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.