The First Annual Story Awards - Wtf?!?
When I broke up with my boyfriend I was left tenderhearted and frail. He cheated on me with some fat bitch and it seemed as though our relationship had run its course. On the upside, I had lost so much weight that my favorite bikini now fit me.
When I broke up with my boyfriend I was left tenderhearted and frail. He cheated on me with some fat bitch and it seemed as though our relationship had run its course. On the upside, I had lost so much weight that my favorite bikini now fit me. I had gotten it on ebay and it was a 1970s dead-stock, low-waisted, faded, flowery showstopper. Seriously, it was like God’s bikini, sent down to me by eBay angels all for the delightful price of $9.99. However, I hadn’t just lost a few pounds, but a significant amount of weight. I really loved this guy, you know? I took my bikini to my favorite tailor and asked him to put new elastic around the waist. He told me to wait a fortnight and it would be done and that would be that.
So two weeks later or whatever a fortnight is, I went back to the tailor, who told me, “Uh, oh. The piece was so small we thought it was garbage. I’m so sorry. We threw it away.” WHAT? They threw my bathing suit away, which is a story in itself, but not THE story. I know a lot of people out there reading this don’t give a shit about vintage 70s bikinis, but for a fashionable lady such as myself, it’s pretty major. I didn’t cry that day in the shop, but clearly you can understand how this was a tears-worthy situation. In all my sadness and grief I went about blaming the fat bitch whom my ex had fucked and cursed her for starting this whole mess in the first place.
So I turned back to my beloved, trustworthy companion eBay, checking relentlessly every day for another 70s dead-stock bikini. Weirdly enough, I found one! It was just like my old one and with one day left, I was the only bidder. I won that bitch and again, it only cost me $9.99. I paid for it and got an invoice from the seller who had written in the email, “I see that you live in New York. If you want to save on shipping, I would gladly meet up with you.” That worked for me so I decided to meet up with the seller on a Friday, right across the street from my apartment.
The fateful day came and the seller was late. I was waiting and waiting and decided to run back into my apartment to get a cigarette. As soon as I crossed the street, I saw the whore who had fucked my ex walking towards me. I squinted at her, acknowledging her presence but not offering a hello by any means, when to my surprise, she waved.
Dumbstruck, I looked behind me to make sure it was actually me she was waving at. She approached me with confidence and I didn’t exactly know how to respond. She was smiling. Then she goes, “Are you buying a bathing suit from me?”
“You?” I said. I couldn’t believe it. She was the seller of the perfect 70s dead-stock bikini I had so sought after. “Yup.”
After a few minutes of meaningless chitchat, I ran upstairs to try on the suit. It was exactly like the old one, but this time it wasn’t too big. It fit me perfectly. I called my ex immediately, I had to tell him. It was the OMG heard round the world.
I Told My Friend He Had AIDS
I make my living being a total fucking asshole. It makes me feel bad sometimes but it sure beats the shit out of selling wheelchairs to old people on the phone. I live with my roommate and we have a show in Canada where we compete against each other. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s called Kenny vs. Spenny.
Basically the show is me and my idiot roommate, who looks like Jar Jar Binks with Down syndrome, competing in fucked-up competitions. Shit like: Who can gain the most weight in a week? Who can make out with the most chicks and drink the most beer before puking?
One of the shows that we did last season was hailed in Canada as the meanest, biggest asshole prank ever blitzkrieged on a loved one. My pal Spencer (Spenny) and I wanted to see, once and for all, who was funnier. So we decided that we were both going to take a week to practice for a stand-up comedy competition and perform in front of a huge comedy guru and let him decide who is the funniest stand-up comedian (like it’s any fucking contest).
I follow the tenets of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, i.e. “Totally crush and destroy your enemy from within.” In Canada, it is mandatory for the Ministry of Health to inform you if you have had sex with a person who has tested positive for the HIV virus. They actually mail out these letters. Could you imagine getting one of these letters? Spenny can.
