Heres a story I meant to post quite some time ago, but never got around to finishing it until just now. Enjoy
Can it really be true? 30 posts on this most auspicious blog? What? You mean i have more than 30, and didn’t post this when I intended to? Oh how the time has flown. Word press is even giving me some sort of automated reward to commemorate the occasion. I find it heartwarming that they would take the time out of their computers busy schedule to reward me for something as mundane as 30 blog posts. Don’t they know that we bloggers don’t do it for the automated rewards we receive? We do it for the .002% chance that we might actually make some money out of it!
We be up in the club makin' dat stimulus rain!
Anyway, I digress…
I had realized a few days ago that I haven’t really done much this semester other than play games on my new PC, schoolwork, and exists. I decided that I was in desperate need of reintegrating myself into the social circles that I had left dormant upon long forgotten shelves, dusty and ensconced with cobwebs. This metaphor was bad news, because I am deathly allergic to dust, and irrationally afraid of spiders. But my mind was firmly set when i glanced at the GIF above me and realized that there was no purpose for Obama to make it rain, if not for the benefit of his homies and any fine biotches that may be within cash-showering range.
I therefore quickly hatched a most cunning plan. My main obstacle to overcome in becoming a campus celebrity was that no one ever invited me to anything and I have no friends. Sure, I live with three other guys who I almost exclusively hang out with, but I have always regarded them more as my enemies. I only hang out with them because I live by the maxim “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In order to make actual friends, I decided that I needed to appear to already have friends.
To do this, I made up a cast to my own private sit-com. Oswald, an English ex-patriate who runs a coffee house in Pelham, was my best friend and chum. Giselle was a love interest and close friend, but untrustworthy due to her dark good looks and Gypsy heritage. Penny was an annoying blowhard and Giselle’s best friend. Nobody liked her, especially Oswald, but she a Giselle were a sort of two for one combo deal, and she was therefore tolerated, if not despised. Giacomo was Oswald’s friend and work mate and by default a friend of mine. He was a dumpy, short italian-american who wished to marry Penny so he could finally gain citizenship. Penny always spurned his advances and wacky attempts to woo her.
I was constantly off to do things with my new compatriots. “Where are you going?” Roommate Tyler might ask. “I thought we were going to play Shogun Total War 2 together?”
“I can’t!” I would reply, “Oswald is having the gang over to watch a pretentious foreign film!” I would then beat a hasty retreat to the local Starbucks, where I would make use of their partnership with Marvel and read free electronic comics while I sipped on caffeinated beverage. I would occasionally take breaks to think up what hijinks Penny and Giacomo had gotten into today and decide what pick up lines I had fruitlessly tried on Giselle. I had created facebook accounts for all of my imaginary friends, but restricted the access other people had to their pages, so their absolute dearth of friends could not be seen, and I would occasionally post things on my wall about all the fun we were having. They would often reference idiotic inside jokes that the rest of my facebook friends must have found insufferably annoying After three hours or so, I would return home and tell my enemies all about it. They in turn would become progressively more jealous of all the fun I was having without them and complain about my new set of friends to anyone who would listen.
Word quickly spread of my social prowess, and of the unachievable heights of friendship my fake comrades and I were achieving, and my plan began to reach it’s final stages. You see, by merit of always being out doing things with my “friends,” people assumed that I was fun to be around. This assumption led them to suppose that they were missing out on something fun. Suddenly, I was daily bombarded with requests to go do things. “Hey!” They’d say to me, “wanna go to the paint party on friday?”
“Can’t,” I’d reply whimsically, with a toss of my head and a flick of the wrist, “I’ve got a prior engagement. My friend Giselle is having a trance party. It’s gonna be a cornucopia of licentiousness and debauchery. I simply couldn’t miss it.”
“Oh, well have fun…” They would then leave, all the while trying to figure out how to get into my made up party. This had the two fold effect of making me concurrently detestable and desirable, a powerful pairing. I was the prince of parties.
I'm the pretty prince of parties. Your a tasty piece of pastry.
Everyone wanted me to come to theirs, but I always had something more cool going on and was forced to decline. This worked perfectly for me because it satisfied my need to feel wanted and conformed to my unbendable laziness, in that all I ever did was go hang out at Starbuck’s and read free comic books.
It all worked perfectly, that is, until the day that I walked into the room to find all my room mates waiting for me. They had a very serious look about them, and I instantly knew I was in trouble.
“Charles,” Tyler the room mate said, “We’ve been talking and we have had it up to here with your parties.”
