Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hey God, If You Hate Me, The Feeling Is Mutual

I think from the age of six my family knew I was queer as a cat fart. I couldn't catch a ball and was obsessed with puppets and life-sized
animal costumes. How I didn't end up a furrie is anyone's guess. But as long as no one talked about it, other than my Dad calling me homo
when I missed a pass, it was ok.

But puberty hit and masturbation became a full-time hobby; I just had a slightly different spin on it. I would try to get the neighborhood boys to do it with me.
As it turns out, I was wildly successful. I would then broach the subject of doing each other, which again, worked out far more than statistical
averages would allow. Apparently I had an eerie charm that could cloud straight boys' minds. Unless this happens all the time and no one wants to admit it. So then I thought, let's try this mouth thing I've been hearing so much about.

Again, my suck-sess rate boggled the odds.

Thing is, I was a born-again Christian, and homosexuality was a sin against nature. So I spun the concept. I wasn't gay, I was just "fooling around."

"Fooling Around" should be a trademarked term, much like "Bombing the Middle East" where Christians can feel better about themselves for ignoring
biblical mandates ("Thou Shalt Not Kill") in favor of what feels good at the moment. I kept these blinders on for years. I was a total boy-whore and would
do anyone, anytime, while maintaining my self-righteous sense of born-again superiority that because I didn't speak with a lisp and had a lousy fashion
sense I couldn't possibly be gay. I liked dick, but come on, that hardly makes you one of those.

But then came Prom Night. A girl was giving me head and I thought to myself, " God, I could do this so much better." I came off and instead of
swallowing she spat down the side of my parents' car. "Good Lord," I thought, "I would have at least had the decency to...oh...wait...um, there's a
word for this, isn't there?"

Five-Thirty in the morning as I'm hosing down the side of my folks' car in an automated car wash, I realize the word I'm thinking of defines me.
Or, if not defines me, at least describes a certain part of me. A part I liked very much.

My slut-boy tendencies went into overdrive. I had more revolving-door dick than Lindsay Lohan. I could not be more chaste now, but back then I was the good time had by all. How I am not the HIV poster child remains a mystery. Once I realized that I liked what I liked and it wasn't just "fooling around" or making do until the
right girl came around I went cock crazy. In a supreme bad judgment call, I thought, "I know, I'll share this with my mother."

Oh god, that was stupid.

My mother and I, once upon a time, were close. She did crafty, artsy sort of stuff and so did I. Dad wasn't wild about it but we had our shared love of fabric textures and hot glue guns. I think her Christian sensibility liked that part of me as long as I was a sissy boy who had no blood flow to his penis. But dragging
deviant sexuality into the picture was not the wisest way to go. God knows how I thought this, but I had this feeling that she might understand. I forgot, somehow,
that her crazed love of a 2000 year old dead Jew and the words of his followers would matter more than her own son. I was eighteen. She was ironing. I
put it in brute, simple, terms:

"Mom, I'm gay."

She looked up. A tear trickled down her cheek. "I KNEW you stole my panty hose!"

I had to say it. "Get your perversions straight! I'm a queer, not a transvestite!"

And then she said the most horrible thing anyone has ever said to me: "I'd rather you were born dead instead of that."

This is the motherfucking thing about the motherfucking Christians. They've got a magic book, just like every other civiliZation with their own, different magic book.
All of the magic books say the same thing: This is the one true magic book and you are right and they are wrong. My mother's magic book, unfortunately, after
numerous translations before the 1611 one she settled on, had some unflattering things to say about guys who like guys. Therefore, she wished I was dead rather than
living a sinful life. The day I told her I was gay was the day she stopped loving me.

She lived by the scriptures: Slavery? No problem. Shoving a plastic enema up a child's ass as punishment? Hey, spare the rod. Boys who like boys? Death wish.

The weeks that followed were sheer hell for both of us. When the two of us, alone, were home she would burst into my room, waving a bible, raving about abominations.

I would point out that two verses up in Leviticus, cloth made of two different materials was also considered an abomination, making her cotton/polyester blend pantsuit on par with cocksucking. At that point her conviction that the bible was to be interpreted literally flew out the window, but somehow her belief in the queer-hating passages held fast.

