Tales of Rock – Aerosmith Not Done With Mirrors

“Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how fucked up and crazy we were.”

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It may come as a surprise to those whose awareness of Aerosmith began with its commercial hits of the late ’80s and early ’90s, but the band was once a sleazy rock band known for its hardcore drug use—enough to shock the likes of the Grateful Dead. In a 1990 Rolling Stone article on Aerosmith profiling its clean-and-sober comeback, Steven Tyler relayed this anecdote; “Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how fucked up and crazy we were.”

Amusing as this might have been, it came at a cost. Sedated in the ’70s, Aerosmith was still unbeatable over a six album run, but as the ’80s dawned, its abilities sagged considerably. The band lost both its guitarists for a dismal album before reuniting for the half-baked Done With Mirrors. Like a lot of Aerosmith album titles, this had a double meaning; they were supposedly going clean. But they weren’t actually done snorting coke off mirrors or any other surface available, and it took a stint in rehab for the entire band to get Aerosmith’s commercial comeback off the ground with the ironically titled Permanent Vacation.

In the documentary The Making Of Pump, Joe Perry describes the difficulties he faced in returning to making music not high on “China White.” Speaking to Rolling Stone, however, Tyler had a different perspective: “I’m still bummed that I didn’t get all the pussy I could have had in the ’70s. We were more interested in the finer blends of cocaine from a shipment of dates that came in on the back of some camel with the stamp of a half-moon on it and the star of Lebanon, which by the way was laced with opium. We were real connoisseurs. That was much more important to me than some girl with big tits.”

It’s hard for me to imagine a more tragic commentary on potential wasted by drug addiction.

I will write more about this band in the near future. They are my favorite rock band of all time.

 

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Sun Stories: Pamela – 2016 – Free Tanning Card

“Do you think I’m a prostitute?”

I was in a bar one night having a few drinks and seeing my friend, Prova. (See: Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I was giving out free tanning cards to the girls working behind the bar, and I gave one to Pamela.

About a month or so later she came into the salon with the card I had given her. She seemed a little crazy. Just fussing over her face in the mirror and chattering about her job.

I take her back to the best bed in the house and show her how the bed works. She seems really into tanning. She’s excited to have a session in the best bed in the house.

When she’s finished she comes out and says she loved it and is going to buy a package. (The Free Tan Cards really work!)

She starts telling me how she’s going to see this guy she met on Tinder in New York. I tell her to be careful, and to let a friend know when she’s going, where she’s going and how long she’s supposed to be there.

Then she shocks me that she’s going there because the guy is paying her.

“Oh.”

“Yea. I’m kind of a sugarbaby.”

She went on to tell me about how she has a guy in Florida that pays her $2000 to come down for the weekend. He flies her in and pays her $2000 cash twice a month. She showed me a picture of him on her phone and he’s a fat half Asian, half Hispanic guy. He’s probably an IT computer guy with lots of money and no game. But hey, if he’s willing to pay…

“Do you think I’m a prostitute?”

Technically, what she’s doing is prostitution, but we’re at the salon and she’s a paying client with a premium package.

“No. You’re an adult and you can do what you like, Pam.”

“Ok. I just don’t want you to think I’m a whore.”

“You’re fine. Pam. No worries.”

“I just got this new phone. Do you have a charger?”

“I do.”

“Can you charge my phone while I go tan?”

“Sure.” She hands me the phone and I plug it in. I notice that there is no code to lock the phone. “Pam, you should put a code on this phone to protect people from looking at your stuff.”

“I don’t care if you peek.” She gives me a sly smile and heads back to the room.

Should I go through her phone and look at her pics?

Of course not! That’s an invasion of privacy. I’m employed here to protect my clients and take care of them.

Did I go look at her pics once she was back in the room?

Of course I did. She did say that she didn’t mind if I peeked.

So I looked.

There were many nude photos of Pam, of a graphic sexual nature. It was exciting to see her nude, but it was also a little gross.

When she came out of her session, she came to the counter to retrieve her phone.

“I put it in Airplane Mode. It charges twice as fast.”

“Thanks.” She gave me an approving smile. She knows I looked at her pics.

On another occasion, she was in room #10 at our old location, and I was next door in room #11 doing a demonstration for a woman who wanted to get a spray tan. Pamela must have heard my voice and opens the door of her room, and asks for an additional towel.

She was topless.

I hate my job.

 

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

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Phicklephilly – 24 Hours Off From Everything And My Survival

“I hear the sweet hiss of the cold bottle of ginger ale open and take a sweet sip. After you’ve been as sick as I’ve been for the last 11 hours the taste is exquisite. It is as if I’ve returned from a horrendous bloody battle in a desert of puke and shit and now I have the honor to sup ginger ale from the breasts of Aphrodite herself.

