Why Philly Icon McGlinchey’s Bar May Never Be The Same

McGlinchey’s is a bar I frequent with my friend Johnny R. Thought I’d share this piece with you.

Recently, a radical upgrade was unveiled at McGlinchey’s Bar: The infinite towel, that baby-blue loop of fabric and bacteria used to dry the hands of the thousands who were brave enough — or drunk enough — not to care, has been replaced with single-use paper towels. The bathroom, which wouldn’t be an incongruous setting for the climactic scene in a horror film, was left otherwise undisturbed.

That is to say, change comes incrementally to McGlinchey’s, a cash-only, dirt-cheap dive that has been owned by the same family since 1952 and that processed the arrival of a citywide smoking ban in 2008 with a shrug and a fresh ashtray. (The bar was granted an exemption because such a small portion of its revenue is from food.) McGlinchey’s, and its upstairs companion, Tops Bar, remain among the last great bastions for Center City smokers who find puffing outside on a street corner beneath their dignity.

“There’s less smokers every year,” said Sheldon Sokol, 68, the co-owner. “Eventually, we’ll have to go no smoking, because the smokers will all die off.”

He doesn’t smoke or drink himself. (“It’s bad for your innards,” he said.)

For now, McGlinchey’s remains as smoggy as ever.
“It’s going to be a two-shower night,” a friend grumbled as we made our way through the haze one recent evening. But it was a loving gripe: For him and others, McGlinchey’s is steeped in Philly nostalgia.

“It’s sort of been a place of quiet contemplation for depressives and alchies, which I was part of for a while,” he said. Maybe it’s the churchlike afternoon light filtering softly through the geometric stained-glass windows, or the smoke-darkened duck-hunter mural (an old billboard that was recently, clumsily repainted) looming like some devotional artwork, or the sense of communion provided by the wraparound bar. It’s the ideal place for drinking alone together.

We chose a vinyl-upholstered booth, and a waitress with pink hair and a fanny pack for a cash register brought us glass mugs of beer. The idiosyncratic price points, like $2.55 for a Yuengling, always seem to result in a pile of change on the table. (According to Sokol, prices were initially geared so you could easily tip a quarter a drink. They’ve limited the increases to a small percentage each year, so as not to anger his price-conscious customers.)
The waitress also put in our food order — which meant she had to go into the kitchen and microwave the chili dogs herself. “It tastes like SpaghettiOs on a hot dog,” a friend said. This was taken as an endorsement.

McGlinchey’s is the kind of place that accumulates tobacco stains. And lore. It provided the backdrop for the haunting series of portraits by photographer Sarah Stolfa that were collected in the 2009 book The Regulars. The jukebox, once heavy on the Cure, Bowie, the Smiths, had its own Facebook page, until it was usurped by TouchTunes.

 

McGlinchey’s Bar and Tops Bar 
259 S. 15th St., 215-735-1259, mcglincheys.com.
When to go: When you’re too broke to afford drinks anywhere else. When you want to be with other people. When you want to be alone. McGlinchey’s is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. Tops Bar is open 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Bring: Beer snobs, smokers, Ms. Pac-Man aficionados, and anyone you don’t need to try too hard to impress.
What to order: There’s a surprisingly strong selection of craft beers here, including local favorites like Flying Fish IPA and Philadelphia Brewing’s Kenzinger. The $3.95 citywide special is a Yuengling and a shot of Heaven Hill. Or go high-end: You can get the Glenlivet 15-year-old for $6.95.
Bathroom situation: Richly graffiitied and dimly lighted. The men’s room, I’m told, requires a spotter (or a zeal for exhibitionism) as there is neither a lock nor a stall door. If you can, use the bathroom at Tops.
Sounds like: What have you wrought, TouchTunes? A world in which, on a single evening, the soundtrack ricocheted between No Doubt, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, and, yes, Enya, at a noisy 98 decibels. Upstairs, at Tops, it was a much calmer 82 decibels, dominated by a rattling air conditioner.

