36 moist verbal thumbnails

The class, flipping things, gave me an assignment, the same as their’s: come back with 36 ideas on one theme – but make ’em verbal, not visual.

There it was in the recipe: “To test the cake to see if it’s done, simply take a toothpick, stick it into the tallest thickest part of the cake, and upon withdrawal see if there’s any batter sticking to the toothpick. If there is, the cake needs to cook a bit more until nothing clings. At this point the cake is moist and will soon be ready for eating with a nice cold glass of milk.”

Moist-Schmoist, I’m going OUT!

“So what’s your favorite word?” I nearly shout. The place is kinda loud which means that I misunderstand her answer, but it makes sense anyway. Specially since I don’t know her at all, so I nod. She tells me that it was an assignment in last quarter’s class, which explains to me why she came up with an answer so quickly. ‘Hmmm, boys.” I nod some more. Interesting. And it was “moist” not “boys.”



Foist… (maybe)

Voiced… (whew, that was a tough one!)

But not boys.

“I’m not touching it!”

“Why not?”


“What? It’s just a little slobber.”

“Ohhhh, no…”

“What?! Go ahead. Do it!”

“No. Moist is one thing, but dog spit is another!”

And so the tennis ball sat there with the dog panting expectantly between them.

Thirty more to go.

I unlocked the door and looked around for broken glass or disheveled furniture or any other signs of violation. There were none so I went to the sun room to check on the ferns. They look green enough. Leaves are perky. I stick my finger into the dirt of one of the red clay pots.

They can go for a couple more days.

It’s not what desserts have, it’s what they don’t have. And really what they don’t have they don’t have only on the surface. It’s down there. Inside. The sand on the outside is all dry and blowsy and gritty and squeaky, but go deeper. That’s where you’ll find it.

The drier stopped tumbling and I stuck my hand in to grab my jeans. Nope. Not yet. Still a bit too…

It was a word that made her blush — along with “belly” — which I happily discovered during a rainy day Scrabble game at the beach.

I saw her in traffic. She was brushing her hair out of her eyes waiting for the turn signal to send her off in the opposite direction, and I was thinking about something else and was turning so I couldn’t wave or think of her name, but I remembered her favorite word and yelled that. “Hey, Moist!!!” Odd. And then I remembered: Jennifer.

Sex… Food… Sex… Food… Sex… Food… Sex… Food… Sex… Food… Sex… Food… The word just suggests them. A wiping on the sleeve. A shiny chin. Salty wetness. Slippery fingers…. Dang.

A turkey from Queens yelled, “I’m foist!

And I don’t care how much it coist!!!

While we all baste in sherry,

The stuffing I’ll carry,

Just to hear you all cheer, “That bird’s moist!””

The bathroom mirror was only a little steamed. The shower faucet had quit dripping. The cloud of fog was long gone. Her hair brush lay on the counter with a few damp strands clinging. And the towel lay in a clump on the floor. He picked up the towel. It had touched her skin. A lot. All of it. Everywhere. Moist.

Make sure the stamp is moist before you stick it on the envelope.

His tongue was moist, but his eyeballs rasped with the dust of too many bourbon drinks and cigarettes. He would feel worse in the morning.







Half way there. And getting there is the fun part. After that…?

September. Charleston, South Carolina. Ten p.m. The airport. We’d just gotten our bags and headed for the rented car. Once finally outside, it hit us. It’d been a long time since we’d experienced air like this. Okay, it was still a few days before the hurricane would land, if it really was going to come this way, but, Jesus, the air!!! A warm wet wall of air slammed us at the door, then after a few minutes out in it, where it was simply turbulent, she said with a moan: “Oh God, my thighs…”

And again with the instructions: “Make sure the bottom of the pan is moist before adding the meat and potatoes.”

And again: “Do not add the bread crumbs or the cheese if the bottom of the pan is still moist.”

Charlotte went to Vickery’s every night after she had done her homework for art school. She came home, showered and got all dressed up even though she was going to a place that she would go to four or five times a week and just get drunk. But she was very smart, attractive and had a knack for getting a story out of someone or coming home with a great character sketch, and she found that fun.

