Johnny R. – Saturday Afternoon

“How’d it go?”

“She blew me.”

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Yea, this fucker’s back. He’s writing a blog now.

Check it out: insidemypsyche.blogspot.com

I walked up to Tir Na Nog, the Irish pub up on 16th Street between JFK and Arch streets. I’m really not a fan of that bar. It’s a total sausage fest. Lots of soccer and dudes. The beer is never cold enough and the place is noisy.

But, it’s right next to Suburban Station and Johnny can just cruise right in there when he gets off the train. Also I know the bartender on duty and she always gives me my first one for free!

Johnny arrives and gets his usual bud bottle. We both agree, after this drink we want to go somewhere else because this place is lame. I pay the bill and we’re off.

We end up going to a spot we used to frequent when we both worked at the Inquirer years ago. Happy Rooster is the name of the bar on 16th and Sansom. There are a couple of tables outside on the Sansom street side of the building. I used to love to sit there and drink wine with Johnny and smoke cigarettes. We would sit there and check out all of the lovely talent as they walked by. It was a good spot.

The exact table is available and we hop in it. I get my usual chardonnay with a side of ice and Johnny pounds ice cold bud bottles. I love sitting here with Johnny. Just sippin’, smokin’ and jokin’. It’s a good people watching spot that’s always shady and off the main path of busy 16th Street.

He starts telling me this story about this girl that works in the deli downstairs in the lobby of the building where he works. His firm does data capture. That’s the systems behind processing credit cards at any business. He works in the finance department. He became friendly with her when he’s down there getting a sandwich or whatever.

He suggested the company he works for take a look at their credit card statements and maybe they could get them a lower rate. They agree and apparently they got their business. She’s very grateful because her mother owns the store and he’s helping their family save money.

One day when he was in the back with her and checking the system, she hugged him, and then kissed him. It was a little more than a friendly thank you peck on the cheek. It was a full on kiss. Johnny tells me that she’s unhappy in her relationship.

“Her boyfriend shoots squirrels.”

Sounds like some redneck, hillbilly behavior. Johnny’s not going to pursue anything with her, and besides, it’s too close to work. What if something happens and then things don’t work out? Awkward!

We’re there for about 45 minutes and Johnny tells me he needs to eat. I know if he doesn’t eat, he’ll get really drunk. No one wants that.

“Just like a slice of pizza or a hot dog.”

“Well Underdogs on 17th Street, went under. Hot Diggity Dogs on South Street died. But there is a new place over at 11th and Walnut that’s supposed to be good.”

“Let’s hit it.”

So we walk down to Walnut Street and head east. It’s a lovely Saturday in the city, and everyone is out, eating, drinking or shopping.

When we arrive I see that this new place is in the spot where the seafood restaurant Joe Pesce was located. (Yea it was really called that.) Nice place that just didn’t make it. It’s a big space, they sure as hell better sell a bunch of hot dogs.

The place looks great. A good spot for everybody who likes hot dogs. But the best part of all is that it has a bar! We sit down and tell the bartender it’s our first time but we heard good things.  She hands us a couple of menus and we order a pair of beers. They have at least 40 different kinds of dogs on the menu, and many of the meats are exotic.  I kind of just want a chili dog and some chips. I forget what Johnny ordered, but when the food came out, this glorious wiener was placed before me.

 

Check it out:

http://www.destinationdogs.com/

I rarely post anything on my personal Instagram, and I don’t like when people post pictures of babies and food. But I just couldn’t resist, and you can see why. They were a little stingy with the chips (Which they make in-house and are delicious) but the dog was amazing! I never expected that. Huge dog that almost seems that it’s been pressed into that buttery bread. It was maybe the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten, just because it was so fancy and delicious!

The food’s good, the beer is flowing and when we go out side for a smoke break, Johnny says it feels like he’s getting a second wind and wants to go to the Gold Club. He borrows $80 from me to do stuff there. I ask him why he just doesn’t get a separate  (or secret) account for all of his little dalliances, and he says he will. (He’s been saying it for years)

So I give him the cash and off we go. I only go to this place with him. I really have little interest in gentleman’s clubs. I’ve talked about them before. I just don’t see the appeal. It’s just a bunch of hot crazy chicks half-naked trying to separate you from your money. Period. The places are usually populated by either young drunk guys that just want to see some naked girls, or bored married guys, and other losers. Maybe some of the guys are just lonely, and don’t have access to real women. I know Johnny goes because he just has a taste for vice. He just does. Driven by his desires.

