Demitasse #4

 

Demitasse -- a sip of the Compendium
November '96
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Demitasse is a free sip of the sardonic social commentary and reports of real-life weird that fill the Ladies' Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology (the Compendium).
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(c) copyright Kathy Biehl 1996

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Feel free to distribute copies or excerpts of Demitasse, as long as you include the copyright notice and do not distribute Demitasse for commercial purposes.
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CONTENTS:
Signs of the Coming Millennium
The High Seas of Androgyny & Ambiguity Flood the High Plains
Another Weird Slat in the Lattice O' Coincidences
What's up with the Society
What's up with The Compendium
How to subscribe to the Compendium
How to subscribe to Demitasse
The Compendium on the Web
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SIGNS OF THE COMING MILLENNIUM

O.J. Simpson defense counsel Johnnie Cochran is stumping for a mayoral candidate in Houston. He made an appearance on behalf of former police chief Lee Brown during a Baptist church service in August. To prove his identity to the congregation (apparently he looks shorter in person than on television), he began his speech, in a church, with this offering: "If they do not fit, you must acquit." Reportedly, the throng cheered.

Call 713/ 743-LOVE and you'll get a Christian dating service.
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THE HIGH SEAS OF ANDROGYNY AND AMBIGUITY FLOOD THE HIGH PLAINS Part Two

The Houston premiere of the gender-bending alternative theater piece "STEAK! The Musical" ran to conclusion this summer without the spilling of any blood. There was, however, a good deal of moisture of other sorts -- mostly rain, which leaked onto the stage and pelted the roof so loudly that two performances turned into Shouters' Theater and the band played "Singin' in the Rain" for the curtain calls.

As for other types, well, the assistant stage manager and most of the men in the cast took seats nightly at the curtain's edge to watch the simulated oral sex that began the second act. From the audience's perspective, it looked as if somebody beneath the bar was putting the voluptuous saloonkeeper into ecstacy as she wiped the bar glasses. (On closing night, she actually barked.) From the side, it was obvious that her boot was resting on the back of the saloon boy, who merely moved his back up and down to create the illusion (after which he'd crawl out on all fours, wipe his lips and ask, "Have I pleased you, mistress?") After this, the assistant stage manager would stand up, quiet close his folding chair, and walk away.
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ANOTHER WEIRD SLAT IN THE LATTICE O' COINCIDENCES

Potential new client phones. He says he's picked me out of the directory; my office is in a neighborhood he's lived in off and on for 20 years. He has probate questions about the will of a relative who died in Dallas; he knows he'll need a lawyer in that city eventually but wants to consult someone now to get an understanding of the situation. I agree to consult and mention that I know an attorney in Dallas who can help.

A few minutes into the consultation I take a good look at the will. The first witness' name catches my eye. I blurt that I went to high school with someone by that name. "So did I," says potential new client. I jacklight. "Highland Park High School, Class of 73," he announces. I stutter; that's my school and year, all right, but this man's name and face are not coming up in my memory bank. Then he admits that he didn't graduate with the class, but left in 10th grade to go to school in Corpus Christi. Something starts flashing in my brain; this sounds vaguely familiar.

He tosses out names of folks he hung out with, which forms a nearly inclusive line-up of the class's hoods and behavior problems. (He boasts of beating up John Hinckley after school in junior high.) The flashing still does not settle on a memory. We toss around names of grade schools and teachers and gradually figure out that we were in the same second grade class. I still can't quite place him. All I can remember about second grade is burning my leg against a wall heater in the cafeteria and falling into the creek across the street in my Brownie uniform.

He mentions a girl that he went out with in 9th and 10th grade. I had brought this very person up the night before at a play rehearsal. I'd said my opening night clique would be present; an actor had misheard the pivotal noun as a female body part; and I'd responded by telling the tale of a girl I'd known in high school named Clytie, who had sent in a reunion questionnaire announcing that her big accomplishment was having the orgasm of her life. I repeat this story to potential new client, who crumples. "I wish you hadn't told me that!" he moans. "She was my first girl!"

