I Knew My Background in Graphic Design Would Pay Off Eventually

Ben: “How’s your night going?”


Ben: “…”

Me: “I may have a resentment.”

In an attempt to give me something constructive to focus on, Ben suggested I make a small, tactful sign for the register, which would hopefully circumvent any trite attempts at humor and/or wearisome questions. Inspired, I put pen to cardstock, and a few minutes later, I had an array of informative options ready to go:




I feel back in control of my life already.

PS: Ben’s concept for a sign was, “One in 10 Double Scorpio bottles contains an actual scorpion. Please understand our refusal to open them in the store.” This is why he’s the idea guy.

Repeat Business

[The always dapper Ty and his equally fanciable husband Michael have stopped by to say hello, and we’re having a lovely exchange on the dos and don’ts of impact play, when a visibly dissatisfied customer flounces in and interrupts.]

Customer: “I have a complaint.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I bought some poppers here last week…”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “… and they were not good at all.”

Me: “Which solvents were they?”

Customer: [pointing to the Double Scorpio fridge behind the counter] “Those. The red poppers.”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “They didn’t work. My butthole stayed tight.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Customer: “So which poppers are better?”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “AARGH. Whatever you call them.”

Me: “We call them solvents.”

Customer: “So which… solvents… are better?”

Me: “Try the Amsterdam.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll come back next week and get those.”

[He flounces out.]

Ty: “…”

Michael: “…”


Lord of the Boiler Plate

Customer: “Hey there! Can I try on this cock ring?”

Me: “Sure. The dressing room is right behind those curtains.”

Customer: “… Oh. I was… um, I was just joking.”

Me: [smiling sadly] “Yeah. I know.”

For my fellow retail workers who have led cleaner lives, “Can I try on this cock ring?” is the leather and fetishwear equivalent of “No price tag? Then it must be free!” The linguistics may differ, but the shared experience of surviving a ceaseless barrage of hackneyed jokes is almost initiatory.

Having said that, I really don’t know if there’s anything in mainstream sales comparable to “Aren’t you going to make sure this cock ring fits me properly?” But if there is, I’ll bet you anything that golf pants are involved.

American Horror Story: Day Drinkers

The Forge’s main store recently received a restorative coat of paint. While certainly not to everyone’s taste, I appreciate spending my afternoon in a building that could pass for a satanic temple and/or murder house.

It would be best not to ask what we keep under the porch.

Although a customer just walked in and looked around in confusion and was like, “Oh. I… thought this was a bar.” So, y’know, I guess we pass for a speakeasy too. I’m cool with that.

Where in the World is Caber Sandiego?

Customer: “Do you carry metal paddles?”

Me: “We don’t normally keep them in stock, but one of our suppliers manufactures a really cool one. Here, let me show you.”

[I call up the supplier’s website and click on the link to their impact play items. The first picture to appear is a tableau of two well-developed, scantily-clad men of the homosexual persuasion — one is bent over and grinning seductively back at at the other, who is poised with the paddle in question as if caught mid-swing.]

Me: “…”

Customer: “Everything okay?”

Me: “Hmm? Oh. Yes.” [I point to the man about to get spanked.] “It’s just that I know that guy.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Yeah.”

Ben and I were at a Barnes and Noble one time, and he saw a mention of The Orville on a magazine cover and was like, “Oh! Funny story about working with Seth MacFarlane…” It’s a testament to my own career trajectory that I’m able to share similar amusing anecdotes, but only about porn stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Gag Me with a Lead Balloon

[A straight girl and her gay male friend enter the store. He goes to look at the cock rings, and she strides purposefully to the counter.]

Straight Girl: “Do you have any gags?”

Me: “No.”

Straight Girl: “No?”

Me: “No.”

Straight Girl: [eye roll]

[She leaves the counter and hastens over to her friend to give him a full report.]

Straight Girl: “Did you hear what I asked? I asked him if they had any gags, and he said no.”

[She giggles at her naughtiness. He seems unmoved.]

Straight Girl: “I should work here.”

Gay Friend: [to me] “Excuse me, but what is this?”

Me: “That’s a parachute ball-stretcher. The leather strap snaps around the top of the scrotum…”

[They both flinch.]

Me: “… and once it’s secured around the scrotum, you can hang weights off of the ring at the end of the chains under the scrotum, which will pull on the scrotum, creating a stretching sensation.”

Them: “…”

Me: “In the scrotum.”

Gay Friend: “Do you sell the weights?”

Me: “We do not.”

Straight Girl: “Why not?!

Me: “There aren’t weights made specifically for an accessory like this. You can really just hang anything you want off of it.”

Straight Girl: “Like a cat.”

Me: “…”

Gay Friend: “…”

Straight Girl: “Okay, yeah, that was fucked up.”

And that right there is why she should never, ever work here. I do not need any more dead cats in my life.

Flowers for Al-Anon

[A text conversation between myself and Seth, the latest Forge employee, who hasn’t quite adapted to me yet.]

Seth: “Double Scorpio just sent us some new solvents for Valentine’s Day. I have a box ready for the bar store when you come in tonight.”

Me: “What’s the fragrance?”

Seth: “Love Potion.”

Me: “So… Rohypnol?

Seth: “Wanna find out?” [mic drop emoji]

Me: “I mean, it’s not a relapse if I don’t know it’s in my drink, right?”

Seth: “… Oh, dear.”


Incidentally, Double Scorpio also makes a Holiday Blend, which is scented like an Old Fashioned cocktail and has sparked the following exchange on a few different occasions:

Customer: “Holiday Blend, huh? What does that smell like?”

Me: “Did your grandpa have a drinking problem?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Because if so, it smells like Christmas.”

Anyway, the “correct” answer, I’ve been told, is bourbon and citrus. Oh, and the Love Potion gives off a floral bouquet. And when people ask what Max Impact is for, I’m apparently not supposed to say “hostage control.”

Truth in advertising is hard, you guys.