One night I poured a glass of orange juice. "That is supposed to be for breakfast!" Mom snapped.
I quoted a television commercial on the air at the time. "Anita Bryant says 'It's not just for breakfast anymore'...'
"Do you believe everything Anita Bryant says?"
"Oh Honey," I said, flipping my wrist, my first and last attempt at camp.

She made me swear that I would never tell my father, my brother, my other brother or anyone in the family what I'd told her. Wrong that it may have been, I kept that
promise. It was our way of meeting halfway. I did check back a few years later just to see if time might have tempered her feelings. No, she made it clear that she still wished I was born dead. Thanks to that, I don't know what love is as relates to family. I'm a confused mess. On one hand, you want to love somebody but
knowing their look-at-me-I'm-right mindset means they wish you were dead instead of who you are puts a serious damper on things.

Mother brought out the big guns. She went on an anti-gay hunger strike and stopped eating. She lost tons of weight and of course Dad noticed. "I don't know what's
going on here but something isn't right!" Meanwhile, he wanted my friend Ron to take off his shirt in front of him and "get some sun". Dad's got some issues, but
apparently calling me queer every other week or so covered them up quite nicely. Mom continued to drop weight and she won. I told her it was a stage I was going
through. "Let's eat," she said.

The next decades were spent in shared denial. I never mentioned girlfriends or boyfriends. As long as she could keep the illusion I was an assexual slug, forever
a little boy yet to hit puberty, we could talk.

My mother died last year. I kept my promise to her but once she croaked I no longer feel the need to hide the things she wanted me to hide. Thing is, I doubt a
single person in the family ever thought of me as straight. My nephew made it clear he got the deal when he was eight years old. I'd brought my boyfriend home for the
holidays (euphemistically refered to as my "roommate".) Todd was gay as a goose and the fact that he and I lived together should have been a big, pink flag for
everyone concerned. Nephew started calling him "Uncle Todd." Mom totally spazzed out, shrieking "That is NOt your uncle!" I think that sort of gave the game away.
Not that us together wouldn't have tripped anyone's gaydar.

I don't have to keep a promise to a dead woman. Certain family members, I'm sure, imagine she is in heaven watching my every move. (No more jerking off for me!) I'm
sorry she's gone, but at the same time feel a relief that I can talk about, as I've said, what is absolutely no surprise to anyone.

And now that I can talk about it, I realize how truly boring it all is.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Raspberry Vinaigrette Man

Joe, Michelle and I were having dinner at Mac's, a local restaurant that serves great Scottish food. We were seated at a table right next to the door. Suddenly a clattering noise came from the door as an intoxicated street person tried to enter but was having trouble working the door knob and still maintain a grip on his open bottle of malt liquor. He finally wised up and left the bottle outside on the street, then stumbled into the restaurant on shaky legs.

I am a magnet for crazy (they can smell their own) so of course he immediately stumbled over to the head of our table. I was dreading the usual request for a handout but instead he suddenly began to sing. "RAAAAAAAASPERRY VINAIGRETTE!", he belted out in raspy croak then convulsed with laughter. It was so random and so strange that all three of us joined in and started laughing, too. This he took as an invitation, so he pulled up a chair and sat down.

"RAAAAAAAASPERRY VINAIGRETTE!" he sang again, once more busting out into loud, crazed giggling. "You see that commercial? The one on the TV for that salad dressing? They got that song they sing, RAAAAAAAAASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE!"

We were laughing and people were staring. Because the man was loud and clearly shitfaced.

He suddenly turned his attention to Michelle. "Well ain't you something fine! Baby you got it going on..."

Michelle happened to be a lesbian, so I said "I think you're barking up the wrong tree."

He did not get my meaning. Rather, my comment flipped a switch somewhere and he started yelling at me, suddenly every bit as angry as he had been jovial.

"You know what you are?" he screamed, pointing at me, "You are a Penis Head! You are a motherfucking Penis Head and you need to mind your Penis Head business!"

At this point a waiter appeared. He, too, had some advice for me. "Sir, your friend is disturbing the other customers. If your friend can't behave we might have to ask him to leave."

"Penis Head!" Raspberry Vinaigrette Man shouted again.

"Does that really sound like a friend? This man just wandered in, sat down and started raving."

"Just the same, sir, if you can't keep your friend quiet..." the waiter said and prissed away.

