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My Cat's Girlfriend
A life-like adventure from Cheeseburger Brown
My Cat's Girlfriend

My cat has been known to lay a hat.

He drags it between his legs, grinding his pelvis into it while giving voice to throaty groans of of lust, sounding something like a mix between the growl of a savage dog and the whine of a dying motor.

The hat is made of yellow wool.

It used to belong to a Goan hipster hellbent on starring on his own TV show about Acid Jazz. He never took that damn hat off -- no matter the company -- except to sleep. He was happy to receive compliments about the skullcap-like toque, and quick to agree how it was the perfect folk-Canada piece to finish off his dashing and trendy outfits each night. His toothy smile would flash in his brown face as he grinned, "Everybody digs the hat. It's a bona fide phenomenon, man."

This is the story of how I stole his cool hat, and gave it to my cat to fuck.


The Dancing Cracker

I met the Hipster on the telephone. He'd been referred by a friend of a friend. We agreed to meet at a downtown club I wasn't familiar with, where the Hipster promised his name would gain me admittance to some sort of special lounge in the rear. "I'll be the tall Goan cat with the yellow hat," he told me.

"I have a big blue parka like Han Solo on Hoth," I said.

Later that evening a taxicab dropped me off on a street in my city I had never seen. It was snowing, and the wind was strong. I pushed my way blindly into the club's anteroom, and looked up to see the bouncer's unsmile. I mumbled the Hipster's name hopefully, and was pointed inside...

I stepped through the second door and into a thick wall of hot smoke and throbbing air (the genre of which I would identify as some kind of Hip-Hop, but musical holier-than-thous may have disagreed). Boys were cavorting on stage, and a crowd of kids in giant parkas just like mine were milling around the floor, talking and laughing and shaking hands in creative ways, kissing their own lips and puffing out their chests. Everyone was considerably blacker than I was.

I realised that my parka was decent cover for a honky in the hood, so I didn't give it up to the coat-check girl. (Besideswhich, all my bits and toys were in the pockets.) Also: it made me look bigger.

I tucked through the crowd until I reached the back: two payphones with crawling LED spam, and a closed door marked Private. Unsure but unwilling to appear so, I knocked.

It opened a crack, and a thick plume of marijuana smoke crawled out ahead of a bloodshot eye. I said I was looking for the Hipster, and the door opened up to admit me.

Inside, an interview was taking place.

Three musicians were sprawled out across a pair of mismatched loveseats, trying not to watch the greasy-looking white videographer in denim as he swooped and panned around them. Central to it all, the tall Goan Hipster was folded onto the edge of a small ottoman, gesturing broadly as the tail end of a long question dribbled out: "...In such as you may consider all of that, how would say your perspective on the total historical experience has been changed by the reality of the modern worldwide scene?"

The musician in the middle piped up: "We are the reality of the modern situation, yo. We live it, we say it, you know?"

"That's what our music's always been about," agreed the fat one on the right. "The history behind it, and like, the situation on the street."

"Yeah," said the third one.

This mimsy circle-jerk was interrupted by the greasy videographer as he hoisted the Betacam off his shoulder. "Battery's finished, man," he reported lamely to the Hipster.

Hipster and Greasy Videographer exchanged some harsh whisperings, and then the latter was sent out to the truck to fish for another charged-up battery. "We're gonna take five, cats," Hipster told the musicians and hangers-on. That's when he noticed me. "You must be --"

"CheeseburgerBrown," I said, shaking his long hand.

"Man," he said, "do you see what I have to put up with?" He pinched his thin, Portuguese-style nose at the bridge, closing his coal-black Indian eyes. "How am I ever supposed to pull a pilot together with these idiots from community cable?" He opened his eyes suddenly. "Say, did you bring your camera?"

"Sure," I said, slipping the compact Hi-8 camcorder out of an inside pocket.

