Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My German Boyfriend Comforts Me After A Bad Haircut

Whenever you tell someone exactly what's going to happen, the world conspires to prove you wrong. In this case, I have an appointment for a free haircut with a Japanese trainee in a Tribeca salon. "Can you get a good haircut in New York when you don't pay anything?" my German boyfriend asks.

"Here's the secret," I say. "You get your hair cut by a Japanese woman. They're afraid of doing something wrong so they'll barely touch your hair. They will slowly, cautiously snip away for an hour or two. Eventually their instructor will come over and say, 'That's really nice,' and because he has cocaine and a boyfriend at home he will finish the cut. That way you get an professional haircut for just a five-dollar tip."

He shoots me a look that says he's impressed, and it flashes through my brain when the woman hacks at my hair. She clearly has no idea what she's doing and she has absolutely no reluctance to impose it on every side of my head. The instructor comes over and scolds her in Japanese. He shows her how to hold the scissors and how to hold her hands, but when he leaves she proves powerless to imitate his motions so she returns to her random hacks. Five minutes later he returns and the scene repeats.

They say the earth is 98% water. I leave the salon with bald scalp making up the same percentage of my head. My German boyfriend rings me on FaceTime before I get to the subway. "Wow," he says. "It is short. It is really, really short."

Me, I'm fine with denial. "It's good. It's not too short. It looks really good."

"It is short. It is very short. I do not expect it will be that short."

"Fine," I snap. "It's a little short. Maybe it's a little short."

He notices my irritation. "I usually will not comment on how short it is, but I do not expect it. You tell me Japanese women are afraid to cut hair."

"I found one who isn't," I bark. "She wasn't afraid at all. She had a style in mind that she thought was right for me and she went for it. I think it looks really good."

"It is short," he repeats.

"It's a little short but not too short. I'll look great in three weeks when I come see you in Berlin."

He shakes his head. "I wish so," he says. "But human hair does not grow so fast."

I think about throwing my iPhone but remember that even giving it a sharp nudge means a two-hundred dollar repair bill. In Europe everybody knows how to spot an Ugly American: they're overweight, they wear multicolored coats, and every sentence that comes out of their mouths compares their new surroundings unfavorably to that Utopian homeland. "In America there's an elevator in every hotel!" "In America restaurants have catsup for your french fries!" "In America Mr. Whiskas poos wherever he wants!"

That sad cliché flies through my head but I swat it away and stomp on it. "In America when somebody gets their hair cut you tell them how nice it looks. You don't say, 'It's short! It's really short! HOLY GOD, IT'S SO GODDAMN FUCKING SHORT!' No, you say, 'Wow, that looks good! You are so handsome!' and that's the end of that."

My German Boyfriend is shocked. We've only dated for a couple of months so I'm still on my best behavior, and this is my first outburst. "Okay," he says, visibly recoiling. "It is not too short. It is a very good length."

"Thanks," I say as my anger recedes. He tried, and though it seemed a little forced I think we dodged a bullet. I realized we would have culture and language problems but hoped that with patience and heart-to-heart talks we'd get through them and our relationship would continue to grow. "I'll shampoo it tomorrow and fluff it up and it'll look really great."

He inspects it again, then says somberly, "I think you will not need shampoo."

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Repeat Thursday: Gay Math

I flunked math in high school, and I blame word problems. “If one train heads east at thirty miles an hour, and another heads west at twenty miles an hour, when will they meet?” All I can think of is, why didn’t these people fly? I mean, twenty miles an hour? Ice cream trucks move faster. And the horrible food, the crowds, the screaming kids. My head starts to spin so fast bystanders ask me for rides.

Now if they’d asked questions I could relate to, I’d be Stephen J. Hawking today. I came up with some examples: see if you’re better at solving these than the junk they gave you in school.

1. Carl’s nipples are two feet from his penis, and twenty-four inches apart. A leather loop passes through the rings in each piercing. What’s the minimum length of this loop?

(a) seventy-two inches
(b) Sir Isaac Newton
(c) Is Carl spherical or what?

2. Twelve men are in a bar. Three are wearing shoes, five are wearing socks, and two are wearing both. How many men are in bare feet?

(a) God, and I thought “Pajama Night” was annoying.
(b) six
(c) This is why they don’t sell alcohol in Utah.

3. Al likes two hours of foreplay. Ted likes intercourse for forty-five minutes. If they have sex together how long will it last?

