Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Emily's Magical Bejeweled Codpiece

Thank you to the bloggers who have let me promote my new book at their blogs when I can't even remember to update my own blog..... >.<

Emily's Magical Bejeweled Codpiece came out on June 24, when I was out of the country. That seems to keep happening....

The story is a short novella, about 16,000 words, contemporary and time travel and general crackfic, but it is also my ode to odor. I will do a blog post about that shortly.

The story is about Tom, who is kind of a jerk and wants what he can't have instead of being happy with what he does have, which is really pretty awesome. He gets himself in a whole heap o' trouble when he puts on a bejeweled codpiece that causes him to time travel back to Renaissance Florence. (I told you, crackfic!!)

I discuss how I came up with the title in my guest blog at The Novel Approach.
And here's a lovely review from Rainbow Book Reviews!


More information (including the real blurb) at the link.


And can I just say that Paul Richmond knocked it out of the park with that cover? I would add heart icons if I knew how.




Friday, July 10, 2015

a thought on Obergefell decision holdouts in KY, AL and elsewhere

I'm so impressed with all those counties where the clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of the clerks' religious beliefs. Just think about it -- up until now, absolutely no sinners have requested marriage licenses there. It must have been paradise.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How I understand Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

I started writing this post when lots of states were trying to pass Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. Then Indiana got smacked down and the issue seemed to go away...for awhile. It's back, in Louisiana, so I'm dusting off this blog post. Yet another chance to offend readers, yay.....

Proponents of RFRAs use the example of a kosher deli being required to sell a ham sandwich. This example is not accurate.

Kosher delis don't sell ham sandwiches. To ANYONE. And if they DID sell a ham sandwich to one person, then yes, the public accomodation law requires them to sell ham sandwiches to EVERYONE.

But let's go with the kosher deli example for awhile and see where an RFRA would take us.

You go into a kosher deli and ask for some pastrami. The deli is doing a brisk business in pastrami that day. But the deli owner refuses to sell it to you because you told him you were going to put it in a Reuben sandwich, which has cheese on it, and mixing meat and cheese is against the deli owner's religion.

You are shocked at his refusal. You think, what does that have to do with MY sandwich? Having meat with cheese is not against MY religion. Once I pay for it, it's my pastrami and I can do whatever I want with it. I could make a Lady Gaga meat dress out of it if I felt like it. It's none of his business what I do with that pastrami in the privacy of my own home. His job is only to sell me the damn pastrami, and there's no reason his religion should come between me and my sandwich.

I mean, it sounds a little crazy, right? That YOU can't be sold an item because your intended use of that item is against the business owner's religion? It's not like you're asking HIM to eat the sandwich or even be in the same room when YOU eat it. He's not participating in your lunch.

But let's put that aside for now.

You're a regular, non-litigious person, you don't like fights, and you believe a business owner has a right not to serve whomever he wants. So you leave the store, planning to get your pastrami elsewhere. No point in causing a fuss because one particular store owner is being weird,

Only it turns out, that deli's pastrami is SOOO good that every other deli, grocery store, and butcher shop in town has realized it can't compete and therefore has stopped selling pastrami. The only place that carries it within a 50-mile radius is the store that refuses to sell it to you.

So you don't get pastrami, big deal. You can make your Reuben with corned beef.

But it turns out the deli also has cornered the market on corned beef. And on roast beef. And on turkey and chicken. They don't sell pork products, but everyone in town is on a health kick and stopped buying pork, so stores stopped selling it. The only store in town selling any kind of meat is the deli.

That's okay. You've been meaning to try a vegetarian diet anyway.

But while you were driving around town looking for corned beef, the local grocery store went out of business. And the deli, making money hand-over-fist because of their excellent meat selection, has purchased the supermarket. The owner refuses to let you buy anything from the supermarket. Doing business with those who eat meat and cheese together in the same sandwich would be condoning that abominable and unhealthy lifestyle.

