Saturday, October 16, 2010

There's a story behind this picture.

I have this friend who's awesome. Sadly he's moved out of town so I only see him every couple months, but he's one of the most awesome people I know. He's exceptionally smart and funny, but far more importantly, he just has the kind of effortless self-confidence you can't buy in stores. I'm hesitant to describe him in too much detail because he knows basically everyone including famous people and all my friends including the ones I met in completely different ways, but he's the kind of guy who can walk down the street in a floral dress and diving mask with a live weasel on his head and elicit only admiration. And he's the kind of guy who would.

Let's call him PJ.

This morning, PJ was in town, and he called me up to accompany him on a little project. PJ had to repay a debt to a friend. This friend had loaned PJ a couple thousand bucks when PJ was going through hard times, and now that PJ was going through easy times, he wanted to repay the loan in style.

Our first stop was at the Bank of America. "I want to withdraw $2600," PJ said, "in one-dollar bills." We'd thought we might have to go to a few branches and maybe some fast-talking to accomplish this, but no, they had 2600 dollar bills on hand. They gave PJ 6 stacks of $100 and 2 fat plastic-wrapped bricks of $1000 without raising an eyebrow.

I should mention that PJ's friend is getting married tomorrow. Part of PJ's dream is that the friend and his new wife will now be able to fuck on a giant pile of money on their wedding night.

Our second stop was a luggage store. PJ bought a nice leather briefcase--crisp classic lines, rectangular profile, built-in combination lock.

Our third stop was at a grocery store. PJ bought six pounds of powdered sugar and a box of plastic baggies.

We went back to PJ's apartment and set to work. PJ carefully stacked the bills in the suitcase while his roommates and I packaged "the shit" in securely wrapped bricks. They had a glass coffee table, so I rolled up a bill and did a few lines. It was pretty sweet stuff.

Once the briefcase was packed, we were taking pictures, and we (okay, probably I) decided that the pictures could use a little pizazz. A little showcasing. I took off my top. PJ loaned me his 1950s smoking jacket.

And that's the story behind this picture.



  1. Bwahahahahahahahaha! That is the best thing ever to happen, as proven by SCIENCE.

  2. It's less "part of the dream," and more that, if someone gave *me* a pile like that, I'd have sex on it on the first available opportunity wedding night or no.

    I'm off to the wedding. The presentation is planned for the dessert course - I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. I have a wedding to go to on Monday. I now have a terrible (see also: wonderful) idea for my gift to the bride and groom!

  4. I suppose it goes without saying, but don't get caught with that. The police have prosecuted people for non-cocaine products (like baking soda) packaged to look like cocaine for "intent to sell," and they've gotten convictions. (They would have absolutely no trouble what with the 2,600 in cash, either, and the "cover" story would just elicit mockery from the prosecution in court.)

  5. Orphan, are you just a full-time enemy of joy, or what?

  6. No, it's just a part-time job. Moving to full-time gets better benefits, true, but then I have to start protesting pornography, which might require I stop watching it.

    More seriously, yes, it sucks, but the enemy here is a legal system which has moved from enforcing rule of law to enforcing morality.

    I'm not saying not to do this. I'm saying be informed of the risks, and take measures to ensure you don't run afoul of the law.

  7. Baking soda/baking powder carries a higher risk than powdered sugar, though--it actually *tastes* similar when the cops open the baggies. Powdered sugar might look like cocaine, but won't stand up to the first test they do (and might make them laugh).

  8. The groom was mighty pleased and entertained and plans to keep the briefcase forever as a treasured memory. The parents of the happy couple were also entertained, which was a more likely failure mode than the cops.

  9. Fantastic!

    I must say, I approve of the picture, as well.

    @Orphan: The police aren't enforcing MORALITY, they're enforcing a SYSTEM: conspicuous consumption, but only of what we say; free speech, but only what we approve. They are not the enemy, per se, they are only a tool of the system.

    While we have an obligation to defend our morality where we can justify it (and in this case, we can), we also must, to an extent, bow and scrape and lie about who we are to survive -- because the system has no flex for people like us. It's nothing to get angry about, any more than is eating: just as we must eat to survive, we must also occasionally fly under the radar. That is not the fault of the police, but the system itself.

    I say this as a preamble to the following question: though it might be incredibly naive, couldn't you just, you know, go to the police and say, "Hey, a friend of mine's getting married, I owe him $2600 and I thought a hilarious way to give it to him would be to present it this way (like a stripper in the wedding cake, which The System coincidentally approves)? It's just powdered sugar, I have no intent to sell it (and would I be telling you about it if I did?), so PLEASE don't freak out and arrest me on account of a gag gift?"

