I've never cared for things found in nature, but I will admit to an odd fascination with lizards. Lounge lizards that is. Something about them I find strangely intriguing. Their slicked back hair; their cheesy song medleys; their over use of the question, "Where you from?" I can't get enough.
As I settled into a booth at the famed Kit Kat Club by the airport I was a bit anxious to finally meet the one and only Vince Giovelli. Giovelli laid claim to being the most legendary of all lounge singers since Bobby Cochran hung up his microphone after the 90's scandal involving a 19 year old stripper named Raphael.
Just as I ordered a shot of tequila to help calm my nerves, the heavy aroma of Musk Oil announced the arrival of the man. I looked up to find Giovelli standing beside me, cigarette in one hand, dirty martini in the other. He wore a black tuxedo despite the fact it was only 3 in the afternoon; his white shirt left open to reveal a tuft of dark hair and a gold chain so thick it looked more like a rope one might use to pull a skier behind a boat.
Sher: Vince,it's a pleasure. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.
He winked at me and motioned for the cocktail waitress to bring me another shot.
Sher: OK, Vince. As you know, I am doing a series of interviews with a diverse group of men across the country so that I might finally learn what makes men so different than women.
Vince: Mom pre-made about 40 sandwiches for us.
Sher: Thank you but I'm not hungry.
Vince: Mom made them with a loving amount of mayo on each: pimento cheese, bologna, banana, and my favorite, peanut butter and jelly without the mayo.
Sher: Seriously. I appreciate that your Mom put mayonnaise on a bunch of food for us, but I can't eat a bite. I licked the salt off all the crackers in my house before I left. I'm stuffed.
Vince: In keeping with the green theme, she placed them all back in the plastic sandwich bags the loaf bread came out of.
Sher: Oh for godsake then. Give me a mother truckin' sandwich. I'll take the PB & J without the mayonnaise. Vince, let's get down to it if you wouldn't mind. I think my readers really want to hear about your legendary womanizing.
Vince: Funny you should ask that one. That subject comes up almost every day.
Sher: How many women would you say you have in your stable at any one time?
Vince: I’m too drunk to understand that question.
Sher: Women, Vince. How many women do you currently date?
Vince: This is torture, OK? One of my buddy's wives. Angelina Jolie. I love the hell outta that woman. Stewie Griffin. Why? I don't know. He's not gay is he?
Sher: He is rumored to in fact be gay, yes. So you're seeing a buddy's wife, Angelina Jolie and Stewie Griffin. Anyone else?
Vince: Pam Anderson looks like crap.
Sher: OK. Pam is not one of your women. Got it. Would you mind telling me a little about what an evening with you might be like for one of your lady friends? Or Stewie?
Vince: A metallic green 1970 Ford pickup truck with a camper cover to match. All the amenities: AM Radio, no air conditioning, a big Johnson CB, vinyl seats, 3 speed in the floor, and on the rear bumper a twelve foot long bright orange CB antenna. Did I mention no air conditioning?
Sher: You did. So it's Saturday night and you've picked up your date for the evening in your admittedly awesome green truck.
Vince: While Mom was making the sandwiches, Dad filled the old cooler with can drinks and ice, then placed the sandwiches on the top to prevent them from getting wet from melted ice.
Sher: The sandwiches again? Are you kidding me with this? OK, so you have a cooler full of sandwiches, drinks in a can and ice. Assuming your date is still with you at this point, why don't you tell me specifically about your last date? I'd like you to be as detailed as possible without any mention of sandwiches.
Vince: We started eating the sandwiches, which after 12 to 24 to 36 hours in the cooler all tasted of bologna. This is where I first understood the term green. Talk about sick! But soon enough, and as my favorite verse in the Bible says, “and it came to pass”, we finally arrived at the campground. That’s right, campground. As in tent, no electricity, no running water.
Sher: So you and your lady ate sandwiches that had been in the cooler for between 12 and 36 hours and for some reason you've not explained, you then took her to a campground. Is that what you're telling me?
Vince: We fell asleep in the blistering hot heat of central Florida. I think bologna spoils very quickly.
Sher: Mr. Giovelli, I have never in my entire long-legged life met a man so obsessed with bologna sandwiches. Could we please move on to something other than the nasty lunch your Mom made you?
Vince: Oh my God you did not just ask me that! Well,I was in a bar in Greensboro, NC and one of my buddies’ wives was sipping on an unusual drink called a Tequila Sunrise. I ordered one. Nothing happened. After the 5th one I remember everyone telling me to slow down. From there I was doin’ shooters, singing karaoke and the limes kept falling in the floor. I had salt all over my sloppy face, then the owner of the bar offered me a free Cuban cigar if I would just leave his establishment.
Sher: Now we're getting somewhere.
Vince: I do remember my face flat on the bar as the bar maids and bartenders went through my wallet looking at my pictures. I was completely paralyzed. My buddy said it took a solid hour to get me out of the car and into my motel room. I don't know why I woke up completely naked in a chair by the door.
Sher: Your buddy's name wasn't Stewie by any chance?
Vince: Stewie sounds good, I’ll go with that. High heel boots, short shorts, tattoos I still don't understand, halter-top unbuttoned to the navel. Scared the bejeezus outta me. I was literally shaking.
Sher: And so there you are, naked in a chair by the door in some motel room. What did you say to your friend Stewie the next morning?
Vince: I showered for 2 hours just to get the scare off me.
I could see on Giovelli's face that he'd realized he'd just shared his homosexual one night stand with me, and in doing so, with my readers. He took a long draw off his cigarette and winked at me.
Vince: Sweetheart, lets go get some dinner and later I’ll buy you a sobriquet.
Sher: What exactly do you think sobriquet means, Vince?
Vince: An old mobile home.
Sher: In fact no.
Vince: Cherry Bomb mufflers.
Sher: Not even close.
Sher: Yes. That's exactly what sobriquet means. Bologna.
I find Bo Burnham delightful. If you concur, you and I are now BFFs.
Copyright © Sherri Bailey
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