Subject: [VP] Starsky replaces Ann Landers
(or: What's Happened to Flamingo)
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 12:46:09 -0400
(as reported by Flamingo)
Hutch entered his apartment at the insane asylum known as VenicePlace. He was pleased with his purchases. New, crisp blue jeans for Starsky to destroy in record time (but in the perfect size, skin-tight) and a pair of soft-as-butter cords for him, a few new plaid shirts (which he'd have to hide from Flamingo who hated them) and a pair of tiny little red bikini underwear he had already put on and planned to surprise Starsky with a little later. He'd have to thank Flamingo for that idea.
His satisfaction dimmed slightly, however, when he passed his partner, sitting at the 2nd hand kitchen table, lap top running, piles of what looked like letters around him. Starsky was totally engrossed in the lap top and was two-fingered typing furiously. That always made Hutch nervous.
"Hey," he said to Starsky, who had yet to take notice of him. "I'm home!"
Starsky waved an acknowledging hand in his direction and never slowed his furious typing.
"Uh . . . what's going on?" Hutch asked tentatively even while a little voice said to him, "Keep walking, Ken, put your stuff away, and go out for a beer. You'll be better off."
Starsky held up a hand asking Hutch to wait, then finished whatever he was working on, took one of the letters, dumped it in an overflowing trashcan by his feet, then smiled at his true love. "You're home! Hi! Did you buy me something?"
Wondering for the millionth time if he fell in love with an insatiable erotic sybarite (like Flamingo thought) or a ten year old (like he thought), he said, "Well . . . yes I did buy you something, but before we talk about that . . . what is all this?"
He indicated the toppling piles of letters and envelopes, the overflowing trash can, the laptop. He'd only been gone an hour.
Starsky adopted the expression that meant he had bad news. "Listen, I hate to break this to you, Hutch, I know it's going to really upset you . . . but Ann Landers died."
Hutch's eyes widened and he reached for the nearest chair, collapsing into it. "NOT Ann Landers! You've got to be kidding me! I never went a day without reading her in the paper!"
"I knew you would be upset," Starsky said sympathetically. "And I knew you were a big fan of hers . . . ."
"You know it. Dear Abby was never anything put a weak sister compared to her twin. No one but no one could write 'quit'chur bellyachin' ' or 'ten lashes with a wet noodle' like she could. This is a tragedy! What are all those frantic people going to do? Like Desperate in Detroit, and Tragedy in Toronto! They're out there, helpless, without her. And she was so young!" Hutch was bereft.
"Uh, Hutch, that picture of her was taken a long time ago. She was 83 . . . but, cheer up. Ann Landers is gone, but they've found someone to take her place." He grinned saucily at his partner.
Hutch put on his sternest demeanor, leaning towards Starsky to make his point and pointing the dreaded Hutchinson finger at him. A two foot high pile of letters cascaded to the floor. "Let's get one thing straight! No one, but NO ONE could take Ann Landers' place. A wonder of the world has passed, and we'll just have to live without her." He shook his head, having no idea how that would happen.
"Wait, Hutch. It's not that bad! Look, I know we're really busy and all, but I just know this a job I'd be good at. I called down to the VP Times and they hired me on the spot."
Hutch's heart sank. "You mean they were desperate."
"Probably. But I'm gonna do great in this job! I was born for it!"
Hutch's stomach sank. "You mean, like the advice emails you were writing to the residents of the building for $5 apiece that were going to make us rich?"
"We would've done a lot better," Starsky reminded him, "if you hadn't interfered with your snippy, snooty answers every time I gave the ladies some good advice."
"Snippy . . . !" Hutch blustered.
"That's right. Well this time, the job's mine alone. And I'm up for it. The Times sent me up these backlogged letters and I got started right away. I've already answered a whole bunch of 'em."
Hutch was really worried now. "You've emailed the responses?"
"Well, not yet. The Times wants to see them first. I don't know why, since they're gonna love 'em. Why wait? These ladies are frantic for help. They need me!"
