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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

There’s Just No Tellin’, Is There? or I’m Going to Need a Good Tailor

We were a good 30 minutes into the phone conversation before the reason for our deep and abiding friendship reared its mutant head.

We take you now to my second-floor abode. The sun is shining; the birdies on the roof next door are hopping about excitedly, one of them dragging an impressive length of string; the shoutings in the park across the street have a sounds-like-baseball timbre; and the ice cream truck is about to make its third swing around the block, the loudspeaker inexplicably blaring “Love Me Tender”.

I am cradling the phone between my left shoulder and left ear, using this time to sweep the kitchen floor. Raised by a woman who never does fewer than three things at a time, I consider talking on the phone and sweeping to be a bit on the lazy side.

Perhaps I could clean the oven, too?

Eyes shift right, left, then back to the right.

My mother is almost two hours’ north.

We’ll save the oven for another phone call.

“You know what I want?” Mary’s voice is dreamy, with just a touch of whimsy.

“What?”

“A tail.”

I stop sweeping. A smile creeps across my face. I, too, have always wanted a tail.

“Mary, ya freak!” I am beyond giddy. “A tail? Really? Me, too!”

Mary laughs. “I would cut holes in the back of my pants, and everyone would be able to see my tail wag. ‘Oh, look how happy Mary is!’ people would say! And then when I was sad, or scared, you’d be able to see it just by my tail. I could be really sad and my tail would droop but then someone I like would walk into the room and WOOOP! my tail goes back up. I’m happy again!”

I consider and discard the notion of telling her that we pretty much know these things without the tail, that not only is she unafraid of saying what's on her mind but also has the benefit of exactly one pair of expressive eyes that get the point across without a word.

We laugh. Mary’s a “dog person”. Loyal, good-natured, happy on long walks and thoroughly house trained, Mary would make a lovely pet.

“What about you,” she says. “Would you cut holes in your pants?”

“Well, see…” I briefly contemplate going along with the happy, wagging tail bit; but Mary knows when I’m lying.

“Oh, no,” she says, perking up. It occurs to me that she has gone from lying down to sitting up. “What’s going on with your tail?”

I decide to come clean. “Mary, if I had a tail, I’d be the best-paid, hauntingly freaky stripper you’d ever seen.”

Even over the phone, I can hear Mary’s jaw drop, her eyes widen. She coughs. “I’m spitting out Diet Coke,” she says. “I’m sitting up, I’m spitting out my pop and I’m picturing in my head. A stripper!!”

“I’d take the stage dressed as something sweet, right?”

“Oh, ja,” Mary nods. “Everybody loves a sweet stripper…”

“Hush, you,” I say. “So it starts out all cutesy, right? Pink light. Tap shoes. Holding a cupcake. Maybe a gingham apron – I don’t have it all worked out. But it’s just to get the guys comfortable, see? Because then: BAM! Red light hits the stage! The apron disappears – ooh, think of something that would be under the apron, would you? I drop the cupcake and the music switches from whatever strippers dance to when they think they’re being cute to Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain! The horns I have tucked under my hair pop up and WHAM-O! I whip that tail out and the first four rows of gawkers clutch their chests and text their wives how much they love ‘em!”

I pause.

“That’s a great idea,” Mary grins. “You should totally do that.”

We chuckle as we consider our non-existent tails.

“You’re a weirdo.” Mary is smiling.

“No, you,” I say.

34 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Both a tad weird. In the best possible way.

haphazardlife said...

I really want to hang out with you and Mary.

mybabyjohn said...

No...YOU!!!!!

Joshua said...

I'd rather have opposable big toes. But if I can control the tail? I'd take that, too.

Simply Suthern said...

Would that be a mostly ornate tail like a dog or cat or would you have a prehensile tail like a monkey?

Can you imagine the use you would get out of it while on your serving gigs? But then again if stripping is your thing you could be the first to swing from a horizontal bar. Look guys, no hands!!!!

jabblog said...