Greasy Videographer still hadn't reappeared, so I plugged into his microphone in order to finish shooting the interview. "Make sure I'm always in the shot," Hipster whispered to me. I nodded, unfolding my Steadicam JR from my outside pocket, snapping the arms into place and screwing the camcorder on.

I took off my coat, and began the slow dance of the Steadicam operator, stepping daintily but with purpose, leaning this way and that in slow-motion over-balance as I floated the camera out in front of me.

"That is going to look so fucking cool," said Hipster as he watched the picture glide on my monitor. I saw his pupils turn to dollar signs, and I knew that I had scored the gig.

"Shit man," said the grinning fat musician, still sprawled on the couch and sucking on a marijuana cigar. "This cracker can dance."


Work is Work

The next time I met Hipster was in an edit suite at our city's community cable concern (now defunct). Greasy Videographer had become Greasy Editor, and was spinning the rubber wheels on the console in a surly fashion when I arrived. "What do you mean you erased it?" asked Hipster.

"I'm sorry!" grumbled Greasy Editor. "It was just a mistake."

Greasy Editor was a forty-year-old long-haired denim-wearing semi-moron with failure written all over his face. Hipster had told me on the telephone that Greasy Editor lived with his mother, and they shouted at each other endlessly about anything. He was a so-called "senior technician" at the community cable station. Watching him work the console, it was immediately apparent that he was not rich in talent. What a waste of mass.

I though to myself: at least a potato can be eaten.

Greasy Editor bumbled through the process of dumping my Hi-8 footage to Beta. When the interview was cut together, Hipster noted with diplomatic phrasing that the difference in style between Greasy's videography and mine was exacerbated by the harsh transition in the look of the picture. "It was shot with two different cameras," Greasy put in quickly. "There's nothing you can do about it."

I tugged on Hipster's elbow and whispered to him: "I am a wizard. I can fix anything. Give me a copy of the master tape when idiotsticks is done." I winked, and withdrew.

Back in my own laboratorium I digitised the interview, and massaged the signal levels to match between cameras. I added a warm bloom on the highlights of all of the footage, and -- as pretentious video people say -- crushed the blacks for a more film-like look. I added some motion-graphic elements, and dotted in some subtle sound effects from stock.

I couriered away a tape.

Hipster and I met in a crowded pub. Everywhere the Hipster liked to be was crowded. He drank something I've never heard of and I drank a pint of Creemore. He never took off his yellow hat. "The interview looks amazing!" he said. "I'm so glad to have you on board. Even though I haven't discussed it with you yet, you seem to instinctively get the vibe of what the show's going to be all about."

"Oh yeah?"

"It's called The Situation," he said, pausing for my awe.

"The Situation," I echoed, prompting him on.

"It's all about the situation in the scenes where the mainstream doesn't go, beneath the visible part of the iceburg of the culture, you dig?"

"I see," I said.

"It's about the unique social and musical situation that is created by the rich history of black music, of Indian music, of Cuban music, of everything that is part of the fusion of the cutting edge multicultural voices of Hip-Hop and Acid Jazz that are defining a new paradigm for music and the world."

"Oh, okay. And you want me to do digital post on the pilot, eh?"

"Yeah man, because I think you really get it."

I sipped my beer. Work is work.


African Trance

Hipster was just over thirty, and asking about highlights from his previous career returned only changes of subject. He lived in a rundown part of town off eastern Queen Street with a pretty Irish receptionist who had a dyke haircut and no hips. Inside the apartment were a bazillion record albums made out of some kind of weird, black material, inserted in cardboard sleeves.

"Where are we going tonight?" I asked, lighting a cigarette.

Hipster was running around his apartment barking at the Irish chick about her penchant for losing his laundry. "I have a freakin' job you know!" she screeched, wandering after him and rolling her eyes. It was true: she worked at the national headquarters of a local hip broadcasting concern, a fact which the Hipster planned to exploit once the pilot of The Situation was complete.

"I've told you a hundred times!" he roared from the bedroom. "Don't put my fine shirts there -- it creases them, for fucksakes!"

