The HumpersVictor Gischler
Thereís something about a crying woman that makes me want to fuck.
I donít know what it is, maybe the vulnerability, the sloppy, smeared
mascara running down her cheeks, some kind of palpable desperation.
So when she came into the office blubbering, and her silicon tits
busting out of her V-neck sweater, and her bottle blond hair bouncing
with body and her long legs sticking out of her short, red skirt, I
stood up stiff and took notice.
She said, "Mr. Sparrow, my name is Martini Beefeater, and I need your
And she looked so good, and her lips were so red, I let her think
that I could help her. Iíd have let her think anything she wanted. I
even let her think my name was Sparrow. It was an honest mistake. It
said David Sparrow on the door.
"What can I do for you, Miss Beefeater?" I pulled out the chair, sat
behind Sparrowís desk.
"Thereís this man. He owes me money. He wonít pay."
"Call the police," I suggested. "Get a lawyer."
She shook her head, sniffed, wiped her nose on the back of her hand.
I looked at my watch. "Can I meet you somewhere this afternoon. I
have a meeting soon."
"You can come to my house."
She told me where she lived. I knew the area, middle class. I said
Iíd come by at three oíclock. She thanked me and left. I watched her ass
all the way out of the room.
As soon as she was gone I pulled the bucket and mop out from behind
the desk, finished the floor. Then I emptied the trashcan.
I usually wore a tan shirt with Earl stitched over the left
pocket. I hadnít been able to find it and instead wore a black button-up
and jeans. It was an easy mistake. I didnít look like a custodian today.
I donít suppose I looked like a private eye either, but Martini
Beefeater didnít know that.
And I wasnít even curious about her ridiculous name. After all, Iíd
seen all her movies.
I finished all the offices on the hall, cut a few corners, but I
wanted to get home. It was noon. I microwaved some Bagel Bites and drank
two Coors Lights and crashed with my clothes on for an hour and a half.
Iíd start cleaning the building at five a.m. Sparrowís office is usually
on of the last ones.
It had been some kind of crazy fate that Martini had come in early
and Sparrow was late and there was good old Earl pushing the mop, except
I hadnít been holding it the split-second sheíd walked in the door.
I woke up, showered. How to dress? Iíd seen Sparrow in the hall a few
times. Polyester pants and black Payless shoes and a short sleeve shirt
with a tie pulled loose. Comb-over. Moustache.
I had a better body. Not too much muscle, but lean. Iíd lost fifteen
pounds my first two months as a custodian. A lot of people donít know,
but riding a mop is a great, low-impact aerobic workout.
I put on tan pants and a denim shirt. Rolled-up the sleeves. I stuck
a half-empty pack of Winstons in the shirt pocket. I went to the cabinet
under my television and rummaged around until I found one of Beefeaterís
VHS tapes, a movie called The Humpers. I couldnít remember much
about it except this three-way scene with her and two guys dressed like
cops. Theyíd been real clever with a billy club.
I turned the box over, re-read the back to find out what the plot
might have been. Martini played a female private eye on a case about
smugglers. She went from suspect to suspect and got information out of
them by fucking them.
I laughed, tossed the videotape on the couch on the way out of my
Martiniís house was a well-kept, sparsely furnished bungalow. She
showed me, in, aimed me at the couch and asked if I wanted a beer.
I did want a beer.
I sat. She came back with two beers, handed me one. She sat in the
chair next to the couch. I drank. She drank. It was real quiet. I waited
for her to talk.
Finally, she said, "Iím sorry about the scene in your office this
morning, Mr. Sparrow. I was just so upset."
"I see it all the time. No problem."
She explained her trouble. Her boss was refusing to pay her money,
claimed cash flow problems. Sheíd just filmed two more videos and hadnít
been paid. Her mortgage was due. She couldnít make a public stink, she
said. First of all, the porn film industry was a tight community. If she
got labeled a troublemaker, it might be hard for her to find work. Also,
her elderly parents thought she was a secretary. She didnít want
anything in the newspapers.
I finished the beer, set it on her coffee table. "So what do you want
me to do?"
"I need you to get something on my boss. So I can blackmail him. His
name is Dale Mortensen. I can tell you where he lives. Get pictures of
him sucking crack or something."
"Blackmail is illegal."
"All I want is the money he owes me. I earned it."
I told her Iíd take the case. Why not? It didnít matter. I wasnít
going to do it anyway. All I really wanted was to drink beer with a porn
star and see how far I could get. I mumbled some TV private eye talk
about retainers and fees.
"I canít afford to pay you now."
I shrugged. "Well, I need some form of payment up front."
Now, I wasnít stupid. I knew that porn movies were as far from
reality as Star Strek. But I was willing to go through the
motions and see what happened. If I got slapped, then I got slapped. It
would still be a cool story to tell my buddies down at The Bulldog pool
hall Saturday night.
She got up from her chair, moved next to me on the couch. Her soft
eyes landed on mine. She put a hand on my knee, and it was like somebody
flipped a switch, an electric current zooming through my body.
Part of it was disbelief. That this might happen. That it would
happen to me.
"Isnít there something we could work out?" she asked. He voice did
that thing that girls can do with their voices, somehow a pout and a
promise and come on a rolled into a hyped up, quivering sex package. And
I knew what was coming. It was going to happen, and the monster in my
boxers woke up for breakfast. But I knew the routine. Iíd seen enough of
the videos. We had just one or two more lines before we were there.
