Thursday, June 30, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 10

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

Now that we were back out on the street, I felt much better, especially since all of the folks around us seemed to be having a swell time simply being alive, and that’s a little too infectious to ignore. We did hit a few more stores, but it was more of the same, with people buying cute little knick-knacks that they would soon throw into a drawer, completely forget about, find years later in their senility, and somehow conclude that the trinket was proof-positive that their significant other DID TOO have that affair back in the day.

Eventually we made our way to the hotel, which we promptly ignored as we banged our way through the lobby and out onto the deck. Everybody was really happy over here, naturally, because the Tiki Hut was right there and refreshments could be obtained almost instantaneously. (And our favorite bartender-ette was still available, with her perkiness, speediness and charming ability to tell you to get out of the way of the next customer, without being offensive.)

So we settled in and chatted a bit. We had a new development now, what with the adjoining restaurant in full swing and some of that crowd spilling over into the outdoor tables shared with the Tiki Hut gang. It seems there may have even been some late-evening business dinners going on, as certain tables featured folks in fancy dress, their faces frozen into that expression of “I really hate working with you but I’m going to be sweet because I might need you to pass the salt”.

Naturally, because we knew it would be fun, we found it necessary to whoop it up a little more forcefully than needed, laughing and carrying on and making sure that the business people trapped at the tables would glare at us as they stabbed their salmon and nodded perfunctorily at something banal their boss was currently babbling about.

But even being obnoxious loses its charm after a bit, so following a few more trips to the Tiki bar, there was a unanimous decision to go explore the nearby pier, a very long, narrow structure jutting out into the water and the night. Accessories were gathered, we tromped down the little flight of stairs to the beach, and we began to make our way across the sand.

Now, a little background on this particular pier. First, it’s the only one in this area, since apparently there’s some very tight governance concerning who gets to build what where. Second, it’s the third version of this pier, the first two having burnt to the ground. Perhaps I’m being a tad simple, but how does something built over water, right at the surface of the water, mind you, burn to the ground? Could the bystanders not figure out where the water might be?

Finally and thirdly, this pier was way longer than one realizes when casually glancing at it whilst chugging a Pina Colada at a bar down the beach. We first begin to ascertain that something was amiss when we marched up to the land-end of the pier and were shocked to discover that we had to climb two flights of stairs to even get on the pier. Yes, we were aware that the pier was raised above the water, or things just simply wouldn’t have worked out when using the pier to walk on. We just hadn’t bothered to conceptualize getting from the sand to the pier.

Now we were faced with manual labor. This had not been in the brochure.

But climb the stairs we did, with three of us having to immediately pee the very second we reached the top landing, our bladders not accustomed to being jostled about so unexpectedly. Luckily, there were some nice facilities on this landing which allowed us to attend to our needs. In fact, there was also a little museum and a gift shop and other surprises. I decided that I was rather fond of this end of the pier. Little did I know that it would be several weeks before I saw it again.

So we start our journey to the other end of the long structure, and things are amazingly festive during this initial phase. There was a nice breeze tossing about, the lights spaced along the pier gave off a soft, golden glow, just enough that you could see where you were going but not so much that you could be blinded and plunge over the side of the pier. We had our beverages, of course, and we chatted amiably as we strolled. Very nice.

Then I began to notice that the building at the far end of the pier remained just that. A building at the far end of the pier. We did not seem to be making any progress. Or perhaps I was stuck in some groundhog-day loop where I kept re-walking the same thirty feet of pier. Hmm.

But still, the stars were out and there was the regular, lulling pattern of the waves. Tiffany was in the midst of sharing an anecdote about some adventure wherein she was forced to be nice to people she didn’t care for, and her voice sparkled over the soothing splash of the water below, buoyant crystals of humor.

That dang building, though. Still not any closer.

I was startled by sudden, labored grunting to my right. After a few seconds of uncertainty concerning our immediate future, I realized that a fisherman was standing in the shadows, and had apparently just snagged something of interest that did not want to be snagged, thus beginning a minor duel of forces.

Glancing about, I realized that there were several other fisher-people peppered along the pier, folks that we hadn’t realized would be here, although it made perfect sense. It was just a little discomfiting to realize that we were surrounded by men in the night, with their poles thrust into the air. (And yes, my mind delved a bit into lusty variations of this imagery before returning to more wholesome synaptic firing.)

Next up on the surprise tour were little stations with big metal sinks and working faucets. Interesting. What could possibly need washing out here over the water? Had the pier designer misunderstood exactly what type of plumbing would be needed to keep the bridge from burning down a third time? Fire hydrant, wash basin, I could see the confusion.

Now wait, that damn building still wasn’t any closer. I decided to turn around and see how far back the land-end of the pier was. (If the gift shop was still right there, then I was definitely trapped in a Fellini movie and at any moment a decadent prostitute was going to walk by, speaking Italian and solving the worlds problems by deciphering the gushing sounds coming from a bidet.)

The gift shop was now just a tiny speck. I whirled back around. Lo and behold, the ocean-end of the pier actually seemed to be closer than the little place where you could buy monogrammed tongue depressors made out of recycled volleyballs. (“I opened wide at Folly Beach!”) Hurray! I could do this after all.

Wait! I quickly checked my drink. I still had over half of it left. Yep, I should be able to make it. And there was always Plan B, which entailed shoving Tiffany over the side and snatching her beverage just before she disappeared, then looking at Terry, appalled that he would do something so rude to our little friend. One must always have contingency plans, I learned this in my LDA troop, Little Drinkers of America. (Earned every damn merit badge they had.)

With renewed energy and determination, I kept marching, passing other clumps of fisher-people and the sporadic dishwashing outposts. Eventually we thunked our way into the quest building, which turned out to be a surprisingly large, two-story, open air thing, with tables and vending machines and such. We could have us a real hoe-down out here.

Our clan scattered, peering over the railings and pointing at things with little squeals of discovery. I worked my way to a quiet corner and just sat, letting the wind rush past and feeling the very gentle sway of the building. This was my favorite part of the day, late evening, made even better by the current happenstance of where and how, just far enough away from everything to imagine being nowhere at all. The wind and the water. There was only one other thing I could possibly need.

I looked around for a phone so I could call room service…

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 9

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

So, Selma the Sadistic Server cruelly convinced us to order two items off the dessert menu, even though there was no possible way we could eat it. By the time she tromped back out with our selections, we were so bloated and miserable that all we could do was lay our heads on the table and stick our tongues out toward the plate, moaning. But then she brought another round of beers and everyone felt just fine.

Eventually we decided it was time to leave, mainly because we had now been in the restaurant long enough that we were starting to get mail delivered at the front door. We settled up the tab with Plunderina, who then rushed off to gloat to her co-workers that she had convinced everyone at the table to order enough pointless, unnecessary food that she had broken some long-standing restaurant record. They were making up a song about her as we left.

Once outside, we thought it a brilliant idea to go shopping, because who doesn’t want to do that when fortified by tropical drinks strong enough that they could clean the corrosion off your car battery? We went thundering down the sidewalk, in search of another retail establishment that would happily take our money based on impaired decision-making.

Since this was Folly Beach, and we were on the main drag, the available shopping venues were souvenir shops, gift shops, souvenir shops, bars, restaurants and more souvenir shops. After careful consideration, we went out on a limb and chose a souvenir shop. Mainly because there was one right in front of us and we wouldn’t have to walk that far.

We clattered through the bell-ringing door, on the hunt.

Isn’t is amazing how a little gin and juice can make everything in the world absolutely fascinating? Do you have any idea what they can do with seashells and driftwood these days? Works of art, I tell you.

I scampered about, fondling this and turning over that, enthralled with the concept of someone having the conceptual brilliance to paint my actual first name on a rock, and then add “Folly Beach” below, as if the artist could foresee the future and actually predict that I would walk into this very store. It was truly a religious experience, and I lit a small votive before moving on to bundles of dried, half-rotted beach grass that had been dipped in patchouli and tied with a bow.

The rest of the gang wandered off in various directions, pursuing their own pleasures, which was fine by me. I didn’t want anyone near me actually, lest they rush up and snatch away the last clothespin made into a seagull before I could get to it. Let them wander about in the designer flip-flop section, I had no interest in that, choosing instead to revel in the fact that with a little bit of glue and some discarded trash, anyone could be an entrepreneur.

I was rifling through some empty soda bottles that had been painted to look like hermit crabs (such exquisite detail!), when I got the first inclination that the entertainment program was about to change. I suddenly wasn’t quite as interested in what one could do with recycled seaweed. The yearning to hold a piece of broken brick that once may or may not have been part of a wall of a house that Jimmy Buffet walked by was diminishing. What was happening?

Then it hit me. The beer was wearing off. Mother of pearl!

Frantically, my eyes darted about, seeking a resolution. Perhaps the first order of business was to get away from all these mounds of worthless trinkets and find something more substantial and interesting. I darted down an aisle, around a corner, and past what might have been (I only surmised this later) some type of barrier indicating that only adults should be wandering thusly far.

Anyway, I had marched my gay little ass right into the Land of Lewd and Outrageous T-Shirts, the kind were they make insipid puns that are neither funny nor original but do allow for cartoon figures of enormously-endowed women. Everywhere I looked we had beavers and bongos, blazing in graphic neon and assaulting me with their planet-sized bosoms and legs tossed widely asunder.

Slogans filled the air in a whirl of cotton rudeness. “I wanna ride your board!” and “I’d Folly You Anywhere” and “Bet THESE mountains are high enough!” Or some such. I believe a few of the shirts had little scratch-and-sniff sections, a mind-boggler if there ever was one, and some of them even appeared to be padded right where the high-beams would poke forth in case you wanted to offend society in 3-D.

I had to get out of there.

I u-turned and raced toward whence I came. I plummeted back into the regular part of the store, sweat dripping off my forehead and madness in my eyes. I spotted Tiffany and clattered to her side, seeking solace and comfort. She turned to me with kind eyes and queried “Should I get the puka shell vibrator?”