(a) The important thing here is that Al and Ted seek some form of counseling.
(b) two hours forty-five minutes
(c) Are you sure these guys aren’t lesbians?

4. If Sam has four inches soft and twelve inches hard, what percentage does he grow?

(a) Spain
(b) 300%
(c) If that’s the Sam I used to date, he thought watermelons were eight feet across.

5. Pat and Chris leave the Manhole at 2:15 a.m. Ignoring lights, they cross Melrose, then Vermont, then Hyperion. What will the policeman give them?

(a) If the Manhole is a straight bar, a friendly wave.
(b) If it’s a lesbian bar, a stern warning and a long, google-eyed look at their breasts.
(c) If it’s a gay bar and this is the LAPD, twelve jaywalking tickets and six shots of mace.

6. Arnie says “All three of us are bottoms.” Wayne says, “You’re the only bottom.” Fred says, “Wayne and I are both bottoms.” If each of them always lies or always tells the truth, how many are lying?

(a) two
(b) the Japanese art of paper-folding
(c) Sigh. They’re all bottoms, aren’t they?

7. There are thirty guys in line at the Pit at 1:30. Eight are more attractive than Wayne. The doorman lets one guy enter every three minutes. Every five minutes four more guys arrive, and two are more attractive than Wayne. When will Wayne get inside?

(a) Ugly dudes ought to stay home. That’s why God invented TV.
(b) 12:15
(c) When Pat Boone stars in “Naked Boys Singing!”

8. At 8:04 on Christmas morning Pete unwraps a G. I. Joe. If it takes ten minutes to take his helmet off, eight minutes to take his shirt off, six minutes to take his boots off, and seven minutes to take his pants off, when will Joe be naked?

(a) 8:41
(b) Christmas is a time for joy and happiness. Pete should just yank Joe’s pants down right away.
(c) Don’t remind me. That was the day I discovered disappointment.

9. A troll spends three-fifths of his money on a stud. He spends half of what’s left on another stud. In all he spends eight dollars. How much money did he start with?

(a) I know why the studs keep leaving.
(b) ten dollars
(c) I wouldn’t wave at an ugly guy for less than twenty.

10. Brad is a 10, and usually sleeps with other 10’s. After every beer, though, he’ll settle for one number lower. If he gets to the bar at seven and has one drink each half-hour, when will he approach Ernest Borgnine?

(a) Ernest Borgnine? What, is Jim Varney dead?
(b) midnight
(c) When his liver swells up like a loofah.

11. Al has two cats. He moves in with Ted, who has eight cats. If each cat eats a can of Sheba every day, how many cans will feed all the cats for a week?

(a) I could never buy cat food with a tiara on it.
(b) 70
(c) If these are the same guys with the two-hour foreplay, they are positively definitely lesbians.

12. If a man and a half have sex with a man and a half in a day and a half, how many men will have sex in six days?

(a) twelve
(b) Just out of curiosity, are we talking top half or bottom half?
(c) Jeez, and I thought my boyfriend was a whore.

13. A man’s penis is twice as long as his big toe, and half as long as his feet. If the three measurements total forty-two inches long, how long is his big toe?

(a) Ohmigosh, I’m shaking like Katherine Hepburn in a massage chair.
(b) six inches
(c) This guy’s going to cause fistfights at “Barefoot Night.”

14. Black paint is $50, used toilets are $10, and a crummy sound system is $100. How much will it cost Luigi to convert his garage into a gay bar?

(a) You forgot to include how much three bad techno CDs cost.
(b) $160
(d) Garages are dark, cramped and disgusting. He’ll make a fortune.

15. Two gay people are sitting in the park. The little one is the big one’s son, but the big one isn’t the little one’s father. Explain.

(a) Didn’t I hear about this on “Dateline”?
(b) I don’t think these guys are really related at all.
(c) Everything’s so crazy these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big one had a uterus.




HOW TO SCORE:
Dress nicely. Avoid open-toed shoes. Thank anyone who says you've got a hot ass, but run when they pull out thermometers.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Donald Trump's Black History Tweets

Everybody praises John Lewis for getting hurt while marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I would have marched twice as fast and I have bone spurs. Painful!

Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for playing a maid in Gone With The Wind. Unbelievable! Tara was filthier than any of my hotels.

Jack Johnson knocked out a white man to become 1908 Heavyweight Champion of the World. How come now they're all, "Why can't we just get along?"

Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and everybody acts like she was really brave. Ivana wouldn't move either, even if she wasn't carrying lots of bags with new shoes.

Harriet Tubman started the Underground Railroad. She gets a lot of credit for it but why doesn't anybody talk about all the people woken up in the middle of the night by the whistle?

They say George Washington Carver invented peanut butter. Selfish! I would have invented computers but he was all like, "I don't care about anybody else! I just want a sandwich."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Ohmigod, I didn't realize how stupid my mommy and daddy are. I assumed that because they made a living and drove cars and cooked food they had to be intelligent, but now I discover the opposite is true. They're dumb as two piles of rocks.

When I was like three minutes old I noticed they were on their cellphones all the time -- like constantly, even when we're eating dinner -- so I waved my arms and gurgled in hopes they'd buy me one. I figured it would do really cool stuff, like let me read the news or call Anderson Cooper or check stock prices easily. I cry and shriek and wail and finally they get the hint, and I swear to God I have never been so disappointed in my entire life. These cellphones that all these adults are attached to are just little plastic pieces of shit.

This horrible little gift really opened my eyes. Believe it or not, its intellectual apogee is a game called Find The Fruit. When daddy was on his phone I thought he had to call work or see what was up with the flooding in southeast Asia, but no. Instead he's all, like, "I need some mental stimulation. Let's see if I can press a button next to a picture of a strawberry."

Then there's a piano mode where you hit a button and it plays a plinky kiddy tune. I swear to God, another button makes drum noises for like thirty minutes. Really. That's it. Did we learn nothing from the seventies? I guess not. I'm picturing daddy at a Led Zeppelin concert yelling, "Hey, stop singing and shut off that damn guitar and let me hear from John Fucking Bonham again!"

Another button plays a recording of Mickey Mouse. A recording. First, you've got to be an idiot to want to talk to an animated character; and second, there's something wrong in your head if you don't realize the whole dialog is canned. You say something like, "I swear to God, sometimes I find it really difficult to cope," and Mickey doesn't answer, "I'm sorry to hear that; is there someone really supportive among your friends?" It doesn't deter mommy. All the time she's talking into her cellphone like there's a sentient being on the other end. I want to say, "Well, Mommy, what's Mickey up to today?" because I'm pretty sure that like yesterday and the day before he'll be all like, "Hi, this is Mickey Mouse! How many years old are you?" But I only hold up this many fingers so there ain't no chance of that.

I swear to God, this pathetic crap was the worst gift ever, and I'm not forgetting when Aunt Barbara gave me that Hello Kitty toaster cover. It truly shook me to my core. These folks are in charge of my life -- my wellbeing, my upbringing, my education -- so finding out that when times get tough they desperately need to hear a cartoon mouse squeal, "Hot diggety! It's a phone call!" and then rabbit on to nobody for the next sixty minutes makes me want to grab my rattle and hit the road.

Anyway, I decided this was a toxic situation so I came up with a plan. The next time mommy or daddy gave me a bath, I'd "accidentally" knock their phone off the side of the tub and into the water. Yes, it's a little patronizing, but I'm not exactly going to have an intellectual discussion with folks who spend half the day hitting buttons that play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Besides, this plastic piece of junk with like three LEDs and a tinny speaker can't cost more than a cappuccino so it's no biggie there. Sure, they'll probably swear and scream and order another one but if I can get them to spend five days without chatting with a nonexistent animal maybe I'll finally get some respect for them and actually think about pooping in the toilet for a change.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Story Tapped Into An iPhone (aka 12:30 And I Can't Sleep)

Roger was my first love. I hadn't expected it: he just popped up out of the blue, this hunky figure from some Midwestern town, chosen by unknown forces to be my college roommate. Some men are gay because they love masculinity -- that's me -- and Roger was the butchest thing in San Francisco. I was entranced by his long hair and beard, his well-worn plaid shirts, and the beat-up old VW he somehow always brought back to working order.

Being heterosexual, Roger was fascinated by me for other reasons. He saw how popular I was. He saw how -- though at fifteen I was five years younger than him -- I spent every other night going to the hottest clubs in the city with a gorgeous, adventurous female, and on the other nights I'd disappear into the dark, returning as the sun came up with a smile on my face. VWs are good cars but not quite that interesting.

I admit that I suggested we have sex. But everybody was experimental back then, so it didn't seem out of line. When he finally got into bed with me, though, I didn't realize how dangerous it would be. How I'd fall for him, and how he'd decide he was straight. How he'd fall for women, and bring them to our room, and sleep with them instead of me. How upset I would get, and how the dorm administrators would ignore my pleas to GET ME OUT.

But one night it happened. I'd pictured something on the scale of From Here To Eternity, with both of us swept away in purple passion. We'd dissolve into one flesh united by heat and sweat and spit and hours later, exhausted, we'd peel ourselves apart knowing we were eternally bonded by Love.

Instead, Roger was skeptical from the beginning. He embodied the words "cold fish." He lay there waiting to see what I'd do, while I, being younger, naturally assumed he would take charge.

We fumbled around and rubbed our bodies together. At some point I think he laughed. We ejaculated and he sneered:

That's it? he said. Gay sex is just jacking off?

I couldn't predict what was coming in the next few months, but I could see the disconnect. I could see a sexual tourist racing back to the safe cave of his heterosexuality, and I could see that love would not be simple for me.

How the hell do I know? I snapped. I've just slept with two more guys than you.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Child's Letter From The North Pole

Dear CHILD,

Merry Christmas! This letter fulfills all of the obligations created when your parents remitted $11 to the North Pole Communications Coalition for procurement of our Silver Package especially for you.

The Silver Package is a very thoughtful Christmas gift, though not quite as thoughtful as the Gold or Platinum package. It must have been very important for your folks to save a few dollars considering that instead of a personal note from the North Pole you're getting a mimeographed sheet from a guy who graduated from Cal State Northridge. And instead of us actually addressing you by name we'll be calling you CHILD from here on.

Anyway, CHILD, this is Marv, Santa's Community Outreach Coordinator to New York, Maine and Vermont. Hopefully you find it exciting to receive a communication from somebody who may not be one of Santa's employees but could be a independent contractor depending on how the courts decide. Sure, maybe it isn't as exciting as a note from a reindeer (Platinum package) or an elf (Gold package), but thanks to me not a single focus group on the Eastern seaboard has ever run short on muffins.

I'd like to tell you that Santa has read your letter and can't wait to visit you in person. Unfortunately, that's not part of this package. I am allowed to say that Santa has been given your note, though at the present time it's wedged between sixteen unopened Citibank statements and three subscription-renewal requests from SMITHSONIAN magazine.

I'd also like to say that Santa thanks you for your generous offer of milk and cookies, but in his own words, "I ain't eatin' no cheapskate food." After all, if your folks won't fork over three extra bucks for a Genuine North Pole postage stamp and a "Santa, Stop Here!" window sticker, what guarantee does he have that your mom won't use cheap-ass slice-and-bake cookie dough? That she won't use lard instead of butter? That she won't swap out expensive shit like pecans for moldy-ass raisins? The Santa that I know would say thanks, but, you know, why don't you just feed that shit to the dog?

Anyway, the good news is, we would like to inform you that you are provisionally off the naughty list. You would have made it onto the Nice List, but your dad would rather ruin your life than downgrade for a day to Pabst Blue Ribbon. So you spend the next few weeks laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and wondering whether you'll be showing your friends a newborn Hatchimal or a corduroy jacket from Sears. For nearly six minutes your dad can drink without thinking, "Holy God, what kind of shit is this?"

Instead of getting a note that looks like actual old-man handwriting with a genuine reindeer footprint on it, you're getting a letter on the paper you dry your hands with in the bathroom at WalMart, printed by daisy wheel. Instead of getting personalized content like, "Hello BILLY OWENS! Santa can't wait to leave presents for you at 1712 BAY RIDGE DRIVE!" your letter says "Hello CHILD! Santa can't wait to leave presents for you at UNKNOWN LOCATION!"

Other upgrades in the Gold and Platinum packages are a candy cane made by the elves, genuine reindeer food, and an autographed photo of Rudolf. But three bucks doesn't grow on trees, and Mom's been dying to smell that Vanilla Walnut Glade.

I believe I have contractually fulfilled all the provisions of this offer so I'll close now. And please don't blame your parents for this letter ending with "Best regards, Marv" instead of "With all my love, SANTA CLAUS!" After all, they put a roof over your head. It's just too bad it's not one that reindeer will be touching any time soon.

Best regards,
Marv

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