stripedtiger

The Last Stand of Suicide Pussy

It was an unseasonably warm night in early January the first time Suicide Pussy and I crossed paths. It had been a long night at Denim Hell and I was very nearly home when a block from my house a grey tabby cat jumped out in front of my jeep and darted across the road in front of me.

“Stupid damn cat,” I said to myself through a yawn, already enjoying the thought of my nightly glass of cheap Sangria with the customary Ambien chaser. “Gonna get itself killed…”

And that was the last I thought about the cat until two nights later when, in the exact same spot, the same grey tabby ran directly out in front of my jeep and crossed the road just as I was again coming home from work.

At the time, I chalked it up to Déjà vu and exhaustion. Exhaustion because I was on the tail end of a few weeks of overtime and Déjà vu because sometimes, just sometimes, cheap sangria and ambien will f*ck a bitch up.

Don’t judge.  At the time I was dating the Spaniard and sangria was my attempt at breaching the cultural walls between us and showing my respect for his culture.

With alcohol…

And so a few nights later on my evening drive back to the little mortgage on the Prairie I thought about the cat with the death wish and wondered if I’d just imagined the whole thing.

“If I see it again I’ll know,” I thought to myself. “I’ll know I took the blue pill and there’s a glitch in the Matrix.”

The grey tabby did not run out in front of my jeep that night.

The grey tabby was sitting dead center in the middle of the road blocking the street.

“Is it dead?” I thought tiredly. “Is it hurt?” I stopped the jeep 20 feet in front of the cat and looked for signs of life. The cat’s eyes glowed in the headlights as if to say, “Bitch. I was here first” and then slowly…leisurely…walked over to the side of the road before turning around to look at me and hiss.

Suicide Pussy was serving me face.

The next day I saw my next door neighbor and while catching up on gossip, I asked her if she’d ever noticed a grey tabby cat a block over.

“I almost hit one the other day,” Pansy said in her best Mrs. Kravitz realness. “Stupid thing ran right out in front of my car as I drove by.”

“About 40 yards from the corner by the El Camino that’s been sitting on the street forever and ever?”

“Yes! It was exactly there. It’s not dead is it?” she asked with big, round eyes.

“Not yet.”

“Too bad,” she said quietly. “I hate cats.”

Later that afternoon, on my way to the store, the grey tabby ran out in front of the car driving directly in front of me in the exact same spot it always used to ambush passing vehicles. Luckily, I was watching for it out of curiosity so I didn’t rear end the car in front of me as it screeched to a quick braking stop to keep from killing the wee beastie.

And thus, Suicide Pussy was named.

Weeks went by and again and again, Suicide Pussy would run out in front of my jeep as I went by. And it wasn’t just me. Just as some dogs chase cars, Suicide Pussy would run out in front of just about any car driving down the block. Half hearted attempts to catch the cat were made by the neighboring villagers that comprise my own personal hood but Suicide Pussy proved to be a wily and unpredictable soul. She was not thin like a feral cat and with the windows of the jeep down I could hear her tags jingle as she’d dart in front of oncoming traffic. I’m sure she had a home. It’s just no one seemed to know where Suicide Pussy called home.

I was intrigued. Partially because things were going downhill with the Spaniard and I desperately needed distraction but also because I wanted to be the one in the neighborhood who’d solved the mystery of Suicide Pussy. Surely wealth and accolades would forever follow the neighbor who saved the cat from its own dark tendencies…

I began keeping a can of Fancy Feast in the jeep at all times.

Just in case.

After several weeks, Suicide Pussy disappeared during one of the few cold snaps of the winter and everyone assumed nature had taken its course and the tabby was gone forever. No body was ever found but she was a small thing and it wasn’t hard to imagine her plastered spread eagled and flat, Garfield style, on the front grill of a garbage truck; triumphant in kitty heaven that it had finally found the right four wheeled bullet with bad brakes to end its misery.

Life went on.

