"I don't feel good."
- Luther Burbank, dying words
These days my pal Unca Don is not the apple in the fruit basket of Selby Avenue that he once was. These days, there is Mrs. Unca Don to put a stop to his madcap hijinks and shenanigans. In fact, if you were to call him right now on his cell phone he would have to stop walking to talk to you so that your words would not be drowned out by the rattle of the ankle chain connected to the big iron ball. In the words of Francis Beaumont, "The sturdy steed now goes to grass and up they hang his saddle."
But such was not always the case. Once Unca Don used to write in the waistband of his hygienic white briefs with a Sharpie, "Property of Unca Don. Drop in any mailbox if found." He used to eagerly await the mail delivery on Tuesday after a weekend of debauchery so he could once again properly house his equipment. What I'm saying is that he used to be a player.
One evening Unca Don and I went to W. A. Frost because Don had a coupon for a complimentary heterosexual encounter if he purchased an entrée. As he ate his dinner and chatted with the Coupon Matron to his left, I was sitting on his right nursing a scotch. Well, not so much nursing it as drinking it; I made sure the scotch was old enough to have been weaned when I bought it.
Next to me on my right sat a reasonably attractive woman with brown hair who was intently staring into whatever it was she was drinking. I observed her for a bit and thought about chatting her up. Then suddenly her head swiveled around like the turret of an M1A2 Abrams tank and I found myself facing the 120mm smooth-bore stare of a psychotic. "Uh oh, Hulles," I said to myself. "This isn't going to be pretty and it will probably hurt lots. Again."
But the conversation started off well enough, I thought.
"My boyfriend thinks I'm too hairy," she said.
I examined the hair on her head and found myself somewhat at a loss because her hairstyle looked pretty normal to me, if a bit tousled. "Ungch," I said as I suddenly realized that she wasn't talking about the hair on her head at all. "Gnnrfw." I had never made strangling sounds before without actually being strangled so that was an interesting experience.
Guys, I know what you're thinking: "Go Hulles! What a great straight line you got! Even on my drunkest night I could probably craft a decent quip out of that one, like 'Let's see it! Hyuk hyuk!'"
Not so. This woman was deadly earnest and scary crazy; you could smell the sweet stench of psychosis from twenty feet away. "Run!" shrieked my gibbering brain. "Fuck Unca Don and leave the tab! Save yourself!" But alas, I was impaled upon the besplintered wooden stake of her cold glittering stare [love that new metaphor mixer!]. I could no more have gotten off my bar stool than I could have swum to the moon. Transfixed by her unblinking gaze, I suddenly realized that this was how she captured her prey in the wild.
Sure enough, as I sat there twitching occasionally and breathing through my mouth she explained to me in great detail how she didn't think she was too hairy, what was up with that, she trimmed herself with a nail scissors once but that didn't appease him, it was really that there was too much of a hairy surface area as opposed to the hair being too long, maybe she should go for the bare cookie look, she could probably wax her vulva but that sounded like it would hurt, what did I think?
"Nnngh," I said, staring at a small pool of spittle on the bar directly below my chin and wondering vaguely where it had come from.
Just then the Coupon Matron squealed with delight (I told you Unca Don had it going on at one time) and the spell was broken.
Don later told me that when I rocketed out of my seat and ran screaming for the door he just assumed that it was a case of being poorly positioned when the aftermath of a Mexican Windbreaker binge came upon me. I should be so lucky.
We found out later that Fanatica (not her real name) was banned from W. A. Frost after that episode. Too late for me, but at least some good came of it.
The next time we encountered Fanatica, Unca Don and I were at a different bar in the same general area (Fabulous Fern's if you must know). I think it was Okra Night. I had just run into a female friend who had brought me over to her table to meet her fiance, something I had looked forward to for a long time, believe it or not. Suddenly and without warning Fanatica was at my right elbow talking to me over the conversation of the couple at the table. I was tremendously embarrassed, and finally apologized and said that I was going to go back and sit at the bar and (by implication) take Fanatica away with me. Their relief was palpable.
As I escorted the briskly chattering Fanatica to the bar, I had to figure out how to dispose of her. I wanted to plant her and have her stay in one place so I could at least enjoy part of the evening somewhere else. What to do, what to do?
Ping! Light bulb comes on.
"Hey, Fanatica, this is my friend Unca Don, noted vulva waxer and braider of pubic hair. I just bet you two have tons of things to talk about."
See, Unca Don, unlike me, is unable to defend himself conversationally. He always politely listens to whatever wackjob happens to be sitting next to him and nods and asks questions and in general encourages said wackjob to stay and talk forever. He usually even buys them a drink. How he has been able to survive this long with his mind more or less intact is something I will never know. But because of all this Don was the perfect person to stick Fanatica with. No sooner thought than done by yours truly. Am I a good friend or what?
Probably not. I left Don to survive or not as he would and found a corner to cower in and drink myself insensate.
Unca Don later told me that Fanatica at one point had drawn sexual positions with stick figures on cocktail napkins to explain what she liked to do with her boyfriend. One drawing in particular was pretty gruesome. It involved Fanatica sort of crouched over with her ass in the air and her head stuck in a corner. "This is my favorite position," she said. "But I'm always afraid he's going to snap my neck."
"I'd like to see that," said Unca Don.
"No, really, I would," said Don.
We later found out that she was banned forever from Fern's after that night. Again, too late for us, but we consoled ourselves with the fact that we saved countless future generations from the mind-numbing terror of Fanatica conversations.
Don still claims he never slept with her. I remain skeptical, but maybe this time he's not lying.
Want to know something really funny? This story is all true. Unca Don says he still has the above-mentioned cocktail napkin somewhere. If he ever finds it, I'm scanning it and posting it here for all the world to admire. My bartender friends report that Fanatica has been banned from pretty much every bar in Saint Paul and no one has seen her in years.
I like to think that she somehow found some sucker to marry her then tortured and dismembered him and ground his bones into a fine powder and is now a hausfrau somewhere in Saint Paul, sitting at home in her nasty house dress like a spider in a web, waiting for you to invite her to join your book club.
As you value your life and sanity, don't do it! But if you for some reason decide to do it anyway, let me know how it goes, would you? Just morbid curiosity I guess. And find out if she bred. We might have to burn out a whole nest of them.