Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Am Joe's Discoloured Left Ear Lobe

I don't know how many times I've told all of you this, but I have terrible allergies. During the early parts of March and the third week of April, when my allergies are at their worst, I don't even go outside because I would very literally suffocate. If I get stung by a bee, my face swells up so much that I can't see because my eyes are just tiny little slits. When I'm around cats, I sneeze so much I sometimes faint from exhaustion. I'm allergic to peanuts, crawfish, most spices and seasonings, some shampoo and soap products, strawberries, wild blackberries, and even potatoes.

One time I was moping around in my bedroom, basking in my own self-pity and loathing God for putting me on this earth. What was the point of even living anymore if I couldn't pet kittens or eat peanut butter jelly sandwiches? If I couldn't go outside during the month of March and had to wear a full bee-keeping suit throughout the months of May and June?

I asked this of the rector after Church last Sunday at Confession.

"What's the point of living?" I asked in desperation.

"You think you're in pain?" He said mockingly. "You don't know pain. If you want to see real pain, go swing by the old folk's home by St. Benedict's Methodist on 44th Street. Then you'll see real pain."

And I did. Of course, I didn't tell them that I wasn't really old and crippled, so they just thought I was one of them. I played Bingo with them, and I watched the vintage romance films, and I line-danced, and I ate dinner at 5:15 and went to bed at half past 7. And I loved every minute of it. For the first time in years, I didn't feel like I had any allergies at all. I was truly happy.

That was until was until one warm Spring afternoon when we were having a Frank Sinatra sing-along party complete with Frank Sinatra himself. Or at least a picture of him. I think we were halfway through the second verse of Can't Take My Eyes Off You when I spotted it from across the room.

It was a penguin. An Emperor penguin by the looks of it. And it clearly was not a senior citizen.


I was so infuriated. What was that penguin doing there? Everyone could see it wasn't an elderly person, and in fact it wasn't even a person at all! It was a penguin! I marched right over to it and seized it by its little penguin throat.

"Penguin, you big fake, get out. This is the one real thing in my life, and you're wrecking it. You big tourist. I need this. Get out. You're clogging my sinuses."

The penguin, of course, refused. I thought we could work out a deal. I could stay at the home Mondays through Thursdays, and it could get Fridays and the weekends. It refused to budge--stubborn little bastard. I started coming less and less, and eventually I stopped coming altogether. I couldn't play bingo. Not with the penguin there. Watching me.

And that's when I met Taylor Burton.

A weeks or so since my last trip to the old folks' home, I was at a local bar, telling the bartender "Hit me with another one, Lloyd" every time my glass was empty, and the bartender kept saying, "Buddy, I've told you a hundred times. My name isn't Lloyd. And I'm gonna call the cops if you don't put some pants on." And then there was Taylor. He was sort of a rugged-looking guy with a wild look in his eye and a smart mouth. He told me stories about waiting tables at fancy restaurants and peeing in the soup, splicing images of giant penises and vaginas into the movie Bambi, and making bar soap. I liked doing all of those things, so I figured Taylor would be a good guy to hang around.

I asked him if I could crash at his place since mine was infested with poisonous mushroom spores that lead to lung cancer and then death. He said sure, but first he wanted me to do him a favour. I said sure, what?

He wanted me to tickle him.

What, I said. You want me to do what?

Tickle him, he said, totally serious. I say isn't that a bit gay? He says it's only gay if I think of it as gay. I tell him he's making me a bit uncomfortable. He says, you know what's uncomfortable? Sleeping on the concrete floor with a cardboard pillow behind the dumpster at Denny's because you got nowhere else to go. It's my choice.

So I tickle him. I start under his arms and then move all over his torso He cackles madly and says, "No, stop it!" but I keep tickling him. And you know what? It's the best feeling in the world. It made me feel freer than I've ever felt before in all of my life. And after I'm done, I let him tickle me.

After a solid three quarters of an hour of intense tickling, we head toward his place. It's a big old boarding house which Taylor rents for an insanely low price because of all of the people who died there before he moved in. I have to sleep in a room without air-conditioning, and the mattress I sleep on gives me terrible back aches, but it's okay because I know that next Saturday night, I'll get to tickle again. And I'll get to be tickled.

Three weeks later it's not just the two of us. It's us and about three dozen other guys ,and all of us are in the basement of the same bar that it all started out in. And I stand there with my hands in my pockets and watch as Taylor walks through the room and talks to all the guys.

"The first rule of Tickle Club is that you do not talk about Tickle Club.

The second rule of Tickle Club is that you DO NOT TALK about Tickle Club.

If someone says stop or goes limp, the tickle fight is over--even if they're faking it.

Only two guys to a tickle fight.

Only one tickle fight at a time.

No shirts or shoes. Only pajama pants.

Tickle fights will go on as long as they have to.

If this is your first night at Tickle Club, you HAVE to be tickled."

During my first month at Tickle Club, I must have tickled at least fifteen different guys for probably about half an hour each. Sometimes it would get out of control, but the whole time guys were yelling and screaming and shouting for it to go on. Tickle Club was becoming a huge success. More and more people showed up every time, until there were easily a hundred guys in the basement of the bar at Tickle Club.