 

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Andrea – 2014 – S&M Girl

“Hi Lorelei. Daddy’s just going to take this fat, drunk bitch back to his room and tie her up. Then you’re going to hear a lot of slapping and squishing sounds. You’re also going to hear Daddy say a bunch of really foul sexually degrading things to this woman, so you better put your ear buds in and crank that shit up.”

One night a couple of years ago, I was out with a friend of mine. We were having drinks outside at Misconduct at 15th & Locust. He was telling me a story about this girl he met on Tinder. Pure hookup. She comes over to his apartment. Sadly, she doesn’t look like her Tinder pics. Which is not good. That’s like seeing a photo of a car you want to buy in the Auto Trader and when you get to the lot to check out the car, it’s an older model and a little banged up and maybe even a bit more car than you saw in the photos.

But he was drunk and up for the foul deed. He said she was a thick girl but he went to town on her anyway. Like my tinder profile says: “If you don’t look like your photos, you’re going to buy me drinks until you do.” So he said it was good sex except for one thing. He didn’t like that she wanted him to spit on her and hit her. There’s nothing wrong with what two consenting adults do with each other behind closed doors. Especially if everyone’s on board with what’s happening. But he didn’t like it. Just not his thing.

He told me that he wasn’t comfortable with that situation. He said at that point no matter what he was into or what he would do, he couldn’t do that again.  It just wasn’t him. (He didn’t spit on her or hit her at all) At that time, back in the beginning of 2014, I had just come off a break up and told him to send Andrea pics of me. Because I was up for whatever she wanted dished out. The key here is when it comes to dominance, be firm…not mean. There’s a big difference. I would discipline and correct her if necessary. And remember, the submissive party is ALWAYS in control. They have the safe word and hold the power to cancel the fantasy at anytime. That’s the rules of S&M play.

Well, nothing came of it. Until earlier this year when she connected to me on LinkedIn. LinkedIn of all places! Can you imagine with all of the dating websites out there, LinkedIn brings me the crazy S&M chick? So we chatted and did some texting. She wanted me to text her all of the things I was going to do to her, so I did. I have a pretty good imagination. She said she was getting really turned on and that we should meet.

I set it up that we should meet at the Ranstead Room. It’s just a good spot normally to hideout with somebody. I get there and I’m just chilling with a drink. She arrives shortly thereafter. My friend was right about her. In her Tinder pics she looks really hot, but in real life she is a lot bigger, and what was with that low tranny voice? Not good. I just wasn’t feeling it. I would have to drink a LOT of cocktails for Andrea to start to resemble her profile pics on Tinder. So I figured what the hell, I was already here and the drinks were flowing. She wasn’t that hot but at least I was someplace where nobody knew me.

Then the manager from the restaurant where my daughter works suddenly comes through the door and walks right up to me and says hello using my name.

Now I’m made. He can see who I’m with and now everybody there knows my name.

Andrea starts telling me about her life. She hates her job and wants to leave Philly. (Probably a good idea for us all.) She was seeing some crazy drug dealer loser guy. He’s suicidal, and does tons of coke. It’s bad, and she’s not much better.  I always thought if you did a bunch of cocaine you were skinny. Certainly not the case here.

After awhile we’re getting pretty tipsy. We went outside for a cigarette. She was on me like a northern pike hitting the bait. So I’m making out with her and people are walking by on Ranstead and she just pulls her boobs out. She’s losing her shit. She wants to take me back behind the building and give me a blowjob.

Yea. Great. I’ll just go stand behind my daughter’s manager’s Mercedes-Benz and you can give me oral. What if he walks outside and sees that shit? That’s not going to be good for me or anybody. Now, if this was Los Angeles and it was 1982, yea I’d be down for that, but not now. That’s gross. Sure, I’m flattered that she’s turned on enough from my words and the alcohol to want to blow me in a filthy alley, but no. Just no. I don’t roll like that.

