Photos by Janicza Bravo, featuring Natasha Leggero and Nick Thune.
Back at the office.
I get a call on my phone. These days, I have to answer it myself. I had to fire my secretary after she fell in love with me. You just can’t get good help these days.
I answer the phone, and it’s none other than French husband-and-wife fashion-designer team Nick and Natasha Leggero. He took her name when they married. It caused quite a stir. People were furious. But that’s what NNL do. They aggravate you into wearing their clothing.
“Darling! You have to model for us!” Natasha says.
“You must!” Nick concurs.
“You’re exactly the body type we’re looking for in our winter edition.”
“Soft yet strong.”
“Hard yet soft.”
“Please, darling! We know it’s short notice, but if you could come here this afternoon we’ll lick you up, down, and sideways!”
I love clothes! I mean, I’ll do anything for a nice schmatta.
“Grazie, grazie, grazie!”
“Just to give you a little prewarning. The shoot is going to be a little guerrilla-style.”
“You know! Experimental!”
“That’s fine,” I snicker. “Just gimme gimme them schmattas!”
Two hours later: Regret. So much regret. There’s blood all over me. Not my blood. Chicken blood, or so they say. I don’t know where anyone gets all this chicken blood from, and the whole enterprise is definitely far from kosher. Oy vey. Why do I gotta like nice things so much? Why do I gotta not like spending money so much? WHY THE HELL DO I LOVE THE DEALS?!
The commands keep coming.
“Look like you just got fucked!”
“You know… dirty fucked!”
“That’s when you know the person who fucked you hates you.”
“Part of them wants to fuck you and part of them would like nothing better than to see you with your throat slit, choking on your tongue!”
“Oooooh, that’s good. Could you choke on your tongue a little bit?”
“Like you’re Napoleon!”
“Oh yes! Poor Napoleon. Josephine used to have to wedge a wooden spoon in his little mouth.”
“On second thought. Get in the grass. Get in the grass and die like a yak.”
“Or like a fox.”
“No one would ever believe he is a fox. What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Fine! You’re right, darling! Like a yak!”
“You’re very yakkish.”
I lie down in the grass. I’m in nothing but their fancy-schmancy underwear. And I got to say, all anger aside, it’s the best underwear I’ve ever worn. So soft. Hugs my eggs without squeezing them. They’ll look so great when they don’t have chicken blood all over them. Their little dogs walk over to me. They’ve been scoping me out for an hour, fiending for this chicken blood since it touched my flesh. They’re licking me, and it tickles to all hell. I start giggling like the village schlemiel.
“Stop that!” Natasha screams.
“Stop what?” I push through the giggles.
“Stop that laughing!” Nick echoes.
“I can’t! It’s the dogs!” I say, chuckling.
“Actually, come to think of it, the laughing might work,” Natasha continues.
“Yes, but it isn’t very dying yak,” Nick says, disappointed.
“But it’s very laughing pig.”
“Yes, that’s great. The laughing pig. You are THE LAUGHING PIG, Combover.”
“Let’s chant that. It’ll fuel my photography!”
“Laugh, pig, laugh! Laugh, pig, laugh! Laugh, pig, laugh!” they repeat in unison.
I gasp for breath. The pig laughs.
This is the tenth chapter of Combover, Brett Gelman’s new novel about Hollywood, the beauty of the Jewish tradition, baldness, and murder. We will be serializing it until March.
Previously - What Means What Now?