I feel like I’m in Spider Jerusalem’s world. I recently read Transmetropolitan again because Spider Jerusalem makes me happy. Now I’m having strange urges. I want to cover my body in tattoos and pig out on caribou eyes. I want to write a weekly column attacking people that need to be attacked and bringing the President’s criminal dealings to light. But all that aside, today I think I stepped in Jerusalem’s world, not for any of the hugely relevant political things, no, no, I stepped into the a world that just feels like his.
I live in New York City, which is the most obvious inspiration for Transmet’s The City, but to really see its roots, you only have to head down to Coney Island. One of the first things you see as you exit the subway is the original Nathan’s Hotdog stand, founded in 1916. Of course, now you can order clams and any number of seafood items as well as rotisserie chickens to go along with your chili-cheese dog (no geneticly cloned human parts yet). On the outside wall is a huge counter ticking away the days, hours, minutes, and seconds till the next hotdog-eating contest. The current record is 66 hotdogs in 12 minutes. An event monitored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating and viewed by an estimated 1.5 million households via ESPN. But I digress; the fact that the IFCE exists is topic for another time, back to Coney Island, where if you don’t want to wait in line at Nathan’s for your hotdog, you can always go to the vending machine. I kid you not, there is a hotdog vending machines not fifty feet away from Nathan’s hotdog stand.
I headed to the freak show room, not because I wanted to see the human block head (the guy that hammers a nail through his nostril) or a sword sallower or a fire eater, no, tonight, the room was being taken over by burlesque, headlined by Dirty Martini and hosted by Jesus. The panty chaser for the evening (my friend and co-workers wife) was a humble nun who was forced to take center stage when Jesus caught her smelling the dancing racecar driver’s outfit. Jesus ordered her to touch her toes and then proceeded to spank her as the audience cheered and counted along with him. He paused and the nun asked him to spank harder. Jesus was more than happy to comply. He finished the spanking, and the nun hugged him passionately.
“Not now,” Jesus told her as she embraced him and caressed his face, “Later, make sure you have the drugs.”
This was followed by a woman dressed as the leaning tower of Pisa and then, my personal favorite of the evening, the Incredible Cook! After the nun had sat up a table and a pot, the cook entered, green skinned and a white apron. She proceeded to yell and growl at the spaghetti as she broke it up and slung it into the pot. She gained her composer as she lifted Hulk brand spices up and held it for the audience to see, she proceeded with her angry cooking. She yanked off the apron; underneath she was wearing the tattered remains of purple pants and a ragged white t-shirt. She ripped her off her purple pants and tore off her shirt, growling and stomping around the stage. Then she presented her previously prepared spaghetti dish for all to see.
Dirty Martini closed the show, lip singing a love song as she sat the table for Jesus, pulling peaches and plums from her brazier, then stripping away her brazier and bouncing steadily, tassel twirling. That’s Amore played as all the girls return to the stage with pizza and fed it to the audience. And that was only the second act, I missed the entire first half of the show because I was working.
Afterwards, we drink and hung around, but midnight was fast approaching and everyone started flirting away. One of my friends wanted to go swimming, I didn’t, but I wanted to see the ocean. As we walked, she warned me, “Puerto Rican’s with large cocks are going to proposition us so they can get money to buy more drugs, but we are not going to have sex with them, even if we had the money.”
Soon we are on the beach, headlights flashing around in the dark belonging to large machines, cleaning vehicles. The headlights swirl around erratically as they clean the beach, rushing towards the hundreds of mesh trashcans that litter the beach. A mechanical arm sticks the trashcans and dumps them over the small cab and then puts them back. Other vehicles race along the beach, spiny spinning mechanisms plowing through the sand for trash and other debris. But the beach is not deserted, near the plastic palm tree shower, a couple sits on a bench while their very young children play in the sand. I have to wonder is this really the only recreation time they have? Other small groups of people and couples on blankets are spread out around the beach, not a lot of people, but for a Thursday after midnight amidst the beach cleaners, it seems like quite a few. I want to snap a picture with my glasses and tag it something like, “The beach cleaners trying to do their job without running over the new scum.”
We stand in the water with the waves crashing at our feet. My friend feels a little cheated because nobody has propositioned us. We decide to go for hotdogs before heading home. It’s nearing one a.m. We avoid the hotdog vending machines and get in line at the original Nathan’s Famous hotdog stand and wait to be served.
In true Spider fashion, I live with two women. They are not my assistants, but they are friends. As I sit down to write this, at least one of them is having sex in the other room while I sit alone with my computer writing because that’s what I must do when I have something to say. But I’d prefer to be having sex.