I’m on a mission to revive the ancient gay art of drag numbers. It’s a primitive form of communication that’s gotten a lot of flak lately from the pronoun zealots.
Some were surprised by the religious aspects of the previous post. But I start every day with a simple prayer asking God to help me change those things which I can change. And to kill those who don’t do what I want.
It’s been said that when I pray the room becomes a chapel.
Unable to complete the previous post because of computer and mental malfunctions, I’m happy to report things are on the mend. The air book has been shipped to Apple repair and I’ve cut back on the barbituates to only one a day (down from a handful.)
I can now share my Easter video, belated though it may be.
Creating the usual 700 word essay via iPhone is almost impossible. Doing clips however is a breeze.
The voice may be temporarily stilled but, for the visuals, there’s no end in sight.
My Dearest Darling Readers: I was ready to record another inspirational drag number to accompany this post and my Mac Airbook died on me today. Less than 4 months old and I can’t get a pulse. And doing it on the phone like this just doesnt cut it. Should be fun trying to solve this one with no customer service departments. Stuck in this apartment for how long without a computer? Ugh. But enough about me. I don’t want to detain you from reading more about me.
Get washed that day
Rank dirty feet smelled of decay
Then Friday we’d play Is He Dead Yet? It was a tedious, three hour game I don’t really remember the rules for. All I know is that I never felt closer to my family than on those sacred afternoons.
Things would open up on Saturday as the whole community became involved. The carnival would be in town for the weekend and brave carnies would volunteer for the Nail It! booth. That’s where we kids, who could hit the nail head about one out of every ten hammer swings, mutilated the digits of those poor guys. I don’t know why they complained so much. They were paid time and a half.
There’d always be one smart ass who’d been practicing technique and would get that sucker nailed to the plank. But the rest of us sure had fun trying!
Then the parents would sit in their lawn chairs sipping bloody marys while they watched us play Can You Feel It? The local hospice wheeled out the patients with the worst bedsores and we’d squeeze our vinegar soaked sponges on them. The screams and the stench could get pretty bad at times. Mom and Dad loved guessing the names of the victims. “Isn’t that Bob Wilson? He was the Principal at our elementary school!”
It got more serious Sunday when it was time for Roll Away the Stone. Granddad would take the tractor down to the creek and pull up the biggest boulder he could find. Then, through tears and complaints, we were expected to roll it the length of the front lawn. Granddad would yell at us, “Come on you little bastards, move that son of a bitch! YOU’RE NOT REALLY TRYING!”
After the traditional ham, scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs, one of us would be crowned Most Likely to Be the Second Coming. I’m proud to say I held the title several years running. As the thorns ripped the flesh off my forehead, I can still hear Grandma whispering sweetly in my ear, “shut the fuck up. it’s only going to hurt for a minute.”
When the President wished us a Happy Crucifixion Day it provoked such wonderful memories of the funnest of all the holidays. Thank you Agent Orange.
When it comes to fevers, COVID-19 isn’t the only one rampaging. The “Cabin” strain is prevalent too.
As I’ve perpetually putzed around the house, I remembered the times I’d organize big parties or a benefit to dull the ennui. Veterans of those performances know that exceeding the twenty five person assembly rule would not have been an issue today. They also know how much work and expensive they were.
I considered the possibility of a virtual show instead. But that format makes it hard to sustain interest, both yours and mine. With no audience to play off of, it’s no fun. So I decided to record one song to capture the mood.
I chose Tammy Wynette’s classic from 1967. Whereas most pop tunes dumb down the lyrics to grab attention, Country takes it to the imbecilic level. Like all good pop recordings, great musicianship makes these songs memorable. (See Jesus and the Postman.)
I’m not making fun of Tammy. I love her voice with its unique, plaintive lilt. It’s the ridiculous words she sang that make great fodder.
The major obstacle in doing drag for the first time in 25 years was make-up. I didn’t have any. Jane came through with a bag of hand-me-downs that were passed off in a touching social distancing exercise on the sidewalk at Bush and Jones.
Then I faced the fact I’d have to do it myself. I’m used to suckering or paying someone else to apply it. I did remember the concepts of contouring and tons of translucent powder to finish off. Also, the importance of remaining motionless a couple of minutes as the eyelash glue set.
Doing makeup was a real learning experience. Mainly that vision in the right eye is far worse than the left. When I lifted the left lid after it dried, the falsie was below my lower lashes on the cheek bone. Off by only an inch. Fine for Malcolm MacDowell in Clockwork Orange. Not what I wanted for my performance during the National Catastrophe created by Agent Orange.
The other hurdle was no wig. I couldn’t borrow one nor could a cheap one be ordered from Amazon in time. Plus they’d prioritize my order by necessity. I shudder to think it would have been classified frivolous.
Again, Jane to the rescue. In the bag of makeup was a dramatic red turban and some clip-on earrings I dolled up with dangles. The look ended up being pure Bubbe in Boca playing Backgammon. If the chicken soup fits, wear it.
The video was intended to be raw and one take only. This is the second take. The initial attempt was completely washed out by the lighting.
I flubbed up the lyrics a few times and the rant at the end is garbled. I was too far from the mike. A transcript of that coda is included below for those who feel cheated.
It’s obviously a homemade job but I’ve never been one to crucify the good on the cross of perfection. When Jim wrote our reviews he’d say things like “Critics Call 1968 Okay!” Or invent slogans like “Let’s be ordinary!” Normality was our goal. As long as we were the ones defining the norm.
My objective was to give friends a giggle when there is not much enjoyment of anything. And to prove once and for all that there is no fool like an old fool.
In November of 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated on a Friday. To put it in perspective for my millennial friends, the shock and weight of that event quadrupled the grief felt for Princess Diana’s death.
Nancy Reagan had a barbeque scheduled for Sunday that weekend in her Bel Air home. She wasn’t about to cancel. The affair went off without a hitch and everyone had a grand old time. National mourning be damned.
Twenty years later her best buddy Betsy Bloomingdale was throwing a party in her Holmby Hills mansion. In the middle of dinner her butler discreetly slipped her a note which she read without blinking an eye. The fete continued and it too was considered a huge success.
Her husband did not join her at the table that evening, he was too ill, He had recently been implicated in the murder of a prostitute, Vicki Morgan, who served her country by serving Alfred Bloomingdale and many members of the Reagan cabinet. Including the man with his hand in the jelly bean jar himself. While Betsy giggled over her cucumber sorbet, Al died in another wing of the house. Guests did not find out until the next day.
It’s this type of stone deaf sangfroid that makes the Republican Party great. And it explains why the Wisconsin primary will be held this week against the backdrop of a 100,000 American deaths. Sometimes when you have the chance to gain advantage you just have to fuck the greater good.
While the pandemic has raged and consumed our attention, the Trump administration has dropped all charges against the Russians involved in the 2016 election scandal. They’ve indicted the leader of another nation, Venezuela, on criminal charges in US Courts which is not how international diplomacy is usually conducted.
The Justice Department is also threatening Deutsche Bank with criminal charges as they prepare to foreclose on personal loans worth hundreds of millions that Agent Orange has defaulted on. Americans don’t seem to notice any of this because they’re too frantic searching for the face masks they need to stay alive..
This national calamity would be the perfect time for a highly partisan Republican Supreme Court to end its term by eviscerating civil and voting rights, outlawing affordable healthcare and overturning Roe v. Wade. Because stealth is the GOP’s preferred M.O. And with people like Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Shumer leading the opposition there is no oversight. They’re too busy counting their money.
Republicans get away with it because they own most of the media and they love Jesus. They also love the flag, right down to the tips of their silver spooned bone spurs.