Sun Stories – Mike – Really Dude?

We hired a girl named Caitlin to take Jill’s shifts. She’s a nice girl and does a good job, but she runs track and field at college and her schedule for practices is changing so we lost her after a few weeks.

Achilles meets this guy Mike. He came into the salon to tan one day. He’s a mountain of a man. Admits to Achilles that he uses steroids to get that huge.

Achilles is chatting with him about the fitness center we’re opening soon and Mike tells him he’s a certified personal trainer. So Achilles hires him to work at the salon, and when the gym opens he can work there.

Perfect. A muscle dude that said he’d be here to run the classes and could make some real income from the personal training. People pay big bucks for that stuff. This is a great opportunity for Mike.

I stop in one Saturday just to escape the heat. I chat a bit with Mike and he seems like a really nice guy. I even spoke to him about a business opportunity I was thinking about and he gave me good advice having had experience in a similar business. So all good.

Everything seems to be going well. We’ve recovered nicely after Trish’s cocaine arrest, Jill’s alcoholic meltdown, and Caitlin’s track re-scheduling.

But two weeks later, Achilles calls me. “I’m going to have to fire, Mike.”

“What happened?”

“He’s stealing money from me.”

“Stealing?”

“Yea. There’s almost no cash transactions on the nights he works and I’m just starting to see a pattern. I don’t think he knows the level at which we can track everything on the computer.”

“Aww dude. I’m sorry. We just can’t catch a break lately.”

“I know. Come in and we’ll have lunch today and figure out what to do.”

The next day when confronted with the crime, of course Mike denied any wrong doing to the point where Achilles almost believed him. But once Achilles dug deeper and examined all of the records in the system there was no doubt in his mind that Mike had been skimming cash from the register.

I hear that steroids are expensive.

Anyway, we fired his thieving ass and banned him from ever coming to the salon again.

Guess who’s working all the shifts everyday for a while?

That’s right! Me. At least Achilles and I know that the people who work here are trustworthy and dependable. Because it’s down to the two of us!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Sun Stories: Ben – Gym Guy

“Let me put it this way to you Achilles…Our worst prison nightmare is a decent payday for Ben.”

Ben came to us as a guy who tanned at our salon. He was always talking to Achilles about all his business deals and things. I never trusted this guy, but Achilles always gives people a couple of chances.

We were building the fitness part of our business out on Walnut street to compliment the tanning salon. I think Ben saw an opportunity to insert himself into this opportunity and came on strong.

I never got a good vibe from him but Achilles gave him a chance. At first we thought we’d bring him as a trainer because he was a fitness guy. We gave him a trial and he actually did pretty good with some of the people who came in.

But there was always something about him that gave me a bad vibe. He’s been married a couple of times. The kids live here in Philly and he lives in DC. I asked Achilles what the guy did for a living and he said he was a party planner. Apparently he worked as a personal trainer at a gym, but also worked as a driver for escorts for bachelor parties. He also told us he worked as a stripper in his past life. This guy is 48 now and dyes his hair blonde. We know he’s on steroids because he has bitch tits and is always sniffing. I’m thinking that’s coke.

I’ve lived in LA and been in the music industry. I can spot a druggie a mile away. This guy’s a loser. I don’t want him to poison what Achilles and I are working on with this gym. But I can see him trying to. He’s trying to spend more time here and work at the salon.

I tell Achilles that when I’m here Ben can under not circumstances touch anything in the salon. I run this place. This causes me stress of this weird invader, but Achilles knowing that I’m his golden goose puts the kibosh on Ben.

We’re mired in a lawsuit with the fitness center upstairs and can’t even open our little place. We’ll settle that nonsense eventually and figure it out. I’m sure we’ll just do personal strength training and it will all fall away.

But I can’t shake my suspicion about Ben. I google the shit out of this parasite. I see he has worked as a male stripper. I watch the videos. It’s gross. I’ve met his 11-year-old daughter. She’s a lovely child. I’m sure she has no idea what her dad has done.

I’m a dad, I get it. We have kids, and we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. There are things I’ve done my daughter can never know. That’s just being and adult and being responsible. They never need to know certain things. We’ve all done things we’re not especially proud of, and we let them die in silence.

