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Wednesday, 02 June
Their Otis Wants To Party All The Time

Back to work today after five sweet days of freedom, and you can just call me Cap'n Ugh. Waking up at 7:00? Ugh. Feeling like death after drinking for eight hours the previous day? Ugh. Fielding calls about gastric tumors? CAP'N UGH! Fuck, I felt like a gastric tumor. Which doesn't go over well with co-workers. "Hey, Skot, how you doing?" "I feel like a gastric tumor." "Ugh!" "Yes, that's me, but please address me as 'Cap'n.' Honorifics are all I've got today."

We threw an overdue housewarming party on Memorial Day, you see, hence this week's excuse for drinking for eight hours. We planned everything perfectly! Except for the part where the condo also threw a big party for all the tenants to celebrate our new refurbished deck. Fuck. So right outside our sliding glass door was an enormous, slow-moving party attended by the various geriatrics who live around me, slowly conga-lining while waving their canes rapturously. And that guy in 4D! He really tarted up his iron lung for the occasion. Really, though, the best thing was watching my guests try and find our place: see, the condo party was based in the rec room next door to ours, so my guests kept wandering in there, mistaking it for our party, only to be confronted by people like Googly-Eyed Man Who Will Not Say Hello and Boisterous Board Member Who Wears Coconut Bikinis. Our guests soon realized their horrible mistake, and usually emerged looking rather shattered by the encounter, and I of course laughed at their misfortune. This may explain the utter lack of housewarming gifts.

The party went very well, and exceeded our every expectation, as I think 40 or 50 people cycled in and out before the evening was done. We had prepared a taco feed, with homemade margaritas and Bloody Marys, and these were all mercilessly pillaged with the unsurprising ferocity and raw speed you commonly find in a whole bunch of stage actors. Actors, you see, have no useful real-world talents, and thus tend to find themselves enmired in horrifying, unrewarding, low-paying jobs, and so tend to regard free food and booze in the same way that starving cougars think of free range babies. I'm generalizing, of course. Not all actors are dumb meat-golems who donate plasma every month in order to afford rice. Some are debauched, scabby deviants who somehow miraculously stumble into jobs that they are supremely undeserving of, yet through some manner of baffling hoodoo, manage to retain. I cite, of course, me.

Anyway. At some point, a couple of the wife's work-friends showed up, and they brought their little two-year-old Otis. (Normally, I wouldn't use his name, but come on, he's named Otis. That's outstanding.) Otis didn't really care about anything going on around him, least of all stuporous, fumbling adults, but did really enjoy this weird alligator toy that shimmies along the ground. He also enjoyed punching random buttons on my home electronics, which earned him a soft tackle from Dad, as he nearly reprogrammed my DVD player to endlessly loop "Thirteen Erotic Ghosts" with subtitles in Farsi. We attempted to fascinate the child by throwing on some DVDs of The Muppet Show, which he immediately dismissed in favor of more alligator shimmy-action, so that left the rest of us glumly watching Elton John singing "Crocodile Rock," at least until they showed closeups of Animal maniacally smashing his drum kit, which elicited cheers. I am deeply wary of anyone who doesn't like Animal.

Later, another friend decided to hook up the GameCube and play some Resident Evil. Weirdly, people enjoyed watching this as well, particularly when the player was savagely eaten by a zombie. It's kind of freaky watching an entire living room's worth of people get enthusiastic about arterial spray. Apparently tired of being hapless zombie-dinner, she switched to Spider-Man, and entertained us a bit longer by routinely making Spidey fall to his death with substandard webslinging skills. Finally, my friend C. took over the reins, and loaded in some awful Star Wars game I bought early on. I told him, "That one's really hard, dude." But C. was very confident. C. was also terribly mistaken, and I watched him plow several pixilated X-wing fighters into unforgiving earth.

Finally, the partygoers cleared out, one by one, and the wife and I puttered about, did some dishes, et cetera. Our next door neighbor--a very nice gay man--tottered over to our place to congratulate us on a nice event, and enthusiastically offered to help us out if we ever needed help "gardening"--a rather mystifying offer, considering that our deck is solid concrete, so I suppose he meant our wan, straining plants that sit blinking in their unflashy, crummy pots outside our door. To emphasize his depth of feeling on the matter, our neighbor (who was really quite crocked on red wine) kissed me enthusiastically on the cheek. "I'll buy the soil!" he muzzily assured me, waving vaguely at my horrible little plants. Oh, hot pants! You kiss me with that mouth?

Really, the whole evening was so dynamic and interesting, I've decided to immortalize it in a comic book. Look for the new title "Cap'n Ugh," distributed by Shimmying Alligator press. We've got this great editor. Otis.

You really can't go wrong with anyone named Otis. I just decided that.


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Comments

You've got heap big problems if your houseplants are animate enough to blink at you. Napalm is a delightful weeding tool.

Comment number: 004773   Posted by: ColdForged on June 2, 2004 06:59 AM from IP: 66.152.60.98

I truly thought, when I read the title to this blog, that it was going to be about elevators.

Comment number: 004774   Posted by: girlygirl on June 2, 2004 07:16 AM from IP: 68.166.172.15

Otis is one of those names that just sounds good in every sentence. "This is my friend, Otis." "That guy Otis stole my wife's purse!" "I beat the living shit out of Otis."

See?

Comment number: 004775   Posted by: Tigger on June 2, 2004 11:35 AM from IP: 129.106.21.180

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time this week trying to think of a boy name for my six-year-old girl, had she been a boy, natch. We never did come up with a truly useful name (the best was "East St. Louis"), so it's a good thing she is a she. Today I remembered that I'd been seriously considering "Otis" for a boy's name way back then, and here you are, Skot, bringing it on home to me! Thanks for a sign from above (or, um, Seattle, which is so very close to Heaven) that "Otis" was a damn good idea. Not as good an idea as surgical sterilization, but still A-OK.

Comment number: 004776   Posted by: Fusspot on June 3, 2004 01:44 PM from IP: 69.51.152.105

I realize I'm a total stranger to you (in fact I can't remember how I found this blog, but I suspect it was Patrick's fault www.nielsenhayden.com/electrolite) but I just have to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. This particular article made me laugh out loud 3 times. These days that's a valuable commodity. Thanks and keep it up

MKK

Comment number: 004777   Posted by: Mary Kay on June 4, 2004 12:51 PM from IP: 24.19.2.200

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