Tales of Rock – Frank Zappa Attacked

The casino quickly caught fire and burned to the ground. All of Zappa’s equipment was lost, but he survived the fire. The event was the inspiration for the song Smoke on the Water by English rock band Deep Purple.

Frank Zappa was an American musician that had a large impact on musical freedom. His father was Francesco Vincente Zappa who was an extremely intelligent chemist and mathematician who worked with the United States defense program. Zappa grew up near the Aberdeen Proving Ground and was regularly sick as child. He suffered from extreme asthma, earaches, and sinus problems caused by mustard gas exposure. Zappa’s upbringing gave him a negative stance on the use of chemical weapons. He often wrote references of germs, germ warfare, and the U.S. defense industry in his lyrics.

Frank Zappa was a great performer and his musical message was important, but deemed bizarre and strange by the media. His band’s debut album featured a song that asked Who Are the Brain Police? and in 1968 Zappa satirized the hippie culture as a motivation for money and profit. He was a charismatic personality and Zappa’s music was extremely popular in some European countries. He was also highly monitored by the U.S. government.

On December 4, 1971, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention were performing a concert at the Montreux Casino when a member of the audience decided to fire a flare gun into the rattan covered ceiling. The casino quickly caught fire and burned to the ground. All of Zappa’s equipment was lost, but he survived the fire. The event was the inspiration for the song Smoke on the Water by English rock band Deep Purple.

A week after the casino fire, Frank Zappa and The Mothers played at the Rainbow Theatre, London, with rented gear. During the encore of the show, an audience member rushed the stage and pushed Zappa into the concrete-floored orchestra pit. It was a long fall and Zappa was nearly killed. He suffered serious fractures, head trauma, and injuries to his back, legs, and neck. He crushed his larynx, which caused his voice to drop a third after healing. Zappa was lucky to survive the event and was forced to use a wheelchair for an extended period. The assailant was a man named Trevor Howell who told reporters that he believed Zappa was eying his girlfriend.

The two events had an emotional impact on Frank Zappa and he was concerned that someone was trying to murder him. After making a recovery, Zappa went on to have a successful career, but was regularly bashed by the U.S. media for his edgy lyrics. Frank Zappa is quoted: “What do you make of a society that is so primitive that it clings to the belief that certain words in its language are so powerful that they could corrupt you the moment you hear them?”

In 1990, Frank Zappa was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and the disease killed him in 1993. For some reason he was buried in an unmarked grave in Los Angeles. Many people have wondered why Zappa was not given a gravestone for identification. Some theories suggest a family request or evidence of mustard gas exposure Zappa experienced as a child.

 

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Co-Parenting: Dating with Kids — A Thomas Point of View

One of the hardest things to do is date when you’re a parent. Whether the other parent is active or not, I think we can all agree that it is hard dating when you’re a parent. Whether it is coordinating schedules, your child gets sick or you are exhausted, we all have things that get […]

via Co-Parenting: Dating with Kids — A Thomas Point of View

Daphne – Lovely Hostess – Hello Again

I felt a little tap on my shoulder. I turned and there was the lovely visage of Daphne. I was still reeling from my sweet encounter with Lara, that seeing Daphne pushed me to the next level of euphoria.

I ran into little hostess Daphne from Square 1682 again, but first this little myth.

The story of Daphne is an example of an etiological myth, one that is strongly explanatory of why certain things in their culture were a certain way.

There are many examples of Greek myths that explain why certain religious rituals were performed, why some people’s may be named what they are, or even why varying objects, plants and animals were symbols of their gods.

The gods were known for punishing mortals for offending them, but occasionally they punished each other. The gods were a vengeful folk, and they did not take kindly to being insulted, by mortal or god. Apollo made the mistake of insulting one of his fellow immortal.

Apollo was a great archer, but sometimes he was a little full of himself. One day he caught sight of Eros, the son of Aphrodite. Eros was also an archer, and his arrows were responsible for instilling the twists and turns of love and lust in a person’s heart. Apollo teased young Eros, putting down his abilities as an archer, claiming that one so small could make no difference with his arrows.

Angry at this insult, Eros shot two arrows, one tipped in gold, one blunted and tipped with lead. The arrow dipped in gold had the power to create insatiable lust in a person, while the other created absolute abhorrence towards all things romantic and passionate. The unfortunate soul who was struck with that arrow would have no desire to love anyone. The arrow dipped in gold struck Apollo, but the arrow dipped in lead struck fair Daphne.

Daphne was the daughter of the river-god Peneus. Apollo chased down the maiden, desperate for her love, but she wanted nothing to do with him, and she ran from him endlessly. Soon, she grew weary in her running and that Apollo would ultimately catch her. Fearful, she called out to her father for help. As all gods of water posses the ability of transformation, Peneus transformed his daughter into a laurel tree. Suddenly her legs took root, and her arms grew into long and slender branches.

Apollo reached the laurel tree, and, still enamored with Daphne, held the tree in a special place in his heart. He claimed the tree as his special tree, and adorned himself with some of its leaves. And that is why the laurel was, and still is, a symbol of the god Apollo.

 

I had just finished chatting and flirting with sweet Lara upstairs at the salon. (See: Sun Stories – Lara – 2016 to Present – Tinderella) I came downstairs, locked the door and stood for a moment on Walnut street. Normally I would just head down the street and go home, but for some reason I just stood there taking in the sounds of the city at night.

I felt a little tap on my shoulder. I turned and there was the lovely visage of Daphne.  I was still reeling from my sweet encounter with Lara, that seeing Daphne pushed me to the next level of euphoria. I chatted with her and told her this is where the salon was and that she should come tanning. She said she never had, but may want to try it. I told her about how it was important to get a base tan before she goes on her next adventure. (She loves to travel)

I described the benefits and handed her a free tanning card. I think when I told her I’d put her in the best bed in the house she was sold. In my heart I would love to take her to another bed that has benefits beyond her imagination.