A tail? Just another thing to wash and brush and look after . . .

Bossy Betty said...

Oh, put me in line for tail too. Totally cool.

Shelly said...

I wouldn't want a tail because it would make me weigh more, but that's a totally cool idea.

Glen said...

I'm pretty sure that a long long time ago in Hamburg I saw that exact act, and yes "she" had a tail!! I had nightmares for about a week.

Pearl said...

I think Mary's tail is of the sweeping, fan variety, while I was hoping for something more along the prehensile line. When I wasn't on the stage I could use it to pick up during those serving jobs. I mean, do you have any idea how many coffee cups I could string along a tail?!

Leenie said...

Okay, I've tried three times to come up with a clever comment and I keep getting torn between freaking out,and pawing at my eyes; and running around in circles barking.

Jhon Baker said...

I would see that - twice!

Mandy_Fish said...

Rule 34

Cotonee said...

I love your idea! If you're gonna be weird, you gotta WORK it :-)

Doubting Thomas said...

Don't 'cha just love how the ice cream trucks play the most random music? I SWEAR the one that frequents my neighborhood plays "Girls Just Want To Have Fun"!

And I'm diggin' the tail... wagging tails are cute, but prehensile ones steal the show!

Mamma has spoken said...

Uhm. sorry, my mind went to what kind of pole dance or lap dance you could do if you had a tail.....

Tom G. said...

Another bonus to having a tail? TWO seats on the bus.

aBroad said...

And to think I have hated my butt for so many years, now I want a tail too ..

Douglas said...

Would human tails be hairy or bare? Would they be hidden or displayed? If displayed would we adorn them? Fashions would revolve around them. But it would be hard to hide our emotions, wouldn't it?

And then there's sexual aspect.... what to do with it while doing it.

Crystal Pistol said...

I believe it's safe to say you are both weirdos. Mary is delightful! I do wish i had her for a pet.

You have the most entertaining conversations on the phone. Generally I try to avoid the phone at all costs. But if YOU were on the other end things might be different.

Have I mentioned you can write? YOU CAN REALLY REALLY WRITE! Jeez, man.

PS I would only want a tail if I were a stripper too. Otherwise it would just be a bother... Wings though... I've always wanted wings...

Audubon Ron said...

A guy would say, Know what I want? Some tail. Whole nuther context I think.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Your tail has pushed this beyond the pale.

Mine's wagging right now. :-D I wuv u.

Eva Gallant said...

Ah, the strange places your mind goes! lol

Sarah said...

I have long desired a beautiful, feline but prehensile tail!

Glad I'm not the only one desiring something like this.

Just don't ever, ever, EVER pull it!

jenny_o said...

The neat-o factor of having a tail has crossed my mind before but you've taken it to another level entirely!

Cloudia said...

mine's waving in a satisfied fashion!




Aloha from Honolulu :)

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On My Soapbox said...

Have you seen "Shallow Hal"? That one's more like a bobbed tail, though. I would much rather have a long, sleek, sensual one, like a panther.

Jinksy said...

As long as the tail is wagging, who cares?

HermanTurnip said...

Things I could imagine being difficult to do if one had a tail:

- Wear a suit of armor
- Compete in the Olympic Luge event
- Ride the Matterhorn at Disneyland

That Janie Girl said...

No, you!!

Pat said...

You really wouldn't want one. I have a birth mark over my coccyx and have spent my life keeping it hidden. I never let my towel slip in the shower room at school and my bikini was constantly being hoisted at the back.
Happily - like me - it's fading with age.

Hutch said...

Ohhh - a prehensile but cat-like tail. Definitely. Many many years ago, children, I read a Star Trek tale (HA!)where the people they visited were cat like and had prehensile tails. Ever since then that has been my second favorite dress up for Halloween.

Pat Tillett said...

I've often said, "If I had a tail, I'd be wagging it right now!"

Daisy said...

Now I'll be spending the night imagining what kind of tail I'd like!