A Little Psychological Warfare Never Killed Nobody

I walked into my day job a few minutes late this morning, and two of my co-workers immediately ran at me with flowers.

Apparently, one of our accountants gets flowers from her husband on a regular basis, and one of our HOA managers (who is single, as far as I know; I don’t really care pay attention to these things) has expressed a fair amount of envy over it. So the rest of the accountants got together and decided to make her feel special by sending a surprise bouquet from “an admirer.”

Don’t let her know it’s from us,” they hissed. “Just call her and tell her she has a delivery.”

So I paged her and was all, “Hey, you have a package at the front desk,” and she eventually wandered up and saw the flowers. Her eyes narrowed to slits.

“Who are these from?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied noncommittally.

“Well, then how do you know they’re for me?” she asked.

“Your name was on them,” I lied pleasantly.

She turned and stormed into the accounting department and was all, “DID YOU DO THIS?!” and the accountants were like, “Of course not! You have an admirer.” And then I heard her say something about not actually seeing anything that identified the flowers as being for her, so I quickly scrawled her name across a Post-It, balled it up and tossed it in my trashcan. Moments later, she appeared back at my desk demanding to see proof of botanical ownership, so I pulled the note out of the trash and handed it to her, then went back to typing, while the accountants quietly high-fived each other behind her.

I figured they’d keep the facade going for a few minutes and then fess up, but instead they freaking committed. Word soon spread through the office, and now everyone is cooing over the flowers and asking her who she thinks might be sweet on her. And yeah, I went along with it at first and abetted or whatever, but I also didn’t expect the situation to last as long as it has. We’re now into hour six, with the accounting department starting to realize that telling the truth at this point might actually do some emotional damage.

Straight people are weird, y’all. Were this an office of gay men, the accountants would’ve hired a stripper and been all, “We did that and want full credit. Dibs whenever you’re done with him.”

She’s had guns pulled on her but never actually been shot. That’s my new litmus for determining job security.

[A telephone conversation between myself and Douglas, who called specifically to talk about recovery.]

Me: “So I answered a help wanted ad posted by an engineering firm. It’s an entry-level position, but they’re only accepting applications from commissioned notaries.”

Douglas: “That’s awesome!”

Me: “And right after that, I was playing around online and found a historically-accurate Medieval notary costume. So I can go to the Renaissance Festival as a notary.”

Douglas: “Very cool!”

Me: “And also, a process server came into the office today, because some rando is suing one of our HOAs.”

Douglas: “Okay…”

Me: “She was very nice. And as she was leaving, I asked her if she’s a notary. She is, and she gave me her card and told me to call her when I get my own process server certification, so that she can show me the ropes.”

Douglas: “Wow.”

Me: “I know! It’s like three signs that I’m on the right path. OH, and I got a package in the mail this afternoon — it was a fake license plate that says ‘Beware of Notary.’ I’d totally forgotten I’d ordered it. So that’s an additional half-sign.”

Douglas: “…”

Me: “PLUS I found a reasonably-priced reference book on the history of notaries in early modern Rome. Fascinating. And probably a bonus sign. Like a sign-with-purchase.”

Douglas: “Right. We’re changing the subject now.”

He never did get around to discussing recovery. But I figure if I haven’t made him drink yet, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Speaking of, though, I asked my sponsor if I should use my domtopnotary.com email address on my résumé, so that potential employers would see how dedicated I am to notarization, and he was like, “Please just use Gmail like a normal person.” I feel like Douglas got to him first and told him to say that. My support network needs to set some damn boundaries.

My New Drag Name is Train Wreck Debauchery

I took some notes during last night’s Facets of Leather, but I failed to write down why I was taking notes, and as such I am presently staring at a piece of scratch paper with the following phrases scribbled across it:

-Wheel of Morality

-Higher Powers Against Humanity

-lesbian glory holes (how?)

I’m sure it all makes sense in context. Much like the official video of the song we neglected to play.

Shall we? (Hint: We shall.)

Or maybe he’s just the worst undercover ICE agent ever. That would explain a lot.

Customer: “So, what do you have that’s popular [air quotes] ‘South of the Border’?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “What’s popular [wink] ‘South of the Border?'”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “You know… [eyebrow waggles] ‘South of the Border’?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

Customer: [disappointed] “Never mind.” [exit]

So what exactly was he looking for? Drugs? Dildos? Tex-Mex? Because I’ve got outstanding leads on all of the above, provided you tell me what the actual fuck it is you want.

