I noticed her as soon as she entered the store. Sex on two legs. A real burner. Very high-class. Heels, black stockings, short skirt, tight turtle, and a mink coat. That, and the gold jewelry, told me she was take-no-prisoners Park Avenue mercenary. She had the looks and the body that easily molded men to her will. Her whim was your command. She was a destroyer. She would eat you alive, and you were going to eagerly pay for the privilege. With fat chunks of your soul.
She started towards me. Oh shit.
It was my first night working at The Pink Pussycat Boutique sex shop, and this sexual villainess was going to be my first customer. Please help me, God.
She put a box on the counter in front of me. It was a vibrator. The box said it was called “The Orgasmatron,” and from the looks of the way it was repacked, it had been used.
I tranced for a second or three trying to take this situation in. She began talking.
“I’d like to return this and exchange it for a new one,” she said.
“Wha-wha why?…I mean, what is the matter of the problem, of the item, of what’s wrong…with it?”
“It burned out on me the first time I used it.” She was very matter of fact.
The room started to spin. Holy holy! Am I really hearing this? She was totally serious, and so openly acknowledging that her wantonness had burned-out a vibrator. Not just any battery tube job, but an actual AC plug-in, drug store quality body buzzer. You know the kind, sold as a “massager” that “relieves sore muscles.” It was The Orgasmatron, the only vibrator we sold with a satisfaction guarantee. And, this woman was clearly not satisfied.
She is a destroyer, I thought, and not just of men, but machines as well.
She wore out the best one we sold. What chance would a mere mortal have? She probably needs something with a water-cooled two-stroke engine. Now I was having a full-on dizzy spell. The blood seemed to have rushed from my brain, to somewhere else. Who knows? But this was all too much for me.
Here’s my first customer and it’s some smoking hot tigress returning a used sex toy that she “burned out” the first time she “used it.” The victim was laying dead on the counter in front of me. Is this really happening? How does stuff like this happen to me? Why does weird always seem to hunt me down?
I looked at her, then the broken vibrator. I knew I needed to be professional, and that I wasn’t supposed to picture what that whole episode must have been like. But I have a very good imagination. Too good sometimes. And, it’s resistant to any kind of restraint. Tell me not to picture the Burning of Rome, and now that’s all I can picture.
But this wasn’t the Burning of Rome. This was the torching of The Orgasmatron.
Steady old boy. Get a grip. Literally, grip the fucking counter and don’t fall over. I looked back up at her. My throat was too dry to talk. I finally managed a croak.
“I don’t know if I can do this. I need to get my manager.”
She crossed her arms and gave me a cold stare. I went to find Ray.
I got the job during one of my wandering job hunts that winter. I would put on a suit and tie and walk around Manhattan looking for help wanted signs. I would act like I was just passing by, saw the sign, and decided to pop in. I budgeted two dollars a day during these forays. It was a dollar for the subway from Queens. If I jumped the turnstile going into the city, I could have a slice of pizza that day. If I chickened-out, I usually still wound up having the slice of pizza, then had to jump the gate to get back to Queens. Those were great days.
I was freezing my ass off wandering around in The Village when I saw the little neon orange sign. It was in the window of a sex shop I had been in with an old friend, Pat Decker, years before. I was visiting the city and we met up and walked around. She took me inside this very place.
It was different from the Times Square sleaze shops that catered to the furtive raincoat crowd. This was a hip modern place, the clientele varying from NYU students out for a laugh, to couples looking to spice up their hump life, to wide-eyed tourists from Oklahoma. Earl no doubt making mental notes for the dungeon basement project back home.
It somehow didn’t seem so sleazy, so dirty. I mean it was still alright, but different. They played rock music and the place was wildly decorated. Most of the sales clerks were tasty little trollops decked out in full ’80’s So Not Like a Virgin attire. The place was upbeat. The vibe was playful. (Pun not intended)
Anyway, it didn’t seem like too bad a place to work. Sure your still doing retail, but at least here, while your selling some woman edible underwear, it was going to be easier to start up an interesting conversation.
Besides, it was bound to be weird, and if there was one thing I was always on the look-out for, it was weird.
