Thursday, April 22, 2010

This is the third post in a series I am doing about my headlong plunge into the world of fashion design. Basically, I promised my friend Sandy that I would design a top to go with a sarong I gave to her. This is the saga of that top. See Part One and Part Two for earlier episodes. - The Management

"So how's the sarong top coming?" *snicker*

This is what I have been hearing from my friends, future lovers and disciples lately. Well, the nice and easy answer is, slowly. But like Ike and Tina Turner, I nevah, evah do nothin' nice and easy (or short), so you get a blog entry.

The first bit of news that I have to report is that, shortly after Part Two in this series was written, I decided to seek help from the top. The top of the heap of fashion designers, that is; I didn't really ask the top I'm designing for help because it doesn't exist yet and that would be silly.

No, what I did was pick the best fashion designer I knew -- of possibly two -- and ask her for help. The designer I selected for this signal honor was Christian Joy. The reason I even know of her is because she designs her pal Karen O's costumes. Karen O is the singer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I adore her with a fervor approaching slavering rabidity. That is to say, I dramatically cock an eyebrow whenever I hear her voice singing one of the YYY's songs. But this post is about Christian Joy, not about my facial tics or Karen O, so back to topic.

The only method by which I knew to contact Christian Joy was through Etsy, because Karen O pimped her Etsy store in a couple of Facebook entries. So off to Etsy I went. Like I knew what Etsy was. I quickly found out that it was a place to buy and sell handmade items (because I can read, even though reading is apparently hard). Great. All I wanted was a hookup with a designer, not a place from which to sell my handicrafts to housewives in Hoboken or my gewgaws to gay men in Great Neck. But I discovered that, to send a message to Ms. Joy, I would have to create an Etsy account.

Well, why the hell not? I thought. So I did. I now have a fucking store on Etsy. If you want to check it out, go here, but why bother? I don't have anything to sell. My store is empty. The only things I know how to make by hand are bread and love, and Etsy does not appear to be precisely the correct venue in which to sell either of those things. Nothing against Etsy, of course. It seems like a very wholesome place in which to shop for things I don't need and can't afford.

However, armed with my new Etsy account, I could now send a message to my soon-to-be new friend Christian Joy, or Xian, as I started calling her in my mind. What to say in my message? I wanted to word it carefully, so she wouldn't think I was a dork. In other words, I couldn't sound like myself in the message. I also didn't want to sound like a YYYs fan. I figured if I could track down Xian after a couple hours of work, so could the obnoxious 22 year old chick sitting next to you in whatever bar you're in right now, texting on her iPhone and snapping her gum. And it would take her about 4 minutes to do it, if I'm any judge of obnoxious 22 year old chicks. And I am.

So this is what I came up with:
Hi. I find myself in the awkward position of having committed to a very dear (and gorgeous) friend to design and make her a top to go with a sarong I gave her. Since I have absolutely no knowledge of or experience in fashion design, I am totally winging it, but oddly I am enjoying the experience a great deal. Where I'm at is that I have created a design for a silk top (2 designs actually!) but I'm not exactly sure what the next step should be. I'm attempting to draft the designs but it's going to take a while since I am pretty much a kindergarten-level artist. I shall persevere however.

The reason I'm writing you is that you're the only person I know of who does this sort of thing whose designs I like, and I thought you could perhaps give me some advice on to whom I can turn to actually create the garments. I'm okay with designing things but not so confident of my ability to sew silk!

Anyway, thank you very much for your attention, and any help you care to give me will be greatly appreciated. And written about as well, by the way; see [Hulles blog link] for the first part of the story.

Again, thanks. Sincerely, [Hulles]

I thought it was pretty good. I left it sort of open-ended about what I really wanted from her, so she could feel free to say "Hey, just send me the drawings and I'll fucking make it for you!" or something similar; I didn't mention Karen O at all; and I didn't beg and whine nearly as much as I wanted to. "Please help me, I'm just a clueless (albeit cute) straight guy who's trapped in a world of fashion design he never sought to violate repeatedly," or something similar. After some reflection, however, I confess that it might have been a bad idea to include a link to this blog in the message.

As it turns out, it didn't matter. The very next day after I sent her the message, Xian appeared on the cover of Time Out New York, as one of "the most stylish New Yorkers". Great. So of course I have not heard back from her, nor do I expect to. I guess that I won't get to know Xian after all, nor will I become close friends with her, fall in love, get married and have Karen O be the maid of honor. Her loss. Their loss, actually. But I soldier on, though I'm abandoning the use of Ms. Joy's pet name of Xian in retribution. That should teach her a lesson of some sort. And I'm also reducing the angle of my eyebrow cock when I hear a YYY's song, because I'm petty and spiteful like that.

The only other HCSSRBS (see title, duh) news bit that I'm including in this post, is that I bought a Fashion Design Tool, or FDT. See, the reason I haven't made more progress on this project than I have is that I'm fucking broke. Were it otherwise, my lair would be strewn with silk remnants and selvages (selvedges if you're British) and shit, and my fiend Sandy, with whom I am so not in love, even though she's beautiful, funny, caring, sexy, hot, bright, sexy, likes Lesbian porn, and... What? Oh yeah, if I had any money at all Sandy would be a lot closer to having my silken creation caressing her breasts right now. But such is not the case; her poor breasts will have to wait. What I was able to buy was a tape measure, so I could measure her body and get the top just right. Shut up.

My new tape measure is such an awesome FDT, though. It's a Singer brand, it cost about US$2.50 or so (ouch!), it's apparently made of fibreglass, which might be a good thing, who knows, and it's hot pink. Yes, hot pink. So I am currently carting around in my briefcase a hot pink tape measure, suitable for pretty much any task that involves dressmaking. I'm just waiting for it to fall out of my briefcase when I'm sitting in a tavern swilling beer, watching football on TV and grunting and farting with my male pals. Nope. Can't wait.

Sandy is going to owe me big time for this. Big. Time.

- Hulles

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I just finished writing a short story that can best be termed "erotic fiction". No, I'm not going to publish it here, but I thought I would talk about the experience of writing the story in this blog, just because it was so damn weird.

This was my first foray into the fetid realm of erotica. It resulted from a conversation I had with a dear friend. Once again, I heard myself say, "Hey, I can do that." Good lord, when will I learn to keep my mouth shut? Well, we all know the answer to that one, don't we? But what I learned in the process of putting up, as opposed to shutting up, was interesting.

First, erotic fiction is a dramatically different genre than what I now call "placid fiction" (or occasionally, "flaccid fiction"). I've written short stories of various types before, so I thought "No problemo, Hulles!" That lasted about until I set fingers to keyboard to start my brand new porn story.

Hmmm. What the hell makes a good erotic story? Sex, obviously, but how much? Realistic? Believable? Improbable? Fantastic? How much non-sex goes into the story? How long do you spend describing the _____ [insert any of about 38 dirty words here]? I found myself perplexed by these questions and many others like them, until I did what I always seem to end up doing: just saying "fuck it" and writing the damn story.

One thing I had not realized prior to this experience is that, when you write erotic fiction, you have to live it in your mind so you can tell the story. "Well, of course!" you say, "that's how you write anything!" And I answer, "Yeah, easy for you to say, I'm single, I'm a guy and I haven't gotten laid yet this year." [Stifles a small sob and daubs at his eyes with a clean pair of underwear.]

In other words, to write this story I had to live through an evening of extremely intense sex with a stunningly beautiful woman over and over and over again, at least in my imagination. It damn near killed me. My cat Mimi wouldn't come near me the whole time, she just paced nervously in the living room as I sat at the computer in my office typing. Whenever I would finally end for the night and call for her to come to bed, she would dive into the coat closet like a prairie dog on meth and not come out until morning. And it's probably just as well, to tell you the truth. It saved a lot of strain on our relationship.