Hutch tried to find a reasonable approach to get Starsky off this kick. "You know, Starsky, you're really not a . . . well, a writer . . . "
Starsky looked affronted. He was still hurting over the fact that piles of his unsuccessful slash novel, "Me and Hutch Get It On A Whole Lot," were still sitting around unsold. They'd even given a copy to each and every resident who then promptly returned them when they couldn't unload them on slashswap.
Hutch continued gently, ". . . so, really, it would make more sense if you, maybe, let Flamingo handle this . . . ."
Starsky shook his head patiently. "Hutch . . . you haven't been downstairs lately have you?"
Hutch shook his head.
"Flamingo's into one of her 'writing-like-a-maniac' modes. Don't go down there. She's barred the door, taken the phone off the hook, put her email on hold—she's up to 2000 unread emails in her inbox—and she's not doing anything about maintaining the building. She's not even watching the cable channel anymore."
Hutch was really worried now. Whenever Flamingo got into one of these "don't-bother-me-I'm-writing" jags, it was never good news for him. "What's she writing?"
"What is she not writing? She finally finished that story where . . . you know . . . you had that little . . . problem . . . you know with your, uh . . ." he indicated the area of Hutch's groin, "but it's okay, because we learned how to make sure I got satisfied over and over, even if you couldn't . . . ."
Hutch groaned piteously.
"And she wrote an ending to that other story, you know, where we're in an illicit relationship and you're my kept thing on the side . . . ."
Hutch covered his face and shuddered.
"And she thinks she's finally gonna be able to get to that story where you and me do the wild thing on Dobey's desk, you know, with, of course, you on the bottom."
Hutch wanted to run away from home.
"AND," Starsky said with a huge grin, "she's finally working on that AU story she kept threatening to write."
Hutch thought he might cry. "You mean, the one she always called 'Starsky Enslaved'?"
"Yeah, that's the one! I get to wear this sexy leather body harness, and a big codpiece, and be this really cool Ninja-type dude who saves your bacon—"
"Wait a minute . . . is this still the same story where I've got this major addiction problem and Ben Forest has me in his clutches?"
"Yeah," Starsky said enthusiastically, nodding his head, "and I get to save you—"
Hutch held up a hand. "Hold it. I thought there was this . . . shall we say . . . difficult love scene . . . involving--how can I put this nicely--a loss of virginity and coercion?"
Starsky stopped grinning.
"And if I remember exactly . . . you're the one getting it at that point. Right?"
Starsky shuffled through some of the letters. "Well, we're still negotiating that. I think I can talk her out of it. You know how fans hate that stuff . . . The zine will never sell if she keeps that scene in."
"You mean, she's already written it and she's ignoring you completely," Hutch said smugly. It was a scene he'd been looking forward to reading for a while now.
Starsky coughed. "Well, anyway . . . that's why Flamingo can't do it. There's no point in even asking her. She won't even answer the door."
"Go on down there in that leather body harness and see if she won't answer the door."
"I already tried that . . . when I tried to talk her out of that scene. She's typing. Won't answer. She's got CrowRow guarding the door. But anyway . . . that's why I decided to take over for Ann Landers in our paper. It's easy! I've already answered a bunch of these. I'm telling you, Hutch, it won't take any time at all. And we could use the extra money."
"I only wish it was enough so we could buy a house and get out of here!" Hutch lamented.
"Hutch . . . ! You'll hurt the ladies' feelings!" Starsky scolded.
Hutch peered at him through narrowed eyes. "You act like they can hear everything I say."
Starsky grinned weakly, glancing at the "security cameras" placed all over their apartment. "Oh, no, Hutch. They can't. Unh-uh."
Hutch nodded knowingly. "So all those smirks and grins I got this morning had nothing to do with our romp last night in the 'privacy' of our bedroom?"
"Don't be silly!" In an all-too obvious attempt to distract Hutch from this line of thinking, Starsky, said, "You gotta listen to these real clever answers I've written to take Ann Landers' place. My column is going to be the first thing you read every morning. You're never gonna miss Ann, I promise!"
Hutch sighed wearily.