She’s drunk. We go back inside and we’re in the vestibule and all sorts of things are happening with lips and fingers. If somebody comes through either door, we’re going to jail. So after that brief encounter, we go back inside. I kind of want to go home. In the right environment, some S&M play could be fun with her, but I’m just not getting a good vibe from her in this moment. She’s calling me daddy and all that shit. She says she loves older men, etc. I tell her I have an early sales meeting in the morning that I have to travel to so we should wrap it up. (A bold-faced lie)

She wants to go back to my place and have sex. Great idea. I can see it now. Me walking through the door to my apartment with Andrea and my daughter sitting on the sofa.

“Hi Lorelei. Daddy’s just going to take this fat, drunk bitch back to his room and tie her up. Then you’re going to hear a lot of slapping and squishing sounds. You’re also going to hear Daddy say a bunch of really foul sexually degrading things to this woman, so you better put your ear buds in and crank that shit up.”

No. Not happening. We pay the bill, and we walk over to 18th Street. I hail her a taxi and send her on her way. I was actually relieved when she was gone.

If somebody I met and was in a relationship wanted to experiment with some things, I’d be down with that, but Andrea just isn’t that person.

Update! She appeared at the salon tonight for a tan before she goes to L.A!

She’s leaving Philly for good!

 

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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Dina – 2011 to Present – In The Vault

“These clowns come in and are fans of Prova and act like crazy drunk, loud assholes. I fucking hate that. I literally want to call the cops and say these middle eastern looking guys were talking about taking flying lessons and not landing lessons and there was talk about the new Comcast tower being built.

They were that annoying.”

I crush it at the salon on a Saturday because I’ll be gone for 3 days. Dina, my friend and broker and I meet up at 1518 Bar & Grille. She’s 4’11” and adorable. She also has the metabolism of a bee. She loves Smores, fried chicken, Oreos, and ice cream.

Dina orders a lemon martini. I’m on my 2nd straight up with a twist and Asha the bartender hooks me up with house but it’s Ketel One.

She looks hot.  Boots, dark jeans, and custom leather jacket. Cute as hell. Dark curls tumble about her shoulders and of course that hot pouty mouth of hers.

I introduce her to  her to Prova the bartender. (See: Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) She looks amazing as always. Those dimples!

These clowns come in and are fans of Prova and act like crazy drunk, loud assholes. I fucking hate that. I literally want to call the cops and say these middle eastern looking guys were talking about taking flying lessons and not landing lessons and there was talk about the new Comcast tower being built.

They were that annoying.

Dina is amazing. She’s such a no bullshit girl who is so sure about herself. I love her plus she looks 18. I always knew she was too good for any life or job i saw her in. I’m also happy her husband is such a chill solid pup he doesn’t mind his hot wife hanging out with the Dark Lord and having drinks.

We need to get out of here. These Indian guys suck. So loud and annoying. I can’t think straight.

We close out and I let the staff know that there’s no hard feelings but that’s why we’re leaving. We need to talk and I need to hear her. I miss my friend.

We never go out on Saturday night. It’s all young drunk people around city. The women are extraordinary though.

We decide to check out Square 1682 but the staff sucks and we head to Sofitel. Liam is on and so is the waitress who likes to go topless when she gets drunk. Let’s just call her Tulip. I usually do a rock trivia thing with Liam but tonight I have a different one.

“You wake up and look out your front door and see the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean. Later that day, you walk out your back door and watch the sun set in the Pacific Ocean. Where is your house?”

Tulip looks great and I intro Dina to the crew. The bar is full so we sit and a quiet table in the lounge, which is glorious. Tulip brings a snack tray for Dina because as we all know, she loves to eat.

Dina’s happy and we order wine. She’s hungry, so more food is on the way. I got the drinks at 1518 but I know she’ll cover everything from here which is clutch.

We catch up on my life. Daughter Lorelei, the fitness center I should be opening in Rittenhouse in the next 60 days, and what’s happening with this blog, the book, and TV series we’re developing about it. Dina and her husband just settled on a house in Rittenhouse so I love that they’ll be in the neighborhood with us.