Disclosure: I know plenty of people who can’t handle anything that has to deal with bodily functions especially when it has to do with waste disposal associated with illness. My family has always referred to this as toilet humor and sadly it normally comes up at mealtime.  Like everything else here, this is a true story. I can’t make this stuff up.

You’ve been warned.

I woke up the other day like any other day. It was warm outside and I was looking forward to doing some work, and then going to visit my friend, Prova at her bar. (Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I just wanted to sip a beer and have some snacks with her and my buddy Church. I’d be happy to see her lovely face and chat with them both.

I have a deadly immune system, and rarely ever get the common cold that everybody gets every year. My vessel is an inhospitable place for disease. I suppose you could call it one of my “superpowers.” Another one of my “superpowers” is having the ability of turning alcohol into regret. (But you  will read those superhero stories in other posts on this blog)

I’ve suffered with stomach disorders ever since I was a kid. It’s not a big deal. It’s just my biology. So, I wake up on a Monday, and just chill for a bit. I post a pic for Phicklephilly on Instagram to let everybody know what’s story is publishing that day.  I have a bottle of water next to the bed on the night stand. I take a few swigs from it like I do everyday.

After a bit I feel the urge that I have to go. That’s pretty normal for most people. Start your day with a movement. Hop in the shower and start your day with an empty colon. But this suddenly feels different. I have some cramping that has appeared out of nowhere. It’s as if whatever is about to happen, or whatever evil spirit that has taken up residence in my body has been awakened along with me.

I head into my bathroom and take a seat.  There is a sudden rush of diarrhea. Now this doesn’t make me panic. Because it could be just my biology that I’ve had for the last half a century, or whatever the hell I ate and drank last night at the bar. As we all know that if you mix Mexican food with beer and tequila, you realize you’ve discovered the formula for rocket fuel.

But I didn’t do that last night. I had dinner with Church (See: Church – 2012 to present –  Brand Ambassador) and 2 beers. I finish and go back to my bed for a few minutes just to contemplate the day. I’m a morning man, (ask the ladies) and I like to get up early and start my day with plenty of time to plan.

Now I’m feeling some cramping that is occurring not in my intestines but in my stomach. I feel the uneasiness of this because 30 minutes ago I felt fine.

But the beast has awakened.

I head back into the bathroom and again take a seat. Maybe I wasn’t done. Maybe it’s just middle age. But I soon realize as another rush of yellow tide bursts through the dam of my ass into the bowl, something is wrong. Very wrong.

I feel hot and cold. I’m starting to sweat. My breath comes in short gasps of ragged illness. I feel a wave of nausea wash over me. My ass is on fire. My mind is racing. Is this food poisoning?

I open the medicine cabinet and look for some sort of anti diarrheal and finally find a bottle of kaopectate. It says to take 30ml of it to stop diarrhea and make you less nauseous. Cool. I shake the bottle and crack open the crusty lid and do a good shot of it. It said it was peppermint flavored but I didn’t get that flavor in the finish.

I sit back down and more of the same foul brown water spraying from my dirt chute happens. I’m suddenly feeling worse instead of better and I look again at the bottle of kaopectate I just did a shot from. I see the expiration date… 4/2014.

Oh fuck. I just drank some 3-year-old expired shit. Oh nooooo….

With no time to stand, wipe or even turn around, I catapult off the bowl to the tub. My chest hits the cold porcelain and a Technicolor yawn gushes from my mouth like a river of evil.  I didn’t realize I had drunk so much water this morning, because my stomach should have been empty since last night. But there was more that came forth.

Everybody hates the feeling of throwing up. But the worst part is right before it happens when you don’t want it to happen.  Once it hits it’s awful because stuff is supposed to go in that orifice that tastes good or belongs to someone you love.  Not blast out in a foul-smelling geyser of filth. As it’s happening, there is the retch. That’s the trigger to open the flood gates. You have to gauge your breathing so it doesn’t go through your nose. Because once that hell train leaves the station, there’s no stopping it. So there I am on my knees with my shorts around my ankles, a foul yellow liquid running down my leg, and me blasting a second burst into the tub of all places. I’m retching and seeing the contents of my stomach pour forth. I reach to the left and grasp the cold water faucet and turn it on. I take some cold water in my hand and rub it on my face. I read once that cool water on the face calms you down. Apparently it works on everyone.

I give one last heave and I can feel that I’m done. I see these orange chunks in the mess that look like bits of carrots. I’m thinking, when the fuck did I have carrots? The I realize they are bits of sweet potato fries that I ate last night at the Wrap Shack with Church. I pull the shower control upwards and the shower comes on to wash away the dinner that I’ve have the horror of revisiting.

