;"I can't believe my teeth and gums!" Doug Ba'aser Water-Piks as we splash ourselves up to Pom Pom's Sandwicheria. "Billy Manes!"

;;Tony and I have just crawled out from under pre-show liquor rocks at the Peacock to make a feigned penance appearance at the art-drag, art-fag fabulousness that is this month's "Seven Deadly Sins" art opening. And given the supersize of our toxic conversational appetizers — the kind that make you sum up your whole life in one slurred pathetic sentence containing the words "existential" and "doubt" — it's no wonder that neither of us can feel what's left of our dental work at all. We are numb.


;Well, Tony isn't.


;"I've already taken care of three of the deadly sins: gluttony, sloth and lust," he pulls back three filthy fingers. "A computer, a super-deluxe pizza and Internet porn."


;"Three fingers are never enough," I habitually fist. "I won't leave the house for less than four."


;Anyway, tonight's affair, in addition to being a much-needed excuse to stand up at a restaurant and tilted-head stare at the walls, is also a silent-auction benefit of sorts for the Hug Me program. In any normal circumstances, there would be no jokes about the Hug Me program; it does, after all, aim to support the needs of children, pregnant women and other at-risk individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. But if you gather this many ;callous-eared homosexuals in this few square feet, splash them with sangria from a bucket and toss in a couple of drag queens, don't be surprised when the cackles of "AIDS babies!" start to become infectious. Like: "What's for dinner?" "AIDS babies!" "What are you wearing?" "AIDS babies." That, and a little bit of "Fuck Me program" thrown in for good measure. In the words of any dying theater queen collapsed at the end of his/her taffeta deathbed, "Anything goes," and, well, "Get your momma a drink."

;;"Oh my god," my friend Roy "Lurlene Fishpaw" holds out a crushed sangria Dixie cup. "Will you sign this? And maybe spit in it a little, too?"

;;At which point he adds an optional eighth sin to the wall of charity, creating a bidding sheet for my autographed phlegmatics and even placing the first bid of $6 there himself. You know, for my AIDS babies.

;;The actual exhibit is a glamorous, poster-sized gallery of ornate and trashy excess, starring one drag queen (Miss Sammy) photographed by another (April Fresh) in varying states of deplorable, hilarious behavior, one photograph for each of the sin shortlist. Gluttony features Sammy in a refrigerator door with his Reddi-wip aimed at her leftover turkey leg, while Lust positions her in some sort of bright-graffiti bathroom fuck. It's all very LaChapelle and very funny, really. But not funny enough, I pathetically surmise.


;"Our mission, dear," I burn Tony's ear with my mouth exhaust, "is to somehow locate or re-create each of the deadly sins in this very room, at this very moment."


;The very bartender who got me this drunk, Peacock's Tammy Kopko, overhears my blond ambition and attempts a director's takeover. First she hands me a foundation compact and seats me in front of Sammy's "Pride," cleverly instructing me to "look like you're better than everyone here."




;But by just the second one, "Gluttony," her repeated crows of "Go get the whole bottle! You know, the whole bottle of wine!" are cracking my girl reserve. Being a model, like I always say, is very hard. Especially a super-hot gay one.

;;Just for kicks, I pull the "Greed" schtick myself and prance over to the potentially pec-implanted shirtless sangria server's tip jar and stick my hand in it, which, his tensed pecs quickly inform me, isn't very funny at all. Tammy harps a little more, causing my cork to finally pop.


;"It's for print, Tammy," I cover her in Times New Roman. "I don't really have to do anything! I just have to say I did!"


;In my moment of unwarranted, bold-type melodrama, Roy wisps by with a breezy "Envy? You want to be me. Greed? You can't get enough of me" that drifts right over my hairline. Tonight is a shambles.


;"When did Pom Pom's become the best gay bar in town?" Tony scrubs the ketamine from his chaps. "I never knew."

;;And it's true. Between the Watermark mustaches, the hairdressers' tans, the activists' glasses, the theater's callbacks, the drag queens' chest hair … oh, and Graham from Orlando Weekly's ad department, it's as if somebody walked out of a filthy queer bathroom with the gay litmus test stuck to his shoe. Grab me a rainbow, I may cry!

;;"Oh my god, you're so much older than I thought you were," Jarred, who teabagged me last month, scrotum-slaps me back to a food-service floor. "I mean, that's a good thing. It means you look younger, and I would never have had a crush on somebody who didn't look good! God, I'll never find somebody who can deal with all of this!"

;;Well, frankly, I can't deal with any of it, so I go to grab Tony and run him out the door before any more sins sell.

;;And that's when it happens.

;;There, in the corner next to what is presently the gayest bathroom in all of Orlando, Tony's earning his second lust merit badge in just one day. Locked to his lips in a full-on French tongue tangle is Doug Ba'aser, saying what is possibly more than a simple "goodbye."


;"I can't believe your lips and teeth!" I scold him, grabbing his third finger and running out the door. I can't believe any of this.


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