LM: Right after I moved to Chicago I briefly held a job in an upscale sex toy boutique. Mostly I sat at the register, made sure nobody stole anything, and gave recommendations on lube. At closing I had to wipe down all the dildos and butt plugs and the scummy tops of the fleshlights to wash the day’s dusty film off them before locking up.
There was one massive butt plug that no one ever bought named Mr. Universe. Mr. Universe came in black or red, was exceptionally veiny, and shaped like a missile. Girth-wise Mr. Universe was about the same as the slender, shaft-y end of a butternut squash. I used two pre-moistened wipes and both hands to clean the whole of him.
I thought about that plug while preparing to write this plug, about the big things happening at the Neo-Futurarium these days and why people should get their asses to TML A.S.A.P.
KR: We put in ELEVEN NEW PLAYS this week. And as if that wasn’t enough girth to straddle, we also decided to squeeze an extra SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST into the menu. Expect handstands, ladder dancing, hypothetical fish tanks, Prince and at least one pound of sugar.
MEANWHILE & ELSEWHERE, FAR ABOVE ALL THIS:
GIANT: Well! To start, thank you, Dallas Tolentino, for joining me here today in my sky canoe.
DT: My pleasure. The weather seems to be in our favor.
I look forward to answering your questions.
GIANT: All in good time, you little devil.
Why don’t you take the paddles while I get my notes together.
DT: So, Giant, tell me about yourse-
GIANT: QUESTION ONE. What brings you to Chicago, Dallas?
DT: My good friend Trevor Dawkins is writing a feature-length prime-time show at the Neo-Futurarium called Haymaker. He’s asked me to be a part of it.
GIANT: A tale as old as time. QUESTION TWO:
Why do I live on the wall in what seems to be the lobby of the Neo-Futurist theatre?
DT: We call that room the “State Park.”
GIANT: Well I call it “Too Fucking Small.” QUESTION THREE:
What’s going on here, and why am I only permitted to leave to conduct interviews?
BELOW, IN THE MURKY WORLD OF EMAIL:
LM: I want to say a sentence that I’m not sure I believe, but I want to hear how you’ll respond.
KR: Uh oh. Okay, I’m ready.
LM: Giants aren’t real. So, is the giant Neo-Futurist?
IF YOUR SKY CANOE WERE TO SPRING A LEAK, COULD YOU PLUG IT WITH A CLOUD?
GIANT: Tell me more about Haymaker.
DT: Haymaker is Trevor’s attempt to stage a ridiculous action movie called “The Tears of Shanghai” that he wrote when he was a teenager. It’s a theatrical exploration of fighting – as sport, as entertainment and as it may manifest in our everyday lives. It’s also about a lot more than that but I don’t have time to share it all now.
GIANT: Keep us wanting more. I like that.
(Giant adds some ice to the champagne bucket.)
DT: I do a lot of physical theatre. Stage combat is kind of my thing, so we’ve been working on some complex fights. I’ve enjoyed that.
GIANT: Sounds like Haymaker will be an action play, then.
DT: You could say that, yes. We open May 22nd. Just like a summer blockbuster.
GIANT: Mmm. A summer blockbuster. Indeed.
Dallas, it’s been a delight.
And for all of you creatures of the internet, click on the video below. It’s kind of my thing.
MAYBE IT’S A JUST A METAPHOR. MAYBE WE’RE ALL, AT SOME POINT, DRIFTING THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE IN OUR RICKETY LITTLE VESSELS, TRYING TO CHARISMATICALLY ANSWER THE POINTED QUESTIONS OF A CREATURE LARGE ENOUGH TO EAT US.
OR MAYBE IT’S ACTUALLY A SKY CANOE?
KR: The Jefferson Hotel was built in 1895 and is a historical landmark in my hometown. Patrons have included presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt and I worked there as a mini-bar attendant from 2007-2009. I wore a tuxedo and pushed a 90-pound cart up and down one of the most haunted hotels in the country. At the time I was in college, so I spent most of my shifts napping in empty rooms and finishing untouched room service. I also had a thing where I would eat one cashew from every jar in the mini-bar. A form of rebellion, mini as it may have been.
With all the germs and traveling people, though, I am amazed I never caught anything.
Perhaps I built up an immunity from all the doorknob touching? I like to think I built up an immunity from all the doorknob touching.