BY TOMMY ZANE GAYDAR EDITOR Nothing screams hetero entitlement and excess like a walk on the Boardwalk in “America’s Favorite Family Resort,” Ocean City, NJ. Never one to deny myself some good laughs at the expense of others, off I ran to the Shore with my Girlfriend, Raven. As we meandered past the miasma of over-priced Curly Fries Stands and petrified pizza outlets, I noticed a sign proclaiming “the crust is full of MEAT!”
“And the meat is full of maggots,” I snarkily replied in my own mind.
Suddenly, my attention was sideswiped by the shrill shrieks of a young Mediterranean girl with long hair. The cries were not from a spoiled child unable to get her way — this kid was in pain! We ran over to join the gathering crowd. Turns out, one of those pre-historic hermit crabs had fastened its pincers onto the girl?s palm. “Get it off me! Get it off me!” she wailed. Her calm father slowly (sadistically?) pried the creature off his daughter’s hand. The clerk in the store hastily dialed boardwalk paramedics, who asked him enough questions to fill out a stack of Blue Cross forms. I envision future truth-in-advertising labels affixed to the crab shells: “Vicious, Hungry, Bloodthirsty, Biting Hermit Crabs — End of Season Clearance!” These will be sold next to adorable tarantulas and cuddly leeches.
THE GO-GOs: Vacation
As we ventured past the many neon-signed junkeries and latest video game challenges, I found myself saying things my parents would have said 20 years ago. “I remember when none of this was here. Funnel Cakes were only a penny! They used to use boll weevils the make cotton candy!” Of course my response would have been something like, “Yeah, Mom, that’s fascinating, can I get 20 bucks for a half hour of Skee-Ball and a soda?”
All along the boards of this so-called family resort, I couldn’t help but notice shades of myself from yesteryear. Queer young people lost and bored amidst the endless blur of straight America. Many trying in vain for acceptance among a never-ending litany of fakery and lies, all in hopes of gleaning Mom and Dad’s approval, or at least a glimmer of respect and dignity in their otherwise confusing and sometimes hopeless existence. I sat on a bench facing the sea and imagined myself at 14, or 18. I could be surrounded my family and friends, but so often felt alone. Surely, times have changed in 20 years, right? I stared at a lighthouse out on the horizon, and said a prayer.
THREESOME OF THE WEEK
Sixties TV Soap Vampire “Barnabas Collins” and all around sensible queen, Jonathan Frid + future rumored “Dark Shadows” vamp and pirate fetishist, Johnny Depp + Birthday Boy Paul :Pee-wee Herman” Reubens, who’s 55!
Pee-wee Herman on Joan Rivers, circa 1986.
ABOUT THIS COLUMN: Are you gay and read Phawker? Or just thinking about it? Becoming gay that is. Because, you know, you “heard good things.” Are you straight but curious how the other team plays? Senator, we have heard your call and answered your prayers. Our Gaydar Editor Tommy Zane is gay all day and queer for a year, and like all gays he is wickedly funny, stylish, tidy and knows from window treatments. He could also probably kick your ass into next week. But don’t worry, Tommy’s a lover not a fighter. He may be going to Hell*, but then most of our straight friends are, too. Every week look for GAYBO. We’ll have a gay old time!
*This is a joke. For the record, gay people don’t go to Hell when they die if for no other reason because there is no Hell. And even if there was, we’re guessing there’d be about as many gay people in Hell as there are suicide bombers in paradise. Which is to say, not so much.