I’m writing the stage musical as we speak

I was playing around on Amazon a few months back, looking for state-of-the-art notary supplies (and witty T-shirts), but instead of self-inking stamps and one-click embossers, my search revealed a trashy romance novel:


I’d never actually read a trashy romance novel before, but hey, if it was about a trashy, romantic notary, it might as well be my memoirs, right? I downloaded it to my Kindle, read the first few pages, and quickly came to the conclusion that a) this book was crap, and b) this crap was awesome.

The gist of the story is as follows: Adrianna Morgan (the eponymous notary) gets lost on her way to a closing and ends up Bella Swanning into a drug deal gone wrong, thus finding herself in the arms of undercover cop Lucas Hunter. Then a lot of crazy shit and surprisingly little sex happens. Not wanting to bogart the hilarity, I posted a picture of the cover on Facebook, but all of my friends were like,”Whatever, dude. You clearly created this in Photoshop.” So I posted a screenshot of my favorite passage…


… and then everyone was like, “Wow. This book… actually exists.” In response I was like, “Hell yeah, it does, and you’re all going down with me.” And I started posting plot synopses and editorial comments every other hour using the hashtag #TrashyRomanceNovelUpdates, until half of my friends were like, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US?!” and the other half were all, “WE’RE EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN THE NARRATIVE.”

Out of loyalty to all both of my blog followers, I have lovingly compiled those posts into one long, comprehensive critique. I do want to point out that Adrianna is technically a notary signing agent, but I guess “I- I’m the signing agent” just doesn’t convey enough pathos.

Anyway, with all that said and done, I humbly present my Reader’s Digest Select Edition of… The Notary.

Adrianna just secretly admitted to herself that she wants Lucas to “relieve her of her wretched virginity.” Shit’s getting real over here.

Lucas: “What exactly is it that you do?”

Adrianna: “I’m a mobile notary.”

Lucas: “Which is?”

Not much of an investigator, our Lucas. Thank God he’s pretty.

Lucas is reading a trashy romance novel he found on Adrianna’s coffee table. It’s like a play within a play. I wasn’t prepared for this level of meta.

“He smelled good, musky and male, and the faint odor of bacon clung to his shirt.”

Well now I want to make out with him.



Adrianna just cut the first love scene short to accept a mobile notary gig. I am so totally Team Adrianna right now.

“The cop in him was all too aware of the dangers to her, and the man in him wanted to protect her.”

Geez. If this is how Lucas feels about Adrianna being a notary, he’s going to go ballistic when she figures out the real money’s in process serving.

“Adrianna told herself she should be insulted by such an arrogant display of ownership. Should be angry to be treated like a piece of property by this way too domineering man…”

So of course she shoved her tongue down his throat. I’m not Team Adrianna anymore.

Lucas has decided that Adrianna is too soft and innocent for a dangerous man like himself, so he’s just going to walk away, but not before making sure she’s “too sexually satisfied to regret their time together.” Meanwhile, Adrianna’s all, “ZOMG we’re holding hands!! Are we a couple?!”

TWO DAYS these people have known each other.

Adrianna just pulled into a parking garage and was all, “I’m sure my car will be fine here for a couple of hours.” She’s clearly not about to get kidnapped by the local drug cartel, so don’t even think it.

Lucas has had an erection for like six chapters. That can’t be healthy.

Okay, so now they’re back at her place, and Adrianna’s womanly center is burning with a need that only Lucas can fill.

I really did think she was going to get kidnapped in that parking garage, though.

Adrianna’s center is also quivering and weeping. I feel like she might want to get that checked out.

“That’s it, baby. Ride it out.”

Lucas. Dude. She doesn’t have a charley horse. Seriously, work on your dirty talk.

OMG Lucas just said, “Sorry, beautiful. I don’t do virgins.” So Adrianna THREW HIM OUT. TEAM ADRIANNA FTW.

Adrianna went on a date with a polite, respectful man she met at a nightclub, but the local drug cartel ran their car off the road, and now they’re both in the hospital.

