Swedish Metal Fiasco – Ghost – Part 3

Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that was formed in Linköping in 2006. In 2010, they released a 3-track demo followed by a 7″ vinyl titled “Elizabeth”, and later their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely praised and significantly increased their popularity. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. The band released their third studio album, Meliora, in 2015, to much critical acclaim and high record sales, reaching number one in their home country of Sweden, and number eight in the United States. Its lead single, “Cirice”, earned them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

Ghost is easily recognizable owing greatly to its eccentric on-stage presence. Five of the group’s six members, its ‘Nameless Ghouls,’  wear virtually identical, face-concealing costumes. The most distinguishable member is its vocalist, called ‘Papa Emeritus’, who wears a prosthetic mask of skull face paint and appears as what can be described as a “demonic anti-Pope.”  Each album cycle has brought about a change in the band’s appearance. Though the vocalist is always portrayed as roughly the same archetypal character, there are slight appearance changes, and even altered personality traits from former versions.

All of the band members’ true identities were kept anonymous until 2017, when five former members revealed themselves, four of whom filed a lawsuit against the lead singer Tobias Forge, marking the confirmation of his true identity.

Church and I get to the venue around 8:45pm. It’s hot as hell this summer. They check our ID’s at the door and stamp our hands. We go through security like it’s a fucking airport. I have to take out my keys and show them to the nice lady who is patting me down and I just pretend she’s fondling me for a second.

Then I see my adorable young friend Emily! (See: Emily – 2015 to Present – Super Baby Sister) I forgot she works here at the Fillmore. I love little Emily. I give her a hug and I feel all of the rage that I had bottled up for the last four days simply drain out of me. I’ll have to bear that in mind on the next occasion I’m angry. Simply hug a cute girl.

Church and I hit the bar. He gets a coke because he’s not drinking. But buys me a vodka and tonic. Free drinks always make me feel better. We walk around and check out the venue. He’s never been here before. The Fillmore is one of my favorite places to see a show. It’s an old refinery that’s been converted to a concert hall. So it’s very spacious. They have a big open lobby area, then there is a bar called the Foundry as you get inside. To the left is the main concert area. And again, that’s very spacious as well. There’s a huge long bar in there as well. It’s just the perfect place to see shows. This is a general admission show so there is no seating. Church tells me the show is sold out, and the place is packed. But not the bar area. So I’m happy to just sip my drink and I’ll watch from the back.

The show starts and the band comes out and hits it. Ghost is the antithesis of Catholicism where they worship the devil. They are lead by Papa Emeritus whose costume is similar to that of the Pope. Ghost had been to Philly before opening for Avenged Sevenfold in 2013. That lineup consisted of Papa Emeritus II who has since been replaced with Papa Emeritus III.

Ghost’s tour to the smaller venues is an amazing show as their light show is one of the best I have seen. The lights enhance their songs perfectly. They stay with the Catholicism theme using a thurible during one of their songs. Giving sacrament by using two ladies from the audience to give communion wafers and wine. Ghost has really reinvented their sound with Papa Emeritus III. The older songs do sound better with the new Papa. Hearing “Cirice” live reinforced the Grammy Award as it a perfect song. The Nameless Ghouls wore masks that would represent Moloch as well.

Like I said before, I don’t know anything about this band, but they rocked out and the guitar work was solid. I didn’t know any of the songs but near the end I was swaying and tapping to the music. If Duncan were here he’d be head thrashing. I always wonder why most people I see at concerts just stand there. I always move with the music. Maybe because I’m a musician.

All in all I had a good night and didn’t spend a bunch of money. So by the end of the night I was happy again, and making plans to see Emily one of these days for a Sugar Baby night of drinks.

But like I said in the last chapter of this trilogy. Never again will I get roped into someone else’s plans. NEVER AGAIN!

Church wants me to go to Las Vegas to see Billy Idol at the Hard Rock casino in October to celebrate his 9 months of sobriety. Never happening. I love Billy Idol, but that dude is sixty and I don’t gamble and why would I spend that kind of money to go to something I have no interest in? Church needs to pull himself together and do whatever he needs to do, but my life is magical enough without going to Vegas.

I’m happy with my life the way it is. I’ve done so much and lived so much. I continue to live in the now and feel life’s energy. I get my energy from people and I love that. I am full, and they keep pouring it on.

