And now it’s time for desert!
“7TH HEAVEN” CAST REUNITES AFTER 8 YEARS OVER DINNER.
Headline on msn.com’s TV section
I wonder if Trouser Trout a la Collins was on the menu…
“7TH HEAVEN” CAST REUNITES AFTER 8 YEARS OVER DINNER.
Headline on msn.com’s TV section
I wonder if Trouser Trout a la Collins was on the menu…
Lamar pulled the creamy bean dip his way across the Formica imitating black shale table top, waited for Upjohn’s woman radar to make the entire room and come to rest across from him.
“Damn, Lamar, which of our asses you think they picked for those nachos?”
“I’m thinking yours. You have the broad beam of success, not me.”
“Shit, you just don’t eat right, don’t go out with the right women.” Upjohn took the restaurant fatigued spoon and fork out of a rolled up paper napkin and lifted a heap of nachos onto his plate. He picked up and sniffed all four of the small salsa bowls, sneezed after the roasted verde sauce. He set it down, tapped it with his fork. “Best give that shit some respect, Lamar. Set your ass on fire just knowin’ about it. You figure we could get Marshon through that door?”
“Marshon?” Lamar picked up a chip that was half a flash fried tortilla covered in all things chicken nachos, cracked it in half when he leveraged it to his plate, covered it with creamy, spicy bean dip.
“Marshon Lewellyn. Big ol’ gal.” Old Upjohn held his hands out a foot from his chest. “You’ll recall she worked at the Buick parts counter? Had to wear a man’s 3XL golf shirt to be part of the Buick parts team.”
“Wouldn’t know her. Never owned a Buick. You checked out that shirt for size, did you?”
“I did. Never know if a woman might need a gift of casual clothing to set her at ease. What I’m sayin’ is there was never even a Buick made for her backside. Thing needed two lanes and a couple of double-wide escort trucks were she to get out on the road. I’m thinkin’ we get her through the front door and these people are good to their word, we be eatin’ nachos till the Good Lord calls one of us home.”
“You think she’d come out from behind that Buick parts counter with you, knowing you were going to use her that way?”
“No tellin’ what a woman might do to be out with a handsome man for an all-you-can-eat ‘till you die Mexican hors d’oeuvre dinner,. You plan on stakin’ a claim on that bean dip, Lamar? Goddam. You gonna start spittin’ shit when you laugh you best ask that girl in the cut-offs running up her crack for another napkin.”
“You thinking about the size of her nacho plate?”
“Man could starve to death eatin’ that girl’s nachos, Lamar, and turn his mind to pudding trying to talk to her. Man needs to know a woman’s true value. She’s good for the napkin and a cup of coffee and a lonely man’s prayer she bends over facin’ the other way.”
“That’s awful close to sexist, Upjohn.”
“I start lyin’, stop me.”
“So there’s a woman in your world for just about anything? Barely legal eye candy waitresses in illegal cutoffs for napkins and coffee, and a woman with a backside bigger than a Buick for when you need more nachos than you can eat?”
“You find a problem with my logic?”
“No. I’m sure the ladies would.”
“That’s part of bein’ female, findin’ fault with how we think. Now there’s men out there will tell you a man should learn to figure women. I’m tellin’ you, a man should learn to appreciate the figure of a woman, and leave it be. Sexism comes down to natural selection.”
“Natural selection? How the hell do you ‘figure’ that?”
“The manager naturally selects skinny young girls who don’t know no better to stand around in push-up bras and short cut-offs so tight they crush their cell phones against butt cheeks they don’t have, just to keep us coming back. And naturally I select Marshon to keep me in nachos that let me sit here longer so I can watch, and she naturally selects to join me because her fat ass ain’t doin’ nothin’ but sittin’ around watchin’ Dr.Phil on the DVR. Ain’t never gonna fix sexism till both sides stop participatin’. And this place comes up with another gimmick that don’t involve asses in any way, shape or form. You ask that girl for some more bean dip when she brings the napkin. When she does, tell her you dropped somethin’ and your back’s out.”
“No way, Upjohn. You keep it up you’re gonna have every woman in the world down on us.”
Upjohn looked up from doctoring his nachos, raised a bushy gray eyebrow and flashed the store-bought smile. “Why God invented fat bottom girls and the blues, Lamar. So you have somethin’ to sing about, something to do, you think nobody loves you.” He shook with silent laughter. “And to keep you from starvin’ when you come in a place like this.”
CAMERON DIAZ ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO KEEP THEIR PUBIC HAIR IN HER NEW BOOK
Headline, E! website
“Thank you so much for coming! I just love your wife. Did she tell you what happened last week?”
Let’s see. Someone came back from China, and the girl from Boston Ballet was soooo beautiful and soooo nice, and the place was packed with girls back from their summer intensives and professionals from all over the world home to see family at the end of summer, and…Yes. I always go back to ballet class with Nana Ballet when she comes home. None of those feel like the right answer. “Duh, no…” doesn’t work in public when asked by a woman who was a New York City Ballet Ford Foundation scholar at 12 and loves your wife.
“I’m not sure. I heard a lot about the ballet studio last week.”