I love Daphne. I have loved her since I first laid eyes on her over two years ago. That beautiful face and low voice just melts me.

But I don’t really love Daphne. I love her in the true phicklephilly sense. I’m in love with the idea of her and beauty. One is in my mind, and the other is simply good genetics on her part. She had nothing to do with that.

She’ll probably never come tanning. She’ll also never meet me for a drink or lunch or anything. I know she has time, but she won’t ever do it. It doesn’t really bother me, because we’re not romantically involved. If we haven’t met up for even one drink in the two years I’ve known her, it’s not happening. She’s young and beautiful and I’m sure being hit on by dozens of suitors of both sexes on a weekly basis.

I’ll keep getting butterflies in my stomach and my heart will flutter when she appears, but I’ll just have to settle for that. She may as well be an elegant tree that I can occasionally stand beside, but can never take her away with me.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Sun Stories – Lara – Tinderella

How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl?

Here’s a little tale about a hot baby that comes into the salon. She’s got long raven hair, light eyes, and a slamming little body on her. She’s 19 years of age and goes to Temple University. She always wears black, but it just makes her look darker and more mysterious.

She comes in pretty regularly before Spring Break. She wants to get her base tan built up so when she goes away she won’t burn.

She’s attractive and sweet, and sometimes looks a little stoned when she comes in, but that somehow makes her lovely eyes more limpid. I chat with her regularly, and last year I saw her quite often.

But one day she comes in and we’re chatting, and I feel like I know her from somewhere else. But I can’t quite figure out where. Facebook? Instagram? Maybe. We’re not friends, and don’t have any friends in common so that’s not a thing.

I search my memory to try to remember where I know her or have seen her before, but I can’t think of anything. Maybe I’m just in love with her soft beauty and I’m creating all of this in my mind.

That weekend, I’m lying in bed, looking at all of my past contacts on Tinder to see if I can resurrect a lost connection and get a date. Then I suddenly come upon a woman I matched with named Lara. Oh God, It’s her! How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl? Why would she swipe right? I’m obviously too old for her. She’s younger than my daughter! On Tinder she says she’s 22. It doesn’t make sense. I swipe right on everybody that comes up, just for the sheer numbers and stories.

The next time Lara comes in I decide to take a chance. One of our rules is no dating the customers. I will never break that rule, and there is no way Lara wants me. I mean, she may be looking for a sugar daddy, and for that I would almost pay to sleep with her, but I digress.

But I have to find out.

When she comes out from the room, she comes by the counter and asks if she has any tans left. I tell her she’s out. Lara’s fine with that because she tells me she’s going on Spring Break anyway Friday. I whip out my phone and pull up Tinder and start swiping through her pictures.

“Now we’ve all made mistakes, and swiped right when we obviously should have swiped left. I’ve done it myself, Lara. But is that you?”

I turn the phone to her and swipe through her pics on Tinder.

She’s alarmed but not upset. (Probably too stoned)

“Don’t be embarrassed, we all make mistakes, Lara.”

“I have a weird thing. Age doesn’t matter to me.”

Her words shocked me, and I thought she has to be a sugar baby and worlds are colliding right now.

“Don’t worry about it, Lara.”

I don’t know why I just didn’t ask her if she made “arrangements.” She had to go and before she left, she asked, “What’s your name again?”

I told her. I’m sure she wants to go look for my profile on Tinder to see what’s up. She’ll probably unmatch and delete me out of sheer embarrassment.

Later I go into Tinder and text her the following message: “Hello, Lara. Please don’t be embarrassed, it’s (my name) from the salon. If you’d like to chat, that would be fine. No expectations.”

Crickets.

————————————————————-

So a year goes by and it’s March and Spring Break is once again upon us. We’ve moved the salon and people are beginning to trickle in. But, because we just got here, there are only 3 beds currently operating. One stand up unit, and the two premium beds.

When sweet baby Lara comes in and wants to tan, I remember her name of course and chat with her a bit. I thank her for returning to us for her tan. She is surprised I remember her name after all of this time, but I tell her she must have made a favorable impression on me.

“That and we have a little history.” she says.

I know she’s eluding to the Tinder match! So exciting!

“And we share the same birthday, Lara. August 9th!” (NOT a bold-faced lie for once!)

Of course her birth year is ’97 and mine is ’62.

“Oh my god, we’re both Leos! I can’t believe it.” she exclaims.

She doesn’t know that we’re putting everybody in any bed available just to maintain a level of service. No matter if they have the basic, all access, or premium package, we’re just tanning them in anything we can. So when I put Lara in the best unit in the house, she thinks I’m doing something special for her because I like her.

I do like her but she doesn’t need to know that everybody’s getting what she’s getting. She doesn’t know where to throw her little towel that we’ve provided so she just hands it to me. But before she does, she wipes her nose with it. I don’t say anything and simply toss it into the small hamper behind me.

She thanks me for the best tanning experience and off she goes.

——————————————————————

The next time she came in was the day before she was to fly to Florida for Spring Break. She was literally my last client of the night. But when I go to send her into a bed to tan I see that her package has run out. She’s out of tanning sessions!

Lara gets upset and asks how much it is for one tan. I tell her $17 and she’s shocked. She then asks if there is anything I can do.

Now at this point I know that some of you may be thinking and this story will take a dark turn.

“How much cash do you have?”

Digs through her purse. “Seven bucks.”

I make a face.

“I’ll give you two cigarettes.”