Well, now, this is getting a little inconvenient. You think about taking the owner to court, forcing him to sell you lunch meat, but you have no case. People who eat meat and cheese together are not a Federally protected class, and they're not protected by the state or local governments, either.

You consider lying, telling him  you've given up putting cheese on your meat sandwiches. You could actually stop eating meat and cheese together in the same sandwich. I mean, it's a choice, right? No one is BORN eating meat and cheese sandwiches. You have to be taught how to make a Reuben. And yes, it's not the healthiest food in the universe.

But if you're an adult, why not be able to make a sandwich without needing the acceptance of the business owner who is selling you the ingredients? It's your life. If you want to clog your arteries, that should be your choice.

You start to order your food from websites and soon your fridge is stocked with all the pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing you can handle. Life is good. Until a knock comes on the door....

The deli owner, who has just purchased your apartment complex, doesn't mean to harass you. He's sure you're a very nice person and has nothing against you or your kind. It's just that your meat-and-cheese eating lifestyle is such an abomination in his eyes. It goes against his sincerely held religious beliefs to stand by and allow someone to do that on his property. It's practically the same as if HE  were the one eating meat and cheese. So you have two weeks to vacate the premises.

It's getting hard to believe that he only hates meat-and-cheese sandwiches and not you.

You find a new apartment, stock your new fridge with pastrami and swiss cheese, and settle in. You're a little short on cash due to the security deposit and the shipping costs for the pastrami, but you'll make that up with your next paycheck. But the next day your supervisor calls you into his office. Turns out the deli has gone conglomerate and purchased your company. And the sandwiches you bring into the office (and consume at home in your off-time) are an offense to the new owner's religious sensibilities. No one else in the company feels the need to eat that sort of thing, especially not in public. To continue to employ you would be like condoning your lifestyle. You are let go with a generous severance package.

It's only a matter of time before your new apartment is bought up by the deli owner or one of his friends, so you spend the next two weeks using up all the Reuben sandwich ingredients in your fridge and packing your belongings, and then you leave town. As you drive away, you begin to wonder if that was actually the point of whole game: to get you to move away so the townspeople could have a "nice" community with no "undesirables". You may never know, but it doesn't matter. You're already on your way out.

-------------

Okay, yeah, that was a worst-case scenario. But we need to understand that these RFRA laws do not protect religious minorities from discrimination by the majority -- that's what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does. RFRAs protect the majority from having to serve a member of an "undesirable" minority group. An RFRA means that if someone wanted to do all those things in the scenario above, they could, and face no legal repercussions.

The slimiest thing about these RFRA laws is their timing. It's not a coincidence that they're popping up in every state with a Republican-majority legistlature. They're the product of anti-gay groups and intended as a pre-enptive strike if the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality in June, so business owners can "practice their religion" by turning away gay couples.

Most business owners just want to run their businesses and make money, which, after all, is the point of business. Many state legislatures saw the epic backlash Indiana has experienced after passing their RFRA and are now backtracking from their plan to pass an RFRA. Many, but not all. So in the words of Mad-eye Moody, "Constant Vigilance!" We must call out these RFRAs for what they are -- not protections for religion, but licenses to discriminate. And that's unacceptable in the 21st century.

~ end rant! ~

BTW, I make an awesome fake reuben with no pastrami at all because I stopped eating meat a few years ago. (I do put meat in the DH's sandwich if I remember to get some.) Saute red peppers and sweet onions, then slightly dry out the sauerkraut in the pan when the peppers and onions are done (or at the end of the sauteing time). Layer swiss cheese (and somestimes cheddar, too) and the other ingredients on bread one kind of mustard, then another layer of cheese, then the top piece of bread with a second kind of mustard. No butter or oil on the outside, and no Russian dressing inside, so it's healthy! (Pay no attention to the four pounds of cheese....)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

HAHBAT post: What the Torah says about The Gay -- straight from the rabbi's mouth


I've mentioned this anecdote in lots of different places, but I'll give it a permanent place here, then in the future I can just be lazy and post a link. :) And since the topic is homophobia, I decided it would make a good post for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.



