Gutter Balls

NP-UnionSuit2017.gifCustomer: “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.

Chin Up, Young Leatherperson

Customer: *gasp* “You’re not wearing leather!”

Me: “Well, I’m not wearing a ton of leather, but I’ve got on wristbands and boots. Plus I brought a leather jacket with me.”

Customer: “I am very disappointed. I’m a leatherman, and this is supposed to be Houston’s leather bar, but there’s hardly anyone here, and no one is wearing leather! And it’s the perfect weather for wearing leather!”

Me: “It’s also 9 p.m. on the Saturday before Halloween. Everyone’s either at the big costume party at Rich’s, or one of the annual block parties. It’ll pick up later in the evening.”

Customer: “You know, I bought the kilt I’m wearing here.”

Me: “It’s a great kilt.”

Customer: “It’s not made correctly.”

Me: “It’s not?”

“No. It should wrap all the way around and button on the sides, not in the front.”

Me: “Ah. I see.”

Customer: “Oh, and I went by your main store this afternoon. Why don’t they keep any softer leather in stock?”

[Ed. Note: I pulled a double shift this particular day and was working in the main store when he came in. He complained that all the leather shirts were too small.]

Me: “We’ve got softer leather on order. It’ll be in soon.”

[Ed. Note: Pants on fire.]

Customer: [picking up a pocket flag] “What is this… a power symbol? Like, power top/power bottom?” [gesturing to all the hankies with a sigh] “I don’t understand all these colors. I’m just a leather guy.”

An hour later, my buddy Enzo came in and was all, “Um, some dude on the patio is thanking Carlisle for wearing leather.”

Me: “Is the dude wearing a kilt?”

Enzo: “Actually, yeah, he is.”

Me: “But it doesn’t fit correctly.”

Enzo: “How did you know that?!

I really should’ve smiled mysteriously and responded with something like, “The veil between worlds is thin when All Hallow’s Eve is at hand.” Instead I just told him that the guy had been in the store earlier, but it was extremely validating to have someone else interact with one of my customers and come away from the experience like, “the fuck just happened?” At least now I’ve got a character witness.

A Notary Horror (Notorror?) Story

notary-noir-sticker-280x365The kindly little 80-year-old file clerk at my day job recently asked if I could notarize some documents for her. I was of course happy AF to do that, so I got her settled in my office and pulled out my notary journal to record the act. The file clerk’s daughter happened to be there as well, and seeing my journal prompted her to mention that they’ve been having some trouble with her dad’s (the clerk’s late ex-husband’s) will. I assumed it involved a dispute over part of the estate or something, but no, it simply involved gross incompetence.

Turns out, when the current will was originally drafted, the file clerk accidentally signed her name on the wrong line, and, following suit, her ex (the testator) signed on the wrong line as well. In order for the will to be accepted as valid, the family had to give proof that the testator meant to sign on the correct line, which shouldn’t have been a problem — after all, there were two witnesses and a notary present, right? Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get in touch with the witnesses. I don’t know if they didn’t leave contact info or skipped town or what, but regardless, they were nowhere to be found. So it was up to the notary to clarify the matter.

But here’s the thing: The notary didn’t get a record of the signing. Like, she showed up sans journal and slapped a seal on the last page without documenting the event, so there is no evidence whatsoever that the testator swore to the authenticity of the final wishes listed in the will. Excuse the highbrow legalese, but that is some fucked-up bullshit right there.

And you just know she doesn’t have eleventy-thousand dollars in Errors and Omissions insurance like I do. You just know it.

The family managed to track down an earlier version of the will, so hopefully, that one will stand up in court, and they’ll be able to move forward with the process. But guys, this is why I’m so paranoid about documentation, and about not letting anyone “borrow” my stamp or get their paws on it when I’m not around. And it’s also why I try to make sure people understand what a notary actually does, so that they don’t find themselves inadvertently screwed over by some lazy-ass with a label maker who can’t be bothered to do the job properly.

Anyway, that’s my official contribution to the campfire storytime season. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on a clown costume, grab the Notarizer, hide in some bushes, and show a certain notarial no-goodnik the error of her damnable ways.