I flipped through the albums on the shelf until Hipster was ready. Grumpily, silently, he led me down the stairs and into the street, walking rapidly up Queen toward the streetcar stop. "Hipster, hold up," I called, but in his huff he ignored me and stalked on.

What a brat!

I got into my car and pulled up beside him. "Do you want a ride, or are you very dedicated to the streetcar?"

He cheered up once he'd fed my cassette player some Acid Jazz and turned it up too loud. He lit a cigarette, and posed for the passersby on the street with his arm out the open window. The music tweeted and burped and snapped in pleasant, syncopated loops. It reminded me of some kind of futuristic elevator muzak. "This music feeds my soul," he told me.

"Um. Is this where I turn?"

He nodded. Fifteen minutes later we were in a smoky tavern. The tables were filled, so we stood at the back. The band had been videographed at an earlier performance by Greasy -- we were just here for the interview. The men on stage were black and wizened, white-haired or bald, dressed in colourful robes and bead-based bling. Each of them had a different kind of drum, and a vocal mic. Their eyes were closed, and they were each weaving two threads of an elaborate, improvised audio tapestry.

It was not futuristic elevator muzak. It was hypnosis.

When the set broke four old men stepped gingerly off the risers and up to the bar. The leader of the band caught Hipster's eye, and then disappeared into a back room. Hipster tugged on my sleeve and I followed him, winding through the still applauding crowd and over the stage.

Hipster took off his yellow woolen hat to mop the sweat off his brow. He was nervous.

Inside the small dressing room Californian jazz giant Khalil Shaheed was draining a tall glass of ice water, a towel around his neck. Hipster launched immediately into a salutory/congratulatory/sycophantic oration while shaking Khalil's hand. I unfolded the camera mount and crouched in the corner, pushing a microphone out onto the table. "I can't thank you enough for honouring us with this interview," gushed Hipster.

"It is an honour for me to have an outlet to speak to the youth of the world," proclaimed Khalil magnanimously, sitting down and indicating that Hipster should do the same. Khalil sat like a king -- back erect, head tilted slightly back. "Shall we start?" he invited.

Hipster's questions were characteristically long-winded, meandering and ill-spoken. Khalil's replies were even longer, but delivered with the assurance and melodrama of a born orator. Swinging alternately from lecturing as a professor to extoling like a preacher, Khalil recited practised diatribes largely unrelated to Hipster's clumsy questions. Khalil was on autopilot. He was interviewing himself.

He illustrated key music points by producing short bursts of intricate rhythm with his mouth and hands -- little explosions of intoxicating tattoo and scat. "Hear that part there? On the three up, two down -- there, here, there -- it's a rhythm that speaks to people in a primal place, always has, since the prehistory of human sound."

When the interview was done we joined the rest of the band at the bar. The owner had locked the front door, and the floor had drained of all but approved after-hours VIPs. Khalil loudly orchestrated a round of drinks, beginning by taking Hipster's order and shouting to the room that he was an up and coming TV star.

"You're the cameraman," he said to me, noticing me putting away my gear. "What's your name?"

"CheeseburgerBrown."

"What will you drink, Cameraman CheeseburgerBrown?"

"Rye and ginger, please."

We all sat around a couple of pushed together tables with our drinks. Some brother busted out the cigars, and started industriously slicing them open to replace the tobacco with marijuana. Khalil held court, picking up thoughts left dangling in the interview, enjoying the sound of his own velvet voice as he pontificated on the collective destiny of coloured youth. Hipster did a lot of enthusiastic agreeing. I smoked and drank and watched and listened.

Khalil was definitively an African-American -- probably the first one I've ever met. His knowledge and love for African traditional artforms and heritage was rivalled only by the sheer bravado, gusto and faith of his Americanness. His reality was defined by the specific cultural struggle of African slaves freed in the United States in a way that painted every experience with colours utterly foreign to most of his white countrymen, a kind of all-encompassing monomania to theme every issue.

