The thingie which makes the doorknob work jammed, so I was unable to open the door to get out. I was also unable to telephone for help, as I had left my phone in the living room. Frantic jiggling did nothing. My only options seemed to be to email for help or scream out the window.

But then I remembered that my emergency supplies, including a screwdriver, are in my bedroom. Granted I had assumed "emergency" to be something a little more far-reaching than "trapped in bedroom by jammed doorknob," but an emergency is an emergency. I unscrewed the plate, but that failed to free the knob. But I was able to manually push the lock thingie down, releasing myself. My landlord is fixing it now.
Yesterday I was buying groceries at Whole Foods... taking my time... careful not to spend too much. I had finished and was on the last aisle, about to go to check-out, when I was suddenly drenched in a torrent of liquid that fell from directly over my head.

My hair was wet, my arms were wet, my glasses and pants and shirt were spattered. I rubbed a little between my fingers. It was sticky. Before I could freak out, a woman standing beside me, who has also been splashed, said, "It's juice."

Indeed, the color suggested apricot or mango, though I didn't taste to find out... because the juice had no obvious source. There was no juice dripping from the ceiling, no broken glass or debris, no sounds of commotion, and we were not on the juice aisle.

Baffled, I wiped off my hands and glasses, and informed an employee. He seemed completely baffled, and directed me to customer service. I went there and repeated my story. It was the kind of story ("And then suddenly liquid fell from the sky!") which makes you feel like you're lying.

"Maybe it was water from the air-conditioning unit," one surmised.

"No..." I said. "It's juice."

"So you were in the juice aisle?"

"No... Look, I know how crazy this sounds," I said, "But I swear it happened! Look at me! I'm all wet!"

The customer service guys exchanged glances. "We believe you," they said. "And we'd like to get to the bottom of this too. Can you show us where it happened?"

I walked them to the area. Soon we saw a guy cleaning up a spill in the juice aisle.

"Ah-ha!" They exclaimed.

"Er... No," I said. "It's another aisle over."

We continued further, and found another guy cleaning up another spill. A juice spill.

"There it is!" I said. "And look!" I pointed upward. Juice was dripping down the opposite wall from the shelves closest to the juice aisle, from a height of twelve feet up.

It turned out that a bottle of juice had fallen in the juice aisle and hit at the exact angle to pop the top and make a geyser of juice shoot out, clear a ten foot wall of shelves, hit the opposite wall, and rain down on me.

Whole Foods gave a $25 gift card. I was pleased with the outcome, overall, though I had to wash my clothes and take a shower. Until I sliced open my index finger on a Whole Foods gift carded artichoke leaf.
Yesterday I was buying groceries at Whole Foods... taking my time... careful not to spend too much. I had finished and was on the last aisle, about to go to check-out, when I was suddenly drenched in a torrent of liquid that fell from directly over my head.

My hair was wet, my arms were wet, my glasses and pants and shirt were spattered. I rubbed a little between my fingers. It was sticky. Before I could freak out, a woman standing beside me, who has also been splashed, said, "It's juice."

Indeed, the color suggested apricot or mango, though I didn't taste to find out... because the juice had no obvious source. There was no juice dripping from the ceiling, no broken glass or debris, no sounds of commotion, and we were not on the juice aisle.

Baffled, I wiped off my hands and glasses, and informed an employee. He seemed completely baffled, and directed me to customer service. I went there and repeated my story. It was the kind of story ("And then suddenly liquid fell from the sky!") which makes you feel like you're lying.

"Maybe it was water from the air-conditioning unit," one surmised.

"No..." I said. "It's juice."

"So you were in the juice aisle?"

"No... Look, I know how crazy this sounds," I said, "But I swear it happened! Look at me! I'm all wet!"

The customer service guys exchanged glances. "We believe you," they said. "And we'd like to get to the bottom of this too. Can you show us where it happened?"

I walked them to the area. Soon we saw a guy cleaning up a spill in the juice aisle.

"Ah-ha!" They exclaimed.

"Er... No," I said. "It's another aisle over."

We continued further, and found another guy cleaning up another spill. A juice spill.

