Life begins at parties.
You know who said that?
Brad. That's right.
BRAD: And someone else, but who cares?
He'd talked me into going out on a Wednesday night to some house party in the PC area.
ME: I'm not sure why I let you talk me into this.
BRAD: What's wrong?
ME: It's midnight on a Wednesday and I'm just arriving at a party.
ME: Brad, we're not in college anymore. We're in our late twenties.
BRAD: You're in your late twenties. I'm a sparkling nineteen.
ME: Is that the ecstasy, the alcohol, or the bitterness talking?
BRAD: A combo of two, now--
Brad suddenly had a devilish smile on his face.
ME: There's another reason I'm here, isn't there?
BRAD: Remember when you said you'd give me a chance to win some of the money I lost to you back?
ME: You mean when I transformed four little ducklings into glittering duckettes?
BRAD: That's right.
ME: Brad, I'm a little too busy to be taking on--
BRAD: Too bad. I have four boys inside this house who all need a mentor.
ME: Are they tied up in different rooms?
BRAD: Damn, I didn't think of that.
ME: So I meet these boys and then decide if--
BRAD: No, no, no. You accept the mission. You find the boys. You fix them by the end of the semester--
ME: Which school?
BRAD: Let's just say December.
ME: And you pay double?
BRAD: Or you do.
I was tempted, which means I said--
ME: How do I find them?
More of that devilish grin.
BRAD: Look for the purple ribbon.
. . . . .
The house was packed.
I only met my first pupil, because he spilled his drink on me.
BLAKE: Oh my God! I am so sorry!
I immediately noticed the red ribbon tied around his waist.
ME: Are you somebody's present?
BLAKE: Some cute drunk old guy gave this to me.
ME: That would be Brad, and you are--?
BLAKE: Blake. Is he your friend? Because I'm sort of dealing with Daddy issues because my father was really absent during my childhood. Do you want a drink? I'd get you one. You seem nice. Sorry about the spill. Want to take off your pants? Haha...Sorry, that was lame. But if you want to make out, I'm very sexually progressive.
BLAKE: In a hot way?
ME: In a wet way.
BLAKE: Haha...you're amazing. Do you think this could be fate?
ME: I think nothing about this was unplanned. Is there a bathroom in here?
BLAKE: Yeah, but, ugh, people were making out in it. I mean, good for them. I'm probably just jealous, but like, everybody needs love, you know? And I really have nobody in my life since my last boyfriend left. It's just--
ME: Hold that thought, Blake.
Okay, so clearly, a drama queen. That was going to be tricky, but not impossible.
When I got to the bathroom, I noticed a red ribbon tied around the doorknob.
One of the boys in here must be--
RANDOM GUY: Um...someone's in there.
The random guy who just popped out was still zipping up his fly when he warned me against going in.
ME: Yeah, I figured as much.
Was this guy my second student?
I had my answer when he took off, and a minute later another guy popped out looking really ashamed.
ME: Are you okay?
GUY: Yeah, I was just using the bathroom. What's your problem?
ME: I don't have a--
That was when this adorable girl appeared, and grabbed Byron's sleeve.
GIRL: You've become the worst date here.
BYRON: Sorry, Kat.
KAT: I'm only teasing, By. You know how much I love my boyfriend.
ME: Is your boyfriend here?
KAT: Yeah, this is him.
ME: I see.
KAT: Who are you?
ME: I'm Kevin. Did you know--
I saw Byron look at me with pleading in his eyes.
ME: --that koala bears are incredibly fertile?
KAT: Oh great, a zoology major.
With that, Kat took off with Byron following after her.
She calls him 'By'--how appropriate.
Once I wiped down my jeans in the bathroom, I found a note scrawled in lipstick on the mirror.
And nobody has better lipstick penmanship than Brad.
"Up the Stairs. Second Door on the Left."
If I walked in on any sort of spanking, the bet was off.
In fact, when I walked into the room, all I could see was red ribbon covering the bed.
ME: Went all out on this one, huh Brad?
VOICE: Are you Tony?
I turned around to see a jittery guy with tattoos staring at me like I was about to do a magic trick.
ME: No, are you Tony?
BOONE: I'm Boone
ME: You're kidding.
ME: Who's Tony?
BOONE: This...guy...I'm waiting for.
ME: Oh my God, are you soliciting?
BOONE: What does that even mean?
ME: Are you waiting for a prostitute?
ME: Oh, thank God.
BOONE: I'm waiting for my dealer.
Annnd we're done.
ME: You can't give me a drug addict, Brad!
I called up Brad from my cell phone while sitting on the staircase as people puked mere feet from my head.
BRAD: He's not a drug addict. He only smokes pot.
ME: That's still more than I do.
BRAD: Which is probably why diamonds are forming in your ass as we speak.
ME: I'm not dealing with a gay pothead.
BRAD: Great. You don't have to.
ME: So you're taking him off the roster?
BRAD: No kitten, he's not gay.
BRAD: He's my wildcard. A straight boy.
ME: That is--
As I was about to say 'bullpucky,' I felt a red ribbon be pulled down in front of my eyes.
I lifted the ribbon, turned around, and there was--
BOWIE: Looks like my Christmas came early.
BRAD: From the sound of it, you just met your last recruit.
I hung up the phone.
BOWIE: I'm Bowie.
BOWIE: Nice to meet you.
ME: Same here.
BOWIE: Sorry if I was a bit forward. Some guy left ribbon everywhere upstairs, so I thought I'd put it to good use.
So he's, what? A slut? Too direct? Same difference?
ME: It's fine, really.
BOWIE: So do you want to get out of here?
ME: Actually, I'd like to get to know you. I'm trying to make some new friends.
Four new friends.
BOWIE: Well, I don't really need friends.
ME: Everyone needs friends.
Bowie laughed. It was a...scary sort of laugh.
Then it stopped.
BOWIE: Look, you can either come back to my lovely apartment with me off Hope Street and screw until we pass out, or you can stay here, but considering you look like you got dressed at Savers, you should consider yourself lucky I ever pulled the ribbon over your eyes in the first place.
Uh oh. Dangerous, Will Robinson.
This guy was no mere slut. He was--
BOWIE: Fine. Stay. But just so you know, I'm going to go home, find you on Facebook, and send every one of your friends a message letting them know you use too much teeth while you're giving head. Maybe next time you'll be a little more humble when a cute guy offers you the night of a lifetime.
By the time I made it out of the party, the police were already on their way to break it up.
Brad was waiting for me outside on the lawn.
ME: A closet case. A straight stoner. A melodramatic case study. And--
BRAD: Bowie. Ain't he something?
ME: You've got to be kidding me with all this, right?
BRAD: Double or nothing means raising the stakes.
ME: Yes, but you drove the stake through my skull.
BRAD: So you're backing down? Because that means you pay up.
Trying to transform these four guys could give me a nervous breakdown.
ME: Start saving up, Brad. It's going to be an expensive Christmas.
I hear the looney bin is lovely in the fall.