Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hey, don't blame Spiderman. Blame the kid who stole the rest of his dick.

Sharp Retorts to Dull Lyrics

It's not the pale moon that excites me.

Really? Well, whaddaya know, ladies and gentlemen: the world's first non-lunar-based erection.

Overheard

Anonymous Man in Business Suit: The doctor said I was paranoid and schizophrenic and delusional. (PAUSE) Okay, I didn't even go to the doctor.
I'm totally fickle. The first time I see a man, I think he's utterly gorgeous. The second time, I see him warts and all.

Which is annoying, because the second time is usually over breakfast.

The latest I met at The Darker Side of Green party sponsored by Lexus and Patron. Why do I get invited to parties like this? Because I enjoy them so much I don't mind posting stuff like, "BUY PATRON TEQUILA!" and "EVERYBODY GO GET A LEXUS NOW!" Only seems fair after thirty-five hors d'oeuvres.

The party, celebrating the new Lexus hybrid CT200H, was in the top two floors of an abandoned warehouse, and you had to take a scary freight elevator to get to it. Upstairs, the place was star-studded. Kevin Bacon with wife Kyra Sedgwick, the gorgeous Tyson Beckford, Gretchen Mol, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jared Leto, Wyatt Cenac, assorted faces from Ugly Betty, and Zach Braff was on the arm of Taylor Bagley, the most stunning woman I've ever seen. At least six foot tall, platinum hair, shot me a gorgeous smile whenever I stared at her. (Here's a tip for hungry partygoers: if you want a steady stream of hors d'oeuvres coming at you, stand close to the stars.) Whenever they were in the vicinity I felt like saying, "Braff, go get yourself a step stool. The lady's going home with me!"

Sarah Silverman moderated a debate between some liberal woman and conservative man. When the woman said China was making great strides in their automotive industry, Sarah said, "Oh. So for every female baby thrown into the trash can, they're making a fuel-efficient car?"

The Misshapes DJed behind all this, and they were amazing. Mix old Billy Bragg with Belle & Sebastian and Lene Lovich and you can pretty much just do me then and there.

Which is how I ended up with a new man, posting at five o'clock.

The man? On third look, he really ain't half bad.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sometimes I Think Google Knows Stuff It Isn't Telling Us

Guest Columnist: My Two Cents

I'm all for religious tolerance, but lately I've been seeing something so unsettling I just have to speak up.

I've been seeing all these foreign women totally covered up from head to toe, and frankly, it worries me. It makes me suspicious. Ordinary women like to wear lightwegiht, colorful clothing, because it's comfortable and cute. Would someone really opt for this kind of getup out of their own free will? Are women forced to do this by their husbands? Or have they somehow been brainwashed by a backward culture into thinking that hiding their God-given gifts is the only way they're acceptable?

It's spooky, and I think it poses a hazard to the general public. Say, for example, one of them robbed a bank. How could you describe them to the police? "Well, I think it was a woman, but it was wearing this enormous tent." Heck, who knows what they're hiding under there!

God made the human body in his image, and seeing these outfits hiding his handiwork makes me see red. Do they not believe in God? And if so, what kind of demented supreme being would make them hide away in shame? This kind of attitude needs to be turned away at our borders, like people with diseases, or Greek cheese.

I know the politically-correct police will attack me, but I'm going to stick to my guns. It's great that we let foreigners into this vast melting pot, and many of their traditions will add colorful new threads to our cultural tapestry, but some of these bizarre traditions are better left where our visitors came from.


Sister Mary Ann Meriwether
St. Agnes by the Sea
I love Japanese junk culture. They create bizarre characters, like the Mutant Ninja Turtles or the Power Rangers, and invent a whole back story for them. You learn about their friends and relatives, visit their homes, see what their daily lives are like.

I saw this little toy at a Japanese gift shop the other day, and I got to wondering about its back story. I think it spends the day eating tuna fish, laying in the sun, and batting around a little felt mouse. Then, when the sun goes down and it gets tired, as we see, it burrows down into its kitty litter and goes to sleep.

Email I Never Finished Reading

This e-mail was forwarded to you by . Spa Week and your friend believe that "Good Health is Infectious" and we want to pass it on to you.

Smart. Spa Week. You know, I was actually thinking about getting one of this cut-rate treatments (at one of "700 top spas"), but when I'm dreaming about taking off my clothes, putting on a strange robe and slippers, and laying down on a damp towel on top of a vinyl table, I'd rather not hear the word "infectious." Right? Better luck next year.

Monday, March 29, 2010

In Nevada on Saturday, Sarah Palin spoke before several thousand teabaggers at the kickoff rally for a national bus tour.

Organizers dubbed the event a "conservative Woodstock" because nearly nine thousand people turned out for the show, which was held outdoors.


Another reason they called it a "conservative Woodstock"? Also on the bill were Country Joe and the Fish.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, speaking at Palm Sunday mass about the church's history of child-molestation:

All we ask is that it be fair, and that the Catholic Church not be singled-out for a horror that has cursed every culture, religion, organization, institution, school, agency, and family in the world.

The Catholic Church: Hey, We're Not As Bad As NAMBLA!™

Undercover Boss: The Monologue

Hi. I'm Hiram Whittaker, president of Radio Hut. I've been president for thirty years, and my father was president before me. It's a good job, but there's a lot of responsibility.

I'm going to join my workers undercover to see how the other half lives. To tell you the truth, I'm a little scared.

Wow, this is difficult. What, I've got to do this eight hours a day? Whaddaya mean TWELVE? Ohmigod. Are you kidding me? How do you put up with this? You people are saints. I don't think I could get through an entire shift of this, and you do it every day?

Well, now it's time for me to come clean. I'm not really a new employee: I'm Hiram Whittaker, the president of the company. Yes, I know you're thrilled to meet me, and yes, it took a lot of courage on my part to do this little prescripted thing in exchange for nothing but an hour of free primetime publicity. I know all you little workers look up to me like a father figure, but dude, I'm incredibly humbled. I've been sitting in my glass castle all these years, reaping in vast riches for basically shuffling paper, while people like you have been working their fingers to the bone, dedicating their lives, even sacrificing their families in return for the bare subsistence wages I've been paying them. It's just unbelievable. How horrible I feel! How unfair is this vicious cycle!

Dude, lemme give you a brand new Fiero. Is that great or what? Remember everybody, Radio Hut is the place to go for electronics. Adios!

Sweeps Week on the Game Show Network


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Noon (FOOD) Sandra Lee's Money Saving Meals. Sandra prepares savory ham-and-cheese pinwheels that won't break your bank.

Thus answering the age-old question, "What can I do to get my kids to eat fatty food?"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Democrats are losers for one simple reason: we insist on being logical, responsible, reasonable adults. Which is idiotic, considering the circumstances. It's like driving around a Destruction Derby going, "Gosh, I'd better slow down or somebody might dent my fender." We're using knives and forks at a pie-eating contest.

Political power is like a dinner buffet on a cruise ship: when the doors swing open at dinnertime, all the Republicans will sprint like their lives depend on it, and grab for everything they can get. They'll be stuffing chicken wings in their bras and spare ribs in their boxer shorts, jamming dinner rolls and breadsticks in their handbags and balancing plates of carrot cake on their heads. The Democrats will be all, "After you!" "No, after you!" and by the time they finally make it to to the table they'll be nothing but fruit cocktail and Bac'O Bits.

Yes, they'll have their honor. They'll know they did the right thing. And the next morning they'll be absolutely starving while the Republicans are having belching contests in their lounge chairs and and helping their spouses roll over when their bulging stomachs get too pink.

We're smart. We're polite. We're so much better than them, we think as we sip cognac and they set fire to the topiary around our estate. We're teaching our kids Spanish and they're teaching their kids how to box. How uneducated they are, we think, sure that little Desmond's declension of past participles will provide him ample ammunition against packs of roaming eight-year-olds who want to punch him in the spleen.

The Republicans don't even have an ounce of manners or tact, and it's a compliment when I say they can sink far, far lower than Democrats. After all, politics is like that slutty reality show, Temptation Island. And the Democrats are wearing one-piece suits so they don't embarrass their family and friends at home, while the Republicans are wearing thongs whose tops slide down whenever anybody says the word "J├Ągermeister."

Who do you think is going to get the gold Trojan at the Condom Ceremony?

When the last President Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iran, we Democrats figured we'd give him the benefit of the doubt. "Well, it sounds a little sketchy," we thought, "but since we don't have any intelligence services, we can't exactly say no." I mean, you can't call a guy a liar if you don't have evidence, right? And so began the biggest mistake in the history of the world.

The Republicans took a far smarter tact. They decided they didn't need to understand something just to disagree with it. They realized years ago that they don't need to make sense to make an impact: they just need signs. Repetition and volume are a great substitute for substance. Muslim activist Malcolm X said we need to fight "by any means necessary," and ironically its the creationist Christians who grabbed that advice.