It’s so easy to forge high-quality counterfeit documentation. I went to the Ministry of Health website, popped their logo on the top of a Word document, and then wrote a letter to Mr. Spencer Nolan Rice informing him that he was going to die of AIDS. I made sure he got it right in the middle of his preparation for the competition. After he got it in the mail, he actually puked.
Forgetting about the competition, Spenny tearfully confided in me that there was a chance he had AIDS (I didn’t know, remember? He got this letter from the government). Being the wonderful friend that I am, I pretended to drop everything and arranged for grief counseling, blood tests, insurance plans, the writing of his will, and all the other shit that most people would do if they thought they were dying.
Spenny’s week prior to the competition consisted of many golden moments. Casually calling girls he’d fucked trying to find out if they were the one with HIV. He gave me a few of his favorite belongings and paid me back some of the cash he’s owed me over the years.
The good news is a blood test takes seven to ten days to come back—in this case well after the competition ended. One of the AIDS counselors I set him up with, whose name was actually Gaylord (I swear to God), told Spenny that the best thing he could do would be to go on with his life, so Spenny decided to go on with the competition.
I actually got scared for a minute because nothing is funnier than a totally depressed, pathetic comedian, but then I remembered we’re dealing with fucking Spenny over here.
We get to the comedy club and Spenny goes first, gets onstage, and starts his bit. A few jokes in, it appeared like the whole depression thing was working for him. But all of a sudden he fucking freezes and tells the audience about the letter that says he might have AIDS and walks off the stage. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Pure platinum. He broke down and almost started crying.
I ended up giving the judge a copy of the letter I sent Spenny and he gave me the win for unleashing such a devious plan on my best friend.
I did feel a little bad for doing it because I had to be with him on suicide watch and it’s a lot of effort to take care of a pal with pretend AIDS. His mother almost had a fucking coronary, but she’s a bit of a bitch anyways. The funny thing is, when he found out I totally faked the whole thing, he was so happy that he didn’t have HIV that to this day there’s been no retribution.
Phil Spector And His Gun
I lived in Los Angeles for a while IN the late 80s. Lots of drinking, lots of working at a video store. I got to wait on Charo, Nancy Sinatra, and Sammy Davis, Jr. So this friend of mine’s mom, the one friend I made while living there, was dating Phil Spector at the time. They had told me stories of how he would never show up before 11 PM, always kept the limo running outside, and had this bodyguard who carried an old-school doctor’s bag with guns and handcuffs in it. Just in case.
So one night my friend and I come back to his mom’s house. We’re pretty drunk and as we pull up we see the fabled running limo. I’m all psyched because I finally get to meet Phil Spector. We come walking into the house and his mom is a little tipsy, which is weird cause she never drank. She is real gregarious, all, “Come in, come in! Say hi to Phil.” We walk out to the back porch and as I step though the door, I look to my right and there is this little tiny elf dude with a bad Vinnie Barbarino haircut wearing Oakley Blades and an ill-fitting suit sitting on the couch. I remember thinking, “Dude, that’s Phil Spector?!” He looks up and the mom goes, “Phil you know my kids, and this is their friend Dan.” His face barely moves, he says nothing and just slowly slides his right hand into the left side of his suit jacket like he is reaching for something in his upper pocket. I say hello and he just stares at me through his Blades and does not say a word. Everyone is kind of quiet and we excuse ourselves and walk to the kitchen. I’m thinking, “That was weird.” I didn’t really realize what he was doing. A few minutes later one of the other guests comes into the kitchen saying, “Sorry about that—Phil is being a little sensitive tonight.” Then we hear all this arguing from the porch and finally we hear Phil yell, “What am I supposed to do? Just sit there while this guy looks at me going, ‘Nice to meet you, you piece of shit!’ Well fuck that…” and so on. My friend says, “Um, let’s go,” and he drives me home. Later it dawned on me that when he reached into his coat, he was going for his gun. It’s funny because I didn’t realize till ten years after the fact. Phil Spector almost pulled a gun on me.
