Friday, July 31, 2009

One. Singular Sensation

So I recently told y'all that that I am going to a Miley Cyrus concert and explained, in detail my whole thought process behind concert behavior. Well, let's just say that cosmic forces are clearly reading my blog. It's good to know they're literate and all, but this is ridiculous.

Last night I went to my daughter's end of season show for the theater camp that she attends. They put on a Broadway review complete with 20 fully costumed and choreographed musical numbers plus one comedy skit. It's nothing short of amazing that they get 140 kids ready for this show in just one month's time.

There was no air conditioning in the auditorium at the Jr High where the show is held. And, being that it is July on Long Island it is almost guaranteed that the shows will to fall on the hottest most humid nights of the year. Last night's show was the closing night's performance, so the house was packed with parents, grandparents, friends and siblings. Needless to say, it was HOT up in that bitch. I felt terrible for the kids that were performing as they had the added burden of hot lights, tons of makeup and layers of costumes.

We sat down and to watch the show and things went really well for the first act. There was a nice middle-aged couple sitting to the right of us who fanned themselves with battery operated portable fans. I was getting some of their air movement, so I was thankful, but something strange happened after intermission.

As soon as the curtain raised on Act 2, this wholesome looking mom-type sitting to my right, became a crazed wooooo girl. I don't know if that's when the Ecstasy kicked in or what, but this woman got possessed. It was like she was trying to break the sound barrier, because I'm pretty sure I heard a sonic boom. Turns out that sound was just my eardrum popping. I swear to you, my right ear is sore. And she didn't just woooooo for speed and volume, she wooooood for distance. She wooooooood until the theater went dark.

So thanks universe, you have managed to once again tangle me up in my underwear. Punishing me for my wicked words is very cute, but I warn you - I have a set of lungs like no other and when I bust out my wooooooo I'm sure to be wrecking shit. So batten down your hatches and put that bitch Mother Nature on notice because I am about to let out a forrest clearing wooooo and you universe, are going to have some cleaning up to do.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Floor Seats? For this?

I have never been a big concert go-er. Generally speaking, I have to really LOVE a band in order to withstand the mass of humanity that you have to deal with at a concert. Case in point, the AC/DC show that I took my son to last November – we schlepped into the city on a work night (?!) to see the show at Madison Square Garden and it was great. Well worth the inconvenience and trouble and the (almost) fist fight that I started with the dude in front of me who was blowing pot smoke in my 12 year old son’s face (a post unto itself). Mess with my kids and I will cut a bitch or de-ball a middle aged a-hole smoking skunk weed.

Part of my issue with concerts is my own lousy attitude. I have never been able to get into mob mentality or group-think, so I don’t do the wave, I don’t sway my Bic lighter to and fro or (in the event of a Grateful Dead show) I don’t twirl. I know that this makes me sound all curmudgeonly and cranky, but I have never been a joiner. I’m not a woooooo girl and I refuse to “put my hands together” for anyone unless it’s my idea. I guess the rebel in me won't take orders from anyone, not even from a rock star.

So when my husband gave me the news that he scored floor seats for the Miley Cyrus concert in this coming November, I knew that it would be my fat fanny on the folders at the Nassau Coliseum and not his as he had already sat through one of these with my daughter before. And as he sat through a double bill of Miley and the Jonas Brothers I figured that I owed him the future chaperone of at least two shows. Damn!

As you may or may not know, I am no spring chicken. I have walked this green earth for 45 years and in all those years, I have selectively gone to maybe ten concerts. NEVER in those ten concerts have I ever gotten even REMOTELY close to the floor. When I was sixteen, I would have sold my grandmother for floor seats to see The Cars. I know that you are shaking your head in total confusion over that last sentence. Hell, I don’t understand it myself. So this is what I get floor seats for?

