The City Without Foreplay pg97

Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

Some Vegas Roommates: Etch A Sketch 1982

Here I was again as a flower girl to the fun-seekers, working for Rita and Vito at the Tropicana. A job like this in a niche market so specialized only succeeds when money floats around like plastic in the Great Garbage Patch, and can be gleaned by selling something as silly as a fresh rose in a hot, dry climate. Few hotels even had a flower girl, so that this job existed at all meant someone was doing someone else a favor. Vito’s long life of loyalty to the family organization was probably it. — From Chapter 5

A few years after this wild-ass stint in Las Vegas, I was in my mid-twenties and working as a receptionist. Somehow I got hold of an Etch A Sketch and made it my job to master it. If you shake the graphite to the bottom before starting the one-line drawing, you can carefully turn it over and make a copy without getting the etched lines mushy. The office only had a black & white copier in 1982, so I wasted more time coloring them in. It took a heavy wax pencil to make the xeroxed black borders red, and Liquid Paper typewriter correction fluid for highlights. I created an entire series of cartoon dinosaurs mocking the culture of my former home town, and this portrait of my showgirl roommates Suzanne and July. Then I got fired.

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