Vladimir Putin Declared 2013’s International Closet Queen Award–WinnieToons Year End Review

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin riIn 2013 Vladimir Putin set back human rights by decades when he instituted anti-gay laws in Russia that have resulted in LGBT people becoming the victims of increased violence and hate crimes. Apparently Vlad is trying to garner approval with the Russian Orthodox Church by taking a page of out the Fascist German handbook. Fools are now spray-painting tags on the homes of gay Russians much the same way Nazi’s put anti-Jewish graffiti on the homes of Jews in the days leading up to World War II. Meanwhile Putin doesn’t see anything even slightly gay about his forever running around posing shirtless.

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Antonin Scalia delivered his descent and disapproval of the Supreme Court upholding gay marriage and striking down California’s Prop 8. He’s under the confused illusion that he’s doing his job.

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In 2013, Congress got even less done than previous years–which is almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around. Out of 365 days in a year, Congress only put in 126 “work” days if you want to kid yourself into believeing they work at all–proving if you want a job where you get paid a huge salary for being consistently wrong, you either have to go into meteorology or run for Congress.

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Mass gun violence and murders became more and more commonplace in 2013. Over 10,000 people died in 2013 from gun related violence since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012–and Congress does nothing (but pander to the NRA).

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We get to say goodbye to Michele Bachmann as she steps down as the US Representative from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District in an atmosphere of campaign fraud and corruption. Saints be praised.

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The Pee Tardy–or Tea Party if you prefer brought the government to the brink of default repeatedly for shits and giggles.

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Rafael Edwardo Cruz turned his back on his Hispanic heritage while continuing to block all government business merely to raise his own profile–including blocking immigration reform.

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Well DUH…!!! It turns out that medical research in 2013 proved that repeated concussions endured by professional football players results in increased violence in their personal lives and even suicide.

So even as football has proven to be the sport of choice for people who enjoy watching other people incur brain injuries--the football coaches took the top spot for the highest paid public sector employees.

So even as football has proven to be the sport of choice for people who enjoy watching other people incur brain injuries–football coaches took the top ranking spot for the nation’s highest paid public sector employees.

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The most corrupt career politician in the House of Representatives tried tirelessly to fabricate scandals in an attempt to tarnish the Obama Administration and the Affordable Healthcare Act (among other issues). He couldn’t be more unpatriotic if he was a paid plant taking orders from al-Qa’ida.

To reiterate, hateful is as hateful does. Darrel Issa tried to blame the 'Fast and Furious guns and drugs scandal on Attorney General Eric Holder. But it turned out it was Holder himself who exposed and busted the scandalous Bush era program.

To reiterate, hateful is as hateful does. Darrel Issa tried to blame the ‘Fast and Furious guns and drugs scandal on Attorney General Eric Holder. But it turned out it was Holder himself who exposed and busted the scandalous Bush era program.

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Anthony Weiner (A.K.A “Carlos Danger”) made a failed bid to be New York City’s mayor while continuing to “sext.”

Duck In Memorium

The real Duck D. Duck (on whom the character in this blog is based) passed away of natural causes. She will be missed, but she will live on in WinnieToons.

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Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia now recognize gay marriage, and legally married LGBT people can take full advantage of their marital status when filing in 2014 for 2013’s taxes–but that still leaves thirty-three states where gay marriage is illegal on the state level.

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A new British royal was born. Now will everyone leave them alone. Please.

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There remain people out there who believe in the myth of ‘Creationism’ and their claim that dinosaurs and man once lived together in harmony. Meanwhile those same folks are blissfully unaware of how climate change continues to be exacerbated by corporations–and the politicians who they keep in their corporate pockets. It was 72 degrees here in Philadelphia on December 21st, five days before the official start of winter. But man and dinosaur were once chummy. Yeah, right.

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The nitwits in the Tea Party along with other extreme conservatives keep trying to further crash the economy. A two year budget was reached that no one likes–especially the people who will now go hungry while the rich get richer.

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No one had any money in 2013 except for the top 2%. Even as the stock market soars, none of that wealth “tinkles down” to the average American.

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We will all miss Pope Benny’s delightful antics–from sexual abuse scandal cover-ups to shady financial dealings with the Cosa Nostra. But he did know how to wear clothes.

Fried brains

The faithful elected a new Pope. As Popes go, he’s kinda groovy.

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Bashar Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria, exterminated thousands of his own people with sarin gas attacks. President Obama played him like a violin–(in the face of conservative criticism) and that situation is now vastly improved, but Assad has still got to go.

Zimmerman in Jeopardy

George Zimmerman couldn’t stand being out of the spotlight or out of trouble, so after getting away with murdering sixteen year old, innocent Trayvon Martin–Zimmerman proceeded to have multiple arrests including more domestic violence charges. his gun was FINALLY taken away. What a macaroon.

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Race and ethnic diversity continued to be a sore spot in America in 2013 from “stand your ground” laws to whether or not Santa Clause can (or might be) black. America needs to grow up.

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Kim Jong Un, proving that rotten apples don’t fall far from the tree, executed a number of failed nuclear bomb tests. He also executed his own uncle on trumped-up charges–shortly after executing his wife and some of her associates for an alleged pornography ring. Whatever. He should marry Dennis Rodman, whe looks great in a wedding gown.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul saw an old Jimmy Stewart movie, and it gave him “wind.” A long wind to be precise. Idiot that he is, at least he drew attention to the moral issue of drone strikes. Now we’re expected to get our online Amazon purchases delivered by drones. Perfect–let’s put even more people out of work. Sigh….

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The Affordable Healthcare Act was launched with what can only be described as a thud of confusion–but alas, I am finally enrolled in a healthcare exchange after going for a prolonged period without coverage. So I’m happy.

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LGBT rights were a reoccurring theme in 2013. LEBT people are all colors, all faiths and all nationalities. The LGBT community holds the undisputed title of being the worlds longest continually persecuted minority. And put your shirt back on Putin.

Talk to the hand Cruz

Since everyone saw “Mister Smith Goes to Washington” this year on NetFlicks–Rafael Edwardo Cruz held a “faux” filibuster by reading Dr. Seuss to the cameras well into the evening–proving nothing.

Tampons away

In 2013 Wendy Davis held