Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mertailor Review - Claudio Giovanni Bobicchio III


Before ordering my tail, I had many a conversation with Eric regarding measuring, colors, etc. He and I had open communication lines, and when the time came to order my tail, I had an unsurmountable confidence in him... and myself to measure properly haha!

When it came time to decide what color to choose, I called him and asked what his thoughts were, as I wanted a tail that complemented my "Dark Mage Wings" tattoos. "Why don't you send me a picture of your tatts,' he began, "and if you grant me permission to take artistic liberties, I will come up with a custom color scheme that I am sure you will love."
Well, I did better than that!!! As soon as I got off of the phone, I pulled out the original concept drawing I had made for my tattoo artist, and emailed him a copy of it. Next it was time to wait.

After a few days, I realized (while thinking about my tail) that I made a couple of mis-measurements. I sent eric an email, then I phoned Eric immediately, keeping myself well composed for the conversation (the theatrics commenced upon my realization of doomsday...ah a true thespian!). He told me that he recieved the email, and would make a note of it upon construction.

A few days passed, and i recieved a phone call from Eric. He explained that he was getting ready to purchase the foot-cups for the mono he was building, and wanted to ask me what my shoe size was. He said that the foot cups sometimes run a bit small, and asked if i would like them to be a size larger... I thought about this for a moment, and told him that I would rather them be a bit tight than a little loose... after all, I am used to paying a small price to have hot heels when i perform in drag! He asked me if I was sure, and I told him yes.

During the next couple weeks, I called him just to see how things were coming along, and all was well. We discussed many a thing, and I always had a wonderful time chatting with him!

Then the week it was to be shipped came. I was so excited, as he had told me the tail would be shipped out on last wednesday. I then recieved an email from him saying that he had a problem with his dorsal fin mold, and would be shipping it out on thursday. I thought about how close the convention was; I thought about my new tail that was almost complete; I made an executive decision. I called and wrote Eric to tell him not to rush finishing the tail; that I would be happy to pay for three day shipping to get it out the following week, and worst case scenario, I would use the tail that i have at the convention if need be.

Much to my elation, Eric posted pictures of the paint job that night! It was absolutely stunning, moreso than I could have imagined, and I ran around in circles in my backyard with such grace that I nearly flung myself into the pool.

The following morning (Friday, August 5th) Eric posted pictures of the completed tail (in all of its legendary glory) on his facebook fan page. Once again, he threw me into such a frenzy, Even my 14 year old pitbull got excited and chased me around the livingroom! Not long after the post, I recieved a call from Eric. He was at UPS, and informed me that if I were to go through with the three day select service, it would arrive on Wednesday August 10th. I gave him the green light, thanked him, and hung up. Now all I had to do was wait.

Here we are today, Wednesday August 8th, 2011. Last night I did not get much sleep due to my excitement, and our 14 year old chow pacing back and forth once an hour. Woke up early and went to a job, and arrived home again at around 2. my tail hadn't arrived yet, so I took a nap until 3:30pm when I found myself wide awake.

I walked outside to the front porch, and found the package. I carried it out back to my pool. Upon opening the box, I was greeted with a very familiar oder, the smell of glory LOL! It was a very strong smell of silcone and paint; one that I had grown accustomed to during my tail making period. I carefully removed the tail from the box, and pulled the plastic bag it was packed in off as well. I unfolded the tail and let it lay out with the dorsal fin side up. It was a breathtaking sight! Blues! Purples! Various hues of each color, with a mystical, translucent sheen; and a gold fade at the waist! The colors glinted and shimmered in the sunlight as I lifted the waistline up, and the texture was a very satisfying, floppy and smooth surface. I gently untangled the dorsal fin spines that got twisted a bit during the journey to my home, and admiringly examined every inch as I did so. I was speechless for about ten minutes just gazing at the beauty of the tail; feeling out the myth and folklore behind this beautiful piece of art that lay before me.

Now it was time for me to transform. Eric had told me that to put the tail on, I must put conditioner on my legs and pour two cups of water into the tail so that my skin wouldnt stick to the silicone as I slid my legs in. I went inside to grab a bottle of v05 conditioner and a cup, and did exactly that. Left leg first, it was fairly easy to get my foot into the foot cup and pull the strap behind my heel. The right was a little more difficult, but I managed to get it in as well. Eric was right about the foot pockets, they are a little tight for me, but not nearly as bad as some of the platforms I have worn for drag, and certainly not even close to wearing pointe shoes in ballet! I decided to make myself a pair of toe booties out of some neoprene I have here at the house.... I layed back, and gently pulled the rest up my legs, and to the top of my bellybutton. My fingers did slip a few times as I was pulling the rest up, but with a quick rinse of my hands to get the excess conditioner off, it was much easier to get a hold of!

The tail fit perfectly! A perfect contour of my waist and hips, and deliciously snug all down my legs; I was ecstatic! I will say this though: it was very heavy on land! I managed to roll onto my belly, and slowly lowered myself into the pool fluke-first. The water pressure created a vacuum in the tail, and it became like a suction cup on my body. I couldn't contain myself any longer, and I dove into the water with a gentle push.

What an experience!!! yes, the tail was heavy on land, but it was unbelievably comfortable in the water!!! A perfect bouyancy to the point that I could sit in mid depth between the pool floor and the surface of the water for a very extended period of time. As I swam, I found that the silicone followed my every movement with such an amazing fluidity that it felt as though it truly was a part of my body. Even with minimal movement, I was able to maneuver through the water with such an incredible ease! Next, I decided to power up a bit. It didn't take much at all to gain a rather healthy momentum in the water, in fact, I bumped my head on our pool wall sooner than I thought I would!! After a quick recovery, I continued to swim at various speeds and in various angles. I was having the time of my life in my beautiful new tail, and even my dog could feel the excitement! He ran circles around the pool, chasing me back and forth!

I am so so so overjoyed with Eric's craftsmanship. The colors, the fit, the fluke, everything. I called Eric and expressed my elation and grattitude for his work. I am just in awe! I cannot wait to go to the convention on Friday, but even more than that, I am looking forward to the wonderful adventures I know I will be having with my beautiful, legendary, and magical Mertailor tail. Thank you Eric, so very much; I am very proud and honored to have such a beautiful dream crafted by your hand!

One inspired, ecstatic, and greatly enamoured

Claudio Giovanni Bobicchio III

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