As the conversation winds down, I give him the particulars of the attorney in Dallas. He slams back against his chair. "I went to a slumber party at his house!" he exclaims.

That night I pour over junior high yearbooks. One does contain his name. I trace across the pages to the corresponding face and scream, "I remember that kid!"

As Miller says in "Repo Man," the lattice of coincidences just overlays existence. It don't mean nothing.
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What's Up With the Society

In November, many Society adherents can be spotted in the black box theater at Actors Workshop in downtown Houston late on Friday and Saturday nights. The reason for their convergence is a production of Eugene Ionesco's leading absurdist play, "The Bald Soprano," featuring yours truly as frumpy British matron / Republican housewife lookalike Mrs. Smith. Catch it at 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, Saturday, November 2 and Saturday, November 9 and at 8 p.m. Sunday, November 10. $10 cheeep. You can drink in the theater.

Health watch update: Special Pal Lizzie-Ba is finally walking again, albeit with a cane, after being hit by her own car in the hours before Friday the 13th in September. She left her Crown Victoria (yes, a *Ford*) running in the street while she dashed over to a friend's car to pass on a message. Lizzie's car backed up and pinned her against the door of her friend's car, which was also a Ford Crown Victoria (and the same color, too.) She's actively soliciting information about Fords slipping out of gear. We're actively soliciting get-well wishes for her. We'll forward to her any you care to send.
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What's Up With the Compendium

This September, The Houston Press named the Compendium Best Local Zine. While the "Best Of Houston" issue was still fresh, I dropped off the master of my next issue for copying. A customer at the counter was cutting out one of the "Best Of" listings and laying it out across the cover.

"Are you a Best?" I asked.

"Why, yes, I'm best barbecue," she answered.

"Cool!" I replied. "I'm a best, too. Best zine."

"What's a zine?" she asked.

I tried to explain, gave up and waved the master at her. Her eyes lit on the banner at the bottom:"Who's the Better Sport: Scott Adams or Dan Quayle?"

"Oh, is it political commentary?" she asked.

"No," I said, "It's a running commentary on things that are weird."

She glanced at the cover article about STEAK! "Cattle-rustling vegetarians -- that sounds like me!" she announced. "I own a barbecue restaurant and *I'm* a vegetarian!"
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How to subscribe to the Compendium

Send $10 ($14 outside US and Canada) for four issues to:
[defunct address] SEND BACK ISSUES INQUIRIES TO kbiehl AT fortunaworks.com]

Or send $6 ($10 outside US & Canada) for the current issue:

Death Valley Daze '96 (Vol. IX, No. 2 & 3 -- Double Issue!) featuring:
The High Seas of Androgyny & Ambiguity Flood the High Plains
Backstage shenigans pulled by the aberrant sorts who choose to
participate in sexually confused alternative theater.

Who *Is* the Better Sport: Scott Adams (Dilbert) or Dan Quayle
(Mr. Potatoe Head)? The answer may surprise. Hint: Wagner's
involved.

The Continuing Saga of a Boy & His Truck: New horizons in Ford
bashing. Includes visual aids.

Also: A tale of how much death and destruction a woman can
witness without losing her marbles! Letters! E-mail!
The second longest footnote in the Compendium's history!
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How to subscribe to Demitasse:

Demitasse is an electronic newsletter of highlights from the Ladies' Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology. It's published just as erratically as the print zine, which is to say, whenever. It will also contain behind-the-scenes announcements and ramblings that may or may not make it to the photocopied page. It's free for the asking! [address deleted due to defunctitude]

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The Compendium on the World Wide Web:

You are cordially invited to visit Cafe Compendium
http://www.fortunaworks.com/FortunaWorks/Cafe_Compendium.html
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