But everything is online now and kids could find things. I’m just glad that all of my evil never made it to the internet. Lorelei never needs to see that, and even if she did she wouldn’t be interested and wouldn’t even look because it would be gross. But thankfully there is nothing out there on me.

I never liked Ben and always got a weird vibe from him. I didn’t want Achilles to get sucked in by another asshole because I love the salon and like every company I worked for always protect the integrity of that company. It’s what professionals do. Achilles has never had an employee like me but I bring great power and a flurry of 5 star Yelp reviews.

When I was at the salon at night I kept googling him. I needed to dig. I found some things. He was arrested 10 years ago for not paying his child support. No problem. I feel you dude. That shit is expensive and ruins your life.You missed some payments and your ex is a fucking relentless monster. I get it. I was married to that kind of fucking asshole. A relentless harpy that just wants what’s coming to her. A lonely empty cunt that will never be happy. So that’s a pass from me brother.

But I keep digging because you are trying to infiltrate what I’m doing with my partner Achilles.

Achilles tells me you want to invest in the business and cut me out. Achilles immediately tells me about this conversation and it’s not happening buddy.

I continue digging.

I keep googling you and then I come across a name that isn’t you in my search. I plugged in your name, Ben, but there is a new name that comes up.

I click on the link and learn a whole new thing about you sneaky male stripper, Ben.

I find a different name and you’re a porn actor. Payday. Not only are you are a porn actor you only do gay porn. All you ever talk about is banging girls to Achilles and me.

I watched your video’s Ben. I’m able look into the darkness and see the light. I found what I was looking for about you. I don’t care if you’re gay or straight but I watched videos of you doing everything sexual with men. Only Men. No girls. That changes one’s perception. Does gay for pay pay more than straight porn?

I called Achilles and this was our conversation:

“Dude, I’ve been googling Ben and found something.”

“What?”

“Please do not look upon this because I care about you and you’re a good man and I consider you a friend,and I don’t want to hurt you”

“What is it?”

“Ben does hard-core gay porn all the time.”

“What the fuck?”

I’m not going to mention any names but just know this dude does gay porn and only gay porn. No chicks!”

“Fuck!”

“I really looked to see if there were any girls and there are none.”

“Shit”

“Let me put it this way to you Achilles. Our worst prison nightmare is a decent payday for Ben.”

Achilles lost his shit and laughed his ass off.

We don’t really work with Ben anymore.

As a side note, I lent Ben $20 and we haven’t seen him since. So that’s a blessing. It only cost me $20 to rid our salon of him.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am 12pm EST.

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Sun Stories: Anna Laura Sommer – Secret Identity

That is her real name and these are her real photos. Anna gave me permission to publish them. The first time Anna came into the salon she looked like the photo above. But she was wearing even more loose-fitting clothing. If she had told me she was just getting to get a base coat for this weekend’s folk festival I would have believed her. Because she just looked like a plain Jane hippie girl.

Then we got to talking. “What are you looking to do today?”

“Just a spray tan.”

“Wedding? Event?”

“Fitness contest.”

“Really?”

“Yea.”

“Forgive me but I would never have pegged you for a fitness competitor. We’ve had a few of them in here before, and they’re all buffed and look like they just came from the gym. How’d you get into that?

“Well I saw my sister-in-law compete in one and thought at the time, whoa that’s way out of my comfort zone.”

The photo on the left is the ‘Before” pic and obviously the one on the right is the ‘After.’

 

 

She had a passion for health, wellness, and service since she can remember. She attributes this to her family. She grew up on a farm in a small town in Arkansas. Growing up on a farm gave her brothers and her a rather unique perspective on life: one that enabled them to dream wildly and fearlessly. Her mother, who was and continues to be an incredible inspiration in living a healthy, balanced life despite whatever curveballs life may throw at her further fostered this creative spirit within each of us. Her brothers, as well as her husband and sister-in-law, went on to selflessly serve our country as officers in the United States Army.​

Needless to say, everyone in her life has demonstrated in various ways what it means to be a Servant Leader, and truly live a passionate life by using your own gifts to help others succeed.​

When her brother, Tyler, lost his life during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, Anna fell into a depression that she struggled to recover from for at least 7 years. She lost sight of the dreams she had as a child, and began to merely exist, rather than live.

