Game Show

The red-lipped voice tells me that my dream life is behind the curtain. One of the curtains.

“But what is behind the other two?”

The sequined-breasts reply, “Behind one is death, behind the other is a lifetime supply of Frito’s.”

“Fat or skinny Frito’s? That’s an important detail that cannot be ignored.”

“Fat Frito’s. With bean dip.” Bedazzled elbow-length gloves sweep across the room. Pearly white teeth appear that aren’t coffee-stained like mine.

A clock ticks.  My flannel shirt falls from my waist. I forgot I was wearing it because I’ve been wearing it since 1994.

“Make a choice.”

I push a giant green button that passes the choice to the other contestant. He’s short and chooses curtain number 3. The Grim Reaper waves as he emerges from the red velveteen curtain and drags Mr. Short Contestant away. He doesn’t scream because he thinks it’s a joke. It’s not a joke. The Grim Reaper still has some soul on his chin from the last unfortunate-choosing contestant, and now he has my flannel shirt.

I really want the Frito’s because if my dream life is behind a curtain, what else is left to search for?

I pick number one. There’s nothing behind the purple satin curtain. Blond bouffant says, “Oh no. Where’s your dream life?” Six inch press-on nails pick up a piece of paper. “It left a note.” She holds up an index card for the audience to see.  Everyone’s silent as they wait to see what my dream life has to say. “Split. Had better things to do.” I choose the orange polyester curtain next.

So now I’m eating Frito’s and bean dip.

The Grim Reaper is getting his own reality show.

I really like Frito’s and bean dip.

Good things come in pink Juicy Couture boxes

A friend from Washington State whom I haven’t seen in about 8 years sent me a box a couple of weeks ago.  The box included a handwritten card.  Here’s a direct quote from the card: “We read your book for book club!  We all agree–you should be the next big thing!”

It’s no secret that I need constant validation.  That card brought enough validation to last at least a week.

My prom dress was also inside the box.  You heard me right.  My prom dress.  Through a series of unremarkable events, I had left the dress with my friend over a decade ago.  I was certain that it was gone forever. There was talk of it disappearing in a yard sale.  I wondered who bought it.  I invented a story for the life of my dress: a young drag queen named Lance/Luscious had purchased the dress for $10.  It totally made his/her weekend, and therefore I was okay with the dress being gone forever.  But it wasn’t gone forever. It found its way back to me.

I pulled the dress from the box, which was bright pink Juicy Couture (even the box had flair).  The dress is black sequin with a sheer midriff.  My daughter saw it and said, “I like your tutu.”

I had to try it on immediately, right there in the dining room.  I asked my husband to zip me up.  He grunted a few times, but he was able to zip it.  It’s tighter than it was twenty years ago, but it fits! I’m still not certain the grunts were genuine. They were probably added for dramatic effect.

So, here’s my plan: I’m going to become the next big thing and wear my prom dress on TV.  Preferably VH1.  I’ve always wanted to be just famous enough to commentate on one of their I Love the ______ (80’s, 90’s, Hair Metal, Mismatched Socks, Celebrity Meltdowns, etc.) shows.  The first thing I’ll do on TV is give a shout-out to Kim Hixon for sending my dress home.  The second thing will be to unzip the dress a little so I can breathe.

Why you should not wear a gorilla suit today, just in case you were considering it:

1.  You’ll get your fur dirty.  Don’t act like you won’t.  You can’t even keep your shirt clean.  Look at yourself.  What is that, grape jelly?  What grown-up eats grape jelly?

2.  Sweat will run between your skin and the suit and you will feel clammy and gross with that weird moist skin feeling that simply will not go away.

3.  People will give you bananas.  Wait, that’s probably a good reason to wear the suit.  Don’t eat more than one.  Too much potassium isn’t good for you.  That’s what I’ve heard anyway.  I’m not sure if that’s true.

4.  Someone will most likely throw a net over your head and hit you with a cinder block.  That’s what they do to gorillas in urban areas.  I saw it on a documentary once.  Brutal.  Freaking brutal.

5.  It’s very difficult to get the suit off in time to go the bathroom.  You drink way too much coffee and you won’t stop eating those damn fiber bars. There’s no way that won’t end in disaster.

6.  A gorilla’s lifespan is only 35-40 years.  Are you really ready to be at the end of your life?  I don’t think you are because you won’t stop talking about how excited you are to see Magic Mike this summer.  Not that I blame you for that.  Hubba, hubba (oh yeah, I’m bringing back hubba, hubba).

7.  You don’t have a suitcase to beat up.  What good is a guy in a gorilla suit with no suitcase to beat up?  (For the under 35 set: it was a Samsonite commercial.)

8.  You’ll have to walk on your knuckles.  I’m pretty sure you can’t take that kind of pressure on your hands.  You won’t even rub my shoulders when I ask.

9.   You might be confused for a guerilla, then you’ll get shot by some rookie cop on his first day and then he’ll be all: “It’s my first day.  I never wanted to shoot an armed civilian.  Why, God, why?”  With all the tears and snot, it will be embarrasing and exhausting.  Of course, you won’t know because you’ll be bleeding out on the sidewalk.

10.  I borrrowed your gorilla suit last week and spilled chocolate fondue on it and then accidentally left it on a bus and some homeless guy is using it for a dessert blanket right now.  You can’t take away Night Train Freddy’s dessert blanket.  That would be crappy.