Gremlin From Dublin
A friend of mine from a band in Dublin told me this story. A friend of a friend of theirs in Dublin had been on an acid bender for a few days and called his pal at work and was very excited. He was convinced he had found a gremlin. He rang his friend and very excitedly told him, “I’ve got a gremlin for ya,” and said he had it at his friend’s house, so when he came home, he could see it. The guy was like, “Awesome,” you know, as you’d react if someone told you he had a gremlin at your house. I don’t think he really knew what to expect. Anyway, he got home and his friend was still tripping out of his head and there in his kitchen was a small Down syndrome child about 10 to 12 years of age. That’s what the gremlin was. Apparently he found him in a shopping mall and brought the terrified child back to the house. Now the guy’s up on kidnapping charges, but he’ll get off if he claims insanity, because to him it wasn’t actually a child, it was a gremlin. In his mind, it was a gremlin. He can plead insanity because he was in no state to realize what he was doing. The guy hadn’t slept in a hundred hours.
I went to high school with Sting’s oldest son. When we graduated, I went to London and stayed with him at his mom’s house, which was the house that Sting bought when he first got rich, you know what I mean? A pretty sweet spot. Anyway, we also went to Sting’s house. I think it was in a town called Wiltshire, and the house itself was called Lake House. We went out there to record some songs with Sting’s producer, but first we went into London and picked up about 15 hits of acid. They were all different kinds of acid.
Then we got on a train and went back to the house, which is a 15th-century castle. I got to stay in the room that Elton John stays in, that was my room. We started dropping acid the second we got there and didn’t stop until we left. We were going to take his Hummer to Stonehenge, but we were too fucked up to drive so we rode bikes. I rode Sting’s bike and I wore his jacket. We rode out and fed the cows, and got to Stonehenge around sunset. We were watching Stonehenge spin around and one of the security guards asked where we were from. I said we were staying at Lake House and that was code for letting us hang out, even though we were obviously tripping. We got back and went into Sting’s basement and started going through all his shit. We found a pair of stilts and a copy of Spinal Tap. We stayed up all night and I fed ice cream to his cat. Then the sun came up and I went with my girlfriend to the pool and ended up ejaculating in Sting’s swimming pool. Later that day I stole Sting’s silver pen that he kept on the piano. I don’t know if he wrote songs with it or what, but it was a really nice pen. I don’t know why I stole it.
The night before I left for England I met John Spencer and told him I was going to Sting’s house. He said, “Fuck Sting. Take a shit on Sting’s piano for me.” So when I came in his pool and stole his pen, I thought about that. Anyway, I had the pen and I was back in Baltimore showing someone that I had Sting’s pen. This girl freaked out and told me it was a horrible thing to do, and now I was cursed for stealing it. Two weeks later my house burned down with the pen in it. That’s why I don’t have the pen anymore. I don’t know, Sting’s into some heavy weirdness, you know? Like you can’t be Sting and not be weird.
A few years ago I relocated from the country to North Perth and moved in with my sisters (both more than 10 years older than me) while I got my shit together. One sister, Sarah, was studying post-graduate Arts/Law and working full time; the other, Jess, was halfway through an aborted cultural studies honours year. It wasn’t the first time she’d bailed on her studies—she failed first year, ran off to Nimbin, chilled out there during her mid-20s, developed a smack addiction and then returned to Perth to finish her studies. This coincided with me halfheartedly studying creative writing and going on the internet a lot.
So, one day I was at the computer, seeing what the people on buffydownunder.com have to say for themselves, when behind me I heard a loud banging. I turned around to see my sister Jess, her acne-scar-ridden-methadone-lesbian friend Lois and Eddie, this tall, leathery metre-long-mulleted guy, who couldn’t get his eyes to look the same way stumbling down the hallway. Eddie stormed right into my room to shake my hand. His hand was huge, hairy, and orange, and he smelled like smoke and not showering. After the pleasantries they disappeared into Jess’s room. There was a period of silence, then a loud, unsettling “Noooo!” coming from Jess’s room, after which Eddie appeared in my room again. “Hey bro, Jess wants to borrow the stereo, we’ve got a CD we want to listen to.”