  10. PJ - That's awesome. :)

    Orphan and Anonymous - I have to reiterate here that in fact no one was arrested and we actually encountered no problems whatsoever with our load of powdered freaking sugar. So let's not get too deep into the implications of a horrible injustice that did not actually occur.

    Also, I don't think the police are enforcing a giant nebulous narrow-minded System so much as they're dealing with the fact that coke causes people to die of overdoses and have addicted babies and to commit violence to get more coke. Pardon my sympathy with the Evil Jackbooted Thugs, but have you ever heard the way a cocaine-addicted baby screams? It'd put you right off your powdered sugar.

  11. Holly -

    It's not that it did or did not, it's that it -could-. When you live in a society in which justice is a matter of not getting caught, rather than a matter of not harming others, you don't live in a good society. By that logic we should be perfectly fine with having laws against sodomy on the books, because after all they're not going to have any effect on us, personally, since we won't get caught.

    And all of society should not be structured around what pregnant women should and should not do, nor what a minority of irresponsible fools do - most cokeheads aren't poor people robbing convenience stores to get a fix, they're middle and upper class people who spend their own money and use the drug in a relatively responsible manner.

  12. @Holly:

    I wasn't trying to spoil the party, nor was I trying to suggest that there is some vast conspiracy involving the government and the police. I was trying to address a legitimate issue raised by Orphan: the fact that the Rule of Law bears no relation to morality, and that PJs perfectly moral gag gift could be prosecuted under the law. It wasn't (thank god), but that doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss the possibility, ESPECIALLY on a blog like yours that so strongly promotes freedom of expression and information.

    In an ideal world, the Law functions to prevent accidents. You follow the rules and society functions smoothly (morality is an altogether more complex system). It is the unfortunate (and thankless) role of the police to enforce regulations over which they have no control. Some of these regulations are beneficial to the population, some of them (like the illegality of marijuana) are more trouble then they're worth. But cocaine isn't illegal because it causes health problems; cocaine is illegal because, according to some, certain vices are "allowed" ("A working man deserves a beer" and similar sentiments) and others are perdita. Cocaine, via a stochastic process stemming, is one of those vices that is not legal.

    If the intent of the law was to promote healthy cocaine use, the drug itself would be legal and taxable; there would be regulations regarding distribution rates to prevent it being used by pregnant women or in doses that are problematic. Control it as best you can at the source and then use the police and the medical establishment to clean up the mess. On that note: alcohol should be more tightly regulated -- not illegal, certainly, because prohibition showed how well THAT worked, but certainly there should be "key exchange" laws that force people to hand their keys over to a bartender or be unable to buy a drink; likewise, unit sales should be limited for individual clients, and coordinated buying schemes compensated for -- but I digress.

    To address another point: I post here anonymously because, though I am not ashamed of your website (or anyone here), nor am I ashamed of MYSELF, I am absolutely TERRIFIED of the lowest common denominator in our society: King and Queen Mob who attack deviation wherever they see it (like some of the crazies who are currently running for office right here in America), who don their authority by virtue of being "just like you." Never mind that their worldview is just one of many; never mind that their worldview is extraordinarily narrow and rarely, if ever, justified or defended empirically: if you deviate from their model, they are quick to judge, quick to anger, quick to accuse, quick to denounce, and quick to screw you over. Once again, I'm not trying to create a conspiracy theory, but in our socioeconomic climate, it's not what you know, it's WHO you know.

    Let's assume, for the moment, that the lowest common denominator of society doesn't LIKE what you have to say on your blog, doesn't like the idea of Holly, Rowdy, and Sprite being an item and, worse, being HAPPY. Let's say they don't like anything you say. Well, that's their problem, right? Unless they see MY name here and say to themselves, "Wait, HE reads her blog? Like hell he's working for ME (ever)(anymore). Suddenly, THEIR problem becomes MY problem, and though I probably don't (or wouldn't) like to work for them ANYWAY, I don't grow my own food, so I still need a job to eat -- so I grit my teeth and post anonymously to fly under the radar of the lowest common denominator. I know it's arrogant to call them that, but I don't know what else to call the vocal majority who is too narrow-minded to accept alternative ways of living.

    Yours truly,

    An anonymous supporter of progress (whatever that means)

  13. I don't care who you are, that's funny.

    Love it.