We get to the Gold Club and he’s chatting with this fat stripper. He likes his girls curvy. This beautiful athletic black girl comes over to me. I’ve seen her before and her legs are spectacular.

She can see Johnny is busy with the other girl so she cruises right up to me and starts chatting. She tells me she can take me in the back room, and we can do whatever I desire. I know this chick is hooking here, and I tell her I’ll think about it after I go out for a smoke.

The thick girl is now on stage and I tell Johnny that the thing he needs, that black girl will do. He’s happy about that even though he says she’s not his type. Not the black part, he likes his babes curvy. He goes to talk to her and I tell him I’m going out for a smoke.

I go outside and burn one. While out there I run into a guy who knows me from somewhere. Maybe here? But I know so many people in this city, I don’t remember where I know him from. So we’re having a nice exchange. Maybe he’s a doorman here. That’s probably it.

I know Johnny won’t be long and I’m sure he’s already half in the bag. I text him that when he’s done doing whatever it is that he’s doing, that I’m outside. Within a few minutes he appears.  I say goodbye to my doorman friend and we walk down Chancellor towards 16th street. (This section of Chancellor really adds up to just a filthy, rat infested alley full of dumpsters)

“How’d it go?”

“She blew me.”

“Protection?”

“I never wear a rubber.”

“You’re crazy.”

“I’m Johnny Rivers!”

And off he goes in a taxi.

 

 

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My Young Life: The Amazing Spider-Man #252

I knew that whenever something major happened in an issue in regard to a very popular character, that book would always become more valuable in the future.

Back in May of 1984 something wonderful happened. Marvel comics introduced the “New” Spider-Man. It was the same Spider-Man as before except they introduced the black costume. The cover was beautiful and harkened back to the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15, which was the first appearance of Spider-Man back in 1962. It was actually released the day after I was born.

I collected comic books my entire childhood into my early twenties. So in 1984 I was twenty-two years old and still into comics. I saw that the black costume was happening and told my dad about it. I knew that whenever something major happened in an issue in regard to a very popular character, that book would always become more valuable in the future. The death of Spider-Man’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Spidey #121–122 June–July 1973) are very valuable books. Google Detective Comics #27 and you’ll really see what I mean.

I run all of this information by my father and being the man he is gets on the case. We also enlist the help of my brother-in-law. As my dad always said: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

We all go out and find as many copies of that issue as possible. By the end of the month we have collected 200 mint condition copies of the book. The cover price sixty cents. So I have spent $120 on 200 copies of the same comic book. Sounds ridiculous.

I put every one in a plastic comic book bag and place the lot in the bottom drawer of a black filing cabinet I have in my bedroom that houses my comic book collection.

That’s where they remained for three decades.

Thirty years later in 2014, I decided to see what they were worth and began selling off the comics on EBay. Each one sold for between $75 – $120 per book.

In 1984 a twenty-two year old kid invested $120 in 200 copies of the same comic book. In 2014 a fifty-two year old man redeemed that investment to the tune of over $17,000.

There’s comics you buy and save because they bring you great joy, and there those that you know that if you hold on to them long enough, you’ll make a pile of cash on. But which ones do you buy today?

 

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Karen – Why This Would Have Never Worked

The goal is to never measure life by how many breaths we take but by moments that take my breath away.

I matched with Karen on Tinder. Here is her profile:

Karen, 46

Pennsylvania State University

“I am loving my life! Every day is a new adventure and a new reason to smile and thank God for a new day. I’ve been given a new lease on life and am so grateful. The goal is to never measure life by how many breaths we take but by moments that take my breath away. Own your mistakes because they made you who you are today. And most importantly love and appreciate yourself because God does not make mistakes. If you say you’re in military and deployed, be prepared to prove it. Scammers just go away!”

 

Okay… This is the first time on an online dating site did I see a woman use the word God in their profile. (Red Flag) She also says nothing about herself or what her interests are or what her intentions are on this site. (Red Flag) She almost says nothing but life empowering clichés in her profile. (Red Flag) It also sounds like she’s been scammed by someone posing to be in the military. I have heard of this sort of thing and they just try to get these vulnerable middle-aged women to send them money.

Anyway… She reaches out to me first.

“Hi there.”

“Hi Karen! What prompted to swipe right on my profile?”

“I liked your profile and what it said.”

“Thanks. You look lovely. Would you like to meet up for lunch or a drink?

“Thanks, I think that would be great.”

“Yes. Should we exchange numbers.”

“Sure.” (provides phone number)

(I provide her with mine)

So I text her just to make the connection.

