Hey, mom and dad, you might want to skip this one…
Yesterday, I was in the gift shop in St. Regis, Montana, which is one of my regular stop-offs when going on road trips because it is roughly 2/3rds of the way from my house to my friend’s house, and because once I took a bus to Washington State and it stopped there, so since professional drivers deemed it a good place to stop, I do too. Also it has a Live Trout Museum, and if you won’t stop for a Live Trout Museum, what the hell will you stop for?
During this particular stop, I was searching this giant gift store for something small and amusing to give to a Cheeseblarg follower on Facebook, because I like rewarding people for paying attention to me and humoring me without my having to actually put a lot of effort into posting. I think of it as Operant Conditional Love.
What I wanted to buy was a flashing solar keychain that said “Debbie” but I realized that I hadn’t told you the story that makes referring to everyone as Debbie hilarious, so I bought something else that was equally as amusing, to me at least, and made a note to tell you guys the story, which is what I am about to do.
When I was in college, I had low self-esteem, which as we all know, leads to some really bad choices and amusing tales, thankfully. This story started at a Drag Show at the gay club in my college town. I sat outside on the porch, smoking (which I no longer do), and was approached by a very handsome guy who I had noticed around town before, due to his handsomeness, and somehow, the details of which are fuzzy, it lead to us making out by the stairs. (Yeah, parents, I told you to stop reading this). As I was giving him a ride home, it occurred to me that I didn’t really know him and he was leading me down unlit and unpaved roads and that he might be leading me to a dark, out of the way clearing where he was going to murder me, but, as you might have guessed, since I am writing this now, and called it an amusing story, he didn’t kill or rape me, for which I am quite thankful.
I didn’t bother getting his number or anything, I just dropped him off and went back to my dorm because I realized that my stupidity was overwhelming, and that while it was quite an experience, it was really a dumb DUMB choice to let someone into my car who I didn't really know, but I could now cross “make out with random attractive stranger” off my list of things to experience in life, and yay, I survived it.
Except Crazy Mike apparently didn't feel the same way about the experience that I did.
I think it was when he started giving me random presents that he got the nickname, Crazy Mike. The first was a Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch tape. No case, just the tape. And I should probably mention that this was about 1996 so Marky Mark had not been heard from for about 5 years.
The next time he gave me a ring. I think it was a man’s ring. He might have found it discarded in the street.
“Oh, that’s nice…” I said sitting on the porch of the gay bar with my friends.
“Yeah, we’re gonna get married.” he told me.
“You’re my girlfriend now.”
“Oh…” For fuck’s sake. And THIS is why you are not supposed to make out with random strangers, THIS right here.
Entirely creeped out by this, I tried avoiding the gay club. Crazy Mike, however, started showing up all over town, usually sitting on the hood of my car when I would come out of Denny‘s or Simon‘s. I drove a big ugly station wagon. It was pretty easy to find apparently.
So after a few weeks of being unable to avoid him, I finally went back to the club, and sitting on the porch was Crazy Mike’s equally crazy brother, Mark.
“Hey, Debbie! Debbie!” I looked around, and then realize he was talking to me.
“That’s not my name.”
“My brother likes you, Debbie. I think you look like a hippopotamus.”
“Well, thank you, Mark. My name still isn‘t Debbie though.”
“He’s got a present for you…”
Oh yay, another present. How wonderful.
He wasn’t there though, so I went inside and watched the Drag Show, and after a while, I grabbed my friend and went to leave.
“I have something for you.” he said when I came out of the club.
Oh, was pretty much my standard response at the time, because OMG, LEAVE ME ALONE, somehow was not part of my vocabulary, most likely on account of the low self-esteem. I looked up at him, sitting on the top part of the porch, he was holding a knife and something that looked like a very long ax handle.
“I made you this, I’m carving your name into it.”
He handed me the stick, which I really can’t be sure wasn’t a very old ax handle. He had carved two lines all the way around it, kind of intertwining around the length of the stick, and at the top, he was starting to carve the name “Debbie.”
“Yeah, my name is NOT Debbie!”
After I received the Debbie stick, he seemed to lose interest in me, although a few weeks later, he found me outside Denny’s and told me that he had something to show me. Apparently he had learned my name by then because he had it tattooed really crudely in a misshapen heart on his shoulder. I, on the other hand, really appreciated the gift of the stick, even though I had to change the name to my own, myself, because he had actually given me a weapon that I could use to bludgeon him if he had chosen to take his creepy stalking up to the next level. I actually still have it, because it was a nice stick. And also because it serves as a reminder not to make out with strangers who don’t know your name and who have brothers who tell you that you look like a hippopotamus.