“What, you want me to stop my party hard, carefree lifestyle?” I asked, my voice rising in volume with every syllable. “Preposterous! Poppycock! It is against all common decency and I simply shall not do it! Good day, sirs.”
“No! We don’t want you to stop. We want in.”
“Yeah!” Matthew chimed in, “You’re always off having fun and we’re stuck in here watching reruns of Battlestar Galactica! We want to come! We hear you have a new party planned for this weekend. We want that one.”
“Well I’m sorry guys. My new friends are very selective and they don’t want to…”
“We’re gonna move out if you don’t let us come.” Brian said flatly. This statement initially pleased me. I would have the whole room to myself! I could combine me all four beds into one normal size bed, and use Brian and Matthew’s room as a study room/activities space. I then realized, however, that I would no longer be keeping my enemies closer than my friends. What trouble could they cause if left to their own devices?
“Well I’m terribly sorry guys, but the party is simply too full to permit you entry. I would be remiss if I were to tell you that you could come! We are having another one next week, and perhaps i could wrangle up some extra room…”
“No, dude, I don’t think you get it.” Matt said, advancing menacingly towards me, “We’re coming to that party. One way or another.” I glanced around at all of them, taking the very serious expressions they were now directing toward me.
“Ah… well then… to a party you shall go.”
“Good. When and where?”
“Um…” I had to think fast or they would unravel the great secret of my fake friend world and bring everything i worked so hard to achieve crashing down. “Why, at a stylish downtown loft, of course. The party begins at the coolest time of the night.”
“Ok, we’ll be there.”
“Excellent.” I said as I backed up to the door. I then gave a nervous laugh, which my comrades picked up. We were all laughing, but no one really knew why. My eyes darted about madly, vainly looking for an escape of some kind, but I dare not stop laughing. I increased the volume and reached for the doorknob without looking. My friends were now truly laughing, and having a great time. Seeing that my ruse had worked, I swung the door open and ran for it.
“C’mon… start, you bastard. Start!” I said, getting into my car I don’t know why I said this. My car is fairly reliable. I guess I just found it to be appropriate. I could see Bruce Willis saying something like that while terrorist’s bullets were thudding into the side of car like so many waves upon a stony beach
I floored it out of the parking lot and headed over to Starbucks. Fortunately, there was a seat available on one of the couches, next to a little girl in a periwinkle dress. She smiled at me, but i had no time for niceties.
“Move aside girl!” I bellowed, plopping myself down and pulling out my computer. I needed friends. Fast. I immediately went to Google and searched “friends for sale in Birmingham, Alabama.” Many things came up, but one looked especially promising, a business run by a certain “Mama Twerk.” They even had a number to call. Excellent.
“Hey baby what’s up?” answered a raspy female voice.
“Hello? Hello? Mama Twerk? Please, this is an emergency!”
“What kind of emergency you mean baby?”
“I am in desperate need of friends!”
“Then you came to the perfect place daddy. We got the best friends in Birmingham and they all clean. Real talk.”
“Uh, good. Im glad. One wouldn’t want to employ friends who are hygienically unsound.”
“How many friends you need?”
“Four! Sounds like you planning some kind of crazy party, daddy!”
“Oh yes! Yes I am! The likes of which you have never seen!”
“Hey! I don’t even want to know what ya’ll been plannin. You want certain kinds of friends, daddy?”
“Yes. One must be European male, one must be a devastatingly gorgeous gypsy woman, one must be an insufferably shrew and unattractive, and one must be short man. Ooh hey could you get a Danny DeVito looking character?”
“Hello? Are you there?”
“Yeah daddy I… I’ll see what I can do.”
“Good. It has been a pleasure doing business with you, Mama Twerk, and I shall recommend your services to anyone who so needs them in the future. Good day.”
I hung up and rubbed my hand together conspiratorially.
“Excellent! EXCELLENT!” I shouted. The little girl who had been staring at me earlier was now yanking on her mothers shirt to get her attention. She then whispered something into her ear, and the woman gave me a disgusted look. She must have found out that I had to hire friends! I beat a hasty retreat as the mother approached one of baristas and began gesturing towards me and saying something.
When I got into my car, I did a quick search for realtors on my phone. I needed someone who specialized in downtown apartments, if such a person existed. Fortunately, one such person did. I called her.
“Hello? This is Margaret Thatcher, no relation. How can I help you?”
“Yes, Ms. Thatcher. I am in desperate need of a stylish downtown loft. Do you know of any such places?”
“Uh, yes. But who are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“You hideous troglodyte!” I roared into the phone’s receiver, “I need answers, not questions! Will you help me or not?”