“Hi. It’s (My Name)

“Hi.”

“Hi Karen. I’m on my way to Rittenhouse Row!” (That’s a street festival that we have every year in the Spring.)

“Ah ok. Well try to have fun. I gotta go for now Hun. Gotta leave soon. But let’s chat later and see about planning a meeting ok?”

“Sounds great!”

“What’s your schedule like over the weekend? Maybe we can figure something for today or tomorrow. Weekends are usually best for me if possible.”

“I’m at Rittenhouse Row today. Tomorrow I’m out-of-town. (Bold faced lie – I’ll be on another date with someone else)  “Next weekend?”

“Hmm. Will see I guess.”

 

Okay, so clearly this lady is a little lonely. But what was the part about her saying:  “I gotta go for now Hun. Gotta leave soon.”

Hun? What are you a waitress at a diner?

Anyway. I don’t know what her deal is. I also didn’t care for that “Hmm. Will see I guess.” Isn’t that phrase: We’ll see instead of Will?

All that horseshit about taking your breath away and God already in there twice, I’m just sort of doing this to see how this short movie plays out. And sure enough it does.

A week goes by and I’ve basically forgotten about her. (Time moves fast on Tinder) I get a message on Tinder, not a text in my phone which is also weird.

“Hey (My Name) I don’t there is any point in meeting. I wish you the best. Tc.”

I don’t respond. I simply screenshot her profile and our dialogues for the blog. She gives no explanation as to why she no longer wants to meet me. I guess she figures that if we exchanged numbers we should meet that very weekend within the next 24 hours. Has she no life? But I suppose at her age she can’t wait around. She doesn’t want to waste her time on someone like me who’s busy and isn’t making my love life my #1 goal.

Phicklephilly’s not going to write itself.

 

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Yvonne – Ms. Im-Purr-fect

She climbed on top of me, removed her shirt and started rubbing her face and lips on me.

After chatting with Yvonne on Tinder and thinking this girl I met was normal for an extended period of time, I decided to take her out on a date.

We met at the stores inside of Two Liberty. I thought she was attractive in a girlish sort of way. Dark brown hair. Nearly black. Lean fit body and long, slender legs. Somewhere on the right side of twenty-five. She seemed to like what she saw in me. After looking through a few stores, she grabbed my hand and asked if I wanted something to eat and drink. We then went to the food court where she told me to order anything I wanted. I ordered a sandwich and soda. I asked her what she was having and she said, “half of yours.”
I have learned to share, but I don’t like that answer.

With that said, we proceeded to share our sandwich. At one point she looked over and me and said “meooooow-meoooww” and winked. Not knowing what that meant, I just ignored it. She meowed at me a total of about 5 times during the date. One time I meowed back and then realized how weird this was. I asked her about it and she said she would explain later.

The whole evening she was making cat noises. I shit you not. Cat noises. Now I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and maybe she was nervous or drunk. She seemed like she had been drinking or doing something before our date.

The date went okay, despite the obvious feline weirdness. But the very next morning she sends me a text with a cat emoji and the word ‘meow’. I even ignored that and we dated one more time. (because she had lovely legs) Not only did the cat noises continue but she climbed on top of me at my apartment, removed her shirt and starting rubbing her face and lips on me while doing the cat noises.

I then told her it was getting late. I told her I would walk her to the UBER. Once at the car she looked at me, said “meow” again and proceeded to nuzzle against my shoulder like a cat would do. She quickly went from shoulder to chest, and looked up and purred and proclaimed “Me want to be your kitty. Kitty likes you”.

My answer to this was “Huh? Are you kidding me?”

“Kitty wants head scratched,” she replied.

Against my better judgment, I scratched her head and she said “Kitty wants to go home with you every night”.

I replied “Okay, kitten, play time is over.”

We then said goodbye.

She was extremely attractive, so being the idiot I was I went out with her again. (I do love cats. Even the two-legged variety!)

She was a submissive, so she basically asked me to control her in public in exchange for more whiskey (obviously I obliged). We ended up going to her apartment together where I discovered she had 5 cats that all had human names. She baby-talked to all of them, and they were super possessive of her, to the point of slamming themselves against her bedroom door trying to get in when we were in bed together. I soldiered through some awkward sex, She gave me a cat charm, and I ran the hell out of there the next morning.

When I got home, she left me a voicemail message asking to see me again. I replied via text that I didn’t think we were a good match.

She replied “Is that because you know I’m better looking than you? I mean, I’m at least a 9 and if you were thinner you would be a 7.”

