The Second Hang at Darryl’s Dad’s House

July 15, 2011

[C.O.D.Y. the Robot Who Hangs Out and Darryl’s dad are hanging in Darryl’s dad’s basement. Darryl’s dad is on the phone and he is bummed out. He’s usually not a crier. The last time he cried was when he saw Wall-E, when Wall-E and Eva dance around the spaceship amongst stars and sparks, and she kisses him. Darryl’s dad loves that scene; he loves it when Wall-E asks the computer to define dancing. “That little hangbot didn’t know what dancing was,” he said, holding back the tears. He’s watched it on YouTube no less than ten times, and when he saw it in the theater – wasn’t he on a date with that ladybot from Trotwood who never called him back? – he let out a few sobs. But those sobs were nothing compared to the loud, gasping sobs he’s letting out now. Red-faced and teary, clutching the cell phone, he says:]

Darryl’s Dad: Who was he with? [sobs] OK, OK. [sobs] Where were they? [sobs] Jesus Christ.

[The person on the other end talks for a while and Darryl’s dad sobs even louder. C.O.D.Y. sips from his Stroh’s and puts an arm around his friend.]

Darryl’s Dad: And he was unconscious when the ambulance showed up? [sobs] Uh uh, OK, and what did he take? [sobs] Jesus Christ, Darryl, you idiot.

C.O.D.Y.: Psst, who are you talking to?

Darryl’s Dad: [to CODY:] The cops, shut up. [Into phone:] Sorry, I have company over, and he’s being rude. No, I don’t want an autopsy.

C.O.D.Y.: Autopsy? Draaag.

Darryl’s Dad: Shut up! Does his mother know? [sobs] OK. I can call her later today. What else can you tell me about what happened?

[Darryl’s dad listens to the cop. Tears run into his mouth. It's the saddest thing CODY has ever seen: Dayton's legendary hanger-outer having the worst hang of his life.]

Darryl’s Dad: Thank you for the call, we’ll be in touch.

[He hangs up and sobs, and these are the worse sobs yet: louder than before, and there’s spit coming out of his mouth now. He falls into CODY's arms.]

C.O.D.Y.: What’s wrong?

Darryl’s Dad: It’s Darryl. He’s dead.

C.O.D.Y.: Dead? You mean dead-dead?

Darryl’s Dad: Dead-dead.

C.O.D.Y.: Have they double-checked? I’ve read stories about people thinking people are dead, but then at the funeral they pop out of the coffin and they’re all like, Why’s everyone so bummed? I’m totally fine. Let’s party!

Darryl’s Dad: They’re sure, Cody. He’s dead.

C.O.D.Y.: But you should double-check.

Darryl’s Dad: I’m going to the coroner’s tomorrow.

C.O.D.Y.: Niiice. How did he die? Do you want me to guess, or do you want to just tell me?

Darryl’s Dad: It was an –

C.O.D.Y.: Spider bite?

Darryl’s Dad: No, it was – [sobs]

C.O.D.Y.: Wolf bite?

Darryl’s Dad: No.

C.O.D.Y.: Brown recluse bite?

Darryl’s Dad: It wasn’t a bite. He O.D.’d, OK. He took too many drugs.

C.O.D.Y.: Drugs? I didn’t think Darryl hung like that. He was Eagle Scout, for chrissakes.

Darryl’s Dad: Fuckin aye, he was.

C.O.D.Y.: One time Darryl taught me how to tie a square knot, just ’cause, I didn’t even ask him to. We were playing foursquare or roller hockey or something and he pulls out a rope and says, Hey, do you know how to tie a square knot? And I say no. And he says, Do you want to know? And I say, Not really, what do I need to know how to tie a square knot for? I’m not a rope guy, don’t care to become one now, probably never will be one. Darryl says, Well, CODY, life is about getting better at shit, don’t you know that? Don’t you want to be good at one thing? Your thing can be square knots. I’ve never thought that, I said. I’ve always thought we were supposed to hang out and have a good time with people we like having good time with and not worry about being good at shit. And Darryl says, That’s what people who are bad at shit say. But people who are good at shit know the truth: that you’re supposed to be good at shit. And if you aren’t good at shit then you should work harder at being good at shit. Do you want to be someone who’s good at shit, or someone who hangs out all the time? Here, take this rope, let me teach how to tie a square knot. It’s easy. And so he taught me, and it was easy, and for a few days after that I was a square-knot tying fiend: I’d tie square knots around trees; I’d tie ‘em around people’s hands and necks if they let me. I was teaching everyone I knew how to tie square knots. Your son made me the Johnny Appleseed of square knots.

Darryl’s Dad: He was a good boy. Before he met Simone.

C.O.D.Y.: I couldn’t tie one now to save my life. Guess I’ve been hanging out too much. [he makes a shaka sign with his pinky and thumb and waves it around] Who’s Simone?

Darryl’s Dad: Simone is…Simone is Simone. Simone is the reason he’s dead, if you ask me. That’s who Simone is. You want to know who Simone is? I will tell you who Simone is. Darryl told me all about Simone, and he only tells me about the girls he’s crazy into, so he must have had it bad for her. He had it so bad for her from the get-go that he called me the day they met. They met while volunteering at the hospital. He was a good boy, always volunteering for this, that and the other, always helping his great-aunt with her cats and craft projects, and at the hospital he played piano for the sick kids, the cancer kids, the kids who weren’t long for this world. He played Raffi songs and songs by that that Bieber kid and whatever else they wanted to hear.

So one day, Simone starts volunteering there, in arts and crafts. You gotta watch out for girls who are good at making things with their hands: if they can mold and manipulate paper and clay and stuff, they will mold and manipulate you. But Darryl didn’t know that. They don’t teach you that in Eagle Scouts. But they should. There should be a Dealing With Deceitful Cunts merit badge. To hell with surviving the wilderness; we should prepare these boys for hardships they’ll actually encounter.

He called me the day they met and said, Dad, this girl at the hospital, she’s an angel. A ginger angel. She has curly orange hair and an adorable Cleveland accent. She grew up up there and moved down here to be with her dad, so she says the word mom like maahm and milk like melk. Darryl said that when she said, My maahm can’t drink melk because she’s allergic, he almost proposed. I don’t know why he liked that accent so much. They all sound like carnies to me.