There was certainly no paucity of strain on my body, however. I'm not sure how it is with you, but when I imagine having steamy sex with someone at the requisite level of detail -- sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and let's not forget touch -- my body starts to go on autopilot. It begins to morph into some sort of single-minded monster that...you can imagine. But on the occasion of writing this story, when the metamorphosis was complete my body stopped, looked around, and said to itself, "What the... There's nobody here! OMG, my chauffeur is insane! I'll just teach him a lesson and make all of his body parts intensely miserable for the next several hours."

And yes, unlike me, my body does say "OMG!" That's why I write and he just shows up and stands around looking uncomfortable most of the time.

I swear, I don't know how people who write erotica for a living are able to do it. All I can imagine is that they must have about 20 lovers at any given time, all of whom show up for work every morning with rumpled hair looking extremely relaxed and blissfully stupid.

Me, I'm going back to drinking skim milk, doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every day and cancelling every one of my 283 personal ads. I can't take the abuse.

Although come to think of it, there is one scene that I still haven't gotten exactly right. It needs some additional research, so if you're a frighteningly hot woman with a taste for the bizarre and enjoy guacamole, send me an email. Previous trapeze experience a plus. YOU TOO can show up for work in the morning looking relaxed and blissfully stupid. And as an added bonus, you will gain the personal satisfaction of having supported the arts to the best of your agility, stamina and strength. Please consult your physician prior to your arrival. I know I'm calling mine.

Ah, the suffering I am willing to endure for my craft. I better get at least a Pulitzer out of this.

- Hulles

Friday, April 02, 2010

I decided that I am going to emulate the U.S. Census Bureau. For those who don't live in the United States, the Census Bureau this year sent out a bazillion form letters to everyone who lives here saying that, soon, they would be sending out a bazillion forms for everyone who lives here to fill out.

So, in that spirit, I am announcing that, soon, I will write another blog post.

- Hulles

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It used to be that when a woman was about to "swoon", some helpful person would dab eau de cologne on her forehead. I puzzled over this until I figured out that cologne is mostly alcohol, which evaporates quickly and cools the skin. Thus I suppose the eau de cologne application makes sense, even if the poor woman smells like a cheap whore afterwards. At least she's not laying in the horse dung on the street.

So I'm carrying a bottle of Axe in my briefcase from now on. If you even vaguely look like you're going to swoon I'm dumping it on your forehead. You can thank me later when you're feeling better.

- Hulles

Friday, March 05, 2010

"Profilewiz.com takes the pain out of filling out blank profile boxes when signing up for online dating sites." - BBC News

Well, it's about goddamn time. I've manually filled out applications for 57 different dating services in the last two months, and boy, are my fingers tired. What a lifesaver this is! I figure with Profilewiz.com I can apply to a couple hundred more dating services yet this month.

I'm even starting to hope that I'm actually going to meet a date real soon now.

Thank you Profilewiz.com!

- Hulles

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

[This is a poem by Pablo Neruda called  "Walking Around", originally written in beautiful Spanish, translated by Robert Bly. I'm posting it here because I like it a lot, particularly tonight. - The Management]

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.


- Pablo Neruda

Friday, February 19, 2010

Everybody knows the world is going to end on December 21, 2012, but no one seems to be doing anything about it. So I guess it falls to me -- again. You probably don't remember the last time I saved the world, but it wasn't that long ago, and people, I have better things to do. This is absolutely the last time I am saving the world, and I mean it this time.

But I suppose I should quit grumbling and get on with it.

First, it became obvious to me that no one could agree on exactly how the world is going to end, so I had to do a great deal of background research reading old Nostradamus texts, deciphering Mayan calendars and poring over years of Joyce Jillson's old daily newspaper horoscopes. Eventually I came to the conclusion that, while the details differed somewhat, all available sources predict Death From The Skies, specifically from the area of the Solar System near Saturn. Fine.


I called up NASA and they agreed to task the Cassini spacecraft to support my mission. NASA even seemed quite grateful that I was looking into this, because of course they don't have enough funding to prevent the end of the world themselves. As a result of this cooperation, however, I receive Cassini photographs as they are transmitted from the spacecraft on my own special web site. Now, my job consists of carefully poring over each photograph as it comes in and looking for anomalies like alien mother ships and Britney Spears sunbathing nude on one of the moons of Saturn. It's a thankless job, but NASA and I agreed we'd split the proceeds from the sale of any Britney Spears photographs to the Enquirer, so I might actually make some money out of this at some point.

On Valentine's Day, after meeting with my hand-picked analysis team at a local bar, I went back to the grind of reviewing that day's Cassini photographs. Imagine my shock when I noticed that Mimas, one of the inner moons of Saturn, had acquired a concave depression in it since the last fly-by! Of course, I immediately realized that the Mimanteans had constructed a fully armed and operational Death Star!

 

 "Holy crap!" I muttered to myself. "This calls for immediate action!" I called up US President Barack Obama, but an aide patiently explained to me that the United States does not now possess nor has it ever possessed X-Wing Fighters. He did, however, suggest that I try calling up the Israeli Defense Ministry as he had heard rumors that they might have some mothballed in the Negev somewhere. The Israelis have yet to get back to me on this, the short-sighted fools, but you will be gratified to hear that I am going ahead with my own preparations to save the world without them.

The first thing I decided to do was to more closely review the Cassini Mimas images for clues concerning the level of Mimantean technology. I finally came across this photograph:



The original image was labelled by my NASA compatriots as follows:
N00151630.jpg was taken on February 13, 2010 and received on Earth February 14, 2010. The camera was pointing toward MIMAS at approximately 20,630 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the RED and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.
I had to alter the original image to validate it and calibrate it and compensate for the RED and CL2 filters in my special GIMP imaging software, but once I did that, something interesting emerged. If you look very carefully at my compensated N00151630 image above, you can see a rogue Mimantean Storm Trooper who apparently didn't get the memo about avoiding the surface during the Cassini fly-by. It is reassuring to note that the Storm Trooper is apparently a standard Imperial clone, and we know enough about Imperial technology to deal with it effectively. So we have that going for us.

The next step I am taking is that I am resuming my study of the Force, in case I have to go to Mimas and Take Care Of This Personally. I consider this a last resort, since I am a busy blogger, but if it comes to that I'll do it for the sake of my you, my readers, of whom Google Analytics reports that 73.2% are actually Earthlings. I left most of my nifty Jedi gear over at some chick's house one night whose name I can't remember, so to practice up I've been running around my house with a bucket over my head brandishing a cane and chasing the cat. I can almost hear the voice of my Jedi mentor in my ear, who sounds strangely like Alec Guinness: "Use the Force, Hulles! Feel the cane smacking the cat's ass!" A side benefit of this newly-resumed training is that my big-boned cat Mimi has lost 3 pounds in the last week, which won't hurt her a bit, unlike the cane. Another side effect of this training is that I need two new lamps in my living room.

My final step in preventing the end of the world when they fire up the powerful Mimantean lasers in December of 2012 is to write this blog entry. I want to share the results of my research and preparations so that if some punk-ass bounty hunter lasers my head off as I'm walking into the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Café, you, my readers, can step up to the plate and go kick some Imperial ass on Mimas in my stead. "Win one for the Nipper," will be my silent wish to you as you vector in on the Death Star power plant. Hell, if I can figure out how those other guys did it, I'll even put in a ghostly translucent appearance at the award ceremony and smile benignly as some hot bra-less chick with funky hair puts a medal around your neck. So think about going out to Menard's today just in case; they have 5-gallon buckets on sale through the weekend.

