BOOTY SHORTS: In Which the Freedom Train Emerges from a Tunnel
We Americans, evidently, are a patient people. After George W. Bush was elected, we sat through five years of epic mistakes and colossal blunders before we began punishing him with low approval ratings. After that, we had to endure two more years of tragic failures and staggering hubris before we could do anything about getting rid of him — only to embark upon the longest and most ridiculous electoral journey known to Man. We waited two hundred thirty-three years to inaugurate our first African-American president! LOL, are you sure that’s long enough? Maybe we should give the white guys a few more chances first, just to be sure.
But what if you’re like me, and you don’t really have this kind of patient disposition? You don’t want to sit through all the foreplay and coy banter, you want to get to the good stuff right away. For you, I’ve created BOOTY SHORTS, a new occasional feature on this website. BOOTY SHORTS will present CTGML anecdotes in a pithier and less digressive format. They’re quicker to read, quicker to write (!) — and perfect for those of you who’ve never written to me because you have just too darn many crazy hookup stories to choose one. Send ’em all in! Such a person is Philia, and Part I of her BOOTY SHORTS series is below.
“So…I’ve been counting and I’ve seen 8 padiddles since the last time we hung out.”
“Fuck, Dean, 8? I’m not even wearing 8 pieces of clothing.”
“This was a typical conversation between me and my friend ‘Dean’ a couple of summers ago. Dean was my ex-boyfriend’s friend and roommate, and so he resisted the urge to give in to the romantic chemistry between us for a long time. What a champ. Until, as it sometimes happens, the universe presented us with the perfect opportunity to get exactly where we wanted to go without really ‘going there’: padiddles.”
“It seems like the game of padiddles differs greatly regionally, so allow me to explain our version: A “padiddle” is a car with only one headlight. The way you play the game is, while driving, if you see a padiddle, you have to call it before the others in the car — while simultaneously hitting the ceiling. Whoever calls the padiddle first gets to pick which article of clothing the other person will take off. Innocent enough.” In the versions I’ve heard about, the one who spots the padiddle either punches her companion, or is owed a kiss, and furthermore, a car missing a back taillight is a “padunkle.” One hesitates to think what ass-centric sexual favors a padunkle sighting would enable one to demand.
In their version, “we took it a step farther: soon the game of ‘padiddles’ developed into the concept of ‘retroactive padiddles’ — that is, we could save our ‘padiddles’ until they added up to a significant number, like 8… and then the other person would be required to take off all of their clothing. Then we’d do: nothing. The majority of our summer was spent in the awkward space where nakedness, sexual tension, and the greatest level of self control I’ve ever seen in a man combine.”
“Then one night, while we were driving around town (padiddles adding up) Matt made a bold suggestion:”
“Hey, you know those abandoned cargo trains over by the theater?”
“Yeah, what about them?”
“Well, in 20 years, I’ve never once seen them move. I’ve always wanted to go up there and explore them, but nobody has ever had the guts to do it with me.”
“And so, this is how we found ourselves, pressed against each other on the grate in between two of the cars, completely naked once again.”
“I think I’m starting to like you.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Maybe this can actually go somewhere.”
“He leaned towards me, about to take the giant leap into intimacy that would have been our first kiss. Except…”
“All of the sudden, there was a flash of light. And by flash of light I mean a blinding, insanely bright light washing over the entirety of our naked bodies. And along with that blinding light there was a noise, a familiar one: the sound of a train.”
“A train. Coming straight at us. And along with the train, a conductor standing on the front, getting the perfect view of our glistening naked bodies, and secondarily the looks of utter horror that spread immediately across our faces.”
“ABANDONED TRAINS, DEAN?” I whisper-screamed as we sprinted between the tracks, throwing clothes at each other and attempting to dress ourselves as the train pulled into the station.
“FUCK, FUCK WHERE ARE MY UNDERWEAR?”
“GODDAMNIT THIS IS YOUR SHIRT NOT MY SKIRT!”
“WHERE ARE MY SHOES?”
“I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, FUCKING ABANDONED TRAINS ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!”
“Finally, somehow, we made it back to his car without being caught by the conductor or the cops, and with all our clothing and less of our dignity in hand.” All was well, until he realized his cell phone was missing.
“Wait… which train is it that’s moving?”
“That’s… that’s the train we were on, isn’t it?”
As the train passed by us we saw the haunting words scrawled across its side: “Connecticut to Pennsylvania.”
“My phone… my phone’s going to Pennsylvania.”
“We… WE could’ve been going to Pennsylvania.”
“We… we could’ve been going to Pennsylvania naked.”