I’m fine. Daughter is fine and we’re hitting on all cylinders. She gets it and of course so do I. I’m surrounded by some empty lost souls. I’ll help them but that shit gets tiring. Let go of the bars of your prison and walk the fuck out.

 

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly                                                    Facebook: phicklephilly

Advertisements

Swedish Metal Fiasco – Church – Part 2

I tell Church about how Duncan bailed on the show. He thinks that’s fucked up but is all amped to go see Ghost at the Fillmore.

I on the other hand I’ve been working my ass off at my job, the salon and getting the fitness center off the ground. I don’t even feel like going now that Duncan isn’t coming up. But Church bought a ticket and now I have to go. I swear, if he wasn’t so amped to go, I wouldn’t even have opened the email from Duncan with the tickets in it. I would have just finished my shift at the salon, and  went home.

I find I have had such a big busy life and have enjoyed the people and events and places in this city, I’m like a seasoned New Yorker now. People that have lived in Manhattan for years usually don’t go out much. I’m like that now.

I especially don’t like getting dragged into something I’m not interested in. I don’t know who the hell Ghost is, and I have no interest in seeing them live. My life is plenty exciting enough. I don’t need to truck up to the Fillmore in 100 degree weather, and go through a pat down, and then pay $8 for a vodka and tonic plus tip. I don’t like crowds and metal shows are always crowded with a bunch of scruffy ruffians.

I hardly even listen to metal anymore. I’m literally having anxiety about going to this show. I even thought on several occasions of emailing the tickets I have to Church and telling him I’m sick and he can take two other people. I just really don’t want to do this.

I’m even more pissed off at Duncan for setting up this whole shit show and then bailing three days before the show. What a dick. All because of the money aspect. He’s rich! What the hell?

Once he bailed on this show, I told Achilles I could work that night, because I figured, Doors open at 7pm. Warm up act goes on at 8pm. Headliner goes on sometime after 9pm. That’s how most bands and venues roll. I finish work at 8pm so after some final clean up I close the doors around 8:30. I don’t give a shit about the warm up act so I’ll get there when I get there.

I’m miserable about this. Church told me earlier that day he was driving down from Lancaster (Who knows why) and will meet me at the venue. I’m thinking, great. I can focus on the salon, no distractions during closing, and get an UBER to the Fillmore around 8:30-8:45.

I plan on ordering dinner. I can eat in peace, get my drinking armor on for the show and I’ll be fine.

Don’t I get a text around 7pm that fucking Church is now going to come pick me up. He’s been to the salon dozens of times. He must be familiar with when I normally get out of there. I’m like fuck! I have to order my food now because I want to eat in private. I really don’t want him to come here because it’s going to turn stressful.

He gets there around 8pm. Why couldn’t he have just cruised by at 8:30 and I could have just hopped in and off we go? No. He has to go park, and come up to the salon. I’m barely civil when he arrives. But behind him in comes my food delivery guy and I’m delighted to see him.

Now the fucking pressure is on. Fucking Church is talking about his parking and worrying about his mirror. He wants to help with folding the towels. I’m rage eating my food.

“You’re inhaling that!” he says.

Why couldn’t he have just gone to the fucking Fillmore and I could have met him there? Because he’s never been to the Fillmore and he didn’t want to go there alone. You’re a grown fucking man! Sack up and act like one! You were in the military! Where’s your nuts?

Then I have to go to the bathroom.  Church is actually concerned that I’m going to defecate rather than urinate because of the time factor. This is ridiculous. It’s all a waste of time.

I am so fucking angry at Duncan and now Church. We finally get out of the salon. I need a cigarette. Church lets me smoke in his car, thank God. He drives like a maniac through the streets pf Philly and I’m genuinely frightened and feeling a headache coming on.

We finally get to the venue and Church is practically running to get in there. He’s creating this whole stress level that shouldn’t even be here. I just tell him I’ll catch up and get there when I get in there and he slows down.

We get into the venue and the warm up act is done, and nothing is happening. So all of that pressure, and stress and speeding to the venue was all for naught. I knew it would play out this way. I just need to get some alcohol into me so I can chill out.

I vow tonight that I am never letting any of this happen to me ever again. I’m not going to any event I don’t really want to go to ever. My life is better than it’s ever been, and I’m not going to let anyone fuck up my smooth glide anymore.

So if you’re reading this do the right thing. Don’t ask me again!

(I see during final edit that whatever shitty Ghost video I posted on here is now unavailable. I’m not even going to bother replacing it. Because I don’t give a shit!)