"Here's the first one, Hutch. Wait'll you hear it!" Starsky rubbed his hands together, and tapped the keys on his laptop to bring the document up. "'Dear Mr. Landers:'" He looked at Hutch to make sure he was paying attention. "I thought that was a cute touch—MR. Landers."
Hutch rolled his eyes.
Starsky continued reading. "'My husband wants a threesome with my best friend and me.' My answer is: 'Obviously your husband cannot get enough of you! Knowing that there is only one of you he can only settle for the next best thing—your best friend. Far from being an issue, this can bring you closer together. Why not get some of your old college roommates involved too? If you are still apprehensive, maybe you should let him be with your friends without you. If you're still not sure then just perform oral sex on him and cook him a nice meal while you think about it.'"
Hutch's eyes opened hugely. This was worse than even he could imagine. Starsky's sexist advice was going to get them killed. "You can't be serious about that answer!"
Starsky looked dismayed. "What's wrong with it?"
"Starsky . . . just because the women in this building have the mistaken notion that you have the best ass on the planet—"
"I do have the best ass on the planet. You're just jealous 'cause you're second best. That means you have to try harder!" He waggled his eyebrows letting Hutch know what he thought he had to try better at.
"—doesn't mean you can give them such demeaning, sexist, male-oriented advice!"
"It's sensible, good advice. They want to make their men happy, don't they? Listen, here's another one: 'Dear Mr. Landers: My husband continually asks me to perform oral sex on him.'" He shook his head disapprovingly at the computer screen. "What? Like that's a problem? Anyway, I said, 'Do it. Semen can help you loose weight and gives a great glow to your skin. Interestingly, men know this. His offer to allow you to perform oral sex on him is totally selfless. This shows he loves you. The best thing to do is to thank him by performing it twice a day; then cook him a nice meal.' That should fend off the impending divorce in that house!" He grinned as though he now deserved the Nobel Prize.
Hutch began wondering if they could put a cross-bar against the door to keep enraged women from beating it down in a blind rage.
"You liked that one, I could tell. Here's another: 'Dear Mr. Landers: My husband has too many nights out with the boys.' Another non-problem. Man, am I glad I live with you. You're always encouraging me to spend more time with the boys."
"There's a reason for that, Starsk."
"Whatever. Here's the answer: 'This is perfectly natural behavior and it should be encouraged. The Man is a hunter and he needs to prove his prowess with other men. A night out chasing young single girls is a great stress relief and can foster a more peaceful and relaxing home. Remember, nothing can rekindle your relationship better than the man being away for a day or two (it's a great time to clean the house, too)! Just look at how emotional and happy he is when he returns to his stable home. The best thing to do when he gets home is for you and your best friend to perform oral sex on him. Then cook him a nice meal.'"
Hutch focused a piercing stare on his partner. "So, is that what you do when you go out with the boys? Is that why you're always bouncing on your toes when you get home to me—because you've been out chasing young single girls?"
Starsky's expression froze and Hutch could just see the wheels turning. "Look, Hutch, this is just advice—you know, do as I say, not do as I do."
"So, the next time you're out with the boys, which one of my friends would you like me to invite over to help me give you oral sex, and I presume you'd like the Paul Muni Special?" Hutch's expression was fierce.
Distracted by the offer Starsky actually said, "Well . . . there's that young, feisty red-headed guy who was in Lucy's last story—" Then he caught the intensity of Hutch's glare and laughed weakly. "Just kidding, babe. You know there's no one in this world for me but you. But I always love coming home to the Paul Muni Special."
Hutch's glower didn't change.
Wisely, Starsky went on to his next letter. "'Dear Mr. Landers: My husband doesn't know where my clitoris is.'" He grinned one of his most charming grins and said, "I almost told her that was okay, because my husband didn't know where mine was either, but then I thought I'd better get serious. So I said the obvious, 'Your clitoris is of no concern to your husband. If you must mess with it, do it in your own time or ask your best friend to help. You may wish to videotape yourself while doing this, and present it to your husband as a birthday gift. To ease your selfish guilt, perform oral sex on him and cook him a delicious meal.' Another marriage saved! Am I good at this or what?"
