Friday, October 24, 2008


I never go with my gut feeling. Never. Not like George Bush.He goes with his gut come hell or high water. I don't. I never go with my gut.

I should. Really.

I should.

So, I'm all excited that my hugely ginormous red conservative friend Thor wants to go early voting.

Stop. My gut told me to wait and vote on election day. My guts said "free meal".

The guts won out over my gut. I lost.

Yet again.

My gut said "you hit that joint three times, that's plenty." I never go with my gut. So, Thor and I hit the joint (Thor stopped at three). Who knew white boy had such bombass weed?

Who knew?

Being the good citizen that I am I had brought along the Las Vegas Sun voter guide. All neatly folded and I was ready to go.

So excited. Really.

I voted on all the marquee names and then got to judges.


I made it through several screens when I started to feel a bit woozy. I started punching buttons so that I could be done.I probably voted for the local libertarian homo hating Nazi KKK Grand Dragon. THEN a page came up with, I swear, three or four thousand judges!

I swear. Really.

The room turned into some scene out of a Peter Sellers movie with Britt Ekland as the spy. I get to the end of the screens, I think and rush towards the exit. "Go Ask Alice" was on my cranial soundtrack and all the old white people were staring at me and it became all Cirque Du Soliel clowns in jogging suits. Those shows creep the fuck out of me. Next thing I know I'm hitting the floor with my knee and then all 6' 1", 210lbs of my adorableness wrapped in fat hits the floor with a thud!

If a fag drops in The Meadows Mall does anyone hear it?

Old white people do.

So, and this is where it gets all Dorothy Does Vegas, I feel my big ass hitting the floor. I wake up all groggy, sweaty and shit.

And then, and I swear every bit of the following is true. Really.

I wake up to a sea of feet and legs. I'm schlumped over like a fucked up Buddha. I feel a hand pressed firmly on my stomach and mid back. A gentle female voice whispers in my ear, "you're ok, breathe deep from your stomach where I'm pressing."

Now, Derek does not like to be touched.

Well, not unless you're about 5' 4" (Beer height. If I can drink my beer bust beer while I've got my arm around your shoulders, you're perfect.) and Latino. Or Black. Or Asian. Or White. Ok, breathing.


Well, the healer was touching me and she says, "you haven't eaten have you?" I answer weakly (think Camille)and she says (I kid you not) "I'm a healer, you didn't eat and you smoked too much."


"Strumming my fate with his fingers, reading my letters out loud, killing me softly with his song............"

Oh. Kay.

"I can smell it on your breath. As long as I stay here with you everything will be all right and no one else will be able to get close enough to know. Breathe deep from your stomach."

I was just happy she didn't say that my breath smelled of unwashed Camel penis in August just outside of Basra. I swear.


"OH MY GAWD HE NEEDS SUGAR!" Some refugee from a PBS cartoon version of Eloise at the Plaza squalls. "HERE! EAT THIS!" A scrumptious huge half of a fresh pretzel was thrust into my mouth nearly choking me to death.

But oh, so tasty. Delicate and fluffy. Soft, yet somehow, just firm enough. I could smell it's fresh baked goodness as it shut off my air passage. Mmm. So, I finish choking and begin absorbing the scene around me.

I see white people.

Old white people.

With cell phones.

Every old white person within 100 feet was surrounding me in a cellphonian Stonehenge like circle. And they were all calling 911!

"Hello, yeah, a guy passed out. Yeah, early voting. Barack, I guess. Yeah, he's alive. Oh you got the call allready? Ok. Bye."

This went around and around me until I was spinning like Penny Pingleton in Hairspray (The good one. WTF were thinking when they cast John Travolta in the "remake"? What, Lainie Kazan was busy?).

The Healer held me and whispered, "you're all right, breathe deeply from your stomach. I'm here. I know what you're going through." It was like that landlady from Tales Of The City was channeling through The Healer. I giggled at the thought of having collapsed at The Meadows Mall. Not Fashion Show. Not The Forum shops where I could have at least passed out in front of Gucci.

No. The Meadows.


How bourgeois. Terribly.

As if I hadn't gone through enough, The healer disappeared just as the crowd parted and a woman with a fist full of cash leaned in way too close to me and asked in a West Chicago nicotine soaked growl, "what do you need honey? Do you need anything? Something sweet?" "I GAVE HIM A BAGEL!" shouted that lady from the Eloise book. I finally got a clear look at her. She was that Marx Brother who always plays the EYE-talian. Literally. She was CHICO MARX! With lipstick. She was wearing the thickest grey wool Boucle coat. Rather chic and completely wrong for The Meadows Mall in Las Vegas on an 80 degree day. On her head was perched the exact hat that CHICO MARX always wears. Sort of a pointy stiff wool beanie. It was trimmed in a blue that wasn't quite a Periwinkle and not a Robin's Egg's but a Blue. Fur. Cheap fur. Woven into the fur was , I kid you not, TINSEL!