Yup, I have eighteenth row seats to see Miley Cyrus. They’re the best seats I never wanted. And the prospect of being at the epicenter of tween madness sounds extremely dangerous to me. I could lose my hearing amongst the shrill screams of preteen girls. I could suffocate from the stench of overly-applied body splash. Who knows, I might even get whacked in the eye by a rogue clump of hair covered in hair glitter and suffer a scratched cornea. I guess I’d better dress for the event. I’m thinking full body armor. Maybe under the anonymity of chain mail and stainless steel, I could manage a “woooooo”, but I doubt it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just a Regular Gal

What is with this nation's obsession with poo food? It seems that you can't turn on the television these days without some product or other claiming to make your morning constitutional -

1) Happen

2) Smooth as Silk

3) Guaranteed on time and on budget with a side of mental well being

What happened to the good old days when poo was a secret thing that ladies upheld the image of NEVER DOING? As my friend Dennis once said - "She may do it, but in my mind doves carry it away." Somehow I actually find that image MORE disturbing than his Mrs actually dropping anchor, but whatever. Nowadays we women trumpet the fact that we've got one on deck or we lament our lack of regularity in public forums.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, there was no one hotter than Jamie Lee Curtis. He brief nude scene in Trading Places had all of my male friends completely horned up and may have been the real reason for that movie's popularity (sorry Eddie, you were great, but JLC's boobage was spectacular). Now JLC, Halloween scream queen and 80's sex symbol is the poster child for middle-aged constipation. WTF people? Every time I watch TV I am assaulted by her Activia commercials or by the blissed-out faces of Dulcolax users swinging in hammocks or by the poo-producing results of Benefiber or Sunsweet Prunes or Fiber One Cereal or Fiber Plus Bars or Craptastic Taffy or whatever. It's a shitstorm of poo food.

Well you can call me old-fashioned because I refuse to share with anyone the where, why and how of my personal habits. As a matter of fact, to this day I maintain that I never go. But I have a cage full of doves at the ready, just in case.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Soy un Perdedor

I am sitting in my living room on my couch yet I am strangely in motion. It's not so much a physical motion as it is a psychic one. You see, I am currently on the fast track down a shame spiral and there's no getting off. The reason for my wild ride is that I am sitting in front of what may be the most craptastic reality show ever - "So You Think you can Dance" in rapt attention waiting for (gulp) Katie Holmes to do her song and dance act.

Now mind you, I am not watching because I am a fan of hers or of dance or even of reality TV. I am watching because I am hoping for her deeply unstable husband to do something so uncomfortable and cringe inducing that I can get a little dose of schadenfreude before I go to bed. Like many Americans with at least one or two neurons popping in the attic, I often wonder what in the name of Zeus this lovely young woman is doing with ole TC.

Long before his I probably should be in a hockey helmet couch jump with Oprah, or his morning crap on Matt Lauer's head about the psychoceuticals (Yeah, I made that up. But it kinda works.) he was still a weird duck. I always found him wooden and awkward in interviews and his forced and dorky laugh made me feel uncomfortable for him and stupid for watching long enough to witness it.

OK, so she's on. Just a sec, I'm watching. Watching. That's it? No crowd shots of a crazy Tom laughing inappropriately or dancing and singing along awkwardly? No footage of a nervous TC pacing the greenroom with Suri tucked under his arm like a football? No backstage cam of Mr. Cruise greeting the missus with a stiff and awkwardly platonic hug and kiss? Damn, do I feel cheated!

Jeez, I think I want to sue Fox to get that hour of my life back. I could have done something infinitely more productive, like oh, I don't know, made change of a dollar, loomed a pot holder, anything. This utter lack of delivery on the part of SYTYCD has magnified my shame and added a healthy dose of self-loathing. Thanks crappy reality TV. Now I feel like I have to do a coolness penance, like watch a Clockwork Orange and Pulp Fiction loop until the image of KH moving (I would not call it dancing) to the music is scrubbed from my memory. Now where is that Pulp Fiction DVD? Oh, here it is, buried under a copy of Top Gun. Ok universe, very funny. The score is 2-0, yours.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tool Kit


Ever wonder what it would take to have people think you're a complete tool? Well Diary is here to help. With my correspondence course "HOW TO BE A COMPLETE TOOL (TM)", I can teach you to be a completely intolerable tool in ten easy lessons. Here is a sneak peek of the course work available in print, books on tape or a neat I-Phone application that you can flip through at business meetings, thereby upping your tool-worthiness right away.