Hutch sat back in his chair and tried to imagine being burned at the stake in a public square, or at the very least, the public flogging they'd be subjected to. It didn't matter that he wasn't involved. Somehow he always managed to end up sharing the retribution. Flamingo would love this. He wondered if he'd end up wearing some embarrassing loin-cloth.
"Here's the next one," Starsky continued blithely. "'Dear Mr. Landers: My husband is uninterested in foreplay.' I said: 'You are a bad person for bringing it up and should seek sensitivity training.' And Flamingo thought I got nothing out of that class she made me take! Ha! 'Foreplay to a man is very stressful and time consuming. Sex should be available to your husband on demand with no pesky requests for foreplay. What this means is that you do not love your man as much as you should. He should never have to work to get you in the mood. Stop being so selfish! Perhaps you can make it up to him by—"
Hutch finished for him. "'Performing oral sex on him and cooking him a nice meal.'"
"See!" Starsky crowed. "It's easy! Even you could do this, Hutch!"
"So, that thing I did last night with the feather," Hutch said pointedly, "and that other thing I did with your toes, I shouldn't bother doing that anymore. I mean I wouldn't want to stress you out or waste your time."
Starsky looked frustrated. "You're just not getting this, are you? You're supposed to want to do foreplay on me! I'm just saying these demanding women shouldn't be expecting their poor, tired, overworked, stressed-out husbands to have to spend all that time on them. It's a matter of priorities here, Hutch."
Hutch forgot about being burned at the stake. That would take too much time and preparation. They were much more likely to get bludgeoned to death.
"Here's the last one I wrote before you got home," Starsky said gleefully. "I should be able to knock the rest of these out in an hour. Then we can fool around. 'Dear Mr. Landers: My husband always has an orgasm then rolls over and goes to sleep without giving me one.' I'm afraid I got a little sarcastic on this one. I really debated my answer, but you know Ann always gave a zinger when someone sent her a really stupid question, so I felt I had to, to carry on in her grand tradition. So, I said: 'I'm not sure I understand the problem. Perhaps you've forgotten to cook him a nice meal.'" Starsky sat back, looking smug. "Was that on the money or what?"
Ruthlessly, Hutch swept all of the letters into the trashcan and stomped on them to compress them down into the trash.
"Hey! Wha'd'ya think you're doin'!" Starsky yelled in dismay.
"Saving our lives," Hutch said, unplugging the laptop, knowing Starsky had no battery in it. It went out instantly.
Starsky nearly shrieked. "I hadn't saved that yet! Hutch! You just lost me fifteen minutes of work! I'll have to reconstruct all those answers!"
"Oh, no, you won't, buddy," Hutch assured him. Grabbing Starsky's wrist before he could object, he jerked him up and slung him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry before Starsky realized what was happening. "Because your poor, tired, overworked, stressed-out husband is back from a day of hunting at the clothing store." He plopped Starsky down on the bed on his back and clambered over him, pinning him there. "So, you're going to lose a little weight and improve the glow of your skin by giving me oral sex several times, then cooking me a nice meal. I'd like eggplant parmigiana with linguini, a fresh loaf of bread and a nice bottle of wine. And then, I might have to go out with the boys and chase some young girls to relieve any additional stress I may have. Unless you decide to get real clever and invite your best friend over—"
"Hutch!" Starsky said a little breathlessly, his eyes wide as saucers. "My best friend is Huggy, and he just won't go for it."
"Okay, we'll invite my best friend over—the red-head you mentioned—and you can both give me oral sex several times. How does that sound?"
"I like it better when this works to my benefit, actually," Starsky said honestly. "I've been thinking about your mouth and the Paul Muni Special all day."
"Who couldn't figure that out?" Hutch scolded.
"But I could definitely reconsider our positions if you promise me one thing," Starsky offered.
"What's that?" Hutch said.
"You'll look for my clitoris."
Hutch grinned evilly. "Go put on the body harness."