"There it is!" I said. "And look!" I pointed upward. Juice was dripping down the opposite wall from the shelves closest to the juice aisle, from a height of twelve feet up.

It turned out that a bottle of juice had fallen in the juice aisle and hit at the exact angle to pop the top and make a geyser of juice shoot out, clear a ten foot wall of shelves, hit the opposite wall, and rain down on me.

Whole Foods gave a $25 gift card. I was pleased with the outcome, overall, though I had to wash my clothes and take a shower. Until I sliced open my index finger on a Whole Foods gift carded artichoke leaf.
Yesterday I went to the Renaissance Faire for the first time, with my friend Halle (dressed spectacularly as a Crow Fairy), her ten-year-old son Max, and Max's ten-year-old friend Molly. It was fun!

I will skip the clothing descriptions, as Halle took photos and I will post them later. I got my picture taken with a guy in a vampire outfit consisting mostly of draped chains and platform Harajuku boots, who obligingly posed for a flirty photo. Later Max looked through her pictures and said, "Rachel, why were you hugging some guy who wasn't wearing underwear?"

We ate giant turkey legs and scones with strawberries and whipped cream. The kids bought gorgeous puppets -- a turtle and a hatching dragon for Max, and two mice for Molly. We petted snakes and lizards in a petting zoo, and saw a very young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth. So later, when we had a turtle race, I bet on the turtle of that name. But the turtle guy got confused and picked up the wrong one, and Molly's turtle Baby waddled over the finishing line before I could get the guy's attention and explain that I had no turtle in the race. I have a feeling that there will be many occasions when that moment will seem to sum up my life.

We got home fairly late, but when we went to drop off Molly, she noticed that while the lights were on, her parents' car wasn't in the driveway. I walked her to the door, still in my Ren Faire regalia, and peeked in. No one was visible. I knocked on the large carved wooden front door, which had both a doorknob and a big bronze plate with a large handle and one of those tab thingies that you push down while pulling on the handle to open the door.

I pushed down on the tab and pulled the handle just as someone inside pulled the door open. The handle, along with the tab and the big bronze plate they were both attached to, came smoothly off in my hand. I was left standing there, staring at a woman who, I suddenly realized, I had never met before, beside her daughter, with her door handle in my hand.

Torn between explaining why I had her door handle and explaining why I had her daughter, I stared at her, then said, "Hi!"

She stared incredulously at me. Halle, who had been in the car with Max, walked up to see what was going on. "Oh my God, Rachel!" she blurted out. "You destroyed the front door!"

"No, no!" I yelped. "I barely even touched it! It just came off in my hand!"

"It's loose," explained Molly. She took it out of my hand and fitted it back to the door. "Though it's never come off before. Good night!"

She closed the door. Halle, Max, and I practically fell to the driveway, laughing hysterically. But as I said, Molly and her family never met me before, so it should be difficult for them to send me a bill.
Yesterday I went to the Renaissance Faire for the first time, with my friend Halle (dressed spectacularly as a Crow Fairy), her ten-year-old son Max, and Max's ten-year-old friend Molly. It was fun!

I will skip the clothing descriptions, as Halle took photos and I will post them later. I got my picture taken with a guy in a vampire outfit consisting mostly of draped chains and platform Harajuku boots, who obligingly posed for a flirty photo. Later Max looked through her pictures and said, "Rachel, why were you hugging some guy who wasn't wearing underwear?"

We ate giant turkey legs and scones with strawberries and whipped cream. The kids bought gorgeous puppets -- a turtle and a hatching dragon for Max, and two mice for Molly. We petted snakes and lizards in a petting zoo, and saw a very young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth. So later, when we had a turtle race, I bet on the turtle of that name. But the turtle guy got confused and picked up the wrong one, and Molly's turtle Baby waddled over the finishing line before I could get the guy's attention and explain that I had no turtle in the race. I have a feeling that there will be many occasions when that moment will seem to sum up my life.