Three weeks ago, out of the blue, Suicide Pussy returned. While driving home from my usual night in Denim Hell, I came across Suicide Pussy sitting once again in the middle of the road at 2:15am looking mightily bothered by my approaching headlights. On this particular night, I was less weary than others and was so excited to see her that I pulled the jeep over to the curb to see what she’d do.

She just sat there looking. Looking at me. Looking like she expected a toll.

And there, in my glove box, was my can of Fancy Feast.

Open can in hand I got out of the jeep and made the universal “Here Kitty-Kitty” sounds that humans have used to try to lure felines since ancient Egypt. Suicide Kitty was having none of it. At least, not until she smelled the Fancy Feast with Cheddar! Bites. With an air of disdain, the tabby strolled over to me, rubbed against my leg, and howled loudly demanding the food. Slowly as not to spook her, I kneeled down in the 2am darkness of my neighborhood and acquiesced. Slowly and leisurely, Suicide Pussy began to nibble on the canned food there under the lights of the street lamp. And while she was distracted by the food, I had a second to check her name tag. In the darkness and headlights of the jeep, the inscription might have said Kat but to my late night eyes it looked like it said Kurt.

“Like Cobain?” I thought out loud. “Seriously?”

Kurt’s ears suddenly shot up, his whole body tensed, and leaped away from me crossing the street in a flash. I thought I’d spooked him but I was wrong. A car came down the street and Suicide Pussy had run out in front of the oncoming vehicle with his usual lust for death.

The car didn’t slow down or even flash its brake lights so it probably never saw the tabby as it ran out in front of it but it missed the cat by a mile. Suicide Pussy stopped on the opposite curb, looked at me for a second, and walked off into the night.

I left the can of Fancy Feast. I felt he deserved it.

This story does not have a happy ending.

Suicide Pussy finally got his heartfelt wish of a speeding driver with bad brakes this week. No one knows who finally did the deed or if they know no one is talking. And of the two neighbors I’ve spoken with, no one seems sad. Suicide Pussy just finally got what he wanted and in an odd way it just feels right. I saw the body Friday morning on the side of the road near his favorite crossing spot and when I went by a few hours later it was gone. Images of Kurt’s family fitting him for a shoe box coffin to be buried in the back yard circled through my mind the rest of the day.

Unless…

Unless Suicide Pussy is just messing with us all. Perhaps Suicide Pussy had just grown tired of his game and decided to freak everyone the hell out by laying on the side of the road and playing dead. I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. It seems like exactly the kind of thing he’d do.

I didn’t stop to check the body for a pulse. I was out of Fancy Feast.

stripedtiger

Postal

I blame today’s post on cincycub. Last night he sent me messages of guilt and shame stating that his Friday would be ruined if I didn’t finish this story by morning. I totally blame him for coercing me into not only writing this incredibly long post but also publishing it for public consumption and now you should blame him too…

This post is outside my usual comfort zone of stories. It doesn’t include food, dieting angst, Evil Friend Jack, or comments about Christian Women’s shoes. In fact, in the entire length of the story, I only say “Yes ma’am,” “Thank you ma’am,” and “No ma’am.” At no time do I try to be clever or witty or even raise my voice.

I know. Believe it or not…

A few folks have told me that I seem to lead an interesting life. Honest to God I don’t. I’m as boring as white toast and whole milk. I’m an introvert in an extrovert’s society and it’s damned uncomfortable at times. What I do manage to do, however, is people watch. I’m unusually consistent in my people watching habits and ordinary things that some people would just write off as odd I find pleasure in recording and giving the moment a bit of life and attention for posterity. Things at the grocery store, Walmart, and coffee shops amuse the hell out of me. If bet if you stopped to think about it, you’d realize you see odd and twisted little vignettes like this one every single day you leave the house and interact with the world around you. I just tend to write them down. I guess I should be glad I lead such a boring life because Lord only knows I’d get carpal tunnel typing out the stories if something REALLY interesting happened to me one day…

God. I’m shutting up now. Even the friggin’ intro is getting long…

Without further ado…

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stripedtiger

Nice

Last Thursday, one week after the departure of Joe and Jeff to the big city of Chicago, it dawned on me that I had not eaten at a restaurant for one solid week. No fast food. No sit down diners. No deli’s or specialty shops. Not once in over seven days had someone brought food to where I was anxiously sitting, napkin in hand, and then expected a tip at the end of the meal. For seven consecutive 24 hour periods I’d successfully foraged the grocery aisles and dark passages of my kitchen and survived solely on my own culinary skills and tastes using raw materials procured by the epicurean firm of me, myself, and I.