Lesson 1: Bogey and the Stogey - Drive to a large place of employment in your best golf togs and aviator sunglasses. Park your car as if you were an employee, and get out of your car smoking the fattest, foulest smelling cigar you can find. Then, wait for people to start arriving for work. As they drag their sad little bodies out of their cars, stand in a sunny,obvious spot and pantomime a golf swing. Your swing should be both technically correct AND full of mocking indifference for the worker drones that are actually entering the building. I saw a gentleman doing this the other day, and I thought, mmm hmmm. . . .COMPLETE TOOL (TM).

Lesson 2: European or Gay - Keep 'em guessing and look like a COMPLETE TOOL (TM) in the process with this lesson:

Show up at the breakfast buffet at an upscale NY Hotel wearing the following outfit (no substitutions):

White Linen Pants

Flip Flops

Beige and White Linen shirt with intentionally frayed edges

Lavender cashmere sweater draped over your shoulders and tied casually at your neck

Hold up the line at the fruit bar by painstakingly scrutinizing every chunk of sliced melon and pineapple that you put on your plate, while loudly discussing the latest art film with your offbeat looking breakfast companions. Guaranteed to be TOOLERIFIC (TM)!

Lesson 3: Tool Talk - ten things to say that guarantee your tool status -

  • Babe, can you get the check? I left my wallet in the Miata.

  • Glitter? What glitter? Oh, that. The damnedest thing happened to me on the way home; I saw a unicorn and it took a dump on me as it flew by. Damn things shit fairy dust.

  • Damn girl, your ass looks HUGE in those jeans.

. . . and many, many more

Lesson 4: The Art of Obvious Oogling

Lesson 5: Wearing a Groove in the Couch with Your Ass

Lesson 6: Leather Pants - A Study

Lesson 7: Flagrant Abuse of Hair Product

Lesson 8: To Axe or Not to Axe - YES! Axe Liberally!

Lesson 9: Work Avoidance. It's not Just for Hobos Anymore.

Lesson 10: STD's - How to Pass them off as Swine Flu

Success is guaranteed with this program and it's available to you for three easy payments of 129.99 each. Simply swipe your girlfriend's credit card and we will bill her under the name "DSW Shoe Warehouse". It's safe! It's easy! And it's effective!

So act today and guarantee your place in our tool hall of fame - the TOOLSHED(TM), where your name will be listed side by side next to legendary tools like:
John Mayer
Carrot Top
Bernie Madoff
and many, many more!

Don't delay! Call 1-888-BIGTOOL today!

Diaryofamadbathroom makes no guarantee that this course will actually make you a tool. In fact, everything offered here is complete baloney. I don't even have a credit card machine. I am actually something of a tool myself and though female, my own loser behavior is shameful. As a matter of fact, I am going to be late to work because I am writing this post. Pretty toolish, no? Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited by law AND everywhere else.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I have the Lazy Sunday blues. I am totally dragging my tail. I have been up since 5:00 am, but I can't motivate myself to do much. My sister-in-law's 40th birthday BBQ is coming up later this afternoon and I managed to make my assigned macaroni salad, but usually I am good for an extra treat or two. Today, I don't even have the strength to bake. This morning's breakfast was muffins from a mix (it was actually a dang good one called Rabbit Creek).

Mmmmmmm Cinnamon Streusel

Even the dog can't get it together. This is where she has been since
9:00 last night.

At least yesterday she managed a swim in the pool and
to do a little laundry. Well, to roll in some dirty laundry.
When I woke my son up at Noon to ask if he wanted to go sneaker shopping, he actually had the nerve to whine the following "I hate when you wake me up so early." I would attribute this to the Lazy Sunday blues, but he's like that every day. I need a depth charge to get him out of bed. Fargin teenagers. Can't live with em . . . that's it. Can't live with em.

So, since I am feeling so mopey and slow, I am totally going to post someone elses brilliance. I love this SNL short and it's spot-on for my general uselesness this morning. Enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2009


So I told you all about me taking my mother to a casino in Pennsylvania earlier this week. My mom was a willing and complicit participant in said casino raid. What I haven’t told you, is that on the weekend leading up to my casino trip with my mom, I kidnapped an old woman and transported her over the state line without her knowledge. Now before you get all F.B. I’s most wanted on me, let me explain . . .