He reminded me of a character from Law & Order or something. Americans are weird.

"You don't say a lot, do you now?" Khalil asked me at one point.

"That's true," I agreed.

"Did you enjoy the show?"

"I enjoyed the show more than I can remember enjoying any music in quite some time."

"Is that a fact?" he asked me.

"Thank you very much," I added.

"Thank you very much," he said, laughing.


Capital Snow

My black VW Golf sailed along the highway, Hipster's favourite muzak pouring from every speaker. We were on our way to our nation's capital, to interview a painter, a DJ and the owner of a club -- a The Situation field-trip weekend of free food and free drink.

"It's a very special scene in Ottawa," Hipster told me. "That's where I grew up, by the way, after we moved from Goa." He paused, and then said, "Hey, you should be taping me now -- you know, musing about the local scene and my connection to it."

"I can't tape you while I drive," I pointed out. "Do you want to drive?"

"Actually, I never got my licence."

"I see."

We exited the highway, and Hipster directed me down the manicured streets expensively groomed by the National Capital Commission and into the historic ByWard Market. I parked the car in the setting sun. As we walked through the market Hipster explained: "My buddy Slickster owns a place here called the Neptune Lounge. That's where we're going to interview DJ Friendly, and probably Slickster himself, too."

"Okay."

We walked up a narrow flight of stairs, and into the Neptune Lounge. Slickster stood at the bar briefing his wait-staff before their shift, breaking with some sort of homegrown cheer. He turned and walked over to us, his arms and grin wide to embrace Hipster. As he did so he said, "Hey-y-y-y."

He wore a purple silk shirt, open too low at the chest. His teeth and hair gleamed. He was younger than Hipster -- maybe just a year or two older than I. Slickster ignored me like a piece of furniture until Hipster chose to introduce me. "This is the genius that's been shooting and packaging the show up for us, with computer graphics and everything," said Hipster.

"Hey Cheeseburger," piped Slickster in a syrupy, condescending tone; "maybe you'd like to catch a snack in the kitchen with the lighting guys while Hipster and I go out for a bite."

"No man," interjected Hipster. "This cat's coming to dinner with us."

"Oh, that's great!" said Slickster, smiling with his mouth and frowning with his brow. "I'll get Trophy and we'll get going."

The food was Italian, and hot. Trophy was Greek, and likewise hot. Slickster and Hipster were cool, catching up on one another's situations. They ignored Trophy and I. I tried to engage Trophy in conversation, but she was dumb as a post. "So, what do you do?" I asked.

"Oh, not much," she told me, her chocolate eyes deep like a cow's.

"Do you work at the lounge?"

"Not really, but I'm very involved with, like, promotions and stuff," she said, poking idly at her uneaten light pasta. "Which is cool."

Since the only other thing I could think of to add was You have really fabulous breasts I decided to just leave off chatting and return my attention to my plate. The waiter came by. "I'll have another rye and ginger," I said. "Make it a double."

Back at the lounge, DJ Friendly was spinning up to speed and the dance-floor was beginning to fill with trendy outfits wrapped around small people. I shot him in action for a while, and then between sets we went up to the roof for the interview. I took an immediate liking to the young black DJ: he was grounded and sensible, passionate in his interests and eager to learn about the interests others. Hipster became grumpy at having to interrupt DJ Friendly's talking to me in order to get on with his lame questions, and DJ Friendly became grumpy that our conversation was being constantly derailed.

"This isn't working," Hipster declared.

"No, no -- this is really cool," argued DJ Friendly. "It's not a traditional interview dynamic, but we've got a vibe going on."

"But I'm the host of the show," said Hipster.

Not one to argue with the producer, I shut my mouth. We captured a very dry, stilted interview between two people who had become antagonists. Cut! and -- print it.

Back inside the lounge, the evening wore on. I spent some time on the dance-floor, because I had become drunk enough on comp drinks to do so. Afterward, I stood on the balcony overlooking the dancing, drinking a glass of ice water and taking stock of the scene around me. DJ Friendly waved at me from his booth, and I smiled back.