The cool porcelain feels good on my chest. Have you ever noticed that? That cool stone feels good against your sad sick face. I get to my feet and grab some toilet paper and wipe my soaked ass and legs. I pull my drawers up and stumble back to my bed and get under the covers. I check the time. Whenever you have a virus like this you should always check when and how often you get the Hershey squirts and when you get to drive the porcelain bus.

I am sick. I need some sort of comfort, but I can’t eat or drink anything for fear of purging it all up again. So I start watching my favorite show on Netflix on my phone in my bed. Some old episodes of Mystery Science Theater are in order. The nostalgia and laughs will get me through this.

I was back and forth to the bathroom every 20 minutes for number 2. I felt like I was a flesh water balloon that was just emptying the contents of my entire ascending, traversing, and descending colon. I couldn’t imagine where that much liquid was coming from. It was if I was just being completely emptied out.

Each time it would be as if I was an attachment to some backyard hose and the liquid would just shoot out of me like it was a giant urethra. It was if I had become a human bilge pump for a day. Just awful.

The shits intermittently happened every 20 minutes to a half hour. This went on for a few hours. Whatever the hell was in these foul anal waters was burning my ass. I mean not a burning sensation on the way out. Then it was just a rush of yellowish fluid.  but once you touched the toilet paper to your sweet star fruit, there was this searing pain that would literally make me cry out in pain. It didn’t feel like the pillow soft joy of cottonelle. It felt like someone had set some sandpaper on fire and then swabbed out my tender balloon knot with that flaming nightmare.  Wiping my nether regions was worse than the constant shitting and the throwing up combined.

I hoped I wouldn’t puke again. I had put out so much glorious regurgitation I couldn’t imagine there could be anymore. But 1:35pm rolls around and I can feel the familiar, fear and hot and cold sweats the come with the return of the puke alien. I’m in bed, and I’m like, oh fuck…not again. How can I give anymore after I’ve already painted the bowl so many times with my flaming brown mosaic.

I head back in to the bathroom. I’ve hit the bowl so many times the seat is still warm. I take a seat and let go of another hose down of the potty. While this is happening I go back to and old accupressure move I know.  If you are having stomach pains you take the index finger and the thumb and press on the web of your hand between your left index finger and thumb. It’s supposed to work and you go from one to the other. Did it work?

Without having time to even wipe, I rocket back to the tub and blast another sidewalk pizza into the tub. This one is as fierce as the first, and I can feel my stomach muscles getting pulled with the force. It’s usually the initial blast, that looks smaller that the first one I did before but there are usually three good shots in the chamber. I know I need to exorcise these demons from my soul so I go hard. It’s so awful. I again go for the cold water and just run the shower over my head. I wipe the cold water on my face and head and neck. The water washes away the filth and off of me. When that short painful ordeal is over I get to my feet once agin. I wipe my ruined anus and wince in the sheer agony as the soft paper sets my back hole into what feels now like an exit wound.

I go back to bed and set the time. I watch MST3K and stay curled up under the covers. My only comfort is the guys on the show. I’m so sick.

A few more regular trips to the bathroom and I’m hoping this ordeal will end soon. Or maybe I’ll just die and that’ll be it.

I’m counting the time between shits and pukes. It’s now 3pm and I’m thinking that maybe I won’t chunder anymore.

3:25pm. That familiar feeling. I start on the hopper and end up with my sorry head in the tub. This time it is only painful retching and a foul-smelling brownish-yellow bile that comes from my rasping gullet. This has to be the end. Please, God… no more. I get to my feet. Sandpaper on the bunghole brings tears to my eyes because the pain is so agonizing. I’m thinking am I going to die of ass cancer like my 1970’s pin-up idol Farrah Fawcett? Yea, this is how my mind works.

However, somehow I did start to feel slightly better after this bile blast.

I’m dehydrated and weak. I stumble to the kitchen and grab a bowl from the cupboard. I grab a few ice cubes from the freezer and toss them in the bowl. I head back to bed and suck one cube at a time while watching my show under the covers. I can’t take a chance with anything else.

I didn’t have to work at the salon that night, but Trish is on. (See: Trish -The She Wolf – 2012 to Present) I text her and ask her if she can bring be some ginger ale, Gatorade and some saltine crackers. I tell her I’m dying and if she doesn’t want the blood of her neighbor and co-worker on her hands she’ll do it. I’ll pay any price. She tells me she’ll be home around 8:30pm.

I watch my show. Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo carry me through my miserable plight. All I do for the next 2 and a half hours is suck ice cubes and blast ass fire into the bowl every half hour.

But 5:30pm comes and I don’t toss my cookies. It’s surpassed the 2 hour mark and that’s a good thing. The longer I can go with out becoming suddenly overcome with nausea the better. I keep sucking ice and watching my show and the clock.