“Let me tell you, she is such an inspiration. She didn’t mention it, did she? Well, there was a large group of very talented young dancers, and some of the younger ones who adore her all filled the big studio on Saturday. And one of them overheard your wife say she needed to check on your grand daughter in the studio next door. You wouldn’t believe it. They were all talking. ‘NO! Like Oh my God. We don’t have to stop taking ballet just because we have a job, or get married or go to med school or get old? We can like still dance when we’re grandmothers? Oh. My. God’. One minute she was another adult taking her regular class crowded in the studio with them, telling them all how lovely they were, and whoops, there’s a grandmother in their ballet class? I think that’s wonderful, don’t you? All those talented young women realizing that dance can be forever. We just love her.”
Nana Ballet strapped the granddaughter into her eighteen-point space capsule car seat, climbed in the front seat, closed the car door and adjusted the air conditiong vents. Off of me and into the back seat like there’s not air blowing back there already. I turn one back my way and get the look.
“I hear Nana Ballet is an inspiration.”
“Seriously? Please. Those girls stand in center, no barre, stick their legs straight up in the air and say things like ‘I can’t believe how stiff I get when I don’t take class’. Ms. K has dancers at ABT, Miami, Seattle, Houston. Denmark. Everywhere. When I saw them all in there on Saturday morning I should have turned around and come home. I shouldn’t have been in a leo in the same building with girls that young and talented.”
No? Shouldn’t let strangers that come up to your knees and hug you get hugged back, either? Not likely…
All you need to do is show up, be real, and kind and able to appreciate your own limitations and the beauty of other people’s gifts, and the magic that needs to happen will take care of itself.
From The Hot Girl – I
Roosevelt Junior High, October 20th, 1971
Deanna clung to her open locker door with her right hand, leaned her head on the shelf inside. She couldn’t go to homeroom. She didn’t want to talk, or smile, or lead cheerleading practice. Or read the afternoon announcements or do anything at all. Just for a day, she didn’t want to be who she was. All she wanted was to be alone and maybe have one real friend she could tell about Gramma Cora. Goddammit. Was that too much to ask, really?
Coach Stephens raised his chin in acknowledgment at the growth-spurt skinny eighth-grade boy in his doorway. “Mornin’, Jackson.” He tilted his head slightly toward the wall to Jackson’s left, tossed the blue nylon bag full of his laundry at him like it was a medicine ball. “Some geniuses clogged the shitter in the band room.” Stephens pushed his chair back, hitched up his coach sweats. “C’mon. I’ll get you out through the girl’s side. Grab a hall pass in case you meet a stranger on that side of the building.”
Jackson tore off several pre-stamped with Coach Stephens signature hall passes from the pad, even though, after a year and a half, there wasn’t much likelihood of anyone stopping him on blue bag days. He hefted the laundry bag to his shoulder, followed Stephens to the center of the basketball court, the invisible wall between the only non-coed homerooms at Roosevelt Junior High. Stephens chirped his whistle.
“Heads up, skirts down, legs crossed, ladies. Man comin’ through.”
Jackson knew he’d turned red, shielded his head with the bag and sent his eyes to the floor for his trek through the minefield of girl’s gym homeroom. Damn. They sat on the floor cross legged, or laid on their backs with an ankle on their knee, skirts dropped to almost there. He heard them all shuffling positions, heard the giggles, the murmured comments that followed him across the basketball court until he was out the double doors. Up five steps and he was in the hall headed toward daylight.
He shifted the bag, raised his eyes, and noticed an open locker opposite from where most of the hall was blocked with junk that had been pulled out of the janitor’s closet to go deal with the clogged band room commode. All he could see under the locker door were sweat socks and girl’s saddle oxfords. Cheerleader gear. Great. And coming down the hall from the other direction, on a collision course with him and the cheerleader’s feet was Mr. Han, the asshole French teacher and hall pass Nazi. Shit.
“Bonjour, Mr. Han.”
“Always halfway clever, Monsieur Jackson. You and the bag say it’s Wednesday but on the wrong side of the building. Something to do with who we have at their locker that should be in homeroom?”
Jackson stepped into the narrow space between the cheerleader’s open locker door and Mr. Han, swung his laundry bag around his right shoulder, knocking the unseen girl backward into her locker. He was chest to chest and almost eye to eye with Han, butt facing the cheerleader. In near-zero personal space, he managed to lift a hall pass out of his back pocket with a thumb and finger, held it under the bag, and waited until he felt her grab it.
“She was with me, Mr. Han. There’s shit, uh, sewage all on the floor by the band room on our side, and Coach sent her to escort me out the girl’s side. So I wouldn’t do anything stupid or talk to anybody. And, um, anyway, she needed a book, that’s why he sent her with me. And, uh, she ran ahead of me. To get her book.”
The girl pushed the crumpled pink slip past the bottom of the blue bag for Han, who snatched it, gave it a cursory glance.
“Don’t you have somewhere you’re supposed to be, Mr. Jackson?”
“Yes sir.” Jackson stepped off in a hurry, just under the ‘don’t run in the hall’ rule, didn’t look back. Han followed him with his eyes until Jackson and the blue bag were around the corner.