I replied “Yes, that’s the reason.”  I then blocked kitten’s phone, text and email.

I hope she found a nice warm home with a clean litter box, and lots of treats!

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Tales of Rock – Brian Wilson Gets Kicked Out of the Beach Boys

He asks others in the studio if there are any more “hash joints” left and idly comments that the LSD is starting to kick in, but at the same time rules the studio musicians present with an iron fist; for example, he instructs a guitarist exactly which strings on the guitar he wants him to strum.

If you listen to the ancillary tracks on the superb 2011 reissue The Smile Sessions by the Beach Boys, you’ll hear Brian Wilson experimenting with drugs while in complete control of his music. He asks others in the studio if there are any more “hash joints” left and idly comments that the LSD is starting to kick in, but at the same time rules the studio musicians present with an iron fist; for example, he instructs a guitarist exactly which strings on the guitar he wants him to strum.

But holding such a firm grasp on his mind was another matter. Shattered by a lack of support from his fellow band mates in his new musical direction and driven mad trying to compete with the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was partly a response to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, which had been a response to the Beatles’ Rubber Soul), Wilson shelved Smile, which would have been his masterpiece.

Subsequent years were not kind to Wilson. He got seriously addicted to cocaine, his weight ballooned and he descended into mental illness and was put under the care of a manipulative psychologist named Eugene Landy.

In the early ’80s, he was fired from the Beach Boys; a once unthinkable move for a band built around his songwriting talents. He’s made many comebacks since, even rejoining the Beach Boys. Still, one can’t help but wonder what might have been if he’d recorded all the songs he’s written over the years that were only heard by those in proximity to the piano in a sandbox in his living room. For his part, however, Wilson doesn’t altogether condemn drug use; speaking to a Canadian radio station in 2011, he credited marijuana with helping him write Pet Sounds and LSD with an assist on “California Girls.”

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Beach Boys, but Brian Wilson is an absolutely elegant songwriter and musician. A musical genius. Please see the film, Love and Mercy.

 

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The date that never did! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

So I am hanging around my apartment totally naked hoping my razor burn will go away when I get a text message from M,

So I am hanging around my apartment totally naked hoping my razor burn will go away when I get a text message from M, he is tied up at work and will not be able to make our date but is hoping we can get together later. I don’t quite know how I feel about that, […]

via The date that never did! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

 

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Emily – Pretend Sugarbaby

I love Emily. She’s a doll. 4’11, sweet girl that looks 15.  I’m supposed to meet her at 6pm. It’s around 4:30 and I have some time to kill. I stop at 1518 on Sansom for a glass of wine. I chat with the owner about business. He introduces me to one of the regulars, named Sam. He’s been a barber that has a salon over Oscar’s bar a few doors down. I didn’t even know there was anything over that dive.

I like the guy. He has all these great tales from the old days. Sinatra, Martin, etc. He’s well into his sixties. He told me cut Eddie Fisher’s hair back in the 60’s. I’m thinking my regular stylist hasn’t been doing the best job with my hair lately. I want to go to this old Philly guy. That’s who should be cutting my hair. A pro that’s been doing it for four decades and has good stories. So he gives me his card and I tell him I’ll come see him when I need a cut.

He tells me not to let anyone else in his salon cut it. It has to be him. I promise the old guy I’ll do that.

I have a few wine’s with him and listen to more stories before I leave for my meet up with Emily at and Asian fusion bar called Dan Dan.

My buddy Chet is there bartending, so no matter what time it is, it’ll be happy hour all night for me. I order my usual chardonnay with a side of ice.

Emily shows up a little while after that and she looks adorable as always. Black lacy top, black tights, high heels, long lashes. She looks hot.

She orders her usual go to, a whiskey and coke.

She said her life has been much better since we last hung out. She’s still employed at the restaurant, but she’s working mostly events upstairs now. She has landed a gig at Live Nation which she is super amped about. Planning and managing live musical events and concerts is what she really wants to do, and getting this job has gotten her one step closer to her goal.

Emily expresses to me that she feels better about herself and no longer feels like she’s a piece of meat to anyone. She was alone for awhile and worked on herself and I think that’s great. Hopefully what I told her last time I saw her helped.

Recently she’s met someone she really likes. She met him in Florida, but he’s from Indiana. I’m all for long distance relationships, but Indiana is a bit of a drive from Philly. But I’m rooting for these kids. She says he’s good to her and she really likes him.

She orders up some pot stickers and wings. The food is great at Dan Dan, and Emily just doesn’t go out much because she’s always working and has little money. She’s loving it.

