Sometimes ideas come out of nowhere, sure. But sometimes they come out of somewhere, be that a cobalt-blue bottle labeled "SKYY," the mutating fluorescence of a public bathroom-mirror epiphany or just the mouths of babes. Tonight's idea came last night, sometime after the cocktail and before the hangover, no babes involved. I seem to recall uttering, "Hey, Taylor. Do you wanna go out and do something really stupid with me tomorrow night?" Then hiccuping. From there, I'm not sure what happened. Until …
"Let's go on a scavenger hunt for a pubic hair!" I plucked. "Let's go on a scavenger hunt for a red pubic hair!" Taylor plucked harder, adding the necessary amendment, "not at the Parliament House."
Wow, now that's a challenge. So I spent last night tossing and turning trying to come up with a MapQuest situation of little red dots that might contain stray little red hairs, waking up with the sweats only twice to make sure that my figurative magnifying glass and imaginary tweezers were in perfect working order. They were. Awesome.
"Finding a pubic hair at the Parliament House would be like an Easter Egg hunt without bushes!" I crimp in the car. "Eggs everywhere!" Taylor proves very fertile. "And, for the record, you said 'bush.'"
Coining ourselves the new "bush administration," Taylor and I set out on our tightly curled mission, figuring that if we're going to find the reds, we're gonna have to get ethnic on y'all's asses. So we decide to up my own personal famine level to "potato" and hit the shamrock underground. Irish bars it would be, and Orlando has plenty of them.
Without any geographical sense, we soundtrack our evening with Scots, especially Franz Ferdinand's single "Do You Want To," because it's delirious and allows us frequent fake titty-shake dancing while hollering out, "You're so LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY!" A good evening requires a soundtrack. "This is totally Night at the Indie-Roxbury," Taylor's shoulders alternate brushes with the steering wheel in exact time with mine. And it is.
Our first stop is Fiddler's Green in Winter Park, because that's where the cute boys go. While sitting at the bar, we devise a few very important rules like: No. 1, the pubic hair has to come from a boy, because girls are gross; No. 2, the boy should preferably be a drummer in a band; and No. 3, you get extra points for the root of the pube.
Rules defined, we hightail it to the rest rooms together, like girls do, and assume our forensic duties: Taylor's job is to poop and look around his perimeter casually, mine is to shamelessly crawl around beneath the urinal and pick a winner. I find one small curlicue, sadly, and it's a bona-fide black one. "It looks only a centimeter to the eye," I survey. "But when I stretch it out it's a good four inches!"
When somebody enters and finds me on the floor, I make a stylish exit. A few minutes later Taylor joins me, and he's wearing a bitter face of disappointment. "It's really weird," he weirds. "But they all tasted exactly the same!"
"So you have a taste test?"
"The red ones taste distinctly of sulfur."
Oh. Back to the car and the shoulder dance, then, our hopes are still high. On the way downtown we stop by Will's Pub, which isn't Irish but may be frequented by redheaded stepchildren with loose pubic follicles. I explain to Will the nature of my mission, to which he responds with due disgust. But he throws me a bone, whispering, "I think Tony's working tonight. I'm sure he's got some."
"Tony doesn't sound very Irish," Taylor sneaks into my other ear. "Is that what happens when Puerto Ricans hang out in too many Irish bars?"
"What, Italians?" I laugh myself into the form of a bucket of beer.
When Tony shows up, I straighten my hair and brush my suit in preparation for my imagined journalistic coup. "I have a very serious question to ask you," I check my earpiece and mug for no camera. "I am on a quest for a lone red pubic hair. Can you provide?"
"Mine are all gray," he turns his face in hilarious shame.
Dammit. I report back to Taylor, explaining that I'm in the business of asking the really hard questions. "I'm so going to win the Pulitzer," I puke liquor.
"You mean the pubelitzer."
Indeed. By the time we make it to Scruffy Murphy's downtown, our hopes, while still high, are getting hungry. There's a mass of about six people, and the bitter bartender is making sure that everybody knows the place is about to be torn down for condos. Nobody cares. Apparently nobody sheds, either. Taylor's quick bathroom eye-and-tongue test again bears no reddish fruit, and we're quick to look at the soon-to-be-demolished door for a way out. That's when Taylor turns into a genius. A weird genius, but a genius.
"What about the Bull & Bush?" Taylor overstates the obvious. "Geddit, 'bush'?!"
"Genius!" I overstate what I just said in the last paragraph.
At Bull & Bush, Taylor orders the scotch eggs (sulfur?) and a Red Bull (pull?) while I fidget in the direction of failure. There's a darts competition going on, and I've yet to spot a genuine redhead. There's one almost-red who looks like an out-of-work game-show host, a Puerto Rican lady hawking her Internet business (card) and calling us "just like Will and Grace" and some eggs. Nothing.
"I'll be right back," Taylor eggs, eyeing a redhead that I've missed and running for the bathroom. And when he returns, the whole room goes quiet. The world stops. I burp.
"I've got it, and I'm not even lying." He offers me a rolled-up piece of toilet paper. "Go look."
So I do. While unraveling a concealed object in a bathroom stall isn't new to me, this experience is. There, in the paper in my hand, sits (and coils) the perfect specimen.
I am happy. Maybe I don't know where ideas come from, but I know now where they go. I'm so lucky, lucky, firstname.lastname@example.org