I'm such a fag. I wouldn't be able to tell you what a robber looked like but I can tell you who his shoes were by, his taste in movies, whether or not his sweater was Dacron or a cotton poly blend, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what he looked like.

Unless he was a beer height Latino. Hola papi.

"Drink this, I made it this morning, it's Mango and Papaya." The Healer was back!

Quelle fromage! That's Francaise for "thank fucking Gawd!"

I sipped her delicious nectar. " Thank you. I SO love you right now!", I told her. She cradled my Sharpei like forehead and whispered into my ear, "I know exactly what you're going through. Don't let the Clairol fool you, I'm an old hippie from Connecticut."


"Sir, do you want us to take you to the hospital?" The paramedic looked warily into my what must have been beady Jeff Spicoli eyes. I assured him I was okay. "Where's my friend?" I couldn't spot Thor anywhere. My big red Yeti was nowhere. Nowhere. "What friend?" ,said Officer DARE.

Now, I'm from West Covina, California, Edgewood High School class of '81 to be exact. EHS alumni don't rat out their friends. If I was going to Sing Sing or Bellevue, I was going alone.

"I want to live!" (Ten points if you got that one.)

I figured that Thor saw the fuzz and went all Road Runner on my ass.

Beep! Beep!

Somehow, I pulled myself together and pressed the wrinkles out of my crinoline and headed towards the early voting exit. Somehow. I thanked everyone.


Just as I was about to be done with this whole "A Very Special Blossom" bad scene a horror of a woman screeched, "STOP!"

Oh. Fuck.

A little snow white 300 year old white puff of a woman held up her hand and I knew I was on my way to county.

On a Friday!

"You didn't finish voting!"

Huh. Oh. Oooohhhhh. OH!

(Silent YIPPEE!)

I looked at her. I took a deep breath and headed in triumph back to my booth with all eyes on me as the theme from Rocky swelled across the Sears court. Confetti dropped down from the balconies as seas of Emo kids cried, mascara running down the little boys eyes. A giant Old Glory unfolded and dropped from the ceiling as a gospel choir filed out of Forever 21 singing The Negro National Anthem. "Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring....".

I was going to do the only thing an American in this situation could do.


I left my booth as white people formed a human chain to shake my hand and revel in the glory that was Democracy.

I looked for The Healer.

The Healer wasn't there. Nowhere.

My phone rang. Thor. "Where are you!? You disappeared. I'm in the truck. I'll pick you up in the front."

Somehow, Thor hadn't seen any of this and headed out to the truck thinking I would show up there.

I got into the truck and began telling him what had happened. He, of course looked at me like a parent listening to a kid explain how all of the cookies were gone from the cookie jar.

"Uh huh, Where'd you get the pretzel?"

I explained about CHICO MARX and The Healer. "And you never saw her again? What did she look like?" Thor was actually staring at me in disbelief that I had nearly died!


I really didn't know what The Healer looked like. I never really saw her.

And then The healer was gone.


I wonder where they got that pretzel from?


Starns said...

Bah ha ha ha ha ha! What were you thinking? White boys always (somehow, nobody is really sure how) score the best weed! Bet it was from the Northwest too. We gots some dank shizznit up here! said...



Craig Curtis said...

Did, per chance, your Healer disappear into a cloud of patchouli oil? If so, it was my Aunt Carolyn, who introduced me to what the Haight was when I was a kid!


Anonymous said...


vtknitboy said...

omg! i'm frickin' screamin'! dude, you gotta publish this! way too FN funny. you're too much. not overly dramatic at all--for a fag! love ya!

Anonymous said...

I want to live. Craig Curtis, would you care to take that one?

Craig Curtis said...

Sure, Derek!

I WANT TO LIVE! Brazenly brassy broad Susan Hayward plays a vixen known for her life on the edge. She boozes, smokes, plays cards and gets framed for a murder she didn't commit. She swears. Much of this film has Hayward behind bars, clanging her tin cup back and forth, screaming at prison matrons "I WANT TO LIVE!" Believe it or not, Hayward got an Oscar for this one, and if you don't at least get a Tony (or the Golden Globe for your trial, Derek), we will have to send for Sasheen Little Feather and tribe.


PS: Anonymous...since that was such a flattering comment, couldn't you leave a screen name? Think Emily Post in the Electronic Age.

Willie said...

Derek I am dying literally dying in my office - cuz I know you so well and know your reactions.