Sedaratives: Mike Doughty
We’re thinking about ordering a pizza, but it just seems like such a boring, predictable meal. Are we overthinking it?
Shannon and Linda
Dear Shannon and Linda,
There’s something about pizza in the South which is really interesting. You have to do this kind of cognitive disconnect from your Grecian ideal of pizza and think about it more along the lines of bread-item with cheese-and-tomato stuff, and then it’s quite enjoyable. Are you aware of this practice of putting ranch dressing on pizza? I assure you, it’s everything it sounds like. I was introduced to it by a travel agent who was hanging out in my motel room. She had just gotten her belly button pierced and her midsection was wrapped in cellophane. She said her piercer had forbidden her to have sex for a month for sanitary reasons, and I, having taken quite seriously the no-means-no stuff I heard in college in the late ’80s, took this as gospel. But in retrospect, I think she wanted to sleep with me, she just wanted some kind of minor stricture to break in the process. Or maybe she wanted me to beg.
Alcohol is fantastic and sugar is fantastic. Why is sugar alcohol so mean to my digestive system?
Tom Miner Basin, MT
I didn’t finish my story about the ranch dressing on the pizza because I was waxing woeful about women who wanted to sleep with me that I was oblivious to. So, I used to order wings along with the pizza just to get the ranch dressing, because I thought it was a special thing the travel agent with cellophane wrapped around her midsection did, and how gruesome, right? But then I realized that I didn’t care how the pizza person judged me. I ordered ranch dressing and he added it to the order for an extra seventy-five cents without batting an eye, and it dawned on me that people actually did this, this was an accepted practice. I wouldn’t do it in New York, because, though I try to live by the maxim, “What other people think of me is none of my business,” I don’t want to be negatively evaluated, or disdained as a rube.
My eyeliner keeps smearing underneath my eyes. What’s your trick?
My trick? David, there’s no trick, just be honest with yourself. There’s no hokum. I promise. And David, you be happy with yourself just as you are, smearing or no. You know what’s been bothering me? Whether Ol’ Dirty Bastard was a comedian or not. I mean, many of us judged him as simply crazy, but what was that episode of taking the limo to cash a welfare check on MTV if not genius satire? For a moment, it made me queasy, because I thought maybe I’m a racist for just assuming, as in, “Oh, black guy, must be crazy.” But then again, the first time I saw Bobcat Goldthwait not in his 80s character, I was taken aback. David, I must admit, I still doubt myself. Another remnant from my schooling in those PC-besotted days? Maybe that kind of probing self-doubt about one’s attitudes about race should come back, David. I realize the tone of this piece might make you think I mean that in a tongue-in-cheek way, but no, I’m quite serious.
I’ve been playing a lot of Cake Mania on my computer lately. I’m disturbed by the number of aliens and sumo wrestlers who come into my fake bakery. Can you think of an explanation for that?
That’s dreadful, but let me finish the thing about ODB: I do this show every year, this benefit, and Chris Rock did it last year—I was out on tour—and I was thinking, if I did it this year, and Chris Rock were to do it again (unlikely, as I was told he had a dreadful time, and was nervous in a way that the organizers I know were extremely tickled to witness) I’d say, “Chris, I have a question for you,” and he’d roll his eyes, sigh, another fan, but I’d ask him this question about ODB. And it’d be an honest question, because who else would I know that would’ve had direct contact with ODB? And it would be a kind of bonding moment with a guy I really feel is a brilliant American poet. Then I feel somewhat guilty for having a scheme like that, in a funny way, as if it were grandiose, but I really just admire the guy, Kelly, you know?
I’m uncertain about the intensions (sic) of my son. He scares me a little. Any thoughts?
Bottom line is: don’t be scared. But I neglected to answer Kelly’s question, so let me take a moment to wrap that up: Kelly, if you’re still reading, I’m wasting a lot of text-space here, so I should answer succinctly: no, I don’t have an explanation for that. In fact, I have to admit, I’m really not much of a games person. Though as a child, I loved my Atari so much, I dreamed of winning a mysterious contest where they’d send me every Atari cartridge that was or would be; I’d have racks, shelves, corridors of cartridges. I wonder why I lost that? Computer games bore me, and when friends want to hang out and play a board game, I’m like, “Why not just have a conversation? What do we need the game for?” Golf enthusiasts always say, “What a way to get out in the fresh air!” But, Kelly — and Erin, for that matter — can’t one just take a walk in the woods? Also, Erin, the way you misspelled intentions as “intensions” is really interesting—a combo of intense, intent, and infusion.
A coworker consumed a delicious apple I had left on my desk a few days ago. Is it okay for me to steal something of equal value from their desk?
Dear Victor, and David and Reese if you’re still reading:
My ex was (uh, is) a playwright, and she wrote a lot of identity-politics plays, actually they were wickedly funny and brilliant, and subverted the cliches of that form, called me a racist once. Actually, it was because I told her a certain part of one of her plays was boring. Seriously, as in, “You don’t like that? It’s because you’re a racist.” Stunning. But I took it to heart! At least partially. You know what else she said? She intended it to be boring. That just absolutely gob-smacked me. Victor, what the fuck do you say to that? I mean, doesn’t that make you want to raise Duchamp from the dead and poke his eyes out with a salad fork?