Liam is texting me solutions to my puzzle and they’re all wrong.

She says she has a strange story about a former colleague of mine. This person has since cut me off a couple of years ago for no apparent reason, but he likes to keep weak inferiors around him, and I hate his friends and wife anyway so its no loss to me. We could have been mighty but he never did what he was supposed to do with the business so now it’s just a trust fund baby’s way to play work. I loved the guy, but he has to make the juvenile choices he needs to make.

She tells me about this dinner she had with this other dude, I used to know that always had a thing for her. He’s harmless. We all still think he’s a virgin, so there’s that. He’s a really smart guy that is always super excited about everything that is before him, and it comes off as childish. I like the guy, but to me he’s just a bore.

If he would just get laid he’d probably chill out and get a different perspective on everything. I hate to say that, but that would probably fix his ass.

She goes to this dinner with this guy, as a friend or a wing woman or whatever with my former colleague and his horrible wife. I remember Everybody hated this guy’s wife years ago. She’s awful. She’s kind of hot. But only in the sense that if I were marooned on a desert island with her I would bang her for a few months but it would only be a matter of time before I became so annoyed with her that I would eventually kill her and eat her to survive just to not have to listen to her endless bullshit.

So they have their awkward dinner, little virgin guy gets an UBER with Dina back to Rittehouse. He gets in the car with her and says:

“So they are separated. She wanted it.”

I know this guy has a pre-nup so he’s well protected in regard to his daddy’s loot.

“Really?”

She thinks the wife is awful just like the rest of us.

“Yea, he went to an event and told her he could only get one ticket because they were really expensive, but he went with is new editor.”

“Oh wow. That’s a shame.”

“Yea, and his wife is living at the house, (because she doesn’t earn shit) and he said he’s living at a hotel but he’s really living with new editor girlfriend at an apartment somewhere.”

I am not shocked about this news because I knew he was miserable with that harpy years ago. She cheated on him in college and is crazy. She has destroyed property at the house, assaulted people at concerts, fights with him all the time, withholds sex all the time, has flushed his weed, and cigars, and is just an all around child who behaves as if she has fetal alcohol syndrome. Thank God she never wanted kids, because he dodged a huge child support bullet and should just cut that beast loose.

But he’s cut me off and I take that as a smite to me. I loved the guy and we were tight. I don’t know hat’s happened to him, but I’m sure he’s in a world of pain right now. I hope he gets through it okay, but I’m German and so is he, and if you read this dude, then schadenfreude is a bitch baby.

Karma can be a real fucker. You reap what you sow. You make bad life choices and that shit comes back on you like a hurricane. I just hope he can cash her out and flush her from his life and hopefully move on with the new mistress he’s fucking.

Dina and I eat and drink like Gods at Sofitel and I’m happy just to have her in my presence and hear her voice. I adore her. She’s so sound as a woman. I wish I could replicate her into five more to hang out with. Maybe a lawyer, and accountant Dina would be a start.

I go out for a smoke and she pays the bill. (Love her!) We both trust each other implicitly with all of our honesty and the relationship is wonderful. She takes care of my money and knows how to keep her mouth shut. Obviously we discuss everything that’s going on in our lives and it’s so intimate that I can’t talk about it here but maybe someday if this becomes a TV show our characters can talk about children, and marriage, but I can’t divulge our secrets here. Don’t worry’s it’s not that exciting, but this is a dating blog and not a forum for right and wrong.

We decide to head out and Dina needs Ben & Jerry’s. Of course I stand and put her leather jacket on her slight frame. You have to be a gentleman 100% of the time with everyone, guys.

We step out into the night. It’s stopped raining and the street is wet and the air is cool.

Happily there’s a store half way down the block from the hotel bar and it’s still open. I’m a wine, cocktail and carb guy. I’m just not really into sweets or dairy anymore. It doesn’t agree with my physiology. Middle age. But she’s 28 and looks 18 and loves sweets. She says we MUST stop there. I’ve walked by the place a hundred times and have had no desire to ever climb the steps and go in. (Even on National Ice Cream Day, where they give away free cones all day!)

