My woman Susan is a materialistic soul, but she is also a Vivica Fox lookalike and is thick as a block of government cheese, so you see why I would want to hold onto her. In fact, with the holidays approaching, I made up my mind to propose to her. However, before I could pop the question, she told me that we needed to sit down and have a talk.
I assumed the worst: I would be dumped during the holidays. She would tell me that she had been seeing someone else and that perhaps we could still be friends. But when I got to her house, she greeted me with a blood-curdling kiss and the lyrics to the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.
"What's this for?" I asked.
"That man who bought all of those things for his woman must have loved her something fierce."
"Not necessarily. Van Gogh was so smitten by the melodic tone of his woman's voice he mailed her one of his ears."
"Will you be serious?" She sat on my lap. "Why don't you do such things for me, honey poo-poo?"
I reminded her that "According to a report in Forbes, the cat who bought all that stuff was Donald Trump."
"Well, I want you to do the same for me."
"You're kidding, right?" She never budged, but she did bat her eyes seductively. I lert out a sigh. "Don't you remember me telling you that things have slowed up at the mill?
"I remember, but you'll just have to be creative, baby."
"If I was creative I could do something about my cash flow problem."
She kissed me on the cheek. "At least try."
"Where the hell am I gonna find all that stuff?"
She stood and gave me a look that was equal parts seduction and rising disappointment. "Just do it, okay?"
"And if I can't?"
"Then there'll be no punanny for you!"
"Who are you, The Nookie Nazi?"
So on that first day of Christmas, the day before pay day, I was despondent because I had to find a partridge and a pear tree. I couldn't even afford the partridge because it was fifteen dollars and all I had was seven and some change. And as for a pear tree, that was out of the question.
"Think Tim, think!" And I thought a parrot or a canary would be cheaper. Then I remembered that the last time I'd stopped by her place, she had very little food in the fridge. So, I took my last five dollars and bought her a chickens, a can of pears and two candles.
I brought the items to her house and was pleasantly surprised when she hugged me so hard I grunted.
"You got the right idea, boo. A candlelight dinner is so romantic!"
Score one for ya boy.
"Tomorrow I want my two turtle doves," she whispered. "I can't wait!"
I stepped out into the cold and headed back to the strip mall. Now I've gotta be honest. I had no idea what turtle doves were, but I remembered the image on the packaging of Dove soap: a golden colored silhouette of a bird I assumed was a dove. I knew of only one other product with a golden bird on the label: Thunderbird wine, so I purchased two short necks of that and took them to her.
"Baby, this wine will go good with the candlelight chicken dinner we're having."
She nodded and muttered absently, "Uh-huh."
"Couldn't you have found another wine? Something less potent?"
"Not with birds on the label."
She shook her head. "You never considered actual birds, but that's okay. I know what you're up to. You plan to get me drunk so you can…"
"Been there, done that," I said interrupting. "Now let me go get those three French hens."
And that I did-Cornish hens. It was all I could think of. I also brought along a bleu cheese glaze and told her, "As far as marinades go, it doesn't come more French than this."
"This is going to be one strange dinner," my girl said. "Chicken and Blue cheese Cornish hen?"
"I think its called chicken cordon bleu, and don't forget the two bottles of white wine."
"Cheap white wine."
I left and the next morning when I rose, I decided to spend my off day looking for calling birds, four of them to be exact. I wondered, What the hell was wrong with this woman in the song? Did she have a bird fixation or what? It took me until six o'clock that evening, but when I arrived at her house that evening I had four stuffed calling birds. They were part of a set, sewn together and attached to one of them was a string that when pulled caused them to sing, "Hello…? Hello…? Hello…? HELLO!" Ala the Three Stooges. I explained that I'd purchased them at a novelty shop,
"They were on sale for nine ninety-five, plus I had a thirty-percent off coupon."
What'd I do that for? She threw the thing onto the sofa and glared at me. "You cheap bastard! So far everything you've purchased totals out to less than twenty-five dollars. I thought you would at least be creative about this!"