I got an application, bullshitted it out, right there in the store, and gave it back to them. The manager said they’d call me. I jumped the turnstile like Jesse Owens back to Queens, and then celebrated with four 40 oz bottles of malt liquor on an empty stomach. You have to stay positive.
They did call a few days later to come in for the interview. This time I had to jump over down and back. No pizza either. My portfolio was getting thin. I needed this job and did my best to make a good impression. I ironed my shirt using the side of a hot toaster and even skipped my morning beer. Success requires sacrifice sometimes.
I got there on time. A woman took me to a back office. They had already done a little homework and actually called all the friends and family I had listed as previous employers. Most had been forewarned, except my mom, who later told me about the call. At first she didn’t know what the fuck they were asking about, but she sussed it out pretty quick and played along.
“Yes, he is a very good boy…as an employee. What is this job for?”
“The Pink Pussycat Boutique Sex Shop.”
“Oh, I see.”
Yeah, that was awesome. As far as I know, no one has ever called my references before or since. It made sense that this place would be the only one, and that it would be to my mom.
I got the job and was told to show up that night at 8pm. The shift was until 2am. Okay, that was my prime drinking time. What about a day shift? No? Just this or nothing. Without this job there would be no drinking time anyway, the eating time had already fallen by the wayside. So once more over the turnstile that night.
I showed up in dress slacks, and a freshly toastered shirt and tie. The manager came up to me right away to tell me he had a problem. The small, stud earring I had in was too much. I thought he was kidding. “It’s unacceptable,” he said. As I took it out, I looked down in the sales case and saw a butt-plug that you pump up to expand. “Yeah, can’t risk offending the customers,” I said, and put the earring in my shirt pocket.
He told one of the bimbos working that night to train me. This one was a piece of work. A masterpiece of unbridled harlotry. Almost, and I emphasize almost, too much. Leather hip boots, torn fishnets, a hairband for a skirt, bare navel, black lace bra with matching sheer lacy vest, a silver crucifix hanging sacrilegiously in her ample cleavage, both wrists covered to the elbows with silver bracelets and bangles…and…lots of stud earrings, in both ears and one nostril. Hey, what the fuck?
She showed me the register, and how to process credit card transactions. I tried to pay attention and not stare at The Son of God hanging on the Cross. And when I did, tried only to think about Him and what He went through.
Then she took me around the store and gave me a run down on the inventory. Besides all the basic vibrators, dildos, blow-up dolls, glow-in-the-dark condoms, dong thongs, furry handcuffs, glitter penis paint, steel spiked leather panties, cinnamon-flavored butt butter and expandable ass corks, there was some weird stuff, too.
“What the fuck is that?” I asked.
“Ball Parachute,” she said. She took it out of the case and handed it to me. It was a small leather poncho that snapped around the scrotum. It had clips to which you would attach the deep-sea fishing weights that were sold separately. According to the package illustration, this was “to stretch, stretch, streeeeeetch your balls!” There was a drawing of a person’s balls hanging down to his knees. Okay, too weird. Really this time. Too. And not the good kind.
“Well that’s handy,” I said, “Now you don’t have to improvise with fishing line and a cinder block.”
She just nodded. This job is going to be seriously weird. I hoped I could rise to the challenge.
Now, I was seeing spots and trying to put one foot in front of the other to walk over to Ray. I told him about the sexy rich lady breaking her Orgasmatron. He sighed and came over.
“So what’s the problem?” he asked blandly. She explained again. Burned out. First time. Used it. Not in enough detail, but Ray got the gist.
“How long did you use it for?”
Can NOT believe he asked her. Right on, Ray. Good fact-finding for the final report.
“I don’t know!” She was irritated. “Forty-five minutes or so.”
My knees buckled a bit.
“Lady, that’s too long!” he says, “These things got small motors. They’re gonna burn-up if you use ’em that long.” Ray was all business. Just telling her like it is. Telling her what the deal is with these masturbation machines and their motors. Not a hint of prurient excitement in his voice.
Meanwhile, she had her arms crossed and was looking up at the ceiling. She didn’t want to hear any of his bullshit excuses. I was reaching weird overload, but not exactly running for safety. I did some math.