I’m still spraying foul ass water into the bowl every half hour or so and my sphincter feels like it’s been cut with razor blades and doused with alcohol and salt every time I wipe, but I haven’t blown chunks in over 4 hours. I’m suddenly filled with melancholy joy.

I don’t know if I passed out a few times in the last few hours but I may have for 20 minute intermittent periods.

It’s now 7:30pm and I have sucked my way through 2 ice trays and sipped a little water. There is a glimmer of hope when I look at the clock and I’m actually counting the minutes when I will get that text from Trish to make delivery on the crackers and ginger ale. So that’s a solid sign I may be finding my way out of this black day of horror.

I think of Prova and how I told her I’d see her today at 3pm with Church. I told him hours ago I was dying and wouldn’t be coming out today. He wished me well and would have brought me anything I needed, but when I told him it was still early in this ordeal and I was in no shape to do anything but empty the contents of my digestive tract.

That day I had felt as if I was a broken tube of toothpaste. Ripped open at both ends and just squeezed at the middle by the ragged clawed hand of Mephistopheles himself.

8:30 I get the magic text from Trish. She says she just got home and will bring me what I so desperately need. I asked her how much, and she says $8.68. I grab $10 and head for the front door. I look like some sad, scruffy Dr. Seuss character that’s been hit by a bus and tossed in a dumpster outside the Gold Club Strip joint.

She hands me the bag. I hand her the $10 and then thank her profusely. I go back to my room and can’t wait to dine. I’ve still got the shits but I’ve grown accustomed to the squirts and the pain. At one point my anus was so raw I just sat on the edge of the tub and splashed cold water into my crack to clean myself because I couldn’t take the pain in my fire hole anymore.

I rip open the crackers and gently start to eat a few. They taste delicious, these plain lightly salted crackers. I haven’t eaten anything in over 24 hours. I hear the sweet hiss of the cold bottle of ginger ale open and take a sweet sip. After you’ve been as sick as I’ve been for the last 11 hours the taste is exquisite. It is as if I’ve returned from a horrendous bloody battle in a desert of puke and shit and now I have the honor to sup ginger ale  from the breasts of Aphrodite herself.

It’s that good when you’ve been this sick.

I’m feeling a bit better and even the butt sprays are becoming less. I eat some more crackers and finish the bottle of ginger ale.

I’m going to survive.

A lady friend of mine who has been texting me to check on me, says she wishes she were there to be my nurse and take care of me. I ask would she wear the sexy nurse outfit with the white stockings and short skirt. She says of course and knows I’m on the mend.

I may be sick, but it would take a lot more than a stomach flu or food poisoning to kill my libido.

I’m afraid to sleep for some reason, but I’m on the other side of this shit and puke demon possession. I still make a few trips to the bathroom. I’m feeling much better, but still weak.

I finally fall asleep.

 

The next morning, I awaken early, wondering if I’m really going to be okay today. Have I won?

A few squirts but now it’s mostly gas, because my entire digestive tract has been emptied of its contents. Nothing but air left in me. I can actually pass gas without fear of shitting the bed. I guess that’s a good thing and my ass hurts slightly less. I eat some more crackers and finish the bottle Gatorade. It too is delicious and quenching.

Rain is falling outside. I can hear it hitting hard and soft on my window sill intermittently. There are some small storms coming through. I’m snuggled down and it’s comforting. I’m safe. I’m back. I escaped the clutches of sickness and won.

I leave my bed around 11am and head to the bathroom. I turn on a hot shower and brush my teeth. I get into the shower. The water feels good on my body. I lather up and feel that the storm has really passed. I grab a fresh razor and shave off the 2 days of scruff from my face. Shampooing my hair feels good. I’m getting my filthy self all cleaned up.

I survived.

It feels good to throw everything I wore yesterday into the hamper and put on all clean clothes and comb my hair. I finish dressing and am feeling better. It was like I was kidnapped and held hostage in my own house for an entire day. It was awful.

I grab some cash and head outside. The day is beautiful. It’s not cold and the rain has stopped for a bit. The sun’s out. I’m alive. I feel great. Everything looks more beautiful to me. The people, my street, the fresh air. I’m so grateful for my health and everything in my life at that moment.

If you have your health you have so much. My immune system is working just fine and I spanked my demons and made them pay. Because here I am headed to Rittenhouse Square good as new.

I stop in Manhattan Bagels at 18th and Sansom. I grab a diet Snapple and order a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted rye bagel. I walk to the counter and happily greet the cashier, picking up a ripe banana and adding it to my order. I pay and take a seat at the window, appreciating life again outside my sickness exile of the past 24 hours. I crack the Snapple and take a sip of that quenching tea. Glorious. The banana tastes better than any I’ve ever eaten. I savor the firm softness in the fruit as the potassium goes to work to repair me. I can’t get enough of that banana. I’m like a gay man who just discovered what a glory hole is.