Since nobody can be sure of anything these days, whoever looks the most confident wins. And who looks most confident? People who don't have an opposing thought in their heads. Sarah Palin, for instance, knows for absolute fact that God created Adam and Eve. Evolution can't be real! After all, she met her grandparents, and they weren't monkeys, even if they did occasionally throw their feces at visitors.

Democrats? Well, we've got a lot of contradictory information. The Wall Street Journal says one thing, and the New York Times says another. There could be WMDs in Iraq. After all, Israeli intelligence released a few reports saying Saddam Hussein tried to buy nuclear material by funneling money through Kuwait.

Republicans? Glenn Beck agrees with Rush Limbaugh who agrees with Hannity and Colmes: OBAMA'S A MUSLIM TERRORIST AND HIS DEATH SQUADS ARE GONNA KILL MEEMAW!!! HIS WIFE IS GROWING POISONED TOMATOES IN THE WHITE HOUSE GARDEN THAT THE CIA IS GOING TO ADD TO WAL-MART PIZZA ROLLS! And Star magazine agrees with People and Us Weekly that Angelina hired an Angolan hit squad to kill Johnny Depp because he refused to fertilize three hundred viable ovum at her lab in Kiev.

Seconds after Obama took office, the Republicans attacked. Nobody gave him the benefit of the doubt. Nobody assumed that he, a Harvard-educated lawyer, could be smarter than somebody whose home was held up by cement blocks. Nope, the gloves came off, and every word was criticized. They mobilized, and they screamed BABY KILLER! or SOCIALIST! or WHY NOT JUST POOP ON THE CONSTITUTION? every time a Democrat spoke.

When Bush was president, we said "Excuse me," and "Pardon me," and "I'm not clear what you meant." Now that Obama is president, our opponents are climbing into vans and heading to the rifle range.

And now, of course, the Republicans hold the upper hand. Washington is a tailgate party they control. There are five hundred drunks chugging Jack Daniels around the Republican truck, while two Democrats stand near a Prius going, "Would anyone like a free-range root beer?"

So, I call on the Democrats to make that inevitable change. Politics is a race, and we can't keep taking the high road when our opponents are mounting ATVs and cutting through rainforest. To be a gentleman is to go through the door last.

I say adios sense, goodbye tact, sayonara truth. We need to reclaim "By any means necessary" so it's the motto the poor use to wrest power from the rich, not what homeschooling Mormons scream when they set fire to the Gay Culture section at Barnes & Noble.

Anyway, that's it for me today. Now I've got to Photoshop Jeff Foxworthy's name onto a Parisian birth certificate, then tell the police I saw Toby Keith with a pistol the day the music died.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

For many years, the Barbie doll has been a role model to young girls. Unlike her unemployed counterparts, Barbie has undertaken a plethora of jobs and has shown the younger generation the changing opportunities available to them. Starting with Stewardess Barbie back in 1956 all the way through Cardiologist Barbie in 2008, our favorite fashionista has reflected our changing times, assuming over 150 occupations that were previously male domain.

In her newest incarnation, the slender stunner has wised up to the smart woman's fast track in the year 2010. Instead of working long hours in a lab or shop, she's going to sink her hooks into some rich dude and ride him like an ATM. Mattel is proud to announce new Extortion Barbie©.

Extortion Barbie comes complete with all this:

  • A business card that says "Restaurant Hostess" on one side and "Model/Actress" on the back.

  • A blouse splashed with Cheating Ken's DNA

  • A BlackBerry full of sexts

What's more, pull a string in Barbie's back and she'll say the following:

  • "Honestly, judge, I'm just an innocent naif who saves the cum-stained dresses from all my boyfriends."

  • "Yes, I realize that works out to a hundred thousand a fuck, but I'm no common whore!"

  • "No, I don't mind that you're married. Could you speak directly into my corsage, please?"

Okay, so she can't move her lips, but have you ever seen Rachel Uchitel talk?

Anyway, beat the rush and pick up Extortion Barbie today. She's got places to go and athletes to masturbate.

Extortion Barbie: She ain't just spreading her wings.™


*Clothes, accessories, and tiny Gloria Allred sold separately.
Congratulations on buying the new Samsung Slider! We know this phone will give you many years of pleasure. You're probably already appreciating its unique features. Whenever you get a text message, it beeps twice. Every ten minutes afterward, it'll beep twice to remind you. If you get a voice message, it beeps twice to alert you, and it'll also beep twice every ten minutes so you don't forget.

When the power gets low, the Samsung Slider will beep twice to alert you. After you connect its power cord, it'll beep again so you know it's juicing up just fine. If you leave it in the sun, the Slider will beep its distress, also alerting you to put on sunscreen. Curious what a broken fax machine sounds like? Your Flash will randomly imitate one, sensing whether you're asleep or not and ramping up the sound so you don't miss the fun.

Set your Slider down near another electronic device, from a computer to a toaster oven, and the Slider will express its delight with two more beeps. Place it near another cellphone and the Slider will emit a pair of beeps that might have you thinking it wants to communicate. But no, it's just more meaningless beeps.

In fact, whether at play or at rest, the Slider will beep almost continuously, day and night. Think of it as our millions of employees worldwide saying, "Thank you for buying another fine Samsung product."

Samsung: There's a reason our warranties don't cover hammer damage.™

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A James Bond fan fed up with drivers cutting him up on his moped invented the ultimate gadget to gain his revenge: a fifteen-foot flamethrower.

It wasn't awfully difficult, the guy says. The hardest part is convincing drivers to slow down to eight miles an hour so he can hit them.

From an article on a hot new beef processing plant:

Bill Niman, who in 2007 parted from the company he founded, Niman Ranch, now owns BN Ranch in Bolinas, Calif., with his wife, Nicolette. The ranch will offer its first aristocratic natural beef from 3-year-old grass-fed cattle this August in a restricted release that will be, as Mr. Niman put it, “like the arrival of the Beaujolais nouveau.”

I hope it'll be marketed like Beaujolais nouveau. When it's released, all the butcher shops should put banners in the windows saying, "The Three-Year Old Dead Cows Are Here!"

In Maine, the Catholic Church has cut funding to a social services agency because they support gay marriage.

The Preble Street organization, which provides housing and other services to the poor and homeless, supported Maine's "No on 1" campaign, which opposed a ballot proposal to overturn gay marriage. And because of that, they'll lose $17,400 this year and $33,000 next year in promised donations from the Catholic Church.

Which means the Catholic Church is punishing homeless people because the organization that helps them isn't homophobic.

Does something about that ring a bell? Wait . . . I think I got it.

By defunding the Boy Scouts -- who discriminate against gays -- we liberals were punishing innocent young boys just because their parent organization was homophobic. And you can't blame kids because of what some adults did, right? That would be mean.

Also, by refusing to donate to the Salvation Army -- who discriminate against gays -- we were punishing poor people because of the actions of their parent organization. And that would be petty, right?

As usual with Republicans, there's a double standard. We're mean and petty, but they're just following God's law.

We're supposed to quietly tolerate groups we disagree with while they pull out the rug from under theirs.

We're supposed to be more beneficent than an allegedly-Christian organization. We're supposed to be more forgiving than a group headed by Jesus' alleged representative on earth.

The good news is, evidently that ain't too hard.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



Yes, you read that right. "Interpreting the Masters: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates."

All together now: I can't go for that.
A religious broadcaster is jumping into the 3-D fad. On Tuesday, CatholicTV posted several of its shows in 3-D on the Internet.

Officials at the network say it's part of an effort to reach teens. The network's director, the Rev. Robert Reed, says it will use any way it can to bring the church's teachings to more people.


Is this such a good idea? I mean, if I wanted parts of a priest poking out at me, I'd be an altar boy, thanks.

A Joke

Q: How many GLAAD members does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: A hundred and one. A hundred to arrange a lightbulb-changing fundraiser, and one to announce that they're working with lightbulb manufacturers so this never, ever happens again.

Mr. Smithers, the high-powered executive, presses the red button on the intercom. "Miss White," he says, "could you bring me that list of birth control pills?"

Miss White temporarily stops filing her fingernails and hits the button to reply. "I put it on your desk this morning, sir."

Mr. Smithers shuffles papers back and forth but comes up blank. "Well, it's not here. The only thing I can find is your list of Disney heroines."

"Sir," Miss White says, "I haven't typed up that list yet."

Mr. Smithers groans. "Ohmigod," he says. "It can't be. But I just bought -- " He sighs and runs his fingers through thinning hair. "Now my six-year-old is going to a costume party dressed as a time-release estrogen pill."

I think Mr. Smithers' confusion is understandable. See if you can tell which of the following are Disney heroines, and which are birth control pills.

