Opening in Circles

Customer: “Could I get a bottle of Double Scorpio, please?”

Me: “Sure. Which scent would you like?”

Customer: “Hmm. What do you recommend?”

Me: “I’d go with either the Amber or the Gold.”

Customer: “Okay, sounds good. I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “The one you recommend.”

Me: “So… would you like the Amber, or would you like the Gold?”

Customer: “Yes.”

It’s the returning sense of normalcy that I treasure the most.

Merrie Marjories (or, Thumper Redux)

There was this momentary trend on Facebook where everyone was making adorable avatars of themselves, which was nifty or whatever, except my FB account wouldn’t let me create one. Maybe it’s just because my phone is crap, but I still felt left out, like I was the only live-action character in a movie where everyone else got to be a cartoon.

Fortunately for my emotional well-being, I can count both artists and clairvoyants amongst my online tribe. From 1200 miles away in Toledo, OH, my friend Kenji sensed my alienation and swooped in to repair my psyche:

Thumper Avatar 1

And before I could even finish gushing, he was like, “Hold, please,” and took it over the damn rainbow:

Thumper Avatar 2

Avatars that can bend air aren’t as fantabulous as this is, and I made it my FB profile pic first thing this morning, so that people would be confronted with it as soon they woke up. I don’t really have a better way to express my mind-blown gratitude for these portraits, but let me just add how happy I am that the assymetrical glasses remain on-brand.

Dancing Macabre On My Own

Happy World Goth Day! In observance of this, the darkest of holidays, I’d like to share some traditional dances taught to me by my friend Martin (a fellow Forgeling and most elegant goth himself), all of which are fairly self-explanatory:

Making a Spider Web

Picking Strange Fruit

Displaying the Scars on My Wrists While Walking Slowly Backwards

My Hands Are Bound Behind My Back and I Am Okay with That

You can click here for other lessons, or here to experience what it’s like in my head a lot of the time. And once you’re done cutting the rug shroud, you can slip on your sunglasses, glide somberly out into the world, and befriend a crow. Bonus points if you get the crow to dance with you.

Apathetically Yours

Customer 1: [looking around at all the leather] “Ugh. Nothing turns me off quicker than leather.”

Customer 2: “[gesturing frantically at me] “Oh, my God, be quiet! You’ll hurt his feelings.”

It’s honestly a little endearing that he thinks I still have feelings.

Located in Chicago but Serving the Earth’s Gravitational Pull

This month’s Facets of Leather was mostly comprised of interviews with leatherpeople of cultural import, including Sir John (President of NLA-International and Living In Leather LLC), Tim “ASH!” Hotchkin (International Leather Boy 2015), and Gary Wasdin (Executive Director of the Leather Archives & Museum). And hey, we’ve gotten so much better at staying on topic, that our Superfan‘s latest meme only cites two tangents, which is definitely a new record.

Facets 5.10.20
The Zoom frame is a very nice touch.

Out of all the guests we’ve had on the show, Gary is my new favorite, because before we started recording, he was like, “Is there anything I’m not allowed to say? Because I have a potty mouth.” In response, Robert and I went over the seven words you can’t say on TV, along with FCC guidelines as they apply to late-night radio, and everything went swimmingly — Gary was knowledgable and professional and said insightful, educational things. So at the end of the interview, I was like, “You did a really good job of not cursing! Would you like to let fly with some expletives?”

I expected everyone to laugh and move on, but instead, Gary took a deep breath and bellowed a veritable Pandora’s box of obscenities: Like, I’m pretty sure there are now at least 32 words you can’t say on TV. Since we pre-recorded the segment, our producers were able to excise all the invective, but as far as I’m concerned, anyone who can scorch ears that intensely on cue is an icon in his own right.

This month’s musical selections were all over the place, but we played a song awhile back that continues to reverberate with me, that being Australia’s entry to Eurovision 2019. The note she hits at 2:02 is a mood unto itself. Plus, y’know, who doesn’t want to ride a giant wedding cake topper while an evil shadow witch flails about in the background?

Nobody. That’s who. The defense rests.

Mountains so lofty, treetops so tall. Both of these are euphemisms.

Today is the 100th birthday of Touko Valio Laaksonen, better known to the world as Tom of Finland. You can celebrate the life of this visionary erotic artist however you see fit, but personally, I’m going with emulation:


PS: Have you watched the movie? If not, OH, YE GODS OF NORTHERN EUROPE, WATCH THE DAMN MOVIE ALREADY. Douglas and I saw it in the theatre and gave it two hypermasculine, blatantly phallic thumbs up. Douglas also may or may not have cried like a little leatherbaby. I don’t rightly recall, being too busy weeping myself to pay close attention to his emotional state.

PPS: Click here to turn the title of this post into a complimentary earworm. You’re welcome.

Ripcord Wide Shut

[A gaggle of terribly fabulous preppies breeze in and cast their eyes about the store.]

Preppy 1: “Let’s buy something fun!”

Preppy 2: “Yes! Let’s.” [to me] “Do you have any masques?”

Me: “Sorry, but we don’t carry… masks, other than the pup hoods.”

Preppy 2: “Really? No masques?”

Me: “None at all, I’m afraid.”

Preppy 2: “No glow-in-the-dark masques we could wear?”

Me: “No glow-in-the-dark anything.”

I was kind of hoping he’d keep upping the ante (“Really? No glow-in-the-dark, sequined and feathered masques that bring ancient, undying curses down upon those who dare possess them? Not even a floor model?”), but instead he just wandered away. Although later, a straight couple came in, and the guy immediately went, “Oh. This is one of those bars,” and they turned around and left. I don’t know if he meant a gay bar, or a leather bar, or a gay leather bar or what, but in my mind, he was like, “Damnit. I was specifically told that all the queers would be wearing masques.”

Sorry to disappoint, my good breeder. But here we only hide our identities behind clever nicknames.

I’ll quote Professor X at him next time, just to play devil’s advocate.

My Dad: “I called my favorite restaurant earlier, and they’re open for limited seating. Want to go get a burger?”



My Dad: “Touché.”

As an alternative, we’re eating pizza and watching Ozark (an attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants being about the only thing that hasn’t happened to the Byrdes yet). It’d be good for my dad to get out of the house, but he’s about as panicky as I am, and the chances of him macing someone with Lysol for clearing their throat suspiciously are still fair to middling.

So, y’know, probably best to give it another week.

I can’t wait to watch him enjoy that burger, though.