On the Fourth of July, E.S.’s parents came to visit from New Jersey. We did our best to make the house presentable before they got here, but, given that we moved in less than a month ago, there was only so much we could do. They generously ignored the boxes and buckets and papers strewn about every room and expressed only delight with the progress we’d made.
At one point, however, as E.S. was out getting us lunch, his father started toying with a big plastic cup sitting on the coffee table and found that it was full of wrinkled singles. He joked, “oh, it’s your tip jar!” He was, unfortunately, correct; the bills were, in fact, the tips from my most recent engagement dancing naked. Then E.S.’s mother asked, “Have you been tickling the ivories somewhere and making lots of money?”
I stared at them and tried not to strangle. For an instant I considered telling the truth and then laughing, because of course they would take it as a joke, but then I wasn’t sure whether they’d think the joke was in poor taste or not, and besides why tempt fate when it’s so much easier to be deceitful?
I couldn’t think of a decent lie, however, and so I choked out, “Um, I wish!” and had nothing else to say.
Thank God for my dog, A., who at that very moment came running in so cutely she effected an irrevocable change of subject.
You can’t leave a tub of crinkled bills unexplained or it’ll come up again over dinner at Dallas BBQ. You should nip this in the bud and perform a demo.
“The only ivory that got tickled was my big white schlong!”
I suppose that would be in poor taste, but at least you’d be telling the truth.
I’m certain he would not have believed it had you told him. I certainly wouldn’t and still don’t. This story has to be complete fiction. No one fortunate enough to enjoy one of your performances would ever put less than a five dollar bill in your…um…sock. If you are going to tell stories, you are going to have to pay better attention to detail.
Pets are essential, aren’t they?
“Darling, I am so pleased you are getting tips for playing Gershwin and Cole Porter. But why do these dollar bills smell like ass and crotch?”
So what did ES have to say about that?