We got home fairly late, but when we went to drop off Molly, she noticed that while the lights were on, her parents' car wasn't in the driveway. I walked her to the door, still in my Ren Faire regalia, and peeked in. No one was visible. I knocked on the large carved wooden front door, which had both a doorknob and a big bronze plate with a large handle and one of those tab thingies that you push down while pulling on the handle to open the door.

I pushed down on the tab and pulled the handle just as someone inside pulled the door open. The handle, along with the tab and the big bronze plate they were both attached to, came smoothly off in my hand. I was left standing there, staring at a woman who, I suddenly realized, I had never met before, beside her daughter, with her door handle in my hand.

Torn between explaining why I had her door handle and explaining why I had her daughter, I stared at her, then said, "Hi!"

She stared incredulously at me. Halle, who had been in the car with Max, walked up to see what was going on. "Oh my God, Rachel!" she blurted out. "You destroyed the front door!"

"No, no!" I yelped. "I barely even touched it! It just came off in my hand!"

"It's loose," explained Molly. She took it out of my hand and fitted it back to the door. "Though it's never come off before. Good night!"

She closed the door. Halle, Max, and I practically fell to the driveway, laughing hysterically. But as I said, Molly and her family never met me before, so it should be difficult for them to send me a bill.
Yesterday I had what I believe was the very strangest moment of my whole entire life. As those of you who have read my memoir know, that is saying a lot.

It all began when we went to Asakusa in the hope of finding traditional Japanese handicrafts, or something like that. But when we exited the subway station, we were surprised to see huge crowds crowding along the road, with police keeping order. Clearly, a parade was about to begin.

I asked the police what was going on, but as has been my all-too-common experience lately, I knew enough Japanese to ask the question, but not enough to understand the answer. I tried asking, "Is it a festival?" The word I used for festival, "matsuri" does mean literally that, but generally means "Traditional Japanese festival," like the one where they parade a giant wooden penis down the streets, or the one which the guidebook mentioned without explanation as "the bean-throwing festival."

"Yes, a matsuri," replied the cop.

"Which matsuri?" I asked.

The cop said what I thought was "sanban"-- "number three." "The third festival?" I repeated bewilderedly.

Stephanie rescued me. "Samba," she explained.

Indeed, we were just in time for the Japanese samba festival!

And that wasn't even the strange part )
Yesterday I had what I believe was the very strangest moment of my whole entire life. As those of you who have read my memoir know, that is saying a lot.

It all began when we went to Asakusa in the hope of finding traditional Japanese handicrafts, or something like that. But when we exited the subway station, we were surprised to see huge crowds crowding along the road, with police keeping order. Clearly, a parade was about to begin.

I asked the police what was going on, but as has been my all-too-common experience lately, I knew enough Japanese to ask the question, but not enough to understand the answer. I tried asking, "Is it a festival?" The word I used for festival, "matsuri" does mean literally that, but generally means "Traditional Japanese festival," like the one where they parade a giant wooden penis down the streets, or the one which the guidebook mentioned without explanation as "the bean-throwing festival."

"Yes, a matsuri," replied the cop.

"Which matsuri?" I asked.

The cop said what I thought was "sanban"-- "number three." "The third festival?" I repeated bewilderedly.

Stephanie rescued me. "Samba," she explained.

Indeed, we were just in time for the Japanese samba festival!

And that wasn't even the strange part )
In retrospect, there is something odd about OK Cupid. The only man I ever corresponded with at length, but never met because his emails gave me the impression that he would show up for the first date with a single red rose and begin discussing "our relationship" as it had progressed via email, later dated my very good friend Mehera, who also met him via OK Cupid. He showed up for their first date with a single red rose, and began discussing their relationship as it had progressed via email.

Also through OK Cupid, Mehera briefly dated a guy whom I had dated in grad school.

Will, the divorce lawyer, was indeed quite cute and intelligent, although it quickly became apparent that we moved in very different circles. For instance, he had never heard that there was a genre called "fantasy," and was quite confused when I described a book as such. "Isn't that like saying that it's in the genre 'plot?'" he asked. "I mean, all books that aren't true are fantasy, right?"

