Unfortunately I realized quite a while back that I do not have what it takes to be any one's evil uncle. That being the male relative or old family friend younger than their parents, who introduces the bright young thing to whiskey, tobacco, card games, illegal substances, horrid habits, and a multitude of perversions. No, it isn't that I am far too innocent and clean minded for any of that; more a case of caution and reserve.
And sheer common sense; that always gets in the way.
The knowledge that there are consequences.
That right there is crippling.
AVOID THE CRAZY ONES
Years ago I told a young friend that casual sexual shenanigans should be approached with care, if one was a man. Never jump into the sack with someone who wasn't worth associating with, and whom you wouldn't want to continue to know for a long time after, and on good terms. The risk of ending up with a mentally unstable person after the first drunk date is relatively immense; sobriety when flirting and even a coolly rational sense of perspective, are essential.
That also counts for women, by the way. Look before you leap.
And be certain that the target is decent.
What I failed to tell him was that it might mean his first sexual experience would be a long time coming, and there would be enormous intervals between his love affairs. He's never forgiven me.
Last I heard he was unhappily married for the third time.
I bet he now wishes he'd taken my advice.
Let's change the subject.
NOT YOUR DIRTY UNCLE BERTIE
There are several things one should never leave the house without. Your mother told you to always wear clean underwear, in case you had an accident and the emergency room staff had to cut away your pants.
Sage advice, and fairly idiotic. After a serious accident, embarrassment should be the least of your concerns, and they've seen far worse.
Chances are no else will notice your boxers either.
Unless you exhibit them.
Still, clean underwear is very important. It contributes greatly to a sense of comfort and personal well-being. There you'll be, frustrated on public transit, or inconvenienced by opinionated strangers in a coffee shop, and at the very least you can think to yourself "I have clean panties!"
Imagine how good that will make you feel.
Those other people probably don't have clean panties.
Because they are clearly not worthy!
And, if you are me, you should never leave the house without at least two pipes, tobacco, matches, a lighter, a tamper, and pipe cleaners.
Pen, notebook, plus wallet, watch, and house keys.
I'm prepared for any eventuality.
You will notice I did not mention a cellphone, blackberry, or beeper.
That is because if someone thinks they need to call me, they can jolly well wait until I'm stationary. While I'm enjoying a cup of milk-tea or a smoke there is probably no pressing need to disturb me.
If I want to talk to someone at those times, I'll ask them out.
Same goes for meals and mid-afternoon walks.
A POUCH FOR LAUNDRY MONEY?
There is ONE item which may surprise you. It is a condom in a sealed package. It is both a good luck token, as well as a powerful fetiche which prevents risky sex. Or any sex at all. The way it works is that it radiates an aura that drives away absolutely all sex, good, bad, or freaky, for several blocks around me day or night. With that thing in my pocket, I am pretty much guaranteed that no one will come anywhere near me with sexual intentions, rather, its hidden presence acts like a can of mace, blue cheese, or skunk-odour, and chases away every lascivious-minded individual within a ten-mile radius.
There will be NOT be any excitement.
It is unsympathetic magic.
This is exactly the same phenomenon that people use to hail the bus or attract the waitress, but in opposite direction. The moment you light up a cigarette (or, in my case, a cigarillo), the bus appears, the server comes to take your order, and your colleague calls in sick.
When you absolutely NEED to be at work on time, the car stalls.
The day you forget your umbrella, it comes pouring down.
If the house is a mess, your in-laws visit.
See? It's magic!
Okay..... the bath is the right temperature, the cat has been put outside to play with the raccoons, the husband and children are safely off at the mall shopping for furniture, and now the phone rings. You know you shouldn't answer it, but dripping in your soggy bathrobe, you do anyway.
Turns out it's the IRS. In the person of 'Bob'. Who, after a couple of agonizing interrogative minutes, recognizes you as Li'l Martha, who was in his trigonometry class in high school. He had a crush on you, you rejected him and married Sydney (which is why he didn't wig onto your name in the first place, he never could remember Sydney's last name), and he's had issues ever since. Yes, he did get married -- to Megan, the cheerleader from Daly City, who is sex-obsessed but impossible to satisfy, they have five kids and a miserably frustrating life -- but he would have rafted down the Amazon with you, climbed Anapurna, and gladly done heroine in Thailand, if you had just been a little more adventurous. You bitch you.
For some reason, almost everything he says about your being in arrears seems to suggest that promiscuity might be a good idea.
Don't do it!
The water is getting cold. Tell him to send you the paperwork, and also ask who his supervisor is in case you can't get a hold of him.
Pour yourself a drink, turn on the tap, and get back into the bath.
Nobody carries condoms anymore, that's old hat.
They have cellphone apps for that.
Or so I've heard.
Point is, never leave the house without pipes, tobacco, fire, tamper, cleaners, wallet, pen and paper, pay phone money, a foil-wrapped throat lozenge, and a condom.
If you're a woman, add Towelettes or a sealed package of wipes.
It's just common sense, and forethought.
On work days, such as today, I've always got my Hello Kitty backpack with me. Up to half a dozen briars, two or three different tobaccos, a bundle of pipe cleaners, tampers, matches, aspirin, eleutherococcus senticosus pills (五加參片) in case the screaming cigar smokers become too trying, folded paper bags, and an extra belt.
On days off, such as tomorrow, when I leave the house there's only one pipe tobacco and two pipes, all in one coat pocket. Nasal snuff and a clipper card in another, with a tamper and pipe cleaners sticking out. Plus coins and watch in a pants pocket (right side), keys and fire (matches and a lighter) in another, and a wallet. A notebook and pen complete the sense of being dressed for whatever happens.
Whether it's a work day or a day off, the underwear is clean, I've got a full tin of cigarillos, and there's a condom.
Plus stick matches.
If you forget to change your underwear, you will have an accident.
Just remember that.
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