We go in and this is alien to me. I never go into ice cream parlors. It’s clean and bright. I like it but prefer a dark bar.

The kid with the hat and dreds and tie-dye shirt is sweet and articulate. He knows his products. I always admire that. Dina knows this place so well that if she asks for endless samples of every crazy flavor combination they will let her put them in her mouth endlessly. I have this arrangement with Prova but she does it for me with craft beers so I get it. The ice cream flavors seem delicious, and she devours a few samples lovingly.  She encourages me to partake in the samples but I know what rich dairy will do to my colon so I only do one. It is some sort of chocolate, vanilla, cookies and nuts and crushed cone concoction. It is exquisite in my mouth.

I get it. But there are things in my life now that are far sweeter than any frozen treat can match.

Dina decides on some lethal combo and they put it all on a sugar cone. This is actually a really sweet moment in my mind. I adore Dina. I trust her with my money and my secrets. She’s one of my favorite people in my life.

I’m not getting an ice cream cone but this reminds me of some of the sweet romantic moments of my young life. Getting an ice cream cone with a young pretty girl on a Saturday night. She manages my financial portfolio and is a trusted friend but in this moment I am just happy to walk her home.

She’s loving her ice cream cone as we stroll through Rittenhouse with me walking on the inside so she doesn’t get splashed by a passing car.

I love this.

I like walking her home to her stoop and giving her a hug goodnight. We promise to keep in touch and have a lunch in our future. She unlocks her door and goes back to her husband and her little dog Lily.

I light a cig and walk home. The streets are wet and slick. They reflect the lights and sounds of the city. I’m happy after a long day at the salon, and a sweet night with a feiend.

I look forward to tomorrow.

 

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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Kim – 2016 – The Animator – Part 2

“I liked her. She’s pretty, funny and smart. She’s like a hot Margret Cho. Lovely hair. Luxurious dark brown tresses. She’s wearing a blue dress and fish nets and cool little boots. So I approve.”

She was on time for lunch. She looks good. A bit thick, but forgivable if she’s as interesting as she seems in her profile.

We meet at one of my favorite lunch spots, Misconduct at 18th and JFK. She’s excited about it. She texts too much for a woman her age. Seems juvenile and desperate, but I think that’s an Asian thing.

I liked her. She’s pretty, funny and smart.  She’s like a hot Margret Cho. Lovely hair. Luxurious dark brown tresses.  She’s wearing a blue dress and fish nets and cool little boots. So I approve.

Here’s the intel I gathered from her over chicken tenders and sliders.

She has her own animation studio located in Langhorne, PA.  She specializes in all types of animation, and is currently creating 2d, 3d, and flash animation, motion graphics and graphic design for various clients, ranging from small businesses to Hollywood studios, media companies, and pharmaceutical companies around the world.
A little bit of background on her…. When living out in L.A, she worked in Children’s TV for Cartoon Network as an Art Director, Animator, Storyboard Artist, and Character Designer for popular TV Shows (“Dexter’s Lab” and “Power Puff Girls”).  Her own pilot appeared on CN, was optioned by Disney, and was critically acclaimed.  Once moving back East, she moved into Commercial Animation as the Creative Director for a company in 3D Pharmaceutical Animation, and then Creative Director and head of Marketing and Interactive Design for a Clothing Manufacturer.  She started her company to continue with her passion for all types of Animation.

The premise of the show she created is roughly based on her life as a Korean adoptee; the main character had previously been featured a comic strip by her.  The pilot aired in August 17, 2001 on the network as part of their Big Pick competition, a marathon of ten pilots with viewers selecting one to be produced for the network’s fall 2002 season. The series lost second place to Codename: Kids Next Door.

