As Firms Stay Closed, Many Pine for Lost Office Crushes

WALTHAM, Mass.  Ask Stephanie di Corso what she liked about her job as a receptionist at Pilgrim Property Development before it was closed under a state-wide order as a non-essential business, and you won’t have to listen for long.  “I can sum up the positive aspects of my job with one word–nothin’,” she says as lies back on her couch for an afternoon of soap operas and snacks after a morning spent on house chores.  “Well, maybe one thing,” she says, correcting herself wistfully.  “That kid Tommy in the Office Services Department.”

di Corso is referring to Thomas Zilbecki, a twenty-something photocopy machine operator who was responsible for churning out oversize site plans for the firm’s executives, and who bears a striking resemblance to 50’s teen heart-throb Sal Mineo.  “It’s like one of my ‘bodice-rippers,'” she says as she holds up the paperback she’s put aside for the moment, using the derogatory trade term for a shallow romance novel set in a distant time and place.  “I dream that even though he occupies a lowly position beneath me, someday he’ll take me in his arms and confess that he’s actually a partner in the firm making the big bucks, traveling among commoners in disguise in order to get honest feedback or somethin’.”


Sal Mineo

 

di Corso and others like her are finding that there’s a drawback to working from home in your pajamas all day; the inability to fantasize about people she worked with before the coronavirus scattered employees hither and yon, but mostly yon.  “We may be entering a great Romantic revival caused by lack of local intra-office erotic stimulation,” says Professor Micah Caisson, who teaches Medieval French at Lycee International de Seekonk, Mass.  “The inability to consummate one’s desire for another inspired the great poems of chivalry, and the inability to even fantasize about someone whose desk was directly opposite yours at work may have a similar, if second-hand, effect on the art of the 2020’s.”


“Has anybody seen my eraser?  I can’t find it anywhere–thanks!”

 

At least one office Romeo has already tried his hand at a ballad to his lost office crush; Ed Gardner used to grouse about office-wide email messages he got from fellow employees looking for tips on everything from dog-walkers to plumbers, but now that she’s not around to leer at, he says he misses Paula Furbisher, a newly-hired file clerk who thought her most trivial personal needs were matters of concern to all 130 employees at Sanders, Jakob CPAs.  “Test, one, two,” he says as he adjusts the microphone in his basement recording studio, before launching into “Reply-to-All Paula”:

Some of the guys called you a dingbat,
but believe me, babe, they don’t know where’s it at.
You were something special, something really nice,
but if I may, just one piece of advice:
Wherever you may end up, at the old firm or someplace new,
I’ll always and forever remember fantasizing about you,
though over my workdays you’d sometimes cast a pall–
by obliviously hitting “send” after clicking “Reply to all.”

As Fines Mount, Library Scofflaws Turn to Congress for Relief

WELLESLEY FALLS, Mass.  It’s 6:30 a.m., a time when the local library here wouldn’t be open even if there weren’t a state-wide order in effect to remain closed due to the coronavirus, but Ted Sheetz is nonetheless lurking outside, peering in the windows.

“It’s not fair and it’s not right,” he says, as he purses his lips in disgust.  “I’m going into debt like my wife at Christmas, and they won’t let me cut my losses.”

Sheetz is referring to the statewide policy adopted by the Massachusetts Association of Library Trustees that fines will continue to accrue during the current crisis even though libraries are closed, with the result that the three books he is trying to return–all stirring nautical novels peppered with salty slang of 19th century sea-going men–are each costing him twenty cents a day even though he’s already finished reading them.

“Look at this,” he says, jiggling the handle on the book return, which bears a taped-on sign reading “CLOSED DUE TO VIRUS DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DEPOSIT MATERIALS.”  “This is the result of ceding our constitutional rights to ‘Big Library’ over the years.”


Library, or post office–you make the call!

 

A self-described town government “gadfly,” Sheetz isn’t sitting on his avid book-reading duff, however.  Last night he sent out an email blast to his book group, urging members to forward it to fellow aficionados of the “Admiral Horace Grumpole” series by author John “Jack” Smellot in the hope that they would join him in a March on Washington, a time-honored means of expressing dissent in American politics without accomplishing much of anything.

“Congress just passed a 1,400 page stimulus bill bailing out everybody from the airlines to public television,” Sheetz’s screed reads.  “But nothing for the loyal users of America’s libraries, whose backs are being broken by the weight of ongoing overdue book fines.”