When she began a rather stressful graduate program, she began to go to the gym as a way to cope with the stress. She started to learn how to eat to fuel her body. She even began to read personal development books for fun! She knew she wanted others to experience what she was experiencing. Upon completing graduate school, she discovered a deep passion for coaching others in their personal health and fitness journeys, and obtained my personal training certification in 2016.

Her mission is to equip others with the tools they need to feel good in their skin.

She saw her sister-in-law in a fitness completion and thought that was way outside of her comfort zone. So she decided to take a chance  and enter one herself.

She entered her first ever fitness competition and won FIRST Place!

 

An object in motion stays in motion, but it has to be properly fueled to do so. We as humans are no different. Fuel is what keeps us going and keeps us continually burning with more intensity.​

She’s heard many people (both women and men!) tell her how intimidating, uneasy, or incompetent they feel when they walk into a gym, surrounded by “meatheads”, “hotshots”, or people who look like they know what they’re doing. These men and women say they ultimately wind up wasting their time, because they don’t have a plan, or they become too nervous to work out in front of people, so they just…don’t.​

Anna has certainly been there, and she doesn’t want anyone to feel that way. She wans to help you uncover the confidence and gain the knowledge you need to become “fueled”- mind, body, and soul. It’s when we step into our own power that we begin living life at 100%.​

Anna doesn’t want to become a crutch for you. She wants to coach you by providing you with the “not-so-secret secrets” to living a healthier, more joyful lifestyle.​

When you align with FUEL, you become a part of a tribe of like-minded, empowered women who support one another in achieving their goals. If we were created to go at life alone, there wouldn’t be so many of us, right?

Professional Credentials & Background

•​​Certified Personal Trainer, American Council of Exercise

•Certified Lifestyle Coach, Savage Lifestyle Coaching Academy

•Fitness-Nutrition Specialist, American Council of Exercise

•2017 Ms. Bikini New England

•Fitness America Bikini Pro

•Team Isagenix Athlete

•Licensed & Certified Speech-Language Pathologist, ASHA

 

An amazing Sun Story about a great lady!

 

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

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Ann Marie – Rose Among Thorns

“Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!”

I did some work in the morning, and then was to meet up with Church for lunch. We met at one of my favorite Monday lunch spots in Rittenhouse. Can’t beat a $5 cheesesteak and fries or tots to kick off your week at Cavanaugh’s.  I get there and of course my girl Ann Marie says hello and immediately delivers to my table a water and diet coke. She always uses my name and provides outstanding hospitality. I always get the same thing when I go there on Mondays and she knows exactly what I want. It’s a little slow in this sports bar, so Ann Marie hops up in the chair across from me and we start chatting.

I ask her how her trip to California was with her Mother. Ann Marie is getting married in October so she and her mom and sister went out there to pick up a special Vietnamese wedding dress.

While traditional clothes of Vietnam have always been very diverse depending on the era and occasion, after the Nguyen Dynasty women began to wear elaborate Ao dai for their weddings. These dresses were modeled after the Áo mệnh phụ (royal Áo dài) of Nguyễn Dynasty court ladies. The style of the Nguyễn Dynasty has remained popular and is still used in current-day Vietnamese wedding attire. The difference between the Áo mệnh phụ and the typical Áo dài is the elaborateness of its design. The former is usually embroidered with imperial symbols such as the phoenix and includes an extravagant outer cloak. This gown is preferably in red or pink, and the bride usually wears a khan dong headdress. The groom wears a simpler male equivalent of the dress, often in the color blue.

Apparently she’s having a Vietnamese wedding and then a Catholic wedding after that. Then there is the reception of course. So basically Ann Marie’s wedding day is going to last from 11am till the last person stumbles out of the reception.

An engagement ceremony usually occurs half a year or so before the wedding. In the past, most marraiges were arranged by the parents or extended family, and while children were sometimes consulted, it was nearly always the parents’ final decision. It was not unusual for the bride and groom to meet for the first time at the day of their engagement. However, in the last few decades, Vietnamese women and men marry based on love rather than arranged marriages.