Below, the darkness writhed as the lights pulsed. This was Hipster's "special scene" created especially by his beloved Acid Jazz music? This was The Situation nurtured by neglect of the mainstream, but which Hipster was convinced the mainstream would now embrace, escalating him to his broadcast destiny? This was his hook?

I couldn't help but laugh. What a maroon!

From Le moulin rouge to Studio 54, why do the ecstatic dancers of sensualist speakeasies always dream their altar is unique? It is the self-same nature of the revelry that ties them together across time, from the bottled love of lunatic ravers to the wine-soaked math of buggering Ancient Greeks.

There was no "situation" to speak of -- just Hipster's nursed-up nostalgia and narcissism. I sighed. It had been a long drive, and I was getting sleepy.

Hipster and Slickster were coking it up cool through the brown tubes of hundred dollar bills, set up by Trophy's powdery credit card. "Come on, CheeseburgerBrown!" invited Hipster. Hipster hated it when I wandered off alone, preferring me to hover close. "Somebody get him a drink! Want to do a line? Who has the weed? Can I bum a smoke? Hey, hey, hey! Let's dance!"

...We took breakfast late, on the patio in the backyard of Slickster's modest bungalow. The sun was painfully bright. I was cramped and bruised from trying to sleep on Slickster's loveseat (Hipster, who had rested comfortably on the spare bed, promised we would trade the following night), and Trophy was pale and slightly green. Slickster and Hipster were both uncharacteristically quiet, each nursing a throbbing brain. We all had slices of fruit, yoghurt and coffee except Trophy, who just smoked cigarettes and burped quietly behind her hand.

"So," Slickster asked me, "are you in school?"

"No," I replied. "Are you?"

Slickster and Trophy begged off from the trip over the river to Hull to interview a drunk Quebecois painter. Hipster was disproportionally put out by this, and acted sullen and whiny throughout the experience. A brief highlight: the drunk had painted a full-body posed nude of Trophy, which I quite enjoyed. Nice craftsmanship, I thought to myself. On the way back to Ottawa I meditated on how my appreciation for listening to Acid Jazz while driving was decaying exponentially.

Comp dinner at the Neptune's grill, comp drinks to get our motors running. Saturday night -- long line outside. The gates open at sun-down.

It was not deep into the evening when Slickster cancelled his interview, on account of extreme intoxication. Hipster was angry -- and he was expressive with his anger, because his tongue had been loosened by drink. "Everything with this cat always falls through!" he accused over the din of muzak and chatter.

"Sorry man," smiled Slickster, shrugging. Trophy hung on to his arm, drawing little circles on his shining suit jacket with her long fingernail. They disappeared into the crowd, her ass wagging playfully.

In the small hours of the morning Hipster and I stumbled out of the market and into the winter streets. I could not safely drive, so we decided to walk to Slickster's house. Hipster rambled on about the profound experience of Acid Jazz.

He interrupted himself to say, "You should be shooting this."

So I turned on the camcorder, holding it as steady as I could by hand while Hipster philosophised. It was embarassing to listen to, so I concentrated on getting a nice shot of his long brown face and yellow cap against the dawn-paling sky.

We passed by the Prime Minister's house, which was walled and quiet. The wall wasn't hard to scale -- as an angry Newfoundlander had proved the year before, stealing into the Chretiens' bedroom -- but we noted the two RCMP cruisers lurking in the shadows and so opted not to piss on the lawn.

Sailing on snow, Hipster was still interested in chatting up the camera once we got home. "I'm so glad you came along with me on this trip," he told me, staring out the window at the rising sun. "You're not like the other guys helping me out on this."

"How so?" I asked, yawning.

Empty flattery ensued. "...And, beyond all that, I think you really get it," he concluded. "I respect your opinion as a professional, and I want to know what you really think of the show. What do you really think of The Situation? I mean, I know I have the talent and the look to be a successful broadcast personality, but do you think it's all going to come together? Do you think we'll be able to sell it?"