Yeah. I was shocked too…

Understandably shaken and bruised from having such an abrupt 180 degree shift in my world view forced upon me, I fell to my knees and crawled to my dining room desk drawer like a weeping child until I came upon my collection of take out menu’s. Their cheerful colors and easy to differentiate menu selections brought tears of joy to my eyes and I reveled in the choices of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Finding solace in the diversity of flavors and price ranges, I chose to start simply so as not to overtax my out of practice Ordering Gene. Since I was still trying to live la vida low carb at the time, I pulled on a fall jacket, palmed my car keys, jumped into the jeep and headed out to my favorite sub shop in town to get myself a big honking salad with plenty of fried meat vittles strewn haphazardly thru intimidated pieces of lettuce and other assorted foliage.

A quick journey through the streets of Columbus brought me to the designated eatery where I was delighted to find only one SUV in the parking lot which promised a short wait for my dinner selection du jour. Walking past the gas guzzling Enviro-nator, I couldn’t help but notice the assortment of right wing propaganda stickers adorning it’s 60 thousand dollar bumper. “I drive for LIFE.” “It’s called the RIGHT wing for a reason.” “Soccer Moms for FAMILIES.” And of course, the ever coveted, “W” sticker.

My Spider-Sense began to tingle.

Strolling aimlessly up to the counter of the nearly deserted restaurant, I got in line behind a big boned visage of a gal talking earnestly to the two cashiers at the register. My usual counter girl Shantelle, (yes that’s her name), was standing a few feet away by the grill bobbing and weaving in place and looking a bit on the edge. Far too intent on my own dinner selections, I paid no attention to the conversation. A fourth employee popped up behind the counter and beckoned me over to another spot ten feet away where she took my order with a notepad and paper. I must have given her a questioning look because she said in a small voice, “This will be faster. Trust me.” Having no reason not to trust the waif of a cracker lass, I chose to do just that and returned to the register line to pay.

The big boned gal was still discussing something with the register jockeys when I got back in line only now she was punctuating each sentence with a foot stomp. Her wooden clog sandals were secured firmly to her feet with some sort of thin spaghetti strap device that encircled her calves in a way that caused them to cut into her post baby ankles with every irritated stomp. (And they were hot pink with sparkles, I kid you not.)

“I’ve been eating here for years and this is the treatment I get? Nice. * foot stomp * My order was done for ten minutes and it sat there while I waited to pick it up. Nice. * foot stomp * I have kids waiting at home and I’m paying a sitter just to watch my food rot under a lamp. Nice. * foot stomp * That man didn’t even give me a cup when I ordered a drink, I had to reach for it myself. NICE. * foot stomp * How could you hire people who could be so rude to customers? NICE * foot stomp * This sandwich was supposed to be fresh but it sat there getting old while I waited. NICE * foot stomp*”

Apparently this lady was having a NICE kind of day but it seemed that her definition of the adjective was just a tad different from my own colloquial usage of the term.

Suddenly keenly aware of what I was hearing and honestly wanting no part of it, I began to look earnestly around the restaurant for distraction to distance myself from the irate soccer mom intent on driving home her definition of NICE to the two bored looking high school kids unfortunate enough to cross her path.

“My that fake plant in the window looks real,” I thought to myself as she complained about the soda in the fountain tasting funny. “What an interesting color scheme in that booth by the door,” I bemused as her tone became louder over the fact that no napkins were put in her bag. “Good Lord that proscuitto in the deli case looks fresh,” I mentally noted to myself as I heard her bellow loudly and bitterly, “ And just what are you looking at?”

