Destination: Mingle City
I recently applied for an internship. It had nothing to do with French literature (my particular area of study); it wasn’t even an academic job. I applied to be an intern on the Michael Baisden show. For those of you who may not know, Michael Baisden is — according to the biography on his Website — everything from “best-selling author, to motivational speaker, to television talk show host, and now nationally syndicated radio host” catering to the African-American community — a veritable “man on a mission” to bring
sexual romantic enlightenment to the rest of the world through the interactions on his radio show and “Mingle City” Website. (Note the “clothing optional” Jamaican Island Jam Takeover for “mature adults” in June.) I was first introduced to Baisden by a friend who shares two of my fundamental obsessions: 1) cheesy lover-man R&B groups from the early 90’s — the more absurd the lyrics, the better; and 2) Smoove B’s columns in The Onion. For those not familiar, fictional columnist Smoove B is a smooth-talking ladies’ man from the Cleveland area whose columns are meticulously detailed romantic proposals either to potential dates or to former lovers.
Here’s a taste:
“Girl, while it has been almost two years since we broke apart, not a second goes by that you are not on my mind. As I have written many times in my column, the thought of you spending time naked next to this other man has caused me nothing but pain. You are my everything, girl. If we were to get back together now, we could win various awards for the ways we would sex each other up. You know this…Do you not remember when Smoove would buy you shoes, dresses, and occasionally belts, all meant to accentuate your many curves, of which you have many? Especially the booty part of the curves?”
Whence my obsession. My similarly Smoove-loving friend recommended Michael Baisden to me because he was, she claimed, Smoove B in novelistic form. Baisden’s chef-d’oeuvre The Maintenance Man corroborated her claim: the novel features the exploits of a highly autobiographically-based, muscle-bound gigolo who travels around the country satisfying rich women’s needs, ergo the book’s title. The prose is masterful enough to turn even the Color Me Baddest songwriter/columnist into a hater.
After developing such a deep appreciation for The Maintenance Man last summer, you can imagine my excitement when I came across Baisden’s site. And then you can imagine my redoubled delight upon discovering the internship position with the “Bad Boy of Radio,” Mr. Lover Man himself. The application I submitted asked me about my interests, my relationship status, and my children (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5+) — all questions which are, by the way, *completely illegal* to ask on a job application form. I also had to upload a photo of myself which will “only be used for the sole purpose of review and consideration” (also totally illegal). I haven’t heard from the Bad Boy of Radio about the internship yet, but if I’ve learned anything from Smoove, it’s that patience, persistence, and steely, sexy determination can make even my freakiest fantasies come to fruition.
Play on, playa.