March 6, 2008
I knew I'd get it one of these days--an email from a reader letting me know that my recent stories sound far too outrageous to be true..."Dogs on your desk? Drag queen hairdressers? Vasectomy stories? I'm sorry," wrote the reader, "but this is getting kinda hard to believe. Funny, but hard to believe."
Every couple of I months I get a doubter, and I was long overdue. To be quite honest, I can't say I disagree with the concerned party, these stories are wild. Please know that the elevated crazy factor is partly due to the lens through which view the world--I look for (and tend to exaggerate) the humor in everything--and partly due to my location in arsty-fart New England.
In previous posts I've described this place as "off-beat." And that, my friends, is a glorious understatement. If you could hop on a plane tonight and attend the weekly Karaoke Sing-Off and Talent Hour in the basement of the UU Church, you would totally see what I mean. How that woman can play the xylophone with four mallets while she nurses her infant is something that I will never understand. Let's face it, I was barely coordinated enough to eat a sprinkle donut and watch the Simpsons while I nursed.
If you're not from around here, you simply won't believe the things I see on a regular basis. For example, yesterday I saw a fisherman wearing hip waders having coffee with a shirtless guy with a boa constrictor wrapped around his neck. I should note that I have a wicked case of the hots for any man sporting rubber fishing pants and I'm completely repulsed by snakes, so the two men sort of cancelled each other out. They were a very odd looking pair, but they've probably been friends for years.
And then, of course, there's the hair salon with the stripper pole--for every minute you dance, you get one dollar off of your hair cut. You can dance for up to five minutes and your clothes must stay on because, duh, it's a family hair salon! I've never been inside of the place, but I love to walk by on my lunch breaks. Every once in a while, I have the privilege of watching a local resident who's too cheap to maintain their dignity. One time I saw a man in a flannel shirt who was holding the stripper pole with one hand while he danced like Pinocchio--the puppet, not the boy. Another time I saw an elderly woman doing the hokey-pokey while the stylists gathered 'round and offered encouraging applause.
Apparently it was no easy task for the shop owner to obtain a license for his window-front stripper pole. After a great deal of convincing, his pole is now up-to-code and open for use. As a token of gratitude, he still brings small gifts to the town employees every now and again. Most recently? Single serve packets of glow-in-the-dark hair gel for everyone.
Heaven help us all. And I'll say it again--Heaven help us all.
I can't lie, I love being here. After all, every single day brings a series of new adventures. And the restaurants are nothing to sneeze at either. But in a few weeks I'll be moved to a different office in the region, where things are far more, uhhh, regular? I'll miss the adventure of it all, but lately I feel like it's turned my blog into a shock-jock Howard Stern publication--at least to the Mom crowd.
In the next little bit I'll be happy to return to my previous level of Mormon risqué-ness. A happy PG rating if you will. You know--farting, homecrafted swear-replacement, recaps of spousal disagreements, and coworkers who spit when they talk. Well, at least I'm hoping for something as funny as a spitting cubemate.
But in the mean time, I'll just continue on with daily mantra..."We're not it Texas anymore, James. We're certainly not in Texas."