“I wonder if I should have asked for extra proscuitto in that salad?” I heard my mental voice ask quietly just before I realized I was being personally addressed.

Startled from my inspection of the restaurant’s wax build up on the linoleum floor, I looked up wide-eyed just as Soccer Mom queried me again with the love of Christianity in her voice. “I said what are you looking at?” she challenged. “You look like you have something to say…”

Caught off guard since I had tried so earnestly NOT to get involved, I reached into my bag of comebacks and found only lint and spare change. Challenged and put on the spot merely because of my proximity to the counter and what I thought was a logical desire to pay for my meal, I wanted to find the exact verbal “Shazam!” that would reduce her to ash and send her family in search of a nice burial plot. Finding nothing in my usual repartee of witty comebacks, I chose in that split second to wing it and looked her in the eye and asked quietly…

“As a matter of fact I was kind of wondering… Those shoes? What were you thinking?”

Soccer Mom’s jaw dropped open. I remember this because I could see her chewing gum clearly. She took two steps backwards as if I’d slapped her and screamed. Primal screamed. Screamed as if years of Christian repression had just broke open and found a voice.

Determined not to let her see me flinch…

…because that’s when they get you. I’ve seen too many Marlin Perkin’s Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom shows as a child not to know better…

…I stood my ground, looked her square in her glazed over maddened eyes and quietly said, “Nice.”

She screamed again.

“You need to leave now. I’m calling the cops,” the frustrated store manager told Soccer Mom. Apparently he’d just found his balls and wanted to try them out.

Sputtering, stammering, and agog from finding her world so unfairly rocked, Soccer Mom grabbed her sandwiches and ran from the restaurant; wooden clogs echoing like horse hooves in the empty Penn Station dining area.

“That bitch better be glad she left when she did!” Shantelle called out loudly as the door slammed shut behind Soccer Mom. “I was just about to go all Ashley Simpson on that fat ass of hers…”

I had to ask. “Ashley Simpson?”

“Just one hit, baby! Just one HIT!”

“Omigod that’s fucking hysterical! I am SO going to have to go home a blog about that. You mind if I use that?”

“Will I be famous?”

“Only to the six or seven people who read my journal and they’re mostly in Canada. But you’ll be a star in Toronto!”

“Well you gotta start somewhere baby! Just look at Ashley Simpson…”
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stripedtiger

Associate Husbandry

A few weeks ago I added another client to my growing list of on-call surrogate husbandry duties. Since I fit the bill of the perpetually single guy amidst an ever expanding social circle of happy, monogamous couples, it falls to me to play the role of stand-in spouse when folks go out of town on business or are likewise unavailable for public functions, dinners, or trips to the mall.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe gig is cool. It gets me out of the house.

Per surrogate husbandry rules of confidentiality, I am unable to disclose the full list of clients to which I provide my own distinctive brand of hospitality. Generally speaking, the couples applying for surrogate assistance are friends and colleagues who are already familiar with my side profession. The job is called surrogate husband; not surrogate stranger.

Many people are surrogate husbands and never realize it. So many of us are the stand-in spouses for friends, both male and female, yet so few of us consciously embrace the profession. How many of us get called to go shopping with our best gal pal because her boyfriend hates the mall? Ask yourself how many times you’ve gotten calls to go see a movie with one half of a couple because the other half hates Julia Roberts and will break into a severe rash if exposed to prolonged periods of Lustrous Auburn Red Loreal #456. If your best friend’s partner has to go out of town for a week to tend to family, who is the first person on speed-dial to share meals and favorite TV shows? Your old friend needs a stand-in date for a wedding or family function; who’s the person that gets the Wedding Reception Bat Signal? Surrogate husbandry almost qualifies as a stealth profession because so many of us do it surprisingly well without even realizing it.

