I’m almost an hour late when I pass through the VIP entrance to one of Walnut Log’s most popular nightclub establishments, one of several in the area to offer all-male nude revenues on the weekends. Tonight’s attraction is the “Plunder Down Under”, a pirate-themed troupe of well-endowed dancers whose infectious enthusiasm intrigues me- but I’ve no time to linger. A tawny, well-tanned Colin Farrell look-a-like leads me upstairs to a private room where the divorce party of one Beatrice Robensenito is well underway.
It takes me a moment to pick her out from amongst the throng of late thirtysomethings here. The thick glasses and lab coat have been replaced with contact lenses and a burgundy colored princess bodice. The transformation is resplendent. Beatrice is a gorgeous woman of Hispanic descent for whom time has aged like a fine wine. On this particular evening however, the effort appears to have been wasted. Beatrice sits forlorn on a couch, her mood affects the entire occasion. It is at this low point in her life that I make her acquaintance.
Interview by Garland Merriweather
Photography by Barnabas Savage
BORN: August 16, 1965
HOMETOWN: Tugjob, Wisconsin
MAJOR: Director of the Walnut Log Community College Primate Research Center
TURN-ONS: Honesty, Intelligence, Judge Reinhold
TURN-OFFS: Liars, people who cheat, flatulence
HOBBIES: The study of peptide receptors in nonhuman primates.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The First Wives Club
FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW: Divorce Court
FAVORITE SONG: “Love Stinks” J. Geils Band
ROLE MODEL: Jane Goodall
FAVORITE FOOD: science snacks
MARITAL STATUS: divorced
Good evening Beatrice, how are you?
I’m divorced. My ex was a bastard and has a small penis. Can you say that in your interview? That he has a small penis?
He left me you know, I never cheated on him. I wanted kids but he didn’t. I loved him.
[There is an awkward silence during which I am overcome with pity for the woman. Sensing a traditional interview would only add to her misery, I pursue a different tact.]
Is this your first time at Mantasia?
Yes, it’s been six months since the divorce. My girlfriends thought I needed a night out. I’m afraid it’s been a bit of a disappointment for them so far.
Did you know the dancers here will get fully nude?
Really? The manager said that was illegal.
Pish posh! Someone run downstairs and fetch Rodrigo. Tell him Garland’s waiting. Now, you’ve devoted your life to the study of sexual dysfunction in primates. Was this an attempt to shed light on some of your marital problems?
Steven and I were rarely intimate. I’d always hoped the problem was chemical, and that I could somehow find the answer. Now I know he was just sleeping around. When he left me I realized that both my personal and professional lives had been for naught.
Preposterous! Your ex-husband was a fool, and your work is a credit to the university.
Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say.
Tell me more about your work at Walnut Log Community College. What’s a typical day like?
Well, most mornings are-
Ah Rodrigo! Finally! Remove your thong and begin tea bagging this woman at once.
I don’t think I should-
Nonsense dear. Consider it “research”. Rodrigo, if you would be so kind...
Oh my God!
Indeed. I think you’ll find this young man could teach your primates a thing or two about “rising to the occasion” as it were, not to mention your ex-husband.
[laughs] Garland you’re a Godsend!
Not at all. Barkeep! Another pitcher of Banana Streisands! I’m going out to the car to retrieve the phallus-shaped piñata I was saving for just such an occasion. No one plays the wallflower at their own divorce party while Garland Merriweather’s about! Towanda!