I was lying in bed last night with yet another migraine and somehow the story of Carlos V popped into my rather hurty head and I do not know why. But now I will tell it to all of you and your head can hurt.
(By the way, I ran out of original Christmas coffee mugs to show you. Today is Marvin's last day of school for the year, so maybe some kid will bring us a new one. We got a really super cool polka-dot throw from someone at his school yesterday and I'm a little unnaturally excited by it. But it's so fun! And soft! And blankety!)
Anyway, Carlos V.
For most of our time in Los Angeles, Marvin and I lived in Silverlake, which was a really cool neighborhood where men wore skirts and women had leopard spots in their hair and sometimes you'd see one person with a steel bar around their neck with a chain that connected to the other person's nose. We loved living there.
In the last two years, however, we were forced to move to Burbank, because we had drama at our apartment and we could no longer afford our now-super-trendy neighborhood.
Burbank is five miles from Silverlake, and also 9,000 miles. It is totally white bread, with clean, safe, tidy neighborhoods, and oh I hated it at first. The one good part was that we had tons of kids trick-or-treating at Halloween. As you can imagine, our old neighborhood was not teeming with kids.
My first Halloween in Burbank, I ran out of candy. And as you know, my kitchen is not a place where you can go fake a treat. "Here, kid. It's a Lean Cuisine! Just three minutes in the microwave and you get two vegetable servings!"
I will never forget the forlorn look on the little girl's face who was climbing my porch that night. "Honey, I just ran out of candy. I'm running to R. Please come back."
R was the convenience store on the end of our block. All the other letters on their sign had faded except the R, and we had no idea what it was really called.
R was a ludicrous convenience store. Despite Burbank being so white bread, it was still Los Angeles, so it was still more ethnically diverse than, say, Appleton Wisconsin. I mean, our neighbors on one side were from the Philippines, and the neighbors on the other side were from Laos. They had two beautiful German shepherds, the Laotians did, named Queenie and Haaanh-Haa. Okay, the second one's name was not really Haaaanh-Haa, or maybe it was. We'd hear them calling those dogs (they had been imported from Germany. Did I mention they were beautiful?) in the back yard and it sounded like, "Queenie! Haaanh-Haaaa!" We could NOT figure out what they were saying for the second one.
Sometimes we'd make up names for the second one when we heard them call. "Queenie! Half-shelf!" we'd say, or "Queenie! Hat rack!" No idea what that second dog's name was.
So, the owner of R had, you know, stuff you'd expect to see there, like soda and mayonnaise and Kotex, and then there'd be those saint candles to cater to his Hispanic crowd, Asian groceries, Indian groceries, do rags, and even those picks for your hair where the handle is actually shaped like a fist. When is the last time you've seen one of those? Did this guy go to the set of Room 222 for those picks?
There was also, at R, a fine selection of foreign pornography, which I bought often because I thought they made highLARious hostess gifts. And do you know every time I bought, say, Polish Playboy, the owner was visibly disgusted with me? Look, bub, YOU'RE the one who has supplied me with Latvian Girls Gone Wild. Why blame ME for purchasing your wares?
This story is never-ending. I hope you had nowhere to go today.
So it's Halloween, I DASH to the corner to R, and he has no bags of Halloween candy. Sure, you've got 18 copies of PentCasa, but no Halloween candy.
He did, however, have for 25 cents apiece, these small candy bars called Carlos V. They had a picture of a king on them, who I imagine was old Carlos. The fifth. I bought as many of them as I could.
When I returned to the house, Marvin was appalled. "What is this weird candy you've bought for the children? Where was this even MADE?" But I tell you what, one of the kids actually said, "Ooo! Carlos V!" He must have lived somewhere near R.
The point is, Marvin was obsessed with Carlos V, and every once in awhile he'd tape a wrapper of Carlos V somewhere for me to find: inside a cupboard, say, or on the medicine cabinet.
Months later, I was applying for a job where I insisted I knew how to create websites, and thank all that is holy they never called me, because you all know how it gets around here when you ask me to make a button. Marvin, who has his own website and no you may not look at it because it has our real names, got on said website to show me how to make headlines and such.
He removed his regular headline for one of his pages and showed me how by creating a new head which read, "June eats Carlos V's arse all day."
The only funny part about this story is, like, FIVE months later, his best friend called Marvin to ask why his website's header was "June eats Carlos V's arse all day." We had forgotten to remove said head.
Really, that was the longest story ever. And such a rewarding ending!
I am totally gonna do a Carlos V giveaway.