Joe, meanwhile, in a moment of cool collectedness worthy of Clint Eastwood, had walked to the door, retrieved Raspberry Vinaigrette Man's bottle of half finished malt liquor, and quietly said, "See this? If you don't leave right away I'm pouring it out."

Worked like magic. He left, although not without a final shout of "Penis Head!"

I've seen Raspberry Vinaigrette man several times since. Once on a bus, where he was causing a very similar disturbance, and later in front of a gay bar where, as patrons would exit he would ask them for a hug and in doing so try and lift their wallets. Later on the street, having no memory of meeting me before, he got in my face with that insufferable ploy of becoming instantly and overly familiar that all street winos try and pull.

"My man! My man!" he said, laughing and high fiving and acting like we were old friends.

(Consumer tip: A good way to nip this in the bud is to say "Dude, if I was your man you'd be home sucking my dick." But I didn't deploy this option at the time.)

He, of course, asked for a hug. "Why sure!" I said, playing the gullible idiot. He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned in and whispered "If you so much as even touch my wallet I will knee you in the balls so hard you won't walk for a week."

He drew back, shocked, and his expression betrayed that it was EXACTLY what he was trying for and was stunned someone called him on his game. "Oh yeah," I said. "All the street people are doing it now; it's this year's version of 'My babies are in the stalled car down the road.' Seriously, give it up, everyone does that one."

I may have robbed a man of his livelihood.

The Not-Quite-As-Hungry-As-He'd-Like-You-To-Think Man

Two friends were sitting outdoors, downtown, sharing a high-end, gourmet pizza. They were full and had about half of it left over. They were approached by a homeless man.

"Look, I'm homeless and I'm starving. Can you give me some money so I can get a bite to eat?"

One of my friends offered to give the man the rest of the pizza.

"Actually," the man said, "I was really more in the mood for a fish sandwich."

The Distant Man

I sat down in front of a young couple on the bus. The girl was crying.

He: Now what's the matter?
She: It's just that you're so...distant.
He: What?
She: Distant.
He: Whatever the fuck that is...

The Pie Man

Another brief tale involving a random street loon.

I was standing on the corner waiting for a bus when I spotted, across the street waiting for another bus, a very large man holding a plastic sack. He whipped away the sack, revealing an entire bakery pie on his palm. He opened the lid of the pie and suddenly burst into song:

"Pie! I love you, piiiiiiiiiiiie!"

With that, he shoved his hand knuckle deep into the center of the pie and began digging out huge handfuls of goo, which he voraciously began shoving into his mouth. He licked his fingers, grunting with near-orgasmic pleasure and kept shoveling bare handfuls of pie into his face. His whole body shook with every bite, slurp and lick.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone enjoy a dessert more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From The Crap Heap (Part One)

For every Spookshow In Your Pants song I like, there are a dozen more that just seem stupid. My hard drive is littered with such orphaned attempts and I thought it might be fun to post some of the dumber ones. Plus, what I think sucks someone else might like and vice-versa. So here's round one of my most embarrassing musical moments. Click on the titles to have a listen.


Come Have Breakfast With Jesus

Corn Curls

Depressatron Two


Piece of Crap

Sunlight Streaming From Your Butt

You Boys Oughta Take Your Shirts Off And Get Some Sun

You Get Sleepy I Get Creepy

Ok, I have to admit I like the last one. Probably for the memory behind it rather than the song itself. Mortification does a body good.

But seriously, the 2nd worst thing I ever did was so-called "music" for a local audio/video duplication service. Revel and squirm along with me at it's absolute wretchedness:

Audio Video Memories

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Encroaching Man

My fake internet friend David Parr just related an encounter with a random street crazy and it got me to thinking about similar interactions in my own life.

I was waiting for a bus, some years ago, in the dead of winter. It was bitter cold and the ice on the sidewalk had crystallized several times over into Mother Nature's Twister game of death. I sat on the cold steel bench, my butt cheeks frozen into twin, rounded sno-cones. I sat alone, smoking, waiting for the bus.

Another man showed up. He was fairly well-dressed, not like a street bum, but had pop bottle eyeglasses ensconsed in thick, black plastic frames that gave off the aura of well-educated geek. But he started muttering to himself and that changed everything.