The pilot was created by she and her husband who is also a Korean adoptee. Kim, an adoptee of American-Jewish parents, based the main character on her life experiences as an immigrant. In years prior to making the pilot, she had started a nonprofit organization for helping adopted children locate their biological parents. Her husband felt much of the impetus for the pilot came while searching for his birth family in Korea. However, Kim later remarked that the pilot “had nothing to do with” her life.

The pilot was optioned by The Walt Disney Company  before being turned down. Cartoon Network first approached Dunn in Los Angeles, then a comic shop employee who had just moved in. The network, impressed by her work in independent comics which had spread through word of mouth, landed her a job at Cartoon Network Studios, and a few years later, she and her husband produced the pilot.

 

This all seems amazing but why is she in PA nad not L.A?

She created all of this little greatness with her husband in L.A. He apparently banged his assistant while they were married. Cheated on her with her for a while. Got said assistant pregnant.  Kim was already pregnant with a daughter. Kim divorces him and moves back to PA to be around family to raise her little daughter. Career in ruins. Pilot’s a fail. Doesn’t get picked up.

Pregnant assistant has an abortion and leaves Kim’s husband. (Piece of shit) He’s now remarried and has some other kids. Don’t know what the child support number on all that is but I’m sure its steep.

Red flags are waving proud at this lunch but I’ll order an Old Fashioned to steady the nerves.

That was 13 years ago and now she is living here in PA with her daughter. Apparently the kid is amazing and I’m hearing nothing but good things, so as a parent I’m always jubilant about that kind of success.

She said her 13-year-old recently just got boobs but still looks like a little girl. My dark side is struggling with the evil here but I hold fast as a parent and don’t fall into an Asian human trafficking fantasy. I wish Kim hadn’t told me that shit on a first date. It’s just a little weird.

Her daughter is an amazing child who is an A student and a pianist. Dad is out of the picture. I guess that POS is still in L.A. and I can’t believe he isn’t even a presence in his daughter’s life, because even when I felt like I was on my ass I saw Lorelei every other weekend.

Kim hates what’s she’s doing right now. It’s probably some animation/graphic design bullshit because she keeps asking me if we need anything like that for the gym we’re opening. It sounds like she’s on her ass.

(Red flags are still waving proudly in the May afternoon sun outside Misconduct)

We leave the restaurant. The lunch has been good. I walk her to the car park and give her a kiss. She’s hesitant because there is a fat black woman sitting in the lobby of the check out. I don’t care. I wanted to kiss her. I like her.

Sort of.

 

After the date, we texted over the next few days.

“Morning!”

Loves to text.

“Hi Kim! How are you?”

“Good. You?”

“Doing well. Just going to work. I have some stuff to do this weekend with friends and the business.” (Bold Faced Lie)

“Is there anything that I can do to help with the business? I can always use extra work if you’re comfortable with that.”

(Sounds like she’s out of work)

“But we could meet up again next week for lunch and/or I was thinking movies next weekend? Sorry we’re on different subjects here. How could I help?”

I’m trying to make a second date. Kim is obviously looking for a meal ticket.

“Yeah! That would be fun! Sorry! Promotional video for your online marketing video efforts, maybe working at the tanning salon?”

Now it’s just nuts. I went on one date with this woman. I get her trying to sell me some shit. I’ve been in sales since the 80’s. Suck it. But work at the salon? We have people for that. How fucked are you in your life?

(This is starting to sound like that chick that tried to sell me Amway on a date!)

“We have a video that’s running on a loop monitor in the salon. We’re all staffed up at the salon. (Bold faced lie, Trish is fucking history) I was thinking of us hitting Mac Mart     (Awesome mac and cheese joint in Rittenhouse where I know the owners.)

“Oooh Mac Mart. Sure!”

A few days later…

“What are you up to?”

“Sorry. Busy weekend with the sisters and daughter! (Bold faced lie) How are you? Hope yours was good despite the rain.”

“Yeah you don’t text much?”

“No.”

WTF? I’m an adult and I don’t need to be constantly texting anyone. It’s fucking annoying!

“I was kind of sick but it was nice.”