Master of Library Science students practice shushing.

 

The stimulus bill passed last week, whose formal title is the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security and As Long as You’re Up Bring Me a Beer Act,” is the second such law adopted in the last two decades, neither of which provided relief to library patrons caught unawares with books approaching their return date.  “They say this time it’s different because you can renew on-line,” says Ted Folsom, a friend of Sheetz’s who a week ago checked out “Weekend at Bernie’s,” a jigsaw puzzle and a biography of Ted Simmons, the former St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  “It’s not the books that kill you, it’s the DVDs and games at $2 a day, and our Wi-Fi is always on the fritz.”

For their part, the library trustees’ trade group says that everyone must bear their fair share of the current burden, and that fines are closely-calibrated to the cost of staffing facilities with trained professionals holding Master of Library Science degrees.  “There was a time when librarians were a dime a dozen,” notes Asa Putnam, whose family tree includes library trustees going back to the 1700s.  “Now, you’re lucky to get a dozen librarians for a quarter.”

As Crisis Drags On, Misanthropists and Agoraphobes React Differently

EAST NATICK, Mass.  Mike Regan is working from home these days in this fictional suburb west of Boston, and generally doing a good job observing “social distancing” guidelines that discourage close contact with others.  “That part I have no problem with,” he says as he makes his daily walk down to the local coffee shop for a no-foam latte.  “It’s the damn phony cheerfulness that frosts my ass.”


“It’s so pleasant here.  Why do people have to spoil it by saying ‘Hi’?”

 

And indeed as this reporter accompanies him on his one trip outside the house today, friends, neighbors, passing acquaintances and total strangers greet Regan with cheerful waves and hellos, an encouraging sign that the nation is, against the odds, coming together in this time of crisis and that we’re all in this together.

“Morning!” a grey-haired woman calls out from across the two-line state highway that runs through town.

“Grmumph,” Regan grunts, barely nodding, leaving the woman shaking her head as she turns to glare at the software engineer who will work from home until the shelter in place guidelines are lifted.  Despite the surgical mask she wears, this reporter detects a scowl spreading across her face from her uplifted eyebrow and gimlet gaze.

Regan is a stage 4 misanthropist, and out-and-proud about it.  “I like to think I’ve elevated a rather elementary rule–dislike of certain individuals–to a universal principle that I apply regardless of race, creed, color, religion, hat size or the make and model of the car you drive.”

A misanthrope is a person who dislikes humans even though he shares many characteristics with that species.  “Misanthropes get a bad rap,” says epidemiologist Martin Byrum, a part-time misanthrope who saves his bile for weekends.  “We wouldn’t need all these stupid government rules if people would just let their suppressed animosity bubble to the surface, like some kind of hazardous waste or petroleum product.”

That seems unlikely for the time being, as many are showing the better side of human nature by making grocery store trips for the sick and shut-in, and in some cases even suspending political disagreements with people they detested as recently as two weeks ago.  “If my MAGA-hat wearing neighbor Chuck next door died I’d actually be sad,” says the town’s Green Party Chairman, who has run unsuccessfully for municipal offices ranging from Animal Control Officer to Measurer of Wood and Bark.  “I’d miss the convenience of venting my spleen right next door if I had to travel two towns over just to hate somebody.”


“Get the door, would you?  I’m busy.”

 

By contrast, people such as Millie Tarnwall are surviving the COVID-19 crisis just fine, thank you.  The 63-year-old woman is an agoraphobe, a term used to describe people who become anxious in open spaces, public transit or other environments where they are uncertain of their surroundings.  “There’s a misconception that agoraphobes raise angora cats,” says the owner of three cats, none of them Turkish Angoras.  “People used to think I was weird because I never left my house, now all of a sudden I’m a trendsetter.”

 

Russian Women Want to Date Me!

In the long, dark night of the soul,
when I’m feeling all alone–
there is comfort close at hand;
all I need do is pick up my phone.

Turn the thing on at the end of a week
that has made me feel that all hate me,
and there I find–much to my surprise—
that Russian women want to date me!

There’s Marina and Ekaterina,
ready to cross the Volga,
there’s Evdokia—no jokia–
and a pert young thing named Olga.