Surely I misunderstood. “I’m sorry?”

She sighed, clearly not impressed with my focus issues. “I asked, should I get the puka shells or the lighter? They both have my name on them and I can’t decide. I don’t need either one of them but my name is so pretty. Wait. Why are you flushed? What were you doing back there? Do we need to be running from the po-po right now?”

“Well, I was just…”

Then her instincts kicked in. “Did somebody make you look at beaver?”

“NO! I mean, yes, but… I was just trying to… and I turned a corner… and…”

She patted my hand. “It’s okay, just breathe and think about Mike Rowe taking his shirt off. We’ll be done here in a few minutes, then we can run get you some medicine from the Tiki Hut back at the hotel. Mmmkay?” Then she flounced over to a display of pomegranate seeds arranged in the names of all the state capitals.

She is SO sweet. But she’s also a liar. It was NOT just a few minutes. It was hours. Apparently, some type of proclamation had been decreed where it was important that everybody in our group must touch everything in the store at least twice, three times if it was on sale, and four times if you already bought something just like it at the last shop we invaded. I guess I just didn’t receive the documentation, probably because I was over in Hootersville and screaming for Judy Garland to save me.

A week later, the last of our clan was finishing up at the checkout counter (a set of earrings made out of beer tabs, if I recall), allowing us to finally depart. Tiffany took my hand again, wiped the mindless drool off my chin, and reminded me what my name was. I grunted and followed her out of the store. Behind me, off in the distance, I could still hear the t-shirts laughing.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Britney Spears - “I Wanna Go”

We start out with Britney at a press conference where she is fielding questions while wearing high heels covered with spikes and a t-shirt indicating that something unpleasant may have happened to a famous cartoon rodent. Turns out the reporters are asking some really lame-ass questions, but it takes a while for this to sink in because we’re fascinated with the way Brit’s heavy mascara is making it hard for her to keep her eyes open.

Britney suddenly gets fed up with the stupidity (totally biting my tongue right here), instructs most of the reporters to sexually violate themselves in a rough manner, and then storms out of the room. Luckily she must have passed a changing room before she got to the front door of the building, thus allowing her to switch costumes before she tromps out onto the sidewalk, doing one of those “I’m a supermodel and you’re not” walks.

While the main story plays out, we also get jump shots of Britney performing the song, wearing fingerless leather gloves and unexplained pink streaks in her hair. Back to the sidewalk, where a crazed male fan runs up to her and begs for an autograph. Britney complies happily, first by tonguing a pen that was conveniently tucked between her boobs, then she scribbles her name on a CD, shoves it at the ecstatic adolescent, and grabs a handful of his booty. (I had to replay this bit, because at first it looked she might have gone for the kielbasa.)

Naturally, the boy-man stands there in shock, not really sure how to process this development, which will probably, and sadly, be the most important thing that has ever happened in his life. He finally expresses his excitement by doing a hands-free backflip. (Wow. Just what would he have done if she had sampled the sausage?)

Britney takes off down the street, flirting with a few more males as she does so, including a baby in a carriage. (A nod to K-Fed?) She comes across a policeman writing out a ticket to a man sitting in a strawberry-red Volkswagen Beetle. (I’d give him a ticket for picking that color, too.) Out of sympathy for the plight of the man in the car, or maybe just boredom, Britney rips open her top and reveals her hardware display. (We’re behind her and can’t see much, which is a little sad, but really, has she ever worn a top that didn’t allow us to visualize exactly what she’s got? I think we’re fully aware of her exact dimensions.)

The camera jumps around, letting us see that all of the males in the area are absolutely mesmerized by the mammaries, and then focuses on the reaction of the policeman. He seems to be a bit perturbed at first, but I guess he quickly gets over it, because next thing you know he’s got Britney sprawled over the hood of the strawberry car and is frisking her doggie-style. (This does nothing to stop her from singing, but it does allow her traffic cones to dangle and caress the curves of the hood.)

What The Man is hoping to find lodged somewhere we don’t really know, but he must be worried about something up in that skintight grill because he spends quite a bit of time on the hunt. Then apparently they have some quickie sex, because we cut away for a bit and come back to see Britney walking away, twirling his handcuffs while he buttons his shirt back up. Girl knows how to get things done and then get back to the shopping.

Next up we have Britney encountering some paparazzi guy, something I’m sure she’s familiar with since they hide in her trash cans and bathrooms and such. At first she’s real sweet, posing for him and blowing him kisses, because she loves everybody that will take a picture of her. Then she gets an attitude, snatches away his fancy camera, and hurls it to the sidewalk, shattered bits flying. (Honey, is your bustier a little too tight?)

Apparently this bit of destruction titillates Britney to some degree, and she decides that she needs more of that apple juice. She rushes out into the street, and climbs on top of a taxicab that is stupidly parked there. 4 other paparazzi appear out of nowhere and also hop on top of cars. (Is this a new line-dance craze? To the left, to the left, to the left, climb on a vehicle. Even though there’s no parking on the dance floor.)

Britney stares down the four guys, while we get jump shots of her belly button giving a performance somewhere else. Then she suddenly whips out a microphone on a really long cord. (Wow. Based on her minimal outfit, there’s only one place she could have been storing that.) Kill Bill Britney starts whirling the microphone around her, striking down the Evil People With Cameras, one by one. (Interesting to note: When the mike slams into them, the guys emit sparks before crashing to the ground. Oh?)

Once all the pins have been knocked down, Britney just stands there in a triumphant and saucy manner. Until she spies one of the photogs getting back up, his damaged face looking all Terminator and stuff. And the other dudes are the same way. Whoopsie, we have an issue. Time to dash, Brit. Run like the wind, girl!

Luckily, a guy with a convertible just happens to drive up. (We’ll overlook the fact that this street was entirely blocked off with cars right up to this magical point.) And he even knows her name, beckoning for her to hop in. Yay! They zoom down the street.

And decide to go for a ride in the country, because who wouldn’t want to do that when you’ve just killed four men and then they pulled a Lazarus on you. Anyway, the brisk country air convinces Britney that she needs to abandon even more of her clothing, as well as stand up in the car and wave her arms about like a sorority girl after her first experience with a beer bong.

They travel across the land, me and you and a… carton of milk? The driver whips out a container of the white stuff that he had stashed behind the seat, (what?), and then proceeds to pour the milk all over his face while still clipping along at 80mph. This goes on for a very long time, with Britney and her cleavage encouraging him. Then Brit notices that his cool leather jacket is smoking, so she rips it open and discovers that he’s a machine, too! Egads! Poor thing just can’t get a break.

Cut back to the original press conference, where Britney shakes off her daydream, and is still fielding questions from the asinine reporters. Suddenly, the guy with the milk fetish and the dysfunctional circuitry walks up to Brit, only now he seems normal and dry. Or is he? As he rescues Britney from the Bad People Who Write Stories, dragging her away, he hands her some seashells and then they waltz away. Just before they round a corner, he looks back, and we see the evil red eyes of a robot.

Which means he must be a music producer, right?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Searching For Signal: True Blood - Season 4, Episode 1

We start out in Fairy Land, where some celestial waitress is walking around, plucking light-up fruit from trees and plunking them into a basket. Lots of people are standing around and chatting politely while wearing togas and free-lowing garments, as if we’ve just crashed a cocktail party in ancient Greece.

Suddenly, Sookie and her personal Fairy Recruitment Officer appear during a flash of pretty golden light, and the party guests all clap approvingly. The officer explains to Sookie that she is her fairy godmother, to which Sookie replies with an assessment of said godmother’s skills: “You suck.”

Sookie then spots a familiar face and trots up to him. Why, it’s Barry the Bellboy from that creepy vampire hotel in Dallas. (Barry has his own godmother, a flamboyantly dressed blond guy named Lloyd. Nice to see that fairies are equal-opportunity employers.) The happy reunion is cut short by that pushy waitress with her basket of oddly-glowing fruit. Please, take one, despite the possible radiation poisoning.

Barry does, sucking on it rapturously, but Sookie doesn’t. She thinks something is fishy about food with its own power source. Then she’s distracted by another man standing nearby, who just happens to be her Granddaddy Earl, who managed to expire way back in the day before cell phones were invented.

Sookie rushes forth. “Grandpa?” Earl is confused, last time he saw Sookie she was knee-high to a mudflap, and he thinks that event was a mere few hours ago. Sookie corrects him: I’m sorry, Mr. Gary Coleman playing my grand pappy, but the last time you saw me was actually twenty years ago!

Cue opening credits while our minds spin, trying to figure out just where the hell this story is going now. The credits are basically the same as least season, although I think they might have thrown in an extra exposed breast or two.

Sookie and Grandpa again. Grandpa: “Did Grandma pass gentle?” Sookie chooses to lie. She sure did! Didn’t get ripped apart savagely at all. Grandpa: I just can’t understand what’s going on. (We’re right there with ya, Gramps.) Then their travel down the nostalgia road is interrupted by Sookie noticing odd things, like sewage oozing through the walls of the otherwise pristine Fairy Garden and what sounds like the devil speaking in tongues.

Sookie mind-melds with Grandpa Earl. This is all wrong! “It’s a trap!”

Whoopsie, guess Sookie sort of forgot that she’s now in a land of milk and honey and other beings who can read minds. The rest of the crowd turns to her in utter disgust, as if she’d broken wind during a Vivaldi aria. Said crowd parts to allow an especially bitter woman to take the stage, a Fairy Bigwig by the name of Mab who tries to force some of the lightning-bug fruit on Sookie. Eat it now or I’ll slap you.

Sookie is having none of this pushiness, and instead knocks Mab off kilter with one of Sookie’s special fire balls that she manages to produce at carefully-scripted times. Mab does not take kindly to this, and changes into an ugly she-demon thing with bad hair. Oh, and she also transforms the lovely garden party into an arid desert world with lots of drabness and unkempt landscaping.

