I Don’t Know Is in Third

Customer: “I’d like some Scorpion, please.”

Me: “You mean Double Scorpio? Sure. Which one would you like?”

Customer: [looking over my shoulder to the Double Scorpio refrigerator on the counter behind me] “Hmmm… I’ll take the one in the third quadrant.”

Me: “Um… which one?”

Customer: “The one located in the third quadrant.”

Me: “There’s actually a display of all the solvents we carry just to your right, if you’d like to…”

Customer: [not looking to his right] “Third quadrant!”

Me: “If you could just look at the display and point…”

Customer: [pointing forcefully at the fridge] “It’s the one right there in the third quadrant! How do you not know where the third quadrant is?

Me: “What color is it?”


[Defeated, I turn to look at the fridge. There are no silver bottles.]

Me: “Okay… I think the one you want is the Double Scorpio Black. The printing on the label is silver, but the lights reflecting off of it kind of make the whole bottle look silver.”


Me: “Third quadrant. Got it. But seriously, look.”

[I take a bottle of the Black out of the fridge and hold it up next to the same bottle on the display.]

Me: “See? Not silver.”


[Before he can finish, I swing around and grab a bottle of Double Scorpio Gold.]

Me: “Gold. The other bottle is gold. There are no silver Double Scorpio products.”

“… Oh. Well, then.”

I went home that night and did some research, and guess what: The Black and Gold bottles are actually in the second quadrant of the refrigerator.

So fuck that guy. I mean, we clearly both flunked high school geometry, but at least I’m honest about it.

Bruise Is in the Heart

I didn’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day, nor chocolates, nor a romantic dinner for two. But I look smugly down upon those who did, and I smile with satisfaction, because what I received from Ben was this:

Bruise Is in the Heart

You are not hallucinating.
It’s a coin purse that turns into a motherfucking paddle.

I absolutely cannot wait to wear this along with my Self-Defense Buddha Beads and begin my new career as a masked vigilante. And while I’m aware that there are like three billion men alive at the moment, I also feel like it’s safe to say I’ve got the greatest damn boyfriend on the planet.

You Never Even Call Me By Whatever Everybody’s Calling Me This Week

Customer: “Hey, Thomas.”

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “Oh! Sorry. I mean, hey, Thumper.”

Me: “No apologies necessary. I pretty much answer to anything at this point.”

Customer: “Okay. Hey, asshole.”

Yeah, I kinda walked into that one. But I’ll add it to my tragically expanding list of Nicknames For All Occasions anyway.

Devil of a Notary

Although my friend Sarah strongly counseled against it, I went ahead and re-rebranded my mobile notary business. Please welcome into the world of professional witnessing…

Caducifer Notary and Officiant Services!

The backstory is that I wasn’t paying enough attention to renewal notices when I went through that depression last summer, and unfortunately, domtopnotary.com got poached. Caducifer feels a little more evolved to me, though, plus it reminds me of Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle, who had just about the coolest name in the history of third-party designation. (Second only to Moosifer, a dearly departed Savannah cat with whom I had epic food ownership battles during a house-sitting gig awhile back. I miss him. At a distance.)

My standard-issue pitch to follow: If you’re in or around Houston and suddenly realize you need something notarized at an ungodly hour, just give me a holler, and I’ll come a-runnin’. I look forward to both being of service and not judging you if you’re in your pajamas.

ETA: My Zazzle shop is still open, in case you want a DomTopNotary memento or two before I firebomb the place and start over. All proceeds go to… well, me. But I’m definitely worth the occasional kickback.

A Bingo Ate My Baby

The first thing we learned during February’s Facets of Leather was this: Quail and partridge are not the same birds.

Our Superfan explains.


And why were we discussing game fowl on a show about leather that never, ever tangents, you might ask? Well, that was because our special guest was my Misfits brother Scott, who a) raises quail commercially, b) is married to an Australian, and c) JUST WON MR. TEXAS LEATHER!!!

Scott’s the one on the left.

On the Friday afternoon before the official meet and greet, Scott stopped by Leather Masters to have a patch sewn on his vest, and while he was waiting, he espied a twenty-something young man looking at harnesses. They struck up a conversation, and the kid mentioned that he’d never worn a harness before, so Scott went through the different designs with him, helped him pick out a flattering one, and showed him how to put it on. The kid was thrilled and thanked Scott profusely for his assistance (and bought the harness), and after he left, this other customer came over to Scott and shook his hand and was like, “Hello! I’m one of your judges.”

Scott won the contest for a number of reasons, but having a judge witness him accepting and proactively educating a newcomer to the leather community — and doing this without knowing he was being watched — most assuredly did not work against him. We (the royal we, that is, along with the rest of the Misfits) are beyond proud of him.

So, regarding our musical selections, anyone tuning in Saturday night/Sunday morning may have noticed a slight glitch, in which one song with… lets call them questionable lyrics… started playing, quickly faded out, and was then replaced with a trance hit from the early 90s. Please find below a behind-the-scenes look at what happened.

Earlier in the day, I’d sent Robert some suggestions, including “Oasis” by Amanda Palmer, and when he handed me the playlist that night, I noticed he’d included it. So I was like, “Um, did you listen to this one?” And he was like, “No. Why?” So I told him about the song, and he was like, “Alrighty, then. Let’s scratch that one right off.” Problem was, we didn’t really make this clear to our producer, who didn’t find out the song had a controversial history until after she hit “play,” and I bolted into the production booth yelling “NOT THAT ONE NOT THAT ONE NOT THAT ONE.”

