Wednesday, May 30, 2007

[Another rerun, but I still hope to be back to new posts yet this week. Regarding this post from last October: I always enjoy rereading it, and usually there is much cackling and rubbing of hands on my part when I do so. Plus I think this might be my favorite title. I hope you enjoy it as well, once you get over some of the graphic descriptions of my ass. -- The Management]

Speaking of underwear....


I think thong underwear, like nuclear power and tequila, is one of those inventions that has the potential for either great good or great evil, depending upon the wielder. First, let's make one thing clear – I'm talking about thong underwear on women. Thong underwear on men is not included at all in the afore-mentioned dichotomy; it's just plain evil, and should be shunned by right-thinking people everywhere. On women, however, there is no gray area: thongs either work or they don't. Girls, you know who you are. Me? I happen to think a pair of thong underwear looks especially good on my living room floor in the morning, depending of course on the size of both the waistband and the hangover.

Privates Of The Caribbean

Since it's all about me, I have to confess a dirty little secret. When I was vacationing in Saint Martin with my girlfriend at the time, we went to a nude beach and...

Let me back up. First, this vacation illustrates my much-vaunted ability to understand the feminine mind. I bought my girlfriend and I the tickets to Saint Martin and the all-inclusive resort for Christmas, and made sure the rez was for Valentine's Day. With one stroke of the check-writing pen I got huge romance points for not one, but two Male Days of Obligation. Guys, take note: I got blown for a year for that one.

Also, if you don't know already, the island of Saint Martin is actually divided into two parts (“Saint Martin in duo partes divisa est”). It consists of the French side, where the nude beaches are, and the Dutch side, where the casinos are. This makes perfect sense if you understand the national character of both countries. Iowans often find it confusing, however, so I digress to explain it here.

Also also, it was pretty funny when we checked in at the resort. It had escaped me that my travel agent had convinced me to go the all-inclusive route when I bought the tickets in December, so when the clerk at the desk handed me two cards, I asked him with a blank, peculiarly Midwestern look, “What are these for?” “Everything,” he replied. It actually took me the better part of that day to recall that I had purchased an all-inclusive package. Not that the GF and I didn't take immediate advantage of it, however, mistake or no. They are probably still out of scotch after our visit there.

So – one day we went to a nude beach on the French side. It was a beautiful beach; I was in as good shape as I ever have been; and the girls, while not from Ipanema, were tall and tanned and young and lovely. “What girlfriend?” was my thought balloon. At any rate, I wandered down the beach and eventually stopped in a tent where they sold shit. A woman about my age with the darkest tan I had ever seen was selling swim wear from bins on a table, so I pawed through them, and....

But first, I should tell you that the only thing the tanned swimsuit vendor was wearing was a canvas money belt from which she was making change. I strongly felt at the time, and still do, that such behavior on the part of female shopkeepers should be encouraged without hesitation. As a result of this personal conviction I determined to buy something, anything, from the naked woman. I ended up buying a hideously ugly thong swimsuit for myself.

The pattern of this swimsuit, which I still own by the way, is of some weirdly swirled colors for which there are no names. The cloth looks like it was originally made to approximate paisley on Carnaby Street in the 60's and had been trampled by various large African animals and washed repeatedly in the intervening years. It ain't pretty in and of itself, is what I'm saying.

Add to this the fact that I am somewhat hirsute. That is to say, I have a hairy ass. This is a good thing when you're sitting around reminiscing about bar fights with your male cronies, but it is a less-than-optimal trait to have when you're wearing a thong swimsuit. So I'm told, at least.

Actually, to be honest I have worn the thong in anger only once. My pal Unca Don used to have a hot tub in his place, which happened to be conveniently located a half block from the sports bar we hung out at. Or that was as far as we could stagger, I suppose is a better explanation. As you might suspect, the occasional strumpet found her way over to Don's place for after-hours cocktails and hottubbization. "Cleanliness is next to godliness," we always proclaimed. For most of these impromptu social events the eventual mode of dress was very similar to what the thong vendor wore to work. However, on one particular evening, for some drunken reason lost to history, I decided to break out The Thong.

This proved to be a mistake.

I have never since seen the expression on the woman's face repeated. And if I ever do, I hope I'm not the source. When I entered the hot tub room in my Thong (trying very hard not to mince, incidentally), the poor waif preselected for Hulles looked like someone had sneaked up on her and surprised her with a very thorough cavity search. The expression on her face reflected some odd mixture of appalled horror at the result of me in a thong and repressed glee over how stupid I looked. Schadenfreude is the word we swiped from the Germans to describe this. To give her credit, she tried very hard not to laugh. To no avail, of course.

