Alfonso, The Man

I couldn’t believe it. I was on the phone with Alfonso, the very mature-for-his-age guy in middle school who was so mature, in fact, that he actually had a mustache.

Every school had an Alfonso: The Guy Who Looked Like a Grown Man.

Alfonso was a year ahead of me, wasn’t particularly smart, and wasn’t especially nice, but he was gorgeous, knew how to dress, and was practically a man in a sea of what looked like little boys by comparison. When he swaggered through the school, he looked like Antonio Banderas visiting a kindergarten class.

And here he was – talking to me.

Loser me.

Girl who had never even kissed a boy or had a boyfriend me.

I was amazed I was able to stay conscious and didn’t just die right there clutching the receiver of my telephone in one hand and a yearbook with Alfonso’s picture encircled with a heart in the other.

My friend Jenny was in the same grade as Alfonso, and she had chatted him up in class that day and told him I had a crush on him. I wanted to kill her – and I would have killed her – had my phone not rang that night.

I picked it up, and a man’s voice said, “Hi, is…uhhh…Maggie? Is…uhhh…Maggie there?”

I don’t know how you can hear a mustache over the phone, but I totally heard his mustache over the phone.

I thought the pause before he said my name was because he was nervous. Looking back, I realize that the pause was because he was trying to remember my name. He probably had a clipboard next to his phone with a hundred girls’ names on it, and he had forgotten which one he was calling that night.

The fact that he then had to ask me what I looked like should have been another indication that he had no idea who I was. I chose to not acknowledge that in favor of believing he was a nervous wreck because he was, obviously, in love with me.

Everybody knew that boys in middle school acted aloof and weird when they liked you. I figured he must really like me if he couldn’t remember my name or what I looked like. This all made perfect sense to my 7th grade mind. Later, Jenny agreed with me.

Consensus: Alfonso was way, way into me.

My very brief phone call with Alfonso started with him not knowing who I was and ended with him asking me if I wanted to meet up at the movies on Saturday to go see Batman (the Michael Keaton one).

When I said yes, he said, “So you’ll be going doooown with that tongue, right girl?”

My face turned red. I thought, “Oh my god. Alfonso wants to kiss me!”

Sidebar: I’m sure kissing wasn’t exactly what he meant.

I just had to get dressed up for my big date, so Jenny walked with me to the nearby shopping plaza that Saturday morning to help me buy all the things that I needed.

I should clarify that the word “buy” is somewhat of a misnomer, as the plan was to steal every single item, seeing as we were both poor and had not a dime to our names.

Jenny and I were already accomplished thieves at that age, and we viewed shoplifting more as just “the way we shopped” than a crime. We’d go into the department store and layer on spandex leggings under our jeans in the blind spots of the dressing room, stuff eyeshadows into our socks, and slip nail polish bottles into our pockets with the grace of ballerinas. Criminal ballerinas.

I even developed a shoplifting method where I would go up to a register to buy something cheap while secretly palming a small expensive item in my hand, and when I would go to pay and reach into my purse for my wallet, I would drop the small expensive item into my purse as I pulled out my wallet. I got SO many packets of 24 karat-dipped nail charms at the beauty supply store that way that I actually ran out of fingernails to glue them to, so I started gluing them to my toenails, too.

After Jenny and I had stolen enough makeup that I felt I could adequately paint my face up for the big-tongue-makeout-date with Alfonso, we went into a drug store for one more thing. I eyed a bottle of perfume on the shelf, called Illegalé. Alfonso wouldn’t be able to resist…uhh…what was my name? Maggie! He wouldn’t be able to resist Maggie, or whoever he thought he had a date with that night, if she were wearing Illegalé.

After I slipped the bottle of perfume in my purse, Jenny decided she wanted one, too, and since I had the bigger purse, she slipped it into mine.

The store detective walked up to us within seconds, flashed a badge, and said, “I’m gonna need you two young ladies to come with me.”

Later that night, as I sat in my bedroom after being grounded for having been caught stealing perfume, after the humiliation of my mother having to come pick us up and the detective telling her I was banned from the store for life, after my mother telling me that she had never been so disappointed in her entire life that she had raised a thief, after taking the rap for both Jenny and I because Jenny’s mom would have literally beaten her ass if she had been busted, I cried.

I wasn’t going to be going dooooown with that tongue, right girl.

Alfonso didn’t even reschedule our date, he just moved to the next girl down the list.

And that’s how two bottles of Illegalé saved my 12-year old innocence.

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And then a hero comes along…

Could You Be…The Most Annoying Brain in The World?

I like to think of my brain as the most annoying brain in the world, so it is with great pleasure that I tell you that I’ve had a classified ad from 1993 stuck in said annoying brain for the past 26 years, and Drunk Monkeys was kind enough to publish a little 463 word flash nonfiction piece I wrote about it.

You can check it out here:  GREG BRADY IS GOD

Thanks so much for joining me on this wild ride, folks.  Be sure and tell ’em Large Marge sent ya!