Well, this can’t be good, so Sookie and Grandpa Earl flee, racing up an incline to a place where, hopefully, people aren’t so rude. As they scramble and pant, they encounter some elf-eared people who want to save them. This sets up a battle between the elves and the rampaging fairy military force, cuing cheesy special effects along the lines of “Land of the Lost” with fireballs killing off lots of extras hired just so they could scream and die violently.

Eventually, Sookie and Earl and the helpful elves arrive at a giant crevasse (think Grand Canyon, with no apparent bottom), where the lead elf informs Sookie that she must jump, since she hasn’t eaten the forbidden fruit. Grandpa has, so he’s probably screwed, but anyway, they leap asunder and end up in the Bon Temps cemetery.

Quick shot of both Bill and Eric awakening, eyes flying open like the proctologist just hit the mark.

Grandpa is not doing so well, his image frequently wavering, so Sookie tries to comfort him, even though we know he’s a goner because he stupidly ate the appetizers. He whips out his pocket watch. “Give this to Jason. Love you.” Then he’s dust.

Cut to Sookie marching toward her homestead, and she’s startled to find that the house is all painted and pretty. Oh? She stomps through the door, despite someone cast as a house painter trying to stop her. When he pushes the issue, threatening to call the police, she just has two words for him. “Do it.”

A bit later, we have Sookie sobbing at the dining room table, fondling the watch and looking despondent. A policeman arrives, pounding on the door and then entering. Sookie and the audience are stunned to see that it’s Jason. Sookie: “Why are you dressed like a cop.” Because he IS one. (I’d like to see the test results on that mess.) And, oh, by the way, Sookie, you’ve been gone for 12 and a half months.

A bit more later, Sookie and Jason are chatting, and we learn that he sold the house after finally deciding that he “couldn’t take it” anymore, with her not coming back from wherever. A company named “A.I.K.” bought the house. (Right away we should be suspicious because companies with random letters in their names are never up to any good.) Jason: And sister girl, don’t tell people about time-traveling to a land of fairies.

This is sage advice that we should all take. I’ve gotten into so much trouble with the inadvertent blurting of my fairy stories.

But Sookie trumps him by producing the watch. “He never meant to leave you.” They bond and stuff, then Jason decides it’s really important to set his new watch, which apparently can still function despite years spent in a place where people eat neon fruit and having fallen through the space-time continuum. “What time is it?”

Sookie politely reports that it’s 6:35, then realizes this means it’s basically night time and that a whole mess of vampires is probably interested that she took the Fairy Train back to Rockville. She dashes outside, where Bill promptly zaps in from wherever he’s hanging his hat these days. It’s clear from the dialogue that she’s still peeved at him for not being a gentleman before she booked a flight on Southwest Fairylines.

Not to be outdone, Eric zaps in as well, and proceeds to bicker with Bill about who has the bigger fang. Bill finally orders Eric to leave (Oh? When did Bill get the upper hand?) and Eric does, but not before announcing “They ALL gave up. But I never did.” Bill looks uncomfortable at these words, so there’s probably more that we don’t know about, and this review will probably run 37 pages.

Then a sheriff car arrives, and Andy hops out and speaks to Sookie. When you’re ready, “come on down to the station,” and we’ll file the reports on who kidnapped you. Bill steps up: She was working for me on vampire business. Andy is not impressed with this revelation, and rants for a bit about Bill not coming clean before now, that a lot of time was wasted.

This coming from a man who had pig visions and possibly fornicated with demons.

Bill offers to pay for all the costs the police department incurred, as long as they clear his name with that kidnapping and/or killing business. Andy, who looks oddly different this season and therefore is probably being set up for some twist that we don’t see coming, whines some mess about a plaque that he didn’t earn. Jason hauls Andy off so they can both go over the script again and make sure they know what they are talking about.

Now it’s just Sookie and Bill. Sookie: I know time was different here, but for me, “only an hour ago you broke my heart.” But I’m glad you’re okay. Bill: “Goodnight, Sookie.”

What the hell? Sookie once again pours out her feelings, only to have those feelings trampled on by Bill honoring some stupid code that we really haven’t understood since Sookie first wore short-shorts while serving crawfish at Merlotte’s.

Quick scene with Jason and Andy. Jason: “Are you using again?” Andy lies, Jason finds a vial of V (oh?) and tenseness ensues.

Cue Lafayette and Jesus outside some place called “Moon Goddess Emporium”. Laff is not the least bit impressed with going inside, ranting about the past year where Jesus has pushed him to do a lot of witch-exploratory things, and Laff is not happy about this. But Laff gives in. “Five minutes. Ten if there are drinks.”

I am now adopting this as a motto. I’m going to have t-shirts made.

They enter the emporium, then head back to a large room where a modified prayer circle is in progress. Two girls leave the circle and happily welcome Jesus, and fawn over him finally bringing Laff to the shindig. (One of the girls is introduced as “Katie”, don’t think we’ve seen her before, but the other might be that maybe witchy chick who convinced Arlene to swig a potion in a chalk circle last season. It’s never very clear what’s going on in Bon Temps.)

The camera cuts to some woman perched on a bean bag (like you can really perch on something that is constantly shifting every time you breathe) who is apparently the superstar at this gala. This Marnie woman gestures at Lafayette like she just got a cramp, then proceeds to start grunting. Katie, who seems to be the Debbie Upper of the party, interprets the guttural expulsions. Does Laff know someone named Eddie?

Brief cut shot of Eddie, the screwed-up V-addict from that whole “surprisingly violent basement death” shenanigans from a few seasons ago. Uh oh. Marnie then announces that Eddie has a rose for Lafayette, and holds out her hand. Laff stupidly takes the imaginary rose, which causes Marnie to instantly channel Eddie, same voice, same accusations. Laff is not impressed with this, and he and his pearls stomp out of the building, followed by Jesus.

Next scene is Arlene arriving home from wherever, and she encounters Baby Mikey plopped on the living room floor. (Said Mikey being the demon offspring she shot out of her hesitant womb, fathered by Renee, the demonic serial killer. These things happen in Louisiana towns where public education is not quite what it should be.) Strewn about the floor are various dolls with their heads ripped off.

Arlene hollers for Terry, who wanders in from a personal situation in the bathroom. Arlene: “What the hell kind of baby does that?” Terry: “He’s a good boy.” Arlene: “Ain’t my half I’m worried about.” Arlene to Baby Mikey: “Killing is wrong!”

And the Republicans still want to shut down Planned Parenthood? Jesus. And I don’t mean Laff’s boyfriend.

Transition to some street that looks like it could be in New Orleans, then the camera zooms in on some place where tough women are boxing. The crowd surrounding the ring love the action, jumping and shimmying in delight, and they all appear to be female. One of the two women in the ring triumphs in her brutality toward the other, and we see that it’s Tara.

Really? Guess sister girl took some night classes and found a new career.

Next up is Jessica and Hoyt. (It’s easy to forget how many thousands of characters we have running around in this mess.) Hoyt has just arrived home, and they immediately get into a tiff about why Jessica can’t make some decent dinner for Hoyt, seeing as she lays on her ass all day and watches Oprah. Jess, explaining why human food is so repulsive: “Going to the Piggly Wiggly is like going to the morgue!”

I’ve thought the exact same thing, but for completely different reasons. Have you ever tried to get around Granny Mae Flatulence when she’s blocking the produce aisle?

Jessica WAY over-reacts, taking a page from the “Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford” rule book and barely cooking some eggs for Hoyt to consume, shells and all. He eats some of the drippy yuck, pretending to be in heaven, and then they both dissolve into laughter over the whole thing.

Ah, young love. So completely unrealistic about what’s about to come. Give them a few years and they’ll both be alcoholics with fake profiles on swinger websites.

Jason and Sookie. Jason, not wanting to leave Sookie alone: “I’m watching out for you. This is the happiest I’ve ever been.” Sookie: I’m still mad at you for selling the house. Call those people back! (Like both of them don’t already have enough on their plate. Sookie, love ya, but could you just sit down and watch mindless TV for once?)

Zip over to Fangtasia, where Pam is taping some PR interview about vampires wanting to make nice. She completely sucks at it, much to the chagrin of… hell, I can’t remember her name, that one vampire leader lady with her bitchy hair. Luckily, Eric strolls in the club about that time, and Bitchy waves him over to do the spot. Naturally, Eric is very charming, mainly because we all want to sleep with him.

Cue Bill at a press conference, where he’s babbling about being the “oldest resident” in Bon Temps as people are dedicating a park or some such. It’s clear that this is all political spin for the benefit of the stupid humans, who are still a little anxious after Russell borrowed a spinal column from that newscaster at the end of last season. There’s some nice, wickedly fun dialogue in the script. Eric: “Who would you rather trust? A vampire or a politician?”

Oh, and Bill has a bit where he fawns over somebody named “Portia Bellefleur”, a woman who helped with recent civic duties or some such, but based on her darting eyes, it’s possible that she has intimate knowledge of exactly where Bill’s stake has been lately. Not clear, who knows.

Back over to this boxing arena that might be in New Orleans, with Tara wandering out of the building and lighting up a cigarette. She’s followed by the girl who lost the bout match, a woman who promptly snatches the cigarette out of Tara’s mouth and tosses it away just before they begin tonguing each other. This would certainly be interesting news for Sam, yes?

Then some drunk guy wanders up, apparently more than ready to pay the girls cash money so he watch them partake in Sapphic calisthenics. Tara chews him out (verbally, that is) and then snatches the money out of his hands. “This is for not reporting you for solicitation.”

Home girl has sure been up to some things we don’t know about. Sayin.

Cut to Sookie at Merlotte’s, where she and Arlene and Terry are making nice. Laff joins them. Sookie; “Tara?” Laff: “She moved.” Sookie: “WTF?” Then the gang runs off to make omelets or something, allowing Sam to move in on Sookie. Sam: “Vampire business, huh?” Musta been really important. A lot has changed since you left. Sookie: “Like you’ve gotten more prickly?”