“Miss Collings, are you feeling alright?”
“Yes. And no.” Deanna brushed her butt, checked her effort and the pleats of her skirt over both shoulders. “My grandmother’s funeral was yesterday. I just didn’t want to talk to everyone…Anyone. That’s why I, um, ran to my locker, like he said. I’ll be okay. Really.”
“I understand. There’s never a good time for a funeral.” Han glared down the empty hallway. “Or Jackson.” He flicked the pink pass in his hand with his middle finger, handed it back. “Someday, Stephens will learn to put names and dates on his hall passes and sign them like the rest of us. Why he’d send someone like you out with that kid and the bag is beyond me.”
“Well,” she waved her hand under her nose, “there is some really gross shhh…Poop. And stuff. All on the floor on their side and Jackson can get in trouble. I mean pretty easy, and kind of a lot. And I did need my book.”
“As usual, Miss Collings, everything you have said is true.” He pushed her locker door closed. “But homeroom young lady. Now.”
“Yes sir.” She smoothed out the hall pass, put it inside the history book she wouldn’t need for four hours. Blue Bag Jackson had spare, stamped hall passes from Coach Stephens? Slacked her hassle with Han before it got started and covered her, no big deal, no stupid guy conversation, no junk? Even if he was kind of a jerk, knocking her on her butt…But still. Cool.
Most states require that all requests for a change to an insurance policy be made in writing. The following is an actual communication between a customer and insurance agent.
“Hey Victor! stop please this police, it”s car is sold!!!!”
“If you’re about to apologize, don’t,” she said. “This was my idea.”
He watched Zanie brush her hair back into the signature bushy pony tail, adjust the perfect, store bought cantaloupes in a bra with six hooks under a silky t-shirt.
She checked herself in his mirror, shook her hair. “I wish I still smoked.”
“I keep some of Dash’s cigarillos around here somewhere. And some weed from Hawaii somebody gave me.”
“I told you I have a meeting in half an hour. No weed. Find the cigarillos. And a Coke or beer or something. Where did all that polite Coach Cowboy host shit go?”
“Polite host mask comes off with my other clothes. Coke or Heineken?”
“That’s it? Coke and Hiney?”
“Carbonated French fart water. And a couple of Michelob Lights that might be a year old.”
“Make mine Hiney.”
He left that alone. He returned from the kitchen, tossed the box of cigarillos on the bed between them, handed off her beer, and pulled a lighter out of the nightstand.
“Thanks.” She held on to his lighter hand after she blew the smoke sideways. “I was thinking while you were gone.”
He lit his own cigarillo, remembered why he didn’t like them, waited.
“Thinking I should tell you the rest of the reason for ‘this’.”
“Your call. I don’t have to apologize, you don’t have to explain.”
“I’ve spent the last four years as a cover wife for a gay jock. So back when I walked my stringer gig I could get some career shit off the ground with no man interference. I saw all the holes I could plug if had a little time, didn’t have to worry about money for a couple of months, and bought a set of serious Hollywood qualifications to fix… A problem. I thought when this move to the warehouse next to Dwight’s is done I might need to let someone in. Someone I could work with. And trust. Navarro told me about your Golden Rule number two. This afternoon has to be that way.”
“Good.” She smashed the cigarillo down in the ashtray and chugged the rest of her beer. “Do you have a clean toothbrush I can use?”
“Depends on whether I can still brush my teeth with it when you’re done.”
“It’s a gift. There’s a new one in the drawer on the right side of the sink.”
“Kind of late to be worrying about germs.” She stuck her feet in her heels that immediately made her five inches taller than he was, walked past him and into the bathroom.
“Is this where I cue ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ and watch you drive down Ocean Boulevard with the top down and your hair blowing around while a little bitty tear lets me down?”
“No.” She wiped her mouth on a hand towel, draped it over his shoulder. “I’m in my production van. And sad, whispery folk songs gag me. Your tear was a nice touch but I know it’s bullshit. ‘Here’ is where we swear a blood oath to take ‘this’ to our graves.” She blew in her cupped hands, checked her breath. “So far you’ve gotten in my shit, told me a clown punching to old Playboys in your dad’s closet story, whined about the healthy crap all the ‘Oh my God if I gain an ounce or get a zit I’ll die’ girls made you eat all week and turned my idea of a quickie to find out who the hell you are into most of an afternoon. You’re a keeper.”
“I didn’t say anything about punching the clown.”
“I have brothers.” She shook out the ponytail again, bent slightly, got chest to chest with him. “You and I ate lunch, found out we have a lot in common that is mutually beneficial professionally, we’re production house neighbors, and we plan on working closely together on a number of projects. Can you repeat that on-demand?” She got two inches from his eyes. “I don’t care if they pull out your fingernails. Lunch. Friends. Period. The end. You fuck anyone else in this circle jerk mess of a softball team Little Miss Calimex Navarro handed you and I’ll be outside the door with a camera and crew. Professionals. Lunch. Friends. Period.”
“This is how good I look leaving. Remember to miss me.” She turned and hit the switch on the thousand-watt smile. “Until Saturday’s game.”