(1) Mircette
(2) Kiara
(3) Alesse
(4) Megara
(5) Naveen
(6) Lybrel
(7) Perdita
(8) Nakoma
(9) Demulen
(10) Yuna
(11) Ovral
(12) Eudora
(13) LoEstrin
(14) Yasmin
(15) Seasonique


ANSWERS:

(1) Birth control pill
(2) Disney heroine from The Lion King
(3) Birth control pill
(4) Disney heroine from Hercules
(5) Disney heroine from The Princess and the Frog
(6) Birth control pill
(7) Disney heroine from 101 Dalmatians
(8) Disney heroine from Pocahontas
(9) Birth control pill
(10) Disney heroine from Stitch!
(11) Birth control pill
(12) Disney heroine from The Princess and the Frog
(13) Birth control pill
(14) Birth control pill
(15) Birth control pill

Monday, March 22, 2010

Adding a Third Step to Don't Ask/Don't Tell

Pray That Police Officers Don't Spot Your Gay Marriage License Through A Fuckin' Window and Fink to Your Superiors at the Air Force

For the past few weeks, the media has been fixated on Tiger Woods' alleged potty-mouthed sexts. How shocking! How outrageous! What kind of sociopathic fiend could say such bizarre things?

Pot, kettle, black. Below we've mixed up some of Tiger's sexts with random outbursts by TV news reporters. See if you can tell which is which.

My dearest darling,

(1) What the fuck are you doing?

(2) I want to be deep inside you. I want to treat you rough. Throw you around, spank and slap you.

(3) We'll do it live. Fuck it!

(4) Next time I see you, you better beg and if you don't do it right I will slap, spank, bite and fuck you till mercy.

(5) Slap your face. Treat you like a dirty little whore.

(6) Log onto My Fox NY dot cock.

(7) Then I'm going to tell you to shut the fuck up while I slap your face and pull your hair for making noise.

(8) Jesus Chris, I mean it's not that much to ask.

(9) I would like to have a threesome with you and another girl you trust.

(10) But folks from that street in New York, the Bronx section, sound more likely to give her a curb job than a blow job.

(11) Have you ever had a golden shower done to you?

(12) Sorry. Shit. Golly.

(13) Having a few issues at home. Might be a little later before I see you tonight.

(14) Keep fucking that chicken,

Tiger




ANSWERS:

(1) WNBC anchor Sue Simmons
(2) Tiger Woods
(3) Bill O'Reilly on Inside Edition
(4) Tiger
(5) Tiger
(6) Ernie Anastos on Fox 5 News
(7) Tiger
(8) ESPN reporter Chris Berman
(9) Tiger
(10) Shepard Smith, Fox News
(11) Tiger
(12) ESPN reporter Heather Cox
(13) Tiger
(14) Ernie Anastos on Fox 5 News


Friday, March 19, 2010

The Sandra/Jesse story just keeps getting stranger. TMZ now reports Michelle "Bombshell" McGee has two neo-Nazi tattoos: a swastika on her stomach and the initials W. P. -- supposedly standing for "White Power" -- behind her knees.

Sources say James is now claiming the affair was a stupid mistake. After publicly apologizing, he supposedly swore to Bullock that, if she took him back, he would never again have such a horrible lapse in judgment.


And then he rode off wearing shorts with black socks.

Jackie Fox, bass player for the all-girl rock band The Runaways, is complaining that she was completely left out of the new biopic starring Dakota Fanning and Kristin Stewart. Apparently the film's producers decided that since Fox played a minor part in the story, rather than go through the expense of securing her life rights, they'd just create a whole new character.

With the film's modest success, the producers have announced their next project: a Beatles documentary featuring the behind-the-scenes hijinks of John, Paul, George, and Cory.


While I was offline did somebody start a gay war?

Even weirder is how she kept him from eating her curly fries.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sandra Bullock and her husband Jesse James have apparently broken up, after tattoo model Michelle "Bombshell" McGee told In Touch magazine that she and James had a year-long affair. Ms. McGee says she met James while looking for modelling work, and soon started calling him "The Vanilla Gorilla."

Ms. Bullock, meanwhile, has reportedly moved on with her life and is now seeing the Prune Baboon.

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

Next time you're in Red Hook, make it a point to stop by Solo Pollo -- Only Chicken. They've got hamburgers and clams and a whole lot more.


And next time you're in the Bronx, stop by their sister restaurant Solo Postre -- Only Dessert -- especially if you enjoy soup.

Jokes for Our Twelve-Year-Old Readers

A hen in China has produced an egg in the shape of a figure eight.

The chicken's owner, Mrs. Dong, suspected something was up when she heard a hen making unusual noises. "I had never heard anything like it before," she said. "The next morning, I was so surprised to find the weird-shaped egg."

Mrs. Dong said people from miles around had been coming by to see the egg. Professor Wu Yuefeng of Hebei University said, "It's very rare to see such a weird-shaped egg."


Is that incredible? There's a lady somewhere named Mrs. Dong.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

After nearly a three-week wait, real life resumes tomorrow. Time Warner Cable is coming between 12 and 2. Adios, laundromat, hello world!

I'm Answering the Question in My Mind, Thank You

From Metro NY:

INTERVIEWER: What is the hardest thing to deal with night after night as an inebriated [Tallulah] Bankhead [in the Broadway show "Looped"]?

VALERIE HARPER: I'm going to say the amount of laughs and the size of the laughs. They are howling! Rolling in the aisles! But you know, you have to keep acting: you have to stay as if you're still in the studio.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Repeat Tuesday: Go With the Flow

Last week I went to a cocktail party that positively sparkled with witty repartee and fascinating conversation. Too bad all I wanted was to get laid. I made my excuses, hightailed it to the Eagle, and the first reasonably attractive guy I saw I tailed home. We stripped off our clothes and he leaned in close, grinning like a 12-year-old about to swap his sister's Hershey bar with Ex-Lax.

"You know what would be really cool?" he said, eyes twinkling. "You could tie me to the bed and force me to suck your feet!"

Now, this bothered me in a couple different ways. First, I wasn't falling for his alleged spontaneity. It reminded me of those hetero guys who find themselves on dates with hot, tipsy chicks: "I heard about these things called 'body shots,' " they say, feigning innocence. "You wanna give it a try?" And second, I was supposed to force him to do me? I'm attractive; he should be happy I'm naked and there. I made my excuses and scurried off, adding entry No. 472 to my "Why I Shouldn't Sleep With Strangers" list.

A few days later, though, it happened again. Another guy with a weird request, and another naked scene. "You know what would be great?" this one said like a kid at Christmas. "My neighbor's a submissive pig into hypnotism and electricity. How about we see if he's busy?"

I put my finger to my chin, pretending to think, but mostly I tried to remember where my pants were. I made some vague excuse -- when you flee a pervert's apartment you don't quibble about the details -- and went out and found a replacement. My heart leapt up to my throat when we got naked and he too started to speak: "There's something I've always wanted to try," he said. "How do you feel about Nixon masks and cheese?"

"OK," I thought. "I give up. Everybody's doing that midlife-crisis thing. But can't you all just buy Porsches?"

Now, I've got nothing against crazy stuff: I mean, some people think what I do in bed is crazy, and that's before they hear about the chickens. It's the surprise part I don't like. You wouldn't ask people over for dinner and then surprise them with horse testicles in cat pee, and you shouldn't surprise sex partners with frilly pink corsets or Ovaltine enemas.

For the third time in a row, I put my clothes back on and made my excuses, but halfway down the hall I noticed my wallet was gone. It falls out of my pants a lot so it didn't particularly surprise me -- I just didn't like having to re-greet somebody whose apartment I'd just fled. I walked back to his door and heard him talking on the phone.

"He looked really hot," he was saying. "Nice face, stylish clothes. But then he takes his clothes off, and oh my God! He's so pink and furry I'm afraid the cat's going to run after him. He's got a roll of flab six inches wide around his waist, and it looks like he hasn't been to the gym since gravity was invented. I was like, 'Skipper, better put your shirt back on or Little Buddy's going to be sick!'" I poked my head in and he pasted on the smile I use when opening presents from Grandma. "I'll call you right back," he interjected. "Something's come up."

He hung up and I edged my way in. "I guess you were talking about somebody else," I said, trailed by an awkward chuckle.

"Oh, no," he said, with an insouciant air. "We were talking about you."

"So that stuff about the Nixon mask and the cheese -- that was just to get rid of me?"

He nodded. "It seemed easiest. You weren't quite what I expected."

I sighed. "Well, I'm not a model or a professional bodybuilder. But I work out three times a week, and I've never gotten any complaints."

"Oh, puh-leeze!" he cried like Joan Rivers spotting Cher. "Aside from your massive pinkness there's a zit on your shoulder the size of Vesuvius, and if you stood with your feet together I could still toss a ham between your legs."