I like that line. It’s mine now.

Laff and Jesus in the kitchen at Merlotte’s. Laff: You set me up. Jesus: Magic is a gift, Marnie is great. That’s going nowhere, so Sheriff Andy barges in and sends Jesus scurrying out the back door. (Jesus to Laff, pre-departure: Another meeting with the witches tonight. Be there or be square!)

Laff: “Can I help you Mr. Po-Po?” Andy spews some lying mess about needing more V for the investigation. Laff ain’t got none. Andy gets violent, wanting a fix, and Jason has to rush in and break things up. Jason to Laff: Whatever just happened, didn’t. Laff and his makeup just stand there, not saying a word.

Back out in the main area of the restaurant, Hoyt’s Momma Maxine barges through the door, amped up in Super Bitch mode, dragging Tommy along with her. (Oh, yeah, forgot about them finding the Lord together in the midst of trying to screw people over.) They plop down at a table, harass the nearby staff, and proceed to pray for the deep-fried goodness they are about to receive.

Sam to Tommy: “How’s that physical therapy going?” You know, the therapy I’m paying for. After I shot your ass for being everything a brother shouldn’t? That therapy.

Cut to Tara and her new-development girlfriend, wallering around in bed. Tara gets a text from Lafayette that Sookie done come back into town. Tara tells Girlfriend that her Grandma just died, so we learn that Tara is a liar these days. We also learn that Girlfriend thinks Tara’s name is “Toni” and that she hails from Atlanta. Tara doesn’t mess around when it comes to reinventing her life.

Sookie and Portia sitting at Merlotte’s, and we realize that Portia is working on getting Sookie’s house back from the mysterious A.I.K. Portia is being awfully snooty, so Sookie reads her mind and finds out that Portia is a two-faced nasty thang. Great, like Sookie needs more of those.

We zip over to Fangtasia, where Hoyt is at the bar while free-spirit Jessica is dancing with herself. Some guy named Matt hits on her while Hoyt is distracted by having to stand AND drink a beer at the same time. Jess is tempted by Matt’s throbbing vein, but she turns down the fang-banger, who wanders off to stand by the bar and look hot.

Hoyt joins Jess on the floor, but she quickly runs off to the powder room. Jess is pouting in a stall when Pam bangs on the door. “Toilets are for humans only!” The door opens so Pam can see who is in there. “Oh, it’s you! We been worried sick!” (Not.) Jess explains that she’s been with Hoyt. Pam: “That tree with a plaid shirt has a name?” Then Pam tears into Jess for ignoring her hunter nature, so Jess tears right back. Yet another catfight in a random ladies’ room. Yay!

Next scene has Sam sitting in a group of people who appear to be supporting him as he tells all about some personal issues. (Mainly, Tommy messed him up.) The supportive ladies are very pretty, leading to a sidebar comment from the viewing audience: “Is this an anger management session with Charlie’s Angels?” (Thanks, Terry.) The camera pulls back, and these folks appear to be having dinner and drinking wine. (Sidebar again: “They’re having wine at an anger management class?”)

Sam tries to get everybody to drink even more, but the two gals and a guy make excuses, gotta get up early, blah blah. Sam: Well, then, let’s get to it. Then they all start ripping off their clothes excitedly.

What the hell?

Cut to a shot of some horses running out of a barn and off into a field, just to keep the confusion level really high, then a truck pulls into what I believe is the meth-lab camp where the crazy, dirty people live. Jason hops out and begins to distribute food to the filthy urchins, like he promised he would do last season. When one disturbed little girl starts to eat a chicken raw, Jason mutters that “We need to get Crystal back.” (Um, I’m thinking you need more than just Crystal to handle these Children of Dirt and Inbreeding.)

Jason hands a tub of ice cream to a boy, one who looks extremely wild-eyed and should never be trusted with dairy, instructing him to go put it in the freezer. The boy zombies off, and then returns, reporting that the freezer done conked out. Jason goes to investigate the oddly propped-open freezer, stupidly reaching inside it, and he is promptly whacked on the head and locked into the freezer. Poor Jason. Boxes always give him so much trouble.

Witch Emporium once again, with the folks in a circle and leader Marnie focused on a dead parrot on a cute little stepstool. (This doesn’t look good at all.) Jesus and Laff are there, but Laff is sitting back a bit, not impressed and looking around for the free alcohol. Marnie mutters something about more work in the spiritual world, that they need to “Guide Minerva” to bring down the price of gasoline or some such.

Then Minvera starts some Latin chanting and a “return to the living” ceremony, which startles her acolytes (“We haven’t studied this!”), especially the cute one named Katie. Of course, none of them get up and leave, like anybody who is not interested in avian reanimation would do. Marnie seems to have reached an impasse, with the bird insisting on remaining dead, so she glares at Laff and demands that he join hands with the circle.

When he does, power surges through them all, two people appear to have orgasms, Marnie goes into overdrive with the grunting, and the bird springs to life, flying around the room a bit before going back to birdie heaven. Oh boy, these folks done stepped in it now.

Cut to Katie marching toward a fancy estate. She is cleared by a security guard, then she tromps through the house and into some room, nodding toward someone sitting at a desk. “Your majesty.”

It’s Bill.

Final scene is Sookie at home, having just taken another shower like she’s always managing to do, and currently wearing a bathrobe. She decides that it’s entirely too humid to mess with clothing, so she whips off the robe and throws it behind her.

And Eric catches it. Sookie: “What are you doing here? I rescinded your invitation!” Eric: “You don’t own the house. I do.” Sookie, managing to jiggle around a bit so we can get tantalizing glimpses of flesh, “Why?” Eric: “If I owned the house, then I would own you. You’re mine, Sookie!”

His fangs pop.

Uh oh.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Beyonce - “Run The World (Girls)”

We start out with Beyonce riding on horseback, cantering through some dusty place with hills in the distance. (Beverly?) Then we get shots of tragic things like burning trashcans and discarded satellite equipment. Oh, and some vaguely-liberationist banners with angry women looking unsettled. Beyonce rides through this mess, while we get shots of more angry women beating the roofs of abandoned cars and mobs of disgruntled people running amok.

I’m thinking this is not going to be a happy video.

Quick shot of Beyonce showing that her horse is really special, then shots of military men running about in an aggressive manner. We also have scantily-clad women in wooden cages waving their crotches at the camera, one woman lounging on a giant wooden cross, and nasty desert winds blowing sand in everybody’s cracks. Still with the “not happy place”.

Cut to some confrontational area, where lots of bizarrely-dressed woman are standing defiantly. (“Roman gladiators on estrogen” comes to mind.) Zoom in on a tight shot of Beyonce sporting harem-gear and looking at us intensely. This goes on for a few frames so we can carefully study her lip gloss and place orders online. Back to the confrontational women, more of them this time, and now they look like Gestapo Yakuza members.

It seems these colorfully-dressed women are facing off against the military men, and the showdown starts with Beyonce marching up to them in short-shorts that can’t possibly be comfortable. Then, and I’m not sure how to describe this, but Beyonce goes into the most bizarre dance I have ever seen. Something about bouncing her shoulders in a violent manner and whipping her hair around. I’m sure somebody, somewhere thought that this choreography might be hot and inspiring. That person was wrong.

Beyonce insists on doing this mess for quite some time. Trying to make the best of things, her posse of defiant women raise their arms in solidarity to the beat. This doesn’t really help, so various members of the posse run out from time to time and try to make the whole thing a perky line dance. But it’s not working. I try to get into it, but somebody done made a wrong turn.

This goes on for a long time. A very long time.

Cut to Beyonce wandering around among the mens and trying to steal their cell phones and such, mixed in with images of Beyonce somewhere else, her hair jacked to Jesus and doing something with what I think are hyenas. Then the dancing Beyonce crawls between the legs of one of the men and flips us off. Really?

Next up is Beyonce doing some mess with water cannons, and then stomping around near burning cars while wearing shoes that can’t possibly be comfortable. Then we cut to Beyonce wearing an anorexic jumpsuit and fondling her breasts. (Not making this up.) The we zip back to B and her posse doing another line dance in the confrontational area, this one involving them spreading their thighs as wide as possible so that we can see their tiny panties.

What the hell am I watching here?

This dance also goes on for a while, including a segment where the ladies get on all fours and wave their fannies in the air. Then all hell breaks lose when the tarts and the troops rush at one another. While these people pounce on one another in an unexplained war of whatever, we have side shots of Beyonce doing sexual things with sand.

Well, dang, the girls are dancing again, so I guess the war is on hold while the pissed-off sisters undulate and high-kick. The vision for this scene is that Beyonce wears an oddly-cut green dress, all her hundreds of girlfriends wear garter belts and little else, and they all do a routine where they slowly flip their hair from side to side. The military men, apparently enthralled with the heaving bosoms and lack of modesty, just stand there and watch.


As has become typical in this video, the sequence goes on for far too long. I understand that when you’ve paid for this many extras in a video, you should try to use them all and get your money’s worth. But come on. How many gyrating crotches can you see before it all becomes a blur?

No matter, it’s Beyonce’s vision, we’re just the observers here. So we watch as she and her posse reach the point where they raise their fists in the air in what they think is total domination of the male species. The girls advance on the still-stunned men (None of whom have raised a weapon or tried to fight back. That’s real, right?), and Beyonce, lead dancing tramp, reaches up and rips something off the chest (Medal? Medic Alert bracelet?) of one of the men.

At which point all of the women salute the men and the video ends.

What the hell, Beyonce? Seriously.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, June 24, 2011

30 Startling Things To Say To Annoying Strangers At Wal-Mart

1. “You do understand that you should be wearing panties with that outfit, right?”

2. “I will write you a check right now if you swear to never wear Spandex again.”

3. “I take it your family missed a few centuries of development.”