[more to come about this]



The Sixth Laundromat Hang

June 28, 2011

[C.O.D.Y. the Robot Who Hangs Out enters the laundromat, Sarah’s laundromat, the one place in Dayton where he’s not allowed to hang out. He’s smoking a cigar. Because detectives smoke things. He puts on an intimidating face and approaches Sarah.]

CODY: I’m here to see Sarah Philbin. Do you know where she is?

SARAH: Oh no.

CODY: Is she hiding in the back room because she knows she’s guilty?

SARAH: What do you want?

CODY: I’m a detective and I am here to investigate a robbery. Are you Sarah?

SARAH: What do you want from me?

CODY: Tell me where the missing clothes are. I know you know.

SARAH: We’ve already talked about this. I don’t know where the missing clothes are. They were stolen from Teddy’s laundromat, not mine. You have no reason to be here.

CODY: Interesting. No. That is VERY interesting. How did you know they were taken from Teddy’s l-mat?

SARAH: Because you told me when you came in here a week ago.

CODY: Did I?

SARAH: Yes. You said she’s missing a red hoodie and an Ekoostik Hookah t-shirt and some other stuff. I’ll keep an eye for it.

CODY: For someone who is supposedly innocent, you know a helluva lot about this crime. Where were you when the clothes were stolen?

SARAH: I don’t know. Somewhere, I’m sure.

CODY: Guilty AND coy. That’s my kinda lady.

SARAH: Cody, stop.

CODY: Answer my questions and I’ll leave. Where were you when the clothes were stolen?

SARAH: When were they stolen?

CODY: Something like two weeks ago. On a Saturday morning. Or a Wednesday night.

SARAH: You don’t even know when they were stolen, do you?

CODY: No, I know. But I don’t want to tell you. It’s classified. And I am keeping my suspects on a don’t-know basis. So you don’t get to know.

SARAH: I think you mean to say a need-to — nevermind. How do you expect me to tell you where I was when the clothes were stolen if you don’t even know when they were stolen?

CODY: Ah, drag.

SARAH: You’re not a detective, Cody. You’re a hangbot. You hang out and chase ladybots. That’s it. That’s all you’ll ever do. Detectives interview actual suspects, not women they like. Detectives know when the crime happened. And I’m pretty sure detectives don’t walk around with Little Feat songs blasting from speakers embedded in their bodies.

CODY: Aw, you think so?

SARAH: I know so.

CODY: So what do I do now?

SARAH: What do you mean, what do you do?

CODY: If you were the detective for this case, what would you do?

SARAH: First, find out when the clothes were stolen. Then interview Teddy about it. He’s shady as fuck.

CODY: You’re so smart. [He takes her by the hand.] And your skin, it’s so smooth.

SARAH: No, it’s not.

CODY: Sarah, smart and smooth. That’s what I’ll call you from now on.

SARAH: I work with bleach all day. Mah hands are rocks.

CODY: They are smooth rocks. Rocks that were plopped by God in a river somewhere majestic. Like Ireland. Wait, NORTHERN Ireland. And for thousands of years, before humans were on Earth, that majestic Northern Irish water massaged those rocks into the smooth hands you have today. [He kisses her hand.]

SARAH: Cody, stop.

CODY: Your pinky is the smoothest. Have you noticed that? It got massaged the most. It’s funny how nature makes some things that are beautiful and perfect and other things are stuff no one notices. Have you ever thought that?


CODY: Like, why did you get such perfect hands and some baby in China I read about was born without a neck? He’s just a head on two shoulders.

SARAH: I don’t know why.

CODY: He needs a neck more than you need smooth hands.

SARAH: I’m sure he’ll be fine. There are worse things to be born without.

CODY: Like what?

SARAH: Like the inability to recognize when you’re being a nuisance.

CODY: I don’t know what most of those words mean.

SARAH: I’m really busy. [The l-mat is empty.] You should go. I think I saw a guy wearing a red hoodie at Skyline last night. He looked like a thief. Go catch him.

CODY: Niiice. Which skyline?

SARAH: The one by the Home Depot.

CODY: Which Home Depot?

SARAH: The one by I-75. Or maybe the one by I-70. Check both. Check every Home Depot in Columbus, too.

CODY: You’re so smart. I’ll check ‘em out and report back to you. Let me see those hands again.


CODY: Sarah, we’ve been through a lot. We’re coping with a heinous crime. The least you can do is let me see your hands.

SARAH: WE haven’t been through shit.

[A country ballad blasts from Cody:] Oooh, sweet Sarah, won’t you give me your hand? / I want to hold it and kiss it and parade it ‘cross the land. / For you must understand that I’m sinking in quicksand. / But I’d rather sink in your sand than find another wo-mand. / Oooh, sweet Sarah, your fold those clothes so well. / You work all day and I’ll fix you supper and ring that dinner bell. / And when supper’s o’er and the moon is riding high / I’ll kiss your hands and then we’ll go to the bedroom / and then I’ll pet your silken hair and kiss your hands again / and then you’ll hate yourself for taking so long to come around. / But I don’t care how long it takes because detectives are patient folk.

SARAH: Cody, stop it.

THE SONG: And when you’re ready to live with me we’ll buy a home up on a hill / With a pond in the back and a hoop in the driveway –

SARAH: CODY. Stop it. [The music stops.] What song is that?

CODY: Oh, it’s nothing.

SARAH: Tell me. Did you write that song?

CODY: Maybe.

SARAH: And you recorded it?

CODY: Yeah, maybe.

SARAH: Oh, Cody. You wrote and recorded a song about us having sex and living together?

CODY: It’s about so much more than that. You’ve only heard the first verse. The second verse gets a little weird but the third verse is normal again.

SARAH: The whole thing is weird. You didn’t come here to investigate a robbery, did you?

CODY: Draaag. I’m so guilty!

SARAH: You came here to play that song for me.

CODY: Detectives don’t reveal everything.

SARAH: It’s a very sweet song.

CODY: Niiice.

SARAH: It’s also very creepy and I want you to leave.

CODY: Draaag.

SARAH: Listen: Please don’t come back. Don’t come here to investigate a robbery. Don’t come here to play me a song. Any song. That goes for songs you wrote or songs you think will make me like you. And that includes classic rock songs you’ve changed the lyrics to so they’re about me. Those are just as bad as an original song

CODY: But what if I want to wash my clothes here?

SARAH: You work at a laundromat! Wash your shitty clothes there.

