She Said She Was A Virgin Too Kinda

November 5, 2010

[Dr. Philbin and Luke are sitting on the driveway next to the bobber. A cooler of beers is between them. Dr. Philbin is wearing his leather riding jacket.]

Dr. Philbin: Let’s talk names. The bobber already has a name. It’s named Polly. But you can rename her. Once we fix her up and you take ownership it’s your right to name her.

Luke: I didn’t know that. I’ll think of one.

Dr. Philbin: Let’s get a brainstorm going. It should be a woman’s name. A woman who was really important to you. Maybe a first love, the first girl you saw naked, the first girl you cried in front of. Someone like that. I don’t want you naming her Pamela after Pamela Anderson or Angelina Jolie or something like that. It can’t be a woman you’ve only jacked off to and never met. It has to be someone whose eyes you’ve looked into and told your hopes and fears to, someone you’ve written letters to, someone you secretly loved but never told how you feel about her, maybe someone you didn’t want to introduce to your mother because you knew it wouldn’t go over well but if you had a second chance you would do everything differently and run away with her. Was there ever a girl like that?

Luke: Not really. Well. There was a girl I used to be with, years ago, before I met Sarah, but I would never name a bike after her, she wouldn’t like that, it would give her the wrong idea. I’ll think about a name and get back to you.

Dr. Philbin: Who was she? You can tell me. I won’t tell you-know-who. This is guy talk. What you say on the driveway won’t leave the driveway.

Luke: There was a girl, years ago. We were together forever. She lived with me and some dudes after high school in a shitty old house. I have some good memories, that’s all. But I’m not going to name the bike after her.

Dr. Philbin: Why did it end? Did you mess it up? You messed it up, didn’t you? We always do, don’t we? We always find a way to blow a good thing. Maybe it’s in guys’ DNA. We’re hard-wired to shoot semen all over this good earth and hope that a seed or two gets up in a girl and then the minute things are going good we find a way to mess it up and then we torture ourselves for months, years even, over how and why we messed things up and we beg them to reconsider but by then it’s too late. You can tell me. How did you mess things up?

Luke: So we lived with these dudes. There were three dudes. Four counting me. And her. She was our den mother and our carpool driver and our maid. I didn’t realize it at the time but she was my mother too. She put Band-Aids on my fingers when I cut myself and she’d make me an omelet at four in the morning when I was drunk and hungry. She was good in bed too.

Dr. Philbin: You gotta love a woman who can cook AND make love. I’ve always said that.

Luke: And she would pant the rooms without us even asking. Me and the dudes would come home from the bar and we’d discover that one of the dudes’ bedroom had been painted orange. We’d ask her what the hell is going on and she’d say, Oh, I was just feeling orange today so I drove to Sherwin Williams and bought a can of orange paint and did up a bedroom. You like? She painted clouds on the ceiling of our bedroom because she said that when we have sex she’s in heaven so she figured she would make the room look like heaven. She also painted wizards in the walls in the bathroom.

Dr. Philbin: Why did she do that?

Luke: No reason. She was high at the time. We used to get high all the time. We were nineteen so why not.

Dr. Philbin: Oh man, I know what that’s like. Being high is the best. In dental school Popeye would buy jars of rubber cement and we’d smell them after studying.

Luke: We were high a lot too. That’s why I messed things up with her.

Dr. Philbin: What did you do? You can tell me.

Luke: I don’t think I’m going to. Maybe later.

Dr. Philbin: Luke, my boy, what is said on this driveway doesn’t leave the driveway. These beers can’t hear anything. This cooler can’t talk. I’m not gonna say anything. Want to make a blood oath or something? Come on, man, I’m giving you the bobber. The least you can do is tell me what happened with this girl.

Luke: I shouldn’t. Let’s talk about something else. Why did you name the bobber Polly?

Dr. Philbin: Oh I see what’s going on here, you want me to talk about Polly but you won’t tell me about your girl. I see.

Luke: You don’t have to tell me about Polly. I don’t care, really. I mean, I care, but you don’t have to tell me.

Dr. Philbin: No. I AM going to tell you. Because why not? It’s been so many years now. And when I’m done, you’ll tell about yours. We will share things that have happened to us. You know, there’s a great line from a poem, I forget who wrote it, but you should take it to heart because I think it would help you. Seems like you’re having trouble talking about your past. We read the poem back in college a hundred years ago so I might forget some of it, but bear with me. The line is: But sometimes everything I write seems a snapshot. Or maybe there’s a word before snapshot. Then is goes: it’s lurid, rapid, garish, grouped. And yet paralyzed. All’s misalliance. Yet why not say what happened? OK. So the key part here is: Why not say what happened? Why not talk about the stuff you’ve done, the bad stuff, the good stuff, the stuff that makes you look like a monster, the stuff you would pay anything to erase from your memory forever. Why not tell people about it? That’s what the poet’s saying. Because if you don’t say what happened then what happened will always be in your head torturing you and preventing you to do other stuff and the worst thing you can do is not do stuff. So say what happened and then what happened won’t bring you down anymore. So tell me: what happened with the girl?

Luke: I’ll tell you later on, maybe when I’m drunk sometime.

