4-0 Bieber advantage. John Waters pretended to smooth out the front of his cardigan but in actuality was attempting to dry his sweaty palms. His palms were too sweaty! It was hard to grip the watchamacallit, the paddle? The thing. The air hockey thing was slipping in his sweaty hand. It didn’t help that this Bieber person was listening to his Zune while they played, and John Waters could just hear the faintest, tiny overflow from his earbud headphones. It seemed rude. In his day, no one would have listened to headphones while they played air hockey. Sure, he had once filmed a man wearing a dress eating dog shit off of the sidewalk at the end of a movie that featured the line “I want to fuck you in your beautiful cunt eyes,” but he was also a gentleman from an age of gentlemen. The puck skimmed across the table. It was as if the puck WANTED to go into John Waters goal. Was that possible? He was old enough not to really care about winning a game of air hockey anymore, and yet there was something about just being trounced by this lesbian that wasn’t sitting right with him. Bieber removed one of his earbuds and called over to one of his massive security guards. “Yo, Tigger, take over for me.” And just like that, John Waters found himself playing air hockey against a 6’5″, 380 pound black man in a t-shirt that said “Tap Out” on it. What was Tap Out? John Waters didn’t want to know. He imagined himself sitting on a wrap-around porch on Cape Cod wearing his favorite leather pants and sipping an extra dry martini. Why didn’t he just walk away from the table? John Waters was not sure, actually.

Justin Bieber sat on a couch and began fiddling with his phone. “Sorry man,” Justin Bieber said to John Waters without looking at him or looking up from his phone at all. “Got to send an email to my Twitter manager. Got a couple ideas for Tweets. Oh, and Ursher called.” Who was Ursher?

The bodyguard made short work of John Waters, pulling in the winning point quickly, although Justin Bieber had obviously gotten the puck rolling. Bieber was still on the couch, engrossed in the phone and eating candy out of the pocket of a skinny-fit leather jacket. A leather jacket on a child! John Waters liked that. A woman, a grown woman, was on her hands and knees cleaning Justin Bieber’s sneakers. John Waters kind of liked that too, actually. He might have adjusted the woman’s outfit. Made it less “Professional” and more “Subservient Fetish.” The bodyguard walked around the table and shook John Waters hand. His hand was so massive but not the biggest hand John Waters had ever seen, obviously. The largest hand John Waters had ever seen was actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest hand in human existence. He’d been around a lot of characters in his life. He kind of collected them.

A pang. He visited her grave once a year, but sometimes when he least expected it, John Waters missed Edith Massey.

No one said anything to John Waters as he left the room. The bodyguard and walked over to Justin Bieber, who had given him a fist bump without looking up and then used the same hand to brush his admittedly impressive hair across his forehead and then asked someone to get him “a fucking juice box.” He laughed, but it sounded dead and exhausted. Someone handed him a bottle of champagne. The first time John Waters had ever been drunk, he was 10 years old, in a dominatrix’s kitchen. Before the night was over, her house would burn to the ground, and for years he would think there was a correlation–not entirely incorrect–between drinking and things being ruined, killed, and destroyed, not that it stopped him from drinking. As he closed the door behind him, he heard someone ask, “Who was that, and why was Justin Bieber playing air hockey with him?” The answering silence suggested a slightly mystified shrug.

John Waters went home and fed his dog. He trimmed his mustache and ironed his pajamas. And if anyone ever asked about his experience with Justin Bieber, all he would say is “I think she is wonderful.”

Comments (62)
  1. Hey monsters! This is my weekly reminder about ways you can connect with and learn about the Videogum community. Check it!
    On there I have links for: the monster Twitter list (free for any to join!), the chatroom, the Inside Jokes list, the Monster Tumblrs/Blogs list, the Complete Monsters Ball stats list, the Worst Movie of All Time list, the Last FM group, and the Delahaye fanclub Facebook page (where to go if you want to meet monsters in real life). Plus other stuff.

    But note: starting next year, I’m going to move my archives and lists over to . Nothing is going to be deleted, but I’m not going to be updating the stuff on tumblr.

    • Also: All the Salsa Dog reaction videos.

      Let me know if I’m missing any!

      • This is me when watching Salsa Dog reaction videos.

        (When making that gif earlier today, my roommate asked, “What the fuck are you doing?” #ishouldbestudyingforfinals)

        • pep’s Salsa Dog Reaction Videos story: I forgot that my boss was in his office (my giant CPU blocks my view of his office door, and I was hunched over my keyboard anyway, giggling into my fists) and that he could hear my work speakers, so after the 5th reaction video I pulled up, with the same first few seconds of that opening music he calls out “I feel like I’m working in a Nando’s.”