 

Of course, they’ve never met me,
so I’m not sure how they would know,
that if I were to say “Come hither,”
with me they would willingly go.

But I’ll take it on faith (Russian Orthodox)
that they’d be happy with me,
far away from long lines for staples.
in the land where food samples are free.

The cool thing that gets me in the groove
as I look at these Siberian beauties
is the website promises “Girl Make 1st Move!”
so I’d be relieved of my courtly duties.

I wouldn’t have to schlep around
buying flowers and making reservations,
I’d just sit on the couch like a torpid slouch
while they loved me without hesitation.

But alas, one thing stands between us,
that makes going out kinda hard;
I have a strict rule that bars relations
with chicks who need major credit card.

Ask Consuela, Your Coronavirus Love Advisor

Dear Ones–

The dreaded “coronavirus” has put the crimp in dating, mating and plain old canoodling around, leaving Consuela concerned for the future of advice to the lovelorn columns such as hers.  “Love in the Time of Cholera” is a very famous novel that you don’t have time to read, so Consuela is here to answer your thwarted romance questions, usually in less time than it takes to scan the warning label on a bottle of Tylenol.

 

Dear Consuela–

I have shared an apartment for the past three years with a woman I will call “Gail,” which sounds really old-fashioned, like from the 50s or something, but that’s what her parents named her.

We became such good friends that at one point we made a “pinky promise” that neither of us would ever try to steal the other’s boyfriend, which I have faithfully adhered to except for French kissing this guy Ian she’s been seeing since 2017 every year at Christmas under the mistletoe we hang in the living room.  Also New Year’s, of course, and maybe a couple of other holidays like Arbor Day, which in my mind is shamefully neglected.

“Gail’s” company had an off-site at a hotel on Route 128–“America’s Technology Highway”–and now they are all quarantined there because some doofus sales rep who’d just flown in from Spain swung by to pitch fish tank cleaner as a miracle cure for the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is known in “biotech” circles.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, right after I got the call from Gail who should show up at our doorstep but Ian, he hadn’t heard yet because he turns off his phone when he’s driving, he’s very conscientious like that.  Anyway, here we are, and Gail’s stuck at her hotel, and I’m wondering whether a romantic non-aggression pact applies during a time of national emergency, or if it’s suspended like the Bruins and Celtics seasons.

Alison Oates, Arlington, Mass.


“Everybody touch the Magic Laptop so you won’t get coronavirus!”

 

Dear Alison–

I admire your loyalty, but in times like the present it is important that we limit social contacts, “shelter in place” and make do with what we have on hand in the way of toilet paper, protein and eligible males.  According to the World Health Organization, you should limit sexual intercourse with an absent roommate’s boyfriend to no more than one (1) episode per day, which are not like episodes of a Netflix series.  (I am assuming you have a two-bedroom and only one roommate.)  Stay safe out there and have fun!


Where Cheryl works.

 

Hey Consuela–

Long time reader, first time writer.  I have been dating this woman Cheryl who works at the bait shop over on South Highway 50, and believe-you-me it has been an uphill climb.  She is Baptist, and like they say, Baptists don’t believe in sex because it might lead to dancing.

I have been trying to “get next” to Cheryl for our entire courtship ever since I met her at the American Legion Thanksgiving Wednesday Turkey Shoot, but she has been way ahead of the curve on this “social distancing” thing, never letting me get within 18 inches of her.  I thought I had made a breakthrough the first nice day of March, she agreed to let me sit next to her on her porch swing, then this damn Coronavirus hits and now she says “All bets are off, just park your car at the curb and yell out the passenger-side window.”

Consuela, I’m having a hard time hanging in there, a man can only take so much.  Any idea how long this virus is going to last, based on past plagues?

Eldon Donovan, Sweet Springs MO

Dear Eldon–

I checked the World Wide Web, still your best source of information despite what librarians tell you when they go before Town Council for their annual budget request.  According to plagues.com, “the Black Death ran its course about six years and lasted until about 1351!”  That is their exclamation point, not mine, they get really excited about devastating pandemics.

I would suggest that you “drop a hint” to Cheryl by stealing lines from Andrew Marvel’s poem “To His Coy Mistress,” which men have been using for 340 years to talk women into having sex when they don’t want to.  You should probably skip the part where he says he could stare at each of his girlfriend’s breasts for 200 years, she might take that the wrong way.