Subject: [VP] Hutch & Me Get It On A Whole Lot
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 22:31:01 -0400 report from Flamingo
Well, now you've done it. At least four VP'ers expressed interest in Starsky's self-published slash zine, "Hutch and Me Get It On A Whole Lot," to which he was the only contributor. Of course, your emails came in right after Hutch had taken the entire 500 issue run to the recycler where it got shredded for hamster bedding. So, needless to say, the sounds from upstairs where not ones of passion, unless rage is a passion and indifference is a passion. Yeah, Starsky was enraged, and Hutch was indifferent.
That meant that right in the middle of my latest sex scene there's this frantic pounding on my door that I cannot ignore. CrowRow, who is trying to run interference for me so I can get my scene done, attempts to forestall Starsky, but one does not forestall a writer who feels wronged, so I have to leave the boys several paragraphs away from blastoff. I'm not amused. Hutch really is not amused, since he's the one catching. Fortunately, he can't complain with his mouth full.
Starsky's ranting about Hutch's obsessive compulsive need to recycle every scrap of paper in the house (actually, only anything Starsky actually writes stuff down on), and what is he supposed to do about his "hundreds" (his words) of "customers" practically "banging down the door to get my zine!" (Yes, Hutch recycled the master, and yes, Starsky can't find the original files probably because Hutch found them and erased them. Can this marriage be saved? Not if past experience tells us anything.)
"Be glad they don't have the zine or next they'd be breaking down the door to get their money back," I tell him. Now, he's not amused.
CrowRow is doing her best to convince him everything will be all right, but he's doing some broken field running thing around her, and short of a body tackle, she's just not gonna stop him. I see her considering it. I see my extensive collection of rare 1950's ceramic Flamingos becoming a huge mound of shattered bric-a-brac. Looks like I've gotta get involved. I can see we are never gonna get rid of him unless we do something to placate him. Me, I'm shameless; I'll say anything to get him out of the apartment. Trust me, the Starsky in my story is always more cooperative than the man upstairs.
CrowRow and I look at each other and do that instant telepathy thing that the boys do so well, and in an attempt to get my writing back on track CrowRow promises him that we'll help him reconstruct the zine and republish it. So, once again our instant telepathy thing was a complete failure, cause that sure wasn't what I wanted her to say! I wanted her to tell him if he didn't get the hell out of my apartment in five minutes flat, the next 40 pages of this story would be about his profound case of blue balls! Or that I'd confiscate his body harness! Or that I'd give him back his virginity! Anything, but tell him we'd help him reconstruct the zine.
CrowRow gives me that wide-eyed look and explains, "But if we help him put it out, it'll be that much better." I tell her that any zine called, "Hutch and Me Get It On A Whole Lot" written solely by Starsky himself had to have been improved by recycling, but she's waving off my concerns. "We can do this," she says. "You go finish that scene or Hutch is gonna get TMJ. I'll take a nap. And let the list know so we can get some decent submissions."
As she trundles off to the land of nod, I consider running away from home with my laptop.
So, if you are at all interested in Starsky's zine, "Hutch and Me Get It On A Whole Lot," or want to help placate Starsky's delicate writer's psyche, or save my sanity (probably too late) I hope you will consider sending in any very short humorous bit of fluff or parody having to do with the aforementioned Starsky and Hutch getting it on. Of course, you may have to share the author's byline with Starsky since the original zine only had his stories in it. Believe me, none of them ran over 2 pages. Some were a paragraph. I kid you not. I mean he had everything in there. Really bad poems, some haiku, some of the worst jokes you ever heard —we're talking rough stuff here, guys. I think he had some graphics and artwork, but I remember talking him out of reproducing the image of his bare butt he produced by sitting his ass on the Xerox machine and running the photocopier 500 times. Yeah, I know you all want to see his bare butt, but trust me, this wasn't the picture you were looking for. (My photocopier has not been the same since.)
We will publish this collection of artistic excellence in time for SHareCon. This way there will be compensatory material available in the real SHareCon zine. I'll include the original story that started this problem . . . er, publishing endeavor. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I hope.
Send me anything that would be appropriate for a zine titled "Hutch and Me Get It On A Whole Lot." I promise to find it in my 2040 emails. Or I'll make CrowRow do it. That'll teach her.