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The Inspiration Behind Issue 8

I Think She Needs a Sugar Daddy, or a Man With a Better Bathroom
Black Hair, As Black As My Soul

Great Rack . . .

These three titles came from a series of emails between Hezekiah and a newly-and happily-single friend. Here's an excerpt:

TODD: So it was a human drama [the party last night], huh? Lemme in on this one, brother! I'd like to get your opinion as an outside viewer of the group... Give me your impression first, and then I'll spill all the nasty little details.

HEZEKIAH: Ohhh. This could be a fun little game. Okay, but remember that these are first impressions. (And I LIKED everyone, I'm just spouting impressions here.)

Rebecca: Is this the "debate team girl" you went out with a few times? I only assume this because she seemed rather on edge and itching for a verbal brawl of sorts. (Or perhaps she's like that all the time. Lord knows I'm 90 percent "asshole in search of conflict.")

Michelle: Reminds me of my friend Tiffany, who was a sorority chick in undergraduate school and spent graduate school trying to make it up to us.

Franklin: Reminds me of Hank Azaria in both looks and mannerisms. I would assume that he and Michelle either had a relationship that ended well or are currently in a relationship and have been for a long time. (They have touchy-feely without the lust factor.)

Jeanne: But just to clarify, Jeanne is not tongue-ring girl... Is she the "other"? If not, I think you have a little thing for her, no? She's attractive, and--as another new member of this group, I'm assuming--working very hard to appear witty and hip. Maybe just a wee bit too hard. But she had a cute skirt. That's a definite mark in her favor.

Colleen (?): One word--adorable. I want to put her in a glass case and display her for guests.
Alison: Seems the most like me (to me). Arty and laid back, willing to work for shit in the art world just to be there. (Ah, I remember those "salad days when I was green in judgement." Sigh.) I suspect she may have (or may have had in the past) a mild thing for you. True?

Their impressions of me are probably just as wacky and off-target, but initial responses are always intriguing.

TODD: Tongue-ring girl's name is Lolita Tammy Faye (her college nickname, since she used to wear a lot of make-up.), and she's coming over tonight! DANG! You know, this whole being single thing isn't as bad as I thought it'd be...

HEZEKIAH: It's better than the alternative.

And Todd's reply: Thanks for the lengthy observations. Veeeery nice.

And quite astute, I'd have to add.

So here's how the list runs down:

(And you gotta remember, this is all from my point of view- not gospel by any means, just my take on the whole thang. And likewise, realize that I really DO like all these people.)

Rebecca: Is indeed the "debate camp girl" I was so enamored with for about a week. This was just a few days after I realized I could actually start dating other girls, and I got real excited at the thought of dating a high school debate teacher (it's an old high school fantasy). In all actuality, though, nothing ever happened. She and Michelle are old high-school buddies, so that's how she's in the group. Michelle advised me to forgo asking Becky out, as "she craves maturity." Obviously the wrong choice for me. Plus, she's pushing 30- now, this is a tiny detail to me, but she ALWAYS seems to be making a big deal out of it. She made some comment the other night about the difference between a guy of 25 and one of 35... I think she's looking for a sugar daddy, or at least a man who has a better bathroom. So, I don't know what her angle is... does she know that I liked her? Probably so, since I definitely gave signals. But she never really responded, so I pretty much just forgot about it. I like her a lot, and am very glad she can come around. I have no idea about the verbal assaults. Maybe she's trying to shove me into some sort of "little brother" slot in her life? No thanks, sister... I've already got one goofy big sister, I don't neeed another. So, I'm glad you noticed the hostility, too- I honestly don't know where it's coming from... Maybe it's just my ostentatious personality, maybe it's my Doritos and beer, I don't know..

Michelle: She's my closest girl friend in the group... You nailed the sorority label, too. But she's super-cool... She's instructing the SCUBA diving class we're all taking, and her little sister (who made the brownies) plays the drums. She and I are pretty close- we just finished this big theology overview at the church. Michelle just got divorced like six months ago, so she's all about the whole "casual dating" thing.

