Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Honey Bee

 Chapter I

Petey The Homo

An Introduction To The Sheer Ingenious of Fenton Niles


Baby, you’re a wildcat

And I am but an eskimo child

Baby, you’re the sharp cheese

And I’m at best only mild

We’re complete opposites

Like “before” and “after” smiles

But if you be my one true love,

My dick could go for miles.

- Slanteyed,

Root Canal


            He sits, waiting for me. He has been sitting in this coffee shop for an hour, his watch tells him. He checks his phone again. He checks his watch again. There’s a guy sitting alone at a table across the lobby. The guy smiles at Josh.

            “Date stand you up?” The man flashes a wide smile.

            “Yeah, something like that.” Josh checks his watch. He checks his phone. Still nothing.

            And then, I enter. Now, because this is my story and I do have a bit of free reign, I’m tempted to say something dramatic like

            Fifteen doves flutter through the doorway. Everyone turns as Fenton Niles emerges from the darkness outside, White Snake’s “Here I Go Again” blasts through the speakers as he enters.

            but that would be foolish. There are only thirteen doves and it’s Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” that’s playing. I like to keep it classy.

            “You’re late. Again. Dick.”

            “Hey, hey, hey, if you know where I’ve been, you’d be telling me I was early.” I sit down, smiling like a bastard.

            “Where have you been? Did you bang number four yet?”

            “Why yes, Joshua, I did. But there’s a funny story about it I gotta tell you.”

            Now, you’ll hear that story, but just not now. Let’s fast forward through it. I’m getting to something, trust me.

            Josh chuckles. “You are insane, man, I gotta say.”

            I’m barely breathing between bellows. All of a sudden, the man from across the room walks over.

            “I’m sorry, boys, but I couldn’t help but overhear your story...”

            Josh and I exchange awkward glances. I look at him, “I’m sorry if I offended you,” I start.

            “No no no, you didn’t offend me. Don’t get me wrong, what you did was not right, but I’m not offended. I was just wondering what that woman did that hurt you so bad that you feel you need to treat her so poorly?”

            Josh and I lock eyes again. You see, when I first started my conquest, Josh set a few ground rules. But front and center was the most important one: “Don’t tell a fucking soul what you’re doing.” Now, up until this point, Josh and I had honored that to a degree–Josh’s girlfriend Emma knows about the list, and disapproves of our continued friendship because of it. Also, our mutual friend Degg knows about the list as well.

            At this point, Josh’s eyes are digging into me.

            I smile. “Should I tell him about the list?”

            Josh looks him up and down. “Do what you want, bro.”

            He’s an older gentleman, very Southern, and looks more curious than anything.

            “If I’m being a bother, I can just go,” he says.

            I smile wider. “Sit down, Pappy, I’m going to take you for a ride.”

            The old man pulls out a seat and plops down.

            I lean over. “Fenton Niles, this is Josh Burns over here.” I shake his hand, and he nods at Josh.

            “The name’s James.” He smiles.

            “I’m gonna call you Paps. Is that alright, Pippy-pappy?”

            James opens his mouth, “Tha-”

            “Okay, Paps it is, I say. You see, it all started in grade school. I was in love with this girl whose parents ruthlessly named Honey,”

            “And this is the girl is the girl whose [CRUCIAL PLOT ELEMENT DELETED] you [CRUCIAL PLOT ELEMENT DELETED]ed?”

            “No, no, no, that girl was fourth on my list. Be patient, Pip-paps.”

            He leans back in his chair. At this point I think it dawns on him what a mess he’s gotten into.

            I take a moment, flash my shit-eating grin around the table, and continue.

            “Now, I was in elementary school at this point in time...”


            There she sat. Honey Beatrice Smith. Yes, those morons actually named their child Honey Bee, and because of that I know there is a level in hell secured for them.