You can tell it’s fiction, on account of she met a polite, respectful man at a nightclub.

Lucas: “Hey, sorry I was so vile to you last chapter and broke your heart or whatever. Want to come over to my place and take a bubble bath?”

Adrianna: “And how!”

The head of the local drug cartel uses a solid gold tube to snort cocaine off of a desk “made of six different kinds of exotic wood, including ebony and Carpathian elm.” He is EVIL and WEALTHY and this is NOT HAM-FISTED at ALL.

Lucas gave Adrianna a hickey and was like, “I’m sorry, honey. But that pretty neck of yours was too much of a temptation.” AAARGH. If some douchebag said that to me, I’d set him on fire and be all, “I’m sorry, honey. But you looked chilly.”

Lucas is taking Adrianna TO MEET HIS MOTHER, and she’s like, “Maybe everyone will assume this hickey is another bruise from the car accident?”

I am so ready for her to get abducted by the drug cartel. I hope they keep a deprogrammer on staff.

“His virginal little notary had turned into a wildcat in his arms. If not for the car of smartasses that drove by, Lucas wasn’t too sure if he wouldn’t have taken her right there, in the back seat of his car, in his mother’s driveway.”

No comment.

Welp, Lucas and Adrianna finally had sex, and the drug cartel didn’t burst in on them or ring the doorbell or leave a voicemail or anything. I’m vaguely disappointed.

They’re officially on their first date, and Lucas asked Adrianna to move in with him, because of course he did. And she said yes, because of course she did.

And then the drug cartel showed up and kidnapped them, because about damn time.

Lucas: [kills seven men in front of Adrianna]

Adrianna: “I love you.”

Lucas: “Let’s get the hell out of here, and I’ll show you exactly how much I love you.”

Adrianna: *giggles*

Me: [that face Bea Arthur made at least once per Golden Girls episode]

“Marry me, honey. And quit that damn notary work.”

So… will she or won’t she? Which way will she go?!

Cliff. Fucking. Hanger.

The End.

Thank Christ.

And that was The Notary, by Cheryl Yeko. Ms. Yeko has written a number of other books, including Mountain Hero, Rodeo King, and My Sexy Valentine, but until she bangs out The Notary 2: Adrianna’s Revenge (“Last time, she lost her virginity; this time, she’s lost her MIND…”) Soul Mate Publishing will not see another dime of my money.

Slap and Brickle

The joy of constantly breaking up impromptu lightsaber battles having finally worn thin, I gathered together all of the shop’s impact items (paddles, riding crops, etc.) and hung them from hooks along the back wall, well out of arm’s reach. I figured the more gremlinesque tourists would still try to jump for them, so imagine my surprise when, miracle of miracles, everyone started ignoring them, the notable exception being people who actually wanted to (wait for it) purchase them.

I congratulated myself on successfully culling the herd and was still wallowing in a pleasant false sense of security when a customer wandered in and stood under the display, carefully examining the inventory.

“Could you get that one down for me, please?” he asked, pointing to a deerskin flogger.

“Of course!” I replied, happy to be of service to such discriminating clientele. I handed him the flogger and went back to the counter as he ran a finger along the stitching and took a couple of affable practice swings.

“I’ll take it,” he said. I rang it up, placed it in a bag and thanked him for his patronage, wishing him an excellent evening in the process. And a few minutes later, Robert came in and was all, “Man, it’s a weird crowd tonight. Some guy is running around the bar hitting strangers with a flogger.”

Me: “What?! Shit.”

Robert: “You… just sold it to him, didn’t you?”

Me: “If I say yes, does that make this my fault?”

Robert shrugged, so I poked my head into the bar to see if maybe it was somebody else BDSMing inappropriately. Alas, there was my customer, cackling with glee and windmilling about, the flogger’s tresses flying around him like a tiny, kinky tornado. Fortunately for everyone present, he ran out of steam before drawing blood or lacerating an eyeball or anything, but as you all are my witnesses, I will never again underestimate a customer’s potential for pandemonium. And in the meantime, I’m gluing any stock that’s even vaguely weapon-related to the ceiling.