Badge for the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi-, and Transphobia


Plus I had it partially written, and have I mentioned I'm lazy? :)

Okay, hang on to your hats; it's about to get Biblical up in here.

People who don't believe in same-sex marriage and/or civil rights for gay people like to quote verse 20:13 from Leviticus to explain why The Gay is a bad thing. (These people generally tend to ignore everything ELSE in the Bible that's described as a bad thing.)




Verse 20:13 (and verse 18;22, which says basically the same thing), were written in Hebrew, as was the rest of the Torah (Old Testament). When people study to become rabbis, even Reform rabbis, they learn to read the Torah in the original language. Our temple's rabbi talked about that passage of Leviticus one year at Yom Kippur services when he said that if a same-sex couple came to him to get married, he would perform the ceremony.

A picture I used in last year's HAHAT, but it's just so pretty, I'm going to use it again. :)

The rabbi explained that the word usually translated as "abomination" does not actually have such a strongly proscriptive meaning in in Hebrew. A better English translation of that word ("toevah") would be "something we Jews do not do."

While researching my as-yet-unfinished pirate novel, I learned a little bit about homosexuality in Islamic cultures. In most Mediterranean cultures, going back thousands of years, men have had (and do have) sex with men, both before and after marriage to women. We know about Greek Love and the "snails and oysters" scene from Spartacus.

Oddly enough, the ancient Hebrews did not follow this custom. I don't know why; maybe it was considered disrespectful to one's wife to go off and have sex with teenaged boys? Or maybe the men were all just "ew, homosex is icky"?

Whatever the reason, it seems clear to me that a more accurate translation of those Leviticus passages would be "men having sex with men is something we Jews do not do." Looking at the history of the region, everyone else did have that custom; the Jews simply did not. And that is reflected in the Torah.

(As for using even this interpretation to decry today's same-sex relationships, keep in mind that people had a LOT of customs back then that no one does anymore. Killing a bullock and offering it up as a burnt sacrifice in your suburban backyard? I think you'd get a visit from the police....)

In an online discussion once, a commenter told me my rabbi was "aspostate" (a disbeliever, one who has renounced their faith) for offering up this translation of the Leviticus verse. IMO, it's UNBELIEVABLY arrogant to declare someone else's interpretation of a Bible verse invalid because it disagrees with yours. Not only do people not agree on what the Bible means, some people can't even agree on which Bible to use.

So the next time someone claims that the Leviticus verse justifies homophobia, feel free to direct them to this blog post. Or to tell them, "That translation is not accurate." Or to tell them they have their head up their ass, but that probably won't change hearts or minds. :)

Thank you for letting me participate in this year's Hop Against Homophobia, Bi-, and Transphobia! Please comment for a chance to win... well, I'm not sure what you'll win. What would you like to win? An e-copy of one of my books? (Available for any of them except Dorm Porn 2; that's only in paperback.) A $20 donation in your name to Atlanta's LGBT youth shelter, Lost-n-Found? Some other LGBT-related prize worth up to $20? Please let me know in the comments. I really have no idea what would be good.

Thanks for reading!



Sunday, April 5, 2015

video: cat trails built into house

This guy is my new hero. I'd try to hire him to build this in our house, but he'd have to bring his cats with him, and The Princess here wouldn't like that....

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Governor's Ride (Current-events-inspired fiction. Not Safe For Anywhere or Anyone)

short fiction: 

The Governor's Ride 
or 
Writing Porn For My Own Amusement/To Keep Me From Getting Too Angry Over Current Events

Despite being based on current events, this story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is a shocking, shocking coincidence. Because fiction.

Warning: Smut with no redeeming social value that should not be read by anyone. Author will not be held responsible for psychological trauma resulting from reading this bad, silly, smutty story which has not been beta-read, edited, or even read through more than once.

Last chance to click away to something with actual value and no smut!




Okay, you have chosen to proceed. Caveat lector.

