At long last, the (overdue) results of the First Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever Gay-Off.
In first place, with 206 votes (41.6% of the total) is Dan:
Most boys go to 4-H summer camp to learn about farming. I went to become Bette Midler’s spiritual sister. While Bette sang “Matchmaker” on Broadway, I stood in the barn (Judy, anyone?), and at age 7 became one of Tevye’s daughters. In shtetl drag. And what is shtetl drag? Beach towel cum peasant skirt and a schmata for a headscarf. And pinched cheeks. Whores use rouge, Tevye’s daughters pinch their cheeks. And sing “Matchmaker” (like Bette!). And get married to a boy from another cabin. And become the most precious junior Broadway queen. Sui generis, sui FABULOUS.
In second place, with 148 votes (29.9% of the total), is Aidan Gilbert:
In third grade, Sister Rosemary assigned a paper describing who we most admired. I wrote about how I wanted to be just like Helen Lawson when I grew up. I recall expressing my longing for a silver lame pantsuit and a red wig. My mother was called in to meet with the principal, who used my paper as evidence of my unnatural tendencies. My mother read it and said, “He’s got an eye for clothes. Wouldn’t that silver pantsuit look great on me? I wonder if he could learn to sew.” I still want to be Helen Lawson. And I look fabulous in lame.
And in third place, with 87 votes (17.6% of the total), is J.P. Johnson:
When I was a kid, at the beginning of my family’s driveway was a fir tree, in which I spent a lot of time, giving the branches hairstyles and chattering away with my ladies. I’d give each lady her own specific style, personality and name (Miss Bertha was a hawk with a “whirlwind”); all the while, I would talk both sides of the conversation: on politics, fairies, books, boys, the weather. I’d expound on the snatches of my Mother’s gossip, out loud, my feet dangling a good 10 feet off the ground.
In a surprise honorable mention, with 62 votes (what would be 11.2% of the total) despite not being a finalist and therefore not being an option for voters to select, is Kyle Golemba.
The prizes for the contestants are as follows:
Dan has won an inscribed copy of Swish, an inscribed copy of my first book, Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and, depending on geographic location (which I still don’t actually know), a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.
Aidan has won an inscribed copy of Gay Haiku, a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.
J.P. has won a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of homemade brownies made with loving care by me.
Kyle has won a Swish T-shirt, a gay haiku written especially for him, and a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.
And last, Chuck Cleary, as one lucky voter, has won a tin of brownies homemade with loving care by me.
Congratulations to one and all. And if you entered and are irate not to have won a T-shirt and brownies, then if you can contain your fury in such a way as not to stick a voodoo doll of me full of pins until I die or am utterly incapacitated, then I feel certain you’ll have a good chance of winning next year’s Gay-Off.
Chuck, please send me your mailing address; Dan, Aidan, J.P., and Kyle, send me your mailing addresses and shirt sizes. I will undoubtedly take far longer to get you your books, shirts, haiku, and brownies than is seemly, but perhaps you can convince yourself that this is because I will have put even more loving care into them than I’d planned.
Happy Independence Day, everybody.