Understand I mutter to myself as a matter of routine. But when I do it I am usually singing songs from 70's TV children's programming, talking in funny voices to amuse myself or pretending I'm a ventriloquist. This guy was having a cut and clear argument with at least three other people, all of whom piped up to make their voices known.

He didn't take a seat on the bench, but rather paced back and forth on the icy sidewalk, resulting in several amusing near-pratfalls. He kept up the self-chatter and I kept watching him.

"Oh really?" he would shout.
"Yes, really!" he would shout in another voice.
"You're both crazy if you ask me!" a third voice would proclaim.

I was fricking fascinated. I kept wondering which one it was who would eventually slip and bust their nose. Somehow he kept upright and continued his ranting.

A third (or fifth, depending) person joined us at the bus stop. He too, did not sit in the enclosure but stood outside, watching. This was just an average, beefy Joe Normal who stood there and watched the show for a minute.

I was treated to this wonderful exchange:

Muttering man suddenly whirled about, screaming, and hurled his fury upon the interloper.


Joe Normal, looking confused but wanting to stand his ground, said "I'm not encroaching upon you; I'm just standing here!"

The bus came and the two gave each other very nervous looks until one of them got off first.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Someone Wrote A Song About Me

Krista and I kinda loved one another then kinda hated one another. We went close to a decade without speaking. What I didn't know was during this time she wrote a song about how, despite our differences, she missed me. I'd written and recorded some songs about her, too, but mine were far more bitchy and probably won't ever see public release.

We mended our fences, finally, and one night she sang the song she'd written back in the day and it moved me to tears. I know, "just an old softie" is not usually associated with the Puddlewinks camp. But she re-vamped this same song for her CD "Thanks, But No" and it rocks out and I think I might like it even if it wasn't all about me. But I'm sure that helps.

Click on the title to hear it. Or go here to buy the CD which has a number of other songs I quite like.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Maybe, Maybe Not

Okay, so maybe I had a little freakout the other night. It happens. At the time I wanted to close down the show but no, I think I was just in a bad place. I'm frustrated about so many things right now it's hard for me to think straight.

I guess I'm saying ignore the last one no matter what happens.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Switch It Off Now

Been a while, hasn't it?

No easy explanation. Creatively, I'm blank as a fart. Nothing to say.

It's just the way it goes. I have many obsessions, hobbies, outlets and whatnot but none can be counted on to have exclusive staying power. I get hopped up on one thing for a while and then it dries up and goes away. It always comes back, someday, but in the interim other things take its importance in the scheme of my life. I think I've had a good run with this blog (certainly not based on popular response but rather my own fun with it) but I just haven't been motivated for a while and other things are occupying my mind. I haven't done any Spookshow In Your Pants stuff for a couple of years now, but I'm certain someday I will again. So it goes with Der Spookhaus. The stuff filling my mind these days I just don't feel like writing about for everyone to see. Or maybe I just don't feel like writing, period.

Maybe I just want to take a Summer Vacation. I don't know. But my heart's not in it these days. So I think this is going to be goodbye, for now, but certainly not permanently. I have had enough experience to know that something wacky just might happen tomorrow and jump-start the Muse so that I'm off pell-mell for another few months. The shit I'm into and extremes in terms of interest swings back and forth so wildly there's no way I can predict what I want to be doing from one day to the next.
On the other hand, I might just walk away from it all and never look back. It really could go either way and I have no perceptible sense of what's gonna happen.

Shit, I might restart Der Spookhaus in YouTube format. I have some ideas but so far nothing worth writing home about. Brute honestly, right now, I don't want to create; I just want to be entertained by others for the moment. But keep checking back. Like I say, who knows when I'll get a second wind.

I've enjoyed doing this immensely. Just not for now. I think the earliest posts, with the stories and music and all, were the best and when the blog turned into the standard daily diary type of stuff was when it went to shit. I just haven't taken the time to write-and-rewrite-and-rewrite-and-rewrite, which it what it takes to make a good story, for a while now. The music vids and the vintage video are fun--and trust me, everything posted in those categories means something to me, it's just I probably should be crafting a decent story instead of farting out stuff about jerking off into tube socks.

Click on the title if you want to hear the theme music to this post. The song references, I think, Heroin addiction which is NOT what's cluttering up my mind these days, but still is an apt metaphor for how I'm feeling at the moment.