Dr. Philbin: Fine. I’ll say what happened with Polly then. Polly, tall Polly. She was a lifeguard at my old swim club. We joined the club after my dad got a new job because the club was expensive and we could never have afforded it when he had his old job but he would always tell my mom that once he got a better job the first thing we’d do is join the fancy club. I think it was called The Willows. Or maybe the Willow Club. I’m gonna call it the Willow Club. It was called the Willow Club because there were weeping willow trees lining the driveway to the club. We joined it in, what was it, 1960, ’61? GOD I’M OLD! I was fourteen. I didn’t know anyone at the club so I didn’t like it there at first. My parents would play Euchre all day and drink with other parents and I’d be in the pool alone, day dreaming or whatever, or watching the other kids, the ones who had been members for years, chase each other around. The girls were pretty, but did they talk to me? No. I didn’t know it back then but they were probably begging for me to talk to them but I was always too shy and I didn’t know that girls like it when you go up to them and talk to them. So I’d swim by myself. I spent all of June alone and it was miserable. There was a swim team I could’ve joined, but I didn’t want to. And there were kids’ clubs where the kids played shuffleboard and did cotillion but I didn’t want to join that either because the boys all seemed so big and the girls were pretty and they looked mean because they weren’t smiling but like I said if I had only gone up to them and talked to them I things would’ve been different but I was a chump back then so I hung out by myself. I never talked to anyone at the club. Until the Fourth of July. That’s when I met Polly the lifeguard. She was sixteen years old and she had breasts the size of my head. I would stare at her sitting up there in her chair. I would stare at her legs. Sometimes she would get in the water to cool off and then she would climb back up on the chair. Water would drip from her legs and I would wade in the water under her and catch the drops in my mouth. It was sick. I was a sick boy. But I never talked to her. Not until the Fourth of July. There was a big party at the club and all the staff were allowed to party with the members. So Polly was off-duty. She was sitting poolside with her feet in the water and drinking a beer. I was sitting next to her. She turned to me and asked if I wanted a sip of her beer. Now, at the time I had had sips of booze. I was allowed to have sips, but only if my parents gave it to me. At Christmas my dad would give me and my cousins the gin-soaked olives from his martinis. He’d been doing that since I was four years old so I had had little buzzes all my life. But when Polly offered me a sip I said yes, I’d like a sip. I took a sip. And then another and another and we got to talking. She told me about a boy she kissed but then decided she didn’t want to kiss anymore. The boy got real mad and told her one day after school that he wanted to be her boyfriend. But she didn’t want to. She didn’t know why, but something deep down said that she didn’t want to be his girlfriend. But the boy wouldn’t let it go. He started calling her late at night and her dad was getting mad about it and she even got grounded because this boy was calling her so much. But it’s not my fault, she said. But her parents didn’t care. She said her dad hit her because of it, but not too hard, but he still hit her. Her parents said she probably led him on and that it was her fault. But she swore she only kissed him once, and with her mouth closed no less. The boy was in a band, and his band played at pep rallies sometimes, not every pep rally, but maybe one pep rally a month. At the last pep rally of the year in May they played a song called “Tall Polly.” Polly knew it was about her. There was a line in the songs about her girls, something about how Polly’s girls are the best girls in school. She knew the line was about her breasts so she complained to the guidance counselor, but he was no help. He said the band can play what they want to play. He said it’s art. So she tells me all this while we’re sitting on the side of the pool sipping beer. And she’s on the verge of tears. It was crazy for me to see her like that because here was my lifeguard, the person who’s supposed to save us all, the rock of the Willows, the beauty from whose dripping legs I drink, and she’s crying about some boy’s song. She said that everyone knew the song was about her and everyone said she should be his boyfriend but she didn’t want to be and all summer long the boy has been waiting for her outside her house and she was scared he’s going to try something. At one point she held my hand and said, But you won’t let him try anything, will you? I said that I wouldn’t. And then she kissed me on the mouth. It was an open-mouth kiss, too. Not like the kiss she gave the other boy. And then she touched my dick and said, Will you protect me from him? I could use a bodyguard. I’ll be your lifeguard at the pool if you guard my life outside the pool. Sound good? I said that sounded good. She said, Thank god the boy is poor and can’t afford to join the Willow Club or else he would and he’d stalk me at work. But he can hang out outside and follow me home. So after my shifts I’ll need you walk me home. And in the morning I’ll need you to show up at my house and walk me to work. Can you do that? I said yes. She said she would kiss every time I walked her, one kiss in the morning before work and one kiss at night after work. And when the summer’s over  she said she would have sex me. Summer ends on Labor Day. So we will have sex on Labor Day. But only if you protect me from him all summer. If you don’t show up one day and he attacks me then I won’t have sex with you, she said. Are you a virgin? I said yes. She said she was a virgin too kinda.

Luke: That’s nuts.

Dr. Philbin: Polly was nuts. So the next day I showed up at her house and walked her work. She didn’t talk much, so I did all the talking. I told her everything I could tell her, until I had nothing else to say. I talked about how bored I’d been at the pool, how my parents drink and play Euchre all day and how I was excited for school to start because then I would have something to do. But I don’t think she ever listened to me. When we’d get to the club she’d kiss on the mouth. And sometimes she would touch my dick and say, Do you like that? Do you like it when I do that? And I’d say, Yes, very much, thank you. Then she’d go to work. I’d rub out my boner into toilet paper in the club’s bathroom. During the day I’d sit near her chair and we’d talk sometimes and sometimes we’d eat lunch together but we would never kiss at the club because she said it was against policy. I don’t think it was against any policy but I didn’t complain because once we left the club she would kiss me. It was a marvelous summer.

Luke: Did the boy ever show up?

Dr. Philbin: Not once. But every day I was worried he would. I would think, Today’s the day when the boy’s gonna show up with a baseball bat and beat the snot out of me and rape Polly in front of me. But we never saw him.

Luke: Crazy. So you lost your virginity to a lifeguard?

Dr. Philbin: WELL. NOT EXACTLY. So Labor Day comes around. I’ve been escorting Polly to and from work since the Fourth. She’d touched my dick just about every day and everyday I’d go and rub it out in the bathroom. One time she showed me one of her breasts but I wasn’t allowed to touch it. Not until we had sex. Here was the plan for Labor Day: Her parents were going to Lake Cumberland all weekend. Polly was supposed to sleep at her grandma’s, but she told her grandma that she was sleeping at a friend’s house. I was to meet her outside her front door at ten o’clock. She tells me to dress up fancy to make it special. So that night I put on my confirmation suit and brush my teeth three times and put on extra deodorant and walk over to Polly’s. I ring the doorbell. No answer. I ring it again. Still no answer. Now, we didn’t have cell phones back then so I couldn’t call her. So I ring it again. Still no answer. So I sit outside her front door and wait. I wait for an hour, another hour, I’m waiting and waiting. It was torture.

Luke: Let me guess: she shows up with the other boy, the boy you were protecting her from.

Dr. Philbin: That would have been hilarious. And terrible. But no, that’s not what happened. She never showed up. I waited until two in the morning and she never showed up. So I walked home all bummed out and called her house, but she didn’t answer. She had work the next day, and I had to escort her, so I woke up early and walked over to her house. I ring the doorbell. Again, no answer. I knock and knock, but there’s no answer. It’s torture, man. I’ve been waiting since the Fourth of July to have sex with this girl and now she’s disappeared. I walk to the club and ask a manager there if he’s seen her. He says he hasn’t. I walk to her grandma’s house and knock on the door. Her grandma opens it. She’s very old, and very sad-looking. I ask her if Polly’s home. And she says, No, she’s at a friend’s house. Can I leave a message for you? I tell her to have Polly call me and I go home and wait by the phone all day and all night. Then what do you think happened?

Luke: She calls late at night and you go over to her house and throw it to her?

Dr. Philbin: Wrong. She never calls. I stay awake all night, but she never calls. I walk back to her house around midnight and knock some more. No answer. I sit on the sidewalk in front of her house and, no joke, I start crying. Something was wrong. Something had happened to her, I was sure.

Luke: Jesus. Did that boy murder her or something?

