Friday Firesmith – Where There Is Smoke There Is Firesmith

Firesmith logo

Drinking in The South was a rite of passage for males. If you were going to be a man you were going to have to drink to excess. The drug thing, not so much, but I felt as if doing a liquid drug was good then doing a liquid and a smoke was even better. I truly do not remember one complete week of High School. I do remember some of the things they told me I did and I remember The Smoke Bomb. It was one of those defining moments of my life as to whether or not I was going to live like some sheep carrying book inside of a prison, or if I was going to voice my concern about my general welfare by committing an act of arson and anarchy. The idea of anarchy won. My freshman year of High school was about to become interesting.

My father had done some black powder hunting but had more or less given it up. He still had some metal cans with gun powder in them, and I had heard that if sulfur burned it smelled truly rancid. I took out a small amount of black powder from one of the cans, mixed it with some sulfur from my old chemistry set, and set it ablaze. It was disappointing. It smelled bad, sure, but it burned far too quickly to ignite all the sulfur. I had to come up with some idea so I tried some filler material. I chose wax because it does burn, but not as quick as gunpowder, and it turns into a liquid and it a bitch to put out with water if it gets hot enough. Sulfur, gun powder, and wax worked very well in the trials.

The boy’s locker room at school was pretty much the standard fare locker room, but there were a couple of the wall lockers that were broken. No one ever used them or opened them, so a couple of days before the event I started hauling in supplies so no one would see me come in with a lumpy package. I brought in the wax and sulfur first because it was so benign no one would or could accuse me of bomb making at that point, and on day of the event I snuck in early, mixed what was about half a large manila envelope of wax shavings, with a pound of gunpowder and two pounds of sulfur. I made a fuse that I would light using a cigarette and hid the bomb under a pile of trash and an old dirty towel. I had gym for the first class and obediently did my jumping jacks, push-ups, and other exercises. While everyone else was showering and getting ready for class, I hastily lit a cigarette, jammed it into the fuse, and then went outside to pick a fight with one of the coaches. Coach Stocky was a bulldog of a man who never grew higher than
waist level as a child and as a result, just got broader. I asked him if he ever thought about suing the school for building the floor so close to his ass and he went off the deep end. A cigarette will burn down in about four minutes. A high school coach’s attention span when focused on yelling at the school screw up is considerable longer. About a minute deep I turned and walked off from him which assured me he was going to grab me and made me stand there and take it.

There was a yell, and then another, and then there was a chorus of yelling and screaming and suddenly the locker room began to empty out in a hurry. I followed Stocky back into the locker room, and damn, I’m here to tell you there was some smoke. Think, angry, grey smoke, poured out of the locker like some Stygian nightmare with an industrial color scheme. Like the hell it was, the locker room only needed a bat winged demon for d├ęcor. The smart kids were
getting the hell out of dodge, some sans clothing but the rest were watching the show. Stocky grabbed a broom and tried to beat the fire out. What he managed to do was set the broom on fire, spread my version of Greek fire, and got a serious case of smoke inhalation. It took four of us to carry him out of the locker room. For reasons I never understood they never called the fire department, but damn, what some smoke!

I knew, really knew, if this had played out like the trials did, they would be looking for someone’s head, and mine would be first on the block. I had learned early on there are two rules to keep yourself out of trouble.
   1. Work alone.
   2. Never tell anyone what you’ve done.

You wouldn’t believe the trouble you’ll get into have someone there with you. With two suspects they’ll take them to separate rooms and tell each of them, “You buddy says this was all your idea and he was just watching.” They both with turn on one another and they’d get humped. By this time in my life I knew damn well I couldn’t trust anyone else, and regardless of what you might think of the public school system, it is always the unpopular kids who get punished more
severely than those who are more culturally acceptable. Blaming Mike Firesmith was an easy way to get out of any trouble, and I played the reverse card on that one constantly saying they always blamed me. This time they were right. They knew they were right. But they couldn’t prove it.