“Four.”

“Okay, Four. Here. Now can I tan?”

“Yes. Go back to room 6.”

I watch her as she strolls back to the tanning booth and closes the door behind her. I put the four cigarettes into my pack. I then pull out my wallet, and grab a ten-dollar bill and ring up the $17.00 single session. I put the money in the drawer. Legitimate sale completed. (You didn’t think I was going to barter a tan for sex did you?)

Then I hear her call my name.

“Yes Lara?”

“My phone is nearly dead. Can I hand it out to you so you can charge it for me, please?”

“Sure. Put it into airplane mode so it’ll charge twice as fast, Lara.”

I walk back to the room and she opens the door. She has her forearm and hand across her bare breasts covering herself. She looks me right in the eyes. Then with her other hand she passed the phone and charger out to me. She smiles and closes the door. That little minx!

So a nice little glimpse that I’m sure was an additional little tip for my service. My heart is pounding as I walk back to the counter and plug-in her phone. I grab a little cloth and wipe off the phone and clean it up nice for her.

When her tanning session is complete, she emerges from the room looking radiant.

“Thank you sooo much for everything you’ve done for me!”

I give her the phone and we even laugh about the Tinder incident.

“I’m not embarrassed about anything” she says.

She seems high. She hands me her sweaty towel like last time instead of dropping it in the hamper.

“Oh… sorry. Is that gross?” she says looking at the spent towel in my hand.

“No, Lara. It’s not gross. What’s gross is when you first wiped your nose off with it before handing it to me last time.”

She looks mortified. “Oh my god. Did I do that? I’m so sorry.”

“I’m just kidding, Lara. That didn’t happen.”

She cracks up and we have a nice laugh about it.

“Okay, well I’m headed to Florida tomorrow. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”

She leans in and gives me a hug and a kiss, I hug her back and somehow my lips end up kissing her hair. She smells lovely and I’m feeling giddy.

She heads downstairs, and I watch as she disappears out the door into the night.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Annabelle – Chapter 12 -Emotional Bankruptcy

I don’t think Annabelle ever really loved me because she doesn’t have the capacity to truly love at all.

There were some good times. We exchanged the phrase “I love you”. She once told me that she didn’t even “like” her former boyfriends. You can see how dysfunctional her mind is. That’s a person who can’t differentiate from like, love, or sex. That’s fucked up.

The time we went to the zoo. The time we went to the Academy of Natural Sciences. Now you would think someone who lived in Philly for so many years would have gone to these places a dozen times by now, but Annabelle had never been to either.

But she was still swamped with managing her photography business, working on a weird musical about Andy Warhol and working on some other play about a Russian all female musical group. It was all just so grinding and boring to me.

She was sometimes dragging me to these really awful performance pieces that I would rather have driven knitting needles into my eyes than see this crap.

She loved art and the theater. I remember she went to see my daughter Lorelei in The Sound of Music at her high school play. The kids were all really good. But my daughter played the part of Mother Abbess. That’s the lead soprano role. Lorelei is a four octave soprano. She has natural ability and has an absolutely deadly singing voice. I’m not saying that because I’m her father. I’m saying that because I know what good music sounds like, and Lorelei is really fucking good.

I literally had tears running down my face because she sounded so beautiful, and I was so proud of her performance that I couldn’t help but cry. I couldn’t believe this lovely songbird came to this Earth through me.

But when the play was over. (It was wonderful!) I noticed Annabelle seemed down on the train ride home. She said she had a headache. (She always pulled the headache thing when she wanted to get out of something) But I knew what it was. She resented how talented all of these kids were. She resented the fact that they were little twinkling stars on that little stage in their senior year of high school. About to begin their lives in college or work or wherever. Full of hope and ambition.

I’m sure Annabelle once felt the same way. And after 4 years of attending the University for the Performing Arts at a cost of $100,000 out of her parents wallet, she had nothing to show for it. Just working her ass off slinging beers at a shitty hotel bar and eking out a living doing headshots for her other shitty failed actor friends. If that’s what she could call them. They’re all clinging to each other, but if any one of them have any measure of success off they go never to be heard from again.

She was at a party once and there was some horseplay, (Juvenile. Civilized adults don’t engage in horseplay at gatherings) and she broke her foot. She said no one ever came to visit her in the hospital.

Her “good” friend Amber in NYC is a fat failed actress. She’s fucked over Annabelle over on several occasions. But Annabelle remains friends with this failure and continues to let her use her.

Several years ago, Annabelle was in a destructive relationship. The guy was some piece of shit musician. He used to knock her around when he was angry or frustrated with her. I’m glad I don’t know this pile of breathing garbage. Because any guy that raises his hand to a woman, deserves to get backed over, after you hit him with your car.

And the worst part? She’s still friends with steaming pile of feces!

So being the result of a distant father, never being in a real relationship, maintaining the grinding sadness of failure, Annabelle is a pretty fucked up girl.

It’s hard for a level minded person to be in a relationship with someone like that. But I give people a lot of chances, and I think I’m in love with her. I say “think” because at that time I thought I was in love with her, but I now realize in hindsight that I was in love with the feeling of being in love. So I guess I was a bit fucked up back then as well.

I enjoyed making love to her, cooking her dinner, and going out and doing things together, but beyond that we really had nothing but our common attraction to each other, and I think that was waning. Well, I know it was waning, because we really had nothing in common, had different interests, and had totally different sets of friends. Me: Business people. Her: Weirdo actor carny types.

I had started eating more carbs and she noticed I had put a little weight back on. I remember being in her shitty little cramped apartment, and saying that it was just a little bit of weight and was she calling me fat?