Sure, I still went to work and drove at the posted speed limit, but I was enlightened. I was a Zen Buddhist, bitches. I was a member of Tickle Club.

Then one day the phone rang halfway through breakfast. Taylor's in the can, so I go ahead and pick it up. What do you know, it's the penguin. It says it's just swallowed the whole canister of Xanax. It probably wasn't a real suicide thing, just a cry for help. But it thinks it's going to die, and it wants me to come and watch. I roll my eyes and leave the phone hanging.

Little do I know that Taylor would later pick up the phone and think that the penguin's life was worth saving, so he would rush over to the hotel where it stayed and whisk it back to our place. The penguin told him that Taylor needed to keep it up all night because if it fell asleep, it could die.

And they certainly did stay up all night, making wild and passionate love for hours and hours in the upstairs bedroom where Taylor sleeps. I had to plug my fingers in my ears to keep myself from hearing, and when I fell asleep, I dreamed that I was humping the penguin. I had to shake myself awake and go get a hotel room, because I couldn't stand it anymore.

As the days passed by, the penguin hung out more and more at our house. Strangely enough, I would rarely catch Taylor and the penguin in the same room at the same time. It was the game the two of them played. Just like my parents. And so that became the cycle. I would go to work and come back to find the penguin and Taylor in the same house, avoiding each other, and then at night they would have loud, rough sex. Saturday nights, I would go to Tickle Club with Taylor and stumble home feeling like a new man.

After a while it got more and more popular. Taylor started setting up Tickle Clubs in other bars, and I started hearing about Tickle Clubs being set up in other cities. Chicago, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Sacramento, Miami, etc. At breakfast one morning, Taylor decided that we would either have to disband Tickle Club or take it up a notch. It was then, during breakfast, that he came up with Project Take-Over-the-World.

The morning after that one, I peered out the window and spied a guy standing out on our porch wearing a black suit and red tie with a suitcase in one hand. Taylor pointed tom him and said, "Go to tell him that I don't like his tie. Just make sure he gets off our porch." So I went out and told him he had a horrid tie and to get off our porch before I called the police. He just stood there, looking at the ground. I told him his mother was a hamster and even hit him with a broom. I grabbed his suitcase and started licking it, but he just stood there.

He stayed there for three days, and after three days, Taylor let him in and said, congratulations, he's a member of Project Take-Over-the-World. More and more guys started appearing on our porch, and it was then that I figured out that Taylor was building an army.

More and more guys came to live in our basement and making plans with Taylor to take over the world. I hardly saw Taylor anymore, because he was always running around doing stuff for Project-Take-Over-the-World. The penguin still stopped by a lot, so we had some good talks. But soon I got creeped out living in the house alone with all of the space monkeys and a penguin, so I decided to go find Taylor.

I flew to Tickle Clubs all over the nation asking if people had seen Taylor Burton. I didn't even have to look for the Tickle Clubs anymore. Every guy you saw on the street it seemed like was a member of Tickle Club. They were everywhere. But nobody seemed to know where Taylor was. They said they had never heard of him and winked at me. It was the same thing every time. No, they had never heard of Taylor Burton. Wink.

Finally I arrived at one abandoned bar and there was a guy there cleaning empty glasses and whistling to himself. I asked him if he knew about Tickle Club and if he knew the whereabouts of a certain Taylor Burton. He said, "What do you mean, sir? You are Taylor Burton."

And it was then that I realised that this whole time, Taylor has been me and I have been Taylor. We're different personalities sharing the same body.

The bartender left the room to use the restroom, and then I saw Taylor standing there, behind me. He told me all about how when I fell asleep, he would go around and do stuff. He told me that it should be okay as long as I do what he says, but if I don't, then there will be trouble. He told me about his plans for Project Take-Over-the-World. He said he had found a giant stereo the size of New York City, and he would turn it up all the way and play a lullaby. Everyone in the world would be able to hear it, so they would fall asleep--EXCEPT for the members of Project Take-Over-the-World, because they'd be wearing ear muffs. While everyone was sleeping, he would take over the world.

I told him that it didn't matter what he wanted to do. I wasn't going to let him take over the world and I certainly wasn't going to let him control me. He told me he wasn't going to let me stop him, and I figured there was only one way to solve this. I told him, let's have one last tickle flight. If I win, you call off Project Take-Over-the-World. If he wins, I'll eat a smoothie made out of really gross stuff like mustard and mayo and olives and peanuts and stuff--anything he could fit into a blender.

He said no way. I say, "What's wrong with you? Are you chicken?"

"What did you call me?" he says.

"Chicken," I repeat, careful to make my ch sound short and pronounced, just the way my speech therapist had been instructing me to do for years.

"Nobody--nobody calls me chicken," he says, furious.

So then we have the tickle fight. It's a pretty intense fight, and at several instances it looks like he might come out of it as the winner. But finally I pin him down and really get him good by the feet, so I triumph.