CODY: You think my clothes are shitty?

SARAH: I do. I’m sorry, but I do. I can’t change they way I feel about your clothes.

CODY: Is that why you won’t – ?

SARAH: No, that’s not why. Oh, Cody, why do you have to do this? I’ve told you so many times it’s never going to happen. I have a boyfriend. And I love him very much. [She’s upset now.] He’s great. Luke is the greatest.

CODY: Luke must write excellent songs about you then. Maybe sometime I could check out the songs he’s written AND RECORDED about you. I bet his songs are twice as good as “Moon Hang.” They must be, if you like him so much.

SARAH: Is “Moon Hang” the title of your song about me?

CODY: It is.

SARAH: Why is it called “Moon Hang”?

CODY: Because in the third verse we hang out on the moon and Neil Armstrong marries us. You would know that already if you didn’t make me turn it off.

[CODY is very upset now and he leaves in a hurry.]



The Fifth Laundromat Hang

November 16, 2010

[CODY opens the door to the laundromat. The first laundromat. Sarah’s laundromat. He sees Sarah at the counter. He slicks back his hair like he’s seen other guys do before talking to a girl. Don’t blow it, he thinks. Don’t try to kiss her or do anything weird. That will only weird her out and you’ve already weirded her out plenty. Behave like a respectable bot for once. He walks over to the counter and says:]

CODY:  Hey there. Don’t worry, I’m not here to hang. I AM NOT HERE TO HANG. I’m here to investigate a robbery.

SARAH: CODY. What did I say the last time you were here?

CODY: That you needed distance.

SARAH: And have you given me distance?

CODY: It’s been a few days.

SARAH: I need more distance. Please leave.

CODY: I’ll give you more distance. After I ask you questions about the robbery I’m investigating. It’s important. I’m doing it for justice. And truth.

SARAH: Why are YOU investigating a robbery?

CODY: Because the robbery took place at Teddy’s laundromat. WHERE I WORK. And the girl whose clothes got robbed asked me to help get her clothes back.

SARAH: Wait. You have a job?

CODY: Yeah whatever, no big whoop.

SARAH: Teddy pays you money? You don’t just hang out all the time?

CODY: He pays me money. We hang out a lot too. But he pays me.

SARAH: Do you have an apartment, or are you still sleeping wherever you hung out earlier in the night?

CODY: I’m still sleeping wherever I hung out earlier in the night. But I might move in with Teddy and his puppies. We’ll see.

SARAH: So what’s this robbery? What are you doing here?

CODY: Someone stole clothes from a dryer at Teddy’s l-mat and I’m investigating it. Pretty cool huh?

SARAH: That is exciting, best of luck. But why are you here?

CODY: Because this is a laundromat.

SARAH: It is A laundromat. One of many in the Dayton area.

CODY: And the robbery also took place at a laundromat. So it makes sense to go to a laundromat. To investigate.

SARAH: Not really. Why would coming here help you solve a robbery that took place at a different laundromat?

CODY: To ask questions and stuff. So. Have you or one of your customers been robbed?

SARAH: Not at the laundromat. Maybe somewhere else. But not here, not that I know of.

CODY: But could you get robbed, you think?

SARAH: Yes, I suppose we could get robbed.

CODY: A robber could come here and rob clothes?

SARAH: Sure.

CODY: A crack in the case.

SARAH: That’s not a crack in the case.

CODY: Draaag. I thought it was.

SARAH: Any other questions?

CODY: Why did the robber steal her clothes, you think?

SARAH: To wear them maybe. Maybe he’s poor and cold. Or maybe he was bored and needed something to do. I don’t know. People do weird things all the time. Case in point: you’re here at my laundromat asking me questions about a robbery that too place at a different laundromat.

CODY: Good answer. You’re so smart. So, if you were a robber, and you robbed laundromats, where would you hide out?

SARAH: I don’t know. Maybe under the railroad tracks with the other bums.

CODY: Under the tracks, of course. You are so smart. You should be solving this robbery, not me. So. Hey. Would you want to team up with me and we could solve it together?

SARAH: I have a life, CODY. I can’t go around solving robberies with a hangbot.

CODY: Aw man. I thought maybe you’d want to be my buddy cop, buddy.

SARAH: I’m not your buddy, CODY. I want to be your buddy, but you make things so hard.

CODY: Naw man, I make things gnarly.

SARAH: You don’t make things gnarly for me.

CODY: So, if the robber comes here and starts robbing, you’ll let me know, right?

SARAH: I’ll probably call the cops first.

CODY: But after that, you’ll let me know?

SARAH: It depends. I don’t think I want you coming here again. I said I needed some distance and for some reason that’s been hard for you to understand. You make me feel uncomfortable.

CODY: I thought I made you feel alive. Like you want to do some hanging.

SARAH: No. You make things very awkward for me. Please stop coming here.

CODY: I didn’t come here to make you feel weird. I came here to help solve a robbery.

SARAH: CODY. It’s so obvious that you came here just to see me. There’s no way that coming here and asking me stupid questions about robbers would help you solve a robbery that happened at a different laundromat.

CODY: Aw, drag. You think so?

SARAH: I know so. Maybe you thought I wouldn’t realize it. Or maybe you knew that I would know that you came here only to see me and you would think it was a cute thing to do. It’s not cute. It’s creepy and you should stop it.

CODY: So you don’t have any more tips about the robbery then?

SARAH: You shouldn’t have come here, CODY. You should have never come here ever. [she's upset now]

CODY: Why are you getting upset? We’re just hanging. And solvin’.

SARAH: I wish I didn’t know you, Cody the robot who hangs out. I wish… I wish you were dead.

CODY: Hangbots don’t die. We might burn out, we might fade away, but we never die.

SARAH: So, what then? Are you going to keep coming here to ask me dumb questions for the rest of my life?

CODY: Probably.

SARAH: I need to get out of town for a while.

CODY: Hey man. Listen to this, it will calm you down. [He blasts “Bridge Over Troubled Water”] I play this when I need to calm down and change the subject. So. How’s your man treating you? What’s his name? Luke?

SARAH: Luke is fine. Everything is fine at home. Please leave. I can’t have you here.

CODY: Why not?

SARAH: Just because, Cody. It’s just because.