Dear Consuela–

I have met a man named “Ed” in O’Hare International Airport, I was having a Corona beer while I waited for my flight to Nashville, he made a joke about it, you know “Make sure you eat that lime, otherwise you’ll get the ‘Corona Virus.'”  “Ha, ha,” I said, and he sat down next to me, it turns out we’re on the same plane.

Well, they just announced that our flight is canceled, they are going to give people hotel vouchers, maybe we’ll get out tomorrow, they say.  When he heard that “Ed’s” eyes lit up like he had a bright idea and he says “Why don’t we room together, I know a guy at Trip-o-Pedia, they buy unused travel vouchers and we can split the extra $169.”

I said “You must think I just fell off a turnip truck, why would I share a bed with somebody not knowing whether they had the coronavirus?”  He apologized and said “I didn’t mean to insult your intelligence, I thought everybody knew that if you switch from beer to vodka you are immune.”

Consuela, I consider myself very well-informed as I watch both Good Morning America and the Today show, and I do not recall any discussion of this supposed “miracle cure” that Ed is talking about.  Is there some government web site I can go to in order to verify what he is saying?

Texting is best, the bartender just asked if we wanted another round.

 

Cyndy Timmons, 629-635-0237

 

Dear Cynthia–

As it turns out, Ed is right.  I checked the U.S. Surgeon General’s “Fun Facts About Coronavirus!” and there is absolutely no connection between the beer you were drinking and this deadly disease.  In the “drop-down” menu for “What You Can Do to Protect Yourself” it says “use alcohol wipes to effectively kill the novel Coronavirus Covid-19,” and as every high school freshman girl knows, vodka is a colorless and odorless alcoholic beverage that you can drink without detection by your mother as long as you don’t throw up on the bus home from the game at Tri-Valley Consolidated Regional High School.

I would avoid flavored brands, as you never know whether some with migrant farm worker with a communicable disease has handled the fruit that goes into those varieties.  Stick to the trusted original that has touched off many a night of mad, passionate concern for public health and safety.

Understanding Poetry, the Hard Way

There are two types of people–those who “get” poetry, and those who don’t.  My immediate family and all of my close friends are proud to be included in the latter group.

I’m a member of the former group, but not by choice.  My relationship to poetry resembles that of Patty Hearst, the newspaper heiress, to her abductors.

You may recall that Hearst was kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a band of leftist revolutionaries, at a time when she led a life typical of newspaper heiresses; quiet nights at home being bored by her philosophy major fiance, clipping interest coupons off of gilt-edged corporate bonds.


Hearst as “Tania”:  “Scan your f**king sonnets, you pigs!”

 

Within a few months after she’d been spirited away from her apartment in the dark of night Hearst had abandoned her “chosen career of art history” (her mother’s words, in an open letter to her daughter).  She adopted a new, more daring look, and a nom de guerre–”Tania,” which she borrowed from Che Guevara’s lover.  Thus transformed, she could often be found in suburban banks screaming “GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR MUTHERF**KING CAPITALIST PIGS!” to customers in an effort to jump the line and make a non-negotiable withdrawal request.

In high school, my junior English teacher forced me to memorize 200 lines of poetry–over spring break–for some minor violation of classroom decorum that isn’t even a misdemeanor in most states.   This made for some curious interactions between my sister and me.

hard
Sir Walter Scott:  “I think I’ll write a poem that will ruin some kid’s vacation 167 years from now.”

 

SISTER:  Do you want to go on the Tilt-a-Whirl?

BROTHER:  “Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said . . .”

SISTER:  Okay–how about the Mad Mouse?

hard2
Mad Mouse:  Keep hands in car, DO NOT recite poetry until ride ends.

 

At first, I resisted the torture of my 200-line forced march through Sir Walter Scott, Browning and Wordsworth, but after awhile–like Hearst–I grew to accept my fate, and even to embrace it.   As a result, I “get” poetry in the sense that a prisoner of war “gets” torture, psychological abuse and a limited choice of menu items.  What follows are the basics of poetry, from one who learned them the hard way.

Just as people may be divided into two kinds, there are three types of poetry.  Regular, unleaded and diesel.  No wait, that’s gasoline.  Poetry is like gasoline–that’s a simile, a common poetic device–in that there are three basic kinds.  Regular, blank and vers libre, or free verse, not to be confused with “Free Bird,” a Lynyrd Skynyrd song with an a-b-a-b-c-d-e-d-d rhyme scheme.

hard3
Lynyrd Skynyrd:  Poets of the common, drunken concertgoer.

