Monday, April 30, 2007

A CALL FROM CALIFORNIA

I am not very good at asking for help. I like to do things on my own, solve my own problems. I don't know if it is because of the way I was raised, or if it's a sort of societal gender-programming, but I feel that a man's got to be a man and if the going gets rough, he goes it alone.

But last night, something happened that shook that mindset, a bit. And I'm kind of floating, now, wondering what I should do. I am hesitant to splash this all across the Web, for reasons that will be obvious when--and if--I write more on this. But I consider those who read this almost-daily drivel to be "in my corner," as it were, and, though BIFF is a 21st Century joke, of sorts, I believe that there is something to the connections one makes on the Internet. I hope to God that I'm not wrong.

I have no children--as most of you might already know--but I do have a dog, Lou, and he is like a son to me, albeit furry and mute and sometimes stinky. Lou is a daily companion and Lou is loyal and I would give my right middle finger to keep him safe. And so when his safety is threatened, I tend to get a little excited, a little in-your-face.

Last night, at about 9:30, my cell phone rang, jarring me from an unfocused reverie in which I was doing nothing but staring at the map of the United States on the computer room's wall, trying (mostly in vain) to recall from junior high school years the state capitals. I had gotten Michigan (Lansing) and California (Sacramento) and Rhode Island (Providence). I had gotten Alaska wrong (it's not Anchorage) and I had botched Texas, as well. (Crawford is not the capital of Texas, nor is it the center of the universe, despite what our fearless chimpanzee leader might think.)

My phone rang, spitting out some approximation of "Flight of the Bumblebee" by Rachmaninov, and I jumped, a bit. Lou, looking guilty (as always), took the opportunity to slink out of the room and into the front room, where he clambered aboard the couch and, with a heavy sigh, affected a disinterested glaze to his eyes. I stared after him and shrugged and picked up my phone. I didn't recognize the number. Hell, for that matter, I didn't even recognize the area code. 818? Where the hell is 818, I wondered. But, seeing as how I was bored, and flummoxed by geography, I decided to answer it. I've been kicking myself ever since. Now they know, you see. And they know where I live. And they know that the phone number is legitimate.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Is this Adam B____?" a man's roughened voice asked.

There's a game I play--and I usually get it wrong--in which I try to visualize strangers' physical characteristics from their voices alone. You know: The old joke about the fat DJ with the thin voice or the slim-voiced 900-number babe who's actually 3 bills and a mother of four. I do it all the time and, when I've met the voice on the other end, I'm usually way off base, but this time? This time I feel it in my bones that I'm right on center, a long-distance physicality bullseye.

I picture this guy--and I obviously have not yet met him, nor do I know if I will--but I picture this guy as, like, a late-'70s/early-'80s refugee. Some "player" who doesn't know that the calender has flipped. Flipped a few times, in fact. I see him, in my mind's eye, as a slightly-overweight man with a thick black mustache and thinning black hair slicked back from his widow's peak with some kind of greasy Bryl-creme-type gel. I would bet my last five dollars that he is the type to wear a button-up shirt unbuttoned to just above the navel, and it would not surprise me at all to know that he wears a golden medallion, as well. That type. And this guy Rick (I learned his name later in the conversation) is about as far away from metrosexuality as a chicken is from the North Pole. He's not one to shave himself, I don't think; his coarse black chest-hair is probably springing out of his shirt.

"Uh, yeah," I said. "Who's this, please?"

"And you live at--" I could see him pushing his glasses up on his greasy nose "--[address redacted], Royal Oak, Michigan?"

"Uh, sure.... Who is this, again?"

"Mr. B____, this is Rick Toldem, from Sunlight Productions, Van Nuys, California?"

"Okaaaaaay..." I said.

"Yeah, we're calling about your dog, Louie?"

"My dog Louie?" I said, taking the phone from my ear and glancing into the front room. Louie saw me looking and quickly resumed his "sleep." I looked back at the phone, a bit bewildered, and put it to my ear.

"--tribute and we'd like to give him a look-see," Rick was saying.

"I--I'm sorry, Mr. Toldem," I said. "I didn't catch that. What were you saying?"

"Oh, no problema," he said. "I was just saying that we received an anonymous call late yesterday afternoon and the caller was saying that your dog has a certain attribute that we might be interested in seeing. We have a person in the area--around Detroit, actually--you close to Detroit?"

"Well, yeah, but--"

"So this person we got is near Detroit," he overrode," and we were thinking we could maybe set up an appointment sometime this week? Maybe give ole Lou a once-over?"

I sat there, in my comfortable armchair, in uncomfortable, perplexed, silence.

"Mr. B____? You still there?"

I shook my head as if to clear cobwebs. "Wha--what is this all about, Mr. Toldem? You're coming out of left field, here."

"Rick," he said.

"Okay, Rick, what is this all about?" I said. I got up and walked into the kitchen and poured myself a mug of coffee. I glanced at Lou on the way back to the computer room. His nose was buried between his paws and he appeared to be sleeping, his chest rising and falling in deep rhythmic breaths. "I mean," I said as I sat down, "I get this call on a Sunday night, from some guy in California, talking about some mysterious caller who is regaling my dog with some kind of attributes.... I--I'm just at a loss, here, Mr. Toldem."

"Rick."

"Rick," I corrected.

"Well, Mr. B_____, first off, no one was regaling your dog. To regale someone or something would imply that the person was entertaining or amusing your dog...I can assure you that that is not--and was not--the case."

