Monday, November 20, 2006

Coworkers: Part 52 - Stubble

   Kristi and Pat decided to throw the "surprise" bridal bash for Mandy. Natural site would have been Pat's Shack, but Pat firmly refused. Murmured something about females, champagne and cake. Then again, the memory of the Blur Party, not to mention the Swimming Pool Incident, were fresh in her mind. Eventually, Trina agreed to stage the bonanza at her house, small place she shared with Dan and John. The home where the air conditioner was just about kaput.
   Several girls signed on to bring snacks, one offered to buy a cake. Others put down champagne, beer, white zinfandel. No names were mentioned, but two would smuggle weed and accessories. Sugar, reefer, alcohol, and a hot room of giddy females. Pat's intuition served her well.
   Trina contacted Mandy's fiancé. Trina made fiancé part of the conspiracy so he could persuade her to venture forth.
   He also provided warning.
   Mandy was more liberal than she used to be, but that fundamentalist upbringing was still pervasive. Vice was contagious. If she suspected booze or pot, more likely than not, she would feel uncomfortable, she might bail.
   Champagne, reefer, wine, all shelved.
   Cake and soda. Lots of sugar. Attendees would be four years old again.
   Then there was entertainment. For generations, females have deplored, despised, and participated in the same games and stunts that would have been familiar to Betsy Ross, Nell Gwynn or Cleopatra. Most were silly, juvenile and mindless. Women were naturally uncomfortable behaving like buffoons. That's why they kept guys. Man pets could launch stupidity without thinking. Prime viewing followed, "Hey, watch this." It's what we did.
   How about bonus entertainment?
   Trina phoned the boyfriend back. Dropped the suggestion.
   He thought the idea hysterical.
   The ladies began hunting for a stripper.


   A few years earlier, there had been a memorable disaster with a stripper and departing employee. That particular coworker never spoke with anyone again, and her husband was incensed.
   Hiring a stripper was like perusing a mail order catalog. There were more choices than the girls anticipated. Once they narrowed down categories of age and R-rated versus XXX, they began arguing over profiles. Fireman. Cowboy. Law Enforcement. Surgeon. The Colonel. Teacher. Three Piece Suit. Rock Star. Plumber.
   There were glossy photos of guys in "before" outfits. Listings of musical selections.
   Missy and Trina lobbied for the Hard Hat or Motorcycle Cop.
   Gents with tools or nightsticks
   They were overruled.
   The rest of the girls, Kristi, Pat, Pepe, Stacey, Amster, Tawnya, all voted Western.
   Bodybuilder. Guaranteed Billy Ray Cyrus lookalike.
   The Country Stud.


   The air conditioner was dead. Desperate souls might broil chickens in that matchbox house. Cake icing melted everywhere. The guest list had been slapped together without consideration, either. Several of the girls had poached boyfriends from each other. Hollywood's Cathouse Bloodbath began with such a plot.
   Several unmentioned ladies staggered in stoned. Well, pot had been banned from the party, not before the party.
   Half the bachelorettes knew the unspoken history of Tawnya, others did not. As at the music store, the unknowing ate first.

   The party was dead air, grinding gears, awkward babble when Country Stud swaggered in.
   "Hello, girlfriends!"
   Mandy about died.
   Introductions, invites to sample his muscle tone, suggestive flirting, rolled out the old tape deck ... and then ...
   " ... don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart. I just don't think it'd understand ... "
   Hell, it wasn't even Country music. Retro metal, courtesy Firehouse.
   In no time flat, Mr. Stud done stripped down to the dayglo package enveloping the seed pod.
   Plus white boots. No self respecting redneck would be caught dead in white boots after age three. What was he thinking? Also sported "party hair," the long mullet. He only knew one dance routine, a dandified, dancing march in place. Punctuated with frequent pauses. Glided her hands across his Adonis flanks. Made small talk. Like asking her how old she was. When she answered, he replied, "Isn't that kinda old to be getting married for your first time? I mean -- " The room screamed at him.
   The tiny living room was a sweltering hotbox. Sweat streamed off the gyrating gizmo. He strutted up to Mandy, quick stepped a 180, grabbed her reluctant hands and slapped them right onto them achy breaky cheeks.
   He had been shaving his behind. Repeatedly, it seemed. Because hair kept growing back. Thicker.
   The magic ass was, she later confided, very sweaty.
   Sweaty forest of stubble.
   "Come on girlfriends, squeeze these Country Cheeks!"
   None shared in the horror though it was an offer seemingly impossible to refuse. After fifteen minutes, he started tugging his clothes back on. In front of everyone. Stuck out his hand, and took a wad of cash from Kristi. Counted it in front of everyone.
   Speaking for men everywhere, "Sorry, ladies."
   Country Stud, inflated to maximum, sought fulfillment at the next femme enclave.
   Afterward, one of the girls cried forlornly, "Sorry, Mandy."
   Weeks later, someone would comment, "Stubble," and someone else would blush, wither, or bust out laughing.
   Despite it all, the boyfriend still married Mandy. He was a class act.
   We sent them a Billy Ray Cyrus CD to relive those happy moments.


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