 

Regular poetry is the kind you are probably most familiar with, as exemplified by the following familiar verse:

Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
and so are you!

Note that the words at the end of the lines rhyme, and the lines have the same number of syllables.  So far so good.

hard1
Brooding 19th century poetess.

 

The second type of poetry is “blank” verse.  How is that possible? you ask.  If one is to have poetry, surely there must be something on the page.  How right you are–but silly.  “Blank” verse refers to poems that don’t rhyme, but still have the bump-de-dump-de-dump rhythm of regular poetry, as follows:

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I like licorice,
and you can’t skate!

Note the use of colors–red and blue–and particularized images, licorice and skates.  Makes your mouth water, or hurt, depending on whether you think of the licorice or falling on your face in the middle of your long program at the Winter Olympics.

Finally, there is “free” verse, which has neither rhyme nor rhythm, as follows:

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
O Captain, My captain–
tuna noodle surprise!

Once you understand these basic principles, you will be ready to participate in mail-in poetry contests upon payment of the exorbitant entry fee and submission of three copies of your poem, double-spaced, on one side of the page only.

But you still won’t be able to skate.

 

Available in print and Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “poetry is kind of important.”

At the Swamp Thing/Kung Fu-Pimping Oscars

I get so excited on Oscar night.  It’s the one night of the year on which an undiluted fascination with glamour, glitz and glossolalia is tolerated in this Puritan country of ours.


Glossalalia: “Who are you possessed by tonight, dear?

What’s that–one of those things is not like the others?  What are you–Sesame Street?

Oh, you thought I meant the Oscar Oscars.  No, no, no, darling.  I meant the Swamp Thing/Kung Fu-Pimping Oscars, the more exclusive motion picture awards show, held each year as a challenge to the prevailing orthodoxy in the movie business–all those shoot-em-ups and chick flicks.  “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as Pauline Kael called it, quoting an Italian movie poster.


The Citizen Kane of Swamp Thing cinema.

No, I’m talking about the two neglected film genres that “the Academy”–I get reflux of bile whenever I say the words–refuses to acknowledge as part of the great tradition of American cinema; swamp thing (or more properly, “thang”) movies and Kung Fu-pimping movies.

I know, you’re probably shaking your head right now, saying “I don’t know what he’s talking about!”  Funny, I have that effect on people–but it’s true.  There are no more characteristically American movies than those that depict ghastly creatures emerging from Ozark swamps and Kung Fu-fighting pimps.  Even as we speak some young French critic trying to make a name for himself is penning an article for Les Cahiers du Cinema finding in  Kung-Fu-pimping flicks virtues that benighted American film critics have overlooked.  As Maurice Chevalier said of Gigi, they’ve either been standing up too close or back to far when it comes to these rich and fertile sub-genres.

Pardon my self-promotion, but I’m up for an award myself tonight; Best Supporting Actor in a Non-Dramatic Role in an Adaptation of a Swamp Thing Musical, in my case “Here Comes the Critter!”  Variety called it “a light-hearted romp through a generation of swamp thing movie cliches that is redeemed only by lugubrious lighting and drop-dead gorgeous rubber swamp-thing costumes.”

To which I reply–“You say ‘cliche’ like it’s a bad thing!”

The loyal fans who make up the audiences for swamp thing movies across this great nation of ours live for the cliches.  They know that the swamp thing is going to get the girl, even if he first meets her by thrusting his paw in the window of a double-wide mobile home.  And when he’s wounded by animal control officers who call in reinforcements from the Sheriff’s Department, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and slinks back into the swamp he will–like General Douglas MacArthur–return.  You see, swamp things never die, they just fade away to lick their wounds–and return for vengeance!


Rudy Ray Moore

 

Then there’s the “diversity” side of the outlaw cinema coin–Kung Fu pimping movies.  These films depict a world that Academy voters are wholly ignorant of; all they know is movies of uplift, the cinema of Driving Miss Daisy.  If you ask them who Rudy Ray Moore was, they ask “Was he the guy who valeted my Bentley?”  That’s no way to talk about the guy who was the Orson Welles of Kung Fu Pimping Cinema, according to no less a source than The New York Times, and now is the subject of an Eddie Murphy biopic!


