BY LANCE DOILY Well, it took me waking up half drunk at 4:30 in the morning to the sound of two dogs ripping apart a pigeon behind the Foodtown in Paterson to realize I needed a lady. I can’t say I’ve let it get to me much in the past, since I’ve always been more of a stroke guy. While all the others were out drinkin’ and whorin’ until dawn, I’d be the guy hanging out with a fifth and a tug magazine, rifling off a few rounds into an old pair of sweats. It got to the point where the boys would try and paint me as the lonesome stroker, hanging out down by the railroad tracks and stopping only to gaze at the moon when my wrist got sore. I’m not gonna cave in and tell you it was their near constant torment that made me come to this realization, but I figured I owed it to myself to at least give this whole courting horseshit a try.
Last Tuesday, I pulled into the A&P in West Caldwell with lovin’ on my mind. It was as good a spot as any, plus I had a delivery there. I had put in a good five and a half hours of hard drinkin’ and druggin’ at Murph’s beforehand which put a little swagger in the step, but I still knew my place. I was on the lookout for a clearance rack bargain, the more dents in the can the better. Before I even got inside I saw a likely candidate, I’d put her in her early 40s. She had jug-wine-thick lenses, strangely matted hair and was wearing the shit out of a Megadeth “Peace Sells” t-shirt. Sure, she wasn’t lean and she wasn’t pretty, but nothing wrong with her a $100 couldn’t fix.
I saw her light up a smoke so I strolled over and asked if she had an extra. She pulled a Carlton soft pack out of her pocket and told me the store sells her the expired shit for half the price. Yep — she was the one. The nametag read Jo but she told me her friends call her Porterhouse and I had the common decency to not refer to her as such. She asked why I wasn’t wearing a shirt and I told her once the temperature gets up high enough I’m working without a shirt no matter what. So far, so good, the only thing left was to find out if she was available.
Of course she wasn’t but I nearly spun myself into a rage coma when I found out who her old man was: good old Tony Tucks (he earned the name back when he worked at Bottle King and his jacket would be full of Tuck’s medicated ass pads every time one of my helpers would pilfer the employee coat rack for valuables). On top of that, he had just gotten canned from Bottle King for punching out a cashier and was reduced to working as a fuckin’ produce guy at the A&P. We had a history and I knew he’d be out to start some shit. My plan was to get the delivery done without alerting Tony to my presence, but we all know those produce guys are allowed to sign for anything. If I got through that, I figured maybe I’d ask Jo if she could sign the invoice, plus possibly come back with me to Murph’s for a nightcap. To sweeten the deal, I had already taken the steps to ensure that a few cases fell off the truck for her, as long as she was a Bud tallboy kind of gal — and as it turned out she was.
But it wasn’t going to be that easy. I was wheeling in my last stack of beer when I saw Tony walking over with the invoice. He hadn’t changed a bit, from the sweat saucers under his arms to the lumpy mass of bloat encircling his waist that just begged somebody to pin a rubber duck on his gut. I knew what he was going to accuse me of but I had to play it cool, after all I had somebody’s honor to fight for this time. Sure enough, he shows me the invoice and figures I may have doctored it a little to treat myself to 15 cases of Bud tallboys. When he pointed to the crudely written “Out of Stock” I replicated to make it look like it was part of the computer printout, I knew I was flat out fucked. Most of the time at the big chain supermarkets, you’re long gone by the time anyone notices missing product, but fuckin’ Tony Tucks makes it a point to double check everything before you leave. Since I knew him well, I figured he’d use this moment to abuse his power and put me through the ol’ passion play again, and he didn’t let me or anyone within earshot down. Still, I saw Jo staring at me out of the corner of my eye and knew I had my chance to prove I was the better man.
So I stood there, taking every verbal jab like a seasoned vet and pissed myself, all the while making direct eye contact. I had enjoyed myself a Herculean liquid lunch of draft Bud and had no spare set of jeans to change into, but goddammit if I didn’t just stand there and let it rain. I made him bear witness to a Hoover Dam burst of a beer piss from first to last drop while he struggled to maintain the upper hand. His sermon eventually tailed off into nothingness and he signed the invoice in disgust and walked away; it was no secret who won that confrontation.
I walked over to the register and pretended like I was just gonna grab a bag of chips, but I really wanted to see if Jo dug it. She was acting a little weird and facing away from me the majority of the transaction, but as I was walking out with my chips she told me I was probably gonna get a rash and threw over a roll of paper towels. A rash I could live with, but a sweetheart like that fuckin’ around with somebody like Tony Tucks I couldn’t handle. I knew the cops were already called and on my way out asked her if she wanted to blow through a couple roadblocks with me, but the offer was politely declined. I went back to my truck and punched myself in the side of the head a few times in anger, but that feeling quickly faded and I was already on to thinking about the next lady. Maybe Porterhouse didn’t turn out to be the one, or maybe I needed to modify my approach, but one thing was certain: I was not going to be denied. Sooner or later something had to give, and I am a patient man. Hornier than a three-peckered toad, but patient. So ladies, lock up your mothers!
PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily
PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fifth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Sixth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Seventh Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Eighth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Ninth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The 10th Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The 11th Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO # 12: Rehab Is For Quitters
PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #13: Kick Out The Jams, Motherf*cker
PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #14: Tommy, Can You Hear Me?