She said she thought that I was a man who cared about his health and was into being fit. I immediately lost all the weight. But I think back on that now, and it was such bullshit. Here’s a chick who never really ate healthy, and here she was telling me how to live. But the drug of love does strange to your mind and I would do whatever she wanted.

None of the above makes for a healthy sustainable relationship. One night I was waiting for her to finish up whatever nonsense she was working on. I wanted to cook her dinner I had bought for us. I just got sick of her being so wrapped up in her work. I started huffing and puffing, and she got pissed off. She told me I could leave if I was unhappy. So I did. I didn’t answer any of her texts for 24 hours. Which is juvenile. But I was 51 and hooked on the drug of love and I was dealing with a 27-year-old woman who had the mind of a teenage girl. If you’ve never worked in commerce and never done the 9 to 5 you never develop the coping and negotiating skills needed to act accordingly around other people.

We made up a day or so later. She apologized and I did as well. It got a little better for a while after that. But I don’t think Annabelle ever really loved me because she doesn’t have the capacity to truly love at all.

I feel bad writing these chapters. I know Annabelle can’t help what she is. I’m going to blame shitty parenting.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Tales of Rock – Neil Young Needs Special Effect to Hide Coke in his Nostril

With his wide-eyed, shaky demeanor, Neil Young just has the look about him of a guy on drugs. The thing is that’s probably more the effect of his lifelong struggles with epilepsy than anything else.

With his wide-eyed, shaky demeanor, Neil Young just has the look about him of a guy on drugs. The thing is that’s probably more the effect of his lifelong struggles with epilepsy than anything else. He’s definitely done his share; last year, the story broke that he’d finally quit smoking pot and drinking—at 66-years-old—to write his memoir.

And he’s created some great music ruminating on the ill effects of addiction; his 1971 song “The Needle and the Damage Done” is one of the most poignant ever written about heroin, and his 1975 album Tonight’s The Night eulogized his roadie Bruce Berry and guitarist Danny Whitten, both of whom died of heroin overdoses in 1973.

Despite all this, Young has generally avoided a reputation for doing heavy drugs himself. However, there have been some close calls. When he appeared in the Band’s concert film The Last Waltz in 1976, Young was apparently snorting cocaine backstage directly before his performance. In Band drummer Levon Helm’s autobiography, he wrote, “Neil Young had delivered a good version of ‘Helpless,’ but performed with a good-size rock of cocaine stuck in his nostril. Neil’s manager saw this and said no way is Neil gonna be in the film like this. They had to go to special effects people, who developed what they called a ‘travelling booger matte’ that sanitized Neil’s nostril and put ‘Helpless’ into the movie.” As a result, that crumb of cocaine is surely one of the most expensive ever snorted.

 

 

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What to Wear on a First Date — fashionandstylepolice

I am happy to be off the dating market. I have been off for almost 10 years now and its been brilliant. I was not a huge fan of the whole dating “thingy”, I have never been a fan of anything new, and the dating world is all about “The New”, it felt so exhausting […]

via What to Wear on a First Date — fashionandstylepolice

Johnny R. – Needle in the Groove – Part 2

I remember in the past we used to call the Gold club “The Death Star.” Johnny and I would be out at happy hour and we’d be walking around trying to figure out where to go next. After a few rounds we could start to feel the pull of the club. It was like a tractor beam that would just start pulling our little drunken rebel alliance feet over towards 15th and Chancellor. If you know anything about Star Wars, that’s what the Death Star did to the Millennium Falcon.

After our hilarious experience at Locust Rendevous, we headed over to our favorite dive bar McGlinchey’s on 15th street. McGlinchey’s has cheap drinks and you can smoke in there. I’ve written about it before. (See: Johnny R. – 2009 to Present – Dive Bar Blues) It’s a den of scum and villainy. But we love the place. The surly staff, the crashing bottles as they are thrown into the trash, and the filthy bathrooms all add to it’s bygone era charm.

We get there and we look for a pair of seats. (Just writing about this place makes me want to have a cig right now) Normally when it’s cold there are a few empty seats near the door. We’re in luck and we’re not too close to the door. We walk up to the bar chairs, and they’re empty but there’s all these bags and clothes and one crutch lying on the bar rail. (Nothing surprises me at McGlinchey’s)

We ask the guys to our left if it’s their stuff and they say no. We ask the bartender if anybody is sitting here, and he says no. Then he turns to some old coger that’s sitting around the corner of the bar and tells him to move his stuff. Why the old guy dropped all his stuff over here and then went and sat over there, I’ll never know.

So he comes and hauls it over to his area and we sit down. We look over to our right and there’s an attractive brunette sitting by herself at the bar. That’s rare for a dump like this. She’s obviously doing what most people do nowadays. They have their faces in their phones. Of course some other old guy starts chatting her up. He seems harmless enough.

“You can see that girl is visibly uncomfortable.” says Johnny.

“Agreed.”

I order my usual. Their shitty house white wine with a side of ice, and Johnny gets a bud bottle. He grabs a few singles off the bar and heads to the jukebox. He always has a good sense of what to play, and soon the music is overtaken by eighties and nineties rock. He usually spends a solid fifteen minutes over there picking songs, so I start chatting with the bartender. He’s a tired looking middle-aged guy wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. I compliment him on his wardrobe choice. We start to discuss about how we both saw the original film in the theater back in 1977.

I started to write about that experience in detail but decided because it was so epic, that I’ll give it its own space in the future. It’s a great story, but this post is about today with Johnny, so it’ll have to wait. The bartender complains about all the stuff wrong with him now that he’s old, like arthritis and what not. I thankfully have none of those problems and I’m only one year younger that him! It’s probably because I have suffered so much emotional, mental and romantic pain in my life, maybe that was enough.