The girl brings me my breakfast. It’s perfect. Delicious. I’m back. Everything is new and I’m so grateful. That night I’m at the salon running around and taking care of our clients. All is right in the universe again.

Your health is everything.

So, like I said at the beginning of this tome, I have a deadly immune system. It’s scary when you get violently ill and especially when you don’t see it coming. But I have suffered with tummy troubles my whole life, so I’m well equipped to take what comes for me.

I rarely get the common cold that the world suffers with every season. I have no allergies. Nothing. But… when I do on occasion get the common cold I absolutely hate it. Here’s why. It starts out with you not feeling right. Just a bit off and you don’t know why. Maybe it’s an imbalance or that feeling around your eyes. You think you’re fine. Then the sore throat starts. Maybe on one side of your throat. Maybe it’s nothing. But then, why are the glands in my neck under my jaw line swollen and tender? My throat is now sore on both sides now. I start sneezing. Then coughing. My nose is stuffed up. Maybe one side is so stuffed I can only breath out of one nostril and it switches sides. Tricky! I’m starting to feel body aches. Maybe hot and cold flashes. I feel dopey. There are tons of discharge from my nose and lungs as my white blood cells go in for battle once again. They have honed these skills over millions of years of evolution. It’s what they do. But there’s always some new hybrid motherfucker that wants to come in and take their shit. But Homo Sapiens are a tough lot, and you don’t get to be number one on this planet by losing. Our species is a scrappy bunch.  Go ahead, bring your best. Some of us that survived beat the Black Plague, lived on to build new civilizations and thrive as a stronger species.

Sure medicine helps, but the immune system you were born with and those that built it that came before you is there for a reason. You don’t need to run to the doctor every time you get the sniffles. The world is on drugs of every kind. You’ve been sold an idea that every thing is dirty and you need a pill for everything. You don’t. That’s what your immune system is for. Your child needs to get sick and know what it feels like to feel like shit… and then get well by eating right and drinking lots of fluids and letting the body rest so the pros inside your body can go fight the battle and win again.

You can see tomorrow with a smile and be grateful that life is fleeting and fragile. Your health is everything. If you wake up tomorrow and feel okay. Then you’re way ahead. Make the most of the day, because you don’t know what tomorrow brings.

  1. Health.
  2. To love and be loved.
  3. Family.
  4. Good people around you.
  5. Something to look forward to.
  6. Fun stuff to do.
  7. Good work that you can do today.

That’s kind of it people. All the big houses, money, cars, and fancy handbags is all bullshit.

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I will make a final footnote here. If you made it this far through this disgusting, graphic story, I thank you. It was just gross but I wanted it to be real. But if you’ll notice, I tried to use every vulgar slang word that I could think of to describe what was happening. Even in darkness, I have to bring forth a little light and humor.

” Because that light at the end of the tunnel, may be you.” – Steven Tyler

 

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

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Sun Stories: Haley – 2016 to Present – Rules and Lists

You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!

This is one of my all time favorite posts. It was fun to write and I’m sure the whole gang at the salon will love it!

Enjoy!

While working at the salon, Haley and I came up with a lot of funny bits we used to do. I can hear her giggling right now in my head as I write this.

We would lock the doors at closing time, and sometimes people would show up trying to get in and tan. There’s always people who can’t manage their schedules or the clock or the calendar and are always late for everything.

Do we come to your bar and want to order a bunch of stuff when you’re trying to close? Then don’t pull that shit on us. We didn’t want to deal with the cast of regulars that would try to pull this and sometimes we would simply hide from them as they banged on the door and/or started calling the house phone. We would be behind the wall or under the counter laughing.

There’s this one girl who comes in and she’s super hot but dresses provocatively. She knows she’s hot and likes to flaunt her body, but actually that’s not good behavior for a woman. But if she wants all of that attention that’s her business. I just liked her because she was hot. She’s really just a vacuous bubblehead.

So I would come in, and Haley would say, “You just missed your girlfriend!”

And I’d always say, “Which one?” (Because I loved so many of the hot girls that frequent the salon.)

She’d say, “Alexa! and you would have loved her because she was looking extra slutty today!”

I love Haley. She’s hilarious.

 

Achilles told me some things I needed to follow when I first started working there. These were just some fundamental things that I should do if I wanted things to work smoothly. I have so much enthusiasm for everything I do, I decided to actual make a real list. So I’ll show it here and break down the rules and explain what they mean.