In closing, I should apologize to you Spanish speakers out there: you probably thought from the title of this entry that the end of the world was going to result from a plague of zombie female mimes from Puerto Rico. Rest assured that, however unlikely this outcome seems, I have put my crack analysis team to work on the remote possibility that my initial research was flawed. Thus, if the zombie mime chick thing really does come to pass, in 2012 the US populace will be issued noise-suppressed M16 rifles, one per household. Because if Steven Wright has taught us anything -- and he has taught us plenty -- it's that when you shoot a mime, you should use a silencer.

May the Force be with you all.

- Hulles

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For Marcy - caveat basiator

I have a confession to make. Okay, I have a lot of confessions to make, and this is the 279th of them, fine, just shut up and let me finish. I hereby confess that I am an occasional ear biter.

Now for the explanations and disclaimers: I only bite the ears of human females that I like to some degree or another; I am not now nor have I ever been a professional boxer; and I don't actually eat the ears that I bite. I am also a licker, nibbler, sucker and kisser of ears when said behavior is called for, but that's none of your business. I'm talking about biting ears here, and biting hard.

I wasn't born an ear biter. It was nurture, not nature. I had no concept of so many things, ear biting being the least of them, when I was growing up a young otaku in Iowa. It took a certain lovely young woman to initiate me into the mystery of ear biting a number of years ago. Ah, but that was another country; and besides, the wench is dead. [See? SEE? - The Management.]

I shall call this lovely young woman Alexis, not because that's her real name -- I can't remember her real name -- but because she was Alexisish. On that fateful day, Alexis and I were on a first binge. We started out at my place, which seems backward, but see the "no concept of many things" comment earlier. As we embraced, she bit my right earlobe - HARD.

"Fuck! Fucking OUCH! You just bit my ear, bitch!" I exclaimed hotly as I reached up to my right earlobe to check for blood. "Jesus Christ! Get away from me!" But Alexis just stood there and smiled evilly, looking for all the world like a hungry succubus for whom my earlobe was merely an amuse-bouche. By the way, a succubus isn't what it sounds like -- it's a demon in female form that preys upon men. Wikipedia: "Succubi draw energy from men to sustain themselves, often until the victim becomes exhausted or dies." Okay, let's see a show of hands among you men out there. Thought so. But I digress.

As I was saying, my reactions to having Alexis' incisors penetrate my earlobe were about what you'd expect: shock, disbelief, anger, acceptance, and get-the-fuck-naked-right-now. These five discrete stages of having your ear bitten were first codified by me in a paper I wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine and they are now commonly referred to as the "Hulles Model of Coping With Weird Fucking Date Behavior". But the additional reaction I had at that time, one that appalled and astounded me, was that I immediately looked at Alexis' earlobes and thought, "Yum." Thus was an ear-biter born. Apparently it's transmitted sexually.

Before I leave the origins story, you're probably curious how the rest of my first binge with Alexis turned out. This is from the same Wikipedia article on succubi: "After an incredible number of such bouts, the poor man at last sinks to the floor utterly exhausted and disgusted beyond belief." 'Nuff said.

You might have noticed that I mentioned "right earlobe" when I was talking about My First Bite. I have since learned that the seasoned ear-biter, while readily able to cope with either ear if circumstances warrant, tends to favor the ear on one side of the bitee's head over the other. I am a right ear biter myself, all things being equal. This allows me to be sneaky and bite some poor woman's ear as I'm giving her a hug. In the early stages of a relationship, a woman almost never suspects the bite is coming until it happens. Sometimes, if a woman is particularly trusting, she never expects it no matter how long she's known you. Grandma was that way until the day she died, God bless her.

By the way, I know that no woman who reads my blog is ever going to hug me again, but thank God no one reads me anymore since I went on hiatus for a year or two. Heh heh. That'll teach you to abandon me.

I did a fair amount of on-line research for this entry, and one of the things that I looked into was the Tyson-Holyfield fight I referred to above. If you are unaware of the reference, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were in a heavyweight championship boxing match in Las Vegas when Tyson bit Holyfield's ear in the clinch. Again, I turn the floor over to Wikipedia:

With forty seconds remaining in the round Holyfield got Tyson in a clinch, and Tyson rolled his head above Holyfield's shoulder and bit Holyfield on his right ear, avulsing a one-inch piece of cartilage from the top of the ear, and spitting out the piece of ear on the ring floor.

Now, that kind of shit gives us ear-biters a bad name. I mean really. For one thing, dude went for the top of the ear where the cartilage is. I hereby swear to you that as long as I have been biting ears I have yet to avulse a piece of cartilage of any size from anyone's ear, although honestly I should add that if I ever do I intend to spit, not swallow, just like Mike. But I suppose that Tyson is just a bad example we ear-biters have to live with, in much the same way that gay men have to live with Sean Hayes in Will & Grace. Come to think of it, I imagine that rich evil bitches aren't that excited about Megan Mullally either.

In the course of my research, one of the things that I was looking for was a five-dollar word for "ear biter". Nail biters are onychophages, for example; I just assumed that we ear-biters would have our own fancy name as well. Guess what? I didn't find such a name, and I looked very thoroughly. That meant that I got to make one up! I am something of an amateur neologist, so to me that was like stumbling across a new species of butterfly in the Amazon or discovering a new comet. So the word I came up with is "auriphage". I beat Greek and Latin dictionaries to death to do it right, and I stand by it. But now that I have the five-dollar word, I can form support groups and shit and get funding from NIMH. Hell, I might even sponsor a telethon. Note to self: buy a tuxedo and take sweating lessons.

Yet another thing I can do with my new word is give new dates a fair warning:
"Hey, Amber, I really enjoyed this evening; thanks for buying me all those cocktails! Sorry I left my wallet at home. Let me walk you to your door. But I suppose I should warn you first that I'm an auriphage."

"Oh, never mind what it means, I'm just an ass and I like to use big words to impress women, but in reality I'm shy and bashful and using big words is just a cover-up for my insecurities about...."  *CHOMP*

"Hey, whoa, Amber, didn't know you were packing, look at the time, gotta run!"
While I was searching for my five-dollar word, I went to the MedTerms section of MedicineNet.com to read the medical definition of "auricle", which means the external ear and has the same root as "auriphage". See, I told you I did my research. But here is what I found when I went there:

Definition of Auricle

Auricle: 1. The principal projecting part of the ear. Also called the pinna. 2. Something ear shaped such as the upper chambers of the heart. Also called the atria.

Auricle is not to be confounded with oracle. Neither the pinna nor the atria possess oracular powers.

No shit. Somewhere out there is my spiritual twin, writing definitions for MedicalNet.com and cackling quietly to himself or herself.

Before I wrap up this rather lengthy post, I also want to tell you about one more piece of research that I did. The title I am using rang bells for me, so I had to search in my own blog to see if I had used it before. I hadn't, but I did find two related entries: Children Of A Lesser Dog, and The Making Of Children Of A Lesser Dog, both from 2006. My challenge to you is to read "Children" first, then go back and just read the parts from the AKC reference, and see if that doesn't just make the perfect set of guidelines for selecting your next significant other. Move over eHarmony; make room for the AKC.

So -- finally done with this one. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it immensely. Come here, let me give you a hug.

- Hulles

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Last night when I went out to celebrate Haley's Unbirthday without Haley, I wore the "Love is the Drug" button shown in the last post to keep up my "Valentine's Day Is A Good Thing" theme. I also wore the handcuff key in the photo on a chain around my neck. The entire night, or at least the parts of it when I was still able to talk, I asked suspected Lutherans if they knew what it was. "The key to my heart!" was the most popular answer, which creeped me out a little bit when pudgy old balding guys said it.