~*~~*~~*~~

Governor Mark Shillings signed the bill in the same the reliable, masculine way he did everything in his political life. The guests to the private signing applauded, then allowed the Governor’s aides to herd them into a reception line. Mark then shook hands with the guests as they left the office, careful to adjust his strength to match that of each one. Some of the nuns’ hands felt like paper birds.

The last hand held out to him was that of the rabbi. Mark was usually the tallest person in his office, but this rabbi had a good three inches on him, and Mark had to look up to meet his eyes as he shook that hand. The man’s grip was firm, its strength reassuring Mark that he had done the right thing in signing the Religious Freedom bill into law. Those citizens of his state who held deep and sincere religious beliefs had to be protected from those filthy queers who wanted to push their disgusting lifestyles on everyone else. Two male figures on a wedding cake? It was practically blasphemy.

The rabbi was good looking, albeit in a swarthy sort of way. He’d come by himself, the rest of his colleagues denouncing the very bill meant to help them. Mark didn’t understand that attitude at all. He was about to suggest that he and the rabbi talk about it in further detail, perhaps over glasses of whiskey, but the rabbi pulled his hand free from Mark’s unwittingly tight grip, gave him an odd look, and hurried away.

Mark sighed. Why was it so difficult to make friends with men? Every time he tried, he was rebuffed, or he’d had to do the rebuffing. A few times he’d approached a strong, attractive man in his gym only to find out that the man was not what he had seemed. How could it be? Everyone knew that homosexuals were slim, effeminate hairdressers with lisps. Mark would never seek friendship with someone like that. He had always dreamed of being a part of a group, a tribe, even, of men like himself: sturdy, manly, strong and active. He and his tribe would go to ball games and beer fests. They would play golf together. They’d go hiking and camping in the woods, pushing their bodies to the limits during the day, and sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder under a blanket of stars at night.

“You don’t need them, sweetie,” his wife would console. “You’re my best friend, and you always will be.”

Christine was a gem. Mark pushed aside his disappointment and concentrated on the law that would make his name known throughout the entire country, maybe even the world. He couldn’t have done it without his wife’s support. She deserved a little something. And maybe with the help of one of his tiny blue friends, he’d give her a little something else on top of that.

On the drive home, something frilly in a display window caught his eye. “Pull over, Terry,” he said. “I want to go into that store.”

“Sir, this isn’t the best neighborhood,” his driver responded, glancing at his passenger in the rear-view mirror. “You can get almost anything online these days—”

“Any package mailed to the house gets opened by security, and I want to surprise the missus,” Mark responded. “Just pull over. I won’t be very long.”

Terry sighed and did as ordered.

Mark got out of the car and entered the store. He hadn’t ever patronized this sort of business; the only time he had been close to such a place was when he’d been twenty years old and his Students for Moral Values group picketed a store that sold adult videos, among other things.

This store made the one from his college days look like a Build-A-Bear workshop. The lacy, racy lingerie in the window was eclipsed by the degenerate displays that assaulted his eyes from every square foot. Leather! Metal! Some shiny material that looked like paint, only with zippers and laces! DVDs on shelves and in bins, tiny bottles of God-knows-what, and there, on the walls, the most hideous and unnatural items of all….

“Ah, I see you’re interested in our dildos.”

Mark whipped his head around to see who had spoken and found himself staring at a shoulder. He looked up into the face of a man who appeared to be in his mid-forties, with crinkles around his blue eyes, a neatly trimmed beard with a lot of silver in it, and shoulders so broad they blocked out most of the store. Thankfully.

“No!” Mark protested, lifting his hands and accidentally brushing them against the plaid shirt covering the man’s firm, muscular chest. “I came in to ask about….” What had he come in to ask about? What was so important that it had caused him to enter this Den of Iniquity?

“Wait, I know you,” the man said, frowning at Mark. Then his face cleared. “You’re the governor!”

“No!” Mark said again. “I mean, yes. Excuse me.” He took a few deep breaths to get himself under control, inhaling some of the man’s scent. Some woodsy cologne. Mark sniffed again. It wasn’t half bad. He was about to ask the name of the cologne – maybe Christine would like it – when the man nodded.

