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A huge whore

Working it for a friend

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As huge a whore as I am, you'd think all this would come easier to me, this door-to-door begging I've been doing lately. Jesus God, I remember when I was good at this. Every year when I was little, my sisters and I would sell cupcakes to our neighbors to earn money so we could attend the Orange County fair. We were so good at it we even got the diabetic lady down the street to buy whole trays at a time. She couldn't eat them herself, but she fed them to her cats, who were extremely fat and probably very happy about it.

Seriously, though, all we had to do was look a little scruffy, peer up at people with big moon eyes and say, "Please ma'am," and money would fly at us from their purses. We had a lead treasure chest with a pirate's face painted on the top that we kept all the coins in, and I like dimes the best. I used to open the chest and sift out all the dimes, cup them in my hands and let them fall through my fingers all cool and slippery like little metal fish. The first year my mother sent my brother with us to make sure we didn't get kidnapped, but that stopped after he began chiding customers to "leave some for us!"

And then there were my actual panhandler days, which I fell into by accident, mind you. My sisters and I used to play around inside these giant concrete pipes abandoned by city workers near our back yard. They were filled with mud, and one day after wallowing in it waist deep we decided to hang out in front of the local department store, where we looked so pathetic that people actually gave us money. I was so excited I thought I'd found my life's vocation, but I could never resurrect the same magical pitiful-ness from before. I think people can sense when things are forced.

So I've been forcing myself lately to accost friends and other flotsam to contribute to an important cause. "Goddammit, pick up the phone! I need your ratty-assed help!" I shriek into what I think is Lary's answering machine but turns out to be his actual ear because he actually had answered the phone.

"Hi, whore! I'm not scraping any dog diarrhea off your carpet, if that's what you're calling about," he says, referring to the butt blowout courtesy of Scooter two days ago. (I swear, dog rescue SUCKS sometimes). Anyway, hell no that is not why I'm calling (and thanks, by the way).

"I need you to donate art and other cool stuff for a benefit," I explain. The benefit is for Pat Kelly, the chef at Meritage restaurant in Buckhead. He's a young father at Mae's preschool who was just diagnosed with cancer after months of doctors telling him that the bump on his neck was just an ingrown hair. "Nothin' to worry about," they'd said.

Jesus God, I swear it pays to be a hypochondriac sometimes. Not that Pat is one, but I certainly am. I am not the type of person who would not worry about a bump on my neck, no. Just last year I was certain I'd contracted a rapid, flesh-eating ass cancer when really all that happened was I'd spent the entire day in front of the TV watching a "Trading Spaces" marathon while sitting on top of a lost earring.

But Pat's illness is not imaginary by a long shot, though his insurance policy practically is with its zillion-dollar deductible plus, like 20 percent of everything on top of that, plus the fact that he probably won't be able to come up with those cool sauces seeing as how he'll be bedridden during recovery and it's a bad idea to keep a mattress in such close proximity to the kitchen stove.

So, in light of all this, I've decided to be a better person and put this gig together, see? Me and my friend Kate and her husband Jay, who own the Peanut Gallery Studio in Candler Park, came up with "The Art-and-Other-Cool-Stuff Auction-APALOOZA!" Regardless of how much I suck at soliciting, nobody has declined to contribute. Not one person. Patterson Brown at Gato Bizco even ended my sentences for me as I stuttered through my spiel.

So Lary is contributing his one-and-only autographed picture of Jesus Christ ("Lary, Thanks for the Support. Love, Jesus"), PLUS his much-beloved framed photograph of a man with his dick in a sling (circa 1920). The auction will showcase Velvet Elvises, retro furniture, '50s bar-abilia, original art by local artists like Daniel Troppy and Sister Louisa and topless hula dancers handing out free margaritas! OK, not really, but there will be drunk hot lesbian bartenders serving gourmet wine and beer provided by the Candler Park Supermarket. Oh, and the food! The Vortex, The Local, Radial Cafe and Gourmet Station are all providing chow (I am personally providing cupcakes). Salon Red is also on board, as is Rex and Roxie's Doggie Daycare and Boarding ... and people, just get out of my way on that one. They are offering a certificate for three days dog boarding, and I am running out of carpet.

The Art-and-Other-Cool-Stuff Auction-APALOOZA takes place Tuesday, March 11, 6-10 p.m. at the Peanut Gallery Studio, 1530 DeKalb Ave., Candler Park. 404-527-3605.

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