4. “Would you like to borrow my mirror? Because it’s clear that you don’t have one.”

5. “Please explain to your child that he is not a dog and he should get off my leg.”

6. “How cute. And what type of animal did you have to kill to get that hair?”

7. “Your name is not Sting. Go pick out some deodorant. I have a brochure if you don‘t know what that is. Oh, just take the brochure, who am I kidding?”

8. “I guess you save a lot of money on toothpaste.”

9. “Have you heard about this new thing called contraceptives? No? Okay, the first step goes like this. If somebody with a penis looks your way, you don‘t have to immediately flop on the ground and hoist your legs in the air. Wait, was that too many words? Did I throw you with penis?”

10. “And the pork rinds still taste good going into that mouth of yours?”

11. “Let me explain something. Just because we both have beer in our carts does NOT make us instant friends.”

12. “Excuse me, but I’m not catching ALL of the details of what should be a private conversation between you and your gynecologist. Could you put that on speakerphone?”

13. “Was your child raised near a tornado siren?”

14. “For the love of GOD, stop reaching for things on the bottom shelf.”

15. “Have you ever eaten a vegetable in your entire life?”

16. “Sweetie, this is the wrong aisle for you. There‘s nothing here that can be deep-fried or made into a tube top.”

17. “Are you expecting to find a coupon in the throat of your girlfriend?”

18. “The door-greeter should be fired for letting you get by. I don‘t care if she’s old.”

19. “I’m sorry to hear that you’ve gone deaf. Did it happen during labor?”

20. “I’m not offended by the piercings. I’m offended by the other accessories. Like your attitude.”

21. “We all fully understand that you have breasts. Now cover them up before every man in this store starts buying Barbra Streisand albums.”

22. “Did I ask you to validate the fact that you have a butt crack?”

23. “Girl, I don’t see a crown on your head. Wait your turn like everybody else.”

24. “By all means, knock me out of the way so you can get the exact roll of paper towels that I was reaching for. I’m sure it would be too much to ask for you to snag one of the 500 other rolls on this shelf.”

25. “Wait, is that a Tea Party tattoo on your arm? It all makes sense now.”

26. “It is really cute how you are letting your child drive the cart. Say, why don’t you go out in the parking lot and practice for a bit so he won’t ram every fixture in a three-mile radius? Do it now or I’m calling security.”

27. “Did you see how the milk spoiled right as you walked by? Interesting.”

28. “This is SO going in the blog.”

29. “Wow. You have just single-handedly refuted the Theory of Evolution.”

30. “Let me explain something. This lovely woman at the register had absolutely nothing to do with your inability to read price tags, your apparent childhood in a barn, your refusal to understand that you reap what you sow, and your complete ignorance concerning social decency. Stop whining, give her some money, round up your inbred clan, get the hell out of the store, and stop breeding with the rapidity of a bunny on crack. GO!”

Love and kisses,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 8

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

Okay, it wasn’t ALL of the Children of the Corn that wandered out onto the patio, just a single representative, but I knew instinctively that he was one of them. Some children just have that look, where they glare at you with the boldness and confidence that comes from never having heard the word “No” directed at them at any point in their entire lives, ever. Consequently, everyone around them suffers.

I glanced up at the parents, doing a quick-check to determine their culpability and coping choices. Were they Damien-Deniers, the sort who absolutely refuse to believe that their angelic offspring could possibly do anything wrong, or were they Guilty-Grunters, the type who are fully aware that evil has sprung from their loins, but they still bite their tongue rather than discipline the child?

The analysis was quick. Corn-Child purposely knocked over something on a table they passed. Mommy smiled, then reached out and lovingly patted Cornie’s head as if he had just cured cancer and reversed global warming. She was definitely a DD. Daddy sighed, righted the ketchup bottle, and muttered something that Cornie completely ignored and Mommy mentally blocked because negative words about her child simply didn’t exist. Ah, so we had one parent of each flavor. Great, this should be fun.

Tiffany tugged at my sleeve. “What are you getting?” I turned back to the table, where the rest of our gang was flipping plastic pages. Oh, right, we were supposed to be making up our minds about the food. It’s easy to get distracted when the beer is flowing and miniature Hitlers are walking about unshackled. (Behind me, noises indicated that Little Adolph had just hurled his menu onto the floor. I’m assuming Mommy smiled and Daddy died a little inside.)

Back to the food. We discussed this dish, and pondered over that one, and finally decided that we couldn’t decide and that maybe we should just get a bunch of appetizers and see how the world treated us. We picked out several items that glowed with the possibility of being magically delicious. Our server, receiving a signal on her finely-tuned waitress radar that we might actually be ready to order, come rushing out of the restaurant proper, thrilled that we had finally reached this critical point after three days of sitting at our table.

Then she almost derailed everything by plunking down a smaller menu. “Oh, here’s the sushi menu from upstairs. The Sushi Guy is in and he’s ready.”

Tiffany and I jointly pawed the new piece of literature, having forgotten that Diner Dinah had gone on an expedition to retrieve this article. Our world was instantly in turmoil, because we would now have to think about things once again, and we were scared. Bravely, we decided to gently lay the sushi menu aside and stick with our original appetizer selections from the non-raw main menu.

Dinah began making notations about our dining choices, and this went swimmingly well, until we got to the bit about ordering the “conch fritters”. I pronounced the first word as “kawnch”, mainly because that’s how I had always thought the word should be uttered.

Apparently I was nothing more than a stupid hillbilly with no teeth and a disregard for proper enunciation. “Okay, then,” muttered Dinah. “One order of kunk fritters.” Then she paused and glared my way, challenging me to butcher yet another culinary appellation.

I was stymied. Kunk? That’s how you say it? How could I have not known this? And why would you say it that way? There’s no “u” in the damn word. I looked at Tiffany for validation and support.

She provided neither. Haughtily scanning the menu, she spewed forth with “Yes, an order of kunk fritters, and let’s do some of this calamari.” Then she primly set her menu aside, exuding an air of royalty having to deal with common peasants and not being pleased with that arrangement.

So I hated her. I briefly considered throwing her ass in the much-loved fireplace, but that would require physical effort and the temporary relinquishing of my beer bottle, neither activity having any real appeal. So I sulked while the rest of the table fingered things on the menu that they wanted in their mouths, post haste. Diner Dinah did some scribbling and then raced off to do whatever servers do that causes food to eventually be brought to the table.

Fine. I decided that I needed to pee, a decision that I often reach when I don’t have anything else on the immediate agenda. I excused myself, shot Tiffany a withering glance of disappointment which she easily deflected with her Wonder Woman power bracelets, and then marched into the restaurant proper, trying to decipher where the loo might reside in this establishment.

Oh. It was right there as you entered from the patio, off to the left. That was tough. I slipped inside and locked the door, not out of any sense of modesty but mainly because I didn’t want fools lumbering in and interrupting my beloved target games. Two seconds after I had positioned the equipment and commenced firing, I heard someone attempt to open the door. One second later, some hell-beast began pounding on the door with an intensity that could throw the planet out of alignment.

What the hell?

I hollered out that things were occupado, then purposely dallied a bit, because rudeness should not be rewarded, going so far as to do the full 12-point cleansing of hands at the wash basin, followed by thorough usage of the paper towel dispenser to insure that all body parts were dry and ready for inspection. Finally, I opened the door.

To find Damien Corn Child standing there. With his jackal eyes and sociopathic tendencies. Terrific.

The little bastard barreled into the bathroom and assumed the call-of-nature position at the toilet. The urchin did not care who saw what, a disregard that probably kept his anal-retentive parents up at night and in constant legal trouble. I stepped out and pulled the door to, hoping that some happenstance of lock-mechanism malfunction would trap Tiny Ted Bundy in there unto eternity.

I waltzed back out onto the patio, and immediately noticed two things. One, the parents of the jackal were nowhere to be found. (Interesting. Had the State finally had enough and issued death warrants for the good of mankind?) Two, Tiffany and Tommy were standing in front of the beloved fireplace, bellowing a song that I believe had something to do with muskrats and the joys to be had when it came to Himalayan, hand-woven codpieces. Something like that, I don’t really know.

I sat down at the table and looked to Terry and Nina for guidance. They looked back at me with expressions that clearly stated “It’s Tommy. We have no idea. We have never had any idea. It’s Tommy.” Okay, got it.

Just then, Agnetha the Brave Serving Wench clattered on to the patio, along with an unknown assistant, bearing trays containing our much-debated appetizers. As they went about with their product placement, the rest of us rushed to our chairs and immediately shoved our heads into the trough.

For several minutes, there was no talking, only grunting and occasional gasping as someone came up for hair. Everything was incredibly delicious, hard to pick a favorite, but if it were a gun-to-my-head situation, I’d have to go with this as the winner: Blackened Steak Bites, that were “smothered with mushrooms and onions, served with a bleu cheese horseradish sauce”, the actual description from the menu, even though these words do not fully capture the true divinity of what I was shoving in my mouth.

I may have even passed out at some point. There was a hazy period where I’m not quite sure what may have been happening. The only certainty is that I never lost my ability to coherently request additional beverages, because when I finally focused back on reality, there were two empty beer bottles in front of me and Agnetha was waltzing up with even more replenishments.

I finally reached the point where I couldn’t possibly consume another ounce of anything. It was strongly possible that I wouldn’t even be able to get out of my chair until something digested, so I just leaned back and patiently waited for gastronomical shifts. Judging by the pained and sweaty faces all around me, we had all eaten entirely too much.

Agnetha appeared once more, a gleam in her eye. “Anyone ready for dessert?”

My head immediately exploded at the mere thought. If another scrap of anything edible was placed on this table, I was going to cut someone.

“I’ll just run get the dessert menu,” purred Evil Eve.

Oh God.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lady Gaga - “The Edge Of Glory”

We start out on a wet, urban street somewhere, with pretty pink smoke billowing around a corner, because things like that always happen when Gaga is in town. Cut to a brief shot of someone screwing around with a cheap window curtain, then back to that corner, where Gaga is now standing, looking very Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret” just before things all went to hell in Berlin between the wars.