“I understand completely, governor. Please come with me. We have a private room where VIPs can browse our products at their leisure. I’m Alex, by the way, and I’ll be happy to help you with anything you desire.”

Mark’s feet moved of their own volition, following Alex past aisles of indescribable items, through a door at the back of the store, and into an office. At least, Mark assumed it was an office. It had a desk with a computer and a couple of chairs, but it also had a strange padded bench taking up most of the space.

“Please have a seat. I’ll bring some items for you to look at,” Alex said, then left the room.

Mark couldn’t get to either of the chairs without climbing over the bench, so he sat gingerly on the edge. It was really quite comfortable, but it had the strangest arm rests sticking up at oblique angles.

“Here we are,” Alex said, entering the office. He dropped several items on the desk and began opening the packaging. “I brought our best sellers in various sizes and types.”

Mark couldn’t look at the items on the desk, but he couldn’t look away, either. They were all shaped like erect penises. He couldn’t imagine what their purpose was, or why Alex thought he had an interest in them. “I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding,” he began, but Alex smiled.

“I know it can be embarrassing, but sometimes it’s easier to talk about your fantasies with a stranger. You probably haven’t even mentioned anything to your wife, have you?”

Mark shook his head.

“Lots of straight guys like their wives or girlfriends to stimulate them this way. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just basic biology.”

Alex’s smile was so warm and welcoming. He was exactly the sort of man Mark wanted to have as a friend, with his muscular physique and his confident attitude. Still, Mark needed to explain himself. “That’s not why I came in.”

“Why did you come in, governor?” Alex ran both hands over his close-cropped hair and then down his chest to his thighs. 

A fog filled Mark’s mind. “I don’t remember.”

“Well, as long as you’re here, how about a demonstration?”

Mark nodded, making no protest when Alex had him stand up, step out of his pants and underwear, and lay down on the bench. A straight-shooter like Alex wouldn’t steer him wrong. He put his feet up – ah, foot rests, not arm rests! – on the raised pieces of the bench. It was a remarkably comfortable position.

“This is a good model to start with,” Alex said, holding up a piece of peach-colored silicone that was slightly larger than Mark would get about twenty minutes after downing one of his tiny blue friends. “Taste it.” He nudged the dildo – is that what Alex had called it? – against Mark’s lips. Mark opened his mouth obediently. The silicone was warm and pliable. It had no taste, and yet the feel of it, the weight of it felt just right in Mark’s mouth. He ran his tongue over the dildo, then gagged as Alex pushed it further into his mouth.

“Oops, sorry about that, sir,” Alex said, pulling it out. “My hand slipped.”

“That’s all right,” Mark said, then opened his mouth again, but Alex didn’t bring it back to his lips. Instead, he held it up where Mark could see it.

“Good quality lube and lots of it is important, especially for newbies.” Alex drizzled the dildo with some clear liquid, then moved it out of Mark’s line of sight. “Try to relax,” he said.

Why would Mark have to relax? He wasn’t nervous at all, not with his new friend Alex to—

“Yikes!” Mark yelped as something slid into his rectum. It was bigger than his doctor’s finger. Bigger than that other doctor’s finger, too, when he went to get a second opinion about his prostate. In fact, it was bigger than any of the fingers of any of the doctors Mark had visited over the past three months to have his prostate examined. Each doctor had told him the same thing: that his prostate was completely normal. But a man couldn’t be too careful about his health.

“Yeah, sorry, the lube might be a little cold.” Alex pushed the dildo in deeper, up to the fake testicles at its base. “It should be warming up now.”

It was. Mark squirmed a little. “You say lots of straight men buy this model?”

“Oh, yeah, tons of them.” Alex worked the dildo in and out of Mark’s rectum. “But the next model is even more popular.” He wiggled the dildo a little, then pulled it out and set it on the desk. “Here, try this.”

Mark watched Alex squirt lube onto a piece of silicone the same color as Christine’s Prada pumps from two years ago. Then he sighed as the new dildo entered him.