But not a real dead hooker. We’d hire an actor with crazy good biofeedback skills.

Dear everyone at the Jeffrey Payne meet-and-greet last night:

While I really don’t feel the need to apologize, I do want to point out that we all have that friend we’re not supposed to sit next to in class, and mine happens to be a nice young man named Nuke. In case you don’t know Nuke, he was the guy to my right who, when Jeffrey asked, “Why would one person need 42 guns?” responded with, “Because he’s into some fucked-up shit?” And if you don’t know me personally, I was the guy to Nuke’s left who couldn’t stop laughing at that.

Anyway, regardless of how serious we may have sounded about it, please know that we are not actually planning to sneak a dead hooker into the house of the guy running against Jeffrey for the Democratic nomination. I promise that was just a joke. We would never use a dead hooker for political gain, because it’s easier to plant drugs we value human life above all else.

Oh, and speaking of, we were also totally joking when we announced we were going to burn down Chicago so that Houston could be the third-largest city in the nation. Burning down Chicago is not on the schedule until after IML never the answer. I shouldn’t have to explain this.

Look, what’s important here is that we all support Jeffrey in his bid for governor, so that we can get the evil monkeymen currently running Texas the hell out of office. And it’s also probably important that Nuke and I not be allowed to attend any live, televised debates, although I have to say that the campaign slogans we came up with are guaranteed winners. Here’s our favorite:

Jeffrey Payne

#Rise4Texas, my people.

Racism: Not Actually That Sexy (Updated)

I’ve read a few opinion pieces over the last couple of days about Blake Shelton being named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” and they all seem to follow a similar formula, the steps of which I have thoughtfully deconstructed. They are as follows:

1. Feigned Ignorance. The authors, all apparently lifelong People subscribers, go to great lengths to make it clear that they have no idea who Blake Shelton is. “We’ve never even heard of this guy!” they exclaim with wide-eyed confusion. “Is he a singer? Is he on TV? We just don’t know.” According to these articles, the People editors were basically sitting around all stymied over the Sexiest Man conundrum, and then one of them was like, “Hey… what about that temp in Accounting who’s kind of tall and looks like he might have some DIY projects going on around the house? What if we put him on the cover?” This was ostensibly nothing less than a tragic miscalculation on People’s part.

2. A Long, Gleeful Diatribe on Blake Shelton’s Unexceptional Appearance. While taking care not to actually call him ugly (because that would be mean), the authors otherwise give themselves permission to really cut loose with the flaming projectiles, condemning Shelton as the most gray-on-beige white man to ever blend in with the wallpaper. “He’s just so bland,” they complain. “We are undeniably the target demographic of this magazine, what with our affected disdain for pop culture and refusal to acknowledge celebrity, and yet they want us to believe that Middling McAnyperson here is the sexiest man alive? Pshaw. We are far too evolved to accept this. Also, his clothes are stupid.”

3. A Brief Mention of the Racist and Homophobic Things Blake Shelton Has Said on Twitter. “This is probably not okay,” the authors aver.

4. A Comprehensive List of Men Who Are Far Sexier Than Blake Shelton Could Ever Hope to Be. At this point, the authors bang out one last paragraph on Blake Shelton’s sad passability (“Did we remember to make fun of his clothes?”) before concluding with a grand tour through the stable of eligible studs from which People should have picked, the majority of contenders being Jason Momoa’s torso.

As an author myself, as well as not being a huge fan of Shelton, I thought I’d try my own hand at writing one of these essays. Please find below a draft, which, while admittedly rough, doesn’t need too much tweaking before publication:

Headline – Blake Shelton is Not Attractive, on Account of He’s Racist and Homophobic.

Byline – Misfit Marjorie, Esq.

Body – See headline.

Do Pulitzers come with cash prizes? Because I’d like mine up front in small bills.