So that's my only thong experience, lucky for you. Saint Paul has since enacted several local ordinances prohibiting me specifically from wearing my thong swimsuit in places where they serve food or children gather. “Da noive!”, which is Brooklynese for “How dare they!” Oh well. At least it wasn't thong underwear. You can therefore rest assured that, even if I get into a horrible car accident, the fatality count won't instantly double when the EMTs cut my pants off.

- Hulles

Thursday, May 24, 2007

[This post is another of my favorites, not because it is particularly well-written but because I love the subject. When I'm lying in some dismal hospital somewhere with some rare but invariably fatal STD I want the Make-A-Wish people to send me Black Diamond. No need to wrap her. -- The Management]

[And I hope to get back to brand new posts next week. -- The Management]

Several years ago, I was staying in a hotel in Montreal. The hotel provided a complimentary morning newspaper, and somehow magically they knew I was an Anglophone so the paper was the English-language Toronto Globe and Mail. I was reading that rather staid newspaper one morning, and stumbled across this article.

The article is about a woman named Black Diamond and her band of female guerillas in Liberia. Apparently, they are quite vicious and widely feared “by friend and foe alike”. I have to imagine I have at least one ex-girlfriend among them. Regardless, the part I liked best about the article was the following quotation:

"These women have no pity, no sympathy," said Cpl. Thompson W. Dahn of Taylor's Anti-Terrorist Unit militia, who went up against Black Diamond's women earlier this month. "They shoot, they get naked themselves, and they drive me fearful."

Now I really like that last line. A lot. Enough to have remembered it for 3 years, so I could trot it out now for your reading pleasure. Here it is again:

"They shoot, they get naked themselves, and they drive me fearful."


Another part of the article that impressed me was attributed to Jacques Klein, the top United Nations official for Liberia:

"Women are always to be feared. Have you been to Florida? It is full of women with blue hair who have killed their husbands."

Smug SOB, isn’t he? I suppose it is too much to hope that Black Diamond got naked and kicked his ass into the next continent after the article was written. No wonder men get a bad rap. If he’s married, I can only imagine that his wife is thinking about moving to Florida soon herself.

At any rate, we men need to ask ourselves what we can learn from this news article. I would suggest that it teaches us a) you can only fuck women over for so long before they kick your ass, and b) if you’re in Tubmanburg, Liberia, you might want to keep your sexist comments to yourself.

As a final note, after re-reading the article for this blog entry, I decided that the next time I go out for cocktails, like Black Diamond I’m going to “celebrate with many mortars” and drink a toast to women everywhere who shoot, get naked themselves, and drive me fearful.

- Hulles

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

[This rerun is one of my personal favorites. I still find myself muttering "no need to be horny and alone" to myself occasionally. Make of that what you will. -- The Management]

"Poland’s zloty has been sagging amid the uncertainty." - Economist

As I was deleting my daily crop of spam the other day, one of the email subject lines wedged itself into my consciousness: “No need to be horny and alone”.

The more I think about this statement, the more it interests me. First, for purposes of analysis, let us restate the proposition as “We (the spam senders) can make it so you are not horny and alone.” I think it’s fair to assume from the subject line that the contents of the email are supposed to reveal how to make this dream come true.

So how can the promise of this statement be realized? Since the assertion is a negation of a conjunction, there are three ways to make it true: make you be horny and not alone, make you be alone and not horny, or make you be neither alone nor horny.

Making you be horny and not alone: This is probably what the senders of the email are really promising, with a list of “nymphomaniacs new to your city” or some such scam. At least, I assume it’s a scam. Last I heard, it was only level 3 sex offenders who had to register their addresses, at least in Minnesota. Perhaps other states require nymphomaniacs to register as well, perhaps to safeguard oversexed teenage boys. At any rate, I have never checked this sort of thing out so I confess I’m not completely certain how it works, but that’s okay because this is the condition that interests me the least anyway. As far as you know.

Making you be alone and not horny: I find this one more intriguing. Perhaps the spammers are hawking some sort of anti-horniness kit, “detumescence guaranteed or your money back.” What might the kit include? I suggest a jar of saltpeter, a DVD of the entire Cleveland Indians 2005 baseball season (or any other year for that matter), a picture of my grandmother naked, and any book by Claude Lévi-Strauss. If they are especially generous, they might also include a photo of Claude Lévi-Strauss. I assure you that that alone is enough to make Poland's zloty sag.