"And do what, buy actual birds? You know what your lease says about pets."
"Get out!" She snapped. "And don't come back until you have my five golden rings!"
I didn't like her tone and said as much. No9w I'm not the kind of person to hit a woman, but if I was I would have told her, "Here are two of your rings right now," and then I would have punched her in both eyes. Thankfully common sense and decency prevailed,
I knew where to get five golden rings. I drove downtown where my old high school chum Walter Da Weasel worked as a fake Rolex salesman. I told him what I needed and Walter told me he had just the thing. He sold me five "golden rings" for $200, with the disclaimer, "If you're going to get some sex out of the deal, make sure you do so before these rings turn her fingers green."
When I handed the rings to my woman it was all she could do to refrain from blackening both of my eyes. She even said as much.
I told her, "All I can say is the salesman told me it was 14-karat gold."
I left in a huff mumbling that there was no pleasing her. I thought about breaking up with her, but hell, the holidays are the wrong time to drop a bomb on someone. Second, she get s a little fired up during her "ladies days" and she's the type who might show up at my place to pull an Amy Fisher on my ass.
I went to work and all day long pondered how I might find six geese-pregnant ones, at that. Just so happens one of my co-workers was a country boy who lived in a ranch house in the boonies.
"For a hundred and a half I'll bring you six geese. Three of 'em are pregnified (he meant pregnant). The others are just well-fed and look that way. You could juggle the eggs around and make it look like all six are laying, rather than just the three."
"Good idea," I thought.
The next day I not only came to her house with the six geese, but also the seven swans. I didn't buy those from my coworker. I waited until dark and pilfered them from the man-made lake of a local community college.
"This is better," she said. Her tone sounded as if she was more frustrated than happy, but I stood silently waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I didn't have to wait long. "Thing is, you're still doing this on the cheap."
"I'm doing my best."
"Really?" The sarcasm was undeniable. As I headed for the door she called to me, "Good luck finding eight maids a-milking."
My mind was working a mile-a-minute, and lucky for me I have friends in high and low places, and more times than not, it's the ones in that latter group that I can count on to come through in the clutch. One such ne'erdowell is a pimp named Drippy. He claims he got the name because "No one can honey drip (rap) like me." In reality, the moniker was a derisive one given him by a fellow pimp, because Drippy still wore a jheri-curl and his activator was always ruining his suits, the upholstery in his car and his furniture.
Drippy controlled a stable of two-dozen shall we say "working girls." He called around to his friends in the industry and by dawn had rounded up eight girls for me, all of whom were pregnant and lactating. Now I gotta admit, I knew this wasn't what Susan expected, but I did what I could and felt my efforts should have been complimented. However, if you know sistas, you know that when I brought those half-naked hoes by her house I had crossed a line. I suppose I was fatigued and incapable of thinking straight.
Susan went ballistic. "Aw, hell naw! You have the guts, gall and the gumption to bring not just one bitch, but eight scurvy hoes to my motherf-----g house? Negro, you done lost your mind!"
She slapped me, and as the eight whores and I stood outside her door-and I was mad as a pimp with dog shit on his shoe-I called to her, "That still fulfills my obligation…bitch!" (I shouldn't have called her that, but like I said, I was angry).
You'd think I would have learned my lesson, but nope. My brain was vapor-locked and I went about my business. Man, you should have seen her face when Drippy and I rolled up to her house in his SUV and were followed to the front door by nine strippers.
After she threw an iron skillet at my head (thankfully she missed, but she did put a dent in Drippy's vehicle), even he thought I'd gone around the bend.
"Tim, I'm a pimp," Drippy reminded me. "And even I wouldn't pull any shit this crazy. But I gotsta give it to ya, my man; based on the events of the past two nights, you're om your way to becoming a hood legend!"
I needed to ease my mind (at least that's how I rationalized things) and I got eight lap dances on the house and a b.j. for good measure. Just for the record, the women who did her business with me took the "job" part serious and came to my apartment dressed in nothing but work boots and a lighted miner's helmet, which fulfilled one of my long-time fantasies. I figured what Susan didn't know couldn't hurt her.