Preparation for the traditional Vietnamese wedding begins with choosing a date and time for the marriage ceremony. This is decided by a Buddhist monk, Spiritual leader, or fortune teller due to the spiritual nature of the occasion. This tradition may change if the family is Catholic. (Which our westernized Ann Marie is)

The wedding consists of an extensive set of ceremonies: asking permission to receive the bride, receiving the bride at her house, and bringing the bride to the groom’s house. Both Vietnamese and oversea-Vietnamese who desire to have a hybrid traditional Vietnamese and Western-style wedding will often incorporate the last two ceremonies with the Western-style wedding.

And then obviously at the end of the ceremonies, there is one reception for the two families and guests. Sounds like it’s going to be a big day for our girl.

“I told my bridesmaids to just keep me hydrated and energized to make it through a very long day!”

I’ve known Ann Marie for a few years now. We never hang out, I just know her from the sports bar. There are a million sports bars out there, but your staff is really what makes the difference. That goes for any business. There are bars I go to and I love the guy that works every Monday night, but I wouldn’t set foot in that place on a Wednesday if he’s not working.

Ann Marie’s great. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s really cute and fit. There’s a group of construction workers that come in and drink some afternoons and they only come in when Ann Marie is working. They love her like we do. There were days I would be sitting at my table in the back and I would be working on my laptop. I’d pop out for a smoke and one of the guys would be out there and we’d be chatting. Next thing you know he’s sending me a drink back to my table. Just good hard-working fellas.

I remember another time I was sitting at the bar and I was eating my sandwich. That same group of guys were there and they were drinking, laughing and busting on each other. The one guy says something like, “Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!” Of course the guy laughs but doesn’t disagree with them.

I think to myself… “Fuck! That’s why I always used to sit at the end of the bar in the Spring and Summer, so I can check out Ann Marie’s legs. If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m a leg man. Ann Marie may be petite but she has well turned legs.

Church arrives and we order our food. We go with the special. He goes with fries and I choose tots. This way, everybody wins. The place gets busier and Ann Marie is running around taking orders and serving at the bar.

Church and I are chatting after lunch and Ann Marie cruises by. “Can we get the check? I thought you were keeping me here.”

“I’m going to keep you here forever, dear.” She says with a wry smile.

That’s what I’m talking about. You come for the $5 cheesesteaks, you stay for that kind of hospitality and charm.

Update: Ann Marie has since left her post at Cavanaugh’s to pursue a career in Marketing. Oh well, hopefully her replacement can live up to the high bar set by Ann Marie. Oh, and if you’re reading this dear, You’re going to be a beautiful bride to a lucky gentleman.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – We’re Moving and Adding Fitness!

“Tanning could go away, but fitness is here forever.”

I’ve been working part-time at the tanning salon for about a year and a half now. We wanted to take over the property next door, and make it a spinning cycle gym. We tried to make that happen for about six months until the landlord finally agreed.

But a week later he told us to wait. Then he jerked us around for another month until we found out that the building was up for sale. The whole building including the tanning salon. So we tried to negotiate with the new owners, but it was pretty clear our rent was going up and they had other plans for the building.

We decided to take matters into our own hands. We started to look for another spot. After searching for a awhile we settled on a 2nd floor space on Walnut street. It’s bigger than where we are currently, and a more visible to people walking down the street. Walnut street is mostly all upscale retail brands so we should do well down there.

The best part is, in the front of the new building is a big open space for us to build a personal fitness center. I’ll invest in that and become a managing partner in the business. So I’m super amped about that. I think owning a business in Rittenhouse will be a life changing event. I’m really looking forward to this move and building this business.

Tanning could one day go away. Maybe not completely, but what if science comes up with a pill you could take that would simply activate the natural melanin in your skin? You take the pills and you slowly become tan. That could happen. UV light would still be around for the people who love the feeling, and to treat numerous skin disorders, but a portion of our business could decrease. Fitness on the other hand, will never go away. People will always want to work out and stay in shape. If you had an established business with over seven hundred active clients, that liked to tan and be fit, a gym could succeed in a space like that. If you could do your workout in the same place you went tanning would you for the right price? I think most people would. So this could be a whole new age for our business and I’m happy to be along to make it happen!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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