I also learned early on there were guys who would come up to you and pretend to be all excited and happy and your best friend and then take what you had told them to the principal’s office as fast as they could scurry there. So the very first thing I did in the aftermath of the smoke bomb was to run around and asking other guys if they had done it. I tried to get one or two to confess to me they had while we were in front of other people, and this tactic worked better than you could believe. Some straight laced loser who never got into any trouble thought he would mess with me by telling me he did it but someone overheard him bragging about it. While being interrogated I told them I had overheard a confession and so had others.

The incident marked a turning point between myself, the school officials, the coaches, and most of the other students. While I never admitted to what I had done, it was generally believed I had done it. It was the first thing I did that scared people to the point they began to do something they had never done before; they left me alone. Far from an act that I committed for attention, this was fang bearing. This was a long low growl. This was my first trip into real destruction and it showed them whatever was happening in my head had begun to accelerate. The war was to last another three years before they surrendered.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – Own A Dog

Firesmith logo

Seeing a dog in a movie or some cute You Tube video may inspire you to go out and get a dog, but trust me, owning a dog is nothing like what you see on television or some twenty second cuteness clip. Owning a dog is a lot of work, and it’s a constant thing. You can’t unplug a dog or simply put it on a shelf somewhere. A dog is a dog twenty-four seven three sixty five. That is, unless you get a puppy and a puppy is a puppy for somewhere around three years. That’s twenty– one years in training time.

I recommend strays. Two of my three were at one point strays, and I’m here to tell you it’s a hell of a thing to pick something up off the highway that someone else threw out. Bert, the one dog I have that I got from a shelter, found Sam, The Happy Hound, near our home in the woods. Sam was a wreck. A woman in the vet’s office burst into tears when she first saw him. I didn’t think any living creature carrying that much abuse would live, or could live, but Sam has been with us now for over ten years. I can leave the gate open and Sam will be in the yard when I get back. Sam has discovered food in only one location on this earth and he is not going to leave. Part Lab, and part Greyhound, Sam has been an interesting mix to watch.

Lucas was a pure road find. I literally stopped and picked him up off the side of the road. He wasn’t nearly as in bad shape as Sam but he was slipping towards it. Lucas is primarily a Weimaraner but he also has something else tossed into the mix and I suspect strongly it’s Pit. I spend a lot of time with my dogs, and I spent a lot of Lucas’ puppyhood training him. “Stunted” as a word the vet used because Lucas had been malnourished for the first six months of his life.
Lucas weighs nearly a hundred pounds now. He’s the largest dog I’ve ever raised and he’s got he attitude to go with it. He isn’t mean or aggressive but he doesn’t back down from the Elder Mutts, Bert and Sam, anymore. Lucas seems to think I went out and looked for him in particular, ad that is why we are together. He likes being as close as possible to me, but he isn’t needy, like Sam is. Lucas rode in my lap on the way home the day I found him. He leaned into me, we
bonded right then, and it’s been an exceptional relationship since.

Living with dogs, especially a puppy, isn’t cheap or easy. Training, training, training, and then more training will make everyone’s live a lot easier and it can be frustrating. Accept the idea that dogs, like Bert, sometimes dig bunkers. Become one with the idea that some puppies, like Lucas, chew the siding off your house. Live with the idea that some breeds of dogs, like Lab and Greyhound mixes (SAM!), kill small mammals. I have not said it would be easy. I never
claimed it would be cheap. In order to override a dog’s instinct to dig, or destroy, or chase, or bark, or bite, the Alpha Pack Member has to spend enough time with the dog to understand why that dog is doing what he does when he does it. Dogs are a lot like children in they know who cares about them versus who is just trying to order them around. I keep order in a house where there is over two hundred fifty pounds of tame wolf embodied in three different fur suits, at least
six breeds of canine, with ages ranging from twelve to three. This isn’t a family. This is a pack. The dynamics of the three interacting can be intense. Dogs rely on two things and two things only when they react to the outside, and their own inside, world; their instincts and your training.