Seriously, dude: own your addictions and speak your truth, and I won’t judge use your real name on the blog. Quid pro quo, amigo.

Ball Drop

Customer: [pointing at the T-shirts hanging along the back wall] “Oooh! I love those! Did you make them?”

Me: “I’m afraid I didn’t.”

Customer: [reading them off] “‘Chubby and Hard to Kidnap’… ha! ‘Resting Itch Face’… ha! ‘Free Protein Shake’… OH, MY GOD.”

Me: “Everything okay?”

Customer: “So a couple of years ago, I was at a Chinese restaurant, and this other diner had the audacity — he had the audacity — to wear a shirt with an arrow pointing down, like on your ‘Free Protein Shake’ shirt. Except his shirt said, ‘Women and Children First.”

Me: “Christ. That’s really awful.”

Customer: “I know! It’s been engraved on my brain ever since.”

Me: “That is… also not good.”

At this point, his partner ambled up to the counter and was all, “Please explain in graphic detail how to properly employ every manhood-related adornment in this establishment, so that I can thoughtfully compare them one by one before settling on a $2 cock ring,” (I’m paraphrasing), and then this guy came back in to let me know that his calf fries had shrunk even further, and to ask if a ball stretcher would help them grow back (it would not).

Hey, you know who else gets paid to deal with testes all damn day? Doctors and fluffers. Although we differ in that I have to wash my hands a lot more often than they do.

Click All The Links, Buy All The Things (But only if you feel like it. No pressure. I don’t work on commission.)

It started innocuously enough: I wanted a key ring with my notary logo on it, so I traipsed over to Zazzle (a print-on-demand retail site for designers, artists, fringe nutjobs, etc.) and made one. And then I thought stickers might be cool, so I made some of those. And then I was like, “you know what would be awesome? A DomTopNotary T-shirt…” and suddenly it was like three months later and I’d created around 200 products, all of which I totally wanted to buy for myself.

Eventually, it occurred to me that other people might want to buy some of them too. And so, if you have disposable income and a differently-sane sense of humor, please join me in applauding the official grand opening of…

Dominion Topography Notary Solutions and Souvenirs!

A lot of these designs evolved out of nervous energy and aborted panic attacks (hence the myriad Anxiety Awareness products): I would need something to do with my hands, or need something soothing to pull my mind away from restless fatalism, so I would log in and start making shit until I calmed down. But I’m actually pretty proud of some of the stuff I’ve come up with. For example, I made a wristwatch for every esoteric Pride flag I could think of, and I snuck several kink-related items past the website’s (very forgiving, praise Lucifer) censors, who kindly looked the other way when I blatantly ripped off and vulgaraized Stranger Things. The Leather Pride section is fairly comprehensive, and it features one of my favorite items in the whole shop, which is a coffee mug emblazoned with something Robert Helms once shouted in the middle of a crowded diner in Dallas. (My other favorite items are here and here.)

There are of course inappropriate notary supplies all over the place, including sarcastic stamps and (Ye Gods but I’m in love with these) Hanky Code stamps, and I just added a line of gimcracks for Pagan notaries. I’ve been working on a geomancy collection as well, and, because I know my readers, I’ve posted solvent-themed flasks and (you’re welcome) a Lesbian Seedling T-shirt.

To be honest, I really don’t care if any of this gear sells or not; I’m entertaining the hell out of myself making it, and I’ll continue to do so regardless of any profit or pop culture recognition. But with that understood, if I’m ever out in public and see someone wearing this shirt, I will lose my damn mind and die of ecstati-seizures… so, okay, maybe don’t buy that one. In fact, just go with the one that’s equally snarky but much less noticeable, and keep my delighted, screamy death off your conscience.

The makers of Flonase need to hurry up and offer me an executive position before a competitor whisks me away to sell patented steroid inhalants to children.

Customer 1: “Here are all the poppers.”

Customer 2: “We’re not supposed to call them poppers.”

Customer 1: “Oh, right. Here are all the sniffles.”

Customer 2: “…”

Customer 1: “Would you care for some sniffles?”

