Published on May 18th, 2012 | by TLV News0
“Summer Fashion Never Tasted So” (White Collar Criminal, from TLV #156)
Passed out, sassed out, full of double-letters, scattered amongst grass, I sat poking my stomach with a silly straw left by a litter bug.
This was not the company picnic I’d picked. My new girlfriend, or FriendGirl—whatever she wants—brought me to this joke-of-a-party and the watermelon was spiked. She works in sales in a booming suburban ditch approximately 150 miles from The Velvet Ditch. Her supervisor said we looked “cute” together. She insisted we were just friends. Only friends. She insisted I wear a goofy lavender tie and faux-leather sandals her mom had purchased for Mikey, her step-brother. Mikey didn’t hesitate to complain when he opened that ill-fated Christmas gift. They weren’t even religious. But as a disciple of Her, I denied my personal tastes and bravely donned the duds, waving at my not-girlfriend’s boss as I carried a cooler full of Michelob Ultras across a sea of green.
Co-workers popped over to shake hands and rub elbows with the top saleswoman for the month of March. She patted my arm and subtly prodded me to speak. Gracefully knocking back the lightest beer known to metrosexuals, I jawed about my job. No, it’s not as boring as you think. Yes, I travel. No, I don’t attend sporting events that often. Yes, I think sports are fine. No, I didn’t catch last night’s game. Yes, I’m sure it was thrilling. No, I don’t gamble. Yes, I’d love to meet your date. No, I didn’t go to Vandy. Yes, I’ve heard of it.
I’d heard enough. She noticed. So the girl who sometimes lets me kiss her on the cheek announced to her flock that she would step over to the dessert table and stuff her massive 5’4”, 105 lb. frame. A funny thing happened on the way to the German chocolate cake. Russell, her least favorite co-worker, rumbled to the front of the line, but not without inadvertently knocking the Least Interesting Beer in the World out of my feeble hand.
I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I embarrass all male relatives—Michelob Ultra.
FriendGirl, vaguely resembling a young Jodie Foster—pre-Hinkley’s show-n-tell—launched into one of her cyanide-laced tirades. Russell brushed it off, telling her to give me something of substance. Whoa. Stripping the moment of its weight, decking the gal’s spirit, and waving me over with a false sense of security that only seduces the most curious of cats, I was hooked. Leaving her to pick up the mess, I followed Russell back to his blanket and suggested he give me what he’s having.
Nodding with approval, Russell shifted his smirk and lifted a watermelon from his much larger cooler. My teeth sunk in and our conversation quickly flowed like a million babies bobbing for apples made of spikes. And the melon was spiked, as I mentioned. An hour flew by and laughs were dipped in sugar, they were sooo schweet.
You know that moment when you gaze around you—the world isn’t spinning, just rotating—and from the corner of your third eye you realize the party is jumping, the tricks are bumping, and you might just be a little drunk? I hit that stride at a pleasant pace and moments later it was dark, desolate and damp. 4:30 straight to 9:30, you’re welcome.
I sat up, removing the silly straw from my navel only to see that the park was bare and the Company was nowhere in sight. My phone was dead, naturally, and I wondered if I could walk straight. For whatever reason, I remembered what this former redneck comedian, my favorite person during rehab, would say before every meal: “Dang, I didn’t know this town had two Wendy’s!”