I want to say a few words about Pits while we’re talking about dogs. In fifty years I have never met a more loyal and loving breed of dog than Pit Bull Dogs. They are, however, very active and very motivated individuals. They need a lot of play or a lot of work. If you decide to get a Pit Bull then you are going to have to wear that animal out three or four times a week just to break even. You will either exercise a Pit or he will do it himself on his own terms. Pits are not good apartment dogs and they fare poorly tethered as most dogs do. You will deeply regret not talking proper care of a dog in general but in particular, negligent treatment of a Pit can have dire results. This is the fault of the caretaker of the dog, not the dog’s fault.

Do it right, and do it well, and you will find little on earth as rewarding as spending time with canines. They are made entirely of the unconditional love. They know when you are hurting or sad and will do much or anything to help you. They are fueled by play. They are joyous and happy creatures who live to worship you. They can be as fierce as they are loving. No one will ever harm your children as long as your dog draws breath. If Elizabeth Smart would have had a Pit Bull on her pillow you would have never heard her name. They bark at thieves and at fires. They stand watch at night and in day, in weather fair and foul, and all they ask is to be loved.

Dogs are not for everyone for many reasons, but if I found myself at the end of one of those reasons I would change my life so I could have a dog with me.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Joan of Stars

Firesmith logo

The stars were incredible. In the darkest night with no other light around you have to feel small in front of that many stars. My vision blurred, and even through the tears I was still awed by that much starlight.

I had to pick a good costume, and I knew it was important to look good this year. Last year I had gone as a clown, and Terry had helped me put the makeup on, yeah, that thick white caked greasy stuff, and she also helped me take it off when she threw a drink in my face. We had been friends for a couple of years and we ought to have known better than to try to be lovers, but she didn’t and it crashed at her annual Halloween party.

So this year people wondered if I would show up, and if I did show up, would I bring a date, and if I didn’t bring a date, if it would be awkward. Terry had found someone else, and I knew the guy. He was one of those people everyone likes, and I suspect they were getting friendly before  that last drink was served. That’s just bitterness, I admit it, because Terry wouldn’t have cheated on me, and I doubt she could have kept it a secret if she had. But I had fallen back into the old habit of not going out, and keeping to myself and writing. A few of my short stories sold, and I got picked up for a few months to write for a zine, for money, so I was actually doing fairly well. But I knew showing up alone at Terry’s party would be kinda weird, but I went anyway. I truly love costume parties. This would be the fifth in a row for me, and honestly, Terry always threw a great party.

I was going to skip out, and my friend Rob was the one who pushed me back in. He and his girlfriend were going as his and hers robots, and man, did he do a great job on the robot suits, but at the last moment he broke his foot so he offered his work of art to me. I think he knew I was looking for an excuse to go, and Rob’s Robot was more than enough. It was made out of plastic sheeting fitted with arm holes and the arms were made out of corrugated tubing. Rob had rigged a DVD player up to a thin screen monitor and a cam so on the front of the robot it looked like there was a hole right through! The helmet was made out of a metal strainer, just to make it look goofy, but it covered my entire head. There were a lot of those tiny LED lights, and somehow Rob had rigged it so anyone who talked to him would also get the lights moving in rhythm with their speech. Most of the people at the party knew about the suit, but some of them didn’t know about Rob’s foot. Terry greeted me at the door thinking I was Rob, and I didn’t tell her any differently, and glided past the question about where Debra, Rob’s girlfriend, might be.

I spent most of the night flipping open the hood to explain I wasn’t Rob, and telling the story about his foot, but I also noticed that Terry and Norman, her latest conquest, dammit I have got to quit that, were doing quite well together. They looked like a good couple. And really, how else would someone named Norman come to a costume party except as a Knight? Terry was dressed like a princess and I knew it meant something for them to plan their costumes together, like Ron and Debra…

“You’re the ex boyfriend, the one on YouTube from last year’s party.”

I had seen her at the bar, and Terry always hired a great bartender, but I didn’t know her. She looked young, maybe twenty, and she was wearing a very simple but very original dress. It was something like a peasant would wear, or a serf but she was stunning in it. She had long black hair and incredible blue eyes. She was a little young for me to be hitting on, but she was very cute.