As with all professions, certain rules of conduct do apply. With the addition of my latest applicants, I began slowly forming a list of standards and ethics that generally apply in similar relationships. If this were a business arrangement you could say that this is the occupation’s Mission Statement and HR handbook all rolled into one. Just a few of my own personal surrogate guidelines are as follows:

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stripedtiger

Chili Con Carnage

The story you may or may not be about to read is true. It happened back in November of last year and I've been meaning to sit down and write it out for posterity but just never found the time or the energy. Evil Friend Jack was tasked with forcing me to write it out and I think eventually even he gave up on ever seeing it in print. This first draft will probably be polished up a bit and appear as a chapter in the book one day. I hope that it's funny and worth reading; I only know that when I told the story first-hand to Evil Friend Jack he nearly shat himself laughing. If being able to make your friends soil themselves is any indication of a page turner, this just might be kind of clever.

By the way, this is a LONG entry. This is the longest thing I've ever posted in Live Journal. If you choose to read it, great. If you dont have the time, no worries. I just hope I've managed to make it worthwhile for those who make it through...

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stripedtiger

T.A.M.M.I.E

Just like clockwork, it arrives whether you’re ready or not. You realize it’s just a fact of life and that all your friends endure it just like you do, but that doesn’t stop your irritation from growing. Loud screaming children seem extra shrill and things like traffic jams and long lines become unbearable to you. In the middle of it, you find yourself craving salty things that make you retain water and things so sweet Willy Wonka would turn them down for sugar content. You struggle to find appropriate attire to get you through it but you’re always too cold or too hot no matter what you choose. The wrong bumpy ride can trigger spots of bleeding and cramping is not uncommon no matter how you try to pace yourself or prepare.

The Ohio State Fair has arrived and it’s time to boogie like a kegger in a doublewide trailer.

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stripedtiger

In case of emergency break shot glass...

I’m currently undecided on whether I should do a serious post about my doctor’s visit yesterday or a humorous one. It is Friday so humorous might be more appropriate in light of the upcoming weekend but I haven’t done a serious one in a while and they tend to be shorter and quicker. Hmmmm….

Decisions.


Yesterday was my first visit to my very own voodoo witchdoctor of choice, Dr. Beesely. I haven’t had a checkup since my parts were factory new and, in light of my recent 35th birthday, a tune up seemed to be in order. Of course, the first time to any doctor means one very dreadedful fact of life: forms. Insurance forms, work forms, privacy forms, health survey forms, and of course, the dreaded “In Case of Emergency” form.

My family is 220 miles east as the crow flies and not of particular use if I should swallow my tongue gasping at the cute intern bearcub in the doctor’s office putting away files. As the universe has dictated that my lot in life is to remain a single solitary unit lest the moon spin off balance and fly into the burning sun, I’ve no one to rely on to make sure the doctors put me on a life support system that isn’t powered by TV remote control batteries. I’ve lived away from my family most of my life and it’s always bothered me that I really had no one to contact should a CODA bus jump a curb and ruin my day.

So here I sit, minding my own business, filling out forms when I come across the “In case of emergency” form and my mind goes blank. My family are all G.U.D’s. (Geographically UnDesirables) and my fiercely independent Lone Wolf man of mystery lifestyle is finally lined up to kill me; not through any heroic act of bravery or tragic Lifetime movie type of ailment, but through sheer indifference. My well intentioned gesture toward ensuring my continued good health had made me momentarily soul sick and I ached for a minute or two thinking about all my friends who are coupled and happy and have each other for holidays, birthdays and these damned forms.

As I stared at the box on the clipboard, looking up at me accusingly blank and unblemished, my leg began to cramp and I twisted around in the requisite uncomfortable waiting room chair and knocked my cell phone onto the floor. I let out one overly loud F word much to the chagrin of the lady and her delinquent child across the room and leaned over to retrieve my runaway electronics; thinking that somehow I was so unlovable that even my gadgets were willing to fall to their doom to escape my personage. The cell phone had landed on it’s side and flipped open to reveal the last few numbers I had dialed. The first number was Evil Friend Jack. The number before that one was Evil Friend Jack. And the one before that…. And the one before that…. A quick glance through my Dialed Numbers list showed that most of the last fifty dialed numbers were to Evil Friend Jack.