“Um…” she started, horribly confused, “yes. Let me see what I have.” There was a brief pause in the conversation, wherein i could hear naught but the subtle clickity clack of keys searching for a stylish downtown loft.
“Yes sir, Mr…?”
“Mr…” I thought for a moment. It would have been unwise for me to use my real name, in case i became liable for anything that may happen at my party. “Big,” I finished, “My name is Mr. Big.”
“Well Mr. Big I have the perfect place for you. When would you like to see it?”
“Saturday,” I responded, “Saturday at 7:20 p.m.” I thought for a moment. “Actually,” I continued, “Is it furnished?”
“Yes, this is one of our demo models.” She responded happily. I chuckled.
“Excellent… Excellent! It’s all coming together now by god, it’s all coming together!” I hung up the phone in my joy, forgetting to ask where the place actually was. I sent Ms. Thatcher a sheepish email several hours later asking for an address.
The next day was filled with anxious waiting. Madam Twerk called to inform me that my friends would be ready tonight and I told her the location of the party. She informed me that I owed her four thousand dollars for her services. I assured her that I would indeed pay after the party was completed, though god only knew where I would get that kind of money. I had spent all of my paltry funds on essential party supplies: Fritos and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Perhaps I could pay her in installments? I would have to check with my new friends when they arrived.
Margaret Thatcher was waiting for me when i got to the apartment, and she must have immediately recognized that I was a cool customer from my appearance. I was wearing a scarf and wool cap even though it was the middle of spring and almost 80 degrees outside. I had a long sleeve plaid shirt and painfully tight jeans, which caused me to waddle rather than walk, much like a horrible crab monster fleeing from danger, or perhaps merely shuffling into the cool, dark waves of the refreshing sea.
“I can see a stylish downtown loft suites you!” She exclaimed, informing me that cunning disguise had worked to perfection.
“Quite.” I replied austerly. She began to say something else, but I held up my hand to silence her. “Before you say anything else I must warn you that I have some friends coming over to check the place out. I trust this will cause no problems?”
“Well, Mr. Big, that’s not really how we do things.” She said anxiously, frowning at me. Then a smile crossed her face and she said conspiratorially, “But I don’t think it should be a problem. I always ask my friends for advice, too.”
“Splendid. Now, would you help me with the beer and Fritos?”
“You brought beer to an open house?”
“Oh. Um, ok, sure. Why not?” I left her to lug the party supplies into the loft while I searched for a stereo. I located one on a shelf by the TV and set it to an alternative rock station.
“Just set it down on that table there,” I said to Margaret, who was staggering under the weight of several beer cases. I checked my phone. It was 7:25, and my “friends,” should be arriving any minute now. Just then, someone knocked on the door. I went over and opened it, and let out a shudder of revulsion.
“Who are you?” I demanded. The people at the door didn’t respond, but merely stared at me. This must be them, I thought. There were indeed… four individuals standing in front of me, but the hallway was dark, and so I beckoned them to inter so I could get a better look.
“Dear god,” I breathed hastily. Something had gone horribly, horribly wrong. Perhaps the phone connection on Madam Twerk’s end was malfunctioning and she was unable to understand what I had wanted, for standing in front of me were not the sit com cast of friends that i had envisioned, but rather four of the most disturbing individuals i have ever set eyes on. There was a 40 something year old woman who had pink hair that had been bleached and colored so much that it was falling out in places and was painted up like a trollop and. She was wearing painfully short jean shorts, lord knows how she found some in her waist size, with fish net stockings and stiletto heels; and a skimpy leopard print tube top. She smoked a cigarette in one hand and had her other hand on her waist, which was thrust out at an angle that seemed to suggest that she was about to say something ’bout my mamma Next to her towered a stick thin woman who must have been nearly 7 feet tall and appeared to have just woken up. She was wearing a black leather skirt and a bikini top, which clearly showed her Caesarian scars. The two men seemed to be very aged twins, and were dressed in dirty old sweats. They both had long, wispy and tangled white hair, and beards that reached well below their wastes. I cleared my throat. There wasn’t enough time to return these creatures now standing in front of me. I had to make the best of what I had.
“Well, I am quite glad that you could make it here.” I said as I pulled some papers out my shirt. “These are your character dossiers.” I said as I passed out information sheets that i had made about my fabricated friends. I gave Giselle to the tall woman, who eyed it lethargically. The squat one got penny an the more terrifying of the two men got Giacomo, the other received Oswald.