I sighed inwardly. Why does every idiot with a half-assed dream want me to "honestly" evaluate its quality? It's a depressing chore. Why can't they tolerate my ambiguous good humour?

I turned off the camera. "Listen Hipster, I do good work for you, right?"

"The best," he agreed.

"And we're coming in on time and under budget, aren't we?" I prompted, and he nodded in reply. "It's a hell of a lot more palatable to have me along rather than Greasy, isn't it?" He nodded again. "Well then," I said, "why complicate matters further?"

He leaned forward, furrowing his brow. "What do you mean?"

"I don't want to tell you what I think."

"Why not?"

"Because people usually only ask for other people's opinions when they're pretty sure the opinions will be positive. Your pilot is almost finished now, anyway. What are you going to do -- start over?"

"No, seriously. I'm asking for your professional criticism. Be harsh."

"You'll be upset."

"It won't change a thing. Give me your clinical opinion. What do you think of The Situation from a dispassionate, professional point of view?"

I sighed. He watched me with open, bloodshot, expectant eyes. I lit a cigarette, and drew on it a bit. "Hipster," I said, "the show will never be picked up as a series. It is conceivable that it may be aired as a one-off on public television, but it will never be sold to a private network. A more likely best-case-scenario is you using it as a showcase piece for your on-air performance abilities such as they are."

"You don't think it will be picked up?" he echoed, puzzled.

"No."

"Why not?" he challenged.

"The premise is flawed, the writing is muddy and the execution is amateur. The heart of the show -- the interviews -- are hard to cut tightly, because you're inexperienced: your questions meander and you tend to interrupt the subject a lot with self-aggrandising nonsense, to forcibly include yourself in a subculture you've outgrown. And, while much of the material is middling interesting, there doesn't really seem to be a cohesive thread to tie it all together -- in short, no point."

"You don't see the point?" he echoed, aggressively.

"Not really."

"So you've missed everything I've said about the unique social and artistic situation fostered by Acid Jazz?"

"No, I didn't miss that stuff, Hipster. I just disagree."

He became exasperated, melodramatically incredulous. "How can you disagree?"

"Is this a trick question?" I asked, frowning. "I disagree on account of thinking your basic premise is mistaken. What you've identified as intrinsic to a particular subculture is actually universal to human experience."

"That's not the premise of the show!"

"What's not the premise of the show?"

"That bullshit you were saying."

"Oh, okay. So what's the premise of the show, Hipster?"

"The premise of the show The Situation is to celebrate the artistic freedom that is only possible when a movement is cultivated outside of the mainstream."

"And your plan is to reward them with mainstream exposure?" I squinched out my cigarette in the ashtray on the coffee-table between us. "On the one hand the mainstream represents everything you hate, but on the other hand you count on the mainstream to give you a career and make you famous. Don't you see the inherent contradiction?"

Hipster sat in stony silence for a moment. Outside, a few lonely winter birds were chirping to the morning. "Well, I'm going to bed," he announced, standing up and walking toward the spare bedroom.

"Uh, Hipster?" I called, and he paused. "Actually, it's your turn on the couch."

He slowly turned around. "Are you sure?"

My patience ran out. I frowned, closed my eyes and snapped, "What do you mean am I sure? What kind of a fool question is that? Don't you remember that you slept in the bed last night?"

"I didn't know we were taking turns."

"It was your idea to take turns."

"Well, there's just no way I'm going to fit on that little couch. I'm too tall," he said, shrugging. "I'll make it up to you, okay?" he said, turning back toward the bedroom.

"I don't think so. I have to drive tomorrow. I need a good night of sleep. Stand aside."

Grumbling, Hipster reluctantly sat down on the couch to smoke a cigarette and pout. "Maybe we should just stay up all night," he suggested.

"Good night," I said, walking to the bedroom.