Little Mark seemed to like it, too. He was still drooping against the crease of Mark’s thigh, but definitely getting interested.

“Wow, governor, I’m impressed. I didn’t think you would be able to take it, but look at you go!”

“Thank you, Alex. That means a lot coming from a man like you.”

Alex made a noise that Mark couldn’t place, something between a snort and a cough.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes, sir. Allergies.”

The dildo slid in and out, causing Little Mark to perk up even more. Mark hadn’t been this hard in years, even with the help of his tiny blue friends. He reached down and touched himself, marveling at his erection. He was up to almost three inches! If this is what a dildo could do, sign him up!

Of course, Mark had to give some credit to the man orchestrating all these pleasant feelings. Maybe Alex could give Christine some pointers. He could come over for dinner some night, there would be pleasant conversation, and then the three of them would retire to Mark’s bedroom. Christine could sit and watch from a safe distance the first time, or the first few times. Alex would loom over Mark like he was doing now, his manly scent filling Mark’s nose.

“How much….” He swallowed. “How much is this model?”

“Thirty-five dollars.”

“I’ll take it.”

“But sir, you haven’t even tried the others.” Alex pulled the dildo out of Mark’s rectum and shoved another one in. This one was even bigger. The stretching, burning sensation that resulted made Little Mark stand nearly upright. Mark covered himself with one hand. It wouldn’t do to pleasure himself in front of a stranger. Best to save that for Christine. She had wonderful hands, long, strong fingers that could bring him to hardness almost half the time they attempted coitus.

“This one is fifty dollars,” Alex said, getting Mark’s attention. “Now, check this out.”

There was a click, and the dildo began to vibrate.

“Oh!” Mark’s backdoor region hummed along with the vibrations and despite his best intentions, he began to massage himself. “This one. I’ll buy this one. Ah….”

“I can’t let you decide without trying our best-seller.” Alex said in his deep, sultry voice as he pulled out the vibrator. “Meet ‘The Destroyer.’” He held up a deep purple object as big as Mark’s forearm. A flip of a switch, and the thing began to flop around like one of those inflatable tube men at a used car lot. Alex flipped the switch off and grinned.

“Oh my!” Mark stared at it. He couldn’t imagine how it would fit inside him, but he didn’t have to imagine for long. A generous dollop of lube, some skillful waggling from Alex, and the monster was in!

It was so long, Mark felt as if it were pushing against his lungs, and the stretch! Like a basketball had been shoved up into him. A glorious, glorious basketball. When Alex flipped the switch again, setting The Destroyer in motion, Mark nearly fell off the bench.

“Do you like it, sir?”

“Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh…..” The shaking was too much. He could barely speak.

“Do you want me to stop?”

“NO-O-O-O-O!”

“All right,” Alex said. He took a step back and watched with a twinkle in his eye. “How does it make you feel?”

“I-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi fee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ll-ll-ll….”

How did it make him feel? Like he was a rag doll being tossed about by unruly children. Like he was being used for someone else’s pleasure. Like he was being forced to submit to a madman, to perform the most undignified, basest, filthiest, sexiest acts imaginable! He moved his hand faster, one hand encircling all three and a half inches of his fully erect penis, and asked God to forgive him. But really, if God hadn’t wanted him to enjoy himself, he wouldn’t have put this store, these objects, and Alex in Mark’s path.

“Is this the one you want, sir?”

Just another few seconds….

“Sir?”

“YES!” Mark shouted. “I want it! I want them all!” So close now….

The Destroyer stopped moving and a second later, Alex pulled it out of Mark’s ass.

“Wait, what….What are you doing? Darn it all, why did you stop?” Mark screeched. “Put it back!” But it was already too late. Little Mark shriveled and shrunk back to its usual flaccidity. “Why did you stop?” he moaned.

“Governor.” Alex’s expression was no longer warm and amused. His eyes looked like melted artic ice might look if climate change were a real thing and not just a liberal conspiracy. “I stopped because I cannot sell you any of these items. It’s against my sincerely held religious beliefs to do business with theocrats. And because you signed that bill into law today, I’m perfectly within my rights to tell you to put your dick away, pull your pants up, and get the hell out of my store.”