My mother in law is a terrific gambler. She taught me to play poker, craps and roulette and this has practically shaped my idea of recreation. Now, whenever we are planning a vacation, my first question is “Do they have gambling there?”. Mind you, this not a requirement. It’s not a hurry up and get her to GA, kind of situation. I love to travel and I will go anywhere, regardless of whether there is legalized gambling available. It’s just that the presence of a casino is a juicy cherry glistening on top of my vacation sundae.

My MIL is a good bit older than my mom, twenty years to be precise. So, her ability to endure long car rides and walk around is not what it used to be. In addition, her vision and hearing are failing and seem to get a little worse every day. Her memory is a little wonky too, but all in all she’s actually in pretty good shape for an 88 year old.

My first trips to Atlantic City were with my MIL and FIL and my husband (then boyfriend). Those initial trips are some of my best family memories. The two of them were willing and able teachers in the “gambling arts” and I drank up the education readily. I learned the very intimidating game of craps wedged between the two of them at a five dollar table in the Bally Grand in Atlantic City. They made the game easy and fun. Before I knew it, I was yelling “dollar yo!” on the come out roll and telling the dealer to “press my five” with complete authority. Sadly, my FIL passed away in October and she’s been grappling with the process of being alone for the first time in many years, maybe ever.

Over the past few years, the two of them had their share of health concerns. Eventually, they lost their confidence driving down to AC on their own. They allowed us to drive them down once or twice after that, but they eventually stopped going all together. We offered to take them all the time, but in recent years my MIL never wanted to be far away from her doctor and lost confidence about going out.

Since my FIL’s passing, we have been able to convince my MIL to stay overnight with us on a few weekends, which she did this past weekend. On Sunday morning, Dave started making secret plans to drop the kids off with his niece and to get on the ferry to Connecticut. We whispered back and forth about whether we should tell her what we were planning, but we knew that if we asked her, the answer would be a firm and resolute NO. The plan then became, tell her that we were “taking a ride out east”.

When we pulled into the lineup to get on the ferry, MIL did not seem the least bit suspicious. I’m not even sure that she registered where we were. We pointed out the water and boats and everything and she talked about what the area was like when she used to come out there 50 years ago, but no questions about what we were doing or where we were going. We pulled the car onto the ferry and walked her out to the back of the boat, took a seat on a shady bench under the overhang and still nothing. It was a gloriously beautiful summer day and the water on the Long Island sound was as smooth as glass. It took the boat just under an hour to steam the sixteen miles across the sound to CT and we chatted and traded gambling stories the entire way. She even mentioned (as if I were not acutely aware) that there was a casino just a short ride past the ferry dock in Bridgeport. When the boat landed in Connecticut, I casually mentioned going to Mohegan Sun, but she did not register any reaction. Then we continued on for another fifty miles through Connecticut and arrived at the valet parking area in the Casino of the Earth at Mohegan Sun. Dave asked the parking attendant to get a wheel chair so that we could whisk my MIL all over the giant complex with speed and ease. When we stopped in the ladies room for a post-trip pit stop, my MIL grabbed my arm and asked me “Did you know that we were coming here?". My answer was "Of course."

We took her to the buffet for lunch, only because, that's where she asked to go. The food was not so good, but this was not a trip about eating and MIL seemed to enjoy the meal. When we asked her what she wanted to play, she did not hesitate for a second in replying "Craps!". She asked us to find a five dollar table, which seemed like a lot to ask on a weekend, but sure enough, there were several.

We found a table that seemed to have a good energy and asked the pit boss for a stool for her to sit on. MIL propped all 5' 1" of herself up on the chair and bought in for $100. Initially, I just stood by, prompting and reminding her how to bet, how much to throw down for each number and reminding her when she tried to cover a number that she already had. She could not see the numbers on the board, no less the stacks of chips in her assigned slot. After about three point rolls, I realized that I was being a dumbass, I should be playing, not kibitzing! So I bought in as well and started to play. It was such a great feeling to be elbow to elbow with her after such a long absence and we played for over an hour like it was the old days.

When she started to tire, she asked me to cash in her chips for her at the cashier window. She did not win very big, but she did come out ahead. She was $43 dollars over her initial $100 investment. I did slightly better than that, netting a $75 profit. By this point, it was clear to us that she wanted to go home. We didn't hesitate and moved quickly back to the valet, retrieved our car and headed home. The whole car ride back, I worried whether she had a good time or if she was angry with us for taking her there without asking. Outwardly, it appeared that she had a good time. She certainly still had her craps mojo.