Chief Petty Officer

Once back in Toronto the situation degenerated. Though continuing to claim otherwise, Hipster was cool and abrupt with me now that it was revealed that we weren't philosophically aligned. Too proud to take any more advice from someone with whom he had disagreed, he made stupid technical decision after stupid technical decision. He became surly on the telephone and brusque in person.

The final interview shoot was scheduled and then cancelled twice at the last minute without apology, so I refused the next booking. Greasy tried to fill in, but flubbed it, mangling the recording and wasting hundreds of dollars. In frustration Hipster blew up at Greasy and Greasy quit. "I need you to do all of the shooting and editing now, CheeseburgerBrown!" Hipster commanded one day after showing up at my work, but I begged off.

"I don't have that kind of time to commit, Hipster. I still have a day job, you know," I said, gesturing around at my office.

"But what am I going to do?" he whined. "I'm totally out of time and money!"

"Well, consider this: your work may flourish outside of mainstream exposure."

"That's not funny."

"I'm pretty sure that it is," I argued. "And that's above and beyond its face value as poetic justice."

"You're saying I deserve this?"

"I'm saying you've treated your people imperiously, so I'm not surprised that no one is willing to toss you a bone."

"Imperiously?" he echoed, stumbling on the unfamiliar word. "You're the one with the bad attitude!" he spat. "You're the one who doesn't believe in the show."

"Indeed. And yet I'm the only one who produces broadcast-quality results. Go figure."

He paced back and forth a few times, and then tried a different tack: "I'm sorry we got off the wrong foot here today, CheeseburgerBrown. I'm just pissed off at Greasy. You're right, you're the best. I need you. Please do me this favour."

"I can't work for free, Hipster. I'm sorry."

He swore, he muttered, he chided and insulted, and then begged again. It was boring to watch him flail. Eventually he left. I noticed something yellow lying in the corner behind my desk, and I realised that in his tizzy Hipster had left behind his precious woolen hat.

Later that night he called me about it. "Hat?" I said. "What hat?"


Woolen Vixen

My wife and I keep a cat named Frick (ne Freak) who once belonged to a golden-haired primary-school teacher. Marriage was proposed by her middle-school teaching beau, and they moved in together, quickly discovering that the beau was violently allergic to Frick the cat. "I will adopt the cat," offered Littlestar, my girlfriend at the time.

The golden-haired teacher packed up many toys for Frick, but his favourite toy could not be brought: a yellow, woolen toilet-seat cover he had taken to dragging around and humping since he was a kitten.

Once delivered to our house, Frick forlornly searched every room for his missing inanimate companion. He meowed plaintively in the bathroom, poking around at the toilet and looking up at us in confusion. LittleStar was heartbroken. "Poor Frick! He's lost everyone he loves in one day. We need to go out and buy him a toilet-seat cover."

An idea occured to me. "Be right back!"

I returned to the bathroom with Hipster's hat, fresh from my closet all these long months. I offered it to the cat. Frick sniffed the hat experimentally. He licked it. After a moment, he began to purr. He took the hat out of my hands, and sat on it.

"I think we have a winner," I said. "Frick: meet your new girlfriend."

Frick responded by baying like a mistuned violin. He then began a slow gyration that made me feel uncomfortable, so we left him alone.

...Though the pilot was apparently finished off somehow, The Situation was never picked up. Hipster was dumped by his economically-supportive Irish receptionist girlfriend, and was therefore obliged to move back to Ottawa. As far as I know, Greasy still lives with his mother.

In the middle of the night, when I hear Frick dragging that hat around, singing to it and screwing it, a smile crosses my lips. Something in that hat inspires Frick to passion...I don't know if it's the Goan sweat or the buried stink of old smoke, or, just possibly, it's the soul-moving energy of Acid Jazz itself.

Whatever it is, that hat sure does make him horny.

Fin.


CONNECTED STORIES
Four Corners of a Box | Ode to Littlestar | Bimbonic Radiation Overdose | The 25 Day Loaf

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