It was late one night, the restaurant section was about to close and the lounge was still hopping, so she sat on a bar stool next to one of the waiters, Jimmy, who was the skinniest, swishiest, lispingest model for the gay stereotype as you could make or hope to meet. He and my sister loved to talk about clothes. Women’s clothes. And they were ruthless. So that’s what they were doing until a woman came in wearing something that made them both stop mid-sentence and stare. I don’t know whether her outfit was great or horrific, but Jimmy was the first to recover and nearly made Charlotte spray her drink all over the bar, when he cooed conspiratorially, “God, girl, duddn’t that just make you moist!”

And yet again: “Water only until the dirt is moist. Do not over water. And do not water during the hottest parts of the day.”

And again again (damn all these rules!): “A couple cocktails are just about right. Any more and you’re beyond moist and into swimming. The point is to lubricate not to drown.”

“I quite agree, Dear: “moisture” just doesn’t connote or drip of suggestion the way “moist” does now, don’t you agree, My Sweet? Much like the way “tan lines” makes me tremble with anticipation of some impending naughtiness while“bikini waxing” hardly causes a ripple. In fact, it makes me flinch and giggle. Mmm, yes, quite. More wine, Dear?”

And the forensic report read: “…. the eye sockets were apparently kept moist enough inside the plastic garbage bag blindfold because there was moss growing in them.” The rookie cop threw up in his coffee cup. He shouldn’t have gone out last night. And something about the construction of that last sentence bothered him.

How do you explain man’s existence? His being? His development? His climb from the ooze to the king of the world? His brain? His impetus, drive and desire? His impending doom due to some stupid behavior? His (insert something French here)? Well, it seems simple enough to me:” Women: The Moist Factor.” Film at eleven.

It’ll never work ’cause it’s too moist. (OUCH! My EYE!!!)

Picture this: Portland, Oregon, nine, nine thirty, the first nice day of spring (which ended up being sometime in July), the sun’s blazing and it’s warm and dry, and I haven’t worked for a couple months, so part of my routine has been to get a pot or two of tea in the morning and read the paper (mostly to check my horoscope) at an Italian coffeeshop a couple blocks away. As I approach the shop, I see two guys I know sitting at a little table outside chatting and having a sunny little morning pick-me-up.

A little background: one of the guys, Don, is a partner of a little design shop I interviewed with and though he liked my book and we got along well, hadn’t called, but he was still on my mailing list and gets my little promotional cards whenever I sent them out. The second guy, Ken, is a photographer of middling talent and was the humorless, demanding, freeloading, manipulative boyfriend of a girl I had slept with a couple years ago one weekend when I came to town for a short visit. Needless to say, he and I weren’t really close and he even had a problem being socially diplomatic…. until today.

Well, Ken sees me and waves, so I walk over not really realizing who waved at me but knowing that I sort of know them and should go over and be friendly. By the time I’ve committed to the visit, I realize it’s Ken and this could be a weird way to start the day, but fuck-it, I shake his hand anyway. I stand, they sit and we chat. The usual stupid, and in this case, awkward stuff. I reintroduce myself to Don and tell him why I look familiar to him. Oh yeah, yeah yeah, that’s right. Just hanging out enjoying the weather. Yeah, I drawl, I’m airing out the moist bits myself.

She blushed and looked down at her now cool and empty coffee cup. She was too embarrassed to answer his question… but she wanted to! This simple fear of confession must be beat. After a few quiet moments, she looked up and said, “Because they’re so moist and warm and yours.”

And the rest is history.

Countdown to ecstacy!

“It’s the only word that smells the same to me morning, noon and night,” and lay the flower on the table and left.

(insert your local sponge label here.)

One finger was dry and one was moist, and when he put their tips together, unless he knew before hand which was which, he couldn’t tell them apart. He closed his eyes. They were both moist as far as he could tell. It must be love.

Now what?

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