Monthly Archives: May 2008
I spent Saturday morning having the following conversation over and over and over again.
(FAUSTUS dials phone. HE listens to the phone ring. The person on the other end of the line picks up.)
FAUSTUS: Hey, [Name of Friend], it’s Faustus . . . Well, I’m calling to thank you so much for coming to my book release party last Friday, but I’m also calling to ask how you are . . . There was kind of a little health thing at the party. You don’t happen to have a fever and a stiff neck or a rash, do you? . . . Oh, I’m very glad to hear that, because unfortunately somebody who was at the party fell ill on Thursday with bacterial meningitis and died yesterday . . . Now the way bacterial meningitis works, it’s virtually certain that she was infected after the day of the party. And even if she had been infected already, it’s virtually certain that you weren’t exposed; you would basically have had to make out with her . . . Right. If it hasn’t shown up by now you’re probably fine. But since there’s a theoretical chance, though it’s infinitesimal, that you were exposed, I wanted to call and tell you that, you know, if you do find yourself feeling feverish and notice a purple rash or a stiff neck, in the next few days, you know, it might not be a bad idea to go to the doctor . . . Yeah, in fact there is—they just give you penicillin or some other thing with a name I can’t remember . . . Oh, I appreciate that; it wasn’t actually anybody I knew–it was a friend another guest had brought with her . . . Yes, they were good friends, unfortunately . . . You know, I would love to stay on the phone, but I have a bunch more of these phone calls to make, so can I call you back later and we’ll talk about that? Great. I’ll talk to you soon. Sure, no problem. Okay. Bye.
(FAUSTUS presses “end” on the phone and dials the next number.)
I imagine that, distressing as this news must have been for my interlocutors to hear, they probably received it better when communicated this way than when communicated in the style of my first conversation about the issue, which went something like this:
FAUSTUS: Hi, [Name of Friend], it’s Faustus.
FRIEND: Hi, Faustus, how are you?
FAUSTUS: I’m fine, but I need to tell you that somebody who was at the party came down with bacterial meningitis and died yesterday.
FRIEND: I thought you were calling to ask whether we should see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull today.
FAUSTUS: Ooh, what time?
Okay, I’m perturbed. Because so far exactly four people have submitted entries for the Gay-Off. Obviously the deadline isn’t for weeks and weeks, but I am choosing to interpret the dearth of declared competitors as an indication that either a) nobody knows about the Gay-Off because nobody clicked on the competition link in the last entry, in which case you should click the link above to learn more, or b) nobody cares about the Gay-Off, in which case I should go stick my head in the oven.
Actually, just in case you have had your hands severed since you started reading this post, I’ll post the Gay-Off information here, so that you needn’t click on a link.
Are you gay enough?
SWISH: MY QUEST TO BECOME THE GAYEST PERSON EVER
FIRST ANNUAL GAY-OFF
and find out!
In the introduction to Swish I explain that my quest to become the gayest person ever did not turn out to be an unqualified success—which means that the position of the Gayest Person Ever is still open. If you’re interested in competing, e-mail me a brief explanation (up to 100 words) of why you should be crowned this year’s Gayest Person Ever. Note, please, that in order to enter you do not have to be gay or even, I suppose, a person. The Gayest Person Ever describes an existential state, irrespective of plumbing and flavor.
The last day to send in entries is Tuesday, June 10. On Friday the 13th, I’ll post the top five entries (as determined by an independent panel of judges) on my website, and from then through the end of Gay Pride (Sunday, June 29) you can vote for your favorite.
At the moment I’m planning prizes as follows: the Grand Prize is an inscribed copy of Swish, an inscribed copy of my first book, Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written for the winner, and, depending on geographic location, a tin of homemade brownies made with loving care by me. Second prize is an inscribed copy of Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written for the winner, and a tin of brownies slightly inferior to the tin the Grand Prize winner gets. Third prize is a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written for the winner, and a tin of brownies slightly inferior to the tin the Second Prize winner gets. However, the actual prizes may be different from this, like if I eat the brownies or something.
Good luck, and may the Gayest Person Ever win!
P.S.: If you live in Los Angeles, Long Beach, or San Francisco and want to hear me read from Swish or to force somebody else to hear me read from Swish, you can do so this week. Just go here and scroll to the bottom of the page to find out when and where.
Well, folks, cometh the hour, cometh the book.
If you’re looking for something to do, you can click on the new “secret blog” link in the left sidebar and/or enter a contest by going here.
I’ll be quivering over here in the corner, eating chocolate pudding continuously, until further notice.