"Semantics," I said. "You know what I'm saying." I rubbed the back of my neck with my left hand. I was starting to tighten up.

"Yes," he chuckled. "Semantics. Sorry about that. It's a bad habit of mine, correcting people's grammar. Pisses off my friends. Call it English degree-itus, if you want to. I guess I'm just a frustrated English major."

"Aren't we all," I muttered.

"Yes. Anyway, as I said, Sunlight Productions is where I'm calling from. I'm the Head of the scouting department and it's my job to follow leads on certain new talents that spring up around the country. When I get a call direct to my office, Mr. B____, I can assure you, I take that seriously. It's my job to make sure it's legit. The adult film industry is booming, sure--billion-dollar-a-year industry, don'tcha know--but--or maybe because of that--we get our fair share of crackpots calling, saying that they're the new John Holmes. Or the next Jenna Jameson." He chuckled. Rocks in sandpaper.

I cleared my throat. "Um...adult film industry?"

"Yes."

"You mean, like, porn?" Unbidden, images of flesh danced in my mind.

"Yup. Pornography, or, as we like to call it, romantic celluoid tranquility. RET, for short."

"RET, for short," I repeated.

"Yes. That's right, Mr. B____," he said. "May I call you Adam?"

"Sure," I said, distractedly. "Wait...no, uh-uh."

"Mmkay," he said. "Whatever makes you shine."

"So, tell me, Mr. Toldem," I said, agitated by the surreal conversation. "How the hell does my dog factor into this?"

"Well, Mr. B_____," he said, "have you ever seen his tongue? From all indications, from what we here have heard, that kid could be a superstar!"

***

So. That's where we stand. My dog is being considered for a career in pornography. My. Dog. If it weren't so unbelievable.... Shit. It is unbelievable. In fact, it almost seems like I'm making this whole damn thing up. It feels like a dream, to me. But, I swear on my most favorite pencil that it's the dog's honest truth. I am feeling very conflicted, right now.

On one hand, it's the chance of a lifetime, for my son. My furry son. He would be lauded. He would have all the bitches and he would live a king's life. Plus, a whole shipload of money would be headed my way--and that would be ever-so welcome, seeing as how I am a bit low in the coffers right now.

On the other hand, I would be pimping out my pride and joy, simply because he has a body part that is wholly out of proportion. Lou is Innocence. I don't want to sully him. I'd like him better unbesmirched, I think.

Toldem assured me that it would be strictly dog-on-dog action--yes, there is a market for that--and that Lou's lack of testicles would not be a problem. ("No problema," he'd said, laughing.) But, my goodness...porn?!

I asked Lou, last night, after I had hung up with the smut-monger, what his thoughts on the matter were. I asked, too, if he--in fact--had been the "anonymous" caller. Lou had blinked at me then, and had licked his nether regions. Without. Bending. His. Neck. When he had looked back into my eyes, I believed that I could detect the gleam of pride. Was it my imagination? Who knows.

So, like I said, that's where it stands. I opened this post with a plea, of sorts. I'm not one to ask for help, save for when my back is pushed up against--hell, through--the wall. My ass is in the other room, right now. I need some advice. Could you--would you--help me, please?

12 comments:

Melissa said...

Ew. You'd better be kidding. And if you're not, no way in hell are you pimping out my goddog.

Louie's a shy one, and not one who could or should ever be recorded involving himself in DOGGIE PORN.

Snap out of it! Decision easy.

The One and Only A said...

I'm kidding. Like that "Bridezilla" video, it's a complete and utter fabrication, save for one very salient point: Lou's tongue is big. =o)

Sugar Kane said...

You are brilliantly twisted.

The One and Only A said...

Thanks, Sugar! I take that as a compliment! =o)

Sugar Kane said...

As well you should!

The One and Only A said...

I see that I've been tagged. I'll have in on your desk by tomorrow night, ma'am. =o)

Nanette said...

Oh my! Hook--line--and sinker.

I didn't fall for the bride, but I fell hard for this tale from my friend. Damn...only you could make me believe such an outlandish story.

I was all ready to suggest that you research the company and google the industry. ;)

Ephemeron said...

Very well done, Adam. :-) That was unbelievably believable.

The One and Only A said...

LOL, Nighthawk! Sad thing is, there probably *is* a market out there for slop like that. All together, now: Poooooor Loooouuuuuiiiiieeeeee!

Thanks, Ephie. It was pretty fun to write. I found myself LOL-ing on more than one occasion. Like when Toldem said, "Mmkay. Whatever makes you shine." I found that funny, for some reason. Perhaps the obtuse smarminess of it? I've been walking around all day thinking of points in a conversation in which I would be able to use that line. =o)

Terry said...

You've one scary mind Mr. Adam! LMAO And here I was actually trying to come up with some type of Real advice for this strangely bizarre situation. So glad Lou is safe from the evils of the Adult Entertainment industry!

The One and Only A said...

Hey, Terry! What up?! My mind is scary and I fucking love it! It keeps me occupied during long and lonely dark nights. ;-) But, hell, you have to admit: Lou's tongue is just a joke waitin' to happen. =o)

The One and Only A said...

Oh. And the Adult Industry is not evil. Rather, it is "Educational." How else would I know of those certain stretchy positions? The Karma Sutra? I don't speak Indian. ;-)