Thursday, September 21

Yoo Hoo

In case you thought you noticed a listlessness in these parts, a magnification of certain middle-aged tendencies, well, it could be true. Late summer means scrambling to get various projects finished so that weather-sensitive chores can be done on time, generally with the slightly optimistic sense that this time I'm going to get ahead of it all only to realize that it was not just pure laziness that left things undone in previous years but the impossibly complex set of steps which must be completed without regard for anything else. To this one may add a demented mother and the required interactions with doctors and drug peddlers, minor computer glitchettes, football season, cat maintenance, some interesting reading, a bizarre real-life Agatha Christie interlude when I accidentally intercepted a cocktail my next-door neighbor had designed to kill his wife which caused me--so I am told, anyway--to turn ghost white and slump in my chair with my head cocked at an unnatural angle, though I was completely aware of all my surroundings and continued to carry on a conversation, if at a somewhat reduced rate of speed, and stranger still, the recurrence of an eerie psychic phenomenon which has followed me at least since age eleven, wherein I suddenly become irresistible to women. Seriously. Not all women, certainly, but enough. And certainly nothing to do with anything I've done, so far as I can tell, and if I could figure it out, believe me, I'd use it. It's a complete mystery. I'm not a handsome fellow--you can see the picture--and I'm no longer a stylish or particularly fit one, and I mostly mind my own business. I was never particularly flirtatious in my youth. I'd go months without a girlfriend, then suddenly find myself holding two generous scoops of homecoming queen or getting explicit phone calls late into the night from girls I didn't know while my stepfather pounded on the wall. Then it would stop as mysteriously as it started. I exempt my college years from the official history, of course, as the Tee Ball of Sex, but with the first job I took afterwards I slept with all six women who worked in the place without having made a pass at any of them. On one particularly memorable weekend in 1976 I, on successive nights: was thrown out of a women's restroom at last call, together with a woman who was at least five inches taller than I, engendering a standing ovation by the remaining patrons; narrowly avoided being caught in a police searchlight while partly clothed in an alley; was led on a streetlight-running chase across the northside of Indianapolis by a woman I had never spoken to before who walked up and snatched my jacket just for that purpose, and who turned out to be some sort of amateur circus gymnast. She also impersonated my doctor's receptionist calling in sick for me that Monday. In no case had I known any of the women involved two hours earlier, and none of us was drunk, a fortunate thing since I was ticketed for running one of those lights. And those are just the ones I can tell you about.

Now, I've known guys whose entire lives are pretty much like that, but the point is with me it arrives like rain in a Kalahari riverbed, and it struck again last week, a cloudburst of improbably young women standing closer than necessary or holding eye contact a couple seconds too long, and I a happy brimming brook.

It is, of course, a purely theoretical exercise lo these many decades, and, of course, my wife has some sort of natural immunity. Although at one point last weekend I did go upstairs to find the bedroom lit only by Lava Lamp, a bag of clothespins on the bed, and Billy Idol's cover of "To Be A Lover" playing on the dinky bedroom CD player. My wife is no musician, but she does have a particular appreciation of that song's tempo. Think "Bolero" on crank. I'm still having trouble using my left arm.

But then even at my age physical maladies eventually heal, but the mental torture of reading

John Yoo, "How the Presidency Regained Its Balance", New York Times September 17

has shriveled me up like a spider on a hot stove.* I think I've taken six swipes at the thing over the past four days, and they're all sitting unsaved on the desktop. Let us say that Yoo, our foremost proponent of the idea that the Supreme Court issues suggestions, writes 1100 words on the erosion (!) of Presidential authority and George W.'s selfless battle to reverse it. Let us say that he, a professor of law, manages to do so without ever citing the law but while quoting Dick Cheney, who holds the rare distinction of having served in the three most lawless administrations since Reconstruction and while evoking the well-known principle of jurisprudence (forgive me, I don't know the Latin) of "this leads to pork-barrel spending". Let us note, again, that we live in interesting times.

And just let me say that if the occasion arises again I'll happily try to send Yoo a cadre of young nubiles if it'll cure his problem.

* Little Big Man, 1970


KathyR said...

Dayum. If this is what you come back with, take all the time off you need.

D. Sidhe said...

I've been trying to imagine that Yoo was just another "fuck you" hire, like sending Bolton to the UN, just the sort of witty thing our fun-loving president would do between rounds of "pull my finger" jokes.

It's looking more and more like he was handpicked by Vice Presidente For Life, doesn't it.

Um, the neighbor thing? Please explain, unless you think it would scare us.

Anyway, we're women. Sex appeal is *on* the list of things we're looking for, but it's never really been at the top for most of us. You're brilliant and wry and compassionate and morally upstanding in a way that makes distinctions between victimless sinning and legal wrongdoing (and you're liberal, which counts for a lot with many of us).

Plus you give excellent anecdote.

doghouse riley said...

Um, the neighbor thing? Please explain, unless you think it would scare us.

I suppose I should. My neighbor, the rock-red-ribbed Republican (framed Reagan/Bush election poster in garage) likes to cook, as I do, and he likes to turn everything into a mock-competition that belies his real desire to compete, because he knows I'm better than he. He tends to go for every new magazine trend, where I'm the classicist. And he's good, and he fixed us a nice meal Saturday. I'd had about three glasses of wine, close to my limit these days, and the ganja went around soon as their daughter left for a friend's house, and then he turns up with chocolate-colored dessert drinks. I knocked mine back a little too quickly. It had a fair amount of alcohol burn and the artificial tang of even the best chocolate liqueurs--there's no such thing as a really good one. Then his wife said, "Oh my god that's way too strong!" and poured about half of hers into my glass. I tasted it and it did seem stronger than mine. Might have been separate batches. I should have sniffed for almonds first.

I felt a little bit topped, and then I started getting positional vertigo, not swimmingly like a drunk but in milisecond lateral shifts of perspective. Highly disconcerting. About 30 minutes of paralysis before I could get up and walk home, under my own power, and go to sleep on the couch. Wasn't until the following afternoon I learned the wife had passed out on their bathroom floor, and it was a couple more days before she was ambulatory enough to come to our fence and explain he'd put about eight different liquors in the thing, which still didn't fully explain the reaction. But that sort of thing is not really all that unusual over there; generally somebody goes home from their parties by medevac.

doghouse riley said...

Oh, I probably should also note that the womens' room in question was a single-seater with lock on the door. More bumptious than that I ain't.

spaghetti happens said...

"Little Big Man", one of my favorite books of all time; Thomas Berger, one of my favorite authors of all time. If you like "LBM," you'll love "Arthur Rex".

And you know what? Fuck all you guys who got all the chicks, okay? Just fuck all you guys.

D. Sidhe said...

Your neighbor sounds charming as hell. Does he actually think it's funny to get his wife paralytic drunk? I mean, I'm not allowed to have a wife, 'cause of what all it might do to the fabric of the universe or whatever, but I like to hope that at whatever point I can, that sort of thing isn't what I'm supposed to be aspiring to.

Meanwhile, spaghetti happens, you catch more chicks with self-deprecation than bitterness, though in this case the chicks you may catch may end up being queer, which might not be what you're going for. That said, I kinda agree. For some reason, the straight men get nearly all the damned girls. Seems so unfair.

Jonh Q said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
punkinsmom said...

About the chick thing. In addition to d.sidhe's insightful comments, might I suggest another attribute you seem to have is approachability. Lately I've been like a dog in heat and approachability is high on the list for seeking relief. I'm hoping that this 'dog in heat' issue is not exclusive to just me as a woman, but women in general which would go a ways in explaining your cyclical good luck.