Thursday, July 14, 2005

Invented Negotiation Scenarios

For a commissioned work of art.

“Alright, so what I’m looking for here is something…” [fiddles with pants]

“Are you unzipping your corduroys?”

“Something… yes, I am. Something like… this.” [pointing at own junk]

[incredulous, physically disturbed] “You’re serious.”

[offended, sincere] “Dead serious. I’m proud of what I’ve done in life.”

“What you’ve done? But that’s your dick.”

“I know what it is, thank you.”

“So you’ve done your [air quotes] dick, and you’re proud of that or what?”

“No, I meant, well yes of course, but that is not what I’m…” [lost in thought]

“You want to immortalize your life’s work by way of me immortalizing your pud.”

“Yes, but like, really abstract. Like, craaaazy abstract!”

“Umm hmmm…” [obviously not interested in doing piece]

“However abstract you want,” [still flashing junk around] “except, much bigger.”

[reanimated, but quaintly so] “Ah. I was going to recommend that if you didn’t.”


For a snow cone in New Orleans summer heat.

“How much do these run?”


“What’s that?”


“I’m sorry, but what does that mean? Is that American money?”

“Uhndollah. Uh-dollah. Wundollah. Uhn-hunred-pehnneh.”

“A dollar? Is that what you intended to say?”

“Sheee-yit. Yeeah bub. Wundollah. Therzza lyyne, sah hurriedup naaw.”

[looking around to no one particular] “What the fuck did he just try to say to me? Theresa who? Wonder bra? What?”

[fourteen year old boy behind in line stabs patron in the right kidney with a muddy plastic knife, pushes him to the ground, and orders “uhnnadem bluwons”, which is apparently blueberry.]


For two movie tickets to see a movie, knowing it will be utter crap.

“Two to see Tomb Raider III.”

“That’ll be fifteen dollars please.”

“Fifteen? Seriously? How about…” [digs in pockets with slight grin on face]

“Sir, it’s fifteen bucks. I can’t do deals here.”

“Oh come now. Everyone has their price, right!”

“Yes sir, and mine is fifteen bucks, for two tickets to the movie.”

“Sure, sure, sure. But what if I offered you THIS.” [tosses pile of things on to counter tray]

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. The trade is square. I am offering fair market value for our entrance to see this cinematic tour-de-farce.” [smiling triumphantly over at female companion]

“Is that an ATM receipt?”

“Yes, it is. And it isn’t even mine. I just used it to shell my used gum.”

[with one raised eyebrow] “And are those pennies?”

“Yep. They might be Canadian. If so, that’s a bonus for you.”

“And that is definitely a used Kleenex.”

“You are most certainly right my good man. Fresh deposits on that one. What with my allergies blowing up all over the place today. Score for you, right!”


“So. We have a deal here or what?”

“Let me get this straight. You want to trade four cents, a recently-used snot-rag, and already-chewed gum for two tickets to see the newest Tomb Raider movie? Seriously?”

“That is correct.”

[with piercing eyes and a pursed mouth] “…”

[still smiling triumphantly] “…”

[hastily grabbing items from tray and feverishly pocketing them] “Fuck YES. It’s theatre three, on your left-hand side. Enjoy it, suckers.”

Monday, July 11, 2005

Let the Fantasy BEGIN!

The fanned rooms are just part of this thatched-roofed disgustery. The place we’re calling “ours” for a spit. You see, I came here to drink booze from gutted fruits with little umbrellas falling out of them as I slip, slobbering, from my bamboo bar stool.

And hurdle my wheezing person to the sanded floor like a one-armed stroke victim.

Where I will probably chuck up some upchuck, curse some random drinkers-by and proceed to breathe REALLY heavy while entering into a sweet rum-coma. During which, I will likely be relieved of all my valuable personal belongings by the waitstaff. Good. Night.

So what the fuck do I care about the goddamn room? With its fans, fandom, and ludicrous fannery. Is that just to blow the heat around? Or is it to help disperse foul odors, the various pieces of proof required to prove what we already know happens on those unsleepables EVERY night of EVERY season? It could smell like a herpes hatchery for all I care. What would I honestly do about it? Cry?

I plan to drop my unwashables next to the unsleepable, take a brief drainer, and potentially never return until a cool twenty minutos before the bus ride of mad-regret back to that godforsaken aeropuerto. Does flypaper melt as you approach the equator or what? What’s with all the damn BUGS here? The depth and breadth of insect selection here is off the charts. I didn’t realize WHAT they were intending to include when I signed up for an all-inclusive stay.

Oh, and the marbled lobby is meant to be funny. A physical anecdote. A representation of faux fantasticalness, meant to give off the idea that you are somewhere beyond the known. Greco-Mexico or some such nonsense. It will cause brain damage if you ponder it too much. You are supposed to ignore it. It isn’t why you’re here. Honestly, how much time do you intend to dedicate to checking in? Collecting messages? Exchanging dollars for toilet paper? Seriously. It’s a well-dressed front. You’re after the depths of the back.

The back’s where it’s at.

Past the marble menagerie, and beyond the nice-talking front-people. They are from cities and towns which you are currently ignorant of, but will one day wish to visit. “They’re more real,” is what you will naively tell your future self, and anyone else foolish enough to listen. As if you have any idea what that means, or whether or not those people’s hometowns have any measure of it.

If those places were more “real”, they’d still be there instead of catering to your dumbass in this seaside stage. Not that your cardboard-bed palace by the sea is supposed to be anything beyond pure fantasy: crystal-blue waters, hamburgers with french-fries, and magical vodka in the tropics. But it must be understood that those burnt-out towns, where all these smiling faces came from, are the same type of “real” that one experiences from a gang-rape or a sharp stick in the eye. That’s the “realness” of it. Trust that you’ll come full circle on this, someday.

Past them and their mounted positions at the check-in, through the internals of the winded structure’s central hall, and out to the back. The back, where tiki-ness comes to life from the pages of pirate fiction. Where coconuts magically appear in a land which has never bred them willingly. A place where one can actually belly up to a bar in a pool next to an ocean to purchase a whole pineapple filled with pink-colored frozen-vodka-rum and sugar, because that is the fantasy promised by the ticket masters. The promise of booze to be delivered to you, the cash offerer, in the most absurd way possible. And if it were passed to you in an aluminum can in front of a tattered taco stand, you would break forth in a most tremendous riot, joined by the raging fists of dozens of slothish Midwesterners: all feverishly deep-pinked by the cancerous rays they dreamed of being cancered by, after months of slaving beneath the fluorescent warmth of modern-day share-cropping.

The splits of which are no longer the blood of the land, but the juice from the tiki-creation and the opportunity to use the words "indigenous peoples" without sounding posturing and pretentious. And the dividend is that bamboo stool which I plan to spill myself from. That, and the downward look that I am allowed to give to browned strangers who probably work far harder than I do, for far less, having to come from far further than I could ever comprehend, just to take the shit I pay to dish.


So set ‘em up Jose, make it one last coconut, before I hit this patch of raked sand. I want to feel, if just for a second, the fantasy of it all. Before I remember the ridiculously fanned room that I won’t be seeing until I leave.

Because this is my vacation. This is how I vacate. Oh my, well, here we go. Pardon me, you might want to step back a few feet. Before the fantasy begins.