Johnny and I are chatting about our usual stuff. What’s going on with life and work, how he’s annoyed by his girlfriend, music, what shows we’re watching, etc. But one thing that he tells me has struck a chord. He tells me he has started writing his blog again! I really wanted him to do it, and he says he’s written three things so far, and wants to call it Tales from the Gutter. Which I think is a brilliant title. He’s just going to write about his life experiences and things that piss him off. I love it, and I can’t wait to read and be his first follower!

He asks about my blog and I tell him what’s been going on with it. He’s amazed that I’ve completed all of my Monday through Wednesday posts for the next five months.

“What? So, if you dropped dead today, your blog would continue to publish for the next five months?

“Exactly. It’s a written and scheduled.”

“You’re a prolific motherfucker.”

“That I am Johnny. Now let’s get over to the World Famous Gold Club and do what we came out here to do today.”

Eighties hair metal band, Ratt is playing on the jukebox as we walk out the door. We walk north on 15th Street until we get to Chancellor Street and bang a right. On the corner is an Applebee’s that no one I know ever goes to. I once picked up an order of chicken fingers for one of the strippers at the Gold Club. That’s what the Gold Club is; a gentleman’s club. Funny how they call strip joints gentleman’s clubs now. I have rarely seen any gentlemen in strip clubs. It’s usually a bunch of frat boys, douchebags, sad married guys, or creepy sad old men. There is a thrill to going on occasion. I never go alone. I actually don’t really care for such places. I know Johnny digs vice and I wanted the third time I included him in my blog to be interesting. But he knows that.

This side of Chancellor doesn’t even look like a street. It’s just the side of Applebee’s and then you walk a few more steps and at the end of what resembles a filthy alley lined with dumpsters you come upon the entrance to the little strip club. If you kept walking past it you would literally enter the parking garage of the Park Hyatt.

I remember in the past we used to call the club “The Death Star.” Johnny and I would be out at happy hour and we’d be walking around trying to figure out where to go next. After a few rounds we could start to feel the pull of the club. It was like a tractor beam that would just start pulling our little drunken rebel alliance feet over towards 15th and Chancellor. If you know anything about Star Wars, that’s what the Death Star did to the Millennium Falcon.

We enter and the place is pretty dead. It’s dark, but I like that. It’s like you step out of the sunlight of the outside and suddenly enter this other world of booze and flesh. Colored lights dance about the room, and the joint smells of stale beer, cheap perfume, and shame. On the stage is some fat white chick writhing around on the floor. Johnny likes a curvy gal, so he sort of digs her. We take a seat at the back-end of the bar against the wall. If I have to sit at the bar, this is my favorite spot. I can lean against the wall and watch the dancers from the side of the stage.

I order a cheap glass of chardonnay with a side of ice, and Johnny get his usual. The bartender is a cute little black girl that looks like she’s in a really shitty mood. I mean like: “Just kidnapped and put on Le Amistad, shitty mood.”

“Day shift is looking a little rough there Johnny.”

The curvy gal approaches for tips for her dance. I always give a dollar. I don’t need to stuff it between their breasts or in their G-string. I just put it in their hand. I’m sure they get groped and felt up enough. She’s actually very sweet and friendly. Most of the girls usually are. But that’s part of their sales pitch. Their sole duty is to separate the patrons from their cash. But I believe this girl is genuinely sweet. She’s chatting with Johnny and  I glance down at her pale thigh and see that she is, or was a cutter. There is a set of  four short scars just bellow her bikini line.

Check it out here: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment#1

I’d write about cutting, but I don’t know much about it. Apparently it’s more common in girls than boys and they cut themselves to ease the pain of some sort of mental anguish. It’s really sad. Most of the women I’ve met that are or were cutters, suffered from anxiety and depression. So it stands to reason, if you’re an overweight girl who has had the misfortune to end up taking your clothes of in a club for money in front of dirty old men, there’s certainly something that drove you into this vocation.

I’m sure it wasn’t anything pleasant.

And you thought me and Johnny going to a strip joint was going to be fun and erotic. Well, I write what I see and what I feel.

There’s now an attractive Latina girl onstage. She’s kind of hot. After her song she comes over to us. That’s another reason to be at this end of the bar. We get them as soon as they come off stage. I actually find it sexy if an attractive girl is a little sweaty. Latina comes over to me and says hello. We do the fake name exchange. They obviously don’t use their real names.

Incidentally, in this blog all the names have been changed, and the photos are just stock pics I’ve gotten from the internet. Obviously to protect the identities of the people I write about. I tried to find attractive ones that resemble what they look like in real life. But why I’m saying all of this is, the reason I call my friend Johnny R. is because when we would be in the Gold Club he would always introduce himself as Johnny Rivers. Like the singer, who is probably best known for the song, Secret Agent Man. (Which I love! I always used it as my intro music when I used to do stand up.) There were other times he’d be hopped up on coke and Adderall and he would just yell out: “I’m Johnny Rivers!” really loudly in the bar. I always enjoyed that.

So we’re chatting with lovely Latina. Curvy Girl has gone off to make the rounds for more singles and possibly give a lap dance to some hapless gent. Latina has a good body and a nice face. I give her a dollar for her dance and so does Johnny. Both of her nipples are pierced. I suppose some people like this but I really don’t like piercings or tattoos. Does it look kind of hot on a stripper? I guess so, but it’s not my cup of tea. What are nipples for? Right. Where do nipples go? Right. I don’t want to feel any metal in my mouth at anytime. I wore fucking braces for three years. The only metal I want in my body is Heavy Metal! And that goes in my ears and into my heart! I don’t want to put my lips to some girls pert nipple and feel the click of cold steel against my central incisors.