Dr. Philbin: That’s what I thought. I thought I had failed her. She was out of my sight for just day, Labor Day, and she’d been raped and killed by the boy and it was my fault. But that’s not what happened.

Luke: What happened to her?

Dr. Philbin: I don’t know. Nobody does. She didn’t show up at school the next week. Some cops came to the house and asked me a hundred questions. They asked if she talked about running away, and if she had another boyfriend. They asked if she was suicidal. But I didn’t know anything. I had to tell them about our plan to have sex in front of my parents and my mom was livid but my pops was like, Thata boy, she was a babe. And then a cop said, yeah, Maybe a dead a babe. Maybe a runaway babe.

Luke: Do you think she ran away?

Dr. Philbin: I hope so. The alternative is she got kidnapped and or murdered. So I hope she ran away. I really do. I hope she ran away to LA or San Francisco. Maybe she worked as a lifeguard out there. She probably married a painter or a some other kind of rebel type but he would fuck around behind her back so she left him. Now I hope she’s living somewhere cool like Vancouver and smoking pot all the time and taking it easy in a house full of cats. And I hope every Labor Day when she wakes up she thinks, I wonder what that Philbin kid is up to? Is he still in Dayton? Maybe if I’m ever back in town for a wedding or a funeral me and Philbin will meet for a drink and then we’ll sneak into the Willows Club and fuck. That’d be a nice thing to do.

NEXT: The Fox in the Garage Part 13: Say My Name



She Says That Him Is Not Worth Talking About

October 12, 2010

[Luke is sitting on the driveway next to the bobber. He is cleaning the swingarm and drinking a beer. In the cooler there are three more beers, two for Dr. Philbin, who’s late. Luke checks his phone. Dr Philbin is twenty minutes late. Luke lights a cigarette. He only gets two drags before he sees Dr. Philbin’s Lexus turn into the cul-de-sac and he stamps it out on the driveway and tosses it on the lawn. The car pulls into the driveway. Dr. Philbin opens the door and steps out carrying a large shopping bag.]

Philbin: Sorry I’m late. There was a fender-bender on 75 north of Cincinnati and folks were rubber-necking and if there’s one thing I can’t stand on the road it’s rubber-necking. It’s like, what, have you never seen two cars hit each other before? You can watch car accidents on TV all day if you want to. I have done that. One time when I was laid up with a broken collarbone I watched a car crash show for five hours.

Luke: I hate rubber-necking too.

Philbin: And when I finally pulled up to the cars I saw the problem: it was two women. One kissed the other’s bumper and she made a federal case about it, screaming on the phone to God knows who, the cops maybe. Women drivers, man. I’ll tell YOU what. They should have to put pink flags on their cars so the rest of know there’s a woman behind the wheel.

Luke: That would be an interesting law.

Philbin: So. You’re probably wondering what’s in the box. It’s why I’m late, actually. I was down in Lebanon. Doing some shopping. For you. For my boy Luke.

Luke: Really?

Philbin: Really. Guess what it is. GUESS. I’ll give you a hint: Lebanon, leather, black, bobber. If you can’t guess it from those hints then you’re a retard.

Luke: Is it a motorcycle jacket from Lebanon Leather?

Philbin: Bingo, bango. [He pulls the jacket from the bag and holds it up to Luke. It’s shiny and black and there's white trim on the sleeves. It’s a great jacket. Lebanon Leather does great work. Philbin says:] Put it on. Immediately.

[Luke puts on the jacket. It fits. He looks tough, from the waist up at least. He’s wearing basketball shorts.]

Philbin: Now you’re dressed for the first ride. That’s how you dress when you ride a bike. Damn. Now go inside and put on jeans and come back out here. I want to see you all dressed up for the first ride. You wouldn’t wear shorts on your first ride, would you?

Luke: I probably wouldn’t. But do you really need me to put on pants right now?

Philbin: Yes. You need to put on jeans. I want to see you in the full get-up. I’m going to take pictures. Oh, and look at this. [he walks to his car and opens the door and rummages around and come back with two boots. Like the jacket the boots are black and shiny and fancy-looking. Philbin says:] These are the boots. THE boots. The ones I was talking about. The Golden Geese. Ordinarily I wouldn’t let anyone wear them. They are primo and if they get scuffed up then they lose value. It’s probably like a buck per scuff, that’s how much they’re worth. And I’m not saying you can wear them for your first ride. Because you can’t. I’m not THAT nice. But you can wear them today. So go inside and put jeans on and come back here. Tell Sarah to come out if she has nothing better to do. She’ll want to see you in my boots.

[Luke walks inside. A few minutes later he walks back out wearing baggy jeans. Sarah is behind him.]

Philbin: Doesn’t that jacket look totally boss on him?

Sarah: Yeah dad, it looks boss. [She looks at Luke like, He is crazy, I know.]

Philbin: I’m going to let him wear the boots today. Not for the first ride. Just for today. So we can take pictures of him and you can put them online and email them to Mom and Bernie and Darryl’s dad. They’d all get a kick out of it. Can you do that? You know how to put pictures online, right?

Sarah: I do know how to put pictures online. Or better yet, I could show you how to and you could do it.

Philbin: It’d be great if one day you would sit me down and show me how to put stuff online. I’ve been saying that for years. Literally years. But not today. Someday in the future. Alright, son. Put on the boots. Slip on the Golden Geese and strut around for us.

[Philbin hands over the boots to Luke. Luke sits down on the driveway and puts them on. They are too big.]

Luke: They don’t fit.

Philbin: That’s OK. Sometimes in life your shoes won’t fit. But if you look boss in them, you don’t have anything to worry about. And you do look boss in those boots. If I were my daughter I’d want you to jump your bones right now. I’d say, Hey Dad, leave us alone for seven minutes so we can do the nasty thing right here on the driveway.

Sarah: DAD, stop it.

Philbin: Alright. Let me get my camera. [He walks to the car again and opens the driver-side door and grabs the camera. He walks over to Luke.] Alright. Now look like a boss.

Luke: What does a boss look like?

Philbin: Look confident. Looking like a boss is all about confidence. Stand up straight. Kids your age are always hunched over like they’re eighty years old. Close your mouth. Whay are you always breating through your mouth anyway?

Luke: I’ve got this thing with my sinuses. I can’t breathe through my nose for a long time. If I keep my mouth closed for a minute or two I could die.

Philbin: Bosses keep their mouths closed. Get your hands out your pockets and cross your arms. Pretend you’re saying, What do you want from me? Imagine that someone just told you you’re a chump and you’re trying to prove them wrong by standing a certain way. That’s how you should look right now. Put on your best I’m-not-a-chump face.