Which brings us to Franklin: Yep, he and Michelle are "hooked up" as they say. He's the manager of the Kinko's by your house, and in July he's moving to Tahoe to open up a store there... which kind of puts a dent in their relationship. I think that Michelle wants it to be a little more involved, but Franklin knows he has to leave in just a few months, so that whole situation is kind of touchy... He and I have somehow found ourselves thrown together in every situation we've entered recently... He's an amazing guy, full of philosophical bullshit and fun intellectual ideas. The whole "guilt and worry are useless emotions" idea is a throwback to his whole mode of operation; he's really excited that I'm actually paying attention to his ideas and utilizing them.

At Kinko's, Franklin is Jeanne's boss: I met her through him, and we seem to have hit it off pretty well. She is, indeed, the "other," as you put it. Yeah, I do have quite a little thing for her (but she said it was a good size!). Things there are going well... good enough for her to end up in my bed this morning! I don't know what's gonna happen there, but I know I like her a lot and we get along really well... Plus, I'm pretty sure she's into Zeppelin just as much as I am... And oh yeah, that skirt of hers is pretty fucking rad.

Alison: I'm still trying to figure her out. But I think again, you nailed her pretty well. Actually, she does kind of remind me of a female version of you, if only in the way she responds to my random email with sharp wit and pointed artsy references. And, like you, she was an English major; but rather than head to grad school and end up writing about energy and whatnot, she shot straight to Vegas and found herself at the opera, where she does... I'm not sure what she does, but she's waaaay into it, and is apparently affected by every aspect of her job. She's so involved with the opera that she comes to the bar broke and whining about how she's already cried at work 8 or 9 times this week (apparently the opera business is pretty cut-throat.) And I think you're right on the "mild thing" for me, too. Though she's never made any outright action toward this assumption... You're the second person to point it out, so I guess maybe there's something there... But she's so low-key that I'm pretty sure it wouldn't ever really work. Great rack, though, and some fucking amazing long hair, too.

Alison lives with Colleen. Now, they're roommates, not "roommates." Both attended UNLV with me, so that's how they know each other (though I don't believe I'd met either one during my time there.) You're right, she is pretty adorable. At first I was a little annoyed with her, dismissing her as a bleach-blonde-fake-bake (which indeed she is, but she'll own up to it in a second), but the more I get to know her, the more I like her. She's only been around the group for all of about a week and a half, but she's been to every event we have.... I think maybe she's a lot like me in that she's extremely sincere but comes off as condescending... Anyway, we're glad to have her around. She's got a thing for our friend Harrison, who's a long-haired hippie-looking kind of thing, but he was absent last night...

Glad you took the time to analyze my pals.

All Cats Fear the Plunger
Roasty Toasty Princess
The Washing Machine is Quiet on Blue Moons
Where's My Pants?

These four poem titles were submitted to us by a reader (Yay! We have at least one!) From Denise's e-mail to us:

They All Fear The Plunger - My neigborhood has lots of cats who, for some odd reason, have an inherent fear of the plungers. So I'd keep my plunger posted up outside my house to keep them away.

Roasty Toasty Princess - I heard this in one of those crap-ass Disney sequels to movies that racked in huge profit. I forgot which one, but it doesn't matter since they're all the same.

The Washing Machine is Quiet on Blue Moons - I used to have an old washing machine that makes an annoying rattling noise when operating. It spontaneously died one night that happened to be on the second full moon of the month.

Where's My Pants? - I repeated this question (using a stereotypical sadistic Carney accent) while I walked around my house in search of my favorite pair of pants. I was about to go for an appointment with my dentist and didn't want to show up in dirty sweatpants.

Warmest Thing Known
Men Who Idolize Frank Sinatra
How to Write An Essay About Flowers

These are actual searches (all from Google, I believe) that led web-surfers to our site.