CODY: I think you’re freaking out because you’ve been waiting for me to do this. [CODY leans in for a kiss. He reaches for her hair. SARAH says:]


[He doesn’t stop. He touches her hair and sings:]

CODY: Like a bridge over troubled water, I will hang with you. Sail on Silver Girl!

SARAH: You have to leave. I don’t think there even was a robbery. You made it all up as an excuse to see me, didn’t you? You’re a liar and a pervert, Cody. LEAVE.

[CODY is bummed. He blew it again, he weirded her out. He turns away without saying a word and leaves the laundromat. He walks towards Teddy's l-mat. The song is almost over: Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind. Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind.]

NEXT: The Fox in the Garage Part 14: The First Letter to Symphony Press



A Hang at Darryl’s Dad’s House

October 19, 2010

[C.O.D.Y. The Robot Who Hangs Out is outside the front door. He rings the doorbell. He can hear Darryl’s dad walk toward the door. C.O.D.Y is nervous. Terry’s hang rules are folded up in C.O.D.Y.’s front pocket. What will Darryl’s dad say about them? Will he have the cojones to hang them? The door opens. C.O.D.Y. needs tunes to chill out. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce blasts out of C.O.D.Y.]

Darryl’s dad: Turn that horseshit off. Jim Croce is a pussy with a mustache.

CODY: I play Jim Croce when I’m nervous. But I’ll turn it off. [He turns it off. Darryl’s dad leads him into the house and towards the stairs down to the basement.]

Darryl’s dad: What you nervous about?

CODY: Sometimes I’ll get nervous before a hang that I’ve been looking forward to but once I start hanging the nerves go away.

Darryl’s dad: You’re one hell of a weirdo, CODY.

CODY: Niiice.

[They walk down to the basement. There are two ladybots chatting with two hangbots. CODY doesn’t recognize the hangbots, but he does recognize one of the ladybots. It’s Josephine. His Josephine. The same Josephine who said she was sick and couldn’t hang all weekend. CODY is bummed. Before they notice him he quickly walks into the bathroom to collect himself and softly plays “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. This calms him. He thinks about time and how it makes fools of everyone, especially lovesick fools like him. Why does he fall so easily for every ladybot who pets him behind the ears? Will he ever get a chance to hang with Sarah again? He thinks: Don’t think. Just hang. Make every hang the best hang of your life. He splashes water on his face and returns to the hang. He approaches Josephine.]

CODY: Are you feeling better?

Josephine: Much better. You know Darryl’s dad too?

CODY: I introduced you to Darryl’s dad last time you were here.

Josephine: That’s right. Sorry, all these hangs blur together. If you remember a hang then you weren’t hanging hard enough. That’s what they say about hanging, right?

CODY: I guess that’s what they say about hanging.

[Josephine turns to the hangbot she’s with and pulls him over to her.]

Josephine: CODY. Meet Julius. [the two hangbots shake hands, limply.] Julius runs a magazine.

Julius: It’s more of a zine than a magazine.

CODY: What’s your zine about?

Julius: Darts. And hanging out.

[CODY thinks: Oh God. This must be THE Julius. Dayton’s IT hangbot. The editor and publisher of Dayton Hangs, THE Dayton hangzine. Rumor has it, Julius hangs with all of his ladybot interns until the interns can’t stand to hang with him anymore because if they see him hanging with other ladybots they break down in tears. And rumor has it that Dayton Hangs throws the best hang out sessions in town on the roof of their office building. These hangs have darts, beer, ladybots and bands. These hangs are legendary. Everyone gets laid. And CODY’s never been invited. Like CODY, Julius wears a poncho  and jeans. But the pattern on Julius’ poncho is more intricate than the one of CODY’s and Julius’ jeans are significantly more distressed than CODY’s.]

CODY: Is your zine called Dayton Hangs?

Julius: You’re a fan? Niiice.

[CODY doesn’t like that he said niiice. CODY says niiice.]

CODY: I’ve read it a few times. The article about the tornado hang in Xenia was especially gnarly.

Julius: We lost an intern in that tornado. But I like to think that it was worth it. Do you play darts?

CODY: Uh, am I hangbot?

Julius: Let’s do this. Whoever lands closest to the bull goes first.

[The hangbots stand behind the line of duct tape on the floor. CODY tosses first and the darts lands in single 20, near the bullseye. Julius steps up. He tosses the dart and it also lands in single 20, closer to the bull than CODY’s dart.]

Julius: Looks like I’m starting this party.

[Julius retrieves the darts from the board and walks back to the line. He opens 20 with a triple and lands two more 20's. CODY is bummed. CODY looks at Josephine; she is beaming with pride. Her two men are fighting over her and she could not be happier. CODY tosses a single 20 and two single 19’s. Julius lands one more 20, scoring on it, and opens 19. On his next turn Julius opens both 18 and 17. CODY opens 16 but doesn’t score on it. Julius decides to dance with Lady 15 and scores on her twice. CODY misses the board completely on his next toss and then closes Lady 20, finally. Julius scores on 18 once more and lands a bullseye. CODY closes 17 and scores on 16, but it’s no use. The score is 40 to 4, and on his next turn Julius opens bullseye and scores on it, ending the game.]

Julius: That has to be the quickest cricket match EVER.

CODY: I’m a little off my game, I think. Hey. Do you know where Darryl’s dad went?

Julius: I think he drove to Kroger to buy more Stroh’s. I can’t believe his hangs ONLY have Stroh’s. He’s getting a mediocre review.

CODY: You write reviews of all the hangs you go to?

Julius: Most of them. Darryl’s dad’s house is getting a reputation as nice spot so I figured it’s time to review it in the zine. Have you been hanging here long?

CODY: I was at his first hang back in 1999. It was a New Year’s hang. That was a long time ago. Before Darryl dad’s son Darryl did the bad thing at summer camp.

Julius: I’ve heard that was a great hang.

CODY: It was the best hang of my life. I hung out with two different ladybots in the shower. I won three darts matches. And the next morning we all hung at Perkins. The hang lasted until 11 a.m.

Julius: Maybe one day I’ll interview you about that hang. It would make for a good look-back-kinda piece, you know? And as one of Dayton’s most famous hangbots you should be profiled in the zine. It’s a shame we haven’t written about you yet.

CODY: Thanks. So. Hey. Can I tell the real reason I’m here?

Julius: Uh, sure.

CODY: You can’t write about it, though.

Julius: Fine. I won’t.