[Luke crosses his arms and closes his mouth. His legs are spread far apart. He looks like a boss.]

Philbin: Excellent. Now hold that pose. [He takes a few pictures.] Excellent. Now. Stand near the bobber. Lean on it. Put one arm across the dash and put the other hand in your pocket. Pretend you’re outside a gas station. It’s hot out. You’re waiting for your girl to finish taking a leak in the bathroom. You’re a patient man, but you have things to do and people to see. You’re busy, but you’ll wait all day for your girl because she makes you happy.

Sarah: Dad. This is getting weird.

Philbin: If it’s too weird for you, then go inside. This is what bosses do.

Sarah: Bosses take glamour shots of each other on a broken motorcycle?

Philbin: Yes. [He snaps a few shots of Luke leaning against the bobber.] Now. Mount the bike. Get on up there. Imagine that the bobber is fixed and ready to roll and you’re about to set off on your first ride. You’re going to ride to Yellow Springs and eat pizza and then go for a nature walk, solo, to clear you head, to escape from Perkins and the modern world. There won’t be any western omelets to make. It’ll be just you and Mother Earth. You’ll return to nature. You’ll sit down in the tall grass and hide from everything that’s been bringing you down.

[Luke mounts the bobber. His hands grip the grips and he leans forward like he’s riding. Dr. Philbin takes a few pictures.]

Philbin: How does that feel?

Luke: It feels boss.

Philbin: That’s because you’re a boss now.

Sarah: I’m going inside. You boys have fun. [she walks inside.]

Philbin: I’m getting some great shots. It’s good that I’m doing this because you’ll have these pictures for the rest of your life. You can look at these when you’re old and grey and think, That was the day Dr. Philbin made me a boss. Before you go on your first ride make sure to call me and I’ll show up with the camera and take some more. You’ll want to have those forever too. And heck, when you Sarah have kids they can look at them too. When you’re older you’ll start to appreciate the memory-making process more.

Luke: You do seem to be into making memories.

Philbin: Maybe I’m in memory-making mode right now. Don’t worry about it. It’s none of your concern. Oh man, I forgot to tell you: one of those ladies from the accident, the one who got hit: she was a babe. She may have been a ladybot. You got to watch out for those. Maneaters, man. But still, if you’re just looking at them, no harm, no foul. She had these legs. And she was wearing a tank top. And when I slowed down to get a good look at the crash I noticed she was not wearing a brassiere. Very nice, Luke. She was very nice.

Luke: Nice.

Philbin: Ladies on the side of the road. Nothing better than that. Think about it: You’re on your first ride. You’re cruising on 70 going east to Columbus. You’re wearing the jacket and those jeans. Or, wait, you’ve got to get some tighter jeans, son. What are those, JNCOs? Are you tryting to smuggle drugs in those? You could fit four legs in those jeans. Here. [he takes out his wallet.] Here’s fifty bucks. Go buy yourself some decent jeans for your first ride. OK. So you’ve got your jacket and your jeans, and you’ve bought a pair of boots ‘cause you’re not wearing those Golden Geese, and you see a lady on the side of the road. Her car’s broken down. No one else is around to help her. What do you do?

Luke: I would probably stop.

Philbin: YEAH YOU WOULD. So you stop, right. And you walk up to her. What do you say? You say, Car trouble? Do you need help? And she says, I need all the help you’re willing to give me. So you pop her hood and it’s smoking. It’s smoking real bad. Something bad is going on. The car is fucked. So you say, This car is fucked, ma’am. I don’t know how to fix it but I could take you somewhere. And she says, That would be nice. There might be a mechanic in the next town over. It’s about ten miles or so. And you say, Hop on. You hoist her onto the bobber. Her waist feels good in your hands. She’s not a thin girl. She’s a brunette, a smart-looking girl who likes to have a good time. Maybe she dropped out of law school to be a cruise boat masseuse. Maybe she’s never had to work a day in her life. You ask where she was going. She says, Anywhere away from Him. You ask her who Him is. She says that Him is not worth talking about. She doesn’t want to waste anymore words on Him. Him has ruined her. You say that’s good enough for you. You turn on the radio and it’s Roy Orbison. She says Roy Orbison reminds her of Him, so you change the station and she likes this song. You rev the engine and you’re going 60, 70, 80, real fast. She loves it. She says her dad used to race stock cars in Louisville and sometimes they would ride through the country super fast. She would put her head out the window and it made her forget about everything that was bothering her. She says you remind her of her dad and you ask if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. She says it’s a great thing. She digs her fingers into your stomach even harder. She has a strong grip. Big hands.

Luke: Alright, man. I think I get the point. You want me to get laid by a stranger on my first ride.

Philbin: I’m not done yet. You ride for a few miles and then you see the sign for a town. You pull off the highway. You see a gas station and you park the bobber in the parking lot and go inside and ask the guy there if there’s a mechanic in the garage. The guy says the mechanic won’t be back in until tomorrow morning. It’s getting late, after all.

Luke: Couldn’t she call Triple A?

Philbin: She doesn’t belong anymore. Her dues have lapsed. So you go back to the bobber and tell her that the mechanic won’t be in until tomorrow. She says that’s not a problem. She has nowhere to go, nowhere to be. She’s free. I’m finally a free woman, she says. I can do whatever I want with whomever I want. There’s a sign for an Econo Lodge in the distance. She checks her phone and says it’s eight o’clock. That’s my dinner time, she says. You got dinner plans? You don’t have dinner plans. Don’t make plans the night of your first ride because you’ll never know where it will take you. She says, We should get a room now in case it fills up later tonight. You think about saying something dumb like, Honey, it’s the Econo Lodge twenty miles west of Columbus. It’s not going to fill up tonight or any night ever. But you hold your tongue. Your big mouth has blown it before and you don’t want to blow it again. You say, Yeah, let’s get a room, and then we’ll get some dinner. She says she can pay for the room. She stole a hundred dollars from his wallet. Ten bucks for every time he cheated. You say, He cheated on you ten times? Ten times that I know about. He was a motherfucker. He was a snake. And I’m still in love with Him. But I’m thinking you can help me forget Him. I’m thinking you can fuck Him out of my head. Can you do that? Can you fuck Him out of my head? You say that you will try. You ride to the Econo Lodge and park the bobber. You two walk up to the front desk. She asks the girl at the desk if there’s a discount for the broken hearted. The girl says no.

