Wednesday, May 21, 2008

THE FORBIDDEN AISLE

While I have tried to avoid political discussions over the past few years in these missives to you, My Worldwide Network Of Fans (not to mention those amongst you who utterly LOATHE me yet never seem to miss a single one of my vowel movements), I think it would appear a trifle suspect if I were to let the events of the past week go by without some sort of commentary.

After what seems to have been an eternity of struggle, through seemingly endless legislation and partisan infighting, I am thrilled to announce we have WON! At long last, those of us who share this common bond, this alternative “orientation” if you will, have been accorded the respect and the dignity which is guaranteed to us as members of a democratic society. I know to many of you it seems like nothing more than an empty symbolic gesture, but I assure you it literally changes the way we feel about ourselves and our place in the world at large.

Yes, hard to believe as it may be to those of us who are die hard fans of the Chairman of the Board, the House has finally passed a resolution supporting May 13th, 2008 as Frank Sinatra Day!

The vote was 402 to 3, not even close, although one wonders exactly what those dissenting members had against such songs as “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning”

--truly the greatest piece of bourbon-soaked broken heart music ever created. The decision came hot on the heels of the government’s issuance of the official Frank Sinatra Stamp and needless to say I immediately bought the local post office’s complete supply;

I have been sending out so many letters, postcards, and packages encrusted with these tiny replicas of Ol’ Blue Eyes that my tongue has taken on the distinct flavor of last year’s Kentucky Derby Winner.

Many of my faithful readers are aware of my Frank Sinatra connection here in our beautiful Desert Town. His original home is a scant few minutes away from my doorstep
and the Bamboo Bar around which he and the other members of “The Clan”

- the true believers amongst us NEVER call them the Rat Pack - tipped more than a few bottles of Jack Daniels is currently featured in my living room, where noted spiritual advisor Dr. Nelson Wong has held court on more than one blurry occasion.

But what even the more rabid of my followers may not know is that I have recently become part of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world – The Dolly Sinatra Branch of the Sons of Italy In America. Now I know what you’re thinking – “but Ron, you come from a small, backwater village in Canada, literally THOUSANDS of miles northwest of Italy! How could you, with your long family history du blanc pauvre, even be CONSIDERED for membership?

Well never let it be said that my rather colorful romantic past hasn’t served me well; I might not exactly qualify as Sicilian per se, but I DO have a little Italian in me. Or at least, had.

It was several years ago, on a rather aptly named “layover” at Heathrow, but I’m told it still counts.

The ladies who run the place are utterly delightful, insisting in traditional Italian Mama style on filling one’s plate beyond capacity at their weekly Wednesday night spaghetti dinners ($8, including dessert!), while Sal the Bartender seems to take offense at the very sight of an empty glass and, for a paltry three bucks, pours the kind of drinks that remind you exactly why Prohibition was doomed to fail.

I’m sure there are still some twisted Susan B. Anthony types out there who would love to see the return of THAT particularly ruinous piece of lawmaking;
they are, I suspect, the same ones who currently have their intestines in a knot over the California Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning a ban on same-sex marriage.
.
I must admit that while I certainly applaud the verdict-

- clearing the way as it does for what will surely be a rush on Abercrombie and Fitch Tuxedo T-shirts for the Boys and Home Depot Gift Cards for the Girls, I’m not in any particular hurry to join my houseboy Panton and his ilk in the stampede enroute to the Crate and Barrel bridal registry just yet.

(Just to clarify, Panton doesn't actually HAVE any particular husband in mind, but given that his immigration status is currently under investigation by I.C.E. he has been lurking around the local hotel pools in his most revealing swimming trunks, aggressively searching for somebody who will accept his offer of marriage in exchange for a family dowry of sixteen chickens, two chipped Flintstones jelly jar/tumblers and a Budweiser belt buckle circa 1973.)

I know what you’re thinking, dear reader, and no it’s not just that I’ve already endured one marriage which, to put it mildly, made the recent typhoon in Myanmar look like a spring shower that’s making me gun shy about taking another walk down the aisle.

The real truth is, I have this sinking feeling that the end result of all of this equality is going to be nothing more than a surge in the Sweater Gay population.

And after digging through the Adoption Markdown Sales Bins of the World, where they will shove Brangelina’s leftovers into their newly purchased Prada Prams
these proud Papa Bears will then wheel their “little darlings” into my local watering hole and demand a place to change Little Britney’s dirty nappy, thus destroying the last natural habitat of those of us who prefer the company of adults to the forced Teletubby-fication of civilization.

Goodness knows, I’ve got nothing against children. As long as they only speak when spoken to, behave themselves on airplanes and use the vermouth sparingly when making my martini, we get along just fine.

And I certainly don’t condone the recent trend amongst high school aged girls, ditching the result of the Pope’s “No-Condom Law” in the nearest trash bin; the least they could do is post the kid on eBay and split the proceeds with the father.

But surely there's a time and a place for everything, and if I make it a point to keep my cocktail shaker out of your playpen, surely you can keep your lap monkey away from the bar? Whatever happened to the social order, when the only time one heard the words “gay” and “daddy” in the same sentence was in the description of the latest porn release from Falcon Video.

Once upon a time the gay lounge was the exclusive domain of Nice Young Men Who Sell Antiques discussing the latest cultural event and dishing gossip about people they don’t know. Now one can’t even order a quick shot of tequila, no lime, without being subjected to some barfly’s cell phone camera fairly bursting with pictures of his Pride and Joy, every moment of its riveting two year life span recorded for posterity. Frankly, if I am forced to watch one more digital movie of Little Ashton’s First Bowel Movement while waiting for a cocktail, I am going on the wagon.

Perhaps all of this anti-gay sentiment from the Religious Right is some sort of reverse psychology; they’ve lost the “cultural war” against homosexuality, so they’ve decided to Trojan Horse us to death. They know from their own disastrous divorce rate (50% at last count!) that the best breeding ground for bitterness, anger and abuse is Marriage.

So what better way to end “the gay lifestyle” than to toss it into the emotional mulching pit of Holy Matrimony? And what better way to make us WANT to get married than to tell us we CAN’T?

As I said, I’ve tried to avoid political commentary in my humble writings over the years, but this is less punditry than it is warning. I predict that the Constitutional Amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage being threatened for this fall in California will fail. Not because of the gay vote – we can barely get a homosexual quorum to decide on a restaurant for dinner – but because of the Religious Right.

Because they want us to WIN.

Then, once we’re all living happily ever after, when we have fallen asleep after a long day of marrying each other and raising children and mowing the mortgage, that’s when they will make their move. Under cover of the night, Pat Robertson

will command his foot soldiers to slip into our homes and place large seedpods beneath our beds.
And in the morning, when we wake up, we will be Them.

To paraphrase Kevin McCarthy at the end of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – “We’re next…we're’re all NEXT!”