[Cody takes the hang rules from his pocket and unfolds them. He hands them to Julius.]

CODY: I’m going to hang these hang rules near the dart board. Last time I was here there were hangbots hanging out who did not know how to hang whatsoever. They were bragging and probing about people’s sex life and doing all sorts on ungnarly stuff. So my boss Teddy wrote up these hang rules and wants me to post them next to the dart board. He thinks they will make the hangs better. I don’t think people will obey them, or even read them, but he’s my boss and if I don’t hang them, he’ll fire me. So I’m in a rough stop here.

[Julius scans the hang rules. He’s intrigued. Although he’s a hang expert he’d never before thought of hang rules. He takes out a phone from his pocket and takes three pictures of the hang rules.]

CODY: Hey, what are you doing?

Julius: Just in case I want to look over them later.

CODY: So, do you think I should post them?

Julius: You do what you need to do. I’m not a part of this.

CODY: You have any tape or glue or something?

Julius: Who shows up to a hang with tape or glue?

[CODY looks around. There’s a slim chance that any of these ladybots have tape. Asking a ladybot for tape would be a weird thing to do at a hang. He looks at the floor. There’s the line o duct tape you have to stand behind when you play darts. He could pick off a strip of that. But what would Darryl’s dad say? Oh man. He was in a rough spot. He remembers the advice Terry gave him on his first day of work: Fuck it. That is your new mantra. Fuck it. CODY thinks: Fuck it. He bends down and rips off a strip of duct tape and uses it to post the hang rules next to the dart board.]

Julius: Bold.

[Josephine walks over to the dart board to check out what’s up. She starts reading the hang rules.]

Josephine: What is this?

CODY: Hang rules. Rules for hanging. Some people and some bots don’t know how to hang so it was time somebody posted some hang rules to tell everyone what’s what.

Josephine: CODY, my goodness. I never knew you were such a stickler for manners. [She puts her arm around CODY. This makes him feel alright.] I’ve always thought that bots our age have no manners. so I’m glad to know we feel the same way.

Julius: I love manners.

Josephine: I heard that you’ve hung out with four ladybots in one weekend. That means you don’t have manners. Three would be OK. Maybe. But four?

Julius: That was a fluke. A glorious fluke.

[Darryl’s dad walks down the stairs with a case of Stroh’s. He says:]

Darryl’s dad: Who’s ready to get Strohed?

CODY: I am.

[Darryl’s dad sees the piece of paper hanging near the dart board. He notices that it’s hung up with a strip of duct tape. He looks at the darts line and sees a strip missing.]

Darryl’s dad: What the fuck? What the fuck is going on here. Hang rules?

CODY: Those are mine. People need to learn how to hang so I’ve posted some hang rules. Is that alright?

Darryl’s dad: Effing hangbots. This is my house. There is one rule here and it’s this: there are no rules. And if I did have any rules, the first one would be: don’t destroy the darts line to hang up rules. Godammit, CODY. This is horseshit and you know it.

CODY: Drag. I just thought that people could use some rules for hanging, that’s all. They are pretty fair. Read them. You’ll see.

Darryl’s dad: I don’t want to read them. I don’t care about your rules. I would never hang wherever you live and post rules next to your dart board. It’s a dick-slap in the face, is what it is. So. You should leave. Come back next time and we’ll see if you can hang here without pissing me off.

CODY: Come on, Darryl’s dad. We go way back, man.

Darryl’s dad: I know we do. Which is why it’s such a dick-slap in the face for you to be posting these rules in my basement. Come back when you want to hang like a real hangbot.

[CODY is more bummed than he’s ever been. He’s more bummed than the time Sarah said he couldn’t hang at the laundromat. He’s been hanging at Darryl’s dad's house for over ten years. He spends more time here than he does at his own home. He plays “Time in a Bottle” at a low volume. His head drops. He looks into Josephine’s eyes.]

CODY: Josephine. Will you come with me?

Josephine: I would. You know I would. But I want to hang here. This is an alright spot.

CODY: Drag.

[CODY walks up the stairs by himself. He thinks: that was a bad hang.]

NEXT: Large Oats, Tiny Oats, Funny-Looking Oats



The Fourth Hang At The Other Laundromat

September 23, 2010

[Teddy and C.O.D.Y the Robot Who Hangs Out are standing near the counter.]

TEDDY: I’m sorry, but Darryl’s dad is a loser. Last night was not what I expected.

CODY: You didn’t like the hang? I thought it was good hang.

TEDDY: A good hang? A GOOD HANG? That was not a good hang. That was a middle-aged man, three hangbots and me playing darts. There weren’t any chicks. There weren’t any chips. Darryl’s dad needs to buy better beer, too. Stroh’s is the absolute worst. Does he do it as a joke? Like, welcome to my house; now you have to drink Stroh’s.

CODY: No. He just likes Stroh’s.

TEDDY: What a loser. The worst part was those hangbots. One of them, the tall one –

CODY: Lonnie?

TEDDY: Yeah, Lonnie. He wouldn’t stop asking me to hang out this week. He’d say, When are you free to hang? Let’s hang. And I’d say, I don’t know, I’ll have to get back to you. And he’d say, How about tomorrow? How about Sunday? What’s your number? I gave him the L-mat’s number. I don’t want him calling my cell. The weirdest part was that he wanted me to hang with him at the bus station. He said it’s a good spot. I was like, Dude, that is a terrible spot to hang. And he said, Naw, it’s a gnarly spot. You got all these folks coming and going, so many people to talk to, so many people to hang with.

CODY: Lonnie does want to hang all the time. And in unorthodox spots. But what’s wrong with that?

TEDDY: Because if you’re constantly asking someone to hang then it takes away from the specialness of the hang. You can’t smother a friend in hang requests. Even if you want to hang with that person all the time, it’s best to limit the hangs. Space them out. And if you’ve never hanged with someone before, don’t try to hang one-on-one with them the second you meet them. And don’t suggest weird hang spots, like a bus station. Stick to normal spots, like a bar.

CODY: Or a laundromat?

TEDDY: Only you, Cody. You’re the only guy who gets to hang at the laundromat without judgment from me.

[Terry gives Cody a noogie.]

CODY: Niiice.

TEDDY: Oh, and that other hangbot. The one with the poncho.

CODY: That’s Opie.