I stared at him in disbelief, too stunned to argue. "I forgot my wallet," I said frostily, and I pushed past him to the bedroom where it was lying on the floor. Maybe he'd stripped me of my dignity, I thought, but I'd still have a Discover card with nearly $80 available. With my head held high, I strolled back outside, where the freezing air and his insults hit me like a smack in the face.

The sun was setting as I slowly trudged home and the city darkened around me. Although I hate Los Angeles, I found myself missing it: I mean, having sex there was mindless fun, while here it was like entering a dog show. You take your clothes off and they're inspecting every muscle, every hair, asking you to trot around the bed. "That right delt is slightly saggy," they say, looking up from their clipboard, "and there's a slight curvature to the spine. The chest hair is off-center, and the ears are out of proportion. I'm afraid you'll have to go." But I guess I should have expected it. New Yorkers are cutthroat about everything -- business, sports, even food. Why did I think sex would be different? For the first time in my life I had to confront one of life's biggest questions: Would I ever have sex in this town again?

I got my answer soon enough. On the subway home, a nice-looking guy struck up a conversation with me, then asked me to his place "for coffee," and I went. I stripped naked, he leered at me lustfully, and everything was cool. Then he took off his clothes, and damn. Freak-show time. From chest hair shaped like a bagel to thighs as flat and gray as Flipper to skinny ankles where the hair had been worn away by tight socks.

This would not do.

You know what I'd really like to try?" I said, feigning excitement. "I'd love for you to piss on me while singing 'Send in the Clowns.' "

When he led me into the bathroom and began humming the intro, I nearly freaked. If I'd still been wearing either pants or shoes, in fact, I'd be in Cincinnati right now. But then I thought, Heck, I'm not getting any younger, and to tell you the truth, I'm not in the best shape in the world. How often do opportunities like this come up?

I learned my lesson. By the time he finished, let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Okay, I'll admit it. I think I have a fetish. It's hard to tell, because there's a fine line between a quality you look for in a partner and a fetish, and it's not like there are Fetish Police who will tell you which side of the line you're on. But there's this one little quality that means the difference between me lusting after a dude and totally ignoring him, and that makes me think I give it a little more power than most people do.

I like facial hair.

Actually, I don't understand why all gay men don't fixate on facial hair. After all, we like men, so shouldn't we like everything manly? We pretty much agrees on penises, right? Well, what about the other outward signs of masculinity? We should like muscles, Barry White voices, cowboy hats and chaps. We should like stocky, blue collar, gruff.

We should like facial hair.

There's exactly one reason I haven't mentioned this before: I've always thought people with fetishes are perverted. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking they don't have sex the right way. See, when you fixate on a certain body part or attribute, you're ignoring the person's inner beauty. You stray from the Sexual Ideal, which sounds a little like this:

CHET: Oh, baby, the way you kiss the back of my neck sends sweet waves of passion down my spine.

STAN: Darling, I never knew what bliss was until I met you.

But with, say, a foot fetishist, you're more likely to hear dialogue like this:

DARREN: Sweetie, is something wrong? You've been lying on the ground for thirty-eight minutes now.

RAOUL: Take a chill pill, buddy, and smack me in the kisser with that hot club toe.

People who have regular sexual desires don't usually end up on the news. Fetishists, on the other hand, are always running from the police, usually in women's lingerie or black vinyl shorts, or they're stealing pink socks from some cheerleader's clothesline.

Until we hire ourselves a PR firm, it's not a group you'd want to join.

After years of harboring this predilection, though, I've decided there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I don't steal men's shaving cream. I don't send thirty saucy texts a day to Hugh Laurie. I don't go up to attractive strangers and tell them there's a bit of food in their muttonchops that I'd be happy to extricate with my dick.

And I still have standards. Just like regular dudes who distinguish between attractive men and unattractive men, I distinguish between attractive facial hair and unattractive facial hair. Attractive? Dense, nicely shaped, color somewhere between black and brown or salt and pepper. Unatractive? Wispy, thin, splotchy.

It's only when I realize I'd do Wilford Brimley before Matt Damon that I start to suspect something is off.

Still, in the end I'm content with my fetish. I could do better, and could do worse. On the plus side, facial hair is relatively common. I'm not trawling the bars for skinny Samoans, or rabbinical amputees. On the minus side, my relationships will always be precarious, doomed to a short life span even compared to men with stranger fetishes, causing me a lifetime of serial heartbreak. Because a guy with a yen for Japanese men, for instance, won't wake up one morning and discover his paramour has, on a whim, shaved his Asian off.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Repeat Friday: Surprise

Well, the good news is, Time Warner Cable is now calling me. My new home address actually appears in their system, so one day soon they'll be able to send a technician out to hook me up. Sigh; I'm going to miss this old laundromat, if only because my clothes are now whiter than white.

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I have to do something. Every morning I wake up and it's like my eyebrows have grown just a little bit bigger, until they threaten to consume my face. It looks like two squirrels are scurrying across my forehead, and very soon there's just going be to one. Years ago, though, after an overzealous afternoon with a razor blade, I learned that shaping and tweezing your facial hair is like trying to remove your own gall bladder. This time around, I decide, I'll let a professional handle it.

I don't exactly keep up with the trends, but I know about threading. I've seen it on the news, where an Asian woman wielding something like dental floss wraps a coil around a stray hair and yanks it out, faster than the blink of an eye. While I run my daily errands I pass eight or nine threading salons, and I slow in front of every one. I feel my eyebrows swelling until I can barely keep my head up. I think, why don't I just go in and get it done?

You hear all these rumors about New York metrosexuals, but I'm the only guy in the salon I finally choose. There's so much estrogen in the building, in fact, I feel like I've accidentally stumbled into Pinkberry. Mercifully, the procedure is quick and painless. Five minutes and fifteen dollars later, the woman passes me a hand mirror. My eyebrows are far apart and half their original size. The delicate arch makes me look ever so slightly surprised.

I look at the woman. She looks at me. "Well, I think they look good," she says.

I race to the bathroom of a nearby Bed Bath & Beyond and survey the damage. They could definitely be worse. They're certainly not that 30s Jean Harlow brow, the thin Sharpie squiggle dancing below the hairline. They could almost pass for natural. Still, the arch is sharp enough to change my default expression. I'm no longer bored. I'm not exhausted. If I keep my face entirely still, I'm somewhere between inquisitive and questioning. Add in even the slightest additional surprise, though, and I look like a man fleeing Godzilla.

I run my remaining errands as I struggle to keeping my face utterly placid. Inquisitive eyebrows aren't such a horrible thing, I discover. They have the attitude that I don't, second-guessing every word I hear.

I stop at a fruit stand for a mango and some strawberries. "That'll be twelve dollars," the man says. I look at him. He looks at me. "Okay, okay," he snaps. "Maybe it's just ten."

I drop in Designer Shoe Warehouse to see what's new. There's a pair of Ecco shoes I almost like but they're clunky, and they only come in brown. "Those are absolutely perfect," a clerk says. I look at her. She looks at me. "If your girlfriend's named Rainbow and you wear fringed vests," she adds.

By the time I head home it's late, and the subway is deserted. Still, a middle-aged man sits down right next to me. His suit is cheap, his hair's thinning, his moustache nearly hides his mouth. "You should be a model," he says, just out of the blue. "I mean, you are absolutely gorgeous. You've got an amazing face, and it looks like you've got a really hot body. You could be, like, in one of those Calvin Klein ads, just wearing underwear. David Beckham's got nothing on you."

I look at him. He looks at me.

"Well, I wouldn't turn off the lights when I fucked you," he says, so imagine my surprise when he did.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Repeat Thursday: Two Mistakes

"Call us back on Wednesday and we'll let you know what happening," the folks at Time Warner Cable say. And what do they say on Wednesday? "By Friday we'll know what's up."

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Every time Richard opens his mouth he makes two mistakes. "I absolutely love Picasso's works from his purple period," he declares at the art museum, staring in admiration at a tiny, colorful work.

These pronouncements always stop me in my tracks, because I never know which mistake to address first. In this case I say, "Actually, Picasso never had a purple period. And that picture in particular is a Mondrian."

"Oh," he says. He nods his head like he's suddenly semi-educated, when in reality he's just moving on to his next mistakes. He doesn't seem to realize how hard it is to talk to him. When somebody makes one mistake, the human brain can easily decipher it. One mistake is glaringly obvious: Ellen Degeneres is married to Portia de Rossi, not Tia Carrera. Narcissus aren't orange, they're white. One can't actually dodge taxes by diverting some of their income to a 10K. The brain decides whether or not the err is worth correcting, and that's the extent of that.

When someone makes two mistakes, though, additional parts of the brain are required, because the conversation receptor is thrown into overload. A dialog starts ping-ponging inside the head. It's like the NYPD caught a naked man holding up a liquor store and then couldn't decide whether the case should go to Violent Crimes or Vice. "Have you seen that movie with Roma Downey Jr.?" Richard asks. "Hawaiian Tropics?"

