Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Malady Calamity

"Conditional Love, Patience speaking, how can I help you today?"

"Hi. I want to sign up."

"Your name, please?"

"Joel Flach."

"Joel, thanks for calling. Here at Conditional Love we match up couples with similar conditions. I have to state up front that we do not guarantee a successful pairing. We'll try our best to set you up with someone who can understand the challenges you face. Somebody who will understand you and support you. Is this your first time with us, Joel?"

"Yes it is."

"Will you please tell me what your affliction is and why you've chosen Conditional Love?"

"I have psoriasis. Bad. I used to be able to date, y'know. It wasn't that bad. But I'm 38 now, and..."

"It's okay Joel, take your time. I'm here to help you."

"This disease... it... my skin is really bad, y'know? Scaly. Dry. I can't stop scratching at it. The doctors give me pills and creams and stuff, and they help in some places, but I still shed this ugly flaky skin dandruff stuff everywhere. Lots from my neck, so it's always on my shirt. Dead dry skin, peeling everywhere. Even on my face sometimes. I look like I got dipped in Elmer's glue and it's all peeling at once. Every day. Where my skin isn't white, it's deep red. Blotchy. My wrists look like I got tumors under my skin, just waiting to pop through. The nails on my hands and feet are yellow and green. I look like I'm rotting from the inside. I can't even look in the mirror some days. I scrub and scrub and take my medicine, but nothing's good enough. I can't go out, I can't meet anybody, y'know? I get so lonely. I get so horny, Jesus, I feel like I'm gonna explode! Sometimes I even gotta take lotion and-"

"Joel! I understand. It's okay, okay? You're not alone. There's thousands of women with psoriasis out there looking for a partner, just like you. We'll find somebody suited to your personality and schedule a meeting. I'll need you to come to our office to fill out a few forms, discuss payment, and film a short video of yourself for prospective dates. Do you know where we're located, Joel?"

"I don't think you understand. My skin, it's gross. Disgusting. I might as well be covered in rattlesnakes. I wake up thinking there's an army of scorpions crawling on me. Don't you get it? I don't want a woman with psoriasis. That's so wrong. It'd be like.... rubbing sandpaper together. I need a blind chick, or maybe somebody with cancer. Somebody desperate like me. Just not a woman with skin like mine. Somebody I can look at."

"...okay. Ummmmm. Excuse me, just a moment. I'm just looking through our calendar to schedule an appointment. Wednesday okay? Can you come in Wednesday at 3pm, Joel?"

"Can I come in sooner? My balls are fucking bursting here."

"I'm sorry, but that's the next opening, I mean the next slot- Shit. Excuse my language. I'm sorry Joel. What I meant to say is that the next appointment available is Wednesday at 11am. That's the best I can do."

"Okay, yeah. I'll be there."

"Excellent. Do you need directions?"

"No, I'll map you on the internet. I got the address. Will I get to meet you on Wednesday, Patience?"

"Yes, I'll be here, Joel. We're a team committed to making sure you feel comfortable. I'll introduce you to everyone else here and we'll get you registered and on the market. You'll be dating in no time."

"Great, thank you! I'll see you then. I feel better already. I think I'll go to the swimming pool this afternoon."
4:20 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


August 17, 2005 7:30 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

I could picture how disgusting this guy was, especially when you mentioned he had been dipped in Elmer's.

My boss actually has this ailment, and he flakes everywhere. I feel bad for him, but his arms are so ashy and he continues to wear golf shirts.


August 18, 2005 10:49 AM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

I was grinning like a dog with a cat in its mouth the whole time I read this. You managed to do it again. Great work...

August 18, 2005 1:45 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Sure, Rocket, go to the pool, spread the cheer around.

August 19, 2005 7:35 AM, Anonymous Mag said...

Laughing out loud again Steve!!

August 19, 2005 8:26 AM, Blogger Anonysis said...

Poor Joel.

August 19, 2005 11:28 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

I've been time-strapped for a few days and not stopped by your blog. I have now been reminded I am the poorer for it!

Great piece, I laughed my dick off. No, I didn't. But I laughed.

August 19, 2005 12:07 PM, Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

nice dialog!

August 22, 2005 2:04 PM, Blogger MJ said...

It's like the blog version of The Jerky Boys!


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