            She was on the playground, swinging on the swings, laughing her pretty blonde ass off. I was with my buddies, who were only my buddies because it was 1986 and we all loved the show ALF. This indelible brotherhood would be shattered two years later when one of us suggested that ALF isn’t actually real, causing a veritable World War 3 to break out. The battle was so fierce that Peter Richards had to switch schools three years later to finally shake the nickname “Petey The Homo.” I saw him in 1997 and he scowled at me.

            But right now, me and the future Petey-Homo Richards are just fine, because we are staring at Honey Bee swinging on the swings. Some people know exactly where they were when they heard John Lennon died or when the events of September 11th happened; well, I know exactly when puberty kicked in. On that playground that day, watching Honey Bee swing as the back of her shirt flew up and down. That wasn’t the juicy part: her pants were halfway down and a pair of bright pink-and-purple panties smiled at the two six year olds staring back. At that moment, I knew that I loved Honey Bee Smith. It was as factual as “the sky is blue.”

            This obsession, or as I prefer to call it, “overly-active, occasionally dangerous one-sided love” carried on for years. I never told a soul.

            Until the eighth grade. This is the story of why you should never tell.



            I walked out of Science class, and glanced left. Honey Bee was sitting by herself, with her newly-grown breasts fighting for air inside her too-thick-for-late-May sweater. Now, we’ve been in school together long enough to know exactly who each other were. Or so I thought.

            I stroll her way. “Hello,” I say. I was timid as fuck, and like sharks, women can sense that.

            “I’m sorry, your name?” Not even a complimentary “hello” back. Bitch. She’s like Fort Knox.

            “Hah, I’m Fent, er, Fent, ah, Fenton.” Inside of my head: Dumbass, dumbass, dumbass. Stop stuttering!

            “Oh, yeah, doesn’t everyone call you Fenny?”

            “Ha, yeah, but I prefer to go by my proper na-”

            “Oh! They call you ‘Fenny The Tranny’!”

            (Petey The Homo wasn’t the only casualty of The ALF War, sadly.)

            “Ha, that’s only a stupid thing my friends started-”

            “OH! Didn’t you cry when we watched Bambi last year?”

            “No no no, that wasn’t me. But in all honesty that ending is pretty damn sad and I wouldn’t fault anyone who did...”

            She rolled her eyes. “Sure.

            It’s at this point, where the tiny party dude inside my head spoke up.

            You’re dying, Niles. You’re fucking dying up there.

            I know! What should I do?

            Ask her to the dance, man!

            The dance?! I don’t think I can transition into that at all from where I’ve left this conversation.

            Dude, tell her about the JAGUAR. Chicks love cars!

            You sure?

            Do you honestly think every 80's movie would lie to you?

            She said, “Umm, Fenny, are you okay? You’ve just been staring at me for like thirty seconds and your face is twitching really weird...”

            “Ha, was I doing that? Sorry! I was just thinking about my grandfather’s awesome Jaguar.”

            She looked up! It worked! “Really? Your grandfather has a jag?”

            “Yeah! And I’m totally talking about a car and not the animal!”


            “Nothing! So I was wondering, would you go to the Year’s End Dance with me if I picked you up in it?”

            “Wait, you can drive?”

            “Well, umm, no. But my Gramps does. We’d sit in the backseat and he’d promise to play the radio loud so we can talk about anything.”

            Now, when it comes to reading faces, I’m an expert. Such a pity that my skill doesn’t pre-date the eighth grade. What I thought was a pretty girl being giddy about a nice boy asking her out, was actually the look of a Siren sizing up her prey.

            “Umm, sure. Would you like me to write down my address for you?”

            “Of course!”

            So we set the date. And I gotta tell you, those days in between that conversation and the dance were some of the most exciting of my life. I told everyone that I was taking a girl to prom. I mean, I’m pretty sure that up until that point, I hadn’t even talked to a pretty girl on my own. And on my first try, I got her to go on a date with me. I was one-for-one, not even the richest professional poker player has those odds. And like some professional poker players, I was going to crash hard.