NEXT: A Big Fish Never Goes Down Without A Fight



She’s Made Many Mistakes But She Learned The Most From This One

September 15, 2010

[Luke and Dr. Philbin are seated on the driveway near the bobber. Luke is cleaning the swingarm with a washcloth and Dr. Philbin is drinking a beer and telling a story:]

-So, this poor kid. For the life of him he can’t pin on the corsage. He simply cannot do it. He’s poking Sarah with the pin, Sarah’s about the cry, her mother’s losing it. I’m taking pictures, because how many times will this happen in her life? You have to take as many pictures of your kids as possible because they grow up so damn fast and it’s fun to embarrass them when they’re older. So finally Sarah says, Christ dad, will you stop taking pictures and help us out? She was so pissed. So I take over from this poor kid and pin it on her, no problem. Turns out, the kid had a medical condition, some sort of muscle thing or a palsy. That’s why it was so hard for him. We never saw him around the house again. Oh by the way, has Sarah told you about her senior prom?


-Oh man, that’s a good one. I can’t believe she hasn’t told you. You know, couples have to be open with each other and communicate or they’ll never last. Sit her down one day and make her tell you all these stories, because this one, wow, yeah, she should definitely tell it, not me.

-What happened?

-I can’t say. It’s her story to tell.

-I’ll ask her about it.

-It’s a crazy story. Crazy with a capital C.

-I’m sure.

-It’s probably the best story about her.

-Better than the 98 Degrees concert story?

-Way better. How about this: I’ll tell you, but she if she ever tells you then you have to pretend like it’s the first time you’re hearing it. You got me?


-Good. OK. So senior year she went through a promiscuous stage. All these boys were in and out of the house, leaving early in the morning and calling her late at night. I wanted to talk to her about it but her mother said she would grow out of it and that if I said anything it would only make things worse. So I didn’t say anything. Soon enough, it’s May, time for Prom, and she needs a date. But none of those boys ask her. There must have been seven, and they all found other girls to go with. I guess they’d already had her or whatever so they didn’t need to take her out. She’d given it up too soon, and they had all moved on. So she’s upset about it. In my infinite wisdom I offer to help. I say, Honey, you know my friend Dr. Tibits? His son Damon goes to Oakwood and their prom is a different weekend I think, and he doesn’t have a girlfriend. I could have his dad ask him if he’d go with you. Her first reaction was like: Hell no, that would be so embarrassing, an arranged prom date, what am I, Indian? But then prom week came around and she was still dateless. And she NEEDED to go to prom because God knows why. So she said she would do it but Damon couldn’t know that she knew it was arranged. She said that Damon had to drive here and surprise her, and she would act surprised. Women, huh? So I call up Dr. Tibits and we arrange the whole thing. The next day he said his son needed to see a picture of Sarah first, to make sure she wasn’t or dog or fat. Now, this was before you kids took pictures of yourselves eating breakfast every god-damned day so we didn’t have pictures of her on the computer. We needed to photograph her. She put on some decent clothes and her mother hung up a sheet in her bedroom to use as a backdrop and I snapped some tasteful shots of her and emailed them to Dr. Tibits. He showed them to Damon, who must have liked them enough because the next day he was at our front door.

-That’s hilarious.

-It gets better. Sarah didn’t know this at the time, but Damon had recently gotten out of a program. One of those programs for troubled kids, almost like juvie but for rich kids. The boy was a basket case: drinking, drugs, fucking around. I heard he’d done it with boys too but you didn’t hear that from me. One time he stole a car and drove to Perfect North and went skiing for the weekend and drove back Sunday night and returned the car to the same parking space he’d stolen it from. He was a complete basket case. So he asks her and she says yes, and then we have to buy her a dress and shoes and all that. So now it’s the Thursday before prom and Sarah says Damon is sending her weird text messages. Stuff like: You are the one for me. And: I wish today was prom. He even emailed her a picture of his wrist on which he’d written SARAH in pen. Weird stuff like that. She didn’t show us all the texts because they were filthy. The kid was a basket case. But he was a date, so she couldn’t complain. So he comes to pick her up and we invite him in. I smell him to make sure he’s sober, and he was. He pins on the corsage, no problem, unlike that poor kid with the condition, and off they go.

-Did they go with a group or by themselves?

- They went with some of Damon’s alky friends from the program. All good kids, I’m sure, just a little spoiled. I thought they’d be no problem, that they’d been scared straight by the program. WRONG. Around three in the morning Dr. Tibits calls the house asking if we’d heard from Damon or Sarah. We hadn’t. He says he told Damon to be home by two and that he wasn’t answering his cell phone. I didn’t say it at the time but I knew Sarah was making it with him somewhere and part of me was mad about it but another part of me was thinking that she’s young and she needs to do these things now or she’ll regret it later. So I call Sarah’s cell phone. No answer. I call Dr. Tibiits back and he’s freaking out. He decides it’s a crisis and that our house is the crisis resolution center. He drives over with coffee and donuts. Now, Tibits is a large man. The fattest dentist I know. He’s offering me donuts and I keep saying no thanks, so he keeps eating them. He ate no less than five donuts in the two hours he was over. That’s not important for the story but I figured I’d mention it. Around five in the morning we get a phone call, and who do you think it is?

-The cops.

-BINGO. It’s the cops. They have Damon and Sarah and a few of those kids from the program at the station. Do you want to guess what they were doing or do you want me to tell you?

-Just tell me.

-OK. Damon, the genius that he is, decided it’d be a good idea to break into a pharmacy and steal pills to get messed up on. Sarah told me later that he had seen a movie about a guy who steals pills from pharmacies and he was copying that guy. So he, Sarah and a few of the freaks break into Dee Dee’s, the one on 48, and take some pills, codeine and valium and what have you, and they lay on the floor and giggle, right there in the pharmacy. Now, I’ve never abused codeine before so I wouldn’t know how I’d behave on it but I know that when Damon takes it he gets horny because he strips naked and starts kissing Sarah. Three of the freaks get it on too, and soon enough it’s a regular drugged-out fuck party.

-Sarah told you all this?

-Oh, no. See, Dee Dee’s has security cameras. DUH. What store doesn’t? So there’s video footage of your girlfriend getting her guts pushed up against a shelf of cold medicine. We all make mistakes. She’s made many mistakes but she learned the most from this one.

-You’ve seen the video?

-The cop said I could have it after the other cops watched it. He said that if they could watch it then they wouldn’t press charges. We just had to pay off Dee Dee. We didn’t punish Sarah because we figured her knowing that her father and a bunch of cops had seen a security video of her humping on the floor of Dee Dee’s pharmacy was punishment enough. Damon, however, got it real bad. Dr. Tibits sent him back to the program, a different program, one in Arkansas. He said those guys down there don’t mess around. But you know what? he turned out OK. Now he manages a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Chillicothe. Now. Don’t take this the wrong way, but that’s better than frying omelets at Perkin’s, don’t you think?

-Maybe so. Where’s the video now?

