Grant has finally got himself a big black ass. This after years of complaining that his own ass, which is not big and not black, won't hold up his pants. These complaints center on the fact that somehow his cargo shorts end up around his knees as he's lugging beer kegs back from the walk-in fridge while he bartends at the Local. Even though I personally never considered his lack of ass definition the root of his inability to keep his pants on, Grant insisted that problem is now solved with his new ass.
"And I make better tips, too," he noted.
Grant is not the only assless bartender at the Local. In fact, Grant claims, asslessness is rampant among the male employees there, so he has taken it upon himself to fix that problem. Hence the big shipment from eBay, where lately Grant has been fulfilling all of his padded-ass needs. "I got three more for myself, too," he exclaimed. "So now I have two white ones and two black ones."
I am relieved he is excited about his big delivery of padded asses, because this means there might be a lull in his talk about possible implants, as he obviously assumes I'd be the one to nurse him through the procedure, like I'm really gonna take time out of my life to position his bendy straws so he can suck his juice while convalescing ass-up on a special mattress. So I think the removable butt is a much better option.
"You should see me," Grant insisted. "I'm a completely different person."
So of course I saw him, and I don't know what I expected, except to say that when someone tells you he'll be wearing fake buttocks the next time you lay eyes on him, at the very least you're gonna expect to notice a difference. You'd expect him to at least show up with a butt so jutted and well-defined that manic-depressive office workers would be tempted to perch themselves on it until their colleagues could talk them back down. Instead I simply saw the same vacuous concave that is the standard for Grant's rearview, although Grant kept insisting there was a huge difference.
"Look," he said, jumping up and down, the big balloon pockets jingling. "Seriously, look," he continued, twisting his tiny hips back and forth like a dashboard hula doll with huge head and a big barrel chest. "My pants aren't falling off!" Twist, twist. Hop, hop. "Look!"
We were in public, and people started looking. So when Grant undid his belt and yanked his padded underwear above his waistband -- to show me the miracle ass itself, since evidently I was missing its effect -- I felt forced to falsely concede I perceived an improvement. "Wow," I said, nodding my head thoughtfully, "that's impressive."
At that Grant sat down on his padded ass and smiled. At least he is happy, I thought, because it's funny the things your friends think they need, things that you could insist with every last molecule of your oxygen are unnecessary, but things they're somehow fixated on nonetheless. For example, I have a girlfriend who thinks she needs a college degree even though she is already an immensely successful advertising executive, and another friend who believes his entire life would fall into place if only he got his helicopter license.
Lary himself was adamant he needed a renovated bathroom complete with heated-tile floors and multinozzled "shower wing," even though the rest of the warehouse in which he lives still contains piles of industrial debris from when the place used to make potato chips. Still, Lary spent more than a year knocking down walls, redirecting water lines and picking out fixtures before the official unveiling, a party that could have been held in the oversized jetted bathtub alone. All of us had long ago stopped insisting the new bathroom was unnecessary, so by the big night we were all resigned to the fact that Lary felt this was what he needed, and who were we to stand in the way? "Wow," we all exclaimed at his palatial lavatory, "that's impressive."
I once spent an entire winter in a pair of black Coach ankle boots with four-inch heels, certain I needed them to offset the 10 pounds I'd gained after spending a month recovering from a break-up by repeatedly planting my face into a big bowl of cake batter. I also took to wearing turbo-padded bras during that time, certain that my newly pronounced cleavage could distract people from my newly size-12 ass. Until I discovered the boots and their magical effect on my physique, I'd wallowed around in a slough of despond, sucking all the fun out of the air every time I met Grant and Lary for coffee. Then the day came when I wore the boots and bra.
"Look!" I insisted to Grant, jumping up and down, jiggling. "Look! You can't even tell I've gained weight!"
"Wow," said Grant, peering at me over his tea cup, "that's impressive."
Meet Hollis Aug. 22 at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road, where she'll sign copies of her third book, Trailer Trashed, or when she hosts the Charlotte Shocking Real-Life Memoir Writing seminar Aug. 24. Visit: www.hollisgillespie.com.