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly Facebook: phicklephilly

Swedish Metal Fiasco – Duncan – Part 1

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

My buddy Duncan reached out to me a couple of months ago. He’s the one who works all the time at the bank in commercial real estate in North Carolina and makes tons of money. He’s completely driven by succeeding and earning, so he’s lost all site of the little things in life.

But I thought there was still hope when he sent me some music clips from a Swedish heavy metal band called Ghost. I thought it was pretty good, but I’m not thrilled with metal in general anymore. I’m just not that angry. I enjoy music that’s a bit softer now as I’m well into middle age.

A few weeks later he texts me that Ghost is playing at the Fillmore here in Philly. He says he’s buying two tickets and flying up to see them with me. I’m thrilled that I’m going to spend time with my old friend. I wouldn’t care if we’re going to see the Wiggles, I’m just happy to hang with my buddy.

He also tells me he’s staying up here a couple of days because his sister is getting married on Saturday. Ghost is on Thursday so I figure I’ll take off a few days and do stuff around the city with him until Saturday. It’ll be awesome just like the last time he came up.

I was hanging in a bar with my friend Church having some food and drinks when that text came through. Church says he loves Ghost. He wants to go too. I figure the more the merrier. Church buys a ticket on Stub Hub, and now we’ll all go rock out.

Three days before the show, (I’ve already asked for the time off) Duncan texts me that he’s not coming up now. He states that it will cost him $1000 for everything round trip and he just doesn’t want to spend the money. (This clown will be a millionaire by the time he’s fifty years old in two years!) What the hell?

He says it always costs him that much with air fare hotel, transportation, etc.

“Dude. Listen to yourself. You’re close to being a fucking millionaire.  A thousand bucks is like piss in the ocean to you!”

“I just don’t want to spend that much money on anything right now. Got to stay focused.”

“What about your sister’s wedding?”

“I’d rather do a longer fun filled trip and spend a thousand dollars rather that a quick up and back for a ‘questionable’ second wedding.”

“Oh, come on! This was your idea!”

“I’m emailing you the tickets now.”

“You suck! Church already bought his ticket.”

“Well you can bring someone else, or sell the ticket or give it away.”

“I think you’re making a mistake. Dude, you work a lot, you like this band and can totally afford to take a break and come up and enjoy the show. Live a little!”

“I would have really liked to see this band with you, they are good but a little different than what we’re accustomed to listening to.”

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

“You sound like my mother.”

“Fine.”

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly                        Facebook: phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – Keith Moon

Keith Moon was the drummer for The Who, and if he didn’t invent insane rock star behavior, he did his best to popularize it. What are now common rock star cliches, were daring and original back when Moon was doing them. Trashing hotel rooms, consuming horse tranquilizers, engaging in naked cake fights–Moon did it all, with vigor, passion and creativity. The best Keith Moon story is the time when shortly after leaving a hotel, he sat up in a panic and told the driver to stop and turn around. “I forgot something! We’ve got to go back!” Upon returning to the hotel, he ran to his room, grabbed the television and threw it out the window and into the pool. Returning to the car, he said with a great sigh of relief, “I nearly forgot.”

His signature stunt was ruining toilets, and not in the way Kevin Smith ruins toilets. Moon actually demolished them. He went on the road with an enormous supply of cherry bombs, M-80s and dynamite, exploding toilets wherever he went. Moon was ultimately banned from every Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Hilton in the country for his trouble–though he was heralded Man of The Year by several plumbing supply industry associations.

A Typical Day If You Were Keith Moon’s Personal Assistant:

You: Keith? Please come out of there, Keith. Please don’t flush that down the toilet, Keith. I could see why you’d think it’s funny the first 60 times, but this is too much. Exploding Toilet 61 is going to be no different than any of the rest. We’re just gathering redundant data now. There is no logical, scientific or statistical need for this.

Keith Moon: -Opens bathroom door, runs past, cackling.

You: -Rolls for cover.

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

Sun Stories – Colleen – You Better Pack My Fudge – Part Two

“Does he like peanut butter?

“I guess. I don’t know. Keep it pretty traditional. We’ll all be safer that way.”

Colleen comes in around 7pm. It’s raining here in Philly. Summer storms are passing through to quell the humidity. She’s dressed in a black bodysuit and looks lovely. We’re chatting and she is absolutely charming as always. She wants to go to the huge windows that overlook Walnut Street to watch as the populace run from the storm. Standing with her in the dark overlooking the night street is lovely. The music from the salon sets the soundtrack as we giggle as umbrellas blow out and couples find shelter. I want to kiss her in this moment. Not as a romantic gesture, but because she seems so present and real. Like an old friend.