“Yes, that one got quite a few hits.” I laughed but I wondered how she had recognized me.

“You came in disguised, and you’ve avoided our hostess.” The woman said as she sat down on one of the wooden benches in the yard. “The little blonde in the cat suit told on you.”

“Do I know you?” I asked.

“Joan of Arc,” she said, “And your name?”

“Eli, the Tin Man.” I replied. “Joan, you look great in that dress.”

“Oh, you just noticed?” Joan smiled. “You’ve been watching your ex-girlfriend since you’ve gotten here, and you are just now making contact with another woman, even though you’ve got the best outfit by far. But you aren’t in love with her.”

“Really?” Okay, what does a man say to something like that? “How can you tell?”

“You aren’t drinking enough.”Joan said. “You’re watching her because you’re curious about what is going to happen next, not because you’re jealous.” She shifted over a bit and I was forced to either watch her or Terry. Joan won. “You still care, Eli, and that’s weird considering about this time last year you were soaking up a margarita with your face.”

It was odd how this woman watched people, and how well she did it. She told me that Samantha, the cat suit woman, had been watching the gate all night until I got there, and when she realized who I was, or who I wasn’t she stopped watching.

“So does Samantha have the hots for you or this guy Rob?” she asked.

“Hard to say.” I admitted. “I never liked her much. She talks too much.”

“Did you notice how the guy with the telephone on his leg keep trying to talk to her?” Joan asked. “And why is he wearing that weird suit?”

“It’s polyester and he’s a phone knee.”

Joan laughed hard at that, and I liked her. I noticed Terry was watching so I eased a hand around Joan’s waist. “If I push you away right now you can never come back to one of her parties again, you know.” Joan said.

“If you’ll laugh like that at the phone knee joke you aren’t interested in pushing me away.” I said, and I held my breath a little.

“You’re right, Eli.” Joan leaned over to me and kissed me on the cheek. “So let’s scandalize the party and leave together. “

“Where to?”

“Your place.”

Watching starsShe helped me take the robot parts off and put them in the trunk of the car, and we headed out to my house. I live out in the sticks, but that didn’t seem to bother her at all. She didn’t have a purse, or any accessories like most women do. And we talked for hours in the front yard where all the stars are. I went in and got a blanket and we lay on our backs and held hands. She knew all the constellations, and knew the names of many of the stars, and I could see the shadow of her hand as it flitted back and forth between light years of space between stars and star and stars. The sun was coming up so we went inside and she let me undress her.

We spent the next day talking, and she wanted to see my writings, and it occurred to me that she hadn’t said anything about having to get home, or where she was from, or how she knew Terry. She deflected a couple of questions, and I could tell after the third or fourth try she was getting irritated. What to do? A woman twelve years younger than I, willing to spend the rest of Halloween weekend with me, and no questions asked? Yeah, as curious as I was, I didn’t want to
push her away. Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, and after dinner on Sunday she went to take a shower.

“Who do you think is really hot, Eli?” Joan asked me from the shower. “Any woman, at any time.”

“Marilyn” I said. “She still does it for me. Why?”

Joan didn’t answer. I waited for her to say something, anything at all, but there was only the sound of the shower running. I waited for a little while then went to check on her, did me liking Marilyn make her mad? But Joan was gone. The floor was dry, the windows where still shut and all the towels still hung on the rack. But Joan wasn’t there. I called her name but she was totally gone. There wasn’t a sign of her anywhere. I went outside and no one was there either. I was left alone under a sea of stars, and I had no idea if Joan had ever existed at all.