One lovely young woman -- Sarah -- apparently wasn't thinking of the key to her heart so much as the key to something a little further south: "A chastity belt key!" she said. I never suspected this Medieval side to her but needless to say I was intrigued. Notes to self: Get to know Sarah better. Bring key.

Two guys knew what it was right away. One of them -- Kory -- said, "Oh, that's a fake handcuff key." Well, they're not "fake handcuffs", they're real, but they're manacles d'amour as the French might say. They are more than adequate for restraining your lover, but they're not really what you want to be using as you toss the perpetrator who is high on Super Crack Meth Angel Dust into the back of your squad car. So I suppose in that sense, yes, they are "fake handcuffs".

The other guy's answer was even better. My friend Charlie, who could never be mistaken for a Lutheran, said, "Oh, that's a fake handcuff key. Here, this is a real one."

 

It's sort of difficult to make out in this cell phone picture, but yes, as nearly as I can recall from the last time I did Super Crack Meth Angel Dust, that is a real handcuff key on his key chain.
- Hulles

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Lord, what's wrong with you people? Valentine's Day bashers abound. Fine, it's a Hallmark Holiday. Fine, your last lover microwaved your goldfish and stole your hair dryer. Fine, you're married to Gilbert Gottfried. What happened to romance? Passion? Dare I say it, love?

This short photographic essay is my Valentine's Day gift to you, a bit early. It is intended to remind you that there should be more love in the world. What the hell's wrong with a day that might add a little romance to someone's life, even if that person isn't you? Or, for that matter, me?

 

(For you Lutherans, that's a handcuff key.)
- Hulles

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I discovered just last week that I have acquired a new superpower: I can smell the future.

I was sitting on the couch at the time cornrowing the hair on my toes when all of sudden I smelled popcorn. I looked up to see if vandals had somehow broken into my house and begun microwaving a bag of Pop-Secret while I was concentrating on making those tiny little rows, but no one was in my kitchen. So I just scratched my head and went back to the task at hand. But later on I made popcorn! Prescience, it was.

Then a day or so later I smelled horseradish. This was again initially puzzling to me, until a couple hours later when I was eating my bologna-and-cheese-and-horseradish sandwich. Then it struck me that I had indeed suddenly and mysteriously gotten the ability to smell the future!

This ability was put to the test just a couple of days ago when I smelled fish. The only thing I had on my plate that day was to meet Sandy for drinks later. As I have explained elsewhere, Sandy and I are just friends and I am totally not in love with this most beautiful of women who has eyes that you can fall into forever.... What? Oh yeah, I was saying that she and I are just friends, and therefore the first explanation that I came up with for my premonition was not in any way likely to occur. All was made clear later, however, when we split a bowl of mussels, a cup of seafood soup and a bottle of wine at W. A. Frost. Damn it.

So I have thought long and hard about my newfound superpower and I have resolved to always use it for good, never evil. I recently completed an on-line application for membership in the Justice League, and I think the way this whole thing is going to play out is that Zatanna Zatara and I are going to be strolling in the Pyrenees and suddenly I smell rock dust. I push her out of the way, and a huge rockslide that would otherwise have crushed her into a bloody pulp narrowly misses her. Out of gratitude, she marries me, we move to Andorra and we crank out superbabies at the rate of about 1 a year for a very long time, thus assuring not only our own happiness but the safety of many generations to come in these troubling times. And I am so okay with that.

Thank God I still look good in tights, otherwise none of this might come true.

- Hulles

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I met a woman tonight. She was beautiful. I almost ended the post there, but fine, I'll go on. After exchanging pleasantries, some of which are detailed below, I finally got around to asking her name. "Elle, underscore, underscore, underscore," she said.

"I've always loved that name!" I exclaimed. "Do you spell it the traditional way?"

It turned out that she did. We gabbed a lot more -- and by "we," I mean "me" -- and I ended up liking her a lot, big surprise. She's a grad student at the U in that one language where every sentence means "I want to sleep with you," and she enjoys and is knowledgeable about ballet. Perfect. I fell madly in love then and there. Actually, she only needed to show up for that to happen; it's been a bear market for the old Hulles stock these days. But don't tell her that.

As I was saying, I ended up liking her a lot and I want to see her again. She actually gave me her email address before the wait staff could dash to the table and warn her against it, so I am about to send her an email. But because I like her, I want to run it by you guys first so I don't screw it up. So here it is. And you have to tell me if it's somehow inappropriate, because I listen to you. Well, at least I read your comments. Mostly.

Please, please give me your feedback on this. It's important to me. I am becoming, if not dangerously psychotic, at least alarmingly horny. My female friends are queuing up at the court house for TRO's and my male friends are racing to Mills Fleet Farm to buy Hulles loads for their shotguns. It's become that bad. My friend Haley has taken to hosing me down with pepper spray before she even gets close enough to say hello. In other words, I need the hookup. So be honest -- tell me what you think. Here's the email (some parts have been redacted because this is, after all, a family blog):

Dear L___,

I know you were a bit taken aback when I walked up to your table as a complete stranger and said "I so want you," but if you bear with me for a bit I think you'll agree I really was justified in saying this.

For starters, your t___ are incredibly succulent and luscious, your a___ would make a horse turn around and shit in his oats, and you sport interesting footwear. But that's just the beginning. I could say the same about many of my friends, Haley for instance, although her shoes usually suck. What sets you apart from all the others, beauty-wise, is that your skin is like Velveeta cheese.

Now I know what you're thinking: Eeeeeeuuuugh! But that's just because you actually ate some once. I'm not talking about how it tastes, sweet Jesus, who would ever knowingly ingest that shit? I'm talking texture here, and if you have ever touched Velveeta cheese you'll perhaps appreciate what I'm trying to say. Granted, the cheese is eerily smooth and pliable and rubbery, but if we're both honest with ourselves we have to admit that it has a sort of sensual erotic feel to it that makes us want to... well, never mind. But it is sensual, and your skin reminds me of it, except that of course your skin is not the brilliant Velveeta hyper-yellow that scares small children.

So I could go on and on and tell you how interesting I found you and how intrigued I was by that one thing you said but I won't, because I am old and drink cheap Scotch and smoke Camel straights and I don't have that much time left for fuck's sake, so if you could just see your way clear to screwing my brain out that would be great. Just let me know the next time you have a 15-minute slot in your calendar and I'll take it from there.

Thanks in advance from your new friend,

- Hulles

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Since becoming a world-famous author, I have found that people think my life now consists of Gulfstream G250 jets, vintage Jaguar automobiles, and drunken booty calls from Brook Busey at 3am in the morning. Well, they're absolutely right, and it doesn't suck. But there's another side to me as well -- I haven't forgotten the little people.

Case in point: last night I met Haley at a local watering hole. Haley is tall and fair, she has a body to die writhing in agony for, she possesses a razor-sharp sense of humor, and I am like unto a god to her. "So what?" I hear you asking. "She sounds pretty much the same as all of your fans." And that's true. But I met her last night as a favor to her mother.

Haley got to the bar an hour early so she could steady her nerves before my arrival by downing three quick Jamesons on the rocks. Once I finally did make my appearance, she leapt out of her bar stool which went clattering to the floor, clasped her arms around my neck and started slathering me with Irish whiskey-flavored kisses. "Hey, whoa!" I said to her as I unclasped her arms, righted her chair and helped her back into her seat. "Let's not make a scene. I don't want everyone in here recognizing me and coming over so I can autograph their right tit like happened last time." Although here I must add that I have lately taken to carrying a Sharpie just for this purpose; I owe my fans everything.