Evil Friend Jack is occasionally maligned by certain folks who write entries in Live Journal and who are named after characters from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood but he’s honestly the best person in the whole world that I currently know. Should one of my bacon wrapped filet mignon Atkins treats ever lodge themselves in my throat when the inevitable cardiac arrest occurs, Jack is the one man who I know I could trust to call my mother and hide my porn collection. We’ve been told by well-intentioned friends that we’d make the perfect couple if we both weren’t so disturbed by the thought of each other naked. * shudder * Basically, he’s the closest thing this socially anxiety stricken introvert with a smart ass attitude has to a best friend and I hope he’s aware of the fact.

(He’s clear on the matter now since he reads my entries occasionally to see if I’ve creatively disparaged his reputation yet again for the sake of cheap laughs and one-liners.)

So it was with a smile and a grateful heart that Evil friend Jack officially became my “In case of emergency” person in thought and in documentation. I signed off on the forms and handed them back over to the cute lesbian medical assistant at the front desk. She did the usual cursory glance over the paperwork looking for any glaring errors on my part, probably because I was grinning like an addled mental patient who rode the short bus downtown on a day pass from the institution, when she looked up and asked if Jack was my partner or immediate family.

“He’s my Evil Friend Jack, “ I said with a dumb ass grin on my face. “He’s about as close to immediate family as they get.”

Ok. That wasn’t my usual attempt at humor or seriousness. I think I ventured momentarily into the realm of heart warming. Jesus Christ, I must be coming down with something. I should go and call my doctor…
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stripedtiger

Threat Index Level Cheddar

As people move through their lives and interact with the world around them, they inadvertently become associated with certain items and feelings, songs and remembrances, and in some cases, covered dishes. When my posse of clan mates describe our friend Phil, for instance, we usually mention that he has amazing calves. When we mention Evil Friend Jack, we usually bring up his penchant for making a walk downtown for coffee into a national geographic special of botany and insect culture.

“…and that’s an Arithromatic Genevovial Spermaticus. It’s usually indigenous to southeast Malaysia and grows in tropical heats but the spores were brought over to America in 1919 by a Vietnamese grandmother whose cloak had fallen into the mud of a Malaysian mine field during the escape of the Banana Revolution. In Malaysia the nuts of the flowering cusp are gathered by tribal medicine men to make impotence cures….”

I swear I own a camera phone for the sole purpose of one day finding a botany professor I can befriend and send pictures to instantly for assessment after one of Evil Friend Jack’s botanical reviews. I suspect sometimes he makes stuff up because how the hell would we know the difference…


Anyway…

When folks mention Devon they refer to his love of cooking and entertaining. Joe W. is known for his metal crafting skills and The Jeff is always associated with his music. The list goes on and on and, eventually, everyone finds their own niche and specialty to call their own. Even I, who after years of working full time to establish as nondescript and anonymous a secret identity as possible to maintain an imaginary cloak of mystique and mystery, have become synonymous with something that differentiates me from the rest of the ursine pack.

Do I have amazing calf muscles that incite awe and a bit of drool as I stroll by envious muscle trolls sunning themselves in front of the neighborhood coffee shop?

No.

Can I quote literature from incredibly eclectic sources and dusty Masterworks to find just the appropriate and witty comment at dinner parties and social events?

No.

Can I move matter with my mind to send common household items flying through the air at ballistic speeds turning them into deadly weapons of bloody destruction?

Well yeah but only on the second Tuesday of the month between the hours of three and four p.m. Scheduling a telekinetic, homicidal rage is such a drag but surprisingly commonplace for me…

So what is my specialty? What pops into people’s minds when they think of me in the context of the rest of my painfully beautiful group of friends? When people mention my name at social events and parties what is the descriptive phrase that follows my name time and time again to convey that special air of individuality to people as a first impression of my own uniqueness?

