The Saucy Siren

The Saucy Siren was advertised on the side of a box of something I bought at a sex shop. The box was a novelty jobber, the kind with a transparent window on the front that shows how novel the novelty really is. The ad called the Saucy Siren, "the ultimate foreign language sex talk translator."

The shop was just a run-down, windowless shack on the edge of a dirt parking lot. There was no sign outside that named the business and a big humming air conditioner jutted out of its blank, cinderblock wall. It was a pretty great place for almost all of my needs and best of all, it was next to a discount cigarette warehouse where you could buy just about any kind of cigarette by the carton. I had recently switched from menthol to regular tobacco and I was on a French cigarette kick.

The Saucy Siren attached to your head with a padded adjustable strap that snapped easily onto the mask. The mask itself was made of breathable top-rate gortex that fit snugly under the nose and wrapped over the horn of the chin. The gortex armature was outfitted with a miracle in electronic innovation: where the mouth pressed into the mask, there was a donut-shaped piece of soft, flexible plastic with a shock-resistant microphone and a high fidelity speaker on the outside. All you had to do was set the input and output languages and you were set.

It's pretty amazing what you can get through the mail if you just take the time to read the fine print of packages. The tiny ad appeared on the narrow side of the box. There was a picture of the translator, a little drawing actually, and a P.O. box where I sent $109.99. I say a little drawing because when it finally arrived, it was much bigger than it had seemed. It's funny how they never put something next these items for scale, like minerals photographed next to a dime in an Earth Science textbook.

But you never can be certain with mail ordering. I had been scammed so many times sending away to P.O. boxes in Nebraska and Kansas; places where recovering money for an undelivered sex toy isn't the kind of thing you go running over to the Better Business Bureau for. And I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill sex toys, but the kind that are easily misunderstood. The Mid-west Madame, Inc. sent me popular items like, the Virtual Vagina and a deluxe Rub-a-Dub Diva. There were some pretty funky tapes too that arrived weekly. And then there was the additional threat of one of my neighbors discovering a parcel in the event of a misplaced delivery. I even considered getting a PO box of my own, although I still ran a risk since everyone at the post office knew me as an upstanding fellow.

Maybe I was just paranoid. It could be that all of you have a little locked fantasy hutch next to your bed and it's no big deal and I'm just an ole hick who doesn't realize that all the secrecy isn't necessary; but these were important considerations with people like Meryl Bernson taking their long walks around town. So even if it was a bit of a jolt that it was a little bigger than I expected, I chalked it up to life experience and was happy it didn't end up in one of my neighbors' mailboxes.

It wasn't just my reputation that was on the line. It was my daughter Harriet who worried me most. The name was the doing of my ex-wife, Cindy. I thought it was a little old fashioned, and then something even I didn't predict would happen made her life miserable. Kids at school, friggin sixth graders, were calling her Hairy. Kids are cruel sometimes and what do you tell a kid with smooth-as-porcelain skin about being called a nickname like that? She didn't get it. She cried and held her arms straight out, looking down at them and shaking her head. I've seen some of her classmates. They'll be waxing as adults-- not Harriet. What can you say? You sure as hell can't give her perspective by confiding in her your mail-ordering dilemma. Having a lady around the house would have come in handy during a time like this.

Years ago, Cindy left town in a VW van with Denny, a car wash buffer. Magic Car Wash was next to the Golden Corral where she worked. From what I gathered from a short talk with another buffer named Ed, Cindy would stroll over to chat with Denny at the end of her shift. He was a slick talker and it didn't take long before they were retiring to his VW for a nightcap and then she was gone for good.

I couldn't fault Denny because I knew a little of what had drawn him to Cindy. My love for Cindy blossomed one summer when we both worked at the Bonanza. I was a night manager and she waited tables. We had been scoping each other out before we happened to end up out back for a cigarette break next to a stinking dumpster where Cindy asked me for a light. The strip plazas on the state highway made the sky glow and there we were standing in the shadows, the flames of my Bic lighting the hollows of her cheeks; it was damn romantic. She was smoking Parliaments then and I found that kind of sophistication sexy. The years passed, she started smoking Virginia Slims and Denny took her away.

With Cindy out of the picture, I had the kind of freedom that can be a mixed blessing on long, lonely nights, so I went out looking for some companionship. I felt like a young buck, as if I had been born again, but it wasn't an easy transition. I can only compare it to bowling after recovering from a lumbar injury and rolling a few gutter balls when the only possibility you saw were strikes.

The longer I dated the less the image of the VW van turning the corner threw me into a rage. The best girl was this doozy of a honey named Lacivia; a Spanish gal, from Honduras. She wasn't much of a companion for Harriet, but even going there wouldn't have been right. I call it the Back to School Night Standard; if you can't imagine your girlfriend there, don't introduce her to your daughter.

Like clockwork, Lacivia showed up outside my window after midnight and we got right into the practicalities of our affair. Our relationship evolved much faster than your average union between man and woman, and it wasn't long before she had me saying a few nasty things to her in her native tongue to accentuate the love making process. But our affair grew more serious after my mail-ordered Saucy Siren finally arrived, stuffed in between a pile of junk mail and a Field and Stream magazine.

end of Part One

Read Part Two

Read Part Three

About the author:

When he is not daydreaming about marital aids, Wade Nacinovich writes a semi-regular column for Casa JP.