TEDDY: Opie was a piece of work. So he asks me how the ladies are treating me. I say, Eh, not too great. I explain that I was seeing that hybridbot, Josephine, but things aren’t going well. And he says, Why not? And I say that I’d rather not go into it. And he says, What’s the matter, brah? Just like that: What’s the matter, brah? Like he’s my best brah. Opie is not my brah. All I know about Opie is that he wears a poncho and he sucks at darts. After I landed a triple 20 Opie came up behind me and slapped me on the ass. I don’t even know this hangbot and he’s already playing grabass with me and trying to get me to dish lady-talk. It was too much too soon.

CODY: Opie’s a cool bot, but yeah, he does try to force a heavy hang too soon.

TEDDY: And another thing I didn’t like: Darryl’s dad was always trying to one-up me.

CODY: What do you mean?

TEDDY: I mean, in conversation. He asked me what sports I played in high school and I said baseball. I played right field. And then he says that he was starting pitcher all four years. And I say, That’s cool. We went to state once. And he says, We went to state three years in a row and we won my senior year. So that’s that. It happened with darts, too. In the second match I land a double eighteen right off the bat. What does Darryl’s dad do? He guns for eighteen and closes it out. Just to one-up me. And do you remember when Opie told everyone that I was having trouble with a hybridbot? Yeah, well, Darryl’s dad said that he had fucked four hybridbots. He even fucked two of them in one night, and one of those was Josephine. So he was one-upping me with high school sport, with cricket and with ladies. Oh. And! He asked me how my summer’s been and I said that I went to Lake Cumberland for the weekend with family. Instead of saying, oh, that must have been fun, or, oh man, Lake Cumberland is great, you know what he says? He says he just got back from a week in Nice. In France.

CODY: Niiice. Nice. Niiice.

TEDDY: Not nice. Darryl’s dad is a boomer. Boomers are always trying to prove themselves, I guess. The point is, it was a bad hang. Those dudes need some hang rules.

CODY: Hang rules?

TEDDY: Yeah, rules for hanging.

CODY: But if you have rules for hanging, doesn’t that take the fun out of the hang? Shouldn’t a hang not have any rules?

TEDDY: You shouldn’t have to think of the rules while you’re hanging. It’s not like I would recite the rules before starting a hang with some folks. But it’d be nice if everyone went into the hang knowing a few general rules. It’s like when you play baseball. The ump doesn’t read the rulebook before the pitcher throws the first pitch. But every player knows the rules going in and that makes the game more fun. If  a base runner didn’t know he had to tag up when his teammate’s fly ball was caught, and he ran the bases anyway and then got tagged out, the game wouldn’t be as fun for everyone else.

CODY: I see. So, what are the hang rules?

TEDDY: Here are a few off the top of my head: Now, these are rules for hanging with dudes and hangbots who you don’t know well. If you’re hanging with close friends, it’s different obviously.

1. Don’t pry about love lives. You can ask: How are the ladies/dudes treating you? And if they say, very well, then you can ask him/her to elaborate. And if they mention that they’ve been seeing someone, say, Good for you and leave it at that. Don’t ask if they’ve fucked. Don’t ask if she/he is pretty/handsome or cool or a loser or whatever. You can ask what the person does for a living. The general rule is to gauge how much they want to reveal. If you ask how the ladies/dudes are treating them and they say no, you should say, I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t ask why not. Maybe they’ve just been dumped. Maybe they cheated on their girlfriend with a sex-crazed hybridbot and they feel terrible about it.

2. Don’t push future hangs on someone you don’t know. If you just met the person or bot, simply hang with them at the hang you’re currently at. Get to know them. Find some common ground. Maybe you both like to play darts and, in the future, you’d like to arrange a darts hang. So be it. But don’t schedule future hangs early on in your first hang. It will be off-putting. And if you do arrange a future hang, don’t choose a weird spot. Like the bus station, or Linens N Things.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, Lonnie wanted me to go with him to Linens N Things to return some sheets his ex bought him. And I was like, Dude, I feel your pain, but that’s something you have to face on your own. Anyway:

3. Go easy on the grab ass. You can slap your best buddie’s ass whenever, but not a new hang partner’s ass. Maybe he has a hang-up about being slapped on the ass. Maybe he recently had hemorrhoids and he’s still recovering. Maybe he still has hemorrhoids. Be aware of the many reasons why he wouldn’t want you to slap his ass. That said, if later on in the night folks are getting rowdy and there is plenty of grab ass going around, by all means indulge yourself.

4. Try not to one-up in conversation. When someone says, I went to Siesta Key for spring break, don’t immediately say that you went to St. Thomas. St. Thomas is better and more expensive. You would be one-upping them. Instead, you should say, Oh cool, how was it? Ask questions about things they say; feign interest if you have to. Don’t respond by saying a similar thing that you’ve done. This will only turn the focus of the hang to you. It won’t create healthy conversation. It won’t even be a real conversation. It will be two people barking at each other. Another example: If the person you’re hanging with says that they’ve been enjoying a new show on HBO, and you don’t own a television, don’t immediately say this: I don’t own a television. This is one-upping of a different sort. You’re implying that you have no interest in what they’re about to say and you never stoop so low as to enjoy the thing they have enjoyed. You’re saying: Stop right there and ask me why I don’t own a TV and I’ll tell you all about the periodicals and novels I’ve been reading lately. Instead, you should say this: Oh, what’s the show like? And after they tell you about it, and they ask what shows you enjoy, only then can you say, I don’t own a television.

5. If you’re chatting one-on-one with someone and they tell you a reasonably private thing about themselves – such as: I’ve been having trouble with a hybridbot – don’t announce that piece of information to everyone at the hang. They can decide who to tell and who not to tell. Unless they said don’t repeat this ever, you can tell other people at the hang and at future hangs, but only in a one-on-one chat. Do not make a hang-wide announcement.

CODY: You make some good points, but I still think hangs shouldn’t have rules. That’s why you hang in the first place: to get away from rules. Work has rules. Hanging should just be hanging.

TEDDY: Fine. But those dudes need to learn how to hang. I guarantee the darts hangs will be better if they read my rules. Hear me out: I’m going to type these up and print them out and give them to you. The next time you hang in Darryl’s dad’s basement, tape them next to the dart board. That will send that boomer a message.

CODY: But he’ll just take it down before other guests see it. It’s his basement, after all.