I have to mentally list all the possible permutations and then rank them by the likeliest. Does he really mean Roma Downey? Probably not. Nobody's meant Roma Downey in quite some time. No, odds are it's Robert Downey Jr. But he never made a movie about tanning lotion, right?

Meanwhile, Richard is standing there blissfully, not a thought in his head.

Now, I kind of like Richard. He's attractive and fun and professional, three qualities I've rarely found before, let alone in the same man. But I can't help but wonder. Making one mistake at a time marks you as an ordinary, fallible human. What does two at a time say?

Still, he's my man for most of December. I bite my lip when he tells me he has a crush on David Beckham, the rugby player who's married to Scary Spice. I sigh sadly when he announces that Oreo cookies are made by leprechauns. I watch in silence as he pours champagne into a martini glass that has colored salt around the rim.

And still, somehow, we make it into bed. The usual way, pretty much: we go out to dinner, drink a bottle of wine, go back to his place and start making out. "I bet you've got a big dick and you know how to use it," he whispers into my ear.

I say, "Oh, just shut up and lie down."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Repeat Wednesday: What a Dump

I don't understand my dog Snowflake. Three times a day I take him out for a walk, and he always scurries over to the same old tree. To the naked eye it looks like all the other trees, but from the way Snowflake acts you'd think it was Bob Fosse. He sniffs at the bark, paws the fallen leaves, circles endlessly. It makes me wonder if he's stupid. This thing's the botanical equivalent of "The View," except even Barbara Walters rarely reeks of piss.

I yank on his leash and drag him farther down the block, past a new apartment house they're building. I've got a love/hate relationship with it. It's an oversized concrete box surrounded by classic old brownstones, but since it brings ten hunky Polish construction workers to the neighborhood it could be the Gates of Hell for all I care. Whenever I pass one of these guys on the street I'm tempted to strike up a conversation. I usually go for flattery as a pick-up line, but I'm not sure "You can sure stack concrete blocks!" will prompt eyelashes to bat.

Snowflake and I are almost to the corner when we find an enormous brown pile in the middle of the sidewalk. It's about enough to make me lose my lunch, but to Snowflake it's like finding vintage Gucci. He tiptoes up to it, circles a few times, sniffs. He can't take his eyes off it. If he had opposable thumbs he'd be snapping pictures.

I'm tugging on his leash when a construction worker appears. He's picked up a Snapple at the deli, I guess, and now he's headed back to work. He's one of my favorites, reminding me of a guy I used to date. We went all hot and heavy until his birthday came up. I still get defensive about it: I mean, if mango shower gel is a crime, color me guilty.

"Hey," he says, in a thick Polish accent, "you gotta clean up after your dog."

I show him my hand, stuck inside a plastic bag, and think about making it talk. I decide not too: I mean, if there's a profession that less sexy than accountants, it's puppeteers. "I do," I say. "He hasn't gone yet."

"Then what's that?" he asks, pointing to the sidewalk. Like an idiot I look. It hasn't changed. "Your dog took a dump."

"It's not his," I say. "It was here when we got here."

"Of course it's his. He's standing right next to it."

"You're standing right next to it and nobody's claiming it's yours."

He starts his next sentence with "Listen, wise guy," which doesn't bode well for our future together. I don't date anybody who reminds me of Dad. "I just went to the store, and it wasn't here when I left. Look around -- you see any other dogs? Who else could have done it?"

I don't see any other dogs, but this doesn't prove anything. "My dog's poo is nothing like this," I maintain. "For one thing, this is bigger than his head. Snowflake ate a whole pizza once and barely crapped a cannoli."

"I'm not even listening," he says. "I'm not buying your excuses, and you're not leaving until you clean that up." He's just dripping with macho swagger. It's only hot when you're sure the guy's not going to kill you.

I come to the conclusion that I can't win this argument by myself. I need backup; I need a character witness. Surely some of the neighborhood folks have seen Snowflake poo before, and can testify that this monstrosity isn't his.

Like the answer to a prayer, the guy who lives upstairs from me is fast approaching on the other side of the street. I've kind of got a crush on him too: he reminds me of a guy I used to date in college, who dropped me when I gave him a ring. It wasn't commitment he was afraid of -- some folks just don't get Cat's Eye. "Hey!" I yell. "Excuse me! Have you ever seen my dog take a crap?"

"No!" he hollers, and he darts across the road like the Clash are playing on our side. He takes one look at the sidewalk and scowls. "Damn," he snaps. "Did I miss it?"

This is such an allegory for my life, I think. Two men I'm interested in, and the topic of discussion is whether or not my dog took a dump. Under other circumstances I'd probably have caved, but the dog that left this muffin was clearly not in good health. Let's just say it'd be easier to pick up apple sauce.

From four different directions bystanders approach. In a quiet Italian neighborhood like this, a giant crap is like Cirque du Soleil. I get the newcomers up to speed, hoping somebody'll back me up, but everybody takes Construction Worker's side. "If I wasn't going to clean up after my dog," I ask, "why did I bring the bag?"

"You were gonna pretend to clean it up," a chubby kid replies. Right, I thought -- now I'm the Sociopathic Urban Mime. He's just mad because I gave out Swiffer refills last Halloween.

"You know," somebody says, "I'll bet he's the one who's been carving graffiti into the trees."

"And setting off the car alarms at four in the morning."

The crowd murmurs like a posse on "Bonanza," accusing me of everything from destroying the ozone layer to reusing postage stamps, and the circle around me starts to close in. By now I'm thinking, hey, maybe Frankenstein didn't have it so bad. Sure, he was chased around by villagers with torches, but it wasn't in a hip neighborhood, and he didn't have to worry about ruining flattering clothes.

Just as I'm deciding on the best direction to run, an old lady in a faded housedress breaks through the circle, wielding a cane like a tire iron. Somebody explains the situation to her in Italian, and I'm guessing they offer her first whack. Instead she takes a look at the dog, the poo, the plastic bag over my hand, and puts it all together like a Sicilian Miss Marple. "So your dog hasn't gone yet?" she asks. I nod. "Then make him go."

A gasp of surprise erupts from the crowd. It's like we're all gathered in the library and she's just picked out the killer. Even I'm impressed -- I mean, I wouldn't have expected anything more than interesting than curse words and tasty gnocchi from her. "Easier said than done," I complain. "I have to massage his lips to get him to eat."

"Convince him."

All eyes turn to the dog, who's shivering like a chilly chicken. "Poor little puppy," somebody says. "He's too nervous to go."

Now this was just flat-out wrong. Snowflake's never cared who was around when he went. In fact, he seemed to be spurred on by attention from attractive guys. It was the bane of my existence: I'd meet somebody, we'd flirt, he'd try to make friends with the dog, and before we could swap numbers we'd be scurrying for gas masks.

A lightbulb goes on over my head. "Hey," I say to Construction Worker, "pet the dog. Pretend you like him."

He stares at me like I'm crazy but follows my instructions. Not two seconds later Snowflake is proudly standing over his own, markedly-smaller creation.

The crowd grumbles and I beam like a new dad. "See?" I say, gesturing like it's a game show prize. "There's a huge difference."

They nod reluctantly. It's a rollerskate next to a Humvee. "Sorry," Construction Worker says. "I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion."

"No prob," I reply, and then comes our first awkward silence. Pause. "You can sure stack concrete blocks."

He smiles and his brown eyes twinkle. "Thanks. Well, I gotta get back to work. Maybe I'll see you later."

"Yeah, that'd be nice." We all watch as he walks away.

Snowflake and I head back towards home, and he runs to the safety of his tree again, circling like a Spirograph. I still can't claim to understand the little pooch, but he's a chip off the old block in a couple ways:

Great taste in men. Really not so great with gifts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Repeat Tuesday: From Cute to Brute

Bad to worse. Actually had the power shut off this morning. The good news is, now I'm not so fixated on getting Time Warner cable connected. Meanwhile, rumor has it somebody wants to rent part of the building as a "studio," but the deal has to include most of the basement.

The basement. You know: where the FRESH DIRECT ROOM and the BUSINESS CENTER and the YOGA ROOM and the FITNESS CENTER were going to be.

It's almost time to call my lawyer. Lupe says my cellphone is still charging, though, and Cafe Con Aroma de Mujer is on.

----------------------

Friday night at the Lure there was a Coke machine of a man leaning against the bar, and I knew I had to have him. Though it was snowing outside he was shirtless, and while with some guys this can look narcissistic it gave him a sexy "I don't care how goddamned cold it is" kind of vibe. I guess when you spend a thousand bucks getting a lifesize eagle tattooed on your back you grab any opportunity to show it off.

I "accidentally" bumped into him and pretended to spot him for the first time. "Great tattoo," I said. It's my standard opening line, since it works with everybody from frat boys to Cher.