            It was the day of the dance. My grandfather picked me up early in the morning. He took me to a nice store and bought me some fancy clothes. As I looked at myself in their big mirrors, I heard him mutter “I’m so happy he’s not gay” to the clerk behind the counter.

            On the way to Honey’s house, he looked at me through the rear view mirror. I was beaming. He smiled.

            “Now, son, before we get there, there are a few things I want to talk to you about.”

            “Yeah, Gramps?”

            “I want to talk to you about love. Love can be a scary thing.”

            “I know, Gramps, I’ve seen Fatal Attraction. Although I think the moral of that story is ‘Never bang Glenn Close.’”

            “No no no, son. I’m talking about love between a guy and a girl that might not entirely like him.”

            “What are you saying, Gramps?”

            “I’m saying that maybe, just maybe, this girl might not be as excited about you as you are about her. So when she sleeps with you, you definitely need to be protected.”

            Sleep with me? What are you talking about?”

            “Hey, listen, Fenton. I watch the news. This is 1992, I know what the kids are doing at dances nowadays. There is some debauched stuff going on in there. Trust me, it’s like a Mexican orgy, but without the safe words.”

            “I’m totally lost, Gramps.”

            He stopped at a red light, and turned to look at me. “All I’m saying is, be safe, kiddo. I got you these.” He tossed the box at me. On to my lap landed a box of Big Bo-ee Condoms. I looked up at him, terrified.

            “But, uh, I thought there was just going to be dancing...”

            “Your naivety is adorable, Fenny, but it’s time to grow up. You’re in for quite a night, my friend.”

            “But, but, but do I have to? I mean, what if I just want to dance?”

            “That’s not up to you, my boy. If she wants to dance, you dance, Fenton. But if she wants to take you down the rabbit hole, you better fucking man up. After all, you are my grandson. What would the guys back at the ‘shop think if they heard Fred Niles’ grandson was too wuss to even hit a cheap floozie when she gave him the go-ahead?”

            I just stared.

            “Well?” He glared back.

            “Umm, they’d be, uh, disappointed?”

            “Damn right they’d be disappointed. And they follow the high school gossip, Fenny The Tranny. So if this skank puts out, what do you do?”

            “Umm, have sex with her?”

            “No no no, what do you do first?”

            I thought as hard as I possibly could. “Take off my clothes?”

            “No no no, that’s past tense. What happens after you put on your birthday suit?”


            “Gramps, this is making me very uncomfortable.”

            Answer me, goddamnit.

            “Umm, put on the condom?”

            “Yes! Finally! You put on the condom. And then you’re all set for as many times as you want. Trust me, I know these things.”

            He pulled up beside her house. I shook my disgust and suddenly became incredibly nervous.

            “Go on, now, my big man. Go get that dirty high school slut-burger.”

            I opened the door of the car and stepped out. I inhaled and exhaled, and each was a chore. I became lightheaded. Everything seemed like it was floating in invisible water. I worried I’d fall over.

            “Go on, kid, I’m fucking idling. It’s terrible for my mileage.”

            From somewhere, I mustered confidence. I walked up to her doorway and placed my finger on the doorbell. I stood there, waiting. Thirty seconds passed, nothing. I pressed the doorbell again. A minute passed, nothing. I looked back at Gramps. He shrugged. I pressed the doorbell again, and knocked. I heard footsteps from inside. My body tensed up. The doorknob turned, the door opened and Honey Bee...

            (Wait for it.)

            ...’s mom answered. “Can I help you, little boy?”

            “Yeah, I’m here to take Honey to the dance.”

            “Oh, oh, I’m sorry, you must be mistaken.”

            That invisible water flooded my brain, and ran all through my eyes. I felt like I was looking at her through beer goggles. “What do you mean?” I’m sure I said, but it could’ve come out as gibberish.

            “Well, she’s already been picked up by another boy. I’m very sorry. Maybe she forgot to tell you?”

            It hit me. I’d been stood up. I was a failure. A moment ago, I was worried that I’d be losing my virginity. But now, I wouldn’t even get a chance to do some mid-dance ass-grabbing.