And also this guy:

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You, You, You, Otter Know!!

Look, maaaybe I’m guilty of blocking children’s view of the otters at the marine conservation center.  What is that?  A CRIME?

(Please note in advance that this post is what is often referred to as “a joke”.  Your children are adorable, some of my favorite people are children, blah, blah, blah, etc.  Do not send a Mom Mob after me.  I’ve got enough problems trying to get the Beauty Battalion off my jock for insulting their lie-brows and suggesting that “contouring” is over.  They already wrote “You’re dead, bitch” in bronzer across my driveway and came back later with highlighting powder to really make it pop.)

I get way more enjoyment out of the otters than your kid ever will, and I can say this because your kid can’t be bothered to put down his Nintendo Switch long enough to notice the otters to begin with.  Ignoring otters?!  THAT should be a crime.

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Yeah, we’re all reeeally excited that you rescued the Fortnite princess from the Tetris castle or whatever, Bryson/Greyson/Flotsam.

My attention to otters can best be described as utter otter devotion, and should be rewarded as such by naming me “Honorary Otterkeeper” for the day, where I will get to wear a glittery badge and feed shrimp to the otters from a souvenir bucket that I get to take home with me that says, “That’s an-OTTER story!” on the side with a picture of two otters reading books and wearing glasses.

I would get a personal invitation to the birthing of all baby otters and unlike SOME PEOPLE who have “Little League practice”, I would actually show up every time.

I would give the baby otters interesting names, too, like “Ottermatic For The People”, “And Then There’s Maude-er”, and “Genesis But Before Peter Gabriel Left The Band”.  I wouldn’t give them some totally lame name a kid would give them, like a cat with white paws named “Socks” or the tiger-striped cat named “Tiger”. You’re really breaking the creativity bank there!  What are you, 8?

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Oh, so you actually are 8?  NO EXCUSE.  NEXT!

Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn at the otter tank, Bryson/Greyson/Flotsam – not that you even care!  Your parents are the only ones who are having a conniption over me blocking the tank, anyway.  You were probably here last week and you’ll be back again the next week because for some reason children get to do all the vacation things ALL THE TIME now.

Know where we went when I was a kid?  School.  If school was out?  Home.  You only got taken to an otter tank if your parents had some kind of hideous news to spring on you, like you were moving to Goober, Idaho (Shout out to my fellow Overboard fans!),  or had an incurable form of Leukemia.

Curable Leukemia would only warrant a trip to the McDonald’s drive-thru at best, and there would be no special orders.  You’re getting crushed peanuts on that hot fudge sundae even though you don’t want them, because THAT’S the way it comes.  Hell, you’re getting them even if you’re allergic to peanuts!  “Toughen up, Sally!” is what they’d say as you turned purple and lost consciousness.

If a kid had asked to go swimming with dolphins, any of our parents would have just pointed to the open ocean and said, “Go for it, asshole.”

If you ever, ever made the mistake of saying, “I’m bored!” it was immediately met with, “Then go clean your room.”  (This was a brilliant parental move, by the way.  We figured out pretty quickly to stop complaining that we were bored.)

I mean, for the love of Mike, people.  Otters don’t cut it with these kids?  If your kid is non-plussed by the glorious sight of frolicking otters, I have serious concerns for how they’re gonna feel someday down the road about doing their taxes.

Come to think of it, if I took a kid to an otter tank and they rolled their eyes like, “Whatevs!” I would make them actually do my taxes that year as punishment.  You think third grade is hard?  Wait until you see U.S. tax code.  And I better be getting a fat refund, kid, or your ass is grass.  Orphanage City, sonny boy!

Now, I have heard it’s good to provide children with “motivation”, so I would at least be kind enough to leave my to-do list next to the tax papers:

  1. Take ungrateful kid to that orphanage in the sewer with the scary clown in it
  2. Pick up dry cleaning
  3. Order cake for celebration now that ungrateful kid is living in that orphanage in the sewer with the scary clown
  4. Turn ungrateful kid’s room into otter habitat

(The foregoing are just several of the many reasons I am not permitted to have children.)

All right, hate-mailers, put down your weapons.  I’m sure your kid who can’t be bothered to fawn over otters is going to turn out just fine.  Everyone knows that bored, demanding children only become more pleasant to be around when they become teenagers.  Enjoy your time in Hell, is what I’m saying.

Fine.  So like all old, childless people, I think a lot of “kids today” are spoiled.  That’s a new one!

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room.” – THIS IS AN ACTUAL SOCRATES QUOTE FROM LIKE 450 B.C. SO GO BLAME HIM FOR STARTING THIS

If you want to get uppity about it, just know that for my punishment I will have to train an otter family to change my diapers for me when I’m old, I’ll die with no heirs and will be tossed into a shared hobo burial pit, and the only proof that I even existed will be a souvenir bucket with “That’s an-OTTER story!” on the side with two Winger cassettes inside, so relax.  I’ll get mine.