Eventually Haley regained her composure and was able to sit and attempt conversation with me, though she continued to sigh like a steam locomotive the rest of the evening. As we sat at the bar I regaled her with several amusing personal anecdotes from my recent past and told her about Brook Busey's secret tattoos. She sat and nodded as I spoke and gazed at me with calf-like eyes full of adoration and, dare I say it, love.

As I chatted on, Haley soaked up my every word like a sponge, and whenever I would pause for a sip of my Scotch she would encourage me to continue as if she couldn't bear to wait for the next words to fall from lips. So I kindly humored her and continued to talk about myself. It did get a little embarrassing when I had to reach over and wipe the drool from the corner of her mouth with a Bevnap, but honestly I don't think she even noticed, so enrapt was she in what I had to say.

After I finished my first Scotch Haley could stand it no longer. She threw a fistful of twenties at the bartender and, without waiting for her change, stood up and grabbed my arm and started pulling me downstairs to the Boom Boom Room, a quiet and romantic niche in the downstairs lounge of our bar. "Hey, take it easy!" I said. "Fine, the Boom Boom Room it is. But remember the rules: keep your hands away from my crotch, no tongue, and write down everything I say for the biography of me that you're going to write someday." She at last reluctantly agreed to comply and we headed downstairs. Here I have to say that Haley did her absolute very best not to skip down the stairs in eager delight, which is good because after three Jamesons her skipping ability had deteriorated markedly.

The Boom Boom Room is, as I mentioned, a small niche in the basement lounge. Its walls are of very old brick, it is softly lit with candles, and the seat cushions are sensibly covered in plastic. I knew it was asking for trouble to place Haley and myself in such a situation, but I bravely followed her to the love seat against one wall of the niche and sat down. Once I had forcibly demonstrated to her that I was serious about the ground rules, Haley calmed down a bit and ordered more whiskey for us from Matt the Waiter. As he was leaving, however, Haley forgot herself momentarily and chirped proudly to him, "He's my boyfriend!" Matt, having seen this before, simply hid a smile and rolled his eyes, and I said as gently as I could, "No, I'm not her boyfriend."

This happened at least five more times during the evening; Haley would call out to a random passer-by that ventured near the niche, "He's my boyfriend!" and I would be forced to explain yet again that no, I was not her boyfriend, she was delusional in this. It would have been quite embarrassing to me had I not long ago become used to this behavior in my female acquaintances. Thus, I did not take to going upside her head when she made these outrageous statements as one might expect me to do. I'm kind and understanding like that.

The candlelight gleamed in Haley's red eyes and blue-gray fingernail polish as we sat there talking, and I am sure that she must have been enraptured by the candles' soft glow as well as it reflected off my glasses and forehead. I spoke to Haley at length of my musculoskeletal disorders and my investments while she made careful notes in the new notebook she had purchased for this very reason. All in all, it was a lovely conversation, though I had to raise my voice a couple of times to be heard over her poignant heartfelt sighing.

I forgot to mention earlier that I had baked a batch of cookies for Haley and brought them with me to our meeting at the bar. When I gave them to her in a Gucci tin with cloisonné hearts on the lid, she was overcome and simply sat there making hideous smacking noises with her lips. I felt it necessary to explain to her that the only reason I had done this was because I thought she needed some meat on her gangly frame, but when I told her this she said, "Oh Hulles, you're the meat I want on my gangly frame!" This crossed the line, I felt, so I slapped her hard and said "Bitch please." This seemed to calm her down some and the rest of the evening passed without further such incidents.

At last it was time for Haley to leave, but before we arose from our love seat she said "Hulles, I have a confession to make." Uh oh, I thought, here it comes. She then told me that she had always loved me and she wanted to give me a condo in Montreux, a Shih Tzu named Alice, and a Segway with streamers on the handlebars. I must admit I was tempted by the Segway, but I said to her that such gifts were inappropriate and that I could not accept them. I did, however, let her pick up the tab, which seemed to mollify her slightly.

I walked Haley to her car and gave her a goodnight hug. No sooner had I released her, however, than she hit me on the top of my head with her enormous purse (which must have contained a dead baby, I thought at the time) and tried to force me into the back seat of her car amidst the empty plastic Mountain Dew bottles. "Stop!" I cried. "Haley, no! Bad Haley!"

She broke into tears at that point and, holding my hands, said in a rush, "Hulles, come home with me! Make my life complete! I have seven bottles of different single-malt Scotches at home for you; I read your Tiger Beat bio and found out that your favorite colors are Emerald Green and Purple so I made three pairs of jammies for you in each color and embroidered 'Hulles' on the breast of each one and I fucking had to learn how to embroider to do it; I'll make you a Spanish omelet for your breakfast and brew your favorite coffee and even grind the coffee beans with my thighs; just say you'll come home with me!"

Needless to say I was taken aback by this unseemly outburst. I nearly slapped her hard again, but my hand still stung from the last time so I contented myself with saying, "As if. Haley, a thousand women feel the same way and if I went home with every one of them I'd be too tired to write funny shit and then where would we be? Besides, you're drunk and full of cookies and it could get ugly very quickly."

I guess she saw the sense of this because she got into her car and drove slowly away. As she turned into the street, the headlights of the passing cars showed the gleam of tears streaming down her cheeks. I felt badly until I remembered I still had a glass of Scotch sitting in the Boom Boom Room in the bar, so I went back inside whistling merrily.

As I resumed my seat, Matt the Waiter came over and said, "Dude, Haley is so hot. Can you give me a hook-up on that?" I thought to myself, Matt, you are obviously young and inexperienced and have not yet learned that statuesque, imperious, witty, charming blondes with huge hearts and nice racks are a dime a dozen, but I didn't say that to him. Instead I said, "Sure, if you don't mind wearing jammies that say 'Hulles' on the breast and are okay with her calling out my name at the most inopportune moments, sure I can hook you up." He seemed satisfied with that answer and walked away smiling, the poor fool.

And so ended my evening with Haley. All in all, it was quite a trial for me but I got through it. My driver eventually dropped me off at the old chateau and Brook Busey called just as I walked in the door, so I guess it had a happy ending, at least for Brook. But I found myself muttering just before I dropped off to sleep that the next time Haley's mother asks me to do her a favor, I'm going to slap the mom hard and say "Bitch please." She owes me. Big time.

- Hulles

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Without malice aforethought I seem to be in an expository (it's not what you think) mode right now. And I know there are some beer-guzzling, hockey-watching young bucks out there - you know who you are - who think that my more recent pieces are a bit, well, high-brau. (And you can surely believe that if I could patent and trademark a sentence it would be that one.) Well, this one's for you.

What I am about to present is an extremely brief excerpt from a play called "The Jew of Malta" by Christopher Marlowe. You don't really need to know anything about the play, but if you're curious it was likely written about 1590. Here's what you need to remember:

FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed--
BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country;
And besides, the wench is dead.
So what, you ask? Well, every guy, no matter what the color of his baseball cap, has the odd occasion when he has to step up to the conversational plate. Example:

Drunken Buddy #1: "Dude, didn't you used to boink Betty Jo Bielowski? I can't believe you did that, even now."

You, taking a drink of what I would hope would be your martini but is really a Milwaukee's Best Ice: "Ah, but that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead."

Drunken Buddy #1: "Guh?"

Well, it doesn't sound so great when I type it here, but trust me. It's the conversational equivalent of standing on the center line and making the game-winning basket as the horn sounds. Although as I think about it, Drunken Buddies #1 - #37 may not appreciate it as much as I might wish.