No, he was not kidding. It was quite difficult to explain that from the ground up, as it were. "Well, you know how Spiderman has these special powers? And in real life, people don't really have them, but it's still set more or less in the real world? OK, that's fantasy. Well, technically, it's science fiction, because they have a scientific explanation... I mean, it's not real science, but they call it science, not magic. If it was called magic, that would be fantasy."

Anyway, I did have an enjoyable evening, and like I said he was quite cute, though I was not feeling any particular mad urges to pounce and kiss. But perhaps that could develop, I thought. I'd be willing to try it out, anyway. But as I suspected the lack of mad urges was possibly mutual, I decided to wait and see what he did at the end of the date. Which was a two-second hug and pat on shoulder. And I suspect that's the last I've heard from Will the divorce lawyer.

But while we were in a bar in Silverlake, I mentioned that I had recently been the foreperson on a jury trial.

"As a lawyer," I said, "If the defendant goes by two names, shouldn't you establish that right away? We spent two whole days thinking that Jesse Lopez and Socorro Lopez were two diff--"

"Wait," said Will. "You're not making up those names, right? Socorro aka Jesse Lopez? What was the trial about?"

"He was running a chop shop," I said. "Out of a tow yard."

"Not Classic Tow?"

"Yeah! Did you hear about it?"

"I'm suing him!" said Will. "On my own behalf-- the only time I've ever done that. He illegally towed my car, then he held it hostage and extorted $350 dollars to get it back! So he was running a chop shop too? Good God! That must be the most evil towing company ever!"

I said, "This is the most bizarre coincidence ever."

I wonder, if I ever get on OK Cupid again, if I'll end up dating some long-lost childhood friend, or the assistant of some agent who once rejected my book.
In retrospect, there is something odd about OK Cupid. The only man I ever corresponded with at length, but never met because his emails gave me the impression that he would show up for the first date with a single red rose and begin discussing "our relationship" as it had progressed via email, later dated my very good friend Mehera, who also met him via OK Cupid. He showed up for their first date with a single red rose, and began discussing their relationship as it had progressed via email.

Also through OK Cupid, Mehera briefly dated a guy whom I had dated in grad school.

Will, the divorce lawyer, was indeed quite cute and intelligent, although it quickly became apparent that we moved in very different circles. For instance, he had never heard that there was a genre called "fantasy," and was quite confused when I described a book as such. "Isn't that like saying that it's in the genre 'plot?'" he asked. "I mean, all books that aren't true are fantasy, right?"

No, he was not kidding. It was quite difficult to explain that from the ground up, as it were. "Well, you know how Spiderman has these special powers? And in real life, people don't really have them, but it's still set more or less in the real world? OK, that's fantasy. Well, technically, it's science fiction, because they have a scientific explanation... I mean, it's not real science, but they call it science, not magic. If it was called magic, that would be fantasy."

Anyway, I did have an enjoyable evening, and like I said he was quite cute, though I was not feeling any particular mad urges to pounce and kiss. But perhaps that could develop, I thought. I'd be willing to try it out, anyway. But as I suspected the lack of mad urges was possibly mutual, I decided to wait and see what he did at the end of the date. Which was a two-second hug and pat on shoulder. And I suspect that's the last I've heard from Will the divorce lawyer.

But while we were in a bar in Silverlake, I mentioned that I had recently been the foreperson on a jury trial.

"As a lawyer," I said, "If the defendant goes by two names, shouldn't you establish that right away? We spent two whole days thinking that Jesse Lopez and Socorro Lopez were two diff--"

"Wait," said Will. "You're not making up those names, right? Socorro aka Jesse Lopez? What was the trial about?"

"He was running a chop shop," I said. "Out of a tow yard."

"Not Classic Tow?"

"Yeah! Did you hear about it?"

"I'm suing him!" said Will. "On my own behalf-- the only time I've ever done that. He illegally towed my car, then he held it hostage and extorted $350 dollars to get it back! So he was running a chop shop too? Good God! That must be the most evil towing company ever!"

I said, "This is the most bizarre coincidence ever."