1. No shared memberships (You can’t come in with your friend or spouse and buy a monthly package and share the tanning sessions. Like she can’t come in on Tuesday and then you come in on Wednesday. You also can’t come in on the same day and go to separate rooms.)
2. No shared rooms (Only one person to a room. Because who knows what two people could do in a room together when they’re naked?)
3. You’re available but not available (You can’t date the clients. What if I start dating some girl who comes there and then we break up and she won’t come to the salon because it’s awkward? Achilles loses revenue because of my dalliances. Off limits.)
4. It’s not clean until it’s mega clean (Job #1 in any business that serves the public is cleanliness. If you have a business where multiple people lie naked on the same acrylic sun bed over and over, the bed better be sanitized like crazy)
5. Last tanning session is at 7:50 (We talked about this. If we close at 8pm we can lock the doors at 7:50 so we can get on with our lives.)
6. We clean our own beds (The staff goes tanning. You shouldn’t work at a tanning salon and look pale. But I don’t want Haley or Summer or Trish wiping the sweat off the bed I just tanned in. And vice versa. Gross!)
7. When in doubt, throw it out (If you’re not sure if a towel is clean it goes in the hamper. Rather safe than sorry.)
8. Cash is king (Achilles loves cash. If someone pays cash you can knock 10% of the price if they’re on a budget)
9. You can’t leave your lotion here We’re not a storage facility. (people actually ask if we can hold their lotion for them under the counter)
10. No strollers! (This isn’t a real rule. We just worried about them carrying the strollers up 30 steps. It’s just unsafe. But there is another reason I’ll discuss below. You’ll know when you see it.)
11. No extensions! (If someone buys a month and then they go away for a week, we won’t put their membership on hold so they can start it up upon their return and get that week back. Mange your life better!) (However, we did this once for a good client when her mother died.)
12. No discounts unless it’s on the website and they mention it first! (We do 10% for cash if they ask and 20% for students if they ask. Summer, a girl who works here and formerly tanned here, said to me the other day, “You never gave me 20% because I was a student!” Me: Did you ever ask? “No.” Me: “We’re in business to make money, Summer. Now you work here… you can tan for free!”)
13. Never mention that we replace the bulbs in the beds to the customers. (Achilles always changes the bulbs on strict schedules. It’s just something that needs to be done on a regular basis to maintain the strength of the beds. But we don’t discuss that with clients because they could think that they’ve been tanning all month on weak bulbs and now in the last week of their package there are good new bulbs that are in the bed now. It’s just not the case and we don’t want to open that can of worms.)
I created a Love List. This was basically a list of hot women. It’s ridiculous, and I no longer do it. I created it when I first started working there because I was new and overwhelmed by all the beauty that comes in to tan at the salon. If I made Love List today it would look far different and probably consist of men and women who are nice people who are a pleasure to serve.
Haley had a Love list too. But hers consisted of nice people, and grandpa type old guys that came into tan. “They’re so cute, like my Pop Pop!”
And where there is a Love List, so must there be a Hate List. The Hate List is only about six people who come in at closing, are weird, or when they come in there’s always some sort of problem.
Which brings us to our favorite list of all. We all agree about every one of these and the list is always growing. We love it so much that I read it aloud to the staff at our Christmas dinner! Enjoy!
Things That Annoy Us. 
1. People that come in at 7:49. (We close at 8pm)
2. People that leave lakes of sweat on the bed.
3. People that close the bed and the door. (don’t make it look like you’re still in there! That makes us nervous!)
4. Trash strewn room.
5. Taking forever to choose a lotion packet when there’s a line.
6. When people come in and complain about things beyond our control.
7. When 7 girls come in and only have basic packages. (We only have two basic beds and two girls go in and then the rest of them have to sit around and wait in the lobby. It takes forever)
8. Hey client… to get the lotion on your body, not the table, floor, mirror and walls.
9. I’m going to wait for the Alpha (Premium bed.) and two people are ahead of me and its quarter to 8pm. (closing time)
10. They need more than 5 minutes to get ready and it’s our responsibility to remember to send them. (Activate the bed)
11. When people decide to go to the bathroom after we’ve sent them to a room.
12. They get a spray tan then go out in the rain and expect nothing to happen then call the next day to say their legs are streaking. Rain is like taking a shower!!! (You have to stay dry for 6 hours after a spray tan!)
13. Customers that talk to you about a bunch of stuff you have zero interest in. (Sader sounds) That’s a guy who used to come in and just gab about of things we don’t know about or care to hear about) Or this other lady who will rudely go on and on about her crazy ex husband or her kid who’s been in an out of children’s hospital his whole life. We get it. We’re sorry for you, but don’ lay your problems at a bunch of clerks at a tanning salon!
14. Can I leave my lotion here that I purchased elsewhere? (Really?)
15. Which one do you think is the best? (It’s all the same shit. Just pick a damn packet of lotion!)
16. Client: I referred so and so, so I get a free tan right? Me: Did you fill out the little card and have them bring it in with your name on it? Client: No. Me: Then No.
17. Can you just put me in today and when I come in on Tuesday you can subtract it from the next package I buy? Oh Laura… (That was some girl who would always try to pull that shit on me. I liked her but…No!)
18. Yea, sure, go into our bathroom and take a dump before you even come in to say hello. (Achilles hates that one)
19. Door squeaks and then tons of giggling and multiple footsteps… (Oh God here they come! A bunch of noisy college freshman girls) You’d think I’d like this, but it’s annoying.
20. Customer: umm one of the face tanners is burned out in the Cadillac. Us: Yea. It’s 10 after 8. Get the fuck out of here. (We don’t say that we just think it)
21. When the white trash junkie whores bring their Milano babies up here in their giant strollers and hang out for over an hour while they take turns tanning, changing dirty diapers and leaving them in the bathroom, while their kids cry and scream wreaking havoc in the lobby with our good clients. (Too much?)
22. When Sader inserts himself into my conversation with our lovely clientele. (This guy again. I’d be chatting with some young lovely, and he just comes in and inserts his tiny self into the conversation. Annoying!) UPDATE: Sader no longer comes to tan here because he said his doctor found some unusual skin growths on him so his tanning life is over. Not his real life… He just can’t tan anymore.
23. We warned you that if you weren’t gentle with the fan control on the Max 10 it’ll shut the bed off, but goddamn it, you’re fucking going to do it anyway. Twice.
24. Achilles: “This time of year nobody comes in to tan on the basic beds.” Me: (crushed on a Thursday) “Shut the fuck up, Achilles.”
25. Guy comes in our lobby: (There was a copy and print shop downstairs from the old salon on 16th street) “Is this where I can make copies? Me: (points to Max 10 sun bed.) “Does that look like a copy machine, sport? Get the fuck out of here.” (We don’t really say that, we think it.)
26. Just because you bought a month package doesn’t mean you have to come in everyday! (There are people who actually do this!)
27. Laura (crazy client) text: I just wanted to say hi and that I miss you terribly.  Me: Buy an All Access Premium EFT and you can see me everyday. Oh by the way…. Are you due for a new bottle of lotion??
28. Don’t put the fucking mega clean sign back on the dirty bed.
29. Am I the only one that works here and regularly cleans out the lint trap in the fucking dryer?
30. The mumblers! (Please speak up and use the voice God gave you!)
31. When I’m somewhere other than at the front counter, and the client starts wandering around the salon looking for me. (What are you a baby duckling?)
32. Did you have to throw everything on the floor? (Winkease trash, mega clean sign, head rest, towel, lotion packet, etc.)
33. You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!
34. When they use a towel to dry off their hands in the bathroom and instead of throwing the used towel into the little hamper next to the sink, they throw it back on top of the clean folded ones! Who the fuck is raising these monkeys?
35. When a client comes in and no one is at the counter, instead of having a seat in the waiting area, they just stand there at the counter nearly grinding their pelvis into it. Just leaning on the counter and all. I fucking hate that!
36. Why are you compelled to touch the mirrors in each room? I always see smudges and fingerprints on the mirrors. What, are you just checking to see that it’s really a mirror and not some portal to another world where there’s another you staring back at you??? What the fuck?
All in a days work.
Miss you, Haley!