We get back to counter and she gives me $35 cash. She promises profusely that she will fulfill the remaining aspect of this unique deal.

“I’m a woman of my word. You know that. What kind of flavors does he like? I’ll do whatever’s necessary.”

Achilles tastes are simple. Keep it to vanilla and chocolate for now. I don’t him weirded out by any exotic flavors.”

“Does he like peanut butter?

“I guess. I don’t know. Keep it pretty traditional. We’ll all be safer that way.”

“Okay. I’ve been at this a long time. I’ll make him up a nice couple of batches.”

“You wanna tan?”

“I’d love to tan.”

“Well based on your word, and the $35 cash I just dropped in the safe I think we should let you tan. But… because you’ve been so wonderful and I like you, I’m going to have to tan you under the house account tonight because technically your account hasn’t been loaded yet. So I’m taking a risk here without any fudge and I’ll let you tan tonight.”

“Yes! Thank you so much! I have to go to Jersey this weekend, and then I’ll be at the Fudge Kitchen on Monday and I’ll deliver on Tuesday.”

“I trust you. Colleen, you’ve tanned for years in shitty little 15 minute beds that really are inefficient and take forever to give you the bronze glow you so rightfully deserve. Since you’ve been so wonderful, I’m going to tan you under the house account. Although this deal will secure that you’ll have the All Access plan, I’m going to do something a little extra for you tonight because I can.”

“I don’t even know what these other beds will do.”

“They’ll tan you faster and better than those old clams you’ve been lying in for the past three years. But tonight, you get a little something special just to ensure that you know we’ve taken your offer very seriously.”

“Wha…”

“Come with me Colleen.”

I take her to room number one. That’s where the Megasun Alpha 6800 lives. It’s a premium bed held exclusively for premium members. This is a state of the art tanning unit.

I call it the Tropical Starship.

600 watts of UV in the face tanners. (More A than B) 180 watts in the tubes. P2 vitamin D lamps throughout that glow pink. A plug so you can hook up your phone and listen to your music in there. Air conditioning, including vents that blow toward your face to keep you cool. Three levels of tanning. Basic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean. Dark, darker and darkest. And the best part of all? Aqua misters that spray you with mist every three minutes to keep you feeling cool and sexy through the entire journey. The Alpha is THE experience.

New, this bed costs $35,000. More than your fucking car.

I walk her through what this baby will do and Colleen is nearly orgasmic. She promises again and again to keep her word on the fudge.

“See that you do.” I send her into her session.

Let’s see if she keeps up her end of the bargain.

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly                            Facebook: phicklephilly

 

Valentine’s Day – I Met A Victoria’s Secret Super Model

“The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.”

I’ve decided to write about all of the celebrities I’ve met in my life. It’ll probably only be once a month, and I’ll crank them out until I run out of famous people.

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my phicklephilly readers! I hope you’re in love or at least love something! If you’re not happy today, and if anyone starts talking about love, romance, hearts, cards, or chocolate, just slap them and say ‘it’s Wednesday!

It’s a coincidence and fitting that I release this piece on Valentine’s Day. Because this lady is and always will hold a special place in my heart.

This one happened about 11 years ago when I was working in Manhattan. The year was 2007.

I was sitting in a dive bar in Journal Square in Jersey City one evening after work. My buddy Howard was with me. I’m drinking a beer and reading the Daily News. On the Entertainment page was a little blurb at the bottom about how Alessandra Ambrosio was going to be making an appearance at the new Armani Exchange in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

I think every guy has an “It” girl in life. Some movie star, athlete, or model that they just adore. In the 70’s and 80’s for me it was Farrah Fawcett. I LOVED Farrah. I owned all of her posters starting with the famous red swimsuit. I was even a card carrying member of her fan club. Always watched Charlie’s Angels and all of her movies.

But sometime in the 90’s I noticed this one model in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue that really struck me. I didn’t know her name for several years. But once you have a woman in your life and order something from their catalogue, they never stop coming. They must send them out every couple of weeks because I had loads of them coming to the house.