ETA: The “Sexiest Man Alive” thing started in 1985, and of the 29 winners, only two (John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patrick Swayze) have died. So each year’s cover model is not, in fact, “The Sexiest Man Alive,” but “One of The Sexiest Men Still Living.” This is People, not Highlander. Let’s get that straightened out.

Also, one of the angrier articles I read was all, “And what about Dwayne Johnson?! He’s WAY sexier than Blake Shelton!” Yeah, thing is, Dwayne Johnson was named Sexiest Man Alive in 2016. Bring it down a notch and check Wikipedia before clicking “submit,” Mr. Internet Shoutyhead.

Gutter Balls

NP-UnionSuit2017.gifCustomer: “Ooh, you have union suits!”

Me: “Aren’t they cool? We just got them in.”

Customer: “I love a man in a union suit.”

Me: “Well, the Misfits are hosting our annual Union Suit Night on December 16. You should definitely check it out.”

Customer: “Who are the Misfits?”

Me: “We’re a local social and service club, and we bartend at Ripcord once a month to fundraise for our beneficiaries.”

Customer: “How fun! You know, my husband and I just moved to Houston, and we’ve been looking for ways to get involved in the community. He’s really into bowling, and I enjoy group sex.”

Me: “Okay…”

Customer: “Yeah, we’re going to like it here. So… think you could model one of those union suits for me?”

A quick memo to future Forge patrons: If you ask me to model something for you, and I say no, asking me seven more times will not magically cause me to cave. In fact, I will be strangely less agreeable about it than the first time you asked. That said, and owning there’s nothing new under the sun, I do hope he and his husband find a nice, welcoming, polyamorous bowling league, because the couple that plays together stays together. And I also hope that he never, ever comes back to tell me about it.

Deep Down Under

Customer: “Hi, I have a question.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “What colonoscopy caps do you carry?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “What colonoscopy caps do you carry?”

Me: “Um… I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

Customer: “I want to know what colonoscopy caps you carry.”

Me: “I… I don’t think we carry colonoscopy caps.”

Customer: “Argh, no!” [through clenched teeth and what I suddenly realize is an Australian accent] “What. Color. Nasty. Pig. Caps. Do. You. Carry?”

The lesson here is that proper enunciation is critically important during international travel. Hit those consonants, people.

PS: We were out of the color he wanted (which thank Zeus and Jesus wasn’t brown).

Marjorie in the Mist

Me: “May I help you?”

Customer: [languidly] “Zipper…?”

Me: “We do. Are you looking for pants or briefs?”

Customer: [staring off into space] “Bottom…”

Me: “Yes, but only in a neoprene singlet.”

Customer: [possibly astroplaning] “Gah…?”

Me: “Right this way!”

And you know what’s funny? Until that moment, I didn’t even know I was fluent in Vacant Gay Barfly.

The benefits of cultural immersion can really sneak up on you.

We may never know what happened to that barback

My friend Orin has loyally followed me through any number of online writing endeavors (both successful and abandoned), and he never fails to entertain me with his running commentary. He recently messaged me some thoughts on Marjorie’s Forgeries, and while reading them I realized that a) he remains as hilarious as he is adorable, and b) damn, you guys, the boy pays attention.

Here’s an excerpt from his latest missive:

I’m learning a lot from your online training program. (No, we don’t sell poppers; cockrings are on the endcap; largest lube is 16 oz; we only have that shirt in medium; the fitting room is right behind this curtain… but be careful, because a barback went in there once to try something on and may not have ever come out; closing the fitting room curtain requires a feisty flick of the wrist; only stuffed animals are allowed to have sex in the store; inventory requires counting a bajillion hankies.)

At this rate, I think I should be ready to help run the seasonal booth at the mall come Christmas time. (No, you may not try on the assless leather pants just so you can sit on Mall Santa’s lap and have your picture taken.) See? I’m ready.

I really should fly him in to interview for a holiday help position. I’ll bet he’d look delectable as a leather elf.