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Tales of Rock – Madonna Almost Made Albums With Michael Jackson And Prince

“To write songs together is a very intimate experience,”

Hey, did you know Madonna and Michael Jackson used to date?

In 1991, Michael and Madonna had been wanting to collaborate on an album for a short while, so they did what any sane performer would do and started pseudo-dating. The couple would arrange dinner dates, watch movies together, and at one point even attended the Oscars as each other’s dates. They were just “being silly,” as Madge puts it — “silly” being what famous artists think of conventional relationships.

Madonna claimed that their sort-of romance was necessary for the two artists to get to know each other before they jumped into recording an album. According to her, “To write songs together is a very intimate experience,” and apparently after you have survived the Darwinian slaughter that is early relationships you are strong enough as two people to sit in a booth together and sing into a microphone.

Ironically, it seemed that Madonna’s intensity was exactly why the whole thing fell apart. According to Jackson, Madonna was too demanding and would attempt to dictate where they would go on dates, which would lead to a debate over whether or not the couple would visit Disneyland together, which was absolutely a deal-breaker for Jackson. Then, when the collaboration had finally started, Jackson balked at Madge’s risque lyrics, preferring a love song or ballad over her traditionally sexy tunes, and ducked out of the project after a meeting with the pop star left him feeling anxious. Michael admitted that Madonna scared him, and the album was scrapped completely.

But there was another performer whose collaboration with Madonna would have arguably been just as amazing — Prince. And you can bet your ass the bendy sex-gnome wasn’t afraid of some risque lyrics. After joining forces on a couple of songs, Madonna’s manager had the brilliant idea to send the pair on a world tour. But after being approached with the idea, Prince graciously turned it down citing concern for the world’s mental health, claiming that the planet just wasn’t ready to cope with their simultaneous greatness. You may recognize this as being both Prince-Speak for “I don’t feel like doing that,” and a thing that he earnestly believed.

