There's a certain flavor of personally realized tragedy that I reserve for this time of year, the taint betwixt the ballsack of Christmas and the bunghole of New Year's. And while I can't put my finger on it, I inevitably spend most of the hairy week trying to shove that finger in it. There aren't enough partridges in pear trees to make me do otherwise.

"We could totally try to get him to say something like ‘pass the tanning butter,'" I pass butter.

"Or," Taylor grabs the frying pan, "we could take Ziploc bags to the party and collect his fecal refuse!"

And though that's something we clearly would do — Taylor and I did go on a scavenger hunt for a red pubic hair not two months ago — it does seem a little bit unsafe, hepatitis-ly speaking. Whatever the repulsive case, we've been invited to a house party tonight that's set to feature none other than rock lobster Fred Schneider of The B-52's, and given the fact that I've spent the better part of my gay yuletide downloading 22 episodes of The Facts of Life and crying, I should probably make an event of this event.

So after hitting the liquor store (for a bizarre cell-phoned party request of peach schnapps) and then Stardust for some caffeinated waking fuel, I take the good and take the bad, I take them both and there I have a shot of espresso with an airplane bottle of Bailey's in it. I'm not playing.

not playing.

"I brought the Ziplocs." I shouldn't have.

"I know." Taylor does.

Thankfully, they won't be necessary. When we open the door, Fred Schneider poops all over me, forming what can best be described as an emaciated mud snowman with both shit and liquor on its breath.

OK, maybe not. But he might as well have. I'm basically a social disease by this time of night, squinting and slurring through smiles of "How are you?" while tripping over the steps. The party (held by friends-of-friends Dan and Noah) is a successful mix of 30-somethings with hairdressing conundrums and light hearts. My spinning head remains relatively silent, choosing instead to focus on the numerous vintage clocks dotting the walls. A giant flat screen plasmas out something Divine from the John Waters catalog, and I'm officially camped out. Dammit. I haven't even made an ass out of myself yet.



Central to the whole party situation is an ongoing karaoke debacle to which I am destined to resign myself. Now, I am fantastically aware of my weaknesses in this area, as is the better part of gay Orlando, and the fact that a certain childhood icon from whom I intended to collect feces is in fact emceeing the whole affair can only mean that I am doomed to public failure.

"Should I tell Fred how much I love him, how I have his drumstick from 1989, how I once built a love shack out of balsa wood in a record store for a display contest?" I rattle on nonsensically like Tootiemight about Jermaine Jackson. "Should I?"

In unison, Taylor and all of the voices in my head blare out a giant chorus of "No!" Instead, I decide to sign up for the karaoke, choosing "Here Comes the Rain Again" by the Eurythmics as my personal poison, because maybe if Fred mistakes me for Annie Lennox, he'll totally invite me on his latest Japanese mini-tour.

A few minutes later I hear Fred Schneider call my name … MY NAME! … to the stage/bar/front-of-the-room, and I find myself phoneticizing "Manes" aloud over any opportunity he might have to mispronounce it "man-ess." Oh, look. Even my name is karaoke.

And somewhere in the middle of walking in the open breeze and kissing like lovers do, I fall into an amateurish performance-art routine of overstated nonchalance, even howling out, "Here it comes again, here it comes again … no!" and ending with the microphone stand parading as my skinnier-than-me lover.

"That was HOT!" squawks Fred into the microphone shortly thereafter, unaware that I have a Ziploc bag in my pocket and I'm not afraid to use it.

use it.

The rest of the party is gravy, really, with the ice block of my personal shame being unceremoniously shattered. Somebody sings Samantha Fox's "Touch Me," somebody else butchers "The Rose," and Fred himself smirks his way through "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," occasionally mentioning his back door like anybody who I love would. I daresay I'm having a good time. And I don't dare say that often.

I need to do something to ruin it.

"Fred, omigod," I accost him in the kitchen. "I know I'm a total idiot, but I totally have your drumstick from your 1989 concert at the Miami Arena. I was front row center and dancing so much that you came over and gave it to me!" Blink, blink.

Silence. Soon broken.

"Well it wasn't MY drumstick," he laughs as I tuck my tailand head in the general direction of a vodka bottle.

A regular person would give up here — a regular person who didn't just spend four days watching Jo fight with Blair. I, however, am not that regular person.

"Fred?" I shoulder-tap. "Again, I know I'm a total idiot, but when Cosmic Thing came out, I worked in a record store. They had a display contest and I built a giant love shack out of balsa wood! I know, I seem like a stalker, but I just thought you should know … er, I'm sorry."

"Oh, no," he throws me a look somewhere between placation and fear. "There are scary fans, and there are fun fans. You're definitely a fun fan."

fun fan."

No, I'm a holiday tragedy.

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