Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Helen's not-so-triumphant return

Let's play a game, wanna? Too bad, you're playing anyway.

This game is called "Name Something Worse Than Getting Food Poisoning On the Day You're Supposed to Return From the Vacation You Spent With Your Parents, and Then Spending a Shitload of Money to Change Your Plane Ticket Because You Couldn't Stop Barfing For Long Enough to Fly!"

This will be

The rules:

  1. No depressing, high-minded, big-picture answers like "the war in Iraq" or "cancer." This is a game, people. Fucking relax already.
  2. That's pretty much the only rule. Rules are stupid anyway.

I'll get you started, but it's all you after that. Here goes...

*Pissing someone else's pants!

*Dad's overt racism!

*Guys with moustaches wearing Oakley Blades & No Fear shirts!

*Oh, shit. This is definitely way, way worse. Wow.

Okay, your turn. Ready go.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Barack Me Like a Hurricane

My pal Carolyn has said pretty much everything I wanted to about Obama's Presidential candidacy, except for FUCK YES, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, YEEEE HAAAAAAAAA!
She's also shilling the Obama-wear. Total badass, this girl.
My (Ba) rack is gonna look spectacular in one of those t-shirts.
I'll post photos. I love you that much.
I'm off to Vegas, bitches!
I'll either be back in a week, or call you for bail money.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You make me feel so young

What could possibly be responsible for my sudden sense of youthfulness?

New love?

The unseasonably warm weather?
Nope. Actually, it's finally getting cold here.

Been working out, Helen?
Pssh. What are you, high?

No, I'm I'm pretty sure that these feelings of adolescent awkwardness and discomfort are due to the unbelievably enormous, evil, unhideable zit on my chin.

It's like being 13 all over again, but with (slightly) bigger boobs.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Poop on Paris

It's Friday. No thinking required.
Just wiping, and evil laughter.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Drunk City, Part 2

Read part 1 here, or this won't make quite as much sense.

Now, you’d think that after an experience like that, I’d simply thank the gods of urban intoxication and make certain to never, ever do something that stupid ever, ever again.

You would be as wrong as I was about the treasure trove of public toilets available in Times Square in 2002.

Now it’s 2006. Your little friend here is a confident, experienced, jaded, bitchy New Yorker. Nothing surprises me, nothing scares me, and I’ve learned to take care of myself. I’m savvy and street smart and…still a drunk, and, as such, still as dumb as ever a good portion of the time.

On a recent drizzly Friday evening, I accompanied my friends Frankie and Tee out for a night of drinking on the Upper West Side. Thing is, I live in Brooklyn, and when it comes to Manhattan, I am decidedly a downtown kid. I work at 51st Street and will have the occasional drink in that area, but anything above that is foreign soil. Thus, I was slightly shocked and deeply disconcerted by the multitude of bra-on-the-wall, borderline white-trash fetish frat boy bars on Upper Broadway. But the beer was relatively cheap, I was in excellent company, and by the last bar we were utterly shithammered, so what the fuck.

Regarding the company…I must note at this point that Frankie and Tee are a married couple. Frankie is a white woman, and Tee is a black man. One would think that in New York City in 2006 this would not be a point that even warranted discussion, but keep in mind that we were in a bra-on-the-wall, borderline white-trash fetish frat boy bar on Upper Broadway.

We sat at a table in the back, drunk talking and taking in the scene. We were surrounded by young, white, male Upper West types. You know, the Docker-wearers who tell gay jokes at work and secretly dance naked to Justin Timberlake at home? Yeah. It was like an anthropological study of the species Uptownus Douchis Trogloditus.

“Imagine how many of these guys are total closet racists, and are totally pissed off to see two white girls with a black guy,” Frankie said. We were, in fact, getting some pissy stares from the sweater vests.

“Totally!” I agreed. “If there’s a KKK chapter in New York City, this is pretty much their meeting place.

At some point prior to this, Frankie had handed me a pen, because this bar in particular encourages its patrons to leave graffiti on the walls. She noticed now that I was drawing on the web of my left hand.

“What the fuck are you doing over there?”

I smiled, quietly completed my masterpiece, and held it up for them to see. It was a hand-mouth puppet. He was wearing a KKK hood, and had a thought bubble above his head that said “WHITE POWER!”

Thankfully, Frankie and Tee were amused. For the rest of the evening, the puppet continually interrupted conversations, interjecting with “WHIIIIIITE POWER” in his best Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo voice whenever he felt like it. (I think he was drunk too.)

“What do you think about Bush’s foreign policy, Helen?”


“Do you think the new James Bond is gay?”


I think the fact that none of the other patrons kicked my ass tells you pretty much everything you need to know about that bar.

Several hours and a few drinks later, I found myself walking to the subway in a torrential downpour. Mercifully, the train showed up within minutes, and I was on my way back to Brooklyn. It was 5:00 in the morning, I was still totally plastered, and my Klan puppet was long forgotten.