-I wish I knew. We moved a year after that. It must’ve gotten lost in the move.

NEXT: The Perfect G And T



She Took Her Time And Taught Me A Lot About Myself

August 12, 2010

[Luke and Dr. Philbin are cleaning the bobber on the driveway.]

Dr. Philbin: You guys still make that Granny’s Country omelet?

Luke: Yep.

-That’s what I usually get. What’s on that?

-There’s ham, onions, cheese.

-Oh yeah.

-And green peppers, I think. Yeah it’s pretty good.

-Just pretty good? No. That’s a great omelet. Probably the best thing on your menu.

-I like it OK.

-That’s my usual. I don’t go there enough to walk in and say, Gimme the usual, but if I did, they’d bring me a Granny’s Country and black coffee and a side of bacon. Does anyone ever say gimme the usual to you?

-Not really. Well, there’s this one lady who always orders two eggs scrambled and wheat toast, and sometimes she’ll say, I’ll have the usual.

-That’s nice. It’s nice to have some regularity. Things change so much. With people always moving or changing their diets willy nilly.


-I’m not saying people should stay in the same place their whole life. Because they shouldn’t. Get out and explore the world, I’ve always said that. But stick to your guns. Stick to your order. Don’t go nuts and switch to egg whites because some rich lady in a movie you like orders egg whites.

-I guess you’re right.

-When I was a kid my mother had a raw fish phase. And this was way before everyone started eating sushi every Godamned day. She’d bring home a hunk of tuna and cut it up and say, Dinner is served, get it while it’s hot. And my pops, well. He was beside himself about it. He started buying frozen dinners and he’d eat two of those every night we ate raw fish. We didn’t call it sushi back then. We didn’t know what real sushi was back then. I’ve read that a little sushi is OK once and a while but too much will make you sick.

-Like Jeremy Piven. He ate too much and got sick.

-I don’t know who that is but I’ll take your word for it.

-He’s an act—

-After Dad ate his frozen dinners he’d go to the basement and look at his maps. He had no less than twenty maps. All of them were really old, and he said they were worth good money, but after he died I took ‘em all in to a place to get ‘em appraised and you know what the guy told me?


-That they were worth diddly squat. How do you like that? This whole time he was leaving the dinner table to admire his wonderful maps. Or study them. God knows what he was doing with them. And they were worthless this whole time. I guess he just didn’t want to sit at the table with us while we ate our sushi. That was how his generation behaved. And God love ‘em.

-We all have to have our thing.

-I hear that. When I got older, this bobber was my thing. And soon it’ll be your thing. Once it’s ready to ride.

-I’m looking forward to it being my thing.

-Have you thought about your first ride?

-What do you mean?

-Where you’re gonna go, what you’re gonna do the first time you ride it.

-Not really. I’ll see where Sarah wants to go.

-Sarah? No, man. The first ride is about you. What does Luke want to do?

-I’m not sure, but I’ll think about it.

-It’s important for you to think hard about it. It might not seem like a big deal now, but later on, when you’re thinking about all the stuff you did in your life, you’ll remember it. It was a big deal for me so I planned it. It’s good to plan for stuff like this so you don’t blow it.

-I’ll try not to blow it.

-I sure as hell didn’t blow my first ride. My first ride was… it was something out of a movie.

-Where did you go?

-I can’t tell you.

-OK. So we might be running out of bug and tar. If I have time after work tomorrow I’ll swing by AutoZone.

-Sounds good. So my first ride. It’s a big secret.


-I guess I could tell you. But you would have to swear to me that you’d never tell anyone and if you did tell someone you’d make it up to me by doing me a huge solid.

-I don’t need to know about it.

-I know you don’t, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

-You don’t have to.

-I know, but I need to. So it gets passed down. See, I don’t have a real son. I have Sarah, and she’s great, but she’s not someone I can tell this stuff to, if you know what I mean. And I have Ross. But Ross and I have been, well, you probably heard.

-I have heard.

-He is my son, but he’s not really my kind of person, the kind of person I’d have chats with, if you know what I mean. Now, you, however. You’re my future son-in-law. That’s just as good as flesh and blood. That’s why you’re gonna know about this ride. And you can tell it to your sons.

-Are you OK?

-I’m fine. I tend to get emotional when I talk about it. I’ve only ever told my father and my priest before and I got emotional both times. Alright. I’m gonna have to ask you not to talk for a while. Here’s the story of my first ride. It was October, 1983. I was thirty years old. I had recently opened my own practice in Kettering. Tania had given birth to Sarah to August. I had just bought the bobber practically new. It was a present to myself for becoming a dad, something I’d always wanted to be one day. And now I was a dad, and a motorcycle guy. Things were looking up. I rode the bike home from the shop, but that doesn’t count as the first ride. So I get home and — I should backtrack and mention that Tania wasn’t ready to make love yet after having Sarah.