I wonder, if I ever get on OK Cupid again, if I'll end up dating some long-lost childhood friend, or the assistant of some agent who once rejected my book.
This weekend Oyce and I were eating lunch at the Ferry Building, overlooking the bay, when we began perusing the discount book rack that was outside the bookshop, on the pavement next to us. It was an odd mix of pretty good YA (like Nancy Werlin and Paul Fleischman), decent-looking gay lit, and horrible self-help books, like Healing the Amazon Wound and Cry of the Soul-Daughter.

And then there was God is Gay.

It was a slim, yellow, self-published paperback. The back cover quotes (which we decided were sock-puppets) were decidedly strange:

Ah, it is marvellous... I read and read and then ponder over it.
--Dr. K. D. Chauhan
Jagdishnagar Society
North Gujarat, India

I just read your book and I felt 'happiness creeping over me.'
G. Rommersheim
Munich, West Germany

['Happiness creeping over me' turned out to be a quote from GiG; the narrator, Bob, feels that sensation when he talks to his soon-to-be cult leader, Daniel.]

The chapters are all headed with peculiar drawings reminiscent of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, but with more animals, some with faceted eyes and all a disturbing cross between cute and evil, like the subliminal octopus in Serenity.

It's the swinging 70s. Bob, along with God, is gay. He lives in San Francisco with his lover, Steve. Then Bob meets Daniel, who is obviously a crazy cult leader. Only Bob doesn't think so. GiG is a love letter to Daniel, Daniel's superb musculature and gentle smile, and Daniel's whack-job philosophy, which consists of crazed nattering about androids and mouseries and "the sound of hearing, the music of the spheres," not to mention "the sight of seeing, the vision of the third eye." (No, there is no scent of smelling. Alas.) Daniel points out that Asia and Asians are spiritually superior to non-Asians. (A concept which, in addition to creating many awkward encounters between obtuse Westerners and unfortunate Asians, ruined my childhood.

Bob is overwhelmed by Daniel and his circle: A very handsome, muscular man let us in. As I was introduced to him, any doubts about his gayness were resolved when he cruised me. Plus, there is gay boxing (normal boxing, gay boxers), and Daniel takes Bob out for a banana split.

But Steve, whom Bob describes in phrases like an ugly sneer crossed Steve's face, cannot appreciate the wonder that is Daniel. In fact, he accuses Daniel of being a cult leader. But Bob finally drags Steve to a meeting, where Daniel goes on for pages and pages of gibberish, including Isn't it obvious that male gays are men, with the understanding of women; who understand instinctively that war, violence, and hatred are wrong. Bob is sure this will make Steve see the light. But Steve takes Bob aside and tells him that Daniel reminds him of Charles Manson.

Horrified, Bob runs to Daniel and says, "You won't believe what Steve said about you!"

Daniel says, "Did he say I reminded him of Charles Manson?"

Since Daniel wasn't there, this convinces Bob that Daniel is clairvoyant and telepathic, because there is no other way Daniel could have known Steve said that. It does not occur to Bob that perhaps Daniel often reminds people of Charles Manson.

Needless to say, Bob dumps Steve and runs away with the perfect and telepathic Daniel. That was the point when we noticed that the book was coauthored by Ezekiel (who presumabably used to be known as Bob) and... Daniel!

There is a clearly fictional chapter in which Steve later apologizes for not being wise or brave enough to embrace Daniel. Oyce and I think that Steve is now happily working for Google, and he and his handsome live-in lover sometimes do dramatic readings from GiG at dinner parties.

Having finished Gig, we then picked up a novel by bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind, and opened it to a six-page scene in which the heroine is menaced by... an evil chicken.

No, this is not played for laughs. There are more excerpts at fandom wank if you don't believe me.

The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn't. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People's chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest.

She is terrified! For six pages! This is the heroine-- scared of a chicken.

Kahlan frantically tried to think as the chicken bawk-bawk-bawked.

In the dark, the chicken thing let out a low chicken cackle laugh.


In between being terrorized, Kahlan remembers her perfect boyfriend, Richard. Brilliant, strong, probably omnipotent, Richard comes across as a cross between Daniel and Diego. Did I mention that he is wise, too?