So I guess we’re all clear that I’m not a fan of body modification in any form. Evolution made you beautiful. Leave it alone!

Johnny looks at her breasts. “Did that hurt?”

“No.” is Latina’s reply.

How can driving a sharp piece of metal through a part of your body that’s loaded with nerve endings and blood vessels not hurt?

Okay. No more metal nipple talk.

She goes on her way to make her rounds. Johnny decides he wants to get a lap dance from Curvy Girl. He feels that he can talk her into having sex with him or at least getting her to give him oral sex.

If you know anything about strip clubs, for the most part there is a huge “hands off” policy in place. If you touch any of the girls, you’ll usually be ejected. But not at the World Famous Gold Club! Johnny has had sex with like five different strippers from there over the years. It hasn’t happened in the last few years, but he hasn’t been in the city as much as he used to be.

That, and the place was raided a year or so ago for that very thing. Prostitution. But that’s the charm of this dirt hole. I never have to worry about that sort of thing because I don’t get lap dances. What’s the point of paying $20 per song while some hot nubile girl wiggles around on you and gets you all worked up for no payoff. Well, that’s true for most fellas but apparently not if your name is Mr. Johnny Rivers! He’s never paid for sex ant a strip club.

So he goes off with Curvy Girl to the back room. I’ll be interested to hear how that all goes in a little while. I look over at the stage and there is a really fit black girl sliding around the pole like a lovely ebony serpent. Her body, a lean vessel of sinew and muscle. Already she’s my favorite girl in the place. I know what I just said about lap dances, but I’m a leg man, and her legs are killer. She’s smoking hot.

She comes off the stage and right towards me. I love her! “Hi.” she says in a low sexy voice. Her body is absolutely slammin’. She looks me in eye, takes my hand, and places it on her left breast. Her nipple is like a rubber bullet pressing against my palm. (Just writing this is making me want to stop in there and see if she’s working tonight. Vice!) I gently squeeze her breast and she smiles. Then I release her.

“You’re beautiful! I’m a leg man, and man…if your legs aren’t spectacular.”

“Thank you.”

Johnny returns. “Oh, and what bit of ebony delish is this?” She says hello and gives us her stage name.

“You can touch my legs if you want to.”

I am smitten by this dark temptress. I couldn’t resist. I reach down and just run my hand up the back of her leg. Exquisite. I hand her a few more bucks.

“Do you want to get a private dance with me?”

“You’re the prettiest girl in here. Do you mind if I catch up with my friend, and think about it for a bit?”

“Sure thing. But if you get a dance with me I’ll make your dick hard.”

She slinks away with feline grace. I want that ass, but I don’t do lap dances. I think it’s just a waste of money and gets you nothing in the end. I guess I could make this example: I like to drink. You buy a bottle of something for about $12 and drink it. Over the next few hours of doing whatever you’re doing, you get a buzz, relax, feel good, socialize, or just chill out and let go. So for $12 you can have a great night.

If I go to a casino, I spend $20 because I’m not a gambler and never have been. I burn through that $20 in under 15 minutes, and I’m done. I don’t get off. I don’t feel good, and I’m out $20. Now I know it doesn’t work that way for real gamblers. They get high on the action, not the winning or the losing. Just the action. You see, I need some sort of payoff. I need the reward and with booze I get it, and with gambling I don’t.”

I love women and sex. I have been addicted to the feeling of love, and not really been in love. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s how it worked. You meet a woman, there is the spark of romance, and if there is chemistry the payoff is hot love and sex. Huge payoff. I think love is the best drug in the world. If we could have sex all the time and feel loved, we’d probably have a lot less problems. I think the greatest feeling one can have, it to love and be loved.

But hey, I digress. That’s why I can’t invest the $20 in the lap dance. I get the action and zero payoff. Now I’m sure Johnny has a whole different view on this issue. Because he likes to gamble, and as we know in the past he’s paid the $20 for the lapper, and gotten a blow job out of it or straight up banged the stripper bareback. Yea…bareback. Like I said. Johnny’s a gambler.

Let’s see if his little foray with curvy girl paid off.

“So, what happened back there with her?”

“I don’t know what’s going on. The last few times I’ve been here, the girls won’t do anything sexual.”

“Think you’re losing your touch?”

“No, it’s probably because the place has been busted so many times. Do you think I’m starting to look like a cop?”

“Well you are Irish Catholic and approaching middle age, sir.”

“Really? I’m not even forty yet, asshole.”

“Wanna blow this place?”

“That’s a lot of dudes. I think they’re here for the ladies, not to get sucked off by you.”

“Let’s go. I’ll call you an UBER.”

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Johnny R. – Needle in the Groove – Part 1

Another fun day with my friend who loves vice.

I love this day. I finally get to write about Johnny R. with a little vice because I planned it that way. Art imitates life.

I sleep in on Saturday, because it’s the only day I  am technically off from my two jobs. The real day off. That’s plenty of time for me, because I like to work.

Johnny texts me that he will roll into Suburban Station around 1pm. I have to get out of this bed. I am drifting in and out of the arms of Morpheus and listening to NPR. I have to go out and be with my dear friend.

His train is coming in and I am walking towards the station. He says he is busting for a piss and is going to Tir Na Nog. That’s the closest bar to the train station, and a beloved spot for him because they have a satellite dish and play all of the liverpool soccer games that he loves all the time. I don’t get it because I’m not a sports guy but he loves it. I know when Johnny says he’s heading to Tir to take a piss that means he’s going to be drinking 5 minutes after that, so I need to get there sooner than later.