Fine. Here's another scenario: You are standing at the bar trying to make small talk and not stare at the cleavage of the succulent woman next to you.

Her: "Have you ever dated one of your professors before?" [Actually, it could be anything that starts with "Have you ever ____", but I'm assuming you just lied and said you finished college.]

You, taking a manly swig of a microbrew you know nothing about but that sounded lots cooler than an MBI: "Ah, but that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead."

Her: "Guh?"

Well. Okay. I suppose that I have to give up and admit that you can't trot the line out just anywhere. But somewhere, someday, you will be in a position where you need the conversational shot from the center line to win the game, and you will remember this. And use it. And people will say to themselves, "Dang! Nice one!" and buy you a Milwaukee's Best Ice and the cutest among them will drag you home and wreak great sex upon you.

Who do you thank when that happens? If you say "Christopher Marlowe" I'm not letting you read my blog anymore. (I have a monopoly on this blog.) Nope. You thank "Hulles." Although if I happen to be in the crowd at the time you say it, I'm going to chime in with "Hey, nice one, Christoper Marlowe, 'Jew of Malta'. Let's see, what year did he write that? Oh yeah, it was 1589 or 1590, thereabouts." Hey, I could use the sex wreakage myself, let alone the beer.

- Hulles

Saturday, January 30, 2010

(This is the second installment of the story of Hulles' foray into the world of fashion design, see Part One )

And now with gifts (the pow'rful bribes of love),

He furnishes her closet first; and fills
The crowded shelves with rarities of shells;
Adds orient pearls, which from the conchs he drew,
And all the sparkling stones of various hue:
And parrots, imitating human tongue,
And singing-birds in silver cages hung:
And ev'ry fragrant flow'r, and od'rous green,
Were sorted well, with lumps of amber laid between:
Rich fashionable robes her person deck,
Pendants her ears, and pearls adorn her neck:
Her taper'd fingers too with rings are grac'd,
And an embroider'd zone surrounds her slender waste.
Thus like a queen array'd, so richly dress'd,
Beauteous she shew'd, but naked shew'd the best.

- Ovid, Metamorphoses X, The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue

The story of Pygmalion and the Statue, as told by Ovid, is this, as told by Hulles:

Pygmalion was a Greek guy who basically thought women sucked, big surprise, so he just hung around his house doing the classical equivalent of playing video games: sculpting. One day after he got to the twenty-ninth level of sculpting, he created a statue of a woman in ivory. He was proud of the job he did on her and went to bed happy. But as the days went by, he started liking his creation more and more, to the point where he couldn't keep his eyes off it and kept touching it. He began to fall in love with the statue; finally he went for it and kissed her and grabbed her boob.

Well, that made Pygmalion feel sort of stupid so he stood back from the statue in embarrassment. But as he stood there a little more, he realized that she had responded about as much as the last real woman he had dated, so he said the Greek equivalent of "What the fuck!", and climbed her frame. Afterward he became sort of worried that he might have gouged the ivory in his gusto, so he checked her out. She was just fine and here we all say, "Phew! Close one!".

As more time went by, Pygmalion began talking to it and dressing it up and buying it shit (see above), and eventually the statue ends up in bed with him. Now we've all been there, so I needn't elaborate. But he said to himself the Greek equivalent of, "Dude! She's a statue!" so he skipped down to the feast of Venus which was already in progress, murmured a quick and humble prayer to the goddess, then peeked between his fingers to see what had happened. Score! Apparently Venus thought Ivory Girl was pretty hot, too, so she made the fires go on and off, sort of like last call, to tell Pygmalion he got lucky.

Pygmalion scurried home and kissed the statue and grabbed her boob again. Woohoo! She's coming to life! He doesn't believe it at first so he keeps grabbing her boob, just like I would do, until finally she opens her eyes and lives. Woohoo! They leap into to bed and ten months later have a baby boy who grows up to be the classical equivalent of the Mayor of Cleveland.

So that is Ovid's tale of Pygmalion and the Statue, or at least it's the Hulles version. In passing, I should mention that the statue doesn't have a name in any classical telling of the tale; she picked up "Galatea" as a name in the 1700's probably.

As you may know, this story has been retold many times, notably by George Bernard Shaw in his play "Pygmalion," from which the movie "My Fair Lady" was made. I find it a powerful story, myself, and it has always been dear to my heart. I wanted to read Ovid in Latin but I never got around to it (and my Latin was never good enough, to be honest).

As familiar as I am with the story, however, I never realized until quite recently that there was an implied meaning to Ovid's "Pygmalion" that I had never grasped: that, in a very real sense, it was the statue that caused the sculptor to come to life. And that is why this post is the second in the Sarong saga.

- Hulles

Johannes Scotus Eriugena (c. 815 -877) was an Irish philosopher who, according to some, was "one of the most original thinkers of the entire Middle Ages." He was head of the Palace School in France at the invitation of King Charles the Bald. From William of Malmesbury via Wikipedia:

[King Charles] having asked, Quid distat inter sottum et Scottum? (What separates a sot (drunkard) from an Irishman?) Eriugena replied, Mensa tantum (Only a table).





Ah, those wacky Medieval philosophers. I love the above little anecdote and just had to share it. No wonder Eriugena was on the Irish £5 banknote from 1976 through 1993.

The reason I was reading about Johannes Scotus Eriugena was that I recalled from my college days that he was (apocryphally) stabbed to death by the pens of his students. Whose says philosophy isn't exciting? Today, I imagine he would be stoned to death by students' iPhones.

-- Hulles

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not so long ago I was on my way out of the dentist's office when I stopped to chat up the cute young receptionist. I complimented her on her nail polish, which was a lovely shade of black.

"Oh no," she exclaimed, "This color is not black, it is called Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees".

"Excuse me?"

"Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees."

She then informed me in so many words that I was an überNeanderthal and that fingernail polish colors had had fanciful names for at least, say, two years. Well, I suppose every woman knows that, but up to that moment I had been entirely ignorant of this development in fingernail polish onomastics. I confess that I mostly let my nails go naked. Of course this is true except for when, like all men, I paint my toenails in purple metalflake before concealing them with white gym socks with no elastic left in them and going to play basketball at the YMCA. "Our little secret," we men call it amongst ourselves. But lately those occasions have been few and far between, and I mostly get all the fingernail polish I need in my Christmas stocking, so I guess it makes sense that I didn't know about Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees. The name continues to haunt me however, thus this story:

"Schuss!" said Suzi to a shih tzu sitting on the steps as she sauntered out of the chalet. She giggled to herself at her little joke. It was only her second day in Andorra, a tiny country nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains, and she was already having the time of her life. She was 23, insouciant, blond, well-endowed, packing Platinum Visa, and had already slept with a Spanish person and a French person on this trip. She giggled again just for joy as she adjusted her pinkest ski outfit to better show off her figure and prepared to hit the resort's two-diamond.

"Schuss!" cried Suzi as she glid down the the slope. The sun was shining with an explosive brightness, and the snow crystals in her wake glittered like cubic zirconia as she sped back and forth down the mountain. She had not a care in the world, and she determined then and there that she would maintain that state for the entire duration of her vacation, come what may.

As she entered the chalet after a long day of skiing she was surprised to see that no one was at the front desk. She shrugged to herself, then continued down the hall to the après-ski lounge with the huge fireplace, in front of which she planned to seduce that dark-haired boy from New York she had met the previous day who smelled so very much like money. Just before she entered the lounge, however, she heard a man yelling something at the top of his lungs, so she stopped in her tracks. "The last thing I need on this vay-kay is to walk into a domestic," she thought. "That would totally kill my buzz on this beautiful day."