Richard had been adamant about everyone being courteous to chickens.
This weekend Oyce and I were eating lunch at the Ferry Building, overlooking the bay, when we began perusing the discount book rack that was outside the bookshop, on the pavement next to us. It was an odd mix of pretty good YA (like Nancy Werlin and Paul Fleischman), decent-looking gay lit, and horrible self-help books, like Healing the Amazon Wound and Cry of the Soul-Daughter.

And then there was God is Gay.

It was a slim, yellow, self-published paperback. The back cover quotes (which we decided were sock-puppets) were decidedly strange:

Ah, it is marvellous... I read and read and then ponder over it.
--Dr. K. D. Chauhan
Jagdishnagar Society
North Gujarat, India

I just read your book and I felt 'happiness creeping over me.'
G. Rommersheim
Munich, West Germany

['Happiness creeping over me' turned out to be a quote from GiG; the narrator, Bob, feels that sensation when he talks to his soon-to-be cult leader, Daniel.]

The chapters are all headed with peculiar drawings reminiscent of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, but with more animals, some with faceted eyes and all a disturbing cross between cute and evil, like the subliminal octopus in Serenity.

It's the swinging 70s. Bob, along with God, is gay. He lives in San Francisco with his lover, Steve. Then Bob meets Daniel, who is obviously a crazy cult leader. Only Bob doesn't think so. GiG is a love letter to Daniel, Daniel's superb musculature and gentle smile, and Daniel's whack-job philosophy, which consists of crazed nattering about androids and mouseries and "the sound of hearing, the music of the spheres," not to mention "the sight of seeing, the vision of the third eye." (No, there is no scent of smelling. Alas.) Daniel points out that Asia and Asians are spiritually superior to non-Asians. (A concept which, in addition to creating many awkward encounters between obtuse Westerners and unfortunate Asians, ruined my childhood.

Bob is overwhelmed by Daniel and his circle: A very handsome, muscular man let us in. As I was introduced to him, any doubts about his gayness were resolved when he cruised me. Plus, there is gay boxing (normal boxing, gay boxers), and Daniel takes Bob out for a banana split.

But Steve, whom Bob describes in phrases like an ugly sneer crossed Steve's face, cannot appreciate the wonder that is Daniel. In fact, he accuses Daniel of being a cult leader. But Bob finally drags Steve to a meeting, where Daniel goes on for pages and pages of gibberish, including Isn't it obvious that male gays are men, with the understanding of women; who understand instinctively that war, violence, and hatred are wrong. Bob is sure this will make Steve see the light. But Steve takes Bob aside and tells him that Daniel reminds him of Charles Manson.

Horrified, Bob runs to Daniel and says, "You won't believe what Steve said about you!"

Daniel says, "Did he say I reminded him of Charles Manson?"

Since Daniel wasn't there, this convinces Bob that Daniel is clairvoyant and telepathic, because there is no other way Daniel could have known Steve said that. It does not occur to Bob that perhaps Daniel often reminds people of Charles Manson.

Needless to say, Bob dumps Steve and runs away with the perfect and telepathic Daniel. That was the point when we noticed that the book was coauthored by Ezekiel (who presumabably used to be known as Bob) and... Daniel!

There is a clearly fictional chapter in which Steve later apologizes for not being wise or brave enough to embrace Daniel. Oyce and I think that Steve is now happily working for Google, and he and his handsome live-in lover sometimes do dramatic readings from GiG at dinner parties.

Having finished Gig, we then picked up a novel by bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind, and opened it to a six-page scene in which the heroine is menaced by... an evil chicken.

No, this is not played for laughs. There are more excerpts at fandom wank if you don't believe me.

The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn't. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People's chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest.

She is terrified! For six pages! This is the heroine-- scared of a chicken.

Kahlan frantically tried to think as the chicken bawk-bawk-bawked.

In the dark, the chicken thing let out a low chicken cackle laugh.