While I’m always amused by creative euphemisms for solvents, “Sniffles” sounds like an over-the-counter sinus spray for kids. Their mascot should be a cartoon teddy bear with an adorable, stuffy-nosed voice. And his name should be Sniffles, too. Oh, my God, this is going to be a groundbreaking advertising campaign that is in no way rooted in plagiarism and/or copyright infringement. I look forward to raking in my first million by the end of this week.

Sniffles (tm)
He’s holding a tissue, not a blanket. I’m not even sure why I have to explain that. Anyway, I’d like a corner office with a sitting area and a view, please. And a sassy gay assistant.

Go, Methamphetamine Racer, Go!

The traditional gift for a sixth anniversary is iron. However, in celebration of the sixth anniversary of the day I got sober, my gift to you is a juvenile meme, along with sincere apologies to any anemics who expected more from me.

Oh, and don’t be a statistic, you guys. That is also my gift to you.


Whistling Carrots in the Dark

[It’s Saturday night, and I’ve snuck away from Misfits bartending to clock in at the Forge and let Robert take a short break. A customer comes in as we’re tagging out and begins rifling through the hankies.]

Customer: “Do you have any rainbow bandanas?”

Me: “… No.”

Robert: “Rainbow? What does that mean?”

Customer: “I guess it means you sold out of them during Pride, right?”


Robert: “…”

The Hanky Code is nothing if not all-encompassing, and even the most obscure fetishes have their own unique colors, patterns, and textiles. Houndstooth, terrycloth, gingham, and gray flannel are all on the list, as are cocktail napkins, mosquito netting, Ziploc bags and Kewpie dolls. Anything the human body can secrete or excrete is covered as well, from spit (light yellow) to body odor (Kleenex) to vomit, a predilection for which being expressed by (you guessed it) a tasteful rainbow in one’s back pocket.

This is why, whenever deranged Fundamentalists start whining about “reclaiming the rainbow,” I’m like, “You know what? Go right on ahead and take it. I don’t judge.”

I ran into Robert (Helms) later that night and told him about the incident, and in return he shared a story from a few years ago, when a different leather shop was attached to Ripcord. Robert was browsing one evening, when a couple of bright young queens flounced in and started peppering the salesclerk with Hanky Code questions. The store did happen to have rainbow hankies in stock, and Queen 1 and Queen 2 were immediately drawn to them.

“Ooh, what does rainbow mean?” They asked. And before the salesclerk could answer, Robert jumped into the conversation:

“A rainbow on the left means you’re leading the parade, and a rainbow on the right means you’re looking for a parade to join.”

“OH MY GOD THAT IS SO US,” the queens exclaimed. “We’ll take two.”

I doubt these kids ever found themselves in a situation where some random dude was like, “Don’t mind if I do!” before taking aim and gagging himself with a Popsicle stick, so, y’know, more than likely no harm done, and you’ve got to give Robert credit for creative quick thinking. Personally, I’m just happy to have a categorization system that can be used as both an entrée to sex and a Kick Me sign. I only hope that my own humble efforts at weaponizing the Hanky Code are pleasing to my leather progenitors.

And Then My Sponsor Tranked Me

I had dinner with my sponsor at his place last night, and afterwards he pulled out a little blue box and was like, “Lozenge? They’re spicy.” I was like, “Sure,” took (what I assumed was) a mint and popped it in my mouth, enjoying the immediate, pleasant tingle associated with fresh breath.

So we were chatting away about not drinking or whatever, and I was absentmindedly crunching on the mint while we did so, and after awhile the tingle intensified from “hint of clove” to “hint of chemical burn.”

“Wow,” I said. “You were right. This is… really spicy.”

“Just tuck it up in your cheek and let it dissolve,” he said. “But as I was…. wait. Did you chew it?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Was I not supposed to?”

The look of horror on his face suggested that no, I was in fact not supposed to chew it.

“What are these?” I asked, grabbing the box and reading the label. “Seriously? You dosed me with Nicorette?”

“How did you not know it was Nicorette? I told you it was a lozenge.”

I thought it was a pastille,” I yelled. “I thought you were being fancy. Okay, my mouth is legitimately on fire.”

“You need water.”

I reached for the fridge.

Not cold water. Cold water will make it worse.”

So I grabbed water out of his pantry instead, and when I turned around he was right behind me with a glass, because even if one’s gums are spontaneously combusting, chugging straight from a bottle is unforgivably gauche.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this: If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you should definitely get into recovery, because sometimes your sponsor will accidentally give you drugs.

The End.

Keep coming back.