I must have passed out within minutes of sitting down. I awoke to the sensation of someone gently tapping my shoulder.

“Miss. Miss!”

I jumped. Standing over me was a pleasant faced, middle-aged black man. He was looking at me with gentle, fatherly disapproval, and holding my umbrella. “You dropped this.”

“Oh., thank you sir!” I slurred at him. I reached for the umbrella with my left hand…you know, the one with the KKK dude drawn on it? Yeah. Whiiiiiiite power...

We both saw the drawing at the same time. Just about anything could have happened during the momentary pause afterward. He said nothing, but looked hard into my eyes, handed me the umbrella, and stepped off the train. Needless to say, my hand spent the rest of the trip back to East Flatbush shoved deeply into my pocket, and again, miraculously, I made it home without further incident.

Clearly, my mother is right. The angels that look out for stupid-assed drunk girls are alive and well here in New York City. And it’s a goddamned good thing, because I’m probably gonna need them tonight.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Out of the mouths of crackers...

"You know what'sa matter? Yer missin' a hose!"

- Southern lady at the vacuum cleaner company
(I called to order parts.)

You said a mouthful, honey. Did you ever.

May the South rise again.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Drunk City, Part 1

Because several people other than my mom have requested that I do so, I'm posting the story I read at the 12/20/06 WYSIWYG. It's long and I have a short attention span, so it's coming to you in two parts. It was also written to be read aloud, using different voices and stuff, so I'm pretty sure that a good portion of the comedy is lost in translation here. But whatever. Here you go.

If I’m going to get up and have a laugh with y’all on the topic of alcohol intoxication…and I sure as fuck hope I am, or this is going to be the longest 10 minutes of my life…I’d be remiss in failing to note that nine years ago today, on December 20, 1997, my 23 year old cousin, Doug Murray, was killed in a drunk driving accident in Longmont, Colorado. This was by far the shittiest birthday present I received that year, worse even than the army green thermal shirt my hippie boyfriend inexplicably selected for me. In retrospect, though, it’s become clear that some interesting lessons came of this tragedy. The one that’s relevant to this evening is that drinking is fine, provided that you’re not a total asshole about it, and sometimes, even when you are, provided that you’re not behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, operating heavy machinery, or in possession of a loaded firearm. All in all, I’ve come to believe that it is possible to be both a drunk and relatively functional…or, as I refer to it, drunktional.

This is especially true here in New York, where one never has to drive. Absurd drink prices aside, New York is one of my favorite places to be drunk. And maybe it’s partially because of the prohibitive cost of booze in many of our bars…when you’re shithoused in New York, goddammit, you’ve earned it. You’ve spent half your sorry paycheck, and you’re fuckin’ WASTED, and no one can take that away from you. (Unless, of course, you’re really pretty and someone else always buys your drinks. And in that case, well, fuck you anyway.)

There’s an edgy aspect to being a drunk chick in this city, too. Anything…literally anything, good or bad, can happen. Celebrities show up when you’re already drunk enough to try to talk to them. (Sorry, Susan Sarandon!) Subway trains break down between stops when you’re struggling desperately not to vomit and/or piss yourself. Wasted club guidos decide randomly that they’re gay and try to make out with your boyfriend. Transit strikes coincide with your birthday party, and you say fuck it and get hammered anyway. The stripper from the boy bar turns out not to be gay after all. The bar owner offers you a ride in the back of his customized Cadillac hearse, which you gladly accept. If I had a nickel for every time I found myself alone and piss drunk in a totally sketchy or bizarre situation in this asylum of a city, I’d have enough money to get drunk a hell of a lot more often than I already do.

I’ve been lucky, though. In most if not all of those dodgy scenes, things have turned out okay. Often humiliating, but without serious mishap, and nearly always funny later. My Irish mother says that God looks out for idiots and drunks, and I am living proof that she’s absolutely right.

My first serious drunk experience in New York occurred in the spring of 2002, about a month before I actually moved here. My friend Brando and I flew out from Denver to survey the scene, check out my new apartment, and presumably hook up with pretty people. We spent a few innocuous days shopping, bickering, and eating street meat before we met up with our friend O and hit the town. After multiple cocktails in multiple joints, we wound up, of course, at a boy bar. When the story of my life is finally written, people, it will be set in a boy bar.

As often happens at boy bars, I was in the process of getting lucky. Let’s face it…any and all straight boys in a boy bar are like ducks in a bucket for any vagina that happens to show up. This one happened to be a smokin'-hot part-time soap opera actor. Blake, or something. Brando, in the meantime, was busy making out with a total troll. That encounter was brought to a swift end when O stated quite loudly that “we were on vacation and had NO TIME FOR UGLY PEOPLE.” Brando, jealous of my good fortune, got pissy and stomped out. I decided, for reasons I’ve since forgotten, not to go home with Mr. Sands Through the Hourglass. O was headed downtown, and responsibly put me on the 1 train toward my hotel on the Upper West Side.