Making you be neither alone nor horny: This is an easy one. The spammers send you a marriage license.

- Hulles

Thursday, May 17, 2007

[This post might be the first one I did specifically to entertain that I thought was funny myself. It's all true, of course. And FYI, yeast cops are the guys who are supposed to be checking the expiration date of yeast packages on grocery shelves and who, sadly, are often less than diligent. -- The Management]

[And be sure to follow the RealPlayer link on the page with the tuba score. I don't know whether to laugh or cry... -- The Management]

Recently, on an “I Have $20, I’m The King of the Fucking World” day, I went to sit in a bar and have a beer and chat with the bartender, a good friend of mine. While she was busy serving customers, I was thinking strangely and humming the aria “O Mio Babbino Caro” under my breath. If you’re not familiar with the aria (and you probably are, if not by name), it is sung by a soprano, and has a very strong high note in one of the first lines. Now, it happens that my vocal range is about one octave, located somewhere in a land between bass and baritone that music forgot, but I hum away as best I can. It is a beautiful aria, at least as Sarah Brightman sings it.

At any rate, as I was so engaged, I caught a woman sitting near to me at the bar glancing my way several times with a sort of half-smile on her face. “Of course she’s thinking about flirting with me, who could resist?” I thought. “I am, after all, the KFW.” Suddenly I realized that, as I was humming the aria to myself, every time I valiantly reached for the strong high note in the first line I had been making this eerie, strangled, quavering noise in my throat out loud. From the woman’s point of view, here was some middle-aged guy sitting in a bar, staring into space and making periodic bleating noises. No wonder she was looking at me; it’s a wonder she didn’t call the yeast cops. Maybe she thought I had downloaded a ringer for my cell phone called “Rat Terriers Being Neutered” and that I was getting lots of calls.

Incidentally, I recently went online to look up the lyrics of the aforementioned aria. In the process, I ran across a web page that was a reproduction of the score for “O Mio Babbino Caro”, arranged for solo tuba or euphonium. I decided then and there that I want to date a woman who thinks that this web page is hilariously funny. I am, however, not expecting the woman at the bar to be applying for the position any time soon. I’m sure she’s still waiting for the yeast cops to show up.

-- Hulles

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

[I thought I'd air a rerun of this post because my buddy Unca Don just got back from a trip to Basel, among other places. Of course he made a pilgrimage to the Rio Bar. Sadly, he tells me the Café Des Arts is no longer there. -- The Management]

Rio BarIn Basel, Switzerland there is a little public house called the Rio Bar. It’s located on the Barfüsserplatz (which roughly translates as “Barefoot Plaza”) across the street from another bar, the Café Des Arts. The Rio thoughtfully provides a pair of binoculars so you can check out the patrons at the Des Arts.

Caroline HaerdiIt was at the Rio Bar that my buddy Unca Don and I met Caroline Haerdi. She was a bartender there at the time. She was blonde, about my height, and looked like she never took any shit from anyone ever. One treasured souvenir I retain from Basel is a Rio cocktail napkin with an imprint of Caroline’s lipstick on it. (I asked her for it, that’s why.)

The bartending gig at the Rio was only a fill-in job, however. She was a professional knife thrower.

Now girls, if you want to be fascinating to a man, tell him you’re a professional knife thrower. I guarantee he’ll perk right up. I did; so did Unca Don. It turned out that Caroline had a nightclub act at the time called “Danger Girls”. You have to love the name. Basically, in the show she threw knives at her partner, another attractive woman. Don and I used to joke that periodically there would be an ad in the local newspaper, “Wanted: female partner for entertainment act. No experience necessary. Hemophiliacs need not apply.” Unfortunately, neither he nor I ever saw “Danger Girls” perform.

Recently, I decided to see if I could find out what Caroline is doing these days. It seems she has a new act called “Steel and Fire”. By all means, visit the web site. It’s pretty cool. Apparently she’s still chucking silverware, though with a male partner this time around. I guess “Danger People” or “Danger Units” didn’t cut it for the name of the new act.

I’m still curious about what I find so attractive about the idea of a female knife thrower. I guess I’ve always liked strong women, strong as in “don’t take no shit”, that is, as opposed to East German weight lifter strong. That’s part of it. I suppose the hint of, well, danger is part of it too. You’re sitting on the couch in Switzerland watching futbol, you yell out “Caroline, bring me a beer!”, and ZZZING, a knife is quivering next to your left earlobe. “Get it yourself, asshole,” you hear from the other room. A man could come to love a woman like that.

- Hulles

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Abner Kornfuehrer of Hastings, Minnesota writes:

I am an avid fan of your blog. Why aren't you posting as many blog entries lately? I miss your wry humorosity and sardonicalness and all that kind of stuff.

Abner, thanks lots. I'm currently working on another writing project called (so far) "The Other Keys," and it's sucking up a lot of the time I normally set aside for blogging. During this temporary time of fewer posts I've been thinking about resurrecting some old blog entries that seem funny to me and reposting them -- in other words, airing reruns. Unfortunately none of the old blog entries seem funny to me. I might still do it anyway.

Lots of people do stuff like "Cute Cat Picture Wednesday." One of the disadvantages of being a curmudgeon crushing the hopes and dreams of young people everywhere is that I can't just jump on board the bandwagon and post an image of my cat Mimi and blow you guys off. It just doesn't look right. I have an iconoclastic image to uphold: I'm the guy who hates emoticons and Holly Hobby and all things cute and cuddly. Dang. Painted myself into a corner with that image, didn't I?

So I'm still trying to figure out how I can keep your interest in my blog while I forge ahead with "The Other Keys."

Maybe I'll start posting nude photographs of myself. Those certainly aren't cute by anyone's standard.

Delores Lochinvar of Bucharest, Romania writes:

I am an avid fan of your blog. Not long ago you wrote about the Metaphor Mixer you got for your 200th blog post. I'm curious -- do you have any other appliances that assist you in writing your blog?

Delores, yes, I have an electric Sarcasm Sprayer that makes my sentences drip with contempt whenever I use it. Thanks for asking.

Marvelosa Puttini of Milan, Italy writes:

I am an avid fan of your blog. I have just a few questions for you. Do American women still wear girdles? Do people in Japan act out Rocky Horror Picture Show in Japanese? Why is Edinburgh pronounced the way it is? Will I gain weight if I swallow?

Marvelosa, I'm glad you're an avid fan, but why the hell are you asking me these questions? The only one I know the answer to is the last one, and it's an emphatic no. The average ejaculation contains Vitamin C and has about 5 calories. It's good for you. P.S. Have your husband/boyfriend/priest send me a check. I also take PayPal. And let me know if you find out the answers to the other questions.

Tot Dickinson of Zabljak, Montenegro writes:

I am an avid fan of your blog. I am considering becoming an amateur dominatrix. Do you have any advice for me? Thanks in advance.

Tot, sure I do, but why am I getting sex advice questions all of a sudden? Ask Leigh Lezark for crying out loud. But just this once I suppose I can shovel some out for an avid fan.

The only real advice I have is to make sure you and your partner(s) agree on a safe word that, when spoken, immediately causes all sexual activity to cease. Personally, I try to pick really hard ones to pronounce, like syzygy or onomatopoeia, so I can finish beating the fuckers first. If I'm really into it I sometimes make them spell the word correctly before I'll stop whipping them. You're welcome.

-- Hulles

Friday, May 11, 2007

I have been "memed." It seems that there is brain virus going around that has struck a bunch of my friends simultaneously. SteamyDreamer, Eva Gale and, horror of horrors, Visual Snark are all intent on watching me writhe in agony then pass on this malady to a bunch of other innocent and unsuspecting people. I'll get you for this....

First you should know that as a crusty old curmudgeon normally I don't do memes, nor do I pass along chain letters and Pray to Jesus emails. This is mostly because I think memes are cute, and therefore should be gunned down in their tracks as if they were Hello Kitties. As I once said in a comment on someone's blog, "Cute ain't Hulles and Hulles ain't cute." Make of that what you will.

However, since these people are near and dear to my heart, or would be if I had one, I acquiesce just this once. You may regret it.

I confess to being a little curious why these folks think I can even come up with eight things. My life is an open book -- or at least an open graphic novel -- and in this blog I have bared my soul completely and have no remaining quirks or foibles to expose that I haven't talked about ad nauseam already.

But I'll see what I can do.

Here are the rules:

* Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about him/herself.

* People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

* At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

* Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

If you would like to be -- or at least tolerate being -- tagged yourself, please leave me a comment.

1, When I have an orgasm, my penis vibrates rapidly which causes an eerie humming sound to come out of my partner's vagina. Many women have found this disconcerting at first, but typically it doesn't take long for them to find it extremely pleasurable. Also during orgasm I emit a small localized EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from my brain which resets my clock radio and other nearby appliances and forces my upstairs neighbor to reprogram his VCR. This is really the reason I will ask you to come to my place for sex when I meet you -- my upstairs neighbor sucks.

2. While I didn't exactly participate in killing Jimmy Hoffa, I did help run the cement mixer during his interment in the Meadowlands. Not many people know this about me.

3. As a kid I once ate a pair of Fruit of the Loom briefs belonging to my friend Rick during a sleepover. Fortunately for both of us he wasn't wearing them at the time. In fact, he never found out about it. When he discovered them missing, I told him about the Underwear Gnomes that come at night and steal kids' underpants. I also told him that they bite the ears off any little boy that leaves skidmarks in them. I understand from his wife that he still believes in Underwear Gnomes to this day, for which she is eternally grateful.

4. I hate John Mayer. I hate his music and I hate him. See the "Cute ain't Hulles..." comment above. He's never actually done anything to me personally to make me hate him, but it disgusts me that every woman I've ever thought attractive swoons over him. Not that I'm jealous exactly, but I'm saving up money to get John and I tickets to see the Giants play in the Meadowlands.

5. One day not so long ago I took a shit that looked like Millard Fillmore. I carefully put it in a Zip-Loc bag (the big size) and stuck it in the freezer so I could enter it in the State Fair. I was very much disheartened to find out they didn't have a turd sculpture contest as I was certain I had clinched the blue ribbon. I still haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it's just way too cool to throw out. Lately I've been trying to shit James Buchanan, aka "Old Buck," but so far without acceptable result. Someday I hope to have a complete fecal presidential collection and open my own museum.

6. I am really the one responsible for sending you all the spam you receive in your email inbox. No one else gets them but you; I carefully craft each one to maximally offend your taste and sensibility. But by the way, you really did win the UK lottery -- you didn't delete that one, did you? Heh heh. And you really should contact me for the best prices on Ambien and Xanax.

7. I have slept with 8,359 women so far, and it's still early afternoon as I write this. I have to get a new bed about every three years because of whittling down the headboard by carving notches in it.

8. I have a 5th tattoo that no one knows about. It was done surgically on my left kidney in radioactive ink; you can only see it in X-rays. It says "Born to Glow." I don't know what it means exactly because both I and the surgeon were drunk when I got it.

There. Now I really have no secrets left, and the extraction hurt considerably. But no pain is too great to suffer for my friends, so I won't bitch any more, at least about that. But remember, revenge is a dish best served cold....

Memed so far: H, JC, jerseychick.

-- Hulles

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."
- Oscar Wilde

I am seldom accused of not thinking big enough, but I've come to feel recently that this is exactly what I've done with the Hulles Flirting Academy. What I really think is needed is a Hulles Academy for Gentlemen of Distinction.

First, let us define what makes a gentleman. Simply put, a gentleman is a gracious man or woman. 'Gentleperson' doesn't cut the mustard, mostly because gentlepersonly behavior (e.g.) sounds dopey. Hopefully women are secure enough in their societal roles by now that we don't have to emasculate 'gentleman.' (And ouch, by the way.) But back to the matter at hand: my definition of a gentleman also connotes someone who thinks everyone else sucks but is too polite to say so.

I consider myself a gentleman, of course.

My Academy would certainly teach the art and science of flirting, per my other blog entry; but it would go beyond that -- it would instruct people in many other areas of gentlemanly behavior (see?). Some of these areas might be:

  • Suave Deportment
  • Sartorial Splendor
  • Gustatorial Delights
  • Dancing for White Guys
  • Female Anatomy for Men
  • Male Anatomy for Women

The opportunities are endless, and by the way I'm really happy that the Academy will have a Deportment Department.

Basically my Academy for Gentlemen of Distinction will turn out The Thin Man William Powells and Myrna Loys by the score. This will be a great boon for the liquor, tobacco and mustache wax industries, all of whom need a shot in the arm lately. And I'm thinking that if the Academy is as successful as it ought to be, we would add a Canine Deportment class or two so that we could turn out a bunch of Astas as well.

Once a man or woman has completed the gamut of courses that the Academy would offer and paid me many thousands of dollars in the process, the newly-fledged Gentleman of Distinction would have these qualities:

  • The GoD would own a tuxedo and accessories (link, studs, cummerbund, etc.). No tux rental for the GoD; that is for the lumpenproletariat, the worthless toads.

  • The GoD would be able to easily arch the right or left eyebrow as the situation requires.

  • The GoD would be able to delicately flare his or her nostrils on demand.

  • The GoD would be discrete -- no teller of tales he (or she).

  • The GoD would have a wry wit -- a silver tongue in a velvet glove, as it were.

  • The GoD would be a much-admired raconteur, endlessly able to tell stories that amuse and inform other GoD's and that make non GoD's feel incredibly stupid and coarse and desperate to enroll in my Academy.

  • The GoD would have discriminating taste in alcoholic beverages. He or she would drink only single-malt scotches, gin martinis, sherry or port. Okay, maybe an occasional imported beer, but only to be gracious to the lesser folk that may be present at the time. Noblesse oblige is I believe what this is called.

  • The GoD would be able to suavely purchase gifts of clothing for the other sex and do so routinely. See this site for an example of what I'm talking about here. [Note: if you're at work you might want to skip the link for now; see how I take care of you? - The Management]

  • The GoD would remain clear of eye and firm of grip, even after an eight-martini night.

  • The GoD would always remember WUDDS: witty, urbane, dashing, debonair, sophisticated. Two out of five should always be true, and five out of five would be expected when meeting the Queen, being interviewed on 60 Minutes, or shooting a rival in the forehead.

  • The GoD would be a deadly accurate shot with both rifle and pistol.

  • The GoD would have a gay personal shopper.

  • The GoD would make Martha Stewart feel like a hillbilly.

  • The GoD would tip with reckless abandon and nearly always graciously pick up the tab, particularly if out with me.

  • The GoD would hold doors, light cigarettes and walk on the outside at all times no matter what their gender.

  • The GoD would always maintain his or her equanimity, even in the face of tremendous obstacles like PMS or a killer hangover or a Pauly Shore movie marathon. The GoD would rarely be nonplussed and never dumbfounded.

  • The GoD would be knowledgeable about and occasionally smoke good cigars. He or she would have a nice humidor in their home, which I would of course be selling in the Academy at hideously marked-up prices. Ditto the cigars, come to think of it.

  • The GoD would always wear beautiful footwear and interesting underthings.

Some attributes would only apply to male gentlemen:

  • The GoD would always leave the toilet seat down.

  • The GoD would always stock tampons, a moisturizer, a hair dryer and a hand mirror in his bathroom, especially if single.

  • The GoD would allow the lady to come first unless in a busy parking lot or an elevator, in which case she takes her chances.

Other attributes would only apply to female gentlemen:

  • The GoD would swallow.

I could go on and on and often do, but you get the gist of the thing. I welcome your opinions and comments on my new Hulles Academy for Gentlemen of Distinction; rest assured your opinions will be the first ones I ignore when I open HAGD Numero Uno. So by all means let me know.

-- Hulles

Monday, May 07, 2007

Just a news update for now since it's Monday and, well, it's Monday.

Thing 1: For Twin Cities locals, the Chambermaids are playing at the Turf Club on Friday (21+, cheap). I hope to go and check them out myself.

Thing 2: I finally got around to updating my blog links in the sidebar. I added some links that were overdue to be there; sorry it took so long if you're one of them. And if I'm not including you and I should be (you think), send me an email to the address in my blog profile and let me know.

Thing 3: I also finally updated the Mythos, which is always fun but it takes me a long time because I have to read through a bunch of old posts. Let me know if I got anything wrong. Just a quick reminder, the people who are listed in the Mythos are people I have mentioned in the body of my posts, not necessarily in the comments, so don't feel horrible if you're not there. Your day will come. And also, people that I have not yet met personally (that is, face to face) are only possibly real ("p.r."). See here for a fuller explanation.

Thing 4: My bomb-diggity friend Kat (who writes pink india ink) is in the process of writing a series of posts about an exhibitionist (that isn't her) that is well worth reading if you want a laugh or twelve. Go Kat.

Thing 5: Speaking of bomb-diggity, my wonderful pal visualsnark is helping me out on my story with the working title of "The Other Keys." It's turned into a bigger project than I anticipated, but I think it will be worth it. It has taken some time away from my blog entries, however. Sigh.

Thing 6:
I wish I was writing this in São Paolo. The weather here has sucked a lot lately, it's been cold and rainy. This has taken its toll on my and everyone else's spirits, I think. Of course I am assuming that the weather is better in São Paolo. Who am I kidding? I'd rather be writing this in Brazil anyway; who cares about the weather there. No snow, is all I ask. Hulles need beach. Thanks (and kisses) to Casti for the image.

Thing 7: Spoooooge mudflap. Dang. Didn't work that time either.

Thing 8: "Coisas Novas" is (hopefully) "new things" in Portuguese.

-- Hulles

Saturday, May 05, 2007

When I was a young lad but knee-high to a pederast I had this fantasy that there were a number of phrases and gestures that, when uttered or performed, would cause small magical things to happen. It was just difficult to figure out what the phrase and/or gesture should be, because there are a very large number of combinations of English words (not an infinite number, but near as dammit), and you would have to say "spooooge mudflap" or something to make the magic occur. You would also have to pronounce it exactly right. To make it even worse, the magical act that resulted might be so trivial as to be unnoticible to the casual observer. "Spoooooge mudflap" might simply make the pants unsnap on that cute girl over there.

Needless to say, I am often to be seen wandering around muttering "spoooooge mudflap."

So the reason that most people don't know that magic can potentially occur on a daily basis is that having exactly the right circumstances come about to invoke the magic would be extremely unlikely, and even if it did, the triggering phrase or gesture probably would not be associated with the little magical event at all. Thus probably none of you believe in magic.

I do, though. For example, I have discovered through years of research that some phrases act as incantations that cause people to appear. I usually come across these incantations by accident but, astute observer that I am, I notice the cause and effect relationship and I feel pretty damn smug about it, I don't mind telling you.

As an example, when I say the following phrase, my friend Molly (who I have mentioned here and here) shows up. The phrase is "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres", the first phrase in Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico. Basically it translates as "Gaul is divided into three parts" if your Latin is rusty. I don't recall how I first stumbled across this, but since I really like Molly I am pretty happy to have this incantation stuck up my arsenal. I haven't yet mentioned to Molly that I can control her life because telling her about it might screw it up and make it not work. You never know how fragile these things really are.

Another incantation I discovered that I am less thrilled about is "cheesecake." Whenever I say that word, which is not often because I am not a big fan of cheesecake, this very large unkempt white woman with a faint mustache shows up. I've never spoken to her and don't intend to, but up she pops whenever I say that word. I just discovered that it's okay to type it, which is something of a relief. She creeps me out a little bit.

A much more useful incantation I learned is that when I am at a bar and carefully pronounce the word "endometriosis" someone buys me a drink. This has helped out a lot through the lean times I've had lately, believe me. The only downside is that people have started thinking that I'm an amateur OB/Gyn. Now that I think about it though I suppose I am. By the way, if you try this incantation yourself, be prepared to find that you don't like the person that buys you the drink. The incantation doesn't seem to cover that part of the equation. You were warned.

The last magical phrase I've stumbled upon that I'm going to share with you is that every time I say the word "the" whoever I happen to be hitting on at the moment becomes mentally enfeebled and defective. This sucks. I hope this one quits working soon.

Apropos of the last one, I've been searching and searching for the ultimate anti-incantation: one that makes somebody immediately go away and not come back. So far no luck, but if I find it I'll let you know.

-- Hulles

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

“You can observe a lot by watching.”
- Yogi Berra

You know, it wasn't easy becoming a noted raconteur, sex dog and man-about-town. It took a lot of work. And, come to think of it, a lot of money. For example, I personally wouldn't feel I deserved these titles if I hadn't spent a lot of time in strip clubs over the years. Sure, it was often brutal, but I walked out of the door of many a strip bar a better man because I persevered and endured.

I started going to strip joints at the tender age of 19 – and it was legal too, if you're curious. My friends and I used to drive to a nearby larger city (I grew up in a small town in Iowa) to meet girls at a particular strip bar called The Top Hat Lounge if I'm not mistaken. But it wasn't what you think – we went there to meet girls that were also patrons, as opposed to dancers. As often as not, we would all sit as a group and gab among ourselves and completely ignore whatever dancer was on stage. This was fine, because the dancers all seemed old and, well, sort of used up is the politest way to say it. But the good old Top Hat was important to me because it was where I first learned to feel comfortable in a strip club.

Over the years I went to many more strip clubs in my quest to gather raconteur material. Eventually I arrived at a way to explain the attraction of strip bars, at least for me:

1. You can drink.

2. There are more-or-less naked girls running around all over the place.

Not overly complicated, as you can see. I've always compared strip clubs to Disneyland – it's lots of fun to be there but you have to remember that Mickey isn't a real mouse. Guys, no matter how tempting it is to believe otherwise, that dancer to whom you just gave two hundred bucks doesn't really want to spend the next 36 hours in bed with you and only you. You have to keep a perspective on the whole affair: it's a job for the dancers, and part of that job is convincing you that you're the hottest man alive.