Let’s see…45 minutes of Orgasmatron time = an estimated 3.5 actual man hours of banging, and that’s no time off for whiz and smoke breaks. That’s almost a Gone With the Wind’s worth of sustained, focused, hammer time. I once managed to keep it going through Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard twice over, but that, at let’s say, 20 minutes per album side, an hour and 20 minutes, was still way short of getting someone like her to the summit. Hell, that’s barely out of base camp. Could it even be done? I was getting all Sir Edmund Hillary.
“I have an idea,” I found myself interjecting, “What if you bought a second one and switched off? You could be letting one cool off while the other one was working.”
It seemed like a common sense solution to me, and an up-sell to boot, but they both looked at me like I was the most depraved sick-fuck pervert they’d ever seen. I didn’t get it. It was the stud earring thing again. How am I the one that’s totally out-of-bounds? Especially with everything going on around me.
“Can I please just get another one so I can get out of here!”
“Go get her another one,” Ray said, “and put this in the back.” He handed me the box with the dead Orgasmatron. I went to the back room and set it down on a shelf. Good-bye, brave soldier. I picked up a new box. “You have no idea what you’re in for,” I told it, and brought it out to The Sexecutioner. I gave her the box.
What do you say? Enjoy? Good luck? Let me know how this one does? I settled for “Here it is.” She grabbed it, spun on her spiked heel and was heading for the door before I could write down my phone number. As she was leaving, I could see she was wearing the stockings with the line up the back. I winced. Of course she would be. Just to drive it all in a little harder.
I felt very weird. Almost too.
After that whole scene, dealing with the rest of the customers was easy. I confidently sold a short-haired German hausfrau tourist a strap-on with a very large attachment. How can I describe the size? (And this is not hyperbole, this is an accurate size estimate) One of the largest Summer Sausage Beef Sticks Hickory Farms sells.
Man oh man. Someone was going to wind up on the receiving end of that thing, and it wasn’t a sexy thought. When you start doing crazy shit like that, it’s gone from a little spicy fun to just trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records.
One lady came up to me, again a normal housewife type, and told me she wanted to buy her husband a cock ring, but she didn’t know what size to get? So she’s asking me? I said, “Well I sure don’t know either, but I suggest getting the very smallest, that way if it doesn’t fit, he’ll feel really proud.” She thought that was a great idea, and bought a wedding ring sized one. Bang. Making sales. Getting the hang of this shit.
Sold some edible underwear to some chubby Puerto Rican Girls. A breast milk pump to an Asian business man. A ball parachute to a couple of mustachioed motorcycle enthusiasts, who bought extra fishing weights. No doubt trying to set some sort of world record.
I talked a lady out of trying to send a vibrating fake vagina contraption to her soldier husband overseas. “Someone will find it, and he’ll never live it down,” I told her, “They’ll give him a bad nickname. He can go at it the old-fashioned way and be alright.” Just looking out for the troops.
I sold a dildo to a couple that looked like some friends of my parents. Size 14 stilettos to a burly construction worker.
I also sold a Orgasmatron to a couple of lipstick lesbians. Get this. They asked me if they could get a penis attachment for it. I ask Ray and he pointed to one. Sold separately. I rang up The ‘Tron and sold separately penis attachment, and didn’t say the thirty or forty smart-ass remarks that were going through my head. Being very professional.
Body paints to them, and some butt beads to her. Latex hot pants for him, and a whip for his wife. I was racking up the sales, but it was all taking a toll. I was awash in crazy images.
The subway got me home at 3:30 that morning. I was poisoned to the gills with weird. I woke up my girlfriend.
“I need you to help me out a little.”
“How was work?” she asked, rubbing her eyes.
“I’ll show you.”
I was done before you could finish playing “Motherless Children.”
Afterwards I sat up drinking a beer. “I think I need to put in my notice,” I told her, “This gig is going to make me too weird…and getting home this late sucks ass too.”
“We’ll manage,” she said, and rolled over to sleep. I sat up for a while drinking a beer, thinking about all the crazy shit that was probably going on right then in the city. It boggles the mind. And really, who am I to judge any of it? It sure makes it an interesting world. I got up to get another beer. I snapped the cap, tilted the bottle and opened my throat. To weird!