The next evening Susan called me sounding all seductive and told me to come over; that she had a surprise for me.
"What about the next item on your gift list?" I asked.
"Don't trip, just come over."
When I arrived at her place it was with some pep in my step. I just knew she was going to apologize for being so selfish and would tell me that her demands for those things on that list were ridiculous.
Boy was I in for a surprise.
When I stepped into the living room I found her lying on a chaise-lounge in a sheer gown. She was surrounded by four handsome, heavily muscled, half-naked men. Two were fanning her with palm leaves, two more were feeding her grapes and olives, and the other "lords" were a-leaping and rolling their eyes at me as if they were daring me to go for bad.
"These are my cousins." Her words dripped with sarcasm.
I replied calmly, "Nice to meet y'all. I gotta split." Her laughter rang in my ears as I walked out.
Now you can call me a sucka for love-whatever; but I am, if nothing else, a man of my word. I made up my mind to fulfill the last two orders and then I would dump her. I would find someone new to spend the holiday with (possibly one of the nine dancers dancing, or if really desperate-one of the eight maids a lactating).
"The eleven pipers piping will be not so much a gift as an act of revenge," I vowed.
I scoured the streets for a few off-key carolers, found nothing and then around three a.m. inspiration struck. The next day I went to the local junior high school and offered eleven beginning band students $100 each to show up at Susan's apartment.
"Bring your flutes, piccolos and fifes and stand outside her window and jam," I told them.
This not only drew her ire, but her neighbors complained to the landlord and the next day he stopped by her house and threatened her with eviction if another such incident was to occur. She blew up my cell phone and I never answered.
Around three a.m. she left the following message: "You think you're funny getting me in trouble with my landlord and the neighbors, but you won't be laughing when I send three or four of my cousins over to your house to kick your ass. So you can lose my number and keep the twelve drummers drumming. In fact you can jam their drumsticks and shove them up your…"Need I say more?
I grinned devilishly, and mumbled to myself, "You're not getting off that easy, missy."
I'm not going to lie. I did not seek out twelve drummers drumming. I'm far more diabolical than that. It took two days, but I went to the credit union and took out a loan. Afterward I dropped in on a local theater group that was rehearsing for their performance of the street "musical" (if you want to call it that) Stomp. I went to the show's director and told him I could provide an audience all too willing to give him immediate feedback; kind of like a pre-show public run-through. I even offered to pay the actors a hundred dollars apiece.
They jumped on it, and at ten p.m. that evening they arrived at the parking lot of the apartment building where Susan lived. Subsequently, Susan was cited by the police department for violation of the city's noise ordinance. In a fit of anger she put her right hand through the window of her front door and needed 200 stitches to close the wound. While at the hospital, one of the nurses took notice of the funky rash on the fingers of her left hand, and after removing the "gold" rings she'd been wearing, they discovered that her entire hand was infected. They told her she had to be admitted to the hospital, where she remained for three days, and was deluged with antibiotics and pain-killers.
The following day as I left work and walked to my car, I was met by three of Susan's cousins, two of whom were fresh out of the pen. I was in the hospital for three days, but Susan's woes were just beginning.
She returned home to find an eviction notice taped to her front door. Seems the landlord had been contacted by the police department and warned that she was not only a nuisance, but the health department had also received complaints of an "unbearable styench" coming from her apartment.
Turns out the geese had not only hatched their eggs, but they had shitted up a storm and she would have to pay for the damage to the carpet and kitchen tile. The smell of the fowl had permeated the walls of the neighboring apartments and a couple of the ladies there threatened to kick her ass because they believed the smell contributed to the ill-health of their children.
Now ask yourself, how many times have you been warned to "Be careful what you wish for?" That was the first question raised in my letter to Susan. Oddly enough, we got back together and we're getting married next week. More important, we have decided not to celebrate Christmas-ever.