I normally welcome all things polemic, but we’re right in the middle of KPFT‘s annual pledge drive, and I’d much rather take calls that are all, “Hello! I’d like to donate a million dollars!” versus “What the indubitable fuck is wrong with you people?”

You can click here to donate, by the bye, and don’t forget to select Facets as the program you’d like to support. (And, if you’re feeling at all punchy today, maybe don’t listen to the following until after you do so.)

That is… not how math works.

Customer: [pointing to a bottle of Rush] “May I see that yellow bottle, please?”

Me: “Sure.” [I hand him the bottle.]

Customer: “Hmm. No. This has a red top. I need the Rush with the black top.”

Me: “I’m afraid the only Rush we carry has a red top.”

Customer: “The Rush with the red top doesn’t work for me. I bought a bottle over at that sex store…” [waves hand vaguely to the Southwest]

Me: “Hollywood?”

Customer: “Yes! Hollywood. It was like water. I’m going to go back and demand a refund and throw it in their face!

Me: [speechless]

Customer: “Yeah, okay, I’m not going to do that. But I bought a yellow bottle with a black top at the bathhouse the other day, and it worked really well.”

Me: “Oh! That’s Pig Sweat. Yellow bottle, black top.”

Customer: “No. It was Rush.”

Me: “Well, like I said, we don’t carry Rush with a black top, but…”

Customer: “I need to invent little disposable, one-use solvents and sell them for like $8 each.”

Me: “That would certainly fill a niche.”

Customer: “I buy three bottles a week at least. It would be a lot more convenient to just have the little one-shots. Because I’m at the bathhouse every night, and I go through a lot of poppers.”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “Solvents. Hundreds. There are hundreds of bottles around my house, just from this month alone!”

If he’s not exaggerating about how much he consumes in a week, there should really only be like twelve bottles around his house (minus however many he loses at the bathhouse). So if he’s seeing hundreds, then either he’s turning into a human fly, or his friends and family need to get about the business of staging the world’s first solvent intervention.

Unless the solvents are what’re turning him into a human fly, in which case his friends and family should just lock their windows and not leave any raw meat laying out.

A Fluffle of Freelapse

Scrappy: “I’m back from Beef Dip, and I have souvenirs for you!”

Me: “Hopefully nothing contagious.”

Scrappy: [stifling a cough] “Of course not. Now, I know your thing is jackalopes, but I couldn’t find any. So instead, I got you bunnies!”


Me: “Ooh! The Centzon Tōtōchtin!

Scrappy: “Um… what?”

Me: “The divine rabbits from Aztec mythology who throw giant, drunken parties!”

Scrappy: “Okay, seriously, only you would know this.”

Me: “Um, I’m pretty sure the Aztecs were aware of it, too.”

Scrappy: “…”

Me: “Bunnies!”

The beadwork on the little bunny in front is arranged in a peyote motif, so I decided to name him Botón, which is Spanish for “button.” Get it?! Like a peyote button? Ye Gods but I’m clever. And I don’t even mind that Scrappy brought all these symbols of drugs and alcohol into my house, because I accept the magic rabbits as protective, talismanic reminders not to ingest anything hallucinogenic from Central America. They’re really the gifts that keep on giving that way.

Breakthrough Performance

[Our front counter, weakened from years of abuse, finally died the True Death when an extremely intoxicated and/or high as balls customer tripped and grabbed onto it for support, thus bringing it down to the floor with him. The following afternoon, the staff got together to rebuild and reinforce it.]

Rok: “Okay, I think we’re good. Thumper, pretend to be a customer, and we’ll see if it holds.”

Me: [slamming into the counter and flinging myself across it] “WHEEEEE, I’M DRUNK AND HAVE BOUNDARY ISSUES. POPPERS POPPERS POPPERS.”

Rok: “Wow. That was… actually pretty accurate.”

It held, by the way. We’re very proud of ourselves. Plus I’m probably going to win like a Daytime Emmy or something. About damn time, really.

I’m sorry too, but for different reasons.

[My Misfits brother Chris and I are brainstorming possible keynote speakers for GLUE Weekend 2021, when a customer walks in and stares at him.]

Customer: “Were you just smoking a cigar out on the patio?”

Chris. “Yes, I was.”

Customer: “Oh. Sorry.”

Chris: “…”

Customer: [to me] “Look, I don’t want to be mean…”

Me: “Then don’t?”

Customer: “… but could you fit me for a harness?”

Me: “Okay, not what I was expecting, but sure.”

Customer: “It’s just that some people who work at leather shops are new, and they don’t know how to fit harnesses. Are you new?”

Me: “I am decidedly not new.”

Customer: “Oh, good. I just don’t want to be mean. Thanks.” [to Chris] “And… sorry.”

[He takes a business card and leaves.]

While I’m a little concerned about the customer’s long, dark history with incompetent leather salespeople, I’m mainly just happy for Chris, who can now join the growing legion* of friends who have witnessed first hand the odd shit that happens here.

*I think the technical term is “support group,” but “legion” has a more satisfying, New Testament ring to it.

Welp. That was fast.

Area Coordinator for the South Central New Warriors: “Hey there! We’re offering a training course in Houston next weekend! It’s free of charge, and we’d love for you to attend!”

Me: “Hey, thank you. And listen, I sincerely appreciate the invitation, but I think I’ll…”


The Leather Community: [SCANDALS AND FEUDS DU JOUR]


Me: “… see you there. Should I bring a casserole?”

It’s been a bit of a week, y’all. I still maintain that I’m not 100% New Warrior material, but I could definitely stand for Prowling Wolf to give me a hug and remind me that I’m living my best life.