"Thanks," he growled. He looked me up and down, though mostly down. "You're a cute little thing, aren't you?" I blushed and thanked him. He dislodged his cigar from the corner of his mouth and tapped the ashes on my Nikes. "I don't do cute."

As he galumphed off I realized a couple things: first, guys get even sexier when they're walking away from me; and second, nobody here does cute. Since after "responsible" and "clean" that's the first adjective people use to describe me, I knew I'd have to select another breed of brainless companion or die alone. I decided to get a dog.

I got lucky the next day, outside the grocery store. A Girl Scout had a boxful of puppies and one in particular, a bouncy ball of fur that looked like a pompom with big brown eyes, stole my heart. I couldn't resist, even when she demanded $100.

"Hey, when's cookie season?" I asked, handing over a stack of twenties.

"I'm not really a Girl Scout," she said, scratching a tattoo on her wrist of a cigarette-smoking weasel. "I just wear the outfit because otherwise nobody's gonna pay me for stray dogs."

I grabbed little Snowflake and started for home but before we got ten feet we were mobbed by little kids. I wasn't surprised -- in fact, I'd planned on playing dress up with him the second we got home.

"That dog is too friggin' cute," a girl said in Barry White's voice, cracking her knuckles against her thigh.

A boy with more chest hair than my dad nodded. "It sure is," he agreed. "Let's set it on fire."

Snowflake may be tiny, but when lit matches are flying he can move. We ran all the way to my apartment where it finally hit me: I'd seen hundreds of dogs here -- frisky and mellow, young and old, big and small -- but Snowflake was the only cute dog I'd seen.

What the hell was going on? I wondered. Did somebody drown all the cute dogs?

By the time I worked up the nerve to take Snowflake outside again it was dark. Still people stared at me like I was wearing pink pedal-pushers. Three separate guys volunteered to tell me what my problem was, and since they looked tough I took notes. Snowflake made the wrong statement, they said, using slightly rougher words. These are the statements New Yorkers want to make:

1. "I could chew you up and spit you out."
2. "I eat chumps like you for breakfast."
3. "I could bite you up and swallow you whole."

Now, after talking to these folks I realized something: I was going to die in somebody's mouth. No, something else: New Yorkers want to look scary. That explains the black, the boots, the tattoos and dirty hair. If we wanted to be cute we'd glue Japanese tourists to our heads.

Where dogs are concerned, then, the uglier the better. Somebody in Kansas City might cringe upon spotting a mangy monstrosity with bugeyes, wrinkles, snaggleteeth, and a nose bent like a pretzel, but New Yorkers would just start to get interested. "Is there some way to get him to drool?" they'd ask.

The guy at the kennel confirmed my theory as he led me down an aisle of perky furballs. "Look at these things," he said, shaking his head like Joe Friday at the Hellfire Club. "Every one of ‘em, cute as a button." He pointed out a pink toy poodle just begging for a big satin bow. "That's Princess Peaches. If nobody takes her by tomorrow she's history. Along with Mr. Whiskas, Shuggsy Marie, and Fluffy Fluff Fluff. Adorable little bastards. Sometimes when I gas ‘em it looks like a Puppy Chow commercial."

We both looked down at Snowflake, who cocked his head like a Keane painting. I pictured him toppling over dead. It was sad but still really, really cute. Kennel Guy wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and pulled a black eye patch out of his pocket. "Do me a favor," he said, his voice cracking. "Keep the dog. But put this on him before you go outside. He'll look weird enough that maybe those bastards will leave him alone."

Snowflake fixed his big brown eyes on me and I figured I'd give it a try. I slid it on him and like they say on Ricki Lake, he went from cute to brute.

On the way home I walked Snowflake through the park and now everybody was giving him respect. He got jealous looks from the men, startled glances from the women, and everything with four legs went berserk. It was like walking Russell Crowe. If one little alteration could save Snowflake's life, I decided, maybe it could improve mine.

That night when Snowflake fell asleep snuggled in his favorite teacup I put on his patch and headed to the Lure. An Ernest Borgnine lookalike, shirtless and sweaty beneath a Members' Only jacket, latched onto me the second I walked through the door. I tried to duck him but since I could only see a tiny wedge of the bar it was futile. "You really turn me on," he said, trapping me beside the pinball machine. "I don't know what it is."

I tried to remember the scary statement I wanted to make. "I could fit your entire body in my mouth," I said, and I haven't been able to shake him since.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Repeat Monday: Tall Tale

Still no Time Warner cable service, and the laundromat is a little too hectic this morning. You wouldn't believe how excited people get when Downy introduces a new scent. Rumor has it I'll be able to access the internet from home starting Thursday: until then, let's look back at some tired old crap.

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I'm tall, dark, and handsome, and I think it stinks. The "dark" part is cool, and I wouldn't choose anything other than "handsome." But the "tall" thing is a freakin' pain in the ass.

Of course there are the obvious problems. When I go to the movies, whoever gets stuck behind me sits and swears for two hours. I have permanent twig marks on my forehead from low-hanging branches. And traveling by plane, well. . . . I've had my legs in the air for eight hours before, but never while wearing pants.

What I don't understand, then, is why guys get so jealous.

Whenever I go barhopping, I get a ring of tiny admirers around me, shrieking about how wonderful it is to be tall. "You can see everything around you," they squeal. And I think, "Hey, kids, this ain't Switzerland!" There are no glaciers sliding by, or fluffy little woodland creatures scampering through the shrubbery. We're surrounded by 100 half-dressed men, and while you got your face rubbing Hunky's face, or your tongue on Rugged's chest, I'm left sucking on Toothpick's bald spot.

Yeah. Woohoo. Tall power!

Being gay makes being tall even worse. Straight guys don't care if their clothes are ugly, or dated, or if they fit like burlap sacks. They go to the Big and Tall store, find a polyester shirt with palm trees on it and purple pleated Dockers, and they're like, "Cool. A new outfit."

They're lucky. They're not heading back to Homoland, where the guys wear Prada and Gucci and spit on folks who shop at Sears. People in Heteroville are accustomed to crap, so they don't chase after you with torches when they spot it. They buy shoes at PayLess, food at Wal Mart, and housewares at Target. They don't clutch their palpitating chests when they see a clothing label that reads "Made in America for Freakish Fred's House of Pituitary Problems."

Here's what straight people say when they see a badly-dressed tall guy:

1.) Gosh, he's tall.

2.) I bet his parents are tall.

3.) I wonder if he plays basketball.

Here's their gay equivalent:

1.) Sweet Lord, are those pants from Sears?

2.) That reminds me. I should mail a donation to St. Dymphna's Church for Folks Who Might As Well Just Shoot Themselves.

3.) HeLLOOOO! Halloween is 207 days aWAAAAAY!!!

Lurking just outside the tiny admirers is the Bob Vila Boyfriend, poised for rescue like a knight in shining armor. While he means well, he'll prove a little annoying. It would be cool if he wanted to repair my microwave oven or regrout my bathtub, but it's geeky old me who's the fixer-upper. He approaches me like a building contractor, with a list a mile long on his clipboard, thinly veiled slurs hidden inches below the compliments:

"If you worked out," he says, ticking off item number one, "you could be really gorgeous."

Now, this might qualify as flattering . . . if I hadn't lifted weights three hours a day for the last eight years. Unfortunately, biceps that are longer than the "Lord of the Rings" movies don't quite bulge like ones that are as short as cartoons.

I smile and explain that I've been to the gym once or twice. "You should have seen me 10 years ago," I say. "I was so skinny I could have swum to Manhattan just through the plumbing."

He crosses that off and turns to item number two. "You'd look really hot wearing cotton/khaki/instant pudding/anything other than what you have on."

Which, of course, translates to, "Hey, those are some ugly clothes!" And I think, er, I've always kind of suspected that, because -- hey -- I've GOT EYES.

Now, I like getting a little attention, so sometimes I'll go out with these guys. And then the sad ritual begins. Where a date with Bob Vila might start off at Home Depot, his gay counterpart heads to the Big and Tall Store. "They've got clothes for tall guys there," he explains, and you slap your forehead, like you'd assumed they sold monkeys or clam juice or something.

What he doesn't realize is, you've been there, oh, 500 times. Once to see what they had, and 499 times to confirm that, yes, their clothes suck as bad as you remember. And the store owners are just as happy to see you, standing out like a hot dog in a box full of donuts. "Hey, boss!" the clerk yells. " That tall guy's here again! What should I do?"

The boss sees you searching in vain for anything that'll fit, and flashes back to Godzilla versus Tokyo. "AIEEE!" he screams, scurrying for the door. "Run for your life!"

I cornered a salesclerk during one of my first few visits. "We don't actually have any tall clothes," he admitted sheepishly. "We just put that in the name so it's not as embarrassing for the fat guys."

That makes sense, though it has totally wasted my time. It would be like opening a clothing store for transvestites and Baptists: Most folks don't mind claiming to be one or the other.

