Mad Monk of the Midlands

Name: Mad Monk of the Midlands

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Creepy Uncle Milo

After I write this, I’ll never be able to run for office. Just ask Al Franken in Minnesota. He’s being hammered for old Saturday Night Live Routines that are called insensitive, and more recently for an essay he wrote for Playboy eight years ago about virtual sex, which is being called pornographic. Ladies and gentlemen, the man was a SATIRIST! Satirists take mostly taboo topics and find a way to discuss them, since humans actually tend to think about taboo topics. It’s when we allow our thoughts to escape into the public venue that those thoughts may then be deemed as sinful.

Okay, so here goes! Although I must reveal that names have been changed to protect the seemingly innocent. Call this creative non-fiction:
We went to the usual five or six graduation parties this spring. They’re always somewhat awkward, since they bring in a diverse group – the graduate’s family’s friends from school, the group from the parents’ respective workplaces, the group of longtime friends, the group from church, the neighbors, and family members. You mill around, drop a card in the basket, hopefully with the appropriate amount of cash, and look for the food. And I’m always hoping there’s a cooler full of beer somewhere on the premises. Since it takes at least fifteen minutes to find someone with whom to strike up a conversation, I feel a need for beer, to loosen the tongue and ease the tension. Of course, everyone else is drinking water and wearing ear buds. They either don’t experience the fear of social interaction that I do, or they’re listening to their favorite band and don’t give a rip about interacting with anybody they don’t want to.

Finally I spy the graduate. She’s with a friend, but I make my way over to say, “Congratulations!” Nicole smiles and thanks me and actually introduces me to her friend, Melissa, who is 17 but looks 27. Melissa is a lovely girl, obscured by lots of big-girl makeup. She has also discovered Victoria’s secret, which is that any post-pubescent female can do some approximation of Dolly Parton.

“Nice to meet you, Melissa,” I smile, trying not to let my eyes drift to her low-cut tank top. I may be middle-aged, but I still have hormones. Desperately, my superego is screaming at my Id, “MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT!” “DON’T BECOME TOMORROW’S LEAD STORY!”

I can’t think of anything more to say to Melissa, so thankfully I am able to turn back to Nicole and ask the obligatory questions, like are you going to college and where? What will you do for the summer? Oh, that’s nice, great to see you, and I’m outta here!

On the way home, I can’t stop thinking about Melissa. Did she notice my bug-eyed look? Does she not realize the effect her WonderBra has on men? Is Nicole explaining, oh, that’s just Creepy Uncle Milo, he’s really socially awkward, and we all think he’s a perv??

And then I muse on the Media Mousetrap: They’re continually urging us all to be hyper-sexual, whether it’s some hot detective on CSI, or a super-model sauntering by the boys in a beer commercial. But just try acting on those urges once, and you’re Headline News! The media flaunt the cheese, and then cheer when you take the bait and get your neck snapped off.
Perhaps we could take a few hints from our Islamic brethren: temptation is best resisted when you COVER IT UP! But the economists intervene here, and remind you, SEX SELLS! Without bare midriffs and uplift bras, we couldn’t sell tanning salons and suntan lotion and expensive underwear and Viagra and condoms and Britney Spears. We couldn’t sell a lot of things, and the economy would be more in the tank than it already is!

And so I slink into my house, burdened by being creepy Uncle Milo, the guy who couldn’t repress or sublimate his urges. Maybe in the next life, I’ll be a mammal other than a human, a creature without guilt or regret. But for now, there’s one thing I know: after writing this, I can never run for office.