 

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Kylie – 2012 to 2015 – Broken Wing – Part I – Reconnected Rebound

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I met Kylie a few years ago after Michelle had broken up with me but we remained friends.  (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) I had met Kylie when she was shooting some photos for Philly Weekly. (See: Kylie – 2012 to 2016 – Broken Wing – The Rittenhouse Cocktail & Fashion Event)

I hadn’t seen her really after that, but back in May of 2014, my then boss and I ended up getting invited to go out on a tour boat for a few hours on the Delaware River. There was going to be free wine and snacks so we jumped on that cruise.

It was just a small party boat, that gave tours up and down the river in the spring and summer. It was beautiful day to be out on the water. There were a few other folks from the media there too  but one I noticed in particular.

Kylie is memorable for a few things. She has a very unique stacked bob hairstyle and a set of world-class legs on her. She’s probably only 5’2″ but she’s a runner and really fit. So every bit of sinew,musculature and balance is packed into those shapely stems.

So we’re chatting, and she’s looking hot with those legs out. The crackers and cheese are happening and the wine is flowing. We’re laughing and I feel like there’s a connection at some level. We’re reminiscing about the Rittenhouse cocktail event two years ago.

She tells me she’s on this gig to get some shots for Philly Weekly but they don’t pay much. She is still working with this older guy who has his own studio down in Old City. He’s been a professional photographer his whole life. When being a trained photographer really meant something  before it went all digital. Now every swingin’ dick in the city can just pick up an expensive digital camera and call themselves a photographer. Most wouldn’t know the difference between F stop and the F word!

She works with this older guy… we’ll call him Jim. He owns the business and he pays her to shoot some of the jobs he gets. I would think if you aren’t doing a lot of consistent commercial work and a bunch of weddings you probably won’t make much money. But over the years this guy has been pretty successful.

The cruise was a really nice way to reconnect with her. We exchange numbers and decide to meet up for a drink. So I’m feeling pretty good when I get off the boat.

It was maybe a week or so later, and we met up at Milkboy for a few drinks. Milkboy is a bar/music venue at 11th and Chestnut street. There are a bunch of people there I know and they’re treating us great. Somebody took a pic of the two of us and we looked pretty cozy. And of course everything has to go up on social media. I look back on my life back then and I was just as bad as everybody else if not worse. I put pics up of everything I was doing. Now I almost never post anything on my personal Facebook page or Instagram. I just promote phicklephilly on those platforms now.

Back then when I was Annabelle, I would post pics of us all of the time. I also had us locked down as “In a Relationship” on Facebook. So if you’re in a relationship and things end it doesn’t stay between you and your significant others. Every asshole that you’re “friends” with on Facebook know that it’s over. That’s like being a celebrity and breaking up with your spouse. The world knows. That must be horrible. Because I have 5000 “friends” on Facebook and everybody knows when it’s over. I will never let that happen again.

But… Annabelle didn’t know what she wanted back then. She probably still doesn’t, but if this pic of yours truly and Kylie pops up in her feed on facebook, it’ll look like I have moved on in less that 30 days after she dumped me.

Well, let’s see what happens.

Damn you, Annabelle.

 

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Tales of Rock – Pink Floyd Unleashed A Giant Inflatable Pig On London

“They commissioned a gigantic helium-filled pig and strapped it to London’s Battersea Power Station, because nothing drums up publicity for a progressive rock record like a giant inflatable pig.”

In 1977, Pink Floyd were under tremendous pressure to ensure that Animals — their long-awaited 10th album — was a commercial success. The answer was simple: They commissioned a gigantic helium-filled pig and strapped it to London’s Battersea Power Station, because nothing drums up publicity for a progressive rock record like a giant inflatable pig.

However, in a turn of events that would provide yet another footnote to the adage “props are a musician’s worst enemy,” the 40-foot-long pig — nicknamed “Algie” — broke free from its moorings and escaped to sow (pun intended) a rampage of confusion and mild public endangerment. After it floated above London’s Heathrow Airport, authorities were forced to ground every single flight to avoid any sudden collisions with an enormous pig-shaped balloon. At this point, the Royal Air Force had to be deployed to try to bring down the errant porcine.

The balloon eventually crashed in a field in Kent, where it scared the shit out of some cows. Oddly enough, Pink Floyd had anticipated that Algie might break free of his moorings and had actually hired a sharpshooter to watch over the giant pig and take it out in case it escaped. Fortunately for history, the sharpshooter didn’t show up, leading to the incident that we’re amazed nobody called “The Great Pig In The Sky.”

 

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

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