Suzi crept up to the door and peeked into the lounge. She was chagrined to see that the entire resort staff and all the guests save her were being held at gunpoint by a group of slovenly-dressed men who obviously had not showered in some time. "Hmmm," she said to herself, "Why are there Frenchmen here with guns? I must listen closely and find out."

One of the gunmen in the room was screaming into the telephone with a marked French accent. "I say again, stupid American, connect me to the head of your CNN Europe news bureau! I lose patience, and lives are at stake!"

After a short pause, Suzi heard the man begin to scream even more loudly and become apoplectic with rage. "I am to declare myself here Boris II, the sovereign prince of Andorra, and I and my gang of swarthy Lascars from former French colonies take control of this ski resort in the Pyrenees. We demand 20 million euros in ransom for these spoiled children of rich people who speak English!"

"Andorra! A-N-D-O-R-R-A, stupid American pig-dog! It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe and its population has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world! Now relay my demands to whoever is in charge of these things at once! You have one hour until we begin skimming the bodies of young American tourists down the luge run, clad only their underpants!"

With that the man slammed down the telephone and turned to glower at his cowering captives, his mustache quivering with rage.

"Holy shit!" said Suzi softly, looking at her Rolex Lady Oyster Perpetual watch. "I've only got one hour!" She turned on her heel and ran off to her room as quickly and quietly as she could.

Once in her room, Suzi snapped open all five of her Gucci suitcases and popped open the secret compartment in each of them. She gathered all the makeup that fell out of the first and hurried to the bathroom. She washed her lovely blond hair, then dyed it a jet black. "Fuck," she said to herself. "There goes Mr. Dark-Haired Meal Ticket. Oh well, as the evil French guy said, lives are at stake!" She then smoothed dead white makeup on her face and began to apply heavy mascara to her eyes. When that was accomplished, Suzi then painted her nails with fingernail polish the color of which, oddly enough, was "Black".

Once all was done in the bathroom, Suzi came back into the bedroom and began rummaging through another of the suitcases. At last she came up with a nose ring, a labret stud, two nipple rings, and a curved belly button barbell, all in platinum by Christian Dior. "These will have to do, since this is a rush job," she muttered to herself as she inserted each one into its proper orifice.

After bedecking herself with the jewelry, she emptied the remaining three suitcases onto the bed. Three sets of clothing in varying shades of black landed on the bedspread. "Gods," moaned Suzi. "Look at them! They're all wrinkled!" But she sucked it up and chose one outfit from among them. "The dark black will show the wrinkles less," she thought.

Suzi glanced at her Rolex after smacking it against the door frame to make sure it hadn't stopped. 55 minutes had elapsed since the Frenchman had made his threat! She sprinted from her room full-tilt to the door of the lounge, took a minute to compose herself, then sauntered nonchalantly into the room.

The man who called himself Boris II was chatting amiably with one of the female guests as he cocked his gun and prepared to shoot her. "Ho ho," he said. "I have asked for 20 million euros, and in this Andorra country it is tax-free! It should be enough to keep my children in wine for a long time, no?" He then chuckled evilly, as only the French can do.

Suddenly Boris II saw the newcomer in the room from the corner of his eye and started visibly. He turned and stared at her. "Zut alors!" he cried. "What is this then? An apparition? But I have killed no one yet! Soon perhaps, but not yet!"

"Zoot a lore yourself, nasty French person. I am no apparition, I am... Goth Girl!" said Suzi triumphantly, trying but failing miserably to sound completely bored. "Prepare to be foiled in your evil plans!"

Boris II blinked. "Hah! Who are you to stop me, eh? What will you do? Throw your silly lip thing at me?" He and his henchmen all chuckled evilly at that.

"You won't have such an easy time of it as that," said Suzi with a fake yawn. "Unless you immediately lay down your weapons, let these people go, then go take showers, I shall first aloof you, then I shall treat you with scathing indifference, then I shall overwhelm you by my morbid fascination with death!"

"Sacre bleu, my delicate French sensibilities cannot withstand such an onslaught!" said Boris II. "You win! We surrender! Lucky for us we are used to it!"

---

"Schuss!" cried Suzi jubilantly as she glid down the slopes of the Pyrenees the following day, newly re-blonded and followed closely by the Dark-Haired Meal Ticket. "Schuss!"

- Hulles

Monday, January 25, 2010

So. A beautiful Greek goddess thinly disguised as a Minnesotan just walked into my bar. Me being me (which is my excuse for everything), I walked up to her and said, "Hi, my name's Hulles. I want you to buy me a drink, come home with me and sex me down, then clean my bathroom."

She looked me up and down, smiled coyly, and said, "Pick one."

Just my luck! At least I got a drink out of the deal.

- Hulles

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not so long ago I gave someone very dear to me something that I will call, for lack of a better word that I am able to pronounce, a sarong. It is made of cotton (I think), has a dark blue and black pattern, wraps around her waist, and becomes her quite nicely. I suppose at this point I should explain that this person and I are just friends and I am totally not in love with her, even though she's beautiful, intelligent, witty, loving, funny, artistic, lithe, steamy hot, enjoys watching Lesbian porn, has eyes that one could fall into forever...what? Oh yeah, I was saying that we're just friends. At any rate, upon receiving my humble gift, this person – Sandy – said something like, “I love it! It's beautiful! I'll have to figure out a top to wear with it, though.” And I said, “Hey, no problemo, Toots. I'll make you a top.”

Well, I didn't really say “no problemo, Toots” because I don't talk like that, but I did say that I'd make her a top.

You'd think I would have learned better by now. Statements rashly uttered have gotten me into trouble before, things like “Sure, I'll help you move,” “Your jail house tat sucks,” and “Hey, want to get married?” But apparently I have yet to master the ability to think before I shoot my mouth off. Big surprise, right?

So I'm making Sandy a top. And I have no idea what I'm doing.

A day or two after my off-hand comment I realized that, not only was I actually going to go through with this project, but that I had some trepidation about it. Some trepidation? More like white-knuckle fear. I couldn't at first figure out what I was afraid of, until I realized that I was afraid I was going to like designing Sandy a top. “Hah!” said my friend Haley, of whom all the things I said about Sandy are true as well except possibly for enjoying Lesbian porn, have to ask her sometime, “Hah! What you're really afraid of is that, not only will you like it, but you'll be good at it.” And she was right, of course. Incidentally Haley recently became real, but that's probably another blog entry.

The very first issue that I had to confront was what to actually call this thing I was to create. My initial inclination was to call it a shirt, because that's the only form of apparel that guys wear above their waist and I'm pretty comfortable with the concept if not always the execution. But then I recalled that she's a girl (*sigh*), and it might actually be a blouse. Or a chemise. Or a peignoir, who knows? So I settled for calling it a “top,” because I am reasonably confident that it is not a “bottom”, and thus I felt ready to tackle the next hurdle, to mix sports metaphors.

What should it look like? My criteria were that the top be simple, elegant and make this lovely woman appear even more lovely. “Pfaugh! Easy! No problemo!” I said to myself. Well, once again I didn't really say “no problemo,” and I kind of struggled with pronouncing “pfaugh,” but you get the idea – I was confident to the point of cockiness of my ability to design a garment that a beautiful young lady could wear in the evening with a sarong. Until I actually tried to come up with a design. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Then it struck me: my entire experience with women's fashion to that point had consisted of picking up clothes off the bedroom floor after a night of heavy drinking and subsequently burning them.