Still, I think you should always leave 'em laughing, so I'll close for now by telling my favorite joke of all time.

Little Billy was sitting in class and the girl behind him tapped him on the shoulder. "Ask the teacher what a 'Purple Poodle' is," she asked, as the class was too young to understand the importance of not ending a sentence with a preposition.

Billy raised his hand.

"Yes, Billy?"

"What's a 'Purple Poodle'?

The teacher could not hide her shocked reaction and screamed, "That does it, Billy! You're going to Mr. Yodelbeans' office!"


"Go to the principal's office! Now!"

Billy made the long trek down the hall. The principal was extremely surprised to see him. "Billy," he exclaimed, "What are you doing here?"

"Teacher said I had to come and see you."

"But you've always been a model student! What could you have possibly done to make her send you here for punishment?"

"All I did..." Billy stammered, "...All I did was ask her what was a 'Purple Poodle'."

Mr. Yodelbeans spluttered, his face changed several sets of colors, he slammed his fist on his desk and finally raged, "GET OUT! You are expelled from this elementary school! You sick, sick child! We won't have you infecting the other students! GO!"

Billy walked home in the middle of the morning. His mother greeted him at the door. "Billy! What are you doing home from school this early?"

"I got expelled."

"Expelled? You? How? Why?"

Billy tearfully explained to his mother that all he did was ask the teacher the definition of a 'Purple Poodle.'

She burst into tears; howling, racking sobs the likes of which Billy had never seen come out of her. "Go upstairs," the woman commanded through her hysterics, "and stay there until your Father gets home!"

Billy spent the day in his room, listening to the muffled sounds of his mother crying for hours and hours. Finally he heard his father's car pull up in the drive, the door slam shut, then hushed, hysterical whispering below. He heard the clomp, clomp, clomp of heavy work boots ascending the stairs and suddenly his bedroom door was wrenched open, his father standing there, glowering.

"What's this I hear about you gettin' kicked out of school?"

"All I did," Billy said, "Was ask the teacher what in the world is a 'Purple Poodle'?"


So Billy left.

He walked up the off-ramp to the interstate and walked along the highway. A trucker pulled up beside him and stopped. TCH-TCHSSSS! went the brakes.

"Hey kid, need a lift?" asked the trucker.

Billy climbed into the cab. "Shouldn't you be in school?" the trucker scowled.

"Yeah. But I got expelled."

"Expelled? Do your parents know this?"

"They kicked me out of the house."

"Son, what exactly did you do?"

Billy again explained, "All I did was try to find out the meaning of 'Purple Poodle'."

The truck driver slammed on his brakes, again with a loud TCH-TCHSSS!

"Son, I been in truck stops all over this land of ours and heard a lot of filthy talk but I never, never, never, EVER heard anything as disgusting as that. I think I'd like you to get out now."

Billy put his head in his hands and started sobbing.

"BUT," the trucker added, "Oncet you leave I think I can help ya. If you really, really want to know about the 'Purple Poodle' you have to do this: Find your way to 3rd Street. Walk around until you reach 333 3rd Street. It's a hotel. Go in, git in the elevator and press the button marked 3. That'll take ya to the 3rd floor. Get off and find room 33. Go inside. You'll see a chest of drawers. Open the 3rd drawer and I think you'll find what you're looking for. Now get the fuck out of my truck, you freak."

Billy found 3rd Street. He wandered up and down until he found the address marked 333, and sure enough it was a hotel. He got in the elevator, got off on the 3rd floor and sure enough there was a room 33. He twisted the doorknob and it was open. Inside the room was totally bare. No bed, no TV, no lamps, just a big bureau drawer set pushed against the wall.

Billy opened the third drawer down. A HUGE poodle, painted purple, leaped out of the drawer and ran out the open door. Billy chased it, and the poodle ran for the open stairwell and ran down three flights of stairs, the boy in hot pursuit. The purple poodle ran across the lobby and ran out the open door of 333 3rd Street. Billy was so close he could feel the wisps off its puffy tail against his fingers, but not quite enough to catch it. Chasing the lavender beast, it ran straight out into 3rd Street, into oncoming traffic, and SMACK! Billy was instantly struck by a car and killed dead on the spot.

And the moral to this story is:

Look both ways before crossing the street.