BLISTER 


; I get the strangest feeling that I've been here before. Is this Groundfag Day?

;

;;"I have to introduce you to each of the bartenders so they don't steal your money," theatrical ubiquity David Lee flops his hair in a knowing way. "Some of us never forget!"

;; And some of us never remember. Regardless, I'm slowly able to surmise that he's referring to a Naked Orange Theater Company fund-raiser (for Pie-Face: The Adventures of Anita Bryant) I seem to have attended at Pulse a couple of years ago. Something involving a battle between my broken inner calculator and a certain bartender's orange-juice-sticky fingers followed, resulting in a $48 (plus tantrum) loss on my part. Keep the change, and the calculator, too. Simper.

;; But that wasn't here. "Here" is the Footlight Theater at the oldish-new Parliament House, after all, and none of the walls change color on their own until you've legitimately spent at least $48 on drinks, or breathed improperly through one open nostril. Oh, wait! It's coming to me.

;; "I was so happy when I saw you here last Wednesday!" Baby Blue comes to me in a baby-blue bodysuit. "You were in the right mood (nudge, nudge). I knew you would get it!"

;; No, I wasn't high, but I might as well have been. I was in this very spot last Wednesday night for the closing performance of Blue's Alice in Wonderland VarieTEASE extravaganza, if memory serves me correctly, wherein I witnessed at least three of the following: midgets, pumpkin muffins, midgets, a "White Rabbit" interpretive dance, midgets, a "Master and Servant" Depeche Mode derivation, midgets, a girl named Toxin who said she had "so much imagination going on in her head" (that head tellingly covered in a mountain of black yarn), boobies, magical pills that really light up, midgets and a fabulous-but-truncated show. The power went out midway, you see, leaving a sort of wet bit of Caligula debauchery of big and little people climbing over each other and drunk gay celebrants screaming, "Tell the lesbians to throw them some Ds!" (meaning the batteries from their vibrators). Oh, that's why I forgot.

;

;God, I hope I don't remember tonight.

;

; Inside, the Fringies are Fringing in their edgy mingle fashion, loud-talking their way through demonstrative re-enactments of their last great wit flame-up. The Orlando International Fringe Festival is just a month away, and all mouths are wet with well liquor and antici-PAY-tion (meaning tonight is a fund-raiser for the Naked Orange Fringe productions of Jawz: The Musical and VarieTEASE Carnivale). I hear tell there's even a silent auction quietly amassing funds indoors.

;; "Say nothing," my favorite non-thieving bartender, Tim, whispers. "Act casual."

;; I wish I could, but there's a black light present and I'm one of three bleachies in the room. Blue, myself and MySpace empress Jamesson flutter together in follicular obnoxiousness as if there's a camera coming from every angle.

;; "We're like Wilson Phillips!" I squirt something stupid out of my mouth. "Only without the Wilson!"

;; Unfortunately, the ceiling is mirrored, which causes a Chynna flash of vertigo as we all preen in a vertical fashion. "Whenever I look up, I fall down," I squirt something else, this time with an air of prophecy or Ziggy. Whatever. Before long, a boisterous Beth Marshall, Queen of the Fringe, joins us and I'm wrapping her red locks over my own lack thereof for actual photographic purposes, and perhaps a grain of scarlet sanity. It doesn't come. The Pet Shop Boys' "Yesterday When I Was Mad" is filling up the flat-screen, and my fate is all but sealed. Tomorrow, maybe I'll be sane.

;; For now, though, I'm left with Jamesson's explanation of his latest communication obsessions: the hoblog and the moblog.

;

; "I know it sounds dirty, but it isn't," his roots start to show. In fact, a hoblog is one which is written from home, and a moblog is something that you create from "whatever portable communication device you choose."

;

; "I think it's time for a moblog," he twitches, eyeing a table in the corner and stretching his thumb.

;

; "I'm in my 30s and I just can't care," I deflate.

;

; "Oh, you don't have to impress me by telling me you're an old man," he flirts, then flits.

;

; Ouch. Anyway, the bulk of the remainder of the evening will be spent engaging in unspeakably boring conversations about political matters which clearly do not belong in bars of gay overstatement. Rifts within the gay community will expand and contract like a giant mouth full of sharpened (and whitened) teeth, only occasionally exposing a giant drink-stained tongue to trip over. It can be entertaining, engaging even, but is typically the stuff that morning-after regret is made of, and therefore something to be avoided. I don't avoid it, which is my eventual downfall. About 30 seconds before I can reach for a needle and some thread to sew my own mouth shut, David Lee's perfectly sane brown hair climbs from the corner to the center of my dilating pupil.

;

; "You are going to stay for the show, right?"

;

; "Um, I think it's better that I should go," I stick my tongue to the roof of my liquor mouth.

;

;He promises a spectacle, and I relent reluctantly, because that's what I do. And when the curtain splits open, a spectacle there is. Miss Sammy is hanging upside-down from the rafters by the wets of her knee-backs, looking not unlike Anita Bryant herself – only as a drag queen who happens to be a bat.

;

; "There's got to be a morning afterrrrrrrr," s/he Maureen McGoverns from behind a dress all but covering her face.

;

; Does there? Does there really?

; bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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