I eventually found out the identity of this exquisite woman. Alessandra Ambrosio. I was in love. Her perfectly symmetrical face, with her feline eyes and lovely tawny hair is a combination that drove me nuts. I absolutely have adored Alessandra for years. I know I love beautiful women, it’s hard not to. But Alessandra to me is one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Alessandra Ambrosio was born in Erechim, Brazil on April 11, 1981. Her parents are Brazilians of Italian, Portuguese and Polish ancestry and own a petrol station. She enrolled at a modelling class at the age of 12, and at the age of 14, she was one of 20 finalists for the 1995 Elite Model Look national competition for Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears, and at the age of 11, she had cosmetic surgery to have her ears pinned back, though two years later she suffered complications. In 2006, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and said that the surgery was a bad experience and has discouraged her from ever getting plastic surgery again.

I would love Alessandra the same even if her ears stuck straight out like open car doors!

When Ambrosio was 12 years old, she partook in modeling classes, and then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Competing in Brazil’s Elite Model Look competition started her modeling career in earnest. Her first notable modeling job was shooting the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her Polaroids to Guess which led her booking the Millennium GUESS? campaign. She has since appeared in advertising campaigns for Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Escada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Emporio Armani, Moschino, Gap, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Revlon, and the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Halston, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, and Oscar de la Renta. She has appeared in numerous international magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Vogue and was the only model to appear on the cover of Glamour in the United States in 2006.

“I HAVE to go to A/X Armani Exchange on Saturday and try to see her! Do you want to go with me?”

“Why the hell would I want to go meet some supermodel? I’m gay!”

“Well she’s a fashion model and I figured you guys like stuff that’s fashionable.”

“I’m gay!”

So Saturday comes and I go to the local Rite Aid and buy a disposable camera. (Yea. I had a little cell phone back then before there were any iPhones or androids and that little phone didn’t have a camera in it. That thing was probably made by Fisher Price for all I know. A lot has happened in the world of technology in the last 15 years!)

So I’ve got my little cheapo plastic throw away camera and I hop on the PATH train into Manhattan. I get off at 32nd Street and walk East over to Fifth Avenue, The store is up around 56th Street so I need to walk north about 25 blocks. That’s a little bit of a hike. But it’s Saturday in the Summer and Manhattan is quiet on the weekends.

After awhile I finally reach the store. There’s a line of people to get in. I get in line behind this Asian girl and I go, “Is this the line to see Alessandra?”

“Oh, I have no idea. I just saw a lot of people here and I wanted to see what was going on.”

What a moron. How can she not know who Alessandra Ambrosio is?

The line is moving and I get inside.

The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.

I can’t believe I am standing in the same room with her. I can’t believe that I’m not seeing just a photograph of my queen. I am looking upon one of the most beautiful women in the world and the only thing that’s separating she and I is space.

I’m starstruck.

She sits down and starts signing things. I’m snapping pics and my heart is pounding. I’m getting closer!

Ohh…my love. My Queen! She is stunning! They take my name and write it on a little Post It. I assume this is because they don’t want any misspellings on the pictures she’s signing.

I finally reach Alessandra!!!

 

My arm around my queen!

I introduce myself and I can’t believe I am meeting her for real. She says my name and I swoon. My name coming from Alessandra’s lovely lips.

There she is! It’s really her! I’m shaking hands with my favorite woman on Earth. I’m looking into the eyes of the object of my desire for the last 10 years. She signs the photo, and I ask if they will take a photo of me with my camera. She agrees and I hand it to her handlers. I tell them to take a few just in case.

I put my arm around her, and lean in. My hand is on her shoulder! I’m touching Alessandra! My love!

I’m so close to Alessandra, I can smell her.

This is framed in my livingroom.

I will never be the same. I leave with my little camera full of photos, and the above autographed picture.

To Charles, Love, Alessandra. (Heart. Star.)

I love her even more now. I’ve met Alessandra Ambrosio! This day has been a dream come true. I’m holding the picture and I don’t want anything to happen to it, so I run across the street into of all things, a Victoria’s Secret. (Fitting!) I approach one of the sales girls and ask if I can have a bag.

“What do you need it for?”

I hold up the photo. “To protect this autographed picture of Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio.”

The chick looks like she doesn’t know who Alessandra is and hands me a bag. I gently slide my treasure inside it. (puns abound) I thank the girl and nearly skip to the PATH station.

I’ve added these delicious little videos to close out this piece. I can’t watch the first one without getting worked up. I love her so much.