More of that person in the window, with smoke gushing out of the apartment, so apparently somebody has microwaved the popcorn too long once again. Then we have Gaga standing on the front steps of the apartment building, next to Clarence Clemons, who is playing a saxophone even though there’s obviously something on fire in the near vicinity.

Back to the window, where we can now see that Gaga is peering out said window whilst wearing an outfit that is vaguely Geisha/Egyptian, sporting sunglasses and yet another haggard wig. The vocals kick in on the song, while Geisha Gaga attempts to climb out the window without disrupting her couture. Cut to Streetwalker Gaga as she struts her wares and lets us know that she’s really partial to studded-leather and gold chains. The camera pans down so we can observe Gaga’s unique skill of walking in high-heel boots without tripping.

The camera focuses on her face again, giving us plenty of time to wonder if Gaga’s hairdo is a tribute to some endangered bipolar species. She doesn’t really explain what’s going on, and instead chooses to walk in a manner that would get a normal citizen arrested for public intoxication. To be fair, she probably can’t see where she’s going, what with the tendrils of her raccoon hair falling in her eyes and such.

We check in on Geisha Gaga at the window. She still hasn’t made it out, despite the obvious fire consuming her apartment. (Maybe a stiletto heel is caught on the window sill?) She’s perched in the window frame, artfully pretending to lose her balance in a manner that allows her to thrust her crotch at the camera.

She finally makes it out onto the fire escape, wailing the “Edge of Glory!” line as more smoke pours out of the building. Brief glimpse of Streetwalker Gaga, then we’re back with Geisha Gaga as she takes two steps on the fire escape and then pauses to bellow more of the song, instead of running like hell as most fire victims would do. Cut back to Stoop Gaga with the sax player, where this Gaga has decided it’s really important that she do a back bend over the stair railing so that her crotch is at an equal-opportunity level for all passersby.

We jump cut around for a bit, visiting all the Gagas, then we settle on Geisha Gaga as she does an interpretive dance on the fire escape, one that might have something to do with the disenfranchisement of the Mongolian people, but that’s just a guess. Then Geisha Gaga inexplicably runs up the fire escape stairs instead of down. (Did she not get the memo about how escaping a fire works?)

Apparently it doesn’t matter, because Geisha Gaga has a lot of swell dance moves that she can perform while working her way upwards. The most important move is something about laying down halfway up the flight of stairs so she can arch her back and touch her breasts. Then she hops up and wiggles her fanny to let us know that she’s just fine, although a bit winded.

Jump cuts to the other Gagas, then back to Geisha still taking forever to work her way up that single flight of stairs. (Girl, what part of “the building’s on fire, get the hell out!” do you not understand?) But no, she thinks it’s really important to stop and do squat-thrusts on every step. We re-visit Streetwalker Gaga, who is really invested in doing some twirling, then back to Geisha Gaga, who decides to rip off her lovely silk top and wave it about. Instead of running for her life.

Then Geisha Gaga runs back down the stairs, which is actually the right thing to do, but really, girl just needs to make up her mind. She goes back to that window where the apartment is on fire, grabs both sides of the window frame, and then leans out in yet another attempt to accent her breasts. Really, honey? We all know you have knockers, we see them every day on the TV. Lets put those away for just a bit until the building is safely evacuated.

Another quick visit with Streetwalker Gaga, then back to Geisha Gaga, who is now rubbing her booty on the brick wall of the building. I’m not sure what she’s trying to accomplish here, but someone should let her know that the last thing we need right now is more friction. And those studded panties are sure to strike a spark.

Brief shot of Stoop Gaga carelessly throwing some trash into the street, another of Geisha Gaga trying to tune in Tokyo with her mammary radar, and then… I don’t know. All of the Gagas seem to have simultaneously hit a caffeine-high as we zip from one to the other. Then, luckily, the sax player finally wakes up and remembers how to play his instrument, so we have a slower bit where all the Gagas thrust various body parts in a less frenetic manner.

After a bit, we focus on Geisha Gaga, who now feels it’s important to recreate certain dance moves from 1984, including the raised fist and the head banging. Then she warps into some burlesque business by throwing her leg over the fire escape railing, and a tribute to angels being reborn despite their penchant for leather accessories. Then Geisha Gaga is mysteriously back in front of the burning window, once again giving herself a breast exam.

And here we go with some crazy jump-cutting. I’ll try to catch the highlights. One of the Gagas kisses the sidewalk, so I guess we have a fetish for wet concrete. Geisha Gaga does a nifty side-kick thing that makes my eyes well up with tears over stupid things we did in high school that we should never do again, then she proceeds to do more of that “bang her ass on the brick wall” mess, followed by a mesmerizing stunt involving her humping the iron railings of the fire escape. This girl is very, very busy.

The jump-cutting continues, with Stoop Gaga recreating scenes from “Streets of Fire” mixed with “Flashdance”, Geisha Gaga doing the exact same drill team routine that I witnessed at high-school football games, and Streetwalker Gaga being overly fond of dance steps that make her gold jewelry sparkle in the dewy wetness provided by the odd pink cloud that keeps billowing around that corner.

Special Artistic Mention: Stoop Gaga manages to find the exact pose that makes her hooters look porn-film worthy. You go, girl.

And that’s really how we wind things down. All of the Gagas are prancing and thrusting with a determination that makes one wonder just what might have happened in her childhood, but none of what we’re seeing can adequately justify her penchant for the split-personality hair follicles.

We end with Geisha Gaga going back into the burning building, Streetwalker Gaga defiantly strutting off to a corner that might bring a better offering of clientele, Stoop Gaga completely AWOL, and a general sense that, if this what it means to be On the Edge, I believe I’ll go for Plan B. I don’t want to wear hooker outfits and not understand how to get my ass away from a burning building. Just sayin.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 7

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

So we traipsed out the front doors of The Tides, headed across the parking lot, and began to forage for dining possibilities on the tiny streets of Folly Beach. We all had the fun, slightly-surreal feeling one has after a few hours of sun and cocktails. There was no telling where we might end up. Or if we would ever come back from wherever it was.

Initially, Tiffany and I had our eyes on a place called “Rita’s”, directly across from the hotel. We had spied this establishment from the land-side balcony of our rooms, noted the presence of a live band, heard what appeared to be the exuberant but unfocused singing of several patrons, and decided that we would be right at home in a place which featured beer, musical expression and men in tight muscle-shirts.

We happily pointed out this option as we neared the entrance to Rita’s.

We sighed sadly when the rest of the group marched right past that door, muttering indications that the venue was a bit too loud. Too loud? For our group? The very epicenter of raucous and rowdy behavior, with nuances of screaming and the random throwing of things on the floor? Please. Perhaps our companions just didn’t care for the name “Rita”. Tthat had to be it. I made a mental note to find out later just who had done what at some point in the past to make people hate this Rita woman.

We walked for a bit, with me being momentarily distracted by a large sign outside a “social club” that explained you had to apply for membership and then wait 24 hours. What the hell was up with that? They needed to do a security check? Just what took place inside that required you to fill out paperwork that must be processed before you could enter? Interestingly enough, the door was open, so I peeked inside, relishing the prospect of seeing something decadent, eye-opening and/or deliciously tawdry.

It looked just like any old bar. Except that the occupants were all staring at me like I had just butchered a pack of grandmas on their way to the Crochet Barn. These people clearly did not care for me looking at them. (Then perhaps they should close the door.) I made another mental note to research the sordid details about The Sand Dollar Social Club. (Were there hookers involved, or were these people just bitchy, that sort of thing.) I caught up with the rest of the clan at the next intersection.

They were all standing on a corner, in a flummox. It seems we could see intriguing food profferings in all four directions, and this was entirely too much sensory input. We were at a standstill until somebody made a bold decision, but nobody really knew what they wanted to eat, they were just hungry. (This is the age-old vacation dilemma that has cursed groups of people who stupidly travel together without specific, detailed planning.) The next few minutes would prove crucial. Either we would miraculously find a place that satisfied all, or we would kill each other in a frenzy of frustration.

They just kept standing there.

Fine. I stepped off the curb and marched across one of the streets. (I was nearly killed by a motorist that shot out of nowhere, but I pretended that I had seen them all along, with minimal flinching and only the teensiest bit of wetting myself.) The others, once the death car was far enough away that the threat of surprise slaughter was lessened, followed suit.

Interestingly enough, perhaps even coming as a total shock, we discovered that the restaurant choices were exactly the same as they had been on the other corner. Same stage show, just different seats. So once again we were standing on another corner, glancing around in all directions and not making decisions. And there was no drink in my hand. It was a bleak and trying time in my life.

I picked out a restaurant and marched forth, basing my selection on the mere fact that I liked the slightly-arched doorway. There was a partial menu on a chalk board, with items that sounded very appealing, although mostly seafood in nature. I hesitated to suggest that we go in, since we had just binged on seafood for lunch, and Terry is not a fan of gifts from the sea. Then Tiffany joined me, spied another sign, and proclaimed “They have a fireplace on the patio!”

This did not immediately move me, having been in the sun for a few hours and not really desiring anything with heat or flames. But Tiffany acted as if Jesus had just reached out and anointed her a special disciple. She turned to the others with the joyous news. “They have a fireplace on the patio!”

The others did not offer even the slightest bit of validation. In fact, Tommy, who generally doesn’t pay much attention to the words and ideas of people around him (that special trait has been on his resume for years), turned and went racing across another street to a different corner. He didn’t leave a memo as to where he might be headed. So we plunged into the traffic after him, on the off chance that he had discovered something intriguing or at least pretty.