She turns to me. “See those two middle-aged women across the bar?”

“Yes.”

“They totally think you’re my Sugar Daddy!”

“Really?”

“Oh yea. I can tell just the way they’re looking at us.”

“Oh gosh!”

“No. I like it! I think it’s fun!”

“Okay.” (I’m totally loving it)

Nate hooks us up with the happy hour pricing that goes beyond 7:00pm. We discuss more about her life and I tell her what’s happening with the phicklephilly and the soon to be open fitness center.

We’ve been there for a little while and we know we’re ready to go soon. She excuses herself to use the ladies room. I see my opportunity. I grab the bill from Chet and quickly pay it. When she returns and I’m siting there with my blazer on she knows what’s up.

“You got the bill?”

“Well you are my Sugar Baby.”

“Where we going now Daddy?”

We head over to the Sofitel Hotel to the Libete Lounge. It’s a dark posh bar that’s quiet and the music is always soft and in the background, not coming at you.  My buddy Liam the bartender and the girls are working but I just want to show Emily the place. She would never have a drink here. I’m trying to broaden her horizons.

“Wow. This place is so nice!”

“Yea, and it’s right across from where you work and you’ve never been here.”

I go with my usual chardonnay and baby goes with whiskey. They server brings us the little snack tray with the nuts, popcorn and olives. I know it doesn’t take much to impress a 23-year-old girl, but I don’t see little Emily that much and I really enjoy her company.

We only hang there for the one drink because I have my grand finale planned. I tell her I want to take her one more place. She is more than game. I can tell she’s having a good time. We split the bill and head over to The Gran Caffe L’Aquilia on Chestnut Street. She’s never heard of it, but I know she’ll love it. Great two-story Italian place.

What she doesn’t know is that I know the bartender upstairs through  my buddy Church, and he gives me the hookup. But I also know one of the owners because he comes in the salon to tan. But what strengthened that relationship is that one day he lost a gift card in one of the rooms. I found it a few days later under the bureau when I was sweeping, and returned it to him. He doesn’t speak much English but when I saw him in the salon the next time and whipped out his lost card, his face lit up like it was Christmas day. That card must have been loaded. Without the card, whatever money was on there would have been lost if I hadn’t returned it to him. My coworker, Summer told me I should have just kept it, but as you know, she’s a cunning little outlaw.

I order a chardonnay and I don’t remember what she ordered. She says she’s had a tough week. Just roommate stuff and the usual problems that most twenty somethings in this city face everyday.

I order her some calamari and we rip into that. It’s delicious. Then I start telling her about the gelato flights they serve here. I tell her she must try it. She’s had a few drinks and she is ready to roll with that dessert.

“Luciano, could you please do the honors and pick the best flavors you have?”

“As long as one of them is pistachio!” Emily chirps.

He brings them out and they look amazing. They serve the five gelatos each one on it’s own long, elegant spoon. I tell her I can’t eat a lot of this type of food, so I’m just going to use my fork to take a little nip off the end of each one just to get the taste and then she can have the lion’s share of each spoon.

She agrees, and I tap the first one. I take a tiny bit off the end and then watch as this woman/child grabs the spoon and puts the whole dollop into her mouth in one bite.

This happens four more times and each one is exquisite. I’m glad she wanted the pistachio because it was especially good.

Emily is raving about how wonderful it all is and she’s so happy and is having a fabulous night. What Emily may not realize is I’m showing her what it’s like to be out on a date with me. But the bigger lesson here is: Emily, this is how men should treat you when they take you out. Wine and dine you and treat you like a lady, instead of getting you loaded and trying to finger you in the back seat of some car.

Luciano suddenly appears again with a tint glass cup of pistachio for the lady. He’s a class act and Emily is absolutely delighted.

She tears into it like a teenage girl on her 15th birthday. (yea..I make these references just to give it a bit of lechery)

So after two Chardonnay, her cocktail, and order of calamari, and a flight of their best gelato, the bill comes to $22.

Yea. Hookup. I pay the bill and she throws in some for the tip. We say our goodbyes and thank Luciano for the great service and hospitality. She’s still raving about what an absolutely wonderful night she’s had with me. She hugs me and I kiss her cheek.

“How are you getting home?”

“I’ll take the subway.”

“No sugarbaby of mine rides the subway.

I call her an UBER and send her on her way.

Little Emily smiles and waves as the dark sedan disappears into the night.

I turn and make the short walk home down 17th street back to Rittenhouse. I light a cig and breath in what is left of this beautiful evening.

 

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