Read moreFriday Firesmith – Joan of Stars

Friday Firesmith – The President’s Niece

Firesmith logo

There was once a time when being a teenager was paramount to being slave labor. It didn’t matter at all what you wanted to do, or what you could be doing, because you were going to be told what to do and that was the end of the story. There was the Theory of Adult Infallibility which stated that once an adult, and it didn’t have to be your parents or a relative, issued some sort of edict then the world would come to an end if it wasn’t obeyed. Teachers were the worst of the lot when it came to this sort of thing, followed very closely by neighbors with gardens and
bitchy old women who couldn’t mow their own grass. There were no riding lawn mowers back in those days, mind you, and all of the push mowers weighed about one hundred pounds and had a six inch cutting path.

My mother got into the catering business at the right time because one of the people who liked eating at her restaurant decided to get into the entertainment business. He was going to host some of the biggest names in country music and have small shows, no more than five or six hundred people. Of course, it didn’t matter that I hated country music with a passion. I was into metal and the idea of meeting anyone who was anyone in the country music scene didn’t interest me at all. Reba when she was very young, Emmy Lou Harris when her hair was dark, Tom T. Hall, Charlie Pride, Charlie Rich, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, and a host of other country music legends ate at the same table as I did and I would have rather eaten alone, and had glass as a main dish than watch these people perform. But because I was a teenager and because my mother needed help washing dishes and cleaning up, I was forced to rub elbows with country music’s best and brightest.

All of this was made worse by Ray Stevens, who had several very funny songs and “The Streak” was one of my favorites. I begged to be allowed to go with the guy who picked Ray Stevens at the airport and my mother finally agreed. I was going to meet Ray Stevens! But as it turns out, Stevens was a certifiable jerk. He refused to shake hands with us, demanded we turn the radio off and more or less acted as if we were something he just rather scrape off the bottom of his shoe. Oh, once he got around someone with a camera he was all smiles and laughing and falling all over himself friendly. Stevens put on a great act pretending he was just a good ole boy who made if big and it didn’t change him but that wasn’t who he was offstage.

One of the other events held at this venue was a beauty contest. Someone had the bright idea of getting Billy Carter, who was the nearly always drunk brother of President Jimmy Carter, to enter his daughter in the contest and that would draw a lot of attention, and it did. Now the single acts had a small office they could use as a dressing room, but we blocked off a larger room for big acts to change in, or in this case, a beauty contest. My mother instructed me to
make sure all the windows were covered with newspaper and taped down but good. Yet there was this interior door that was always locked, and it had windows too. I made sure the glass in that door was taped up well, except, of course, for a small hole, suitable for viewing.

Somehow, it seemed surreal. At that point in my life I had never seen a naked woman or nearly naked girl. The hormones where there, the desire was there, but I had yet to get a driver’s license or have a first date. I slipped out of the kitchen and down the dark hallway and into the office beside the dressing room. There were a dozen young women undressing before my eyes. It was hard to believe it was real or that the plan had worked, but there they were. None were totally naked but all were trying to stuff their boobs into evening dresses and walking around in their underwear. The president’s niece, who wasn’t by far the most attractive of the group, was walking around topless. My knees felt weak. My breathing nearly stopped. I hurried back to the kitchen to await the next break in the action.

They changed costumes three times, and each time I would slip away to watch. Finally, the swimsuit part of the contest came due, and my heart nearly burst. No man awaiting execution or awarded the keys of heaven has ever been in such a state as I. I slipped away from the kitchen, made my way back to the viewing portal and there before my naked eyes…


Of course, when fate smiles upon a young man fate really smiles upon him so as the last girl finally got dressed for the last time, and I made my way back to the kitchen, my mother caught me trying to sneak back in and instantly surmised what I had been doing. She pitched a fit about it, and grounded me, but all that did was spread the news that I had seen each and every one of the beauty queens nude. The story lost nothing in the telling. The news that I had seen the President of The United States niece in the nude made me locally famous and instantly popular with the older guys.

