So how this whole shit started was that Martha from my office decided I needed to go out for the Fourth of July, that my drinking alcohol all alone had become a problem and that the solution to this problem was drinking alcohol around other people.
This seemed counter-intuitive to me as, in my experience, drinking alcohol all alone was the solution to my problems and not a problem in and of itself. But Martha from my office was very insistent so right away, I suspected she had ulterior motives.
The bar on the northwest side of town was built to look like some kind of a big boat and the band played Jimmy Buffett cover songs.
I suppose there may be no other way of playing them.
The ulterior motive of Martha from my office turned out to be a blue-eyed cowgirl named Ellen. Because they are always named Ellen.
Like everyone else in this big boat bar – except for me, I mean – Ellen wore a shirt with faux-pearl buttons on it and for some reason, some maniac had ironed stiff creases into her Wranglers. Of course, I knew she was gay immediately, but then I saw the belt buckle and the cowboy boots and I thought, well, hey, maybe she wasn’t out yet. Hell, maybe she didn’t even know she was gay.
Ellen the Blue-Eyed Cowgirl knew she was gay.
I drank many brightly-colored liquids – purple, green, gold – out of many shot glasses and then somehow ended up sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck on an abandoned road somewhere while four slurring, yeehawing yokels set off disappointing fireworks before me and Ellen and Martha from my office.
Then the truck radio blared “Friends in Low Places” out into the night and everyone sang along while pretending to shoot Roman candles at each other.
I am not making this up.
As tends to happen on this sort of evening, things got a little hazy after that. I am sorry for using such a cliché, but it is the truth. I remember standing in just my underwear in a strange house. I mean, the house was not strange per se, so much as it was a house with which I was not previously familiar. That kind of strange.
And my underwear was wet and so was my hair, and Ellen the Blue-Eyed Cowgirl stood in a one-piece purple swimsuit in front of me.
She was saying something about the Rube Goldberg contraption she was holding. It looked like a large, extremely complicated slingshot that had been armed with a plastic blue projectile. A long… plastic… veined… blue projectile… almost vegetable-like, to be honest-
I remember saying, “No!”
I said, “I don’t use those!”
I said, “Seriously, don’t point it anywhere near me.”
That thing was a fucking abomination.
But Ellen the Blue-Eyed Cowgirl, she just stood there smiling and said, “Actually, I was ho-o-o-oping… that yo-o-ou… could use it… o-o-on… me-e-ee.”
Now I have a thing about strap-ons.
First, this one looked far too complicated – like some sort of weapon or torture device out of Mad Max: Fury Road – and at that moment I was only about half a beer away from needing to get my stomach pumped.
Second, the very existence of strap-ons rests on the tacit assumption that the female body is lacking some critical body part needed for giving sexual pleasure. The concept is both insulting and a lie. It demonstrates either a lack of dexterity or a latent heterosexual tendency in the user.
I could not say this to Ellen the Blue-Eyed Cowgirl, of course, because I was veering wildly in and out of consciousness.
She said, “We’ll talk about this in a minute. Everybody else is gone except Hiltskin and I’ve got to go walk him out.”
I remember thinking, “Hiltskin?” A person existed out there with the name Hiltskin? What sort of twisted world was it I had entered?
She thrust the offending device onto the bed and she left the room.
I GPS’d my location and then I texted Adri: “Can you come extract me? Say you’re my aunt or a cop or something?”
And Adri texted back: “Again?”
“10 minutes away. Keep your pants on.”
I moved into a corner as far away as I could get from the bed and the strap-on, and I waited. I leaned my head against the wall, I wrapped my arms around my knees, and I prayed.
“Dear God, if you just get me out of here in one piece, I promise never to drink around other people ever again.”