America needs an all-girl army of Kung-Fu Killers!

 

But first–we will honor Moore and his counterpart in the Swamp Thing genre, Charles B. Pierce.  Was he the D.W. Griffith of le cinema du swamp thing?  It is not to soon to declare him so.


Charles B. Pierce, father of Swamp Thing Cinema.

 

And so the stars have come out tonight here in Hoxie, Arkansas, the Hollywood of these orphan genres.  As always the program is way behind schedule as every swamp thing director, editor and key grip has to thank his mom, his dad who took him frog-gigging at an early age and introduced him to the lore of the swamp, his high school biology teacher who taught him how to dissect a frog, etc. etc.  Let me say right now that if I win tonight I’ll be up there and off stage in under 10 minutes–tops!

A hush falls over the crowd as the Academy’s Director, Clell Durnell, a man who claims to have captured a swamp thing in his youth only to have it escape before he could exploit it for exhibition at goat-ropings and county fairs, takes the stage.  He is going to present posthumous Lifetime Achievement Awards to Pierce and Moore, and a lot of us have a nagging sense of guilt that they were not honored while alive for lifetime achieving.


Frog gigging is great training for budding Swamp Thing Film Industry pros!

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” he says as the images of Pierce and Moore are projected on high school venereal disease instruction film screens behind him–we can’t afford the high-tech production equipment of the “other” Academy–“tonight we honor two giants of the industry, without whose efforts and vision, none of us would be here.”


The Kung Fu Pimping stars come out in Hoxie!

 

“Before Rudy Ray Moore, there was no Kung Fu Pimping cinema.  Before Charles B. Pierce, if you asked an usher which theatre at the Framingham 14 Megaplex ‘Swamp Thing’s Revenge’ was showing in you would get nothing but a blank stare.”  He pauses for a moment: “Of course, with the low wages theatre owners on the Swamp Thing/Kung Fu Pimping circuit pay, blank stares are fairly common.”

The audience cracks up, just as they no doubt are at the Oscars, but remember–our emcee isn’t Ellen Degeneres, he’s an amateur doing the best he can with material he writes himself.

There follows a retrospective of the two men’s careers, how Moore got started with a Bell & Howell camera, how Pierce financed his first flick–“Swamp Thing I!”–using nothing but his Fingerhut private label credit card.  He thought about selling his wife into white slavery, but the couple decided against it “purely for health reaons,” Pierce told The American Scholar in 2003.  Moore had no such compunctions; he was, after all, trying to jumpstart the Kung Fu-Pimping film business.

Some of the younger directors in the back begin to yawn and talk among themselves; all they know is what they learned in film school at UCLA or NYU.  They have no appreciation for the difficulties Moore and Pierce faced just starting out.  They didn’t have access to expensive student loans that would keep them buried in debt, slaving away as night shift editors in the bowels of some big studio until they were nearing retirement age.

I turn around to shush the gabby young Turks behind me, and they quiet down for a second as the emcee continues.  “Swamp Thing represents everything that’s great about America,” he is saying.  “An entrepreneurial spirit, a love of small house pets–as a source of food–and a willingness to epater le bourgeois that is so sadly lacking in films produced by the big studios.”

The audience allows themselves a collective pat on the back; we know we’re mad and bad.  We don’t give a flying frog’s butt about PG ratings or Golden Globe nominations.  We’re–out there and we don’t care!

Pierce’s widow makes her way to the stage to accept her late husband’s award, as do a crowd of women who were legal or common law wives or girlfriends of Moore, or just nodding acquaintances.  Unfortunately, there’s only room in the budget for one (1) award per awardee, and so a fight breaks out among Moore’s distaff followers.

“He didn’t love you like he loved me!” a woman named Charmayne screeches as she grabs at the little golden pimp statuette.


The extended Moore family gathers for Christmas.

 

“He didn’t love you, baby, he just screwed you,” another cracks as she pops her gum.  “And it sounds like you was named after toilet paper.”

“Ladies, please, let’s settle this in a civilized fashion,” the emcee says.

“Like how?” a scantily-clad woman asks.

“Like the government does,” the emcee replies.

“How’s that?”

“There’s enough of you to hold a state-wide lottery.”