I met my super queen. I never met Farrah Fawcett. I loved her so much, but I met my new queen Alessandra. It was glorious day in my short life. She’ll never know how much I love her but I met her, We got a picture together, I touched her, and smelled her.

My lovely Alessandra…

 

 

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly         Facebook: phicklephilly

Sun Stories – Colleen – Oh Fudge! – Part One

“I think you should let her pay $35 and the rest in fresh fudge.”

“Fuck no. It’s $65 a month. Wait…did you say fudge?”

The game is afoot.

This pretty Irish girl came into the salon the other day. I sort of remembered from our previous location. I looked her up in the system and the memory came back to me.

“I remember you Colleen! We had some great conversations at the old place.”

“Yea, the new place looks great! I was wondering what happened to you guys and then I went online and saw your new address.”

“I haven’t seen you since last year. I know you were living in Jersey.”

“I got a job here in the city and bought a house in South Philly.”

“Congrats! Good for you!”

Shannon is a lovely, tall girl. There has a certain confidence and honor in her personality. Just old fasshioned goodness. I find that very attractive. She has a very social personality and a hard work ethic. Somebody like my sister April. Strong. A leader.

“Yea, so I want to tan and I know you are the only salon in the city that had the basic beds because I’m cash poor because I just bought a house.”

“Oooh… We didn’t bring the basic beds with us down here.”

“What?”

“Yea, we just didn’t have room for them.”

“It was like $35 for a month of tanning wasn’t it?”

“It was a great deal. I’m sorry.”

“What do you have now that’s a monthly package?”

“The All Access for $64.95.”

“65 bucks? You’re killing me. I really want to tan, but I’m just not in a position to lay out $65 a month right now.”

“I feel like you’re going to leave and I’m not going to see you again.”

“I just can’t right now.”

“Do you still work part-time at the Fudge Kitchen in Cape May?”

“I do. Best employee they’ve ever had. Why?”

“My partner, Achilles loves to eat. But his weakness is sweets. I literally can’t leave any candy here because he’ll eat it all like a piranha.”

“So what are you proposing?”

I take a risk here. “What if I ask him if you can pay your old rate of $35 a month but you get the All Access package that goes for $65 but you make up the difference in delicious fresh fudge?”

“I can do that. If you can make that deal with your partner, I swear to god I will bring you $35 tomorrow and I can get you the fudge by Tuesday.”

“Let me see what I can do.”

Shannon leaves and I promise to keep in touch with her. If this doesn’t fly, I know I’ll probably never see her again, and I really like her.

______________________________________________________________________________________

I decide to have a conversation with my partner, Achilles.

“So this girl Colleen came in the other night. She’s come here for years and has always tanned in the basic beds. But we don’t have them anymore. She recently moved to the city and got a great job at a law office and bought a house.”

“Is there a point to this story W?” (Achilles calls me by the first letter of my last name. He also doesn’t like long-winded stories or small talk. He’s a ‘get to the fucking point’ kind of guy)

“I think you should let her pay $35 and the rest in fresh fudge.”

“Fuck no. It’s $65 a month.     Wait…did you say fudge?”

The game is afoot.

“Yea, she’s doing well now but cash poor because of her new house, but she’s worked at the Fudge Kitchen in Cape May, NJ since she was a kid and keeps her hand in there to pick up a couple of bucks here and there when she can. She says she can make up the rest of the payment in delicious fresh fudge.”

He looks at me. He’s working it out. I watch his eyes.

“Thirty five cash money and two pounds of fudge.”

“Excellent! I’ll call her and tell her! Thank you! She’ll be so happy, and we’ll have retained a client! You can eat the fudge or share it or even give it away if you want!”

“Don’t be fucking giving away my fudge already W! That shit’s mine.”

“Okay…okay… I’ll broker the deal.”

“Worst case senario, she pays $35 cash and doesn’t come through with the fudge… No tanning package and I’m $35 richer. The dye is cast.”

Ruthless motherfucker, but that’s why I love him.

This is beautiful. I’ve been a million dollar producer in the banking industry and in advertising for the last twenty-five years and now I’m retaining clients using nothing but sumptuous treats.

I call Colleen from the house phone and leave a message.

“Hi Col, it’s Charles from the salon. I have some good news. Give me a call back.”

I’m working and tanning the ladies like I always do when the phone rings. I give her the details.

“Really? He went for it? I’ll be in tonight!”

Let’s see if Colleen holds up her end of this extraordinary bargain…

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly