I will not be moved. There’s a writer’s strike going on out there, people, and regardless of the fact that if I saw a scab anywhere on my rotting person I would probably pick it carefully to add to my shadowbox of personal ailments, I don’t think that my fingers should be anywhere but tied behind my back quietly protesting their corporate worthlessness. Solidarity now! Clever punnery, in a few days … after a significant pay raise!
Somebody call Sally Field. I’m a little tied up.
But there is shit on my stump. I kid you not, and it is freaking me out. Just this morning as I was pouring the water of myself into the flora and fauna of my gracious front-yard landscape, I saw it there: an ooze of brown release with flies digging through it. No note to tell me from whom this perfectly round fecal incident was heinously squoze, no obvious justification for it being right where I sit whilst I’m soliciting downtown partnerships right outside my front door. Just threatening, wet poo. Ominous, really. Somebody else was clearly moved.
“I need to get out of the house,” I break into Taylor’s digitally transmitted wind. “There’s shit on my stump.”
“You want to sit on my stump?”
“Oh,” the little holes in my phone wince. “Why don’t you come down here to
Parliament House? We’re giving away Queen No-Teef-A tickets! You can always count on a No-Teef-A or two at Parliament House!”
He’s right. When all else fails – I mean literally, like your kidney, a limb, the stock market or a testicle – there’s always somebody dentally challenged and candy corn–smiled enough lining the depression liquor trough (and waiting for the pre-chewed free happy hour gravy wings!) at the glorious P to remind you that you’ve still got moxie, Moxie.
Tonight, as every Tuesday night, is Taylor’s Fun House, a slightly deranged and cynically named take on something involving a wooden wheel of fortune and a toupee on host Doug Bowser. It’s kitschy and gay and bitchy and fey, but even though Tina Fey may be blistering her fingers on picket signs, I’m more than happy to pick at this particular Blister to erase the poop from my mind.
“I love your hair!” I bark at Bowser, who may or may not have shat on my stump. (He lives across the street and has been known, charmingly, to leave unsigned “Let’s Fuck” notes on the cars of my friends.)
“Thanks, it’s new!”
“Hey, let’s fuck!” I pull off his wig and fashion it into my signature messy-spiky fantastic. “Then you can really shit on my stump!”
I’ve apparently brought the shit with me, but no worries; it would have been here anyway. Between the skanky soft-core redneck back-room porn on the too many video screens and the general incontinence of those in their 60s who have been here since noon, it would be impossible to escape. I am but the flatulence that separates the shit from the shit, and I am well aware of my noxious position.
Positioned behind me is a one-legged man in a wheelchair talking to some leather cowboy-hatted nightmare ripped from a Bronson movie.
“He’s got one foot in the grave, literally,” Taylor amputates.
“You think he buried it?” I shovel.
“I don’t know, but I bet he’s had some shit on that stump before. He’s knee deep in it!”
Ah, class. Anyway, there is an actual contest and prize ticket theme to fuel this death-waltz narrative, and as we speak it is getting underway. Bowser is bowsing some pop cultural conundrums to which the relatively deflated mass of 20 or so people are barking occasional phonetically challenged responses (“Robert Urich!” Love Boats one. “Oh, wait didn’t he have cancer? Is he dead?” Yes. Sigh.).
A relatively inflated Michael Wanzie is answering most of the shuffleboard queries, although he sours at my “Darryl and John” victory in the famous duos category on the count that I only scream “Oates!” It’s a nervous tic, actually, one that has more to do with my malnutrition than any potentially gay chorus of “Bitch, girl.”
Because I can never catch up with the Wanzie’s Buddha-like queer wisdom and therefore will never get to spin the wheel or know my fortune, Doug calls two other people and myself up for one lightning-round second-chance question that might or might not secure us something like Queen No-Teef-A tickets or free admission to the Parliament on a weekend night. You really can’t win, can you?
“Sally Field was born on Dec. 6 of what year?”
“WHY IS THIS SO COMPLICATED!!!!” I Tourette before he even loops his question mark.
“Oh,” I smooth down my feathers before blurting, “1946, because that’s the year my mother was born and everybody always said she looked like Sally Field, and they were probably right, but you know ….”
“Just spin the wheel.”
So I do, and do, and do. I keep winning more tickets, which keeps getting me more spins, until finally I just take the spinner (which looks suspiciously like a marijuana cigarette) and stop it on the sparkly brown spot. Why, beyond my obvious affection for things sparkly and brown? Because that wins me a DVD of French rugby players getting black-and-white naked for a calendar shoot, that’s why.
Something’s got to move me. Related: Someone needs to clean my email@example.com