Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fag Tuesday, or The Night of the Has-Beens and Never-Weres

Not that I am one for schadenfreunde; I harbor little or no ill will against those who wronged me, and it is not exactly true that Patton, or the general patronage at Cobalt wronged me, per se ... nonetheless, I recently discovered that my old home away from home (and business hub) was recently held up - at shotgun point!

I actually heard this the other day and dismissed it as idle gossip, or made-up, or something that no longer concerned me. Two out of three ain't bad; it does not concern me, and it is certainly rather idle gossip, but it was not exactly made up.

It was the night of the WEBB Party, and two males entered the bar with shot-guns, demanding everyone's jewelry, cash, and cell phones. They used a friend of mine's purse to hold their ill-gotten goodies, and then they left. They returned the day after that to pull the same exact stunt - hitting up what was possibly the same patronage (knowing that bar as I do).

Reynold (the other hooker on my couch - during the literally dark days in my old apartment) - who now also works at Club Unity [how do both my hooker ex-roommates end up in the same place, at the same time?!?] informed me that Club Unity was also hit. A few nights ago. In that case, it was a hostage situation. No one knew how to open the safe, so everyone waited ... everyone except the drag queen. During the (alleged) four hours wait, a small - and, I expect, badly dressed, drag queen wriggled out a small opening (bathroom window ... or just a hole in the wall?) and ran - high heels in hand, I'm sure - for help. Four hours with a laser scope trained at one's head is by no means pleasant. Of course, the story came from Reynold - whose tendency toward hyperbole borders on legendary.

All that notwithstanding, chil' - all I can say is that I am glad that my drug dealing, free-wheeling, bar-sitting days are largely behind me. It seems - at least for now - that small bars in this city are not safe. I can only hope that Web House benefits from the constant police attention and proximity to both Tycoon Flats and La Bikina. Otherwise, they may have to Hitler (the ill-named bar cat), or one of the high-heeled hipsters through a window.

I thought of all this - wrote the above - while sitting in a cubicle. If I have been quiet of late, it is because I am working again. One of the several staffing services to which I belong came through for me. They called Monday night to ask me to start a job Tuesday morning. I am filling in (for 3 weeks) for a woman on maternity leave, and - near as I can tell - I am there to add fabulous to the office.

My friend, Ellen, has - for years now - suggested I rent myself out as a gay man with taste, something that became a much more realistic option after the abundance of reality makeover shows, particularly "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," or pretty much anything on HGTV.

In any event, my job tasks thus far have been faxing employment verification documents, totaling the number of hours for which nurses would get paid in a special payroll run, stapling a whole mess of papers and arranging them neatly in various folders, and - at one amusing point - 'sprucing up' the cubicle across from me, so that Rose would have something pretty to which to come back. I am somewhere between a Girl Friday and a Fag Tuesday.

Of course, in this day and age, being fabulous pays off; my compatriots have accepted me into their fold. I was about to run to the printer / scanner / copier / fax, and accordingly turned in my chair to find a small, polyester rat staring up at me. One of my cubicle mates is the office prankster - inventing, as he calls it, "Fishesta Friday." I was about to ask what this was when a shrill scream and reluctant laughter pierced the office calm. Drew - being the good-natured frat boy / fisherman / bon vivant he is, put live goldfish in several people's water bottles. The rat, needless to say, belongs to him. When I saw it there on the floor on my first Friday morning, I knew I had arrived.

Ellen, when I texted her about the rat, replied, "Cute. Did you kiss it & name it Algernon?" I never liked that book, but I love that I have friends who happen to have a come-back for every odd event in my very odd life. And who generate it, come to think of it. On her own blog, Ellen published, "My mother just saw a rat running toward City Council chambers. The jokes write themselves."

Ellen was over last night. We made filet mignon and watched a movie. For better or worse, it turned into what we dubbed 'The Night of Has-Beens and Never-Weres." For a dollar, we rented "The Wrestler" - Mickey Rourke, himself the most recent come-back kid, played a washed up wrestler - in the Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper variety - bleached blond hair, heavy drug use, Day-glo tights and all.

With Marisa Tomei played his stripper (almost) girlfriend, and Evan Rachel Wood (Marilyn Manson's most recent main squeeze) as the lesbian daughter, things had more potential than substance. Nothing about the film failed, but only a few things worked.

We followed "The Wrestler" with "Bucked!" - a retrospective on bull-riders who had innumerable injuries and foibles - including a guy who broke his neck, one guy who dislocated his sternum (?), and one really beautiful redneck who had over 30 concussions! I marveled that he was still able to walk upright, let alone ride a bull. Before Ellen gathered her things to leave, we ran smack dab into an infomercial with Chuck Norris, Christie Brinkley, and Wesley Snipes before the tax evasion. It was a has-been trifecta.

My father has finally relented to having the air conditioner on, so as I bid Ellen good-night, fixed myself a cocktail, and crawled into bed with a good book, I knew that I would sleep well - beneath the covers - dreaming little dreams of reality TV, or some other such evil(s).


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