“What are we supposed to do with these?” Giacomo asked in a rugged British accent, eyeing his sheet suspiciously, as if it were food.
“Oh dear,” I said nervously, “You can read, can’t you?” They all responded in the affirmative. “Good, good!” I said. “These sheets have information about the characters you are going to be playing tonight. For the remainder of the evening, you must pretend as though you were the person on your sheet.”
“What, like we was movie stars?” asked the tall girl with a voice graveled from years of cigarette smoke.
“Yes! Yes! That’s exactly right!” I exclaimed. I glanced behind them and noticed that the elevator was coming up to our floor. I glanced at my phone. 7:30!
“Come inside and take your places! My friends are almost here!” I ordered as I ushered the gang into the main room.
“Where we supposed to be?” asked, who I was unable to budge.
“Doesn’t matter.” I grunted, straining to move her. She was a rather large woman, but I managed to get her inside just when the elevator dinged. “Just act like you’ve been here before.” They began to spread out in the main room, reading their papers. “And for god’s sake, put those papers up when they come in!”
“Oh, hello!” Margaret said, coming into the room, “These must be your friends! I’m Margaret! What do y’all think about the loft?” My friends stared at her and then went back to reading. I rushed over to Margaret and gently led her away from them.
“Hey, Margaret, would it be alright if we just sort of hung out in this room for a bit, just to get a feel for the place?”
“Sure!” she replied happily.
“Great!” I said, leading her away. “If you could just up the snacks over here that would be great, thanks. Your doing a wonderful job, Margaret! I am quite sold on the old place!” A knock sounded at the door and i spun around to address the group.
“They’re here! Places everyone, places!” I ordered, clapping my hands together. Oswald raised his hand. “Yes, Oswald?”
“What’s our motivation?” He asked.
“You want me to pay you,” I replied dryly and I went over to the door and opened it.
“Hey! Welcome, Welcome! Come on in!” I said to my room mates, who I ushered inside. “Guys,” I said to my hired friends, “These are my room mates: Tyler, Matt and Brian. This is Oswald, Giacomo, Giselle and Penny.” And with that, the party was in full swing.
For professional actors, my hired friends seemed to have a rather poor grasp of their characters. They were always glancing down at their dossiers for facts about themselves. Furthermore, they seemed less concerned with talking and keeping up the illusion of being my made up friends than with pocketing whatever they could lift and eating all of my Fritos. They liked the bear too. Brian was in a deep discussion about apartments with Margaret, who looked more and more worried every time I saw her. I think she was beginning to realize that I had no intention of buying this loft whatsoever. Oswald and Giacomo had sat down at the beginning of the party and started drinking, and they had yet to stop. I reckoned that they must have had 20 or so beers already, and they were showing no signs of slowing down.
I spent my time floating in between the various groups, trying my best to keep up the illusion that the actors were my friends, and that i Was genuinely interested in renting a stylish downtown loft. The party was serving it’s purpose at least. My friends didn’t seem to suspect that Oswald and company were not my friends, but merely actors whom I hired. But then, disaster struck. Giacomo, who by now was roaringly drunk, let out a tremendous belch that attracted the attention of everyone in the room.
“This is a great party,” he slurred, looking at me, “Hey! Didn’t you say we gonna get paid? When are we gonna get payed?” Everyone turned to look at me. I was dumbstruck, frozen in place.
“Giacomo,” I angrily said through gritted teeth, “Whatever do you mean?”
“Well, you said you’d pay us…”
“Oh yes!” I shrieked, “You must mean when will you get payed for the party supplies, yes?” He just looked at me blankly. “Fear not, all accounts will be settled once my friends have left! Now why don’t you go back to your beer?” My room mates were giving me suspicious looks, and I knew I had to act fast. “Let’s dance everybody!” I shouted, sprinting over to the radio and cranking up the volume. In my nervous state I only managed to flail my legs and arms like an epileptic at a rave. “Come on everyone! Dance!”
“Charles…” Margaret said as she walked up to me, “I don’t mean to sound rude, but this is supposed to be an open…”
“An open dance floor?” I howled, “Yes, it is! That means everyone can dance. Everyone!” No one moved. I stopped moving and glared about the room. “Dance.” I ordered. “Now.” I must have had a mad glint in my eye, because everyone except Margaret looked frightened and started reluctantly swaying to the rhythm. I scowled at Margaret, and she backed off and ran into the hall. Good riddance.
“Now it’s a party!” I shouted. There suddenly came a knock at the door. “I’ll get it! You guys keep having fun.” I shuffled over to the door and threw it open. Two police officers were waiting outside.
