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.
The coda was improvised and, as best as forensic experts can tell, this is what I said.
Corona Marie get your butt back in here right now. Do you hear me? And quit telling them stories about me and your Daddy.
Whole county’s gonna know our business.
I mean the reason I was crying all the time was because her Daddy was such a loser in the sack. It’s a miracle we were able to have the one kid.
All I’m saying is that someone needs to go to one of them Gay Lib meetings. If you know what I mean and I think you do.