Tommy stepped up on the next curb, and then apparently received a delayed broadcast of Tiffany’s public address announcement. “They have a fireplace? That’s what I’m talkin’ about.” He abruptly turned around and headed back to the original curb. Our clan was now spread across the street in an odd, semi-tribute to The Beatles crossing Abbey Road, with Terry even wearing flip-flops that made him look barefoot. (If someone had yelled out “Paul is dead!” I would have at least been mildly amused. But they didn’t, and I wasn’t.)

Eventually, we all made it through the restaurant proper and out on to the patio, coagulating at a table near the damn fireplace that everybody was so excited about. Drink orders were taken, menus dispersed, and flames crackled. Initially, it was a tad warm, so I was hoping the beer would be very, very cold. And that I would still have eyebrows left after we finished eating.

Then the sun plinked below the horizon, and it was instantly twenty degrees cooler. Seriously. Within two minutes we were all standing right in front of the fire, waving our bottles about and singing songs expressing the joys of having your butt cheeks caressed by golden heat. I briefly thought of suggesting Tiffany for sainthood, a tribute to her insistent visionary talents concerning the fireplace, but then the delightful food comptroller brought another round and I really didn’t care anymore.

Eventually, our personal crevices were warm and snug, and the lovely Nourishment Attendant gently steered us toward making an actual decision about the whole food-ordering business, and it became necessary that we actually peruse the menus. Doing so proved to be a bit of a challenge, since this place had a rather extensive roster, and we had a day’s worth of alcohol consumption under our belts.

But we persevered, because if you can’t figure out what you want to eat, then there’s really no purpose in your life. We flipped open the plastic-protected menus and began to decipher. The entries were seductive, each of them tempting us in a slightly-erotic way, so the table soon erupted into a chorus of moaning desire and tribulation. I’m sure that strangers passing by on the nearby street were thoroughly convinced that native species had entered the mating season.

I guess we tarried a bit more than the restaurant staff would have preferred, because our Directress of Dining started throwing out suggestions and pointing at things. In a desperate attempt to force us to pick something this century, she even advised that we could probably order sushi, assuming that The Sushi Guy was upstairs and working tonight. Should she check?

Tiffany and I almost couldn’t breathe we were so excited about that possibility. Yes, dear woman, we beg of you to dash upstairs and check the sushi availability status with the speed of winged angels on crack. We shall await your return with quivering hearts.

Off she went, stomping up a set of outside stairs that we hadn’t paid much attention to when we arrived, and disappearing into an entire second floor that we definitely hadn’t noticed at all. Tiff and I paused to briefly consider what other things we had overlooked in life, then we went back to clapping our hands in a most-likely irritating manner and bubbling with appreciation over selecting a restaurant that had both traditional seafood AND sushi. We had totally scored.

It did not once, at any time, cross our minds that we were sitting right next to the ocean, and that therefore most of the restaurants and even gas stations in the area had fresh seafood on their menus. After all, the staff only had to walk three feet and they could snag an entrĂ©e right out of the water. Even better if we wanted sushi, since they wouldn’t even have to fire up the grill, just throw it on our plate as they walked back from the water.

Nevertheless, despite our ignorance concerning the relative ease of local fish procurement, Tiffles and I were quite pleased at the moment, cracking open another round of beers in a mini-celebration. Then I heard footsteps behind me, and I began to turn around, grinning from ear to ear, fully expecting to spy the Matron of Meals descending from sushi heaven, blessing us with rapturous news.

But it wasn’t her. There was no one near the stairs. There was, however, a new entourage entering the patio from the restaurant. My eyes widened in fear.

It was the Children of the Corn.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

10 Mind-Numbing Things About Watering The Lawn

1. Unwinding the hose.

It doesn’t matter how expertly and carefully you wound the hose back up the last time, your efforts will prove to be pointless. You’ll be able to unwind about two little loops, then the whole hose will fall off the wheel and instantly become a tangled mess, all knotted and exasperating like Christmas lights and extension cords. And even though you know you shouldn’t jerk really hard in the hopes that things will just magically clear, you do it anyway, and the knots become tighter and more mystifying.

You will now spend the next 30 minutes to an hour fixing the whole mess. During this time, at least twice, some idiot from inside your house will wander out and ask why you haven’t started watering the lawn yet. Take a deep breathe, and try to spare their life. They are innocent of the Evil at the Spigot.

2. You can’t escape the entanglement with fancy machines.

Sure, you can run out and buy one of those “water-powered” things where the hose will neatly load and unload from a clever storage box, automatically, while you just stand there and sip a mint julep. And yes, these things do work really well, usually. But there are certain risks and inherent dangers, things you should know before callously taking your box for granted.

Be careful of that discharge side-hose. The water coming out of that innocent little hole can be surprisingly strong, drenching you in seconds and even knocking you against the side of the house if the angle is just right. And for all that is holy, watch out for the spray nozzle that you stupidly left attached to the hose. As the length of remaining hose shortens and the water-wheel spins faster, that nozzle will be zipping along at a pretty good clip and can take your head off if you don’t get out of the way fast enough.

Of course, the most teeth-gritting malfunction with the auto-box is when it jams because the hose didn’t align properly on the wheel. And since the jamming took place at roughly 50mph, that section of hose is now basically welded in place, and the wheel will not turn either way the tiniest bit. Good luck with that.

3. Garden equipment manufacturers lie about the length of their hoses.

Granted, this is a natural instinct on the part of the human male, but still. You go out to your yard, measure off exactly how many feet it is to the farthest point of the lawn, drive to the home and garden center, obtain that length, go home, and be thoroughly disappointed. It’s never long enough, even though it should be. Always get more than you need.

In the same vein, if your man tells you he has a certain length, order two of him to get the full effect of what he’s reporting in his personal sales brochure.

4. Random crap always appears when you have the least desire for it.

Your yard will be completely barren of unwanted items until the very second that you force yourself to go water it. Then all manner of things have suddenly appeared, forcing you to get them out of the way so you can hit every part of the lawn with some needed moisture. Newspapers, bicycles, wagons, spare tires, neighborhood children, drunken relatives, Randy Quaid. All of this has to be dragged out of the way, onto the driveway and sidewalks.

5. Powerful forces of nature are against you.

This is even more logic-befuddling than the self-knotting garden hose itself. You can be dragging said hose along, marching toward a distant patch of dryness, when the hose suddenly snags. Not just a little increased tension, but a full-on dead stop, like an elephant was wandering by and got bored. Cussing, you work your way back to the point of contention, only to discover the hose is caught on a tiny little pebble, or a twig. Or a leaf. Due to some perverted laws of physics and geometry, that’s all it took to stop you in your tracks.

What the hell? You destroy the offending object with more zeal than necessary, march all the way back to the business end of the hose, successfully get another foot of slack, then the hose snags again on a particularly vicious pocket of air. What’s the point in going on?

6. The mosquitoes.

Hate those little bastards.

7. The suffocating heat.

This is always a test of faith for me. Do I endure the sensation of drowning in my own sizzling sweat while walking over the coals of Hell? Or do I just let the damn grass die? If only the parched little blades knew how close to death they were on a daily basis, they would need therapy.

8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Manual Sprinkler.

Yep, I’ve got one of those manual sprinklers, a really fancy, heavy one that can be adjusted for distance and angle. But we also have odd, unnatural patches of lawn that must be reached, coupled with massive, spray-blocking tree trunks, so that dang sprinkler has to be moved about twenty times to get the whole lawn. Yes, I can rest between movements (ahem), but it takes hours of dragging and adjusting to give the whole yard a soaking. By the time I’m done, entire civilizations have died out.

9. The magnetism of wetness.

Drenched as you are in sweat and the back-splashing from unprofessional watering techniques, you start attracting every loose element in the yard. Dirt, sand, leaves, bubblegum wrappers, pet toys, twigs, dry-cleaning receipts and every known insect that has ever crawled the face of the earth. You are now walking road-kill. Hot and stinky road-kill. With wet underwear. Yay!

10. The ultimate crushing reality.

We actually have an underground sprinkler system, one that, back in the day, caressingly bathed every square inch of soil in a lovely pattern of alternating zones. But over time, a few of the zones became rebellious teenagers and chose to not work at all, or only when they wanted to. Then we had the soul-destroying events of “The Plumbing Incident”, wherein heartless men dug up half the yard, destroying some of the sprinkler network with violence and unconcern.

Now nothing works. The surviving zones, when activated, either whine pitifully and then sent out a single, weak spurt of little value, or they do nothing at all. It is a ghost town of former aquatic beauty. From time to time, I will stand at the control panel and touch it fondly. “We had a special time together. But I understand that you had to move on.”

Then I turn, and trip over a kinked stretch of garden hose, and bang my head on a pocket of air. Groggy, I don’t see the spray nozzle wrap the end of the hose around my head, and then the nozzle signals the auto-rewind hose box to commence dragging me across the gritty driveway. My screams of horror are drowned out by the latest Lady Gaga song, playing in the house next door, where a hired lawn service takes care of everything that must be done when it comes to lush greenery, and the occupants have never even seen their own lawn.

I want to live there. Please?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Robyn - “Call Your Girlfriend”

Okay, this entire video is one long, interpretive dance that Robyn does in a big-ass vacant warehouse. Sadly, what she’s doing has little to do with the lyrics of the song, so I’ll have to help you out with the real story behind the footwork…

We start out with the camera coming up behind Robyn as she’s standing there in a very shaggy half-shirt (think “woolly mammoth is missing a patch of skin”), with she and her hair looking away from us. She starts singing the song as the camera slowly rolls around to face her, with Robyn initially refusing to look at us and just staring at the ground. (Is she mad at us? Did we forget to empty the dishwasher again?)

Robyn does allow us a quick glance, so we feel a little bit better, but then she completely ignores us again as the beat picks up with the song. She’s been inspired to perform this little strut-walk across the floor, possibly showing us how her people moved to this part of the world centuries ago. Along the way, she does some head-and-shoulder moves that make her look like a chicken, so maybe her ancestors raised poultry.

