Last week, certain authors who I will not name (Jenna Blum) wrote a column in which certain other unnamed persons (me) were accused of being found in bed with a blow up doll aptly named Plastiqua. As if her wretched observations aren’t enough of a medium rare steak for a mouth watering law suit, she offered photographic evidence.
With the blow-up doll.
Like many Republican presidential candidates who suffer a slight shadow on their otherwise sterling reputations, I would like to clear my name and set the record straight. Like those same Republican presidential candidates, I’m not going to do so because the events are mostly true, even if a few details are off. Also like those esteemed men and women running for office, I’m going to get all huffy and act indignant, as if you have a lot of nerve looking right at the truth.
Finally, I’m going to try to distract you from the real issues (why does a grown man have so many stories about a blow up doll) by focusing on my version of the truth, a story that need be told.
Yes, Senators. I knew her.
Yes, yes, that other part is true, we were naked in bed together, but I can explain. Hear me out, Senators.
(I enjoy picturing my life explained before a Senate sub-committee.)
When I moved into my first Minneapolis apartment on Emerson Avenue, Jenna lived upstairs and clomped around the hardwood floors in her equestrian boots, causing me to wonder if some days she had forgotten to leave the horse at the stables. Clompity, clomp, clomp.
She will deny it and even swears she wasn’t out riding horses, but this is my senate hearing, so let’s just say she also wore one of those funny, black riding hats and a blood red jacket, with bouncy, blond hair curling down her back.
We bonded over our mutual love of deviled eggs and we became friends, then drinking buddies, then better friends. She introduced me to Plastiqua, the blow-up doll in question. Plastiqua never said much given that her mouth was drawn on. She didn’t have any…lady parts, let’s just get that out in the open. No, she was a bachelor party prop and nothing more.
Jenna, her husband, and I initiated friendships with the other apartment building dwellers, mostly as insurance in case any of us went missing, presumably at the hands of the creepy on-site manager who got high in the locked taxidermy room in the basement. We friended the idealistic lawyer across the hall and the sweet, young eco-political couple, confident that either one of them was destined for a seat in your Senate, Sirs and Madams. Occasionally the mysterious music girl down the hall joined us, but she attended a lot of concerts, so we didn’t see her as often.
During group dinners, Plastiqua sat at the table. We dragged her to the couch for movie nights. Often, one of us would dry hump her to make the others laugh, and then Jenna would play the jealous girlfriend and beat Plastiqua fiercely for stealing her man. Unless Jenna was the one dry humping Plastiqua.
Esteemed Senators, Plastiqua had earned her place as a comrade.
One night, the apartment friends in question were supposed to go sledding. It got cold. Crazy cold. Of course, at 15 degrees below zero we weren’t sledding, so I didn’t bother going back to my place to check in; I just hit a downtown bar to warm up and hang out out.
While I chatted up a tall dark-haired stranger, Jenna and the apartment friends didn’t care much for my absence, so they let themselves into my home and drank all my beer. They unscrewed light bulbs, froze my toothbrushes, and moved furniture. For my entertainment, they taped a corn-cob-shaped candle into Plastiqua’s hand, wedged it between her squeaky legs, and laid her on top of my bed.
It was like a mafia calling card but less sinister, more likely suggesting, when you blow us off for sledding, this is what happens.
When I arrived home very, very late with the dark-haired stranger who was destined to be my true love, I ushered my new friend into the dark bedroom, flipped on the lights (the one light fixture they didn’t mess with), and found a very naked Plastiqua masterbating furiously.
After the initial shock, I howled with laughter.
I couldn’t stop.
I laughed and then laughed harder, because when I stopped laughing, I would have to explain – to my future true love – why there was a lady blow up doll in my bed, naked in the aforementioned position.
When it hurt my sides to laugh any further, I wheezed into a stop and managed to squeak out, “That’s not mine.”
Understandably, he looked surprised.
He looked at Plastiqua, then me, then the doll. He said, “I thought you said you lived alone.”
I started chuckling again, laughter rising up, and said, “I do.”
Then I laughed for a long time again.
He and I dated for six month. He eventually got used to Plastiqua at the dinner table, and may have dry humped her once or twice during movie night.
Jenna brought Plastiqua to my 30th surprise birthday party wearing a long T-shirt, the kind sexy coeds wear in a horror movie right before they’re horribly butchered. Smirking, Jenna whipped out a thick black marker and suggested everyone write birthday messages all over Plastiqua’s best (and only) outfit. Later that evening, a friend sidled up to me and whispered, “I have one photo left in the camera. Do you want a picture of your softball team or your dad signing the blow up doll.”
How many times does your father sign your blow up doll?
Probably only three or four times in this lifetime, but how often do you have a camera at the ready?
I’d like to say these were the only mishaps with Plastiqua, Esteemed Senators, but they were not. Pffffft, not even close. If these were Rush Limbaugh scandals, we’d only be current to the early 90′s, so buckle up.
I borrowed Ann’s camera when I visited Italy (keep in mind not everyone had a digital camera in those Amish-like days), so when I replenished the film, I thought it might be nice to stage a few photos for Ann to find. Jenna eagerly agreed and we conspired to take four photos of me “getting caught” in bed with Plastiqua. Wouldn’t Ann blush with confusion when the photo place worker flashed her a knowing smile? And wouldn’t Ann be horrified when she realized what that knowing smile actually meant?
Yes, Senators, it backfired.
After three months of silence and not a word about the Plastiqua photos, I finally blew up. “What about your goddam photos? Haven’t you developed the film in your camera?”
“The camera?” Ann said casually, “No. Were there still some Italy photos on there? I’ll tell my mom. I loaned it to her.”
You know what, Senators? Just forget it.
This setting the record straight isn’t working out very well. I mean, there are more stories, more public humiliations with Plastiqua. It’s really a marvel that I’m not agoraphobic, but honestly, being around my house isn’t any safer from these ongoing indignities.
Case in point.
After Jenna moved away, she returned to the twin cities for a short visit. I intended to bring Plastiqua for Jenna’s and my reunion dinner, but somehow our friend had gotten punctured in a storage box in my basement, so I blew her up and drowned her in the bathtub (Plastiqua not Jenna) to let air bubbles guide me where to apply the Band-aid.
I forgot this mid-morning drowning by the time I met a first date for lunch in a neighborhood restaurant. During this great lunch with my future true love, I offered to loan him a book, a clear cut signal that I liked him and wanted to see him again. He came back to my place as a clear cut sign he liked me and wanted to see me again. Predictably enough, he asked to use the bathroom.
“Sure, sure,” I said.
After the toilet flushed and a curiously long time passed while he washed his hands, he emerged, visibly shaken. “There’s a naked lady floating in your bath tub.”
“Oh, right,” I said.
At some point, you just become inured to your own scandals; they hardly sound terrible to your own ears. See, Republican presidential candidates, I get you. I really do.
Without apology, I said, “Yeah, that’s Plastiqua. She’s family.”