“When I’m with family I’m a bit off the grid. (True. But in this case, a Bold faced lie)

“Sick? What happened?”

“My throat hurt, coughing but I’m doing ok.)

This courtship is amazing romance.

“How are things otherwise?” (Being nice)

Good. (Sends me some drawing of her and her daughter. It looks like daughter drew it and it sucks)

“So Mac Mart?”

I figured one last-ditch effort just to see.

“Oooh You’re not going to come out to me!”

Here we go…

“Great drawing of you and your daughter.” (Bold Faced… oh fuck it.)

“I mean are you ever leaving the city?”

This is when Rittenhouse Bubble phicklephille kicked in.

“What’s the point? I could rent a car or do a Zip car to come see you no problem.”

“Oh. Well then it was nice knowing you.”

(Really, washed up animator who would work in a tanning salon?)

“Oh ok.”

“If you can’t try to see me… Then.”

 

And that was it. I never heard from Kim again.

Do I care? Not in the slightest. But I think we could have had some fun going to see some films at the Ritz.

*YAWN

Onward we go!

 

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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Adalyn – Crazy Is As Crazy Does

“I’m in my date’s bedroom, she’s lying on her bed, drugged and intoxicated, she takes off her top (now topless), grabs my neck and starts kissing me. Her mom, who is standing there, leaves the room to give me some privacy to do what can only be considered date rape.”

I’ve been using Tinder for over a year or so now, and I’ve always been pretty lucky. However, this incident was a different story.

Flashback a day earlier, we matched on tinder. I’m chatting with hot Adalyn. Raven hair, tan skin, and dark eyes. From her pics, I can see she has a smokin’ body. She’s definitely on the right side of twenty-five.

I suggested we skip the long chats and go for a drink, she suggested we chat on the phone first. We did for an hour and it was nice. Some laughs, some flirting and we agreed to spend the next morning in the park. We met, everything is going great and all signs are saying we’ll end up having crazy sex very soon. Left the park, had lunch and then agreed to go back to my place. She said she needed to pass by her place to change and get some stuff. No problem.

Things were moving quickly.

She introduced me to her mom, her dog, her cat and some neighbors. Seemed like she was getting a little too cozy for a tinder date. Then she said: “change of plans. My mom is going to spend the night at my brother’s place. Would you mind spending the night here instead?” I thought, why not? I’m getting lucky so I don’t care. She started preparing dinner and I started drinking. She started pounding drinks as well. I was feeling pretty good, but I could see she was already getting pretty banged up. Turns out her mom is going nowhere, and I had too much to drink. So in my drunken mind I decide to stay with them for the night.

That’s when things started to get crazy. The dinner table had shrimp and oysters with bacon (which I hate). So I started eating the shrimp, when my date offered some oysters. I politely declined and said I was happy with the shrimp. She insisted so much it got awkward, so I took it. She asked me if I liked it, I smiled and said nothing. She started getting angry, and yelled at me that I should be more direct and speak up. I told her I didn’t like it. It might be good but it’s not for me. She started yelling at me and demanding an explanation why I don’t like it.

That’s when her mom jumped in and tried to defuse the situation. To my surprise, Adalyn grabbed the shrimp plate and threw it across the room straight into the wall. Then she stormed away into her room.

That’s when her mom explained to me that Adalyn had been in and out of rehab because of depression and alcohol abuse. She also had two suicide attempts, and that she was on medication. She was not supposed to have any alcohol.

Now I’m feeling really sorry for her.

After awhile, she came out of her room, laughing as if nothing happened, and brought out some dessert and more champagne. Things seemed to be cool now. I tried to relax. But then, quite suddenly, she stood up and challenged me to a fight. She started throwing punches at my chest and stomach and then to my face. I was blocking or slipping all the punches and asking her to stop. Then she got really vicious, and started adding kicks to her attack. I grabbed her arms, put my weight on her, and took her to the ground. She totally collapsed and lay there unconscious.