About two stops along, it occurred to me that I had to pee rather desperately. The urge grew more powerful by the second, until I could stand it no more. The train reached 42nd Street. “Hey, Times Square!” I thought. (My words were slurred, even in my head.) “There’s gotta be a bathroom THERE I can use!”

I dashed off the train and bounded up the stairs to the street, naively counting on there being a pizza shop or bar or SOMEPLACE with a pisser that would be open, even at 4:30 in the morning on a weeknight. City that never sleeps, right? No problem!

This is about as wrong as I’ve ever been about anything. And that, my friends, is sayin’ some shit.

Reaching the street, all I saw was dark storefronts and sleeping homeless people. The trip up the stairs had nearly gotten messy…I was fully potty walking at this point. Finally in desperation, I approached a pair of beat cops on Seventh Avenue.

“’Scuse me, sir?" (Trying my best to appear sober.) “Could I ask your help with something?”

Cop #1, short, young, and adorable, turned to me, theatrically swept off his hat and held it to his heart. (I’m pretty sure he was drunk too.)

“You can aks me any-ting, sweethaht. Whatevah you need, whatevah you want, I will personally make showah you get it. Dis I promise you, on behalf of da NYPD. Any-ting!”

“Uh…okay. I need a bathroom.”

“Oooooh...any-ting but dat.” He replaced his cap on his head and stared at the ground in somber dejection.

Cop #2, large, slightly older, and thankfully sober, rolled his eyes at Officer Broadway. “You see that sign down there?” he said, pointing. I followed his finger as best I could, spotting a blur of neon that appeared to be several miles away. “That there’s McDonald’s. You can use their can, but you prolly gotta buy some fries or somethin’.”

I came close to bursting into happy tears. “Thank you, officer, thank you!”

“Yeah, whatever.”

I set off in the direction of the Golden Arches, clenching my nethers so tightly that my knees were actually touching. I’d made it about half a block when I realized that there was just no.fucking.way I was gonna make it that far without pissing my pants.

And then…to my left, I noticed a boarded-up window and a small construction site. A small construction site, right on the street, with plywood walls and an ALCOVE in front of the building’s door. A dim bulb crackled to life above my addled head. I looked behind me. The cops were gone. Yessss.

I ducked into the alcove, nearly delirious in anticipation of the sweet relief I was about to experience. My jeans were halfway down when I heard the voice.

“Hey! Hey lady! You pissin’ back deah?”

Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck, fuck-a-doodle-doo. It was a male voice. The cops, I thought. I am soooooo going to jail.

I turned my head in trepidation, hands clutching either side of my zipper. It was not the cops. It was a teenaged boy. A big teenaged boy. A big teenaged boy and six of his friends, all peering at me around the edge of the plywood wall with looks of great interest and curiousity.

Clearly at a gross disadvantage, I mustered the flapping shreds of my dignity, looked up at the kid from mid-squat, and answered the question.

“Yes. Yes I fucking am.” I held my breath and my stream, totally unprepared to defend myself and waiting for him to respond.

“Awright den!” the kid said. “We’ll block for ya!”

Insert Scooby-Doo's incredulous noise here.

“Hey you guys, com’ere! Stand ovah heah! Dis lady’s takin’ a leak back heah, and she needs blockas!”

Next thing I know, I see eight or ten t-shirted backs surrounding the alcove as the boys line up to block the view from the street. It was more from shock than urgency that I finally let go and started pissing.

“Are you guys fucking kidding me? I TOTALLY thought I was getting gang raped for a minute there! How awesome are you?” Still pissing.

They all laughed. “Hey no problem lady! It happens to everybody!” Uh, okay.

I heard footsteps approaching. “What are you lookin’ at, asshole? Keep walkin’!” My underaged heroes!

Still pissing. Thirty seconds. Forty. A minute.

“Hey lady?”


“That’s some piss you’ah takin’ back deah, huh?”


“You drunk?”


“Dats awright. You take yah time! We can wait!”

By this point I had descended into silent, hysterical laughter, trying at the same time to balance my drunk ass so as not to piss into my Chuck Taylors. (I was not entirely successful, by the way.)

Finally, at long long last, my bladder imploded and it was over. I wobbled to my feet, zipped up my drawers, and announced to my protectors the commencement of my urinary activities.
They all turned to face me at once, like a school of fish.

I was overwhelmed with shitfaced gratitude. “My god, you guys are an amazing bunch of gentlemen.”

“Of course we aah! We’ah from YONKERS!”

A cacophony of pro-Yonkers whoops and hollers erupted into the still-dark morning, and again moving as one, fish-like, they were gone. I stumbled back to the subway station and made it back uptown without further incident, now positive that my decision to move to New York was the right one.

Part 2 next week.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Deep Thoughts by Helen Damnation

If I was a toilet, I would totally quit my job.
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