            I returned to the car, head hung low in defeat.


            “Wait, wait, wait, wait, Fenton.” Jim says, knocking me out of my groove.

            “What in the fuck, Pappy?”

            “You’re telling me, all this girl did was stand you up?”

            “Ha, I wish. Let me finish: So Gramps takes me to the dance anyway...”


            “Well, maybe, maybe she just plum forgot, Fenton? Maybe she’s realized who she really was supposed to be with, and is waiting for you at the dance right now?”

            “Maybe, but I think it’s a fat chance, Grampa.”

            His Jaguar pulled into the middle school parking lot. Gramps turned around again, and looked at me. “You know what you gotta do?”

            “Avoid her and lean against the loser wall, talking to another social reject about how awesome his Super Nintendo is?”

            “You could, but you could also walk up to her and tell her off.”

            I met his gaze for the first time since I got back into the car. “What?”

            He had a crazy fire in his eyes. “March in there, walk right up to her and tell her, you tell her what a bitch she is for ditching you, and you tell her how much she is losing out by bringing a loser to the dance. And then turn around, and walk out. I’ll be waiting.”

            Suddenly, the nervousness returned. This was my first taste of revenge, and I already knew we were going to be great friends. “I’ll do it!”

            I exited the car. I walked up the steps, through the doors, and into the gymnasium. I stood in the doorway, surveying the room like a predator. Right in the middle, there she was. Honey Bee, my angel, dancing with Denny Allen. Biggest douchebag loser in the world. (He would go on to father three children out of wedlock with two different girls, and land himself in prison for getting too friendly with his fifteen year old niece at a picnic. Classy guy, way better choice than me, right?)

            I walked toward her. She saw me and froze. We made eye contact, and I held it. It was like those moments in the movie where the music stops and everyone in the room watches intently. I made my way through the crowd. Suddenly, at that moment, I felt powerful. I felt like I could say anything I wanted to her, I felt like I could unload all my pent up feelings.

            I walked up to her and screamed “Listen, Honey! When I asked you out, I didn’t ask to be.”

            And that’s all I could say, because at that moment, Denny’s fist connected with the side of my face. It made its way across and busted my nose, sending blood shooting out on our classmates like Gallagher’s most disturbing version of his act. I stopped being conscious at that moment, but after talking to about seven different people afterward, here’s what happened next:

            I hit the floor, hard. My brain might have been shut off, but my eyes were open. Honey walked over to where I lay, and looked down. She knelt, looked right into my face and screamed (and for some reason, I do remember this part,)

            Fenton Niles, you are a stupid fucking dumbass loser and there is no way in hell I would ever be caught dead with you, much less at a dance. So leave me alone you creepy fucking stalker or I’ll have Denny finish you, I swear to God!

            She spit on my bloody face (now leaking down into a puddle on the floor) and walked away.

            My grandfather had made the wise decision of following me just to see me do it, and was there in moments. He picked me up and carried my limp, defeated body back to the car. He wrapped my head in old newspapers to keep the blood from dripping onto the seats, and drove away.


            The coffee shop is silent. Even Josh, who has heard the story a thousand times, is visibly shaken by it. Jim’s effervescent smile fades.

            The silence lasts for a few minutes. Slowly, conversations start picking up again all around the shop.

            Finally, Jim asks, “So, this chick was number one on your list?”

            I nod.

            “And you said you got her back, right?”

            “Yes, Jim, yes I did.”

            “Well how? I gotta know now, buddy.”

            Josh interjects. “We need to leave now or we’re going to be late, dude.”

            I look at Jim. “Can you walk with us for a little bit? I’ll tell you the story on the way.”

            Jim says “Sure. Where you boys headed?”

            “We’re picking up our friend Degg from work, and taking him out on his birthday.”

            Jim smiles. “That’s mighty nice of ya..” We pay for our coffees and exit.

            We walk out onto the street. I begin part two of my story...


Chapter II

The Origin of the List

Honey Bee Gets Stung







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