And so your clueless new pal drags you back there, just knowing it'll be a sea of Prada XT or Gucci Longue. He'll roam the aisles for an hour or two, looking stunned -- wondering why the Levis top out at a 32-inch inseam, which looks like hotpants on me.

I'll try on some random monstrosity, just to make him feel better, but while I'm in the dressing room he'll scurry off in shame. Me, I've been objectified, insulted, and treated like Formica in a world full of marble. I head to the nearest gay bar, where the Tiny Admirers surround me like a stretched Rue McClanahan. It's as if they're motion-activated: I scratch my head and it fires one up. “How tall are you?” he chirps excitedly. “Six foot seven,” I reply. I look toward the ceiling and another kicks in. “How tall are you?” he asks. “Six foot seven.”

I push my way toward the bar, hoping massive doses of alcohol will make them vanish. The bartender takes my order, then maneuvers his mouth near my ear. "How tall are you?" he asks.

"Six foot seven.”

He looks me up and down. With my height, it takes a while. "I see the six feet,” he finally declares. “Now how about the seven inches?"

It's an old line, but I go home with him anyway.

I love seeing that look of surprise.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello, new resident, and welcome to the Cigar Factory Lofts! As you've perhaps noticed, things have changed just slightly since you signed your lease.

The Cigar Factory lofts have a significant place in Brooklyn history, originally built in 1842. This old warehouse has been extensively refurbished, leaving decorative elements such as exposed brick and beams, and now it's a tranquil oasis providing the perfect antidote to harried city life.

On the ground floor, you'll enjoy the special chilled Fresh Direct room, where your groceries will be safely stored until you arrive home, just off the lobby. You'll love working out in the fitness center and stretching in the yoga room just off the hall. You'll sleep better knowing there's a business center, a relaxation lounge, and a clean and spacious laundry room open twenty-four hours a day downstairs.

For your computing ease there's state-of-the-art wiring by Time Warner cable, and free wi-fi, so you won't have to mingle with the masses in the laundromat across the street where a dollar buys three minutes on an old PC.

Your unit has also been designed with high-end tastes in mind. In your bathroom, notice the hand-forged curtain rod, the hand-painted shower curtain, the hand-crafted hardware, and the spacious, imported medicine chest.

Your unit has been supplied with gas heating and a top-of-the-line gas stove which you can use to cook gourmet meals that your guests will admire while you think back to a harder time, before the building was hooked up to the natural gas pipeline, when people had to cook on campstoves.

Anyway, welcome to the building! Make sure to tell your friends about Tork Brothers Development, and keep an eye out for the new condos we're building elsewhere around the city. But this summer, we'll see you, margaritas in hand, lounging and enjoying the views on the roof.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Repeat Thursday: Go With The Flow

Last week I went to a cocktail party that positively sparkled with witty repartee and fascinating conversation. Too bad all I wanted was to get laid. I made my excuses, hightailed it to the Eagle, and the first reasonably attractive guy I saw I tailed home. We stripped off our clothes and he leaned in close, grinning like a 12-year-old about to swap his sister's Hershey bar with Ex-Lax.

"You know what would be really cool?" he said, eyes twinkling. "You could tie me to the bed and force me to suck your feet!"

Now, this bothered me in a couple different ways. First, I wasn't falling for his alleged spontaneity. It reminded me of those hetero guys who find themselves on dates with hot, tipsy chicks: "I heard about these things called 'body shots,' " they say, feigning innocence. "You wanna give it a try?" And second, I was supposed to force him to do me? I'm attractive; he should be happy I'm naked and there. I made my excuses and scurried off, adding entry No. 472 to my "Why I Shouldn't Sleep With Strangers" list.

A few days later, though, it happened again. Another guy with a weird request, and another naked scene. "You know what would be great?" this one said like a kid at Christmas. "My neighbor's a submissive pig into hypnotism and electricity. How about we see if he's busy?"

I put my finger to my chin, pretending to think, but mostly I tried to remember where my pants were. I made some vague excuse -- when you flee a pervert's apartment you don't quibble about the details -- and went out and found a replacement. My heart leapt up to my throat when we got naked and he too started to speak: "There's something I've always wanted to try," he said. "How do you feel about Nixon masks and cheese?"

"OK," I thought. "I give up. Everybody's doing that midlife-crisis thing. But can't you all just buy Porsches?"

Now, I've got nothing against crazy stuff: I mean, some people think what I do in bed is crazy, and that's before they hear about the chickens. It's the surprise part I don't like. You wouldn't ask people over for dinner and then surprise them with horse testicles in cat pee, and you shouldn't surprise sex partners with frilly pink corsets or Ovaltine enemas.

For the third time in a row, I put my clothes back on and made my excuses, but halfway down the hall I noticed my wallet was gone. It falls out of my pants a lot so it didn't particularly surprise me -- I just didn't like having to re-greet somebody whose apartment I'd just fled. I walked back to his door and heard him talking on the phone.

"He looked really hot," he was saying. "Nice face, stylish clothes. But then he takes his clothes off, and oh my God! He's so pink and furry I'm afraid the cat's going to run after him. He's got a roll of flab six inches wide around his waist, and it looks like he hasn't been to the gym since gravity was invented. I was like, 'Skipper, better put your shirt back on or Little Buddy's going to be sick!'" I poked my head in and he pasted on the smile I use when opening presents from Grandma. "I'll call you right back," he interjected. "Something's come up."

He hung up and I edged my way in. "I guess you were talking about somebody else," I said, trailed by an awkward chuckle.

"Oh, no," he said, with an insouciant air. "We were talking about you."

"So that stuff about the Nixon mask and the cheese -- that was just to get rid of me?"

He nodded. "It seemed easiest. You weren't quite what I expected."

I sighed. "Well, I'm not a model or a professional bodybuilder. But I work out three times a week, and I've never gotten any complaints."

"Oh, puh-leeze!" he cried like Joan Rivers spotting Cher. "Aside from your massive pinkness there's a zit on your shoulder the size of Vesuvius, and if you stood with your feet together I could still toss a ham between your legs."

I stared at him in disbelief, too stunned to argue. "I forgot my wallet," I said frostily, and I pushed past him to the bedroom where it was lying on the floor. Maybe he'd stripped me of my dignity, I thought, but I'd still have a Discover card with nearly $80 available. With my head held high, I strolled back outside, where the freezing air and his insults hit me like a smack in the face.

The sun was setting as I slowly trudged home and the city darkened around me. Although I hate Los Angeles, I found myself missing it: I mean, having sex there was mindless fun, while here it was like entering a dog show. You take your clothes off and they're inspecting every muscle, every hair, asking you to trot around the bed. "That right delt is slightly saggy," they say, looking up from their clipboard, "and there's a slight curvature to the spine. The chest hair is off-center, and the ears are out of proportion. I'm afraid you'll have to go." But I guess I should have expected it. New Yorkers are cutthroat about everything -- business, sports, even food. Why did I think sex would be different? For the first time in my life I had to confront one of life's biggest questions: Would I ever have sex in this town again?

I got my answer soon enough. On the subway home, a nice-looking guy struck up a conversation with me, then asked me to his place "for coffee," and I went. I stripped naked, he leered at me lustfully, and everything was cool. Then he took off his clothes, and damn. Freak-show time. From chest hair shaped like a bagel to thighs as flat and gray as Flipper to skinny ankles where the hair had been worn away by tight socks.

This would not do.

You know what I'd really like to try?" I said, feigning excitement. "I'd love for you to piss on me while singing 'Send in the Clowns.' "

When he led me into the bathroom and began humming the intro, I nearly freaked. If I'd still been wearing either pants or shoes, in fact, I'd be in Cincinnati right now. But then I thought, Heck, I'm not getting any younger, and to tell you the truth, I'm not in the best shape in the world. How often do opportunities like this come up?

I learned my lesson. By the time he finished, let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Repeat Wednesday: Lying in the Sun

It seems like every time I go on vacation I have to explain my sexuality to somebody, and it’s starting to piss me off. It starts when I make hotel reservations. “We don’t have a fitness center,” the clerk says, “but we have a lovely garden. I’m sure your wife will appreciate that.”

A friend and I want to go to one of those debauched, all-inclusive resorts, to lie in the sun and have sex with total strangers. “Sandals is a great couples resort,” the travel agent chirps, “but it’s not much fun for single men!”

I’m in Boston and need to see leather, so I tell a cabdriver to take me to the Eagle. “You don’t you wanna go there, bub,” he advises, in a seemingly-helpful tone. “That bar’s for gay guys.”

By far the worst was at a hotel in the south of France. A paramour and I were celebrating our two-month anniversary, so I’d booked us a suite at a converted convent. Behind the desk was a tiny old woman in a threadbare black robe who looked like she’d been abandoned by the last inhabitants. She pulled up our reservation, her hands shaking like a chilly chihuahua. “But someone has made une erreur,” she said. “You are two men, but you have zee room with one bed only! I will change for you at once.”