-I said don’t say anything.  She had just had the baby and we were in adjustment mode. I was a little anxious to get things back to where they were. In the bedroom. You’ll understand what I mean in a few years. So I bring home the bobber and park it in the driveway and walk in the house. I have a perfect memory of what happened next: Tania was making Cornish game hens in the kitchen. We didn’t know it at the time but Cornish game hens would soon become a family favorite. Sarah was like a lump at her feet. I walk in the kitchen and say, Honey, I’m home, and I have a new toy. Now, Tania didn’t know about the bobber. It was a complete surprise for her. So she’s like, Toy? What do you mean? I take her hand and walk her outside into the driveway and she practically falls over, she was so shocked. She says, Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for you, and she kisses me real hard. Harder than I’d ever been kissed by anyone ever. And I’ve kissed some ferocious women. I once kissed a woman who was on death row. So she’s kissing me and grabbing me and pulling me back inside the house, and the whole time I’m like, what’s going on here? Do you want to? Right now? And she’s like, Yes, yes I do, I’m ready, I’m ready. And so I lay her down real softly on the kitchen floor and gave her a go around that could have won an award if someone had been filming it. It was intense. But. And here’s where it gets really personal. It wasn’t the same. You know what I mean? After the baby. She wasn’t as good. Things were different, I could tell. She knew it too. But I didn’t say anything about it because it would’ve crushed her. So I’m giving it to her whole hog on the kitchen floor, but I can’t reach climax. I just can’t. That has never been a problem before because I’m the kind of guy who always climaxes. Never too soon, though. Always right at the perfect moment. Except for this time. So after a while we just stop and she gets dressed and gets back to the Cornish game hens. I say it’s time for me to go on my first ride and she kisses me on the cheek or whatever and I head out to the bike. Now. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but when you get that far with a girl but don’t climax, it can hurt. Blue balls, we used to call it. I had blue balls in the worst way. My first thought was: take care of it solo in the bathroom. But then I was like: come on, Philbin. You just bought the bike of your dreams and you’re gonna whack off on the toilet like you’re celebrating your Confirmation? This occasion needed something better, and I know what it is. So I hop on the bike and ride. I ride up to 75, and then to 70 going east. And I’m riding with purpose, with a grin on my face, because I knew exactly where I was going. If you know where you’re going in life then you can go as fast as you want and wear the biggest grin you want because even if you don’t get there, you will have traveled with purpose and that’s what’s important. I was riding to Columbus, and I was making great time. Back when I was in dental school at OSU there was this guy we used to call Popeye. I don’t know why we called him Popeye. He wasn’t strong or anything, and he hated the nickname, but the more he’d complain about it, the more we called him Popeye. The point is, Popeye liked to make love to hookers. He wasn’t an ugly guy, but he was shy and he could never get a date, so he’d go to dances stag and get real drunk and then afterward, when we were trying to make love to our dates, he’d go to a whorehouse on Chesnut Street and make love to a hooker. In the end he spent less money than us and he had better lovemaking sessions than us because those hookers were pros, he said. I never went with him because I was too much of a weakling at the time. Cut to 1986. I’m not a weakling anymore. Now I’m a man going 95 miles per hour on a 1978 XS750, a man who just got blueballed by his own wife. So I ride to Chesnut Street. All the houses there look like whorehouses. They’re all missing shutters and they all have empty beer cans on the stoop. But one especially run-down house has, give or take, ten cars parked out front. I see a shirtless dude stumble out with his arm around a large black woman in a one-piece bathing suit and I’m thinking: this must be Popeye’s whorehouse.  So I park the bobber and walk in. There’s an older lady in the family room. She asks me what I’m doing there and I say I’m looking for date. She says, Just so you know, this is a sorority house. And I wink at her like yeah right. She tells me to wash up in the bathroom and then wait in one of the bedrooms and leave the door open so the girl knows which one you’re in. So I do that. A minute later this tall blonde woman walks in. She says, Why are you not undressed yet? I’m not going to do that for you. I will always remember that: I’m not going to do that for you. She must have been Swedish or Danish or some sort of Scandinavian because she was at least six three and her hair was perfectly straight lines. And she was strong. Once we got down to the doing the stuff she was pinning me down and clawing at my chest and stretching out my scrotum. She pulled my scrotum up and out so much that it covered my gut. I didn’t think it could get it so thinned out and so wide, but she showed me that it could. I thought she was gonna rip it in half. Image that: I get home and have to explain that to Tania that on my first ride I accidentally fell off the bobber and tore my scrotum in half. But the hooker didn’t tear it, thank God. She took her time and taught me a lot about myself and what a man and a woman could do together. Things got disgusting, and when we ran out of time I was begging for an extra ten minutes but she said she had to go to her babysitting job. I don’t think I need to go into more detail, but I will say this: she cured my blue balls. On the ride back to Dayton I was only doing sixty, maybe even fifty. I was in no hurry. And that was my first ride.

-I don’t think my first ride will be that eventful.

-It probably won’t. But if it is, so be it.

-It won’t be.

-Probably not. But if it is, you can tell me about it. I won’t tell Sarah.

-I’ll probably just ride to Yellow Springs and get pizza and maybe go for a walk in the woods.

-That would be a good first ride for you.

NEXT: Do We Need Cynar? 7



She’s Not Going To Waste Her Energy Arguing About This

June 24, 2010

So here’s some shit: Sarah’s still super-upset about me not watching Wipeout with her. When it comes on I go outside and clean the bobber. Or I bring a beer out there and pretend to clean it and actually listen to the radio. I don’t like the show, period. She can’t me watch something I don’t want to watch. Simple as that. There’s a Bob Dylan quote I like and I think it applies here: What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. I do what I want to do and watching Wipeout is number 20,000 on the list of things I want to do, right behind make out with Dr. Philbin. Sarah says she doesn’t like watching it alone because she likes to laugh at the people and it’s no fun to laugh when no one else is around. So a few nights ago after dinner she says:

-How about this: If you watch Wipeout with me, I’ll give you some good head when it’s over.

That sounded alright so I said yes. It’s not that she wouldn’t be doing that for no reason anyway, but to get it on a weekly schedule would be alright with me. Funny, ‘cause I’ve thought about proposing a b.j. regimen of some sort, maybe like every other Tuesday or something, but I figured she wouldn’t be into it so I kept my mouth shut.

So. Tonight was the first night of our b.j.-for-Wipeout deal. It didn’t go well. And I blame her. She should’ve have mentioned two stipulations: 1) She’d be talking throughout the entire show, and 2) When I try to say something about how dumb the show is or how funny the fat contestants look when they wipeout, and they wipeout often, she’d threaten to cancel the b.j.

-What, I can’t talk at all?

-You can talk, but I don’t want to hear all this negativity from you. Negative, negative, negative, all day from you. This sucks, that sucks, those people are fat. You’re not supposed to laugh when they get hurt.

-YES YOU ARE supposed to laugh when they get hurt. That’s the point. It’s like cheering when cars crash in NASCAR. Wipeout is NASCAR but with people.

She tells me to cool it and that I’m only allowed to have one more beer. Or, I can drink all I want but I wouldn’t get the b.j. Treating this b.j. like it’s some holy grail is building it up way too much ‘cause hers are just OK anyway.

-Can’t you just enjoy a TV show with me for once?

-Maybe I can’t.

-Well. You should learn.

The worst part was during the commercials. There were three ITT Tech ads and each time one came on she said, Oh look, honey, it’s just two grand a semester. We could save up for that. Or: I could see you as an HVAC repairman. Shit like that.

-My dad says you need to get your shit together.

-My shit is together.

-How much money do you have?

-Why do I have to tell you?

-He says you don’t know what you’re doing with that bike and that it’s never gonna get finished unless he takes it to his guy.

-Oh did he? Well I’ll tell you what. Your dad just bought the bike ‘cause it gave him an excuse to buy a leather jacket and fancy boots, and he probably has leather pants too.

-I don’t think he has leather pants.

-Oh yeah he does. It was sitting in his garage for ten years and now he wants to take it to his guy? Bullshit. Tell him not to come over anymore.

-He’s coming over tomorrow.

-Goddammit. Why?

-He says you need help.

-I don’t. He just doesn’t have anything to do all day because he doesn’t have any friends because dentists are assholes.

-I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.

-What’s THIS?

-All drunk and shit.

-I’ve had four beers. You want me to get drunk? I’ll get drunk.

-I’m going upstairs.

-And I’m coming with you.