Since I am the hottest man alive, I'm really easy to convince of this. It usually only takes about twenty bucks or so. The rest of the time I can just sit back and enjoy the experience and laugh with and tease whoever the lucky dancer is that's writhing on my lap. I have a lot more fun that way than if I get all serious and shit. And by the way, ladies, for me and for most of my male acquaintances the point of going to a strip club is not sex – at least not directly. It's more about feeling like some reasonably attractive woman finds you desirable in spite of the fact that you know it's because you're throwing tons of money at her. Sometimes it just feels good to feel wanted, even if it's just make-believe. It gets lonely out there sometimes.

And to be completely truthful, the above paragraph is really about going to a strip joint by yourself. If you go with a bunch of dirtbag buddies, of course it's about laughing and drinking and making some weak or diseased member of the pack pay for everything on his Visa Gold Card and then pass out.

But enough ecdysiastical philosophy [obviously I love that word – The Management]. On to Strippers I Have Known.

Since it is well known that I am comfortable in strip clubs and because I have a lot of female acquaintances, sometimes it falls upon me to escort young women to said clubs for job interviews. As you might imagine, this is one of the pleasanter ways to help out a friend. It beats the hell out of moving a refrigerator, that's for damn sure. And the interview process is always interesting to say the least.

My favorite story is about my friend Sally (not her real name of course). She asked me to accompany her to Minneapolis's premiere strip club at the time, Solid Gold, for a job interview. She just wanted to make some good money as a cocktail waitress; of course she wouldn't ever consider dancing there.

After the waitress interview, I took her to a table in the club proper so she could get a feel for the place – she had never been there! The club's theme song came on (“Girls Girls Girls” by Mötley Crüe). and I mentioned in passing that she was going to get completely and utterly sick of that song before the first day of work was over. “No way,” she said. “I like that song.” Hah. To this day Sally blanches and quails if anyone even says “girls” twice in the same sentence. Anyway, a few minutes later the guy at the table next to ours ordered a lap dance, so six inches away from Sally some woman with gigantic hooters was getting naked to music. Sally looked at me sort of helplessly and said “euugh!” or the equivalent.

Two weeks later Sally was dancing with the A Team at Solid Gold. I'm surprised it took her that long.

Today she is a successful attorney in the Twin Cities, so that story has a happy ending. I'm very proud of Sally that she avoided the common trap that dancers seem to fall into of putting all their newfound riches up their nose. The only down side to the whole lawyer thing is that I don't get to see her naked anymore. Unless of course the courtroom is a vastly different thing today than it was when I was in the docket; in that case I do have a shot at seeing Sally in her former glory (and nothing else) once again.

Having friends who work at strip clubs occasionally results in some distinctly odd occurrences. One time I was sitting at a table at Solid Gold after work, de-stressing after a long day, when all of a sudden two elbow-length velvet gloves come around my head and cover my eyes and some woman presses her boobs against me from behind and says “Guess who?” Being the savvy guy that I am I started naming every woman I could think of who would never ever work in a strip club just so she wouldn't go away, but finally she came around in front of me and I found to my immense surprise that it was my pal Renée (also not her real name). The last time I had seen her she was a cocktail waitress with a cute ass at a place in which I used to hang out. At that time, she was young and Christian and naïve. At least she was still young, I thought to myself.

Renée proceeded to explain to me that she worked in the strip club now (duh) and if I would come upstairs she would get me a table and show me her new boob job and we could get caught up on our mutual friends.


So I got to admire Renée's brand new tits (they were quite lovely by the way) and at the same time find out about all the scandals that I had missed. Renée just sort of lazily danced topless in front of me for about an hour as we exchanged stories about people we both knew. This is not a bad way to get caught up on current events, in my opinion. It also turned out to be a weird version of a fantasy I had always had about Renée whenever I talked to her in her previous waitress job. Funny how things work out.

I'll leave you with a brief anecdote about a place in Switzerland. I was in Basel and in the course of walking the streets (...) I passed by a place a number of times called “La Belle Epoch.” It had no windows and a canopy-covered sidewalk leading up to it and it virtually screamed “strip club” at me but in German so I had trouble understanding it. At any rate, one day to my own surprise I strolled up the canopy-covered walk to the front door, only to find the following sign: “Members Only.” To this very day I am so proud of myself that I pounded on the knocker anyway (...) and went inside.

The large jovial woman greeted me in German, French then finally English and asked me what I wanted.

“What's it take to become a member?” I asked her.

“You already are,” she said, laughing. “We just have the sign on the door so we can get rid of anybody we don't like. Come on in!”

And I did.

-- Hulles