“Hello sir, are you the owner of this residence?” one of them asked me. Someone must have seen the police at the door and turned down the radio, so now everyone could hear me.
“…Yes?” I hazarded slowly.
“We’ve had a call about someone hiring prostitutes at this residence. May we come in?”
“But of course.” I forced a smile and bowed low. The police entered and immediately walked over to Giacomo and Oswald, who were fidgeting nervously.
“Who are these two?” one of the police asked asked.
“Why, those are my dear friends Oswald and Giacomo. They aren’t prostitutes! I mean, just look at them.” Oswald smiled and waved, Giacomo vomited down the front if his shirt.
“What about her?” asked the other officer, gesturing to penny who had climbed on top of Matt and was shaking spasmodically. Matt looked terribly frightened.
“Oh that’s just penny!” I laughed. I sidled up to the police officer and whispered “She get’s like this when she drinks. It’s disgusting, I know, but I didn’t invite her. Giacomo did! He has a thing for her, you see.” The police stared at Penny, who was oblivious to their attentions.
“Well, everything seems to be in order here” said one of the male police officers, as he took off his hat and began to fan himself with it. “I just have one more question. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just….” Suddenly, the man ripped his shirt off and began dancing in a most disturbing way as all of his compatriots began doing the same thing. “…us?”
“Wha..?” I began as the two female officers sashayed over to me and began gyrating and wiggling most provocatively.
“Sorry we’re late,” one of them whispered, “Madam Twerk gave us the wrong directions.”
“Yes, that’s all very well, but why are you behaving like this?”
“What do you mean, honey?”
“Shaking! Gyrating! Twerking! Et Cetera!”
“Well what do you want us to do? You’re the one who hired prostitutes!”
“Prosti…” I began, but the word caught in my throat, “Pros..ti…tutes? You’re prostitutes?”
“No wonder you cost so much!” I exclaimed. I was relieved that these were not real police officers arresting me for accidentally hiring prostitutes, but merely the prostitutes that I had accidentally hired impersonating police officers who were arresting me for accidentally hiring them! This relief, however, was cut short by a creeping sense of dread that began to pervade my mind as I slowly turned to the frightening individuals standing around the room. “But if you are my prostitutes, ” I whispered to the hooker who was presumably meant to be Giselle, “then who are they?”
“I don’t know, it’s your party!” Giselle said as she watched her counterpart pick up a one of Brian’s kicked off shoes and begin to gnaw on it. There was nothing for it. I had to ask.
“Um, excuse me…” I said to Giselle the lesser, “who are you?” She looked down at her sheet.
“Gisel…” she began before I interrupted her,
“Yes, yes I know who you are pretending to be. Who are you really, though?”
“Agnes,” she grunted in between shoe bites.
“And what is it you do, Agnes?”
“Ah,” I said, realizing what I had done, “And your friends…?”
“Wait, so these homeless looking people are actually homeless people? Then why did you introduce them as your friends?” Tyler asked.
“I.. I was too embarrased to tell you guys,”I said, hanging my head, “but my friends, Oswald, Giacomo, Giselle and Penny…” They were all looking at me expectantly. “… lost their jobs and became homeless! Now im super embarrassed and you need to leave, all of you.” I walked over to the door and threw it open. “Out. Now.” A line soon formed. At the front were my room mates, who apologized for being so rude and were quite sorry that my friends had hit upon hard times. Next were the prostitutes.
“Sorry we were late,” said Giselle, “We’ve talked it over and, since you didn’t even want hookers in the first place, we’re just gonna charge you our cab fare home.”
“I have nothing left except Frito’s and PBR.” I told them flatly. Giselle eyed the leftovers for a moment. She shrugged.
“Ok, seems fair to me.” They picked up the coolers and Fritos bags and made their way out. Lastly, I was approached by Margaret.
“Are your friends all right?” she asked. Gicomo and Oswald had drunk themselves to sleep ,and Penny and Giselle were fighting the prostitutes for the party supplies.
“Yes, they get like this, I’m afraid. Don’t worry, they’ll wake up in a few hours and all will be well.” I patted her on the shoulder and made my escape.
“So, did you like it?” she asked nervously as I passed. I paused and thought for a moment. “Which part? There were some that were better tha others”
“Oh, um, I meant the whole thing…” I thought once more
“No, not one bit. I found it to be absurd and unbelievable.” I gestured in a sweeping motion around the loft. “A stylish downtown loft at this price? Poppycock! Now, good day, Margaret Thatcher.”