I said, "What do you mean?"
"Some kind of show of good faith," she said. "So youíll know Iím
And her hands were on my zipper and then her head was in my lap. That
was the start of it, the blur of clothes peeled away and flesh and
grinding and her on top then me on top and thrusting and grunting and
then somehow weíd fucked an hour away, landing in a greasy heap.
I lit a Winston, left her apartment, promising to investigate Dale
Mortensen and to find out about her money.
Iíd lied of course.
I went back to my apartment, proud and giddy that Iíd banged Martini
Beefeater. But In the car on the way home, I started feeling strange and
guilty and weird. I tried to think of a way I could have sex with her
again, see if I could keep a good thing going. But I knew I wouldnít be
able to keep up the private eye charade. Iíd had my taste, and Iíd have
to be satisfied with that.
At home, I popped open a Coors Light, and put in The Humpers.
I donít know why, but I wanted to see her again. Maybe watch her fuck
some other guy and see if it were the same as with me.
In the video, Martini played a private eye. It opened with a clichť
office scene, light coming in through the blinds, a bottle of booze on
Martiniís desk. She wore a tight dress and a fedora. A girl came in and
said she needed Martiniís help. Martini said she needed some money up
front, but the girl said she didnít have any money, but maybe they could
"work something out." She ended up on her knees, munching Martiniís rug.
I fell asleep with the video still running.
I was a little sluggish at work the next day, made my way up to
Sparrowís office, went in and found the manila envelope slipped under
the door. There was a note taped to the outside of the envelope: Mr.
Sparrow. Open this. Important. Love, Martini Beefeater..
I opened the envelope. Another note: These are stills from a
hidden camera video. Pay us 5000 dollars or weíll show them to your wife.
And there were instructions about when and where to drop off the money.
I looked at the photos. Vivid, clear shots. One of me taking Martini
from behind. Another with her head between my legs. My face was clear in
both pictures, my head thrown back, eyes closed tight, mouth open.
I was shocked. Then suddenly I cracked up laughing. Mrs. Sparrow
would get pictures of strange fornicators in the mail. Iíd been the
target of a blackmail scheme, or rather Sparrow had. The humpers had the
wrong guy. I laughed again, finished mopping, took out the trash and
A week went by, and I started thinking it would all blow over. I went
to work, shot pool at The Bulldog. Nothing happened. Another week
passed, Iíd forgotten about the whole thing.
Then I was home one night watching Jeopardy. A knock at the door. I
answered it without a thought.
As soon as the door was open, he rushed me, some huge guy with slick,
black hair pulled into a tight ponytail. I was back on my heels. I felt
the guyís fist smack my chin and little bells went off. I tried to punch
back, but the big guy batted my fists aside, planted another jab in my
gut. I coughed, bent double and sucked for air.
I caught sight of some legs behind the big guy, a blur of blond hair.
"Thatís Sparrow," Martini said. "Hit him again, Dale."
He did. A nice one on the jaw. I stumbled, kissed carpet. He kicked
me in the ribs. Then he knelt next to me, gabbed a fistful of my hair,
made me look at copies of the sex photos he held in his other hand.
"Donít you love your wife, dumbass? You want we should show her these
pictures? Whatís wrong with you?"
I spit a little blood, got my breath. "Itís not me."
"Donít give me that shit," Dale said. "Iím looking right at you clear
"I mean, Iím not Sparrow. My name is Earl."
"Look at my driverís license." I handed them my wallet. Dale looked
at my license, frowned, handed it to Martini. She looked at it too. It
took a while to explain the mix up, how they had the wrong guy. They
Finally, Martini said, "Well, shit! Youíre just some kind of fucking
shitty liar. I canít believe this."
Dale sat on the couch. He didnít seem threatening anymore. He shook
his head. "What a fucking waste of time."
I got up, stretched. Nothing seemed broken. I found my cigarettes,
popped one into my mouth, lit it. "Maybe not."
Dale raised an eyebrow. "Maybe not what?"
"Maybe I can help you."
Martini said, "Donít listen to him, Dale. Heís full of shit."
"Shut up, cooze." Dale looked at me. ĎTalk."
"Iím in Sparrowís office every day. I can find something on him. I
just need some time. Just one question."
"Why Sparrow? He doesnít seem like the type top have an extra five
"He wasnít supposed to pay," Dale said. "We were just supposed to get
him in a bind. He works for lots of lawyers. If we had Sparrow in our
pocket, we could squeeze the lawyers easy."
"Okay." I puffed my Winston. "Count me in."
Dale scratched his chin. "And what do you want?"
"A chunk of the action," I said. "And another thing. A job. Get me
into the porn videos."
He looked surprised for s second, then looked down at the pictures of
me fucking Martini. "Youíd have to work on your upper body a little.
Pump some iron."
Sure. No problem. And why not? Maybe this was a mistake, but really
that was part of the attraction. Pretending to be somebody else had
shown me how dull my own life was. Maybe it wouldnít work. Maybe Iíd
just make a mess of my life. Fine then. Let it be a mess.
Let somebody else clean it up for a change.
Victor Gischler's novels include Gun Monkeys, The
Pistol Poets, and the forthcoming Suicide Squeeze. He's done
some stuff and been some places. Maybe he'll see you around. Visit him