The Headless Headhunter

Once upon a time, there was a journeyman headhunter, Zevon Zappa Kornbluth, who wasn’t much of a rainmaker. He was more of a trickler. He placed copywriters with major ad agencies along Madison Avenue with middling success, only for Don Draper to qualify these candidates even further if they got the past the initial phone screen with zero bullshit, cold-as-ice gentile inquiries such as, “Tell me, again, why you haven’t been fired more than a Palestinian Sling Shot, because your portfolio shows less promise than Jimmy Carter’s solar panel-powered weed plant in the White House’s new greenhouse garden.”

            It was 1976. Boston broke big with ‘More Than A Feeling’, and Peter Frampton jammed with Jimi Hendrix’s trippy, metal-type finesse on Frampton Comes Alive in your daughter, again, (assuming she looks like a less-big-backed Brooke Shields, with eyebrows that don’t take up her entire face, either).  

            Zevon was married only a year, yet his relationship with Mellissa wasn’t filling him with ‘She’s The One’ crooning vibes anymore, especially since blowing her hubby became a once in a lifetime event, like Haley’s Comet or Joe Namath seeking a shrink for depression, or Reggie Jackson sweating the dry-cleaning bill for his mink coat (assuming that George Steinbrenner refused to pay for it out of sheer winning, dependent spite alone).

            Every day, Michael would cold call creative directors in Manhattan to get them interested in copywriters who grew tired of working as freelance writers for Esquire because Norman Mailer had a monopoly on all the good Ali articles—or they grew tired of more short story rejection letters from the New Yorker, who sucked off John Updike’s short stories because he made their editors come across as less boring and annoying than usual. (If only Gore Vidal’s personality and erudite edge could’ve rubbed off on John Updike through sheer osmosis).

            But, one day, Zevon was running late for work after one too many bourbons at a strip club in Times Square called Honeysuckle Divines. He lit a cigarette on the subway path, totally oblivious to his surroundings, and before he knew it, a Metro cop smacked the cigarette out of his mouth with such force, he accidentally knocked him over and down to the subway track before the Lex line knocked his head right off from his perpetually tense, growl-heavy internalized neck.

            The problem is, The Headless Headhunter was really looking forward to his best friend Ari’s bachelor party at Honeysuckle Divine’s in Times Square the following night, which is why he was there in the first place, to scout some local stripper talent he could recruit to talk his best friend out of marrying his finance, knowing he could do better and was settling for the meh new thing.  

            More importantly, The Headless Headhunter knew what a sigh-heavy, living hell his life had descended into once he allowed his parents to push life-ruining decisions on his behalf, such as who to marry, what job to take, and when to make up with his younger brother again, thereby losing all enviable sense of righteous, self-assured, pissed-off rage (whenever he felt duly entitled to feel that way without any guilt-imbibed, parental interference to make him second guess his innermost guttural instincts again and again.

            For example, Zevon was a struggling recruiter who normally didn’t hit his monthly quota and was always coming from behind, so he didn’t have enough money to buy his future wife an engagement ring, and only got one after his mom pressured him to do so, assuring her he could pay her back after the wedding. This felt more forced for him than the time he’d tried taking it up the ass with a strap-on from his girlfriend (later, wife), only for him to question whether something extra was missing from this relationship, if this added stimulation was necessary for him to get excited about going through the motion of pulverizing her slippery snatch on her birthday again.

            Now the bachelor party is in motion, yet Ari isn’t in the most festive mood, since his best friend Zevon (now known as The Headless Headhunter) was just decapitated by New York’s closest version of a bullet train. The Headless Headhunter is in the bathroom but doesn’t know how he ended up there; and in front of the mirror, he realizes he has no head as he overhears some dudes in the nearby bathroom stall talk about seeing Kiss at MSG as ‘King Of Nighttime World’ blares in the background.

            One of the Kiss fans in the bathroom stall whips out some coke and says, “Dude, you got to take off your Gene mask if you want to do some of this blow.” The guy with the Gene mask on flings it over the bathroom stall, landing it smack in the middle of the sink, which The Headless Headhunter grabs with zero hesitation and throws over his headless head to see if sticks (and it does).  

            The Headless Headhunter bolts from the bathroom and bumps into a stripper with tits which are so humungous, they almost knock him on his ass from their sheer force of jiggly might alone.    Stripper says, “Watch where you’re going, Gene. I thought you had a show at MSG tonight. Is it true, what they say about your tongue?”

            The Headless Headhunter decides to play along in his Gene Simmons character and says, “Yes, I can tongue my own balls if I were into that sort of thing, but I’m only into licking up Playmates and groupies who I can bang standing up, with my chosen people blessed, circumcised love gun.

            “To blast with gunky-filled fun all night and every day, too, is pushing it.”

            Stripper says, “I’m only working tonight, for a bachelor party. It’s normally my night off. I had to scalp my tickets to see your band at the Garden tonight, Gene. Can I call you Gene?”

            The Headless Headhunter says, “Let’s stick to Love Gun Master, for now. But do me a favor—give the bachelor Ari more than a lap dance. Give him every reason why getting married to his fiancé is the worst idea than Neil Young starting shit with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

            “She wants him to abandon his dreams of becoming the Jewish Bob Newhart, and he’s blessed with the funny Jew bone, too. Also, she’s already moaning about having to constantly walk on eggshells around him, acting as if she’s the helpless Olympic athlete during the Iran hostage crisis.

            “His finance is a gentile, too, so there’s no way she’s going be Kosher with raising their kids Jewish, either (which he’ll bang out by mistake because he got stoned again to Lenny Bruce records, forgetting to ask her if she were on the pill).

            “Plus, I met his future English mother-in-law, and she’s less original than a Kiss cover band with a Gene Simmons character, who Crazy Glued on a prosthetic tongue because he thought it was a bright idea. He was on too much acid, one night, despite me never doing any drugs, ever.

            “Last, his fiancé has zero tits, which offers Ari zero sustained stiffage one year into the relationship, already. I just hate the idea of Ari losing his edge to become another ordinary sales rep selling pharmaceuticals for a living because his future CFO father-in-law can make a phone call at Johnson and Johnson on his behalf.”

            The stripper says, “I’ll ride his joystick off for you, no problem, Love Gun Master. By the time I’m done with this fiancé, he’ll be drained dry ’till Yom Kippur.”

             The Headless Headhunter says, “That’s funny. Only through you can I finally call myself a rainmaker.”

Michael Kornbluth

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