Yet I know how my mind works, so I simply let it roil and percolate for a few days until it came up with a design that I liked. Then I revised it because it was too complex and it became two tops. “Gleep!” I said, and that one I actually was able to pronounce without too many problemos. “The project has already grown! Soon I'll be coming out with my own fashion line and have to pretend that I'm gay and buy over-priced real estate in Florida!” But I now had two designs in my head and thus I felt ready to hit the Internet and dive head-first into the rocky shoals of fashion design.

Let me tell you right away that there are not too many fashion design web sites that are meant for beer-swilling, football-watching, shit-kicking Iowa boys like yours truly, who secretly believe in their heart of hearts that women who look like Sandy (and Haley) should wear no clothes whatsoever. For starters, most – as in, all – of these web sites presuppose that you know something about fashion. What the fuck is a selvage (US) or selvedge (British)? Do I need one? Do I need two? What is damask? Organza? (Sort of like the sound of that one.) What in Calvin Klein's name is “Poly Double Georgette?” These sites could have been in Symbionese for all the sense they made to me.

“Okey dokey,” as Hannibal Lector might say, “time to limit my searches to that which I am pretty sure I will need – silk.” You see, my vision of Sandy's top (*sigh*) was to be realized in black silk. I even knew exactly what the fabric should look like and how I wanted it to feel. Finding it proved to be something of a challenge, however. Did you know that there are such things as “free-range silkworms”? I can only image the Japanese silkworm drovers on little ponies cracking their whips and cursing (in Japanese of course) as the Great Silkworm Drive begins; the plains themselves rumble with the susurration of thousands of wild silkworms being herded to the great silk factories of.... Yep. Free-range silkworms. Did you also know that some silk can be pinned and some can't? That some silk is suitable for linings and some for garments per se? That “watered silk” is pressed between rollers to impart a design to the fabric in a process called “calendaring”? Yeah, me neither.

But I persevere. I will keep you posted on my progress in these pages, to the point where I actually present my creations to Sandy. Speaking of which, I am a total gentleman and would never expect Sandy to fuck my wheels off in frank gratitude for the hours and hours I am spending on this project. I can get laid any time; or more precisely, I can get laid any time once I place my Onion Personals ad. If, however, Sandy feels that said wheels will continue to be an unsightly and crippling hindrance to me the rest of my life unless immediate action is taken, who am I to refuse? One must be gracious, after all.

- Hulles


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The last time I was able to sit down and chat with my mother, she told me the following little anecdote about my brother Tom, aka Leo:

When Leo was 7 or 8 years old he had a huge crush on a pretty little girl named Janine. Of course, being my brother, he was too shy to actually speak to her, so instead he lived with his 8-year-old fantasies while being snubbed from afar.

However, one day he came home from school extremely excited and said, "Mom, guess what! Janine talked to me today!"

"Really, what did you do?" Mom asked.

"Well, I didn't know what to do so I hit her."

Go Leo.

-- Hulles

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recently - as in minutes ago - I was reading an Onion article when I noticed at the bottom of the page a blurb for "the Onion Personals". "What the..." I said to myself. I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not, the Onion being what it is, so I followed the link. As it turned out, it seemed to be a real on-line dating (OLD, an acronym I'm not entirely comfortable with) service. "Hmmm..." I said to myself, still savoring the flavor of the last ellipsis in my mouth, "Perhaps I'll sign up. I've never done the OLD gig before, and if there was ever a publication with which to be associated for dating purposes it would be the Onion. Hey, maybe Alexis would still give me sex advice even though it's not Vita.MN!"

No sooner thought than commenced. I began to fill out the questionnaire for a new account and was immediately confronted with my first moral, ethical and spiritual quandary. Even at the time, I knew it would not be the last such quandary I would face before the process was finished. It was, as you might guess: Do I lie? After much head-scratching I decided, "Hell, yes!" although I promised myself that I would skirt the truth closely enough that you could at least see it from there. And I hadn't even gotten to the hard parts yet. The very first choice I had to make was a user name. "It shouldn't be your real name," the instructions cautioned. My inclination was to use "Hulles," even though that has become my real name for all intents and purposes the last few years. The argument against this was that I immediately imagined the cherished readers of this blog would glom onto my personal life like leeches onto my thigh that one time. But I used it anyway. Like I care.

So "Hulles" it would be. Next ME&S quandary: age. "I'll tell the truth here," I thought proudly. "Damn the tortillas, and all ahead flank." I also probably said "Aaargh!" to myself; I don't really recall. So I put in the month and day of my birth, but to my chagrin the drop-down box for the year only had years Anno Domini. So I approximated -- 1989. I did this even though I knew full well it would mean springing for the shit that old men use to "blend the gray in naturally", whatever the hell it's called. At least a bottle of it would last a long time.

Onward. The next question was "Occupation." Now, for most people this wouldn't be a hard question but it was for me, because actually I began hoping that women would respond to my personal ad, even if it was just a hint of condensation on a vinyl chair. In the end I chose "drummer." Perfect.

Now for the meat: I needed a catchy tag line for my ad. That one turned out to be not so tough -- I am the master of the catchphrase. I ended up with "I only played a stalker in the movies, honest!". "Fair enough," says I, "That ought to make 'em grab their iPhones® and start frantically typing in a reply with one finger while driving."

On to the description of me. "Oh, where to start!" I wailed, alarming the cat. "I have so much trouble talking about myself!" An understatement indeed, as faithful readers of this blog know quite well. Here is the shit up with which I came, thank you very much Winston Churchill:

First, I should tell you that I'm not really a drummer. I chose that occupation because it seemed to sum up my socio-economic status quite nicely in one word. I am, however, a writer, which might be even worse. I am completely inexperienced at on-line dating, but I know a lot about love. I have been in 8,234 long-term relationships, and in fact I have a dramatic and convincing testimonial on my FaceBook® Wall from my ex-wife that pretty much says it all. My friends tell me that I am the most heterosexual man they know when we're out at the '90s, and I suppose my enemies say the same thing. Yet I remain humble.

I enjoy going out for the occasional adult beverage when you can afford it, I am a former ex-smoker, and I use strong language when the situation warrants, like now when the 'e' key is sticking on my fucking keyboard, but other than that I have no flaws whatsoever and I expect the same of my date.

I am told I completely lack a sense of humor, but I am on a waiting list for a transplant at the U of M Hospital. Until then I read the Onion so I can fake it.

Finally, I should say that I really DID play a stalker in the movies, and I'll send you the links should it come to that. I look forward very much to meeting you.

"Not bad, albeit a bit pithy," I thought, "And it only took two hours to write!" So I reviewed my entry for spelling, grammar and punctuation (which in itself immediately set me apart from most ads) and hit the "SEND" button on the web page, which was labeled "page 2 of 2". This of course took me to page 3 of 2, which was (as you more experienced OLD people probably know already) the page where you decide what level of membership you want: Gold, which was stupefyingly expensive and only to be used by the most hopeless wretches, and Silver, which was merely expensive and means you show up after the hopeless wretches in searches. I looked in vain for a Bronze membership, which would be cheap, or even better a Tin membership which would be free. Alas, the Onion Personals deal only in precious metals. So I sat there in stunned disbelief for several minutes before finally hitting the GTFO icon in the corner of the screen. That was followed by language most foul, as I realized that I hadn't copied the description reproduced above, of which I was very proud. So I had to laboriously reconstruct it from an already feeble memory for this blog entry, and you're welcome, dammit.

So - a lesson painfully learned. In the aftermath of the tragedy, I concluded two things: first, that I had enough moral, ethical and spiritual quandaries raising two beautiful daughters in high school (them, not me) that I don't need more from a punk-ass dating service, and second, that the Twin Cities on-line dating scene will have to survive without me for a while longer, at least until I have some money.

But then again, if I have money I won't need a dating service.

-- Hulles