TEDDY: Then tape it to the front door so all who enter his house see my hang rules.

CODY: I don’t know, man.

TEDDY: Cody. Do it or you’re fired.

CODY: Draaag.

NEXT: Who Let The Dogs Out? Woof, Woof Woof, Woof



The Third Hang At The Other Laundromat

August 24, 2010

[Teddy and C.O.D.Y the Robot Who Hangs Out are standing near the counter.]

CODY: So then Darryl’s dad says, If you can land two triple 20s in a row, I’ll shotgun this warm Stroh’s I found in the kitchen. If you don’t land any triple 20s, you have to shotgun it. If you only land one then nobody shotguns it. So I’m like, Yeah, let’s do this. I focus. I get my arm parallel to the floor and I line up my eye with the flights and I line up the flights with the triple 20. I release and, boom, triple 20. Darryl’s dad’s like, Effing hangbots, you dudes were programmed to be better than humans at parlor games. And a lot of people think that about me, but it’s not true. I had to work for my darts skills. So I line up my the next dart. I’m relaxed and focused. And I release. Boom, it scrapes the first dart’s flights and lands right inside the wire for another triple 20. Darryl’s dad is so pissed, but he doesn’t say anything. He takes out his Bowie knife and cuts a hole in the can of Stroh’s and shotguns it, and he fucks it up so all this warm Stroh’s spills down his shirt. He was so pissed.

TEDDY: How often do you dudes play darts?

CODY: Just about every night. You should come hang sometime.

TEDDY: I will. Can I bring this lady I’ve been seeing?

CODY: Of course. Bring any lady you want.

TEDDY: Well, she’s not really a lady. More like a ladybot.

CODY: Niiice. You pulled a ladybot?

TEDDY: I did. Well, she’s not a ladybot either. She’s a hybridbot. She has some human parts. Ovaries. Tubes. And some other stuff.

CODY: A hybridbot, eh? I haven’t seen one of those since I was back in the lab. Is she cool to hang with?

TEDDY: It’s the best hanging I’ve ever had.

CODY: Where’d you meet her?

TEDDY: It’s a weird story. So one night I’m walking home from the bar and I realize I’m starving so I stop in a Skyline and get some Coneys. While I’m eating I see this gorgeous woman come in by herself and sit down at a table. She’s wearing short jeans shorts and a small tank top; it was so small you could see her bellybutton. Now, I’m sauced. Like, about-to-shit-my-pants drunk. But the Coneys give me some energy and I walk over to her table and sit down next to her.

CODY: That’s bold.

TEDDY: I know, right? She’s like, Can I help you? And I say, Hey, I’m Teddy. I live around here. Or something like that. I just bought this new skillet so I’ve been testing it a lot but I need someone to tell me how good it works. Can I make you eggs tomorrow morning and then you’ll tell me how good they are? And she says, I love eggs. Yes, I’ll do it, sounds fun. She was game. I couldn’t believe it. So then I say, and this was the crucial line, I say, Should I give you call tomorrow or should I wake you up when they’re ready?

CODY: Very bold.

TEDDY: I know. So I say that. And she doesn’t say anything for a moment and it’s weird. Here’s where shit goes badly: I get foggy from all the booze and I must have passed out because the next thing I know we’re in the women’s bathroom and she’s washing chili off my face. I’m like, What happened? She says that I put my head down in her Coney and made a mess all over myself. I passed out and got chili on my face while picking up this girl. So she asks me how I’m getting home. I say I’m walking. She says that I won’t make it alone so she walks me out of the Skyline and we walk all the way back to my place. It must’ve been a mile or so. And I vomited twice, once behind a Rax and again all over the post office.

CODY: But how do you remember what you said if you were about-to-shit-your-pants drunk?

TEDDY: She told me all this later.

CODY: I see. That was nice of her to walk you home.

TEDDY: What she did to me the next morning was even nicer. If you know what I mean.

CODY: Niiice. Did you make her eggs?

TEDDY: No. I don’t even own a skillet. That’s the best part. She ran out and bought us McDonald’s and came back and we ate it while watching golf. It was really fun. Then we had more sex. Do you wanna hear about it? What it’s like?

CODY: What what’s like?

TEDDY: Inside a hybridbot. It’s different than a human. Very different.

CODY: I guess I’ll listen if you wanna tell me.

TEDDY: I’m gonna tell you, but don’t tell her that I told you. OK?


TEDDY: Inside a hybridbot… it’s … like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s hard to explain but I’ll try my best. Think of a regular human girl. That’s what it looks like on the outside. Now imagine if she had a few tiny parts in there and they all moved. Tiny soft machines. They don’t move at random but rather in a neat rhythm determined by the hybridbot. It’s like putting your dick in a tiny car wash with foamy flaps and fuzzy buffers. When you first enter it there’s a wide flap that drags on the top of your dick. Next there are two plush buffers on the sides and those feel great, too. After that there’s a vibrating spongy ring you put you dick in and at the very end there’s a small nub that pulsates on your tip. It’s like when you go into Sharper Image and sit in one of those massage chairs. But this chair is warm and soggy, and it’s not your entire body that’s getting massaged; it’s just your dick. And a hybridbot can close her shit super-tight so you can’t get out. Like a female dog can. Ever heard of that? When dogs fuck the male dog sometimes gets stuck and he’ll have to tug and tug until he can get it out?

CODY: I’ve never heard of that.

TEDDY: If the hybridbot wants to, she can do that. Mine did that. But I didn’t mind it because at the time I wanted to spend the rest of my life in there. Josephine did this thing – that’s her name, Josephine – when she made it really wide and sucked in all my junk, the whole thing, and gave it a scrub by moving her parts real fast.

CODY: Sounds scary. I just like hanging with the regular ones

TEDDY: You would say that. But listen. I could probably talk Josephine into hanging with you. And then you’ll see what I mean. You haven’t lived until you’ve hung out with a hybridbot. Hybridbot hangs are the only hangs I’m into now.

CODY: Drag. What about darts hangs at Darry’ls dad’s house? You said you would come hang.

TEDDY: I’m into those hangs too, Cody.

CODY: Niiice.

NEXT: The Fox in the Garage Part 10: The Second Worst Thing You Did to Me



The Second Hang At The Other Laundromat

August 6, 2010

[C.O.D.Y. The Robot Who Hangs Out and Teddy stand near the counter.]

