"Talking to naked people about mundane shit makes their nakedness less awkward to me."
Red Headphones (With Microphone) And Digipower Phone Charger:
In April, my brother and I brought our two-man act, the Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project, to Reed College in Portland. I’m not as comfortable speaking to large crowds of college students as I am speaking to large crowds of “regular people,” and I’m not exactly sure why. We were performing in an actual theater-sized classroom, so I think the kids wanted a more didactic show, instead of me telling them not to do drugs and why I believe college is stupid. I’m also afraid of somehow violating the “safe space.” Mostly, I refuse to pander or condescend to a large group of young people, or to get easy laughs by making jokes targeted towards their specific school, like, “You kids sure love to throw frisbees and smoke marijuana regularly!” No. Unfortunately warning the kids not to “invade” New York City en masse after graduation or accusing them of “playing adult” rarely gets the laughs I so desperately crave for my withering self-esteem. Also that night, somebody threw out all the food that was waiting for us to eat after the show. (Another reason four-year sleepaway camp colleges suck.)
Anyway, after the show I met with my old roommate and friend, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (MBAR), who’d been living in Portland (PDX) the last several months. MBAR is a PDX native, so he was supposed to show me around the next day.
Immediately upon his arrival, he suggested we go to a strip club. I’d never been to a strip club at that point. They always seemed weird: are men supposed to sit next to each other with boners and stare at the women? MBAR assured me that strip clubs were part of the culture in Portland or some shit like that, so I told him we’d go later (with no intentions of actually going). After intermittently walking and driving around Portland for a few hours, we pretty much exhausted all the things to do as a visitor of the city. At that point, I gave in and said I’d go to a strip club, figuring my flight was leaving in only about three hours. We walked into some place whose name I can’t remember (Sassy’s, I think) and it was packed with maybe two dozen white dudes of the 30-years-or-older variety. I wasn’t drinking at the time in an effort to stay sober longer than four weeks (after which I’ve noticed I become extremely empathetic and I “unlock” my ability to smoke weed again and not freak out). But I realized I’d definitely have to drink to hang out in that place.
Initially, I wasn’t sure what the protocol was, so I just did everything Miles did, which involved putting a dollar down on the little carpeted joint the chicks were dancing on in front of me, for every song. Sometimes, the chick would sexily grab the dollar, in which case I did like a little “sailor salute,” 'cause what the fuck, you know. We drank some shit called Ninkasi Total Domination, which MBAR told me was good stuff. Also, did I just explain how a strip club works for no reason?
Eventually I got super bent and everything was extremely fun. Since Miles and I were literally the only dudes in there who weren’t old or grimy, all the dancers would talk to us about their lives, ask us questions about New York, and make fun of other people at the club. Talking to naked people about mundane shit makes their nakedness less awkward to me. Eventually we went to like, two more strip clubs, including the “hipster” one where the chicks looked like “Suicide Girls” and danced to doo-wop. That one was more like a regular bar where naked women walked back and forth in one corner.
At some point Miles realized that my flight was in about 40 minutes—like, the actual takeoff, not the boarding. He made me get into the car and I kept telling him to forget about it and that I’d just fly the next day but he said it’s Portland and everybody’s nice. I got to the ticket counter and the lady printed my tickets and I ended up getting to the gate with time to spare because the flight was slightly delayed. Now I was super drunk in this airport and I realized my phone was dead and I lost my headphones.
Most of the time when I am drunk and haven’t been drinking for extended periods of time, I don’t have any interest in talking to people and just want to walk around listening to music. I wandered around 'til I found a store that sold micro USB chargers for 30 bucks, and these terrible red headphones for 20 bucks, and bought them both. I charged my phone for five minutes, listened to the song I wanted to hear like halfway through before the phone died, then passed out on the plane for six hours. I woke up barely remembering having bought these things and sorely regretting the wasteful expenditures.
Chinese Fur Hat:
Das Racist went on tour in China in 2010. In Beijing, we wandered into what looked like a pawn shop filled with '80s electronics, acoustic guitars, and a wide selection of hats. One of those hats looked pretty much like the one above, modeled on old Red Guard hats from the '20s. Considering the exchange rate I figured I’d buy it and wear it that winter. Well, winter never arrived and the hat remained atop my Voltaire bust (story on that coming soon) for the years before I decided to wear the thing this January. The second I picked it up, all of the fur on one ear flap instantly fell away and started flying around the entire room. I tried picking up the hat and it fell out of my hands in an explosion of cheap, (hopefully) synthetic fur. Not sure what happened here but I’m assuming it was a classic rat hat scenario. I threw the remnants in the trash.
Jumping String Toy:
No idea where this piece of shit came from or what it is.
Dapwell has more regets than you. He's on Twitter — @dapwell