-Not tonight.


-The hmm-hmm, the you-know-what, it’s canceled. Next week maybe.

-That is fucked up Sarah. I sat through fucking Wipeout.

-Your bullshit attitude ruined it for you. I can’t do that to a man who calls my dad an asshole.

-I said dentists are assholes.

-I’m not going to waste my energy arguing about this. [and she goes upstairs]

[Luke on driveway with beer in one hand and cell phone in the other.]

-Hey. How you been? Same old. Oh yeah? Yeah? Shit, girl. Do you need help? Yes I’m serious. I could help. I’ve been fixing this bike up so I’m getting better at tools and what not. Yes I’m serious, seriously serious. I’ve never put up dry wall before but I could read about it online. You know me, I get shit done. You just buy the drywall and then nail it in there, right? Yeah, fuck it. I can put up drywall. What else? Plumbing? I’m your man. Light sockets? I can do those in my sleep. How about carpeting? My middle name is Carpeting. Luke Carpeting Apples. You never knew that about me? What’d you think it was? Nah, I just tell people it’s Anthony. It’s actually Carpeting. Lots of carpenters in my family so some of the Apples kids got Carpeting as a middle name. You’re right, some carpenters don’t put in carpeting but SOME do. The Apples family carpenters do carpeting AND carpentry. What else you need done? Oh. Oh wow. Shit, girl. That’s a tough one. I’ve never dealt with a fox before but I could come over tomorrow and give it my best shot.

NEXT: The Bill Murray Bourbon



I Could Have Spent More Time On Her

May 13, 2010

Luke and Dr. Philbin are sitting on the driveway near the bobber. There is a case of Bud between them.

Philbin: Beer?

Luke: Yes, please.

[He hands him one and Luke opens it.]

Luke: Am I drinking alone here?

Philbin: I don’t drink beer. So I’m glad I came over. Looks like you need help with her.

Luke: She’s coming along OK I think.

Philbin: Coming. Along. What’s this stuff?

Luke: That’s bug and tar remover.

Philbin: Right. The old bug and tar. Bug. And. Tar. So. Let’s get to it!

Luke: OK.

Philbin: What are we working on today?

Luke: Cleaning the exhaust tube.

Philbin: Cleaning. The. Exhaust tube. Righteous.

[Philbin picks up the bug and tar and the rag and begins cleaning the exhaust tube.]

Philbin: She is quite the fixer-upper, isn’t she?

Luke: Yup.

Philbin: She’s a beaut, though. A rugged beaut. I suppose I could have spent more time on her.

Luke: Guess so.

Philbin: Hey. You know what you should do?

Luke: What?

Philbin: Once you get her in fighting shape, you should get some boots. For riding.

Luke: You think so?

[Philbin puts down the bug and tar.]

Philbin: Oh yeah. Get some Alpinestars. Those are the good ones.

Luke: Alp—what?

Philbin: Alpine. Stars. One word. You got a pen?

Luke: Yeah.

[He hands Philbin a pen]

Philbin: Paper?

Luke: No, but I could go inside–

Philbin: Give me your hand.

[Philbin writes Alpinestars on Luke’s hand.]

Luke: Thanks. Did you, or do you, have Alpinestars?

Philbin: Nah. I have Golden Geese.

Luke: Are those good too?

Philbin: Golden Geese are the best. Mine cost four hundred dollars, and that was in 1982. In today’s money that’s at least eight hundred. How about this: you buy them off me for six hundred.

Luke: I don’t think I need the best.

Philbin: They’re practically brand new.

Luke: I’m not even sure I need boots. And what size are you?

Philbin: Oh, you need boots. But don’t think it’s all ABOUT the boots. Because it’s not.

Luke: Right.

Philbin: It’s about the…

[Philbin picks up the dirty rag and stares into it.]

Luke: What?

Philbin: What?

Luke: What’s it about?

Philbin: That is for you to figure out. Hey-o!

[Sarah comes outside with a can of Bud and a cocktail.]

Sarah: Who wants some… oh, you already have your beer.

Philbin: Luke’s taken care of, but I could use some medicine.

[Sarah hands her dad the drink.]

Sarah: Look at my men. Working hard, getting dirty. I love it.

[She goes inside. Luke picks up the bug and tar and cleans.]

Philbin: Another thing to start thinking about: your jacket.

Luke: I actually have been thinking about the jacket.

Philbin: Good. You know what? It’s Golden Goose.

Luke: What is?

Philbin: The boot. Goose. Not Geese. I was saying Golden Geese but it’s actually Golden Goose.

Next: Medium Most of the Time



She Will Cost More Than I Thought She Would

March 11, 2010

Very bad news. The work I need to do on the bobber will cost four thousand dollars. I repeat: four thousand dollars. That’s about what I’ll take home from Perkins this summer. I have never been more bummed about anything before. Her electric wasn’t as amazing as Sarah’s dad told me. He also told me her kick start was good. Bo from Bo’s came over to check it out and he said the kick start is downright fucked and needs to be replaced. Her suspension is fine so at least I’ve got that. I’ve worked her with the bug and tar remover for, shit, a hundred hours now and she’s clean as new. I even set down a turkey sandwich on her swingarm and picked it up and kept eating it to prove to Sarah that she was clean enough to eat off of.

Now get this: Sarah’s mad at me yet again. She found the Oxy and Demerol in my dopp kit and was like, What is this? And I said, I don’t know, why were you looking in my dopp kit? And she was like, How do you not know about a Ziploc baggie full of pills in your dopp kit? Are you retarded? If one of us is a retard, she is. She loves the show “Wipeout” and I’m like, Sarah, it’s just folks falling down and getting wet, and they’re not even getting hurt that bad. Why do I have to watch it with you? Sarah is a hard woman and I often think about moving back to Columbus or getting back with Linda.

This dude I know from Perkins came over Sunday and drank beers and it was alright. Was nice to talk about something other than NCR. That’s all Sarah’s dad wants to talk about, and I want to say, Nobody gives a fuck, Rick. Nobody. Stop talking to me about NCR. I heard the guy who runs NCR is a dick from New York City and he never even lived here and then moved NCR to Atlanta, so fuck him. Rick says he had to move NCR to Atlanta, it’s business, and business is business. But what do you know about business? You’re a dentist. You poke around in folks’ mouths and tell kids to brush their teeth more often, and if you’re lucky you spot a cavity and you get to fill it. It’s not like what you do all day is much harder than flipping pancakes and grilling burgers at Perkins.

I would say all that but the bobber is technically still his and he can take it back whenever he wants.

Next: The Second Laundromat Hang



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ryanthomasgrim [AT] gmail
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


Dos Factotum

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