Mostly, I remember the excitement of doing something erotic and wrong rather than what the girls looked like, though that was my first experience seeing a true blonde. The president’s niece won the contest but not because she had the best looking body, at least not from where I was looking.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Ex Sex

Firesmith logo

I was married for 989 days. This may not seem very long but I consider it to be 17 dog years. I married late in life and I had always wondered about all the things my married friends had bitched about, you know, the way women spend money, the way they are moody as hell and how they have some grand scheme for interior design that doesn’t seem to serve any purpose but to spend more money. Mine had a bingo card of stereotypical wife traits and filled the card diagonally, by longitude, by latitude, at altitude, and in a 3D attitude. When the end came, slowly, like pulling a nine inch nail out of the bottom of my foot, I discovered a whole new world.

The first discovery is that everyone, universally, after they get divorced, wants to fix something they broke. Meeting a woman who was interested in me, and willing to get naked with me, and able to get up and the morning and not feel like I was going to be a poorer man for the experience was exhilarating. Yet at her door was my baggage and I trusted a woman as far as  I could throw the paper airplane I had made out of my marriage license before I burned it in plastic pool filled with gasoline. NASA called and they said the space shuttle wanted to know what that bright spot on the radar was and I screamed, “FREEDOM!” in my best William Wallace voice. This isn’t the first time the government and I have crossed paths, and you’ll come to realize neither of us likes it when this happens.

I wandered a bit once the leash was released and I met a couple who had been divorced for a few years, yet were still dating. I can’t even write that and it not sound weird. I felt like calling in a single person as a translator. Being single is not the same as being divorced. It’s the difference between being a virgin and someone who isn’t being screwed right now. Single people are undamaged goods. They can still think clearly when it comes to relationships. Getting
a divorced person to sit in judgment of a relationship is a lot like getting a shark attack victim to help you set up an aquarium.

The dating ex-s said they couldn’t live together, but they found convenient to share time with one another because of the kids. As a writer I lack the filter that keeps inappropriate questions from popping out of my mouth, so I asked them if they were having sex. Drinking people will talk about sex, and we were all drinking or this would have never come up in the first place, so they admitted, yes, sex was the reason they were dating. My sex life during marriage was akin to pleasure cruise on the Titanic an hour after the iceberg. Propeller Man had a better time at the end than I did, honestly. The thought of having ex sex for me is akin to me reliving my last traffic accident. Oh sure, there was a bang at the end, but paying that deductible was a bitch. That’s what a divorces is, really, marriage insurance where you make monthly payments and then have to pay a ton of money at the end to get things fixed right again.

And like a car that has been T-boned, once you’ve been in a wreck you will never be the same again. You’ll start to compare women to the ex once you’ve reached a certain stage in the relationship and it will never be a good thing. When she flings something you own out of the backdoor because she found it on the floor the thought, “That just plain pisses women off when I do that” won’t pop into your head. The thought, “Oh my dog she’s as insane as the last one” will pop into your head and no matter what happens next, you’ll already be looking down that same path.

I was drawn to the dating ex-s because I thought it would be a bit like watching the smoldering fuse of a bomb that hasn’t gone off yet. How do you feel about her dating someone else, I asked and he said he was cool with it as long as the guy was good to her, and wasn’t a jerk. You were a jerk she laughed and I knew with a little prodding I could make that explosion happen, but I eased towards the door. Watching two people fight when they’re married is like being in the same room as two people chained to a ceiling fan with an Exlax overdose in both of them. Being in the same room as two people fighting who have divorced one another is like having to unlock them at full speed with your mouth jammed open.

Believe it or not, I still believe in love. I still believe in marriage, and by that I mean I believe that two people can commit to one another and decide to share their lives and not only be happy, but be incredibly happy. I believe that if you find the right person you’ll know it, and even if you are wrong, terribly wrong, horribly wrong, demonically wrong to the point you have that same sense to foulness the people who voted for Richard Nixon feel, it’s still worth it. If you’re going to be a fool in life, and trust me, you are if you keep living, what else is there to be, if not a fool for love? If you are going to believe anything at all, why not believe that one day you will meet someone and you will both be very happy until death do you part? Why not buy into this? No one else has anything else to sell when it gets right down to it, and it does. The two ex-s who are dating aren’t stupid for dating, no, they are stupid because they gave up.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – Strippers