I arrive and he looks great and we’re happy to see each other. Tir Na Nog is obviously an Irish bar on 16th street near Arch. It’s a good spot but normally is a sausage bar. Lot’s of dudes and sports fans. Never my cup of tea. I prefer hotel bars with pretty nubile waitresses eager to please me.

Johnny is sucking on a bud bottle and seems surly. He says he has no coke or adderall so he’s probably going to behave but be tired later on. I don’t mind. As long as I can spend time with my friend and we get our kicks, I know we’ll all be better for it and his wallet won’t hurt tomorrow. (Nor will his soul)

He tells me he hates the raven haired Irish female bartender that’s currently on shift. I love his rage about everything. I ask him why, and he tells me that he sat here with an empty bottle and she ignored him and went to talk to her friends at the end of the bar. Normally I would hate this too but I have a little surprise that I didn’t see coming for my friend Johnny.

Johhny: “I fuckin’ hate her. Shitty service.”

Me: “Hello Sheila! I haven’t seen you in a while. How you been?”

Sheila: ” Hey, great man, I’ll come by the new salon soon!”

Johnny looks at me incredulously.

Sheila: “Hey, this round is on me.”

Johnny: “How?”

Me: ” She tans at the salon so she doesn’t look so pale when she goes back to Ireland every year.”

Johnny: “Wow. Thank you.”

Me: (I point to me and then him) “Honey… vinegar. It’s all good dude.”

That was a huge savings and an elegant meeting spot for me and Johnny. It had history, soccer and free drinks in it!

We head down to Locust Rendezvous for some food, because all I’ve had in the way of food today was beer. We get there and the place is chill. We sit in our usual seats at the end of the bar and I order a Yards Pale and some chicken fingers. Johnny goes for the plain grilled and I of course go for the buffalo.

Locust Rendezvous is a clean little dive down at 15th and Locust. Local crowd. The food is good and cheap. The staff is consistent and sweet. They have a fantastic $5 burger lunch special there. Check it out if you’re ever in Philly. Worth it! We’re chatting and sipping our beers. Johnny with his Bud bottle as always. The food comes out and it looks great. Johnny complains that his chicken is tough but he bitches about everything. It’s actually endearing and one of the reasons I love him. It’s like hanging out with comedian Bill Burr.

Our day is unfolding beautifully, until he gets a piece of chicken lodged not in his throat but in his esophagus. He has a thing. It’s not serious but you know how deadly chicken and it’s bones can be to humans and dogs.

Johnny pauses. I turn. “Are you okay, dude?”

“I’m fine. Just a piece of chicken that needs to keep going to my stomach.”

“Is there anything I can do?” I’m getting worried about my friend.

“”No. I just need to go to the bathroom.”

I’m concerned, but it’s his thing and he knows how to deal with it. Chicken is dense and you gotta take little bites.

I continue to drink my beer and rip into my delicious “moist” buffalo chicken fingers. After a few minutes he comes back and he’s fine. I’m relieved and he’s still pissed about his dry chicken. But that’s just Johnny. It didn’t kill you, so eat it brother.

I finish my meal and I know what’s going to happen. Since all I’ve consumed has been beers and buffalo chicken today and that has been breakfast and lunch, I need to go. It’s called middle age. You put something in your body and the system turns on and things start moving. I tell him I’ll be right back and I walk to the back of the bar to the men’s room. It’s funny because the bathrooms are labeled. “Nuts” and “No Nuts” and they have pictures of a boy and a girl squirrel. It’s pretty obvious what bathroom has been appointed to which sex, but I just wonder why they went with that theme here. It has nothing to do with the bar.

I really have to go. The machine is running and I need to deal with this. Forgive me readers for going here. Some of you may hate anything bathroom related, but I promise if you stay with this scene, you’ll enjoy it.

I go into the “Nuts” bathroom because I have a pair, and I tie my button down dress shirt in a knot at the bottom so it’s away from all of the action. Every time I do this I always think of Rod Stewart tying the bottom of his shirt and looking gay. Nothing against the gay community or Rod, (No pun intended) I love gay people but this move always makes me feel a little gay.

I drop my drawers and have a seat. It’s a tiny bathroom. Just one commode, a sink and that’s it. Just me, my phone and my thoughts. I’m cool. I’m having a good day with my pal who’s at the front of the bar probably sipping his beer and playing with his phone.

I finish and life is good. I feel relieved and I’m having a great day with my dear friend. Hopefully there’s more fun and deviltry to come. So I’m ready to get up and I look around. First casually, then frantically. There’s no toilet paper in the men’s room. Not a stitch. Not a square. Nothing! There is a little soggy wad next to the toilet on the floor in the corner. I’m not touching that!

What the fuck am I going to do? I can’t wipe!

I’m panicking now. I’m trapped in the Nuts room and I can’t leave.

Wait! I brought my phone in with me. I’ll call Johnny and tell him my situation and he’ll tell the bartender and someone will run back a roll to save me!

I pride myself in knowing where all of the liquor stores and clean bathrooms are in this fine city. I’ve done this my entire life. Sometimes I get tummy troubles and a man need to know where to get a clean restroom. This comes in really handy with the fairer sex. But I’m being held hostage by my dirty ass right now and I have failed myself as a good bathroom vigil.

I grab my phone and call him. You can’t text your friend at the bar when you are trapped in the bathroom. You have to call! He’ll pick up. I’m with him right now. I dial his number.

Ringing…

“Pick up…”

“Pick up…”

“Pick up Johnny….”

“Pick up you fucking asshole!”

(voicemail) “You have reached (phone number) Johnny is not available…”

“Are you fucking kidding me???”

How is everybody chained to their phones and you are literally sitting at the bar with me in the same bar and you are on your phone and I am calling you and you are not picking up you fucking asshole???