Mark blinked at him a few times, not quite able to process what he was hearing. He continued to lie on the bench until Alex shouted “Go!” Then he rolled off the bench, got his pants on and zipped up, and stumbled out of the office, running straight into Terry.

“Sir! You were gone so long, I was getting worried. Are you all right?”

“Let’s go,” Mark said, hurrying toward the front doors. Lube squelched out of his rectum with every step, no matter how he tried to clench to hold it in.

“Sir, are you sure—”

“I don’t want to talk about it! You’re paid to drive the darn car, so pipe down and drive!”

Terry’s face went blank. “Yes, sir.” He opened the door for Mark, who got in.

Once home, Mark went straight to his room to change out of his soggy pants. That night, he tried to recreate the experience Alex had given him by using his fingers, a carrot, a cucumber, and the handle of his Titleist 9-iron, but nothing came close. He spent the early hours of the morning going from website to website searching for vibrators, putting them into shopping carts, then removing them and closing his browser before opening it again and starting the search anew. He fell asleep with his hands still on the keyboard.

A knock on his door woke him. Mark wiped the drool from his cheek and looked at the clock. Eleven AM? He sat up just as his aide entered the room.

“Sir, I think you should come downstairs.”

“What’s wrong, Josh?”

“There’s a delivery for you.”

Mark got up, put a robe on, and went downstairs. On the kitchen island was a large, clear plastic bag, and inside of it were…oh, dear God, the items Alex had used on him.

All of them.

Including The Destroyer.

And staring at that clear plastic bag was his wife.

“Uhhhh….” was all that came out of Mark’s mouth. It seemed to have lost its connection to his brain.

“There’s a note,” Josh whispered. He pointed to a piece of paper Christine was holding.

Mark tugged the note free from his wife’s white-knuckled grip. His hand shook as he read it.

Dear Governor Shillings,

I would like to apologize for my behavior last night. It was unconscionable to lead you to believe I would treat you like any other customer and then turn you away so callously. I believe that everyone should be treated equally, fairly, and with dignity, but last night I allowed my anger to get in the way of my business practices and, much worse, my integrity.

After a night of soul-searching, I have decided that the least I can do to try to make amends is to offer you the items you enjoyed so much when I demonstrated them on you, or rather, in you. Therefore, please accept the contents of this package as my gift to you. I hope you will have no hard feelings (except the good kind <wink>), and I will be happy to serve you again personally any time you visit the store in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex O’Toole
Owner, O’Toole’s Pleasure Emporium


“Mark?”

Mark swallowed and looked up at his wife. “Yes, dear?”

Christine narrowed her eyes. “Would you care to explain this?”

A bag full of sinful ecstasy, right there within his reach, and he couldn’t lay a finger on it.

“No, dear, I would not.”


~ the end ~


Thursday, March 19, 2015

I almost forgot! Happy dance driving through The Square last weekend

D'oh! I meant to post about this before and I completely forgot. As I was driving towards Marietta Square last weekend, I saw two young guys walking down the sidewalk holding hands. I have to admit, I stared, but only to make sure of what I was seeing.

This side of the street, but further north


See, whatcha gotta understand is, Marietta is the county seat of Cobb County, and in 1993, the county's Board of Commissioners passed a resolution condemning homosexuality. In 2004, Georgia voters passed a ban on same sex marriage, 76% to 24%. So historically, "the gay" has not been too welcome 'round these parts.

It's nice to see things change for the better. As I was looking for exact dates/numbers for the info above, I came across this headline: "Health care benefits OK’d: Employees in same-sex marriages can expand plan following council’s 5-2 vote." (article is here) And okay, it's about Smyrna, our neighbor to the south, not Marietta, but it's progress!

Last weekend I did a little happy dance in the car after I passed that couple and drove on through The Square. I hope I get to do a lot more little happy dances.