I carried this poor deranged thing to her bed. When she opened her eyes, she smiled and then all of a sudden took her off her top, (now topless) grabbed my neck, and started kissing me. Her mom, who was still standing there, left the room to give me privacy to do what could only be considered date rape. (which I obviously didn’t do) I pushed her away, and started walking backwards out of the room, when she gave me a final kick to the stomach goodbye.

I ran out of the house and down the street. I called an UBER and was on my way back to Rittenhouse.

Not crazy enough? I woke up the next morning to a few missed calls from my date.   A couple of voicemails with a casual apology, and a couple of ideas for our second date.

What?

 

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Thanksgiving Tradition

The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bold-faced lie)

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving, but Christmas was always our big holiday. I’m always welcome at my older sister Janice’s house every year. She has a big house and we refer to her place as Holiday Headquarters. There was one year many years ago when I was invited to go to my other sister Gabrielle’s house all the way down in North Wildwood, New Jersey. Back then I was newly divorced, and I just didn’t feel like making the drive all the way down there. My daughter was little then and with her Mom and that side of the family for Thanksgiving. I was just happy that my ex-wife was out of the house and out of my life for that matter. I was looking forward to a day of listening to music, watching movies and eating and drinking. I like to be alone. I’m a very social animal, and I get my energy from those around me, but I just wanted a day of sweet nothing and solitude.

I lived in Woodbury, NJ back then. I drove over to the local convenient store and picked up a box of frozen Ellio’s Pizza. It’s a cheap and tasty treat I have loved since I was a lad. The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bold-faced lie)

That night I happily sat on my sofa watching some cool movies, drinking Ketel One vodka and tonics, and eating my delicious Ellio’s Pizza. I had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. I was grateful to have a family that cared about me and most of all that little Lorelei was in the world.

So I joked around with my sisters about that day, and of course they felt bad for me. They didn’t want me eating frozen pizza and drinking liquor by myself on Thanksgiving, but that’s what I really wanted to do that day. So it’s sort of become a family joke every year for Thanksgiving. It came up again this year, when I declined my sister’s invitation. It’s not that I didn’t want to see her, but I’ve seen her a lot lately, and my parents have passed, so what’s the point? Once the main anchors of a family die, usually the children retreat to their own little families. She understood and we’ll all get together at her annual holiday party in December at Holiday Headquarters.

I went to the Midtown Diner and had a huge breakfast at the counter. Scrambled eggs, bacon and french toast. It’s too much food, but I crushed it all and it was delicious. I went back to my house and did some writing. Lorelei escaped the clutches of having to spend Thanksgiving with her mother. She went to her boyfriend’s mother’s house. She’s a hard-core vegan and made some really creative dishes. I’m glad she’s happy and I’m sure they were glad to have her there for the holiday.

I finished a chapter, and wanted to get something to eat around 4:30. I left the house and walked down to South street. Everything was closed, but I didn’t feel like going into Walgreens where I’d have to get something to heat up or bake in the oven. Then I looked to the left and remembered there was a new 7-Eleven a block away.

I stopped in and was surprised at all of the people in there buying stuff. Maybe I could start a little Thanksgiving club with them. They could come over with a load of 7-Eleven food and I’d supply the booze. I picked up some things and headed back to the house.

The city was deserted. Dark and eerily quiet because everybody was off doing their family things. I got home, went to my desk and fired up an old episode of Columbo on Netflix. I poured myself a vodka and club soda. I don’t drink Ketel One anymore at home. Too expensive. I only have it out now in a martini, straight up with a twist. My current brand is Platinum X7 by Sazerac. A 1.75 bottle is $20. My favorite thing to mix it with is Polar club soda with lemon that I buy by the liter at Walgreens. I tore open the small bag of Lay’s potato chips. Then opened the box that contained the quarter pound 7-Eleven hot dog, and spread mustard along its length.

Changed it up this year! Wanted to send a pic to all of my sisters but decided against it.

A man who can sit in a room alone and be satisfied is a man that has found inner peace.” – My Dad

 

 

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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.

—————————————————————

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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