I’m Dan. The Macaroni and Cheese guy.

Applause. Applause. Applause.

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stripedtiger

Sushi Madness

My evil friend Jack from the Big Bear Flophouse down the street is currently reaping the consequences of introducing me to sushi. (Jack is evil because he's a Vegan and as a longtime Atkins follower myself, he's the cobra to my mongoose.) At some point during the holidays last year he finally got me to break down and try sushi. Having been raised in the Appalachia Mountains of southwestern PA and West Virginia, the concept of sushi has always been akin to shark chum. If it's not deep fried in 11 herbs and spices or covered in Velveeta I'm always a bit leery.

For months Jack and Devon, another Big Bear Flophouse resident only a fellow carnivore like myself, had been coaxing me to try sushi.

They were like crack dealers.

"Try just a little piece the first time. Have just a taste from our plate. The first one is free. The sweet potato ones taste like candy..."

They were like the Bobby and Whitney of the Japanese fishing yazuka.

Long story short, during a Christmas party with too much wine and Christmas cookies, I succumbed to the peer pressure and had a piece of sushi. I didn’t die. Encouraged by my lack of death, I decided to try to play it old school and picked up a pair of chopsticks. That was my mistake. The chopsticks became a game for me to master in my inebriated state and that led to the consumption of a few more pieces of a spicy tuna roll. Again, no death. Before I knew it I was munching pickled ginger and mixing soy sauce and wasabi spiraling out of control. It was like an after school special on the dangers of pointy wooden sticks.

The next day I sobered up and denied the incident ever happened. For weeks I couldn’t walk past a box of Tuna Helper in the grocery store without averting my eyes.

Months went by. No mention was ever made of the sushi incident. Looking back now I can see how Evil Friend Jack was just biding his time waiting and looking for another opportunity to forward his nefarious agenda. I should have been stronger. I should have been more vigilant. I was not. While deciding on dinner one night when nothing sounded at all appealing to eat…

(Doesn’t that just suck? You can be starving to death on the verge of passing out but absolutely nothing sounds remotely interesting to eat and you’re stranded between a state of starvation and confused apathy wondering why the fast food Parthenon of Gods has abandoned you; their most faithful of apostles….)

…the prospect of sushi was brought up. At first I balked and protested. I raised the standard arguments of Yuck and Ewww. I believe I may even have whined a bit. Evil Jack, however, was prepared.

“They have other things you can eat on the menu. Just come to dinner and look at the menu… Shut up and get in the car before I stab you.” And so on and so on…

And that night I had the sushi and the sushi was good. I believe my gay gene overrode my hick gene and sushi became my friend. I also experienced the fabled sushi bliss that night for the first time, which I’m told is the product of Omega 3’s and not some evil Yakuza mind control drug. While I still can’t wolf down the slabs of raw mackerel and packets of fish eggs that Evil Jack does, I do ok for a novice. My chopstick skills have even improved to where I can use one hand instead of two and people around me can eat without the fear of Buffy the Vampire Slayer type stab wounds. Personally I miss the element of danger but who am I to judge?

Evil Friend Jack is now experiencing the consequences of his actions. Sushi bliss is strong and sushi bliss is powerful. Now in times of stress I find myself, more and more, turning to the sushi bliss for comfort and I drag Jack down into the spiral of addiction with me. We had sushi just two days ago and now I’m forcing him to go back today. Work has been hell and I need the fix. I’m also using the temptation of the gayest ice cream in the world to lure him away from his job early. Jack discovered a rose petal flavored Crème Brulee confection at a specialty shop in the Columbus North Market right next to the sushi eatery. It's the drag queen of ice cream. The ice cream at this store is all hand made by a very talented, young German girl with gifts unlike any other I’ve come across. She’s an idiot savant of milkfat and sugar. Jack loves it and now I know a weakness to exploit. I might have to stock up on a few quarts of this stuff just in case it’s seasonal and I loose my edge….
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