Robyn suddenly reverses direction and starts slide-stepping backwards, perhaps a statement about the political upheavals in her country, then she twirls a bit with her arms flung out and then makes some retching motions. (She doesn’t care for The Sound of Music? Those chirpy, singing kids CAN be a bit much.) Then Robyn is walking backwards again and punching her firsts, and I’m going to guess that she’s moved on to West Side Story and is recreating ballet dancers in a street rumble.

Robyn pauses, holds her head momentarily to stop the horrifying images of movies where people burst into song for no apparent reason, then she runs to the middle of the giant room, and apparently steps on a special sensor that causes the lights to dim and hippy graffiti images to start flashing around on the walls. (Hey, I want a button like that!) Robyn commences with the twirling again, this time accented with head dips and arm movements that make her woolly-mammoth shirt rise and lower teasingly.

The camera pulls back so that we can fully enjoy looking at her psychedelic, skin-tight leggings and nifty, pink platform tennis shoes. Robyn performs some robotic but rhythmic dance moves, probably telling the sad tale of what happens when caffeine-consumption is not carefully monitored by specialists. The camera pulls back in just as the pretty lights go bye-bye and we get a close-up of Robyn wailing an important part of the song. (She arches her back a few times to confirm the emotional drama of the lyrics.)

Okay, now we’re getting to the really deep part of the story. Robyn suddenly pulls off a backwards somersault thing, a move which may or may not have gone off as intended, because she basically ends up slamming her crotch into the ground. Then she shoves her fanny in the air with startling exuberance, lowers it back down, and begins rolling around on the floor. (In a previous life, she must have been a really bad acrobat who had to turn to prostitution to save the family farm. Or something like that.)

Robyn rolls out of the rolling and into a sitting position, one that inspires her to briefly caress her breasts and stare seductively at the camera. (Maybe she was just making sure all her accessories were still in order after the strenuous gymnastics and fanny-waving.) Robyn gets back on her feet, checks the accessories again, briefly exposes a bit of her bra, and does a very short ballet sequence about the effects of eating peanut butter at an inappropriate time.

Next up is Robyn breaking into an energetic, arm-waving dance routine, cheer-leading for an athletic team that we can’t see. (She’s really good at this, so I hope the team won.) The lights dim again except for some low spotlights way behind her, making it look like an 18-wheeler took a wrong turn somewhere and is about to run her down. Robyn doesn’t care about the potential danger, because she has some special moves for just such a situation. Any decent performer knows how to line-dance their way to safety, and she does just that.

Now Robyn is moving in a perky manner that involves bending over to the beat, a shout-out to the migrant workers of the world who tirelessly harvest the fields so we can have snacky trays while watching music videos. Then Robyn reenacts dance sequences from Saturday Night Fever, only this time nobody gets pregnant in the back seat of a car. (From what we can see, anyway.)

The camera zooms in so we can watch Robyn sing and emote in close-up, then she starts having a reaction to something or other (was there shellfish on the food services cart?), vibrating and jumping, so the camera politely pulls back so she can have her medical issue in semi-privacy. Oh wait, she was just jazzing herself up for the next bit, where she launches into a strenuous dance while strobe-lights spin.

In this segment, she is explaining that cruelty to animals is really, really bad, coal miners deserve better working conditions, gangstas need luv, too, even if they don’t dress like it, shaggy clothing is the new black, war is not the answer, and if you just run up enough steps in Philadelphia you can win any title. It’s some really intense choreography.

The lights come back up as Robyn shows us that hopscotch is really good cardio, especially if you are wearing shoes that are bigger than your head. Robyn slows down a bit and actually messes up her own hair, which is the sign of a true artist and not just some over-hyped rapper chick that has learned how to say the same four words over and over.

Robyn then drops to the floor, putting her ear to the ground. (Is she listening for approaching enemies on horses?) Whatever she hears, it makes her really sad, her face all scrunched-up and tragic as she scrambles back to her feet. But then she recovers, suddenly punching at the camera and ready to take on whatever the world has to offer, even if it means having to do an interview with Ryan Seacrest.

We wind things down with Robyn doing a super-extended twirl (one that would have made Maria von Trapp AND RuPaul really proud) without showing signs of dizziness and ending the spin right on the final beat. Then she grins at the camera and wanders out of range, probably headed for a protest rally about saving the Tibetan Twinkle-Toed Treefrog…

Coolest thing? She did this all in one take. Hay, Gurl, hay.

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 6

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

Tiffany and I were still in a hazy reverie, deciding exactly where we would place our retirement shack on this beach, when Terry and Nina trotted up, ready for adventure or at least something that didn’t involve sitting in a hotel room and trying to figure out how the remote for the TV worked. We waved them in the general direction of the Tiki hut and the cocktail cruise director that we had the slight crush on, and they scampered forth.

I suddenly realized that I had left something very important up in the room. Exactly what that was, I don’t remember at this point, but I do recall that an item of inestimable importance beckoned me back into the building. This proved to be a critical error on my part, as the remaining three members of our party were left unsupervised for a short period of time.

I was gone mere seconds, swear.

When I returned, the territory we had staked near the fancy surfboard table was completely empty. Instinctively, my eyes swiveled to the Tiki Hut bar. Nope, I didn’t recognize any of the well-lubricated fools currently engaged in an impromptu limbo dance using some jammed-together stir-straws as a pole.

I scoured the surfboard table, hoping that at least one of them had had the proper etiquette to leave a clever note advising of the new location for the social engagement, elegantly written out on fancy, quality-stock stationery. Such a missive was not to be found.

What the hell?

Then, amidst the keening cries of the gulls, I noted a slightly-higher-decibel squeal that I knew from past experience was a satisfied noise that Tiffany could make whilst doing something that she found pleasing. I pivoted ocean-wards, scanning the shoreline, and my eyes settled on a clump of people currently frolicking in the lapping waves, plastic cups held over their heads in the universal symbol of people partaking in an activity they would normally shun if there hadn’t been alcohol involved.

Skanks. They couldn’t wait two minutes for me to take care of personal matters so that we could all virginally plunge into the sea as one? God.

I immediately turned and marched back to Julie the Tiki Cruise Director in her little hut. I was apparently behind the game in the inebriation circle of life, and dramatic steps must be taken. “I need something strong, please. I need to go slap some people.”

Julie just smiled and shoved an icy cup at me. She dealt with this every day. No big. Next?

I snatched up the beverage, gulped down a healthy slug, and tromped across the deck toward one of the little stepped entrances to the actual beach.

Then I encountered the sand, and plans changed. One cannot march in outrage across ground that is not stable. One cannot march at all. I was soon slithering about in shifting quartz molecules that were intent on knocking me facedown. And when I sloshed a wee bit of my adult nectar out of the cup? Well, we were done with the Little Eva trudging across the tundra business. I’d get there when I got there.

Hours later, I struggled up to Terry, Tiff and Nina, and discovered that Tommy and Christie (parents of the son that we were all supposedly here to watch graduate from The Citadel) had apparently been air-lifted in at some point. They were all having a swell time at the waterline, wriggling their shoeless toes in the gently-crashing waves, and talking about, I don’t know, things that you discuss when your feet are wet.

I tried to participate in the conversation as much as I could, with all of them jabbering away and performing content-enhancing hand gestures, but I had been out of the loop too long and didn’t have the necessary background intel. They had moved beyond me.

So I decided to take off my own shoes and wander about in the cresting surf, which was really enjoyable at first, but quickly loses it’s luster when you are holding aloft both footwear and beverage-wear. Too many things to keep under control. I was about to hurl my shoes further up on the sand and let the gulls do what they may with them, when I spotted a couple off to the left, playing Frisbee in the water.

This was a guy and a girl, neither of them giving the impression that they were old enough to drive. But they certainly understood the fundamental mechanics of anatomy and, more strikingly, the public display of such. The Girl was clearly invested in doing everything she possibly could to test the structural integrity of her bikini top, leaping about and waving her arms madly. The Guy insisted on pawing at his drenched crotch with a frequency that would make hummingbirds pause in wonder.

As the Girl euphorically tossed the Frisbee with complete randomness, some mystical thing suddenly took place that I didn’t catch, and they immediately lost interest in the flying disc, instead choosing to run towards one another and start shoving tongues wherever physically possible, waves crashing over them as they lowered to the frothy sand.

The forgotten Frisbee sailed over my head, plunked into the water, and then bumped against my legs a few seconds later. I picked it up, pondering if I should suggest to the couple that it could be used as a primitive diaphragm.

“Hey, where’d you get that?” asked Tommy, as if I was waving about the Hope Diamond.

“It just came floating up,” I responded secretively, then turned and threw the disc as far as I could in the opposite direction of Burt and Deborah in their frantic From Here To Eternity juvenile bumping. I could hear the water splashing over the child fornicators turn into steam as the disc gently landed and skidded to safety.

Tommy gave me a thumbs-up for my gliding skills, then turned back to the thatch of people on the shoreline, conversing. It seems that Priority 1 was now the pursuit and conquering of food. Where could we find sustenance?

No one was immediately sure. But all agreed that it would be a splendid plan to march forth from the hotel and analyze the profferings of Main Street Folly Beach. Various intriguing options had been spied on the journey in, all of them located on the mere wisp of town acreage on the other side of the hotel. Surely satisfaction was within walking distance. Cheers of agreement arose.

Thusly the clan did depart. Shoes were gathered and a trek across the beach ensued.

I paused, and glanced briefly at the nuptial ground where the young lovers had shared forbidden fruit for all to see. They were gone, even the indentations chastely erased from the sand by the forgiving waves. I looked the opposite way, and there was the Frisbee, dry-docked, alone and forgotten. A symbol of the ways and means we manipulate objects and people and then toss them aside.

Okay, it was machine-formed plastic. But I never want to be that Frisbee. You?

I turned and followed the others to the hotel deck. From my lagging vantage point, I studied the outfits of my companions, in case something went terribly wrong on the streets of Folly Beach and I had to identify them in a police lineup…

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