidentally why I’m not using St. Mark in the domain.”

Sarah: “Right.”

Me: “Although signaturebymark.com isn’t taken…”

Sarah: “Sounds like a men’s fashion line from the early 1980s.”

Me: “SIGNATURE BY MARK IS A VALID METHOD OF EXECUTING A DOCUMENT.”

Sarah: “And available exclusively at Neiman Marcus.”

Me: “I’m going to buy that domain just to spite you.”

Sarah: “Understandable.”

Me: “What about takenotary.com?”

Sarah: “Implies something other than an equal exchange of cash and services. And if you read a lot of historical novels, it has a sexual connotation. ‘Take me, my beloved notary! Take me right here in this moving carriage! I don’t care if John Coachman hears! I want the entire world to know of our love!‘”

Me: “FINE. Let’s go back to planetary associations.”

Sarah: “Okay.”

Me: Mercotary. Hermotary. Saturnotary.”

Sarah: “Bibbity bobbity boo.”

Me: “…”

Sarah: “I do like Saturn, though.”

Me: “Chronotary?”

Sarah: “I can’t say anything against chronotary, other than some people might expect you to be chronically ill. Although the more I think about it, some allusion to Chronos is good. It implies a good relationship with time — like, you’ll be quick — but also that you might eat all of your young.”

Me: “That is he most entrepreneurial thing you have ever said.”

Sarah: “I KNOW, RIGHT?”

I figure the right name will eventually present itself, or else Sarah will get tired of being the voice of reason and let me run with something ridiculous. In the meantime, I may start another side project and write a series of cozy mysteries featuring Caducifer Fugill, an amiable yet wily notary public. Maybe he and Thumper Forge can join forces and take down a shadowy cabal of shifty librarians or something. I can’t wait to see who gets cast in the PBS adaptation.

UPDATE: Carlisle just won the Internet with SignedStampedDelivered.com. Go home, other domains. You’re drunk.