I lose track of time when I’m in the shower sometimes, just thinking stuff you know. I think I may be the most relaxed in there, which means it really bugs me when the boys steal all my water with their laundry or dishes. It’s funny the stuff I’ll remember or think about while I’m showering though. Like today for instance, I found myself thinking about gag routines I’ve had with people.
People were always asking Marty how we met — I mean other than the obvious stalking me since I hit puberty thing that he did (still does?) with all the girls along the road. How’d an old outlaw like you manage to rope a smart young girl like that? And Marty would very seriously explain how he saw me walking on the road one day. He’d liked me ever since I was a teenaged girl walking past his house every night on my way to Blackville. So he stopped, took his gun out of his glovebox, forced me into his car and I’d been with him ever since.
The first time he said this we were at a dance or a club someplace and this guy had stopped by our table to say hello (guys were always doing that, guys generally thought Marty was a good guy or else they didn’t want to piss him off). I was sitting there bored out of my skull at the car and woodswork conversation and I could tell the guy actually thought this might’ve really happened (which I thought was freaking hilarious, especially since with my phobia I’m most likely to get shot in the back recklessly running away from a gunslinger, least likely to ever approach for any reason).
So when the guy looked to me for confirmation whether this was a joke or not, I nodded that this was true and switched into a spontaneous redneck double-wide act where I grabbed Marty’s arm, looked deep into his eyes and started reminiscing about that great day by the side of the road with the gun. The guy did not know what to think. Seriously, he thought this was possible. I thought we were going to die laughing when he finally left our table, still not knowing for certain whether we were kidding him or not. So this became one of our acts, a routine we did. One of many actually.
I’ll never forget the night at the biker’s club that Marty called me over from a conversation I was in with someone else and asked me to tell someone like Reg or Keith or maybe Paul how he’d ever got to take me out in the first place. “Pulled a gun on me when I was walking to get me in the car, and I never left.” I spun away as the man gasped, my blunt straight-forward answer seeming to make it even more believable to them, though in reality I was just pissed he’d called me over for this bit again. Marty and I had a bunch of acts we’d pull on people, from one-liners to elaborate scenes. We never planned any of them, they’d start with an ad-lib and then grow from there. We had a lot of fun with them, but occasionally things got a little out of hand . . . like that time one of Marty’s friends called to invite me into a threesome with him and his girlfriend . . . we may have brought that onto ourselves, a good schtick gone wild.
Darren and I had a few too, but there was one we did a lot at the club that used to drive other guys nuts. I’d be bartending or running around dumping ashtrays or whatever, working. There’d always be guys hanging out at the bar, trying to take me home with them or whatever, it was just part of the business. I never took it personally (tho it did sour me on the human race after a few years, some of my faith has been restored since) because to these guys any girl behind the bar was getting the same treatment, it went with the territory.
Darren would start about an hour or so before closing time, coming up to the bar every so often to try and get me to go home with him. There was always some other guy hanging out there close by, investing his whole evening into the same goal and generally getting nowhere but drunk. It would go something like —
Are you coming to the party at my place after?
Maybe. Who’s all invited?
And I’d give him the look that clearly said no, he’d grin and spin back to his pool game. Until the next time, 10 or 15 minutes later.
Seriously though, Fear and Loathing is on later, you should come to my place and we’ll watch it.
Oh, you got your cable fixed?
The look, the grin, to the poolroom for a few shots, then —
If you come over I’ll make you some fettucine.
Do you have chicken?
By this time the guy catching all this usually starts laughing and joking with me about how Darren doesn’t mind being shot down, sucker for punishment and all that. He can’t wait to see if Darren will try again.
Really though, you should at least come by after for a drink.
Do you have any beer?
The things that he would offer me ranged from bubble baths to the most elaborate feasts and of course he never had any of the fixings toward any of it . . . and his tub was filthy. This would go on until after last call, after the bar window was lowered, after we had firmly established that he had nothing to offer. And then —
Well come on, let’s at least go back to my place and have a game of crib.
Do you have a crib board?
A deck of cards?
I’d shrug like saying yes was a completely random afterthought and the other guy’s jaw would flap open, completely flabbergasted. Fun times!
While I was thinking about this earlier I remembered all kinds of routines I’ve had with people over the years, acts put on for our own amusement, and I thought — How freaking weird is that?! I mean, do other people do that? Is it a 20’s thing? Have I outgrown the desire to concoct elaborate acts to fool people? Because I haven’t had any skits going on with anybody in quite some time. Is it a creative thing? Because the people I’ve had running acts with were mechanics and drug dealers and woods workers and carpenters and the like, labourers and outlaws, not artists or writers. So tell me, am I alone here on this? Do you have any routines? Are you acting out with a friend for your own amusement?
Drinking: water (hydration is important)
Listening To: coffee perk downstairs