He shakes my hand and says congratulations reluctantly, and then I shoot myself in the mouth with a gun so that he dies. Or at least, the reader thinks he dies. We can really never be sure.

So that's what I did last weekend. How are you guys?

That Blond Guy

27 people secretly have a crush on me:

Boyd said...

My favorite line is:

"'Chicken,' I repeat, careful to make my ch sound short and pronounced, just the way my speech therapist had been instructing me to do for years."

Now I'm gonna have to watch out and make sure my allergies don't force me to shoot myself in the more thing to worry about!!

Bookish.Spazz said...

I too suffer from bad allergies.

Darcy said...

That was
Words fail me. Your writing reminds me of Adam Douglas, only more absurd which only makes it better. :P

Darcy said...


Darcy said...


Darcy said...


L. said...

I saw the title and immediately thought of Fight Club. Then I read it. You sir, are like Chuck Palahniuk times one million. You are also funnier. Tickle Club sounds vaguely sexual. Are you in Tickle Club and/or where can I join?

Gabi said...

That was brilliant.
Funnily enough, one can't tickle oneself.

Anna said...

I was at a local bar, telling the bartender "Hit me with another one, Lloyd" every time my glass was empty, and the bartender kept saying, "Buddy, I've told you a hundred times. My name isn't Lloyd. And I'm gonna call the cops if you don't put some pants on."

Bahahaha words cannot express how long I laughed at that. You, sir, are absolutely amazing.

Eeshie said...

You know, it's possible that you're just *too* awesome.

Vice Versa said...

you know, you're not missing out on much.
peanut butter is yuck and dogs are WAY better than cats.


creepy penguin.

InnocentlyGreen said...

I loved the movie and strangely enough the story sounds even better. Even without Brad Pitt.
The penguin replacing the girl makes it a whole lot weirder and I'm not entirely sure what keeps this from being zoophilia.
It's a funny story, nonetheless.

Ginger Girl said...

em... i jus... uh?

Beyond words...

Lex said...

You and Jane Austen's characters have that fainting thing in common.

Anyway, I severely missed this blog while I was away trying to create an army to take over your army. I'm glad you took it down from the inside so I didn't have to anything.

I wanna watch that movie now.

The Militant Working Boy said...

Je viens de vomi dans votre seau heureux.

That Blond Guy said...

Boyd: Thanks! It's funny because it's true. So don't dwell on it too much. I'm a sensitive guy.

I'm disappointed. Does this mean you haven't seen Fight Club?

Bookish.Spazz: Oh. Yeah. Tough, huh?

Darcy: I'm actually honoured. Thank you for the three extra comments as well.

L: Thank you so much! I'm delighted at least one person got the reference. I guess Tickle Club does sound vaguely sexual. Is that why you want to join?

I am, in fact, in a real-life Tickle Club. This is all autobiographical.

Anna: No no no. YOU'RE amazing.

Eeshie: Hm...It's possible, yeah.

Vice Versa: I actually think it's debatable that cats are better than dogs. Of course, it depends on whether or not you mean eating them or having them as a pet.

InnocentlyGreen: What keeps this from being zoophilia? Nothing at all. That's what's so great about it.

Do you ever watch the TV show Modern Family? If so, did you notice Edward Norton's guest appearence on the show a few months ago?

Ginger Girl: em...i jus...uh right back at you.

Lex: Oh, yeah. Jane Austen. She's the monkey lady, right?

I'm glad you missed it. It, in return, missed you. It's been whining a lot and neglecting to eat.

Now go and watch Fight Club!

The Militant Working Boy: You just threw up in my WHAT?

Emmmaaa said...

I want to be a member of tickle club. Really badly.

Darcy said...

You'll have to thank my whore of a internet for that.

ed said...

word, allergies suck. crazy story- hard to believe

The militant working boy said...

This is a true story.

Tonight, I watched, for the first time, the Netflix movie that I got in the mail last week.

That movie was Fight Club.

I cannot verbalize how bizarre this experience was after reading this post.

Happy bucket.

Jason said...

Lovely blog and post! keep up the great work!

The militant working boy said...

Do you mind if I put a link to this on my review of Fight Club?

That Blond Guy said...

Emmmaaa: Does your name really have three m's and three a's? That seems a bit silly. And, sorry, you can't be a member of Tickle Club. No girls aloud. Ew! Cooties!

Darcy: I plan to.

ed: Fuck you, man!

The militant working boy: Wow that's some messed up paranormal shit, my friend. How did you like it? And sure, you have my permission to link to me.

I stll don't get the Happy bucket thing. What is that?

Jason: What do you want from me? Jesus Christ...

The militant working boy said...

Will do.
As for the happy bucket, that makes two of us.
It certainly feels good to boggle the mind of the mind boggler.

Mercurio said...

I've always suspected of penguins

Jillian said...

Skip school and write books.
That's my only advice for you.

It's criminal that I'm still beating you in followers.
I'm so lame-o in comparison.

I used to have allergies and then one day that stopped.

Tickling needs a club, along with pillow fights.

Moobeat said...