I wasn’t going to argue with this dude so went to get the radio from the kitchen while he followed me closely, patting me on the shoulder and saying, “Hey little bro, you know what’s happening in there?” He pointed to my sister’s door and his eyes rolled back into his head, “That’s love unnerstand? Everybody’s gotta find it” and so on. I unhooked the speakers as fast as I possibly could so this guy would stop breathing on me about my sister, and he said, “Here, we’re listening to this,” and showed me the CD, pointing at the cover of Strip-Club-Classics. He then told me to stop unplugging the stereo so he could play me a song off it. It was “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew. He was staring into the side of my head while Marquis rapped “I’m like a dog in heat / A freak without warning.”
“It’s good man,” I said, and bolted back to my room.
Minutes later “Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya” by Poison Clan started playing in Jess’s room so loudly it was distorting and shaking the walls. Eddie walked into the lounge room and made a call that went like this:
“Well what the fuck does she MEAN she’s going?”
“Fuck her! I’ll kill her!”
“Because I love her so much!”
“You know I do, she can’t take her away from me!”
“I’ll fucking kill them!”
I was worried about my sister but more worried about me, so decided to leave the house until I was sure he had left, but only made it around the corner when my sister Jess, dressed in a nightie, came running after me, screaming my name. She told me that her friend Lois had crashed her car and Eddie was demanding money (which they didn’t have because they had collectively spent it all on speed) and he was saying that if she couldn’t come up with any money then she was going to have to perform a sex show with Lois and get some guys to pay for it. She kept asking me to get rid of Eddie and telling me that she was in trouble but her tongue and lips kept making a horrible smacking sound that made her sound like she was brain damaged.
When I realised this guy was trying to pimp out my sister, I said I would go back to help her. Jess kept a look out while I called our other sister Sarah, who was house-sitting her boss’s place. “Hi Sarah, can you come home please, Jess is mixed up with some drug dealers and says she’s going to prostitute herself out to pay back some debts.”
Sarah arrived home, by which stage Lois and Eddie had passed out in Jess’s room. Sarah tried to call the police but Jess begged her not to, rambling about the fact that they would kill her if she did. We figured it was probably not worth taking that chance so left them in the house, took everything valuable with us and moved into Sarah’s boss’s place for a few weeks.
When I returned to the house, there was a fat, shirtless stranger sleeping on the couch at 2pm. I stayed there for a few more nights until I found another place and saw that same guy go through the skip I hired and pick out stuff I was throwing away like virus-ridden PCs and cheap, plastic, filth encrusted CD towers. I never asked him what his story was but it was right then that I made a pact to get a decent job, stay off the drugs and live by myself for the rest of my life.
That was some crazy shit, man! You make me crazy with that shit. Envelope please. OK, the winner is... the AIDS one!!!
WINNER: I TOLD MY FRIEND HE HAD AIDS
Kenny Hotz: “I am so honored to accept this prestigious Story Award in my hand. I’d like to thank God for not existing, my mother for not being a lezbo, and of course Spenny, who to me is not only Jar Jar Binks with Down syndrome but a shining example of how the good people in the world need to be crushed and publicly humiliated. I’d also like to thank my fans—without you, I’d be going to hell alone! Thank you so very much.”
I grew up in Mexico City. I stayed there for 20 years, then I moved around the country to different places: Monterrey, Guadalajara, and so on. Finally I came here to New York five years ago.
Did you have a hard time finding work?
Not really. I did construction at the beginning. Somebody told me, “You want to work?” and I was like, “Yeah, I can do whatever.” So I started working in construction, and they paid me well. It’s funny, cause they paid me better than my current job.
And what’s that?
I’m currently doing freelance restorations for galleries. I’m really lucky, because I am a sculptor and it’s more along the lines of my career.
So New York has been a cakewalk for you?
I mean, I have found myself in really bad situations. Some people are abusive of the immigrant situation, because they know we don’t really know what we’re doing.
What was the worst situation you’ve been in so far?
I used to work in a place that made art reproductions, and of course they didn’t pay us very well. It was like a small factory with 16 painters in a tiny room painting Van Gogh and Gauguin reproductions all day long.