A DISH BEST SERVED BAKED IN ALASKA
I’m slouched on a barstool in a dimly lit pub in Fairbanks, Alaska. Outside, the two weeks of autumn that separate the two months of summer from testicle shriveling winter are about to give way. I’m sitting across from an acquaintance of my ex-girlfriend who is just now drunk enough to reveal all the shadowy details of the relationship that ended six months ago. I’m over the girl, but I have to maintain a vulnerable appearance to guilt this bitch into continuing to feed me this much needed information.
This is life just below the Arctic Circle, the end of the line. To dwell in this land of Nod you were either born here, or dark, sub-zero isolation is your best option in life. People here are stuck with each other. It isn’t like a city in the lower forty-eight where both parties of a failed affair disappear into their separate corners of anonymity. Here you have to face your shadows on a daily basis. Here, small groups of adults form and conspire against one another in a never-ending comedy of errors because there just ain’t shit else to do.
I’m better than this and I know it. But someone hath sipped from my milkshake and a statement must be made. I just need my informant to confirm the target’s identity.
I knew it. The target’s name is Ted. He’s the bass player in the local, overrated indie-rock band. Of all the indignities, she cheated on me with a four-stringer. Right now, as my informant speaks, I’m positive that every citizen in this God forsaken village has known about this the last six months and met on holidays and full moons to share in the laughter of my humiliation.
Information obtained. I must part company with my drunken emotional vampire whistle blower. She won’t be appeased until she receives her vicarious fix of my tasty heartache. I stand-up quick and start for the door as if I’ll break down any moment and don’t want anyone to see. I don’t know for sure, but I sense my informant’s eyes roll back in ecstasy as a bit of saliva escapes the corner of her mouth. I let out the slightest muffled sob. I think I might have heard her echo back the slightest infant-like coo.
Now the game begins.
I’ve never been arrested. I’ve always said that I’d save my jail experience for something good. Revenge is worth it. No matter what all those douchey “After School Specials” try to tell you, revenge is as euphoric as a strychnine twitch.
“They pull a knife, you pull a gun” barks a tiny, imaginary, gangland Sean Connery from his perch on my shoulder. “He sends one of yours to the hospital; you send one of his to the fucking morgue. That’s the Chicago way.”
I’ve never been to Chicago. But at this moment, as I flip through the dresses in the Value Village plus sized section of the women’s department, “the Chicago way” is my way. I’m willing to go to jail for this. I am not, however, willing to stay there. I’ve drawn my mental image of bass player Ted. He’s this swaggering narcissist with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and my ex-true love’s ass in the other. In my darkest fantasies I’m urinating on his corpse as his house burns around us. That would get me at least twenty years, probably life, outside shot at the electric chair. I won’t play that game. I must tailor my attack to fall under the legal definition of “Aggravated Assault”. Something a jury of my peers could suspend due to my lack of priors. Because of this I’ll have to take my satisfaction in humiliation rather than brute physical punishment.
It is Halloween night and the ground in already covered in snow. I’ve been playing cyber stalker with Ted’s band and have gathered enough data to place them at the college pub at nine p.m. tonight, two dollar cover charge. This, I explain to the apathetic old man behind the counter of the adult super store located on the outskirts of town. He’s seen it all and has heard every possible rational an otherwise clean-cut, heterosexual young man such as myself would have for purchasing a twenty inch, double-ended, rubber dildo with a three inch circumference. This isn’t going to be your typical premeditated assault. This is about shock and awe. This is about demoralizing my enemy and instilling such fear as to bring epilepsy upon all who ever dared wrong me. This is about laying a mushroom stamp like the mark of Zorro across the face of my enemy.
Eight p.m., Halloween. I’m at the college pub surrounded by two pirates, Superman and a witch. Superman’s reciting a well rehearsed, self-congratulatory tale on how the Big Brother’s program has changed his point-of-view on what it means to be a man. I want to head butt him, but it took me twenty minutes to get this platinum blond, “Pappa Don’t Preach” wig to sit right on my head. I look like an Amazonian house wife turned hooker. My blue polka dotted Value Village dress clashes horribly with my Red Wing work boots, but I couldn’t possibly dildo-whip this asshole in pumps.
Nine p.m. The house is now packed. There are many fine young ladies in their sexually experimental years roaming around in all matter of suggestive disguise. I see them not. I stay focused on my mission because my target has just entered the room carrying a large guitar case and wearing…a blue polka dotted Value Village dress. My world spins and for a moment I believe in the existence of God only because I can imagine the sick bastard laughing at me from his perch above.
Is being dildo-whipped by a guy wearing a dress as demeaning if you, yourself are also in a dress? Gotta regroup, I can’t let my momentum fail. Keep it bitter, it doesn’t matter that he’ wearing a dress. The point is to make an example out of him.
Ten p.m. I’m outside amongst a herd of smokers desperate enough to endure zero degrees Fahrenheit. The band has wrapped its set and begins moving equipment to their vehicles. Its go time, he’s my size so we’ll have a fair fight. My hand coils around the end of the rubber appendage nestled in my knock-off Coach handbag. It’s frozen now, stiff and straight. This is no longer a whipping, but a bludgeoning.
Sean Connery appears again on my shoulder wearing a kilt. “There can only be one.”
I am an immortal head of steam propelling through parked cars on a collision course with Ted’s punk ass! But how do I know this is the guy who nailed my girlfriend? Sure he was playing bass, but does that mean he’s the same guy? “Don’t think, just kill” I tell myself. But I can’t bludgeon an innocent man. Three seconds until impact…two…one, dildo’s out! I yell, “Ted!”
Ted looks up at me. I’m holding the dildo up in attack position. He has glitter on his face and his hair is tied up in little ribbons. I shouldn’t have spoken. Words lead to thoughts, thoughts lead to more thoughts and soon you go from being this asshole’s worst nightmare to wondering, “Why the Hell is he wearing glitter?”
Dressing up as a chick on Halloween has always been about demonstrating your sexual security to the ladies present and hopefully tapping into some deep-seeded homoerotic desire. But there is a line you don’t cross and that line is drawn in glitter.
Ted just looks at me as if he had been expecting a two hundred pound cross-dresser to emerge out of the ice fog the whole time. A crowd begins to form. I’m going to look like such a chump if I don’t take this guy out right now.
“I love your dress” were the only words I remember hearing from him, all the rest were drowned out by the sing-song lilt Ted had in his voice. Was this an act? No, it was too good to be an act. Will my sweet revenge be seen as a hate crime if I swing this dick-sickle?
A funny thing happened as I stood there with the ever growing crowd and exchanged words with the doughy glitter-boy with the effeminate demeanor. The dick-sickle thawed. Right there in my hand. By the time Ted fluttered a wave at me and drove off, it was as flaccid as a dead eel. I was better than this. Either my informant lied to me, or my ex cheated on me with Rupaul’s honky twin. Either way, I’m in a parking lot in Fairbanks, Alaska wearing a Value Village dress and holding a limp rubber dick.
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