The next day, Dave's brother went to visit MIL at her house and asked her about the trip. From what he said, she had a good time, but her scrambled memory had "tweaked" some of the details. First of all, she told him that it was HER idea to go and that she had to make us aware of the fact that there was a casino in CT. In addition, the $43 dollars that she won, became $439. Lastly, she told him that when she got tired, she had to beg us to leave because we didn't want to stop gambling. But I can deal with the little inaccuracies because I know she had fun. I just hope she doesn't go somewhere expecting to pay for something with four casino-crisp one hundred dollar bills only to find $43 dollars in her wallet.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Pimpin' Senior Citizen Style

What is the cure for middle-aged malaise? Some say religious retreat, some say further your education, but I say Vegas baby! Unfortunately, between work, kids and the general craziness of life, a plane trip and hotel stay in Vegas are not in the cards. Besides, I have a free room at the Mount Airy Casino in the Pocono Mountains of PA. And NO there are no table games. And NO there is no swimming pool, but YES, I have a free room and food comp and it's only two hours away, so that's where I am going. Any gambler worth his or her salt will tell you that you go where ever you've got comp.

I planned this trip under the guise of wanting to take my mom away for a little relaxation, but the truth is that I need a break before I go off the rails. Lately I have been having this horrid feeling of dissatisfaction with absolutely everything in my life and my poor husband and children are bearing the brunt of my black mood. Some might get all clinical and call it peri-menopause, I just call it an overdose of Haterade. There are a shitload of things that are on my last nerve and I am so tired of suffering fools that my highly polished and lead cased armor is starting to crack.

Here are the things that are working my patience:

OFFICE HATERS: Good lord, I haven't seen such a large collection of whining five year olds since John and Kate spat their squalling brood onto the airwaves.

NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS: If one more PTA mother who has picked their child up at my house half a dozen times looks THROUGH me in the grocery store as I attempt to make eyecontact and acknowledge their presence, I am going to walk up and pants their Juicy Cotured ass and say "Remember me now, bitch?".

THIRTEEN YEAR OLDS: That's it. Just thirteen year olds. They wear me so far out that I can't even be witty about it.

My ultimate goal for this quick overnight trip is to get my mother naked-drunk and have her do karaoke. Sadly the chances of this are slim because she never drinks. Kill joy. What kind of mother robs her daughter of the thrill of exploiting her aging mother's naughty bits? Coulda been a real crowd pleaser and might have even gotten us a free pass at the breakfast buffet, but whatever.

I guess you'll know how the visit ended up when I post about it here. Don't get your hopes up though. There's only so much hilarity that can occur when a burnt out middle age woman and her senior citizen mother hit the casino. Someone might lose their glasses, dentures could fall out, someone could break a hip. Or my mom could hit the jackpot, buy a fur and a pimp stick and roll home with a man stable of he-whores. We'll just have to see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Don't Do Reality Unless Your Name is Zacharia, then it's on!

Ok, so I'm a total poser when it comes to reality TV. I like to front and be all "I never watch reality TV. " I'll brag that I have never seen an episode of Survivor or the Bachelor or Big Brother. But the truth is I am a total reality show whore, as long as the reality show features fashion, cooking or the Amish.

What Amish, you might ask? Amish in the form of a magnificent little gift from the heavens called "Amish in the City". Oh, you don't remember it? Allow me to recap:

In 2004 the UPN aired a reality show where the premise was to put a half dozen Amish kids on rumspringa in a house with half a dozen non-Amish. Rumspringa is an Amish rite of passage where kids leave the Amish community and experience the outside world. If they choose to go back to their families, then they get folded back into that world, no questions asked. If they choose to stay among "the English" their families shun them for the rest of their lives. Sounds like the makins of some mighty fine reality TV, right? Guess not. It lasted only one season, but I thought it was one season of heaven.