Mark and I froze like snowmen as tension crackled in the air. Now, call me crazy, but I’d happily have gone with separate beds. They’d probably be big enough for two, and we could always push them together. I’d rather sleep in the bathtub, in fact, than explain homosexuality to some dried apple of a woman who’d given her life to Jesus. Mark, however, wasn’t going to let it slide. He’d bore her to death discussing everything from prepubescent gender identification to courtship rituals among the Chippewa before he’d cave in. In three and a half hours, I predicted, she’d be swinging from the rafters by her rosary.

He stepped up to the counter like a speaker headed for a podium. “We asked for one bed when we made the reservation,” he said, “and it wasn’t a mistake. You see, the common assumption that everyone is heterosexual is a political rather than a biological tenet, and the truth is -- “

His words veered into a yelp as my foot thwacked the back of his knee. I pulled him into a huddle where I mimed “tiny” and “nun” and, well, everything short of “I’m trapped in a box!” He exhaled hard and backed away and I approached the desk. “See, I was in the Army,” I said, “stationed in Korea. There was a shortage of beds, so everybody had to share. For nine years I slept in tight quarters with other men, and I got so used to it that now I can’t sleep alone.”

“Oh, le pauvre!” the woman gasped, looking like Macaulay Culkin at age one hundred ninety. “I am so sorry!”

“It’s not that bad,” I said defensively. “I mean, we do that ‘Those aren’t pillows!’ routine at least once a night.”

We got the room we wanted but even before we left the lobby Mark was yelling at me. “Coward! Why did you always have to lie? How are things ever going to change if everyone keeps dodging the truth?”

“I’m on vacation,” I protested. “I didn’t drag us here just so we could explain to Sister Bertrille that we like to touch each others’ willies.”

He smacked the button for the elevator. “So what was your excuse yesterday?”

He had a point there. I told my landlord it was fine to drop by unexpectedly, told my mom I had to hang up because a football game was on TV, and told Mark I thought it really was room odorizer when I bought it.

It took an hour or two for the argument to dissipate, but like all lies it kept coming back to haunt us, always in that Tiny Nun form. We ventured to the fitness center for a quick workout, and there she was cleaning the equipment. “Messieurs,” she twinkled, admiring our physiques, “how zee ladies must sigh over you!”

Mark glared at her. “As Alfred Kinsey discovered in the 1950s, approximately ten percent of the male population would similarly sigh over -- “

I was afraid Tiny Nun was going to grab a dumbbell and pound herself out of her misery so I jumped in. “Next to saving the whales,” I barked, “that’s our goal in life!”

We’d gone eight hours without speaking when I suggested marking our anniversary with champagne. Mark cracked a smile, but it vanished when the skinny figure appeared at our door. “Do we celebrate?” she sang, Dom Perignon in her bony claw.

“We most certainly do,” Mark snapped in his frostiest tone. “We celebrate that despite the patriarchal intolerance of same-sex, transgendered, and bi relationships -- “

Tiny Nun glanced frantically at our open windows but sensed they weren’t high enough to do any real damage. I hollered over him. “We celebrate a wonderful city, a wonderful hotel, and a WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIP!” I screamed.

The little woman vanished like fog, leaving lukewarm champagne and the shards of our relationship behind. “You know what?” Mark said after swigging his glass in one gulp. “I don’t think this is going to work.”

“I know,” I said, “I know. I’m a great guy, but you’re not ready for a relationship.”

He shook his head. “No, I’m ready for a relationship. Just not with a liar like you.”

I thought about protesting but he just might have nailed me. The more I thought about it, though, the madder I got. Sure, I lied occasionally -- but always for a good cause. I tried to make people feel better. I tried to spare their feelings, so they didn’t have to dwell on how stupid they were. Did that make me evil? Did that damn me to an eternity of singlehood? By the time our bottle ran dry I’d convinced myself: I wasn’t the James Gandolfini in this relationship.

After two more days passed without a word we wandered out to the hotel terrace for coffee before the flight home. We nearly jumped out of our seats when the Catholic Freddy Krueger materialized with a basket of pastries. “Still eet eez only zee two of you?” she quizzed, eyebrows springing up like McDonalds’ arches. I watched as she scanned the grounds expectantly, as if at any moment Catherine Deneuve and Jacqueline Bisset were going to burst in wearing big floppy hats and give both of us wet French kisses. And I decided I’d had enough.

Mark fired up again, using words like “ontology” and “taxonomy” and “fin-de-siecle,” but Tiny Nun had a butter knife and she looked like she could use it. I picked up a breadstick in my right hand, a bagel in my left, and pointed the former at the latter. “Babe,” I said, “I’m only going to explain this once.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The laundromat is packed when Amor de las Carreras comes on. Swarms of multigenerational families cascade across the orange plastic chairs. Grandmas sit and chat while their daughters tend to laundry and the grandkids sprint circles around the place, all activity grinding to a halt the second the show begins. The men stand in the back, hands in pockets.

Since the show is in Spanish, I have no idea what's going on, but it's easy to follow the mood. When everybody's happy, the mariachis play fast. When it's sad, the mariachis play slow. All the women in the room sob. Some of the men even tear up and start to dab at their eyes. Me, I'm not quite as transfixed, rolling my eyes while I fold my clothes. In fact, while the rest of the room is choking up, I'm trying to stifle a laugh. This is the cheapest television show I've ever seen, and I frequently watch CBS.

There's a death scene in a hospital, and I can't take it any more. Evidently the producers have found a place where a woman can die slowly while wearing a low-cut blouse. I laugh out loud and eighty women scream epithets at me. An overweight, middle-aged man with a wispy black beard walks over, takes my arm, and leads me a few feet away. "Sir," he says, "this is our favorite television program. When you laugh at it, you laugh at us."

I heave a sigh. "Oh, please," I reply. "This show is ridiculous. I don't see how you can take it seriously."

"Actually, it's very true to life. We Hispanics are a very passionate people."

"It's ridiculous," I repeat. "And it cost like eight cents to film. When Tia Nina was in that plane crash, the cameraman just shook the camera while showing her looking scared in a big upholstered chair, and then you hear what sounds like somebody dropping a bag of crockery and they cut to a rabbit running through a field."

The man squares his shoulders and his face reddens. "That was very sad," he said. "And there are lots of rabbits in Mexico."

"There have been eight car crashes," I continue, "and every single one happened behind a bush. Car drives behind bush, you hear what sounds like somebody dropping a vase, and then somebody tosses a hubcap out."

The man's eyes tighten and he clenches his hands into fists. "We have lots of bushes in Mexico too."

"Well, it's ridiculous," I say. "It's stupid. Don't blame me if I laugh."

"No, I don't blame you," he says slowly. "And I'd like to continue talking, but so we don't disturb anyone, let's go behind the dryers there."

I follow him. I'm thinking he's starting to see my side, but then I hear somebody drop a big plate and everything goes black.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Moving is hell. I haven't changed my clothes or washed my hair in six days. I'm seconds away from being Benizio del Toro.

This old Italian guy who lives a few doors away dropped by to say goodbye. I've always wondered about him: very religious and old-fashioned, yet whenever we talk he touches me constantly, and points at a lot of stuff in the distance that require his hand moving suspiciously close to my groin. He says he says it's an old Italian tradition that when you move to a new place you bring bread and salt. It's symbolic, he says.

He didn't explain what they stood for, but judging from the Italians I know it's easy enough to figure out. Bread stands for the nourishment you need to live, and salt represents sucking the life juice out of everybody you meet.

I moved to a much nicer place, and stupidly thought the increased rent would be the only expense. Wrong! Now everybody who comes by says I need new furniture. Evidently exposed brick walls and beams don't go with cement block bookshelves. Is that ridiculous? If I'd known, honestly, I'd have found an uglier place. I can imagine how Louis XIV felt after he built Versailles.

LOUIS XIV: So, babe, here it is! My wedding surprise for you.

CATHERINE THE GREAT: Christ, Louis, what the hell did you do? All the gold, and mirrors, and frescos. Now all our furniture is going to look like shit.

LOUIS XIV: Hey look, babe, I spent eighty million dollars on this thing, just to impress you. The building was designed by an Italian count, the frescos are by the finest painters in France, and the mosaics are hand-set by the most skilled artisans in the world.

CATHERINE THE GREAT: Okay, it's beautiful, it's beautiful. (PAUSE) Now give me the fuckin' Sears card.

I don't have internet access yet, so I'm at a pay computer at the laundromat across the street. It's weird: just a few days ago, I thought this place was really sad and hopelessly depressing, full of people who had no ambition, no hope, and no talent, but now I'm finding it's not -- whoops, gotta go. Lupe says "El Amor de las Carreras" is on.

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