In between being terrorized, Kahlan remembers her perfect boyfriend, Richard. Brilliant, strong, probably omnipotent, Richard comes across as a cross between Daniel and Diego. Did I mention that he is wise, too?

Richard had been adamant about everyone being courteous to chickens.
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2005 08:38 am)
Yet another comment that I wrote in someone else's journal ([livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks's) which I'm reprinting here so I can have all my stories in one place:

My father and I once decided to attend a film festival in our hometown of Santa Barbara. Since we both loved film noir and gangster movies and we'd seen Reservoir Dogs three times, it was an easy decision to choose one described as "Small-time crooks turn on each other after a drug deal goes wrong."

The movies were screened in theatres that still had the marquee up for whatever was normally playing, and Dad and I both averted our eyes in embarassment from the regular headliner, Booty Call.

The drug deal film was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Not only did the plot make no sense-- at the end, when everyone's true identities had been revealed, careful consideration revealed that the chief drug dealer's big deal, around which the entire plot had revolved, had been to sell a hundred grand worth of heroin to himself-- but about halfway through the movie, when all the characters had been holed up in a cabin in the middle of the desert waiting interminably for the drugs to arrive, one of them suddenly said, "Hey, let's get some hookers!"

They picked up the phone and ordered in several hookers. And then, as I sat beside my father, both of us slowly sinking lower and lower into our seats, the hookers and the drug dealers proceeded to enact an incredibly graphic orgy complete with full frontal nudity. It lasted about twenty minutes, which in film time feels like about an hour and if you're sitting next to your father, feels like a weekend vacation in Hell. At times they orgied in slow motion. Just when it looked like it was all over, a third hooker arrived ("It's our friend Kristy! Hi, Kristy!), did a strip-tease, and joined the action. Then the hookers got dressed, the drug dealers paid them and said, "Thanks and good-bye!" and the plot proceeded along its deeply stupid course. Needless to say, there turned out to be no plot-related reason for the 20-minute orgy scene.

When the lights finally, blessedly came up and Dad and I slunk out of the theatre, he stopped below the marquee. "Look at that," he said. "I guess we went into the wrong theatre, because I'm pretty sure we just saw Booty Call."
Several people have inquired about this icon. Here is the origin story for "naked and dripping wet."

When I was in grad school, I had a job interview at 7:30 am. I am not a morning person. I mean, I am really not a morning person. So when, having woken up that morning at 6:30 and found that my nice burgundy pants that I meant to wear to the interview were still not dry from having been washed the night before, I decided that it would be a really good idea to dry them as I showered by draping them over my tall halogen lamp.

Just as I began to shampoo my hair, the fire alarm went off. I dashed into the living room, and found that my pants, still draped atop the lamp, had burst into flames. I yanked them off the lamp, and they came apart into three flaming pieces, one of which remained in my hands but the other two of which flew off in opposite directions and set my carpet on fire in two places. I hurled the piece I was wearing into the kitchen sink, turned on the faucet, grabbed the second piece, which was by the front door, and hurled it into the hallway, where it set the hall carpet on fire and made the fire alarms for the entire building go off.

I ran into the bathroom, grabbed a totally inadequate towel to attempt to cover my nakedness, retrieved the third flaming pant piece from the carpet, flung it into the sink, dumped water over the carpet fires, went into the now smoke-filled hallway, grabbed the still flaming last pant piece, and hurled it onto the fire escape. People kept opening their doors, then closing them. I got more water, put out the hall fire, then went to the fire escape where the pants were still burning, but had not set the fire escape on fire because that was metal. Then I put the last flaming pant piece out.

I didn't get the job.

When I was later telling my grad class about the incident, one of my classmates interrupted to say, with a lascivious look in his eye, "So the whole time, you were naked and dripping wet?"

"Pretty much," I said.

The postscript to this story is that the apartment manager fled to Mexico along with his family and everyone's files seven hours before the cops busted in his apartment for selling crack out of his apartment. Consequently, I told the new management team that my burned carpet had been like that when I moved in, and that marked the only time I've ever gotten my security deposit back, although it was also the only time I've ever damaged an apartment I rented.

