Hi, my name is Chip, and I’ll be on your shoulder this evening.

Last night at the bar, a friend and I were distracted by a beautiful man taking off his shirt. He was standing with his back against the bar, facing us. A small cadre of piranhas had gathered around him. The guy who had asked him to disrobe — let’s call him Chip — draped the shirt briefly and inexplicably across my friend’s shoulder. Pleased to be included in the proceedings, we continued watching. How could we not?

Seconds later, the heavenly creature was persuaded to drop his pants to his ankles. We all cooed in approval. He was hairless, except for a trail of fuzz that ran south from his tight navel and dashed seductively under the waistband of his powder-blue briefs. Chip then grabbed the waistband and unceremoniously yanked the shorts down hard.

The guy put on a good show of being embarrassed and tugged them half-heartedly back up his thighs, but Chip was pretty insistent about leaving him exposed.

My friend and I looked at each other. “That’s not something you see every day at this bar,” I said, loud enough for everyone around me to hear. Like the red-blooded American homosexual males we are, we continued to react loudly and enthusiastically to the gentleman’s sudden and unexpected nudity.

Chip turned half-way to us and said something we couldn’t understand. Something about chocolate.


He repeated himself louder, or said something similar, but it still wasn’t making sense to us. It was something like: “You can stop talking about chocolate now. I know you don’t like the chocolate boys.”

My friend and I were incredulous. Who said anything about chocolate? Was he talking about black boys?

Whatever it was, Chip continued laying into us. It seemed that he was accusing us of being racist. Chip is African American. But we had said nothing about him. We had said nothing to him. We weren’t even looking at him. We were too distracted — and rightfully so — by the gloriously indecent exposure before us.

“Dude,” my friend said, “We don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

“We’re not talking about you, if that’s what you think,” I added. “We were talking about the naked guy.”

Chip was clearly agitated, and he continued his tirade. The more he said, the more worked up he got. There was something menacing and cold in his voice. It was all so sad and stupid. A moment that was so frivolous and harmless and fun had been sucked dry in just a few seconds by this guy, and all because of assumptions he was making about us. Who’s the racist here?

I wanted to try to figure out what he thought he’d heard us say so we could defuse the situation and move away without any trouble. I imagined we might laugh uneasily at the silly misunderstanding — uh heh heh heh… — and assume stations at opposite ends of the bar without any fuss. And I might have tried to play the peasemaker if he hadn’t then turned to my friend directly and said, “And by the way, I’m better-looking then you are, too.”

My friend sort of recoiled, wide-eyed and incredulous. It was making less and less sense. Chip then let loose on several aspects of my friend’s appearance. Chip evidently did not approve of certain things. What the hell was going on? He was fighting back with personal insults when we never even attacked him (or addressed him, for that matter) in the first place?

“Whoa… wait a minute. Where did that come from?” I asked. “What are you talking about?”

“Hey, fuck you!” my friend shouted back.

At this point, I grabbed my friend’s bag and pushed it into his hand. “This is crazy. Let’s just go,” I said, not wanting to see who might get hurt if the situation escalated (it was less likely to be my friend).

Neither of us knew what Chip had heard or what he was going on about. “Bravo,” I said to him. “Have a lovely night.”

“Yeah, you too,” he said coldly.

“You bet,” I said. “Of course.”

I tugged at my friend and we headed toward the door. “Yeah, fuck you, you little asshole,” he yelled to Chip.

And when I got outside, I realized that I was in such a hurry to get away from the danger that I had forgotten to say good-byr to any of the peopel we were with. A complete stranger’s idiocy had just completely scared me out onto the sidewalk.


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