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 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 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