I have other tales of disasters that occurred while I was naked and dripping wet, but I have to get to work now. They all happened pre-morning coffee.
The other night I went to Shabbat dinner at a friend's place, and two of the guests were the couple who had set me up with the infamous Jake. So I had to explain what had gone down with Jake. Figuring I might as well tell the truth but at least attempt to be tactful, I explained that we had nothing in common, that he spent the entire time discussing boats, and then there was that whole squish thing.

"Jake is a bit of a daredevil," remarked Jake's Friend # 1. "He's broken more bones than anyone I've ever known. Last year he broke his face-- got hit by a spinnaker."

"What's that?" I asked.

"A boat part," she said. "But you know, he's a great guy. So enterprising. Just the other day, he was telling me about his plan to start an aromatherapy yogic workshop."
The other night I went to Shabbat dinner at a friend's place, and two of the guests were the couple who had set me up with the infamous Jake. So I had to explain what had gone down with Jake. Figuring I might as well tell the truth but at least attempt to be tactful, I explained that we had nothing in common, that he spent the entire time discussing boats, and then there was that whole squish thing.

"Jake is a bit of a daredevil," remarked Jake's Friend # 1. "He's broken more bones than anyone I've ever known. Last year he broke his face-- got hit by a spinnaker."

"What's that?" I asked.

"A boat part," she said. "But you know, he's a great guy. So enterprising. Just the other day, he was telling me about his plan to start an aromatherapy yogic workshop."
First off, what I initially wrote was perfectly true: Jake seemed like a nice guy, I had a reasonably enjoyable evening, and it really was the least painful first date I've ever been on. (Ten minutes into a typical first date, I realize that loathe and detest the person sitting across from me.)

So I wasn't going to post about what really happened, just in case I did end up going out with him again and it turned out that the peculiarities of the first date were a total fluke and he was actually the man of my dreams. But even a few days worth of the passage of time wears away the first blush of "He didn't seem like a bedwetter, pathological liar, or Rush Limbaugh fan! Yay!" Also, I obtained some information which threw an even harsher light on a certain memorable moment.

So here, cut for length but trust me, you really want to read this one-- here is the true story of my date with Jake. the True Story of my Date with Jake )
First off, what I initially wrote was perfectly true: Jake seemed like a nice guy, I had a reasonably enjoyable evening, and it really was the least painful first date I've ever been on. (Ten minutes into a typical first date, I realize that loathe and detest the person sitting across from me.)

So I wasn't going to post about what really happened, just in case I did end up going out with him again and it turned out that the peculiarities of the first date were a total fluke and he was actually the man of my dreams. But even a few days worth of the passage of time wears away the first blush of "He didn't seem like a bedwetter, pathological liar, or Rush Limbaugh fan! Yay!" Also, I obtained some information which threw an even harsher light on a certain memorable moment.

So here, cut for length but trust me, you really want to read this one-- here is the true story of my date with Jake. the True Story of my Date with Jake )
The one with the liver-eating guy who could squeeze into your house through the vents?

This morning while I was in the shower, a movement caught my eye. I glanced at the windowsill, no more than three inches from my shoulder.

A TENTACLE was squeezing through the tiny crack between the closed window and the wall. A boneless red thing with a hideous blind snout, pulsating and writhing and pushing itself through.

At first I thought it was a centipede, but as I stood, frozen in horror, watching it invade my home, I saw that it was an earthworm. (More than four feet up from the ground!) When the whole thing emerged, I swept it into a box and dumped it in the garden.

I got dressed first.
The one with the liver-eating guy who could squeeze into your house through the vents?

This morning while I was in the shower, a movement caught my eye. I glanced at the windowsill, no more than three inches from my shoulder.

A TENTACLE was squeezing through the tiny crack between the closed window and the wall. A boneless red thing with a hideous blind snout, pulsating and writhing and pushing itself through.

At first I thought it was a centipede, but as I stood, frozen in horror, watching it invade my home, I saw that it was an earthworm. (More than four feet up from the ground!) When the whole thing emerged, I swept it into a box and dumped it in the garden.

I got dressed first.
.

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