Firesmith logo

I dated a stripper at one point in my life but when she and I started out we were not dating and she was not a stripper. It was one of those evolution things, where sex turns into something more and it surprised us both. When she told me she was going to quit college to become a stripper I was all for it. I mean, what guy doesn’t want to be seen with a stripper, right? The first time I saw her on stage was more than a little surreal. Not because she was getting naked in front of other men and not because she was gyrating around beautifully, but because it was the first time in my life I had the chance to look at strippers, and stripping, objectively. I could tell, and I knew she could tell too, which guys she was going to be able to milk for every one dollar bill to their name, and perhaps more, much more, before the night was done.

    As a boyfriend to one of the other women, the other girls also treated me just a little different. They stopped trying to sell me lap dances and expensive drinks. In the first fifteen minutes of being there it was exciting as hell to get into conversations with naked women but take away the music, take away the dancing, take away being around other guys who are yelling and getting into the scene, and suddenly you’re just talking to a woman who has no clothes on. An hour deep into the experience and suddenly, as odd as it may sound, the nudity of the situation really wasn’t as big a deal as it had always been before. Don’t get me wrong here. There were some women walking around that place that were really and truly and honestly beautiful, and I enjoyed watching the show. But the energized excitement that had always been associated with strippers and stripping had slowly ebbed away. It was replaced by an understand of stripping as an art form, performed by hard working young women, for men who basically wanted to get drunk and yell with their buddies. Men at strip joints by themselves are usually very quiet and abnormally creepy. 

Stripper clipart    Helping strippers work on their routines was fun but it put the final nail in the coffin for strip joints for me. Each of them had something they like to do, when to take off what and how, and some of the girls were better on the pole than others, and some just had that stripper thing going where anything and everything they did worked. I remember shooting pool with one of the guys who was married to one of the girls and in the middle of the game I realized there was a naked woman dancing on stage trying to perfect spinning upside down naked on a pole and there I was shooting pool. Nudity, when it’s something that everyone is doing all the time, isn’t a big deal at all. That may sound very strange but look at the difference between the first couple of times you saw your girlfriend naked and a year later when she’s walking around the house nude and complaining about you leaving your socks on the damn floor.

    Men, I have got some very, very, bad news for you. The odds of you picking up a stripper at a strip joint then taking her somewhere to have sex with her is in direct proportion of you having stuck a winning lottery ticket in her garter. You are there to see them take off their clothes and to have some wild idea about sex. They are there to drain you of every dollar they can by feeding your fantasy. Yes, the drinks they are drinking are very watered down. The drinks you are drinking, at twenty-five bucks a shot, are much stronger. Those ten minute conversations you have with them one on one will invariably lead to them asking you to watch their next routine, and you’ll have to keep sticking those dollar bills into that garter to keep her shaking that thing at you. If you think becoming a regular at a strip joint improves your chances then you are not only delusional but you are also broke. A naked woman who is naked for a living knows how to make you give her money. That is one of the Universal Truth in Human History. Live with the idea that naked women are more expensive than clothed woman and you can save yourself a lot of trouble. 
Stripper clipart3
    Dating a stripper isn’t a lot of fun once you get past the first couple of weeks. Her hours are going to suck. She is going to be tired a lot. She’s going to have adhesive in places you don’t want it. She’s going to want to go out with her stripper friends and some of those women have some very serious issues. Your buddies are going to go off the deep end trying to get you to get them in for free and you are going to get a lot of hassle about your girlfriend looking good naked. It’s all part of the show but to have someone you drink with putting a dollar bill in your girlfriend’s garter is a little disconcerting. Watching her give a lap dance to some sweaty old man who looks like he might just get off, (or die) right there on the spot isn’t very attractive either. Most owners of strip joints realize there are girls who will trade good hours or good shifts for sex and they assume if they try hard enough, most of them will.