There was this one dude called "Mose" who whittled toys out of wood and smoked a corn cob pipe. As the oldest of the Amish kids (he was 25, I think), he was the most awkward and set in his Amish ways. The rest of the Amish kids wrestled with how to dress slutty, how much to drink without passing out, how to relate to modern music and had some truly moving experiences, like seeing the ocean for the first time. I thought the show brought the drama. How can you deny the dramatic tension between a girl who whittles her own buttons out of a hank of bone vs. a club girl whose biggest decision each day is whether or not to wear a skirt short enough to expose her pantyless cooter. I demand a recount!

But alas, Amish in the City was not even a blip on any one's radar but mine and my friend Mare's. Even back in '04 when it was running on UPN if I dared to throw out a "Hey did you see . . . " at the water cooler, people looked at me like I had a turd between my teeth. . I am guessing a gang of two does not blow up the skirts of the Neilsen folks and it ended up a one season wonder.

Nowadays, just like before there was an Amish in the City, I get my Amish fix in the actual Amish Country. I am anxiously awaiting a family trip to Lancaster PA next month. Every time I have gone to Lancaster in the years since Amish in the City, I find myself staring extra hard at every young Amish adult to see if they are from the cast of the show. It's silly, I know, but it's not my most shameful reality stalking. There was this one time when I searched the corners of San Francisco for Puck from the Real World SanFrancisco. . . . .

Watch Mose get his mullet cut here:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Diary Grew THAT? Get The Smelling Salts! I Feel Faint!

For the past few blog installments, I have tested you, fair readers with a three part series (1, 2, 3) . Each part in the series was pretty long, and for those of you that hung in with it, I salute you AND I thank you. So what is your reward for being such good readers and patient souls?

A flower!

Ok, look, it's not just a flower, it's some kind of exotic, multi-leveled petal monstrosity. And if you knew just what a shitty gardener I am, then you'd be all "DG you're so awesome for growing this hardy, Forrest Gump coulda planted it, Lily!" .

To say that I have a brown thumb is -

a) Kinda gross, because it could indicate some sort of deviant hobby.

b) A ridiculous understatement.

I can't grow plants because they require care. I don't have a lot of that to spare, so my plants tend to go un-watered, un-fertilized and un-alive.

I have accepted that gardening is simply not one of my gifts. I have made peace with it. Really, I have. That is until I go to my friend Mare's house. When I go there, my remedial gardening skills nag at me like a hemorrhoid. Every square inch of Mare's backyard is landscaped to perfection. When she sees that a plant isn't thriving in a particular area, she moves it, fertilizes it and reads it English poetry until it is the most remarkably flourishing collection of chlorophyll on the planet. She is such a talented chick!

As a fourth of July gift to all of you non-gardeners out there, I am going to refer you to a site where you can buy lilies like the one you see above and then some. It's called Flourishing Daylilies. This lady lives to breed lilies (I don't understand it, but I don't hate on her. She has a hobby and she's damned good at it) and every plant that I have gotten from her has been a smashing success, despite my utter indifference toward its care. Check it out! Good luck and happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - Part III Conclusion-

This is the third and final chapter of a this story. Parts one and two can be found here and here.

Despite my concerns around what might be going on in the basement, I had to keep the daily business of the shop going. I rarely saw anyone come or go from the basement, but now and again I could hear the shrill ring of an old-fashioned black desk phone. Big poppa Corleone obviously spared no expense with the high tech phone system.

Every now and then Antoinne would wander in the back door and cut through the salon to go to the deli or to get pizza. If they were supposed to be discreet about what they were doing, then Antoinne was the wrong person to have in charge. He would lumber through the salon with his dirty green sweatpants hovering around his hairy ass crack and his two sizes too small football jersey riding up to expose his heavily carpeted mid-section. He'd always have an insanely large wad of money in his furry mit, peeling back the hundreds and twenties in search of a small bill to buy pizza. I would not have been surprised if I had heard that some local crazy had seen a Sasquatch running through the streets of town with a stack of monopoly money.

It had been about six weeks since Antoinne and company set up shop downstairs. It was around this time that I found out what was going on down there. Seems that Antoinne and his merry gang of phone callers were running an illegal sports book. How did I find this out? Louise confessed it to my mother and I as a "heads-up" in case anyone came poking around for information. We were instructed to play dumb, like we never heard of Antoinne or his "business".

The next morning when I returned to work, the basement was empty. Antoinne and company had cleared out under cover of the night. Someone had tipped them off that law enforcement was on to them and as quickly as they came in, they left.