TEDDY: Let’s try the greeting again. Look me in the eye when you talk this time.

CODY: Hi. My name is Cody. How can I help you, man?

TEDDY. Not bad. But don’t say man at the end. And don’t wink. Ever. Go again.

CODY: Hi, my name is Cody. How can I help you?

TEDDY: Better. Now let’s have a conversation. Pretend I’m a customer.

CODY: Hello, customer. Welcome to Teddy’s L. Mat. How may I help you?

TEDDY: Stop. Don’t actually call the customers customer. And although I call it the L. Mat, don’t call it that in front of customers. It’s off-putting. Go again.

CODY: Hello and welcome. How can I help you?

TEDDY: The machine ate my quarters. Can I borrow two from you? I’ll pay you back, I swear.

CODY: Sure, man. [CODY opens cash register and takes out two quarters and gives them to TEDDY.] Here you go.

TEDDY: Thanks! And… stop. You failed. Never give out money. Never. We take their money. We don’t loan them money. We’re an L. Mat, not a bank.

CODY: But our machine ate his quarters, and he said he’d pay us back.

TEDDY: He was lying. These machines are perfect. They don’t eat quarters. And if they do, fuck it. That’s the customer’s shit to shovel. Not yours. If you’re gonna work here you’re gonna have to adopt my mantra: Fuck it. Say it with me.

CODY: Fuck. It.

TEDDY: Fuck it.

CODY: Fuck it.

TEDDY: Nice. And did you really think I was going to pay you back?

CODY: You said you were going to.

TEDDY: Oh, Cody. People say things they don’t mean all the time. Especially to get free stuff. Fuck it. If you believe everything these customers say then word will spread that there’s a suckerbot working at Teddy’s L. Mat and folks from all over will start coming here just to walk all over you.

CODY: Folks will come here to hang with me?

TEDDY: They wouldn’t come to hang. They’d come to hustle. You always have to watch out because some people will hang with you just to hustle you.

CODY: Drag.

TEDDY: Like this one girl I was hanging with, Angie. At first she was great. But then she became a gremlin. We hung out for three years and then one day I told her that I didn’t want a girlfriend and she stole my amplifier.

CODY: You’re a musician?

TEDDY: I was until that gremlin stole my amplifier.

[LINDA enters the L. Mat carrying Terrence. She opens a dryer. It’s empty. She opens another dryer. It’s empty, too. She becomes upset. She opens all the dryers that aren’t drying clothes and they’re all empty. She becomes very upset.]

LINDA: What the fuck?

[She walks over to the counter.]

LINDA: Do you work here?

CODY: Kind of.

TEDDY: I do. Is there a problem?

LINDA: Yeah. There’s a huge problem. My clothes are gone. This morning I washed my clothes and then I came back and put them in the dryer. Well, it took two dryers ‘cause I had so much. And then I went out for lunch and now all my clothes are gone.

TEDDY: Are you sure?

LINDA: Yes I’m sure. And it’s practically all the clothes I own. Maybe you took them out to make room for other people’s clothes? Tell me you did that.

TEDDY: We don’t do that here.

CODY: Maybe you took them to the other laundromat and you got confused.

LINDA: I didn’t take them to the other laundromat. I definitely took them here.

CODY: How about I check the machines for you?

LINDA: I just checked all of them but if you want to, go for it.

[CODY quickly checks each machine. Each time he opens one and sees that it’s empty he says drag. He returns to the counter and says:]

CODY: Drag. Your clothes aren’t here. I’m sorry.

TEDDY: I can take down your name and number, and if we find unclaimed clothes, I’ll call you. [Teddy grabs a pen and piece of paper.]

LINDA: OK. My name is Linda Lauper and my number is 937-555-5555. God dammit, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I only have like two shirts and two pairs of underwear and the pants I’m wearing.

CODY: You can have my shirt. [He starts taking off his shirt.]

LINDA: Thanks, but that’s OK. Oh fuck fuck fuck! My work shirts were in there. My boss is gonna be so pissed. Do you think someone could have stolen them?

TEDDY: I doubt it. We’ve never had a theft here. Well, this one time a hangbot stole another hangbot’s bandana collection. But no human-to-human theft.

LINDA: I mean, you were here all day, right? Did you see anyone come in and take a shitload of clothes out of two dryers?


LINDA: If you don’t find them, is there any way you could reimburse me? You’re supposed to watch these clothes, right?

TEDDY: Look. I don’t know what to tell you. This is exactly why we have the sign. [He points to a sign that reads: We are not liable for lost, stolen or damaged clothing.]

[Linda starts to cry. Terrence isn’t doing well either.]

CODY: Hey, don’t get all bummed on me. I’ll find your clothes.

LINDA: You will?

TEDDY: We can’t make any guarantees.

CODY: I’ll try to.

LINDA: Thanks. What’s your name?

CODY: Cody. C.O.D.Y. It stands for come on down ya’ll. Like, come on down ya’ll and hang with Cody for a while.

LINDA: Niiice.

CODY: Here. [He hands her the pen and paper.] Make a list of your clothes so we know what to look for.

LINDA: God, it’s so much. But I can think of a few items. My pink cardigan, my Ekoostik Hookah T-shirt, three pairs of Old Navy jeans, a blue hoodie that says I HEART MY DUDES on it. These dudes I used to hang with made it for me. My Little Feat T-shirt.

CODY: You like Little Feat?

LINDA: Uh, they’re only my fourth favorite band.

CODY: Niiice. I think this list-making hang could use some tunes. ["Feats Don't Fail Me Now" by Little Feat blasts from Cody.]

TEDDY: Fucking hangbots. I’ll be in the back if you need me. [and he leaves.]

LINDA: Let’s see, what else? White socks. A lot of them. Two Aéropostale T-shirts. One has a surfboard on it but I forget what the other one has on it. Maybe an old truck. A black skirt from Bebe. [And on and on and on.]

NEXT: I Wish Dexter Would Shit Like That



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Published Work

Page 1: The Fox in the Garage

How I Started a Family

Do We Need Cynar?

Gary 1 and Gary 2

I Work at a Fashionable Hotel Called the Hudson

C.O.D.Y. the Robot Who Hangs Out

Ann and Her Birdhouses

Luke and His Bobber

The Fox in the Garage in 3-D

105 Stories About Ohio


The Slugman of Herbert Street

Harold and the Purple Women


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