    The upside to all of this is in The Guy World dating a stripper is like winning the World Series when you’re around other guys. Looking at your watch and telling your buddies it’s time to go help work on a new pole dancing routine is priceless. The guys who never get out much and who have never even seen their wives totally nude with stand in awe of you, and kneel to touch your garment. But beware of the price you will pay! You can never again walk into a strip joint without realizing the women are there to take off their clothes and to take your money.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Going to Pot

Today we’re kicking off a weekly column by Mike Firesmith.  Mike lives in rural Georgia with his three dogs and describes himself as… A writer.  My writing reflects the things I see, think, and experience, and those things in my past that have led me to be me. It is not always pretty, it is not always funny, and no one has ever made mention of my life as a Disney Movie.  Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Going to Pot
Friday firesmithThe problem with behavior laws is not all people behave the same way.  Let’s take a law that makes sense to everyone, and work our way down. It ought to be against the law for someone to break into your house in the middle of the night and steal things you’ve worked hard for, or managed to win playing poker with your drunk friends. I believe, and so do many others, that a person has a right to own a gun, in the event of such an occurrence. The problem is the same people you were playing poker with while they were lit up doing tequila shots might pull a gun on the local McDonald’s drive through window operator when they refuse to supersize an order of fries at six in the morning. While we would all like to think drinking and gun ownership are god given rights the truth of the matter is the two are nearly almost always a very bad idea when they come together at the same time after three in the morning.

    Now, if your friend Dave gets drunk, loses all his money playing poker, goes out and pulls a gun on some minimum wage drive through operator and then wrecks his pick-up truck trying to get away from some mop wielding college freshman who was cleaning up at McDonald’s, is the fault of the gun, the truck, the tequila, the poker, or the food at McDonald’s?

Laws can be passed against all the above, have been passed to stop all of the above, and all of these laws have pretty much failed and failed miserably. Okay, there are no laws against pick-up trucks yet, but I do see that coming.

    So we agree there ought to be against stealing and killing and breaking into other people’s houses, but we can see where those laws trying to keep us from drinking, playing poker, or eating bad food might be a little too much to really do well if at all. In fact, if there is a law passed to prevent people from behaving in a certain way, someone is going to find some way to make money off of the law, and that’s the real reason a lot of these laws exist today.

Pot leaf    Think about it; if you have a drug that basically mellows people out, causes them to laugh uncontrollably at Adam Sandler movies, and eat French Fries, what real harm is coming of this, except to encourage more Adam Sandler movies? Sure, there ought to be a law against those things, honestly, but is that the real reason pot is illegal? Why is pot illegal? Few people realize this drug was outlawed in the 1930’s because someone figured out how to make paper out of hemp, which is what pot is, at one third the cost of wood pulp. The paper industry, and the tree industry, made a big fuss out of how dangerous smoking pot could be, and the next thing you know pot is a bigger sell than timber, which by the way, is also not an accident. The people selling pot can claim the price is so high because it’s illegal and who is going to sue them? Illegal also means unregulated and that war down in Mexico is capitalism on meth, literally.

    Those who tell you the government can keep you sober, skinny, and away from both Adam Sandler and cannabis, educate your kids, and regulate Wall Street, have been smoking some truly good stuff, mon. Look at the things the government has done well, does well, and is likely to do well, and then ask yourself if you feel good about any new law about to be passed. Your friend Dave is less dangerous than your local representative to the Senate. No one is going to bribe Dave into starting a war so someone can sell bullets and bombs.

    Pot isn’t as dangerous as laws against it have proved to be. Guns laws have proved to be laughable except they are a slippery slope. Food laws, in trying to make restaurants change their menu so that fat people who refuse to exercise and eat right are protected from themselves are just plain weird. The laws are stupid when they are telling me I can’t own a pit bull dog because some moron is keeping one in an apartment the size of a closet with three kids and no back yard.

    Personal responsibility and accountability cannot be written into code but they can be taught. When we set the government up to tell us when we are bad for ourselves they are writing into code personal irresponsibility and a nation of sheeple. I have a gun, three large dogs, a pick-up truck, and I don’t smoke pot. Laws countering any of this, or allowing any of this, are not going to affect me one damn bit.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.