Antoinne never paid a penny of rent to the salon during his time in the basement and the business continued to falter. We tried many things to save it from its demise, like renting chairs and hiring other hairdressers with followings and paying them commission. But ultimately, there was no getting past the limitations of the location. My mom ended up selling the salon to a woman who rented a chair from us and she made a go at it for another year or so before finally closing its doors in the late eighties.

Antoinne landed on his feet again when his daddy bought him a nightclub to run into the ground. It closed down in less than a year and his marriage to Louise closed down shortly after that. She reached out to my mom about five years after the salon closed to tell her about her divorce and what a deadbeat dad and all around piece of shit Antoinne was. I just rolled my eyes and walked away. Nobody needed to tell me that Sasquatch would turn his back on his mate and his litter. They're not known for their family values. They will however, give you five to one odds on Big Foot in the Third at Aqueduct.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - Part II

This is a continuation of my last post.

My friend Charlie immediately asked " Can we rent this space for band rehersals?" I did some quick mental math, calculating in my head the increased lighting bill vs. the close shave that we had paying our monthly expenses and I threw a number in the air. "400 dollars a month." I offered, expecting him to balk. But he never blinked. His answer to me was actually "It's OK, Tim is working. He can pay for it." Big of him to spend Tim's money, but that was Charlie, he was always expecting someone else to pay the bill. Strangely enough, they always did. He was sort of charmed that way.

The band moved in immediately and we agreed that rent would be paid up front, once a week, as it would ensure the highest likelihood of payment. The hallmarks of a band hang were present right away - a drum kit, a mattress on the floor and a hundred cigarette butts scattered about. At 7:00 PM the first night, the floor started thumping with the sound of heavy metal songs. I was happy as a clam hearing it, but the adjacent shops that were still open were less than pleased. That first week I fielded at least five complaints from neighboring shop owners, but as an ignorant and self-important 19 year old, I gave exactly zero shits.

As the weeks wore on, the neighboring shops continued to belly ache and I asked the band to start their practices at 8:00 pm, so that the majority of the other shops in the strip would be closed. Thankfully, they agreed. Little did I know their agreement to play later was the least of my worries. Louise's husband had just lost his job and he was about to ride up my crack like a thong.

Louise's husband Antoinne was a big hairy hulk of a guy. I rarely saw him outside of giving him the occasional haircut and when I did, he was not exactly a conversationalist. To say that his knuckles dragged on the ground when he walked would be an insult to neanderthals. Antoinne was a bartender, which confused me, as charm, wit and looks are the road to financial success in the drink game. Antoinne didn't have any of those things. There were rumblings and rumors that his well to do father made his money in the "carting" business and was part of all the literal and innuendo that the profession implied. I never believed any of the innuendo until the day that Antoinne and Louise came into the shop to talk to me about the band.

They sat me down and asked me to inform the band that they had to vacate the basement immediately, as Antoinne would be using the space to set up a "business" . I was heartbroken that I had to deliver this message and disappoint the friends that had come to be very comfortable both in and under our salon. Needless to say, it was not my best interaction with the band and of course, they demanded a refund on the unused half of that week's rent.

It took a couple of days for the band to get vans and trucks over to clean out the equipment. During those days, Antoinne hung around the salon and contributed nothing but mute hairiness and a very unpleasant vibe. I could tell that he creeped out the customers and I could not wait to send him underground.

Not even an hour after my friends removed their last piece of equipment, Antoinne and his father had a truck at the back of the shop, unloading desks. When I closed up the shop that night, I went down stairs to find two rows of desks with black phones and a couple of desk lamps set up. Each desk had a folding chair. Like the naive child that I was, I started asking questions. Antoinne and his father's grunts and non-answers eventually tipped me off to stop asking questions.

The following morning when I arrived to work, Louise greeted me and laid down the law about the basement:
- Don't go down there
- Don't ask questions
- Try not to make a lot of floor noise as Antoinne and his friends would be on "telemarketing calls".
My blood was boiling at this point. I had no issue avoiding her lumpy, stank husband, but don't tell me that I can't make noise doing the business that paid this salon's bills. I could feel that things were starting to unravel for this business.

Part III/Conclusion Tomorrow