      • Someone showed Kanye the Salsa Dog video but then cruelly turned it off.

      • Mine! I posted it on Facebook AND Tumblr though so you (or someone!) will probably see it soon enough! Also by looking through my recent comments! Haha, whoops, I’m dumb

    • Speaking of Fan Fiction and Monster Happenings….Have you all read “Gums of Our Lives”? That shit is tight! And guess what? You can read it by clicking Werttrew’s link. BAD ASS!

    • Okay, since you made a Community-Oriented comment, maybe this is the place to say this:

      I used to comment semi-frequently a while back. But when the site updated and integrated Facebook’s services, I couldn’t be simultaneously logged into VGum AND Facebook. If I had used Facebook recently, I would be logged off of Videogum, and logging onto Videogum automatically logged me OUT of Facebook. I got tired of logging in and out all day, and eventually just let my participation peter off.

      But I like the comment threads here. They’re funny! I want to be part of the funny threads! Is there a way to stay logged into both Videogum and Facebook accounts?

  2. I think Spike Jonze should direct this movie.

  3. Is this our generation’s Blood Meridian?

  4. In the sequel Gus Van Sant and Willow Smith play Foosball

  5. I think John Waters’ inner dialog is less dark and more this:

  6. The role of John Waters will be performed by Ellen Page.

  7. Striker, apparently the preferred name for what is clearly a form of paddle is a striker.

  8. It takes a lot of work to be this creepy.

  9. Anyone else notice that in this photo, it’s Waters who has a kind of genuinely nice facial expression while the Beebs projects a kind of sinister, menacing look through his lifelessness eyes. Seems a bit backwards, but when you think about it, it makes total sense.

  10. Poor John Waters, he never stood a chance at winning the air hockey game. Bieber is Canadian, after all.

  11. Hey monsters! This is totally off-topic but today I turn 29 years old (hooray for me?) and I want to ask you all for a gift. So if you’re not put off by the audacious tackiness of somebody directly asking you to give him a gift on his birthday, here’s what I want: a new name. I’m tiring of the moniker “Mr. Plainview”. It doesn’t suit me and I want something that does. I think the best screen names are the ones that make you laugh every time you scroll past it, so the crazier the better. I haven’t come up with anything I love yet, but here’s a few ideas I have:

    Mr. Cramazing
    Lenin’s Tomb

    So if you guys can throw some ideas at me, I’d love to hear them. Especially if you have some weird idea for a hilarious screen name that you would love to see, but you wouldn’t dream of using it yourself. Also good would be something that ties in with my avatar of Brad Pitt testifying before congress on his bicep regimen.

  12. So many birthdays today. Alright, what if you become:

    OK Kid (or The OK Kid)

    Because Brad Pitt is from Oklahoma and The Oklahoma Kid makes you sound like a cowboy which is badass. Also because because “okay” echoes “plain” and therefore continuity. Other names, incorporating the activity of testifying before congress about your biceps, might include:

    OK Juicer Testify
    Reps for Reps
    Movie Arms
    Senator Orrin Hatch’s Stunt Double
    (or stunt-double a senator of your own choosing)

  13. Does the boy in that picture have lazy eye? I think he has lazy eye.

  14. I’m confused. I thought I was going to read “John Waters and Justin Bieber Play Air Hockey,” but I’m pretty sure what I just read is actually “Gabe and Justin Bieber Play Air Hockey”.

  15. This made me genuinely sad.

  16. Once again fiction reveals a timeless truth: compared to Justin Bieber, John Waters IS an old-school gentleman. I can just see him playing croquet (with papier-mache breasts as balls) and knowing which fork to use (to feed dogshit into someone’s vagina).

  17. Gabe, your fiction-writing is, for reals, quite excellent. It’s always so poignant!

  18. I liked this story too. I especially liked the bit about the hand, since my grandpa met Andre the Giant once at a mall and never wearied of telling the tale of his enormous hands.

    It was a short but engaging tale.

  19. Here’s the related question. I haven’t seen many John Waters movies, and those that I have seen left me UPSET and CONFUSED. Because he is widely acknowledged as a genius, I now feel PEDESTRIAN too. So Justin Bieber and I are right there together.

    Does anyone have advice or suggestions for a breakthrough in my appreciation of Waters’s films? Or should I just accept my slow-wittedness?

    • Pecker, and Cry-Baby. They are pretty mainstreamy, I think, and easy to enjoy. Plus I was allowed to watch them before I turned 16.

  20. Isn’t it weird how just a year ago we had no idea who Justin Bieber was? And now I literally say or type his name every single day pretty much. (Just me?)

  21. Oh, that was lovely!

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