A-wiggity-wiggity-whack. That's precisely the sound that my head makes as my hand slaps against it and, fortunately, also the sound of my soul dying at this, my latest night-life descent.

"You should come out tonight," snips my friend Joel (or Jo-elle, depending on your personal degree of homosexuality) as he trims my friend Taylor's wig. Joel works at Pulse and presumably has one too. "It's college night, which loosely means gay hip-hop."

All I hear is "loose hips." Funny, that.

Not since Abercrombie went all Hollister have I attended this sort of queer excuse for underage themery, but tonight I'll make an exception. I am, after all, way too old for it, so the fish is already out of the water. The joke, my friends, is all over me. I need to stand there and drink the punch (line). Ugh.

So I dial up my friend Tony, who throws down a little rhetoric ("Doesn't Kanye West hate gay people?") before agreeing to co-host my evening of the obvious, and we're almost instantly thumpin' and bumpin' down South Orange.

Actually, we're listening to the Eurythmics who are even whiter than us. Still, we got cred. I'm on the list, yo.

Sort of.

Somebody named "Billy Maze" is on the guest list and seeing as I'm not one to be too picky about the corn in my shit, I'll assume that somebody is me.

"This should be fun," funs Tony.

"No it shouldn't," I unfun back.

And, mostly, it isn't. The affair isn't nearly as ridiculous as one might expect, musically skirting more of a rap breakdown in a Mariah Carey record than anything that you wouldn't already hear at a gay bar. Shake it off? I can't. I have to find a column in here somewhere.

Ironic T-shirts abound with moot statements like "Horn if You're Honky," "I Feel a Sin Coming On," "I Lie … Honestly" and "Will Work for Handjobs" falling off of them, while puka-shell beads strangle necks, with and without the help of hemp, and everything feels very much like a Southern Night.

"It's supposed to be ironic," squints Tony. "But it isn't."

Black flies in my chardonnay aside, things could be worse. Somebody could be wearing a "Tough Guys Wear Pink" T-shirt. Oh, wait. Somebody is.

"This is totally my pledge brother," hazes Tony. "I'm so getting hazed right now."

Me, I'm just hazy.

Tony and I make our way over to Joel's bar in the black room (paint, not race) and stand there for awhile. Waiting, I guess, for hip-hop to happen.

Meanwhile a management sort buys me a free shot, and I do my best to blend or vomit into the carpet. A vaguely hip-hoppy version of "Diamonds Are Forever" comes on, but so far the darkest thing I can find in the room is the missed spot on my recent bleach job.

That and a humorously sinister statement from Joel, currently flirting with somebody that just fell out of either an Abercrombie catalog or a high school yearbook.

"Is 19 too old for me?" he sucks his cheeks in.

"You mean young?"


OK. Nazhoni is tonight's entertainment, working something that resembles drag, but isn't really. It's a bald head held up by a corset, in effect, and when it asks, "How many straight women are in the audience tonight?" a surprisingly large number of real boobs jiggle.

I'm very uncomfortable.

Even more uncomfortable when Tony and I saunter into the white room (race, not paint) and the very bartender that I've lambasted in three columns is working. He looks at me and quickly looks away. Joel suggested that I should go up to him and say, "I have nothing to say to you!" thus completing my dance of futility. Instead, I just whimper it to myself and attempt to shove 50 one-dollar bills up my own asshole. It isn't as easy as it sounds, but it feels pretty good.

The night, in short, couldn't really get any worse. Tony and I slap ourselves down onto a white pleather couch and stare at the Halloween decorations: white bandage tape wrapped around partial crucifixes with pinhead tops. I don't get it. I shouldn't get it. Sundry almost hip-hop situations build up in the background while hustlers text-message either their johns or their dealers. And I wish I was dead.

Which is a lot like wishing I was a newscaster for Channel 13. But since that will never happen, the fact that I swear to God that I see a certain talking head at a gay bar is almost enough to make me feel like I have a scoop. Naturally, I cannot approach him myself. He interviewed me when I filed to run for office, and if we were seen cohabitating, there would be scandal. So I casually Madonna myself next to him on the dance floor and sniff my own armpits as a means of unintended flirtation. Then he clicks his tongue, and his whole posse relocates.

"You want me to go talk to him?" Tony is the best friend ever.


So Tony creeps his way over, asking "Omigod. You're famous. Aren't you on television?"

"Tonight, I'm just at a bar," he confirms my lubricated suspicions.

Now I can just hippity-hop all the way home. Yo! billymanes@yahoo.com

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