He never picks up.

I’m stranded in this bathroom. I want to kill him. I really want to kill him. I’m going to kill my friend next time I see him.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I have been in worst situations so I need to get creative and do what is necessary. I get up off the seat with my pants around my ankles and turn my butt toward the sink. I hop towards it and get to the sink. I grab the porcelain and hoist my ass up onto the sink. Apparently the sinks in Locust Rendezvous are strong enough to support the full weight of a grown man. I reach back behind me and turn the spigot on. The water is running now. Is it the hot water or the cold? Should I turn them both on?

I feel like a little kid now. Sitting on a another toilet with my little legs dangling in the air a foot of the ground because I’m small. I reach back to check the temperature of the water with my hand. The water feels ok, so I realize the inevitable. I lean forward and get my ass as close the water stream as close as possible to my sweet star fruit. I reach back and literally scrub my asshole with my bare hand under the fresh stream of water from the faucet.

How do they even open their bar on a Saturday and not even check the bathroom situation? At the beginning of my shift at the salon I run patrol on the whole place. Well I suppose this is how you earn the title, “Dive Bar.”

So I scrub my asshole clean until it squeaks. There isn’t even a way to dry my butt because they have an air dryer for your hands in there. And I am not going to be able to do the gymnastic to do a head stand on the sink and get my balloon knot up under that blower to dry off my turd cutter. (Yea, I’m using creative names to make it even funnier than this sad situation already is.)

I hop down when I’m done and am actually a little proud of myself for my resourcefulness and creativity in a bad situation. Urban survival techniques!

I thoroughly wash my hand with their soap. I use it copiously! Then I get to take advantage of their modern hand air dryer in the bathroom with NO TOILET PAPER! Because if they had any paper hand towels I would have totally ripped them up and wiped my sorry ass with them. If it clogged up the toilet I would have been fine with that because that’s your punishment for not doing your fucking job and checking the bar before your shift! Now you have a REAL mess to clean up, lazy! (I kidding…I wouldn’t really do that)

So I walk out of the bathroom and back to the bar with my super clean, still wet ass and I see Johnny just sitting there sipping his beer.

“You wouldn’t believe what just fucking happened to me in the bathroom!”

“The redhead blew you?”

“Really, dude? No! there was no toilet paper in there and I had to use the sink as a fucking bidet on my butthole!”

“(Nonchalantly) Oh…I saw that you called.”

“Why the fuck didn’t you pick up?”

“I just thought you accidentally butt dialed me.”

“Yea! My butt was crying out for help and you left it literally blowing in the wind!”

“Alright. I got lunch. Wanna go to McGlinchey’s?”

“Dude! I needed your hel… You got lunch?”

“Yea.”

“Okay. I’ll buy the first round at McGlinch…”

“I hate when you abbreviate everything.”

“It’s my thing. It’s what I do.”

“We know. Let’s go.”

We step out onto 15th street headed to the foulest bar in the city.

“Why couldn’t you have choked on that piece of chicken.”

“What?

“Love you….”

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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7 Habits that Guarantee a Happy Relationship

Disclaimer: This is a fictional piece that was written in 2017 that uses stock photos and a made up name.

Looking for love? Or simply aiming to be happy with the partner you already have? While the media is awash with information on finding true love, once you’ve met your match you’re expected to simply live happily ever after.

But according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 42 per cent of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce and many of us could do with some guidance in the relationship department.

The secret to lasting love

To avoid being one of these disconcerting statistics, help is at hand. If you want to be part of a happy couple, Dr Robert Epstein is your guy. The renowned American psychologist, along with colleagues Regina Warfel and James Johnson, conducted in-depth relationship research at the University of California San Diego and found strong relationships boil down to seven key skills.

‘No matter what your personality, or the state of your relationship, improving these skills will help your relationship work better,’ he says.

According to Dr Robert Epstein, the seven key relationship skills you need to follow are as follows:

1. Communication

This means knowing how to listen, sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, refraining from criticizing and encouraging your partner to share his or her feelings.

It’s all about opening up, and letting your other half open up too, in a judgement-free space. Sounds simple enough!

2. Knowledge of your partner

What’s his shirt size? What’s her favorite food? After communication, simply knowing a lot about your partner is a powerful way to show them you care, and makes you better equipped to tend to each other’s ongoing needs.

When she gets home from a stressful day and you’ve run a bath with her favourite lavender oil and poured a cup of Pinot Grigio, she’ll know how much you really do care (and listen).

3. Being mature about conflict resolution

Conflict-resolution skills include techniques like staying focused on the topic, staying in the present, being ready to forgive or apologize, and knowing when to take a break. You’re going to disagree, so make sure you do it in the best way possible.

4. Brushing up your life skills

Do you plan for emergencies? Do you exercise and stay fit? Studies show people want their partners to take good care of themselves and also want them to contribute a degree of security to a long-term relationship.

We’re not saying you need the survival skills of Bear Grylls, but being calm in a crisis and having a plan B when things don’t work out makes you a far more appealing mate.

5. Being able to self-manage

This is not the same as life skills, Epstein insists. People who are skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their goals.

This skill is also great for life in general, and it can help boost everything from professional success to your relationships with your children.

6. Being romantic and intimate

What does having strong skills in sex and romance look like? Inquiring and caring about how to please your partner sexually, setting aside time for intimacy, refraining from blaming each other when sex doesn’t go smoothly, and trying to stay physically attractive for your partner. So lay off the donuts and make time for romance!

7. Stress management

Do you know how to use breathing, meditation, or imagery techniques to help you fight stress? If you know how to avoid or fight stress, you’ll be better able to love and support your partner.

 

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