Oh. My. God. Tonight is going to be so much fun. Not only do I have a Plan A, but I also have a Plan B that precedes my Plan A, meaning that I am perhaps the most gifted columnist on the "nothing" beat currently twiddling one thumb in this burgeoning metropolis. A new air of optimism is tingling through my marrow, so much so that I don't even think I'll have to sink to my standard levels of knee-jerk gross-out reaction. Tonight there will be no mention of my digestive tract, no sniffles about a drug past, no sexual overstatement. Tonight is the first night of the rest of my nights.
"You should read Liz Langley's column tomorrow," a guy behind the counter raises a gay eyebrow. "She was here for this last week." Fuck all.
The "here" in question is Pom Pom's, a fabulous new fusion sandwich place on South Bumby with a hipster flair that belies its strip mall surroundings. "This" is a thematic, semi-regular after-hours flirtation with digestive hyperbole known as the "Gross-Out Challenge." And "you" is me, a behind-the-curve scribe whose musings are being outwitted by the Friday Sentinel. I don't even eat, so what the fuck am I doing at a restaurant?
"What About Me," an Australian '80s almost-hit and personal anthem, fists from the stereo system, and I'm waving a lighter on the inside. What about me? Well, I have diarrhea.
"Where have you been?" quizzes my boyfriend Alan after a 20-minute, two-flush loo rush.
"Nowhere," I gaze off into everything and nothing at the very same time.
On the plate for tonight's challenge are an assortment of rotten eggs … literally. Pom, a gorgeous Asian with a sinister sense of humor, has arranged for tonight's waiver-signing victims to partake in an Easter(n)-themed treat of salted eggs, duck eggs (with the babies boiled in them!) and some other green egg that has rotted underground for 100 days to become a delicacy. My fear factor is off the incontinence charts, obviously, and I won't be partaking in any such ovum appreciation. Instead, I'll merely marvel at pictures from last week, uploaded on a laptop, that show a number of people eating something spikier and grosser than eggs, and pictures of Liz taking notes.
"This is the one they'll be using for the story," I'm told.
Taylor, Tim and I decide to hatch Plan A and hop into my Jett-A, turning it the general direction of the Club at Firestone just four thousand cobblestones A-way. Mixed feelings abound as we discuss the potential for hate that a Margaret Cho performance inspires, but we're willing to give it a go. It's for charity, you know. And, well, we didn't pay. Heh.
"Is she still skinny, political and unfunny?" we all seem to moan at the same time, and I can feel the hate steaming between my pompoms.
Billed as a benefit for local AIDS organization Hope and Help, the event ought to at least ignite a momentary match of blind-eyed righteousness in our decidedly flatulent din, but it doesn't. Instead, we're content to giggle and dismiss.
Walking up to the nightclub, Taylor and I long for that simpler time of dirtbag-rave debauchery that we always sort of long for when making this walk. Things like, "Shouldn't we be taking off our shoes, grinding our teeth and picking up the turntable you left here last night?" are followed by "Shouldn't I be biting your shoulder and telling you about how I totally just ‘blew up' while pooping?" Charmed, we're sure.
But not as charmed as show opener Lady Bunny, who's having a hard time getting out of her limo because of her 3-foot-high wig. At least she has a wig. I want a wig.
Inside, it's gay bar—gay, and I'm practically invisible in all black. Gay Weekly ad director Graham comes up to let me know that, although he likes my shirt, if I turn to my side I give the distinct appearance of being a floating head. "It's like I can't even see you." He wears low-rise jeans. Good.
Our search for a dark corner for my light head results in something of a conundrum. Like, do we want to sit on the couch, or do we know better?
"Surely it's chock-full of alcohol spittle and cocaine farts," I spit, farting, so we opt for a high-rise table off to the side and settle into assuming untouchability. We have neither hope nor help to offer, and we want nothing from anybody.
"Not on ladies' night, bitches," Taylor flicks a press-on.
A clique of gym-bodies drinks in the distance and I fat-girl something like, "They don't have one ounce of body fat between them … they look like beef jerky!" thinking myself very, very funny. I'm not.
But neither is Lady Bunny, whose dragged-out, lo-fi reproductions of "All That Jizz" and "I'll Suck Him, I'll Suck Him, I'll Suck Him, and When He Cums I'll Swallow," somehow dodge irony and gain cheers from an AIDS benefit crowd.
Cue Cho's pedestrian rants on semisweet lesbianism, and this is a real treat. "Kate Moss? She doesn't have a vagina. She stopped feeding it and it died!" Heh. "Why not a Republican ban on adoption?" Huh? Whatever. By the time she hits her stride, Taylor and I are reaching for 100-day rotted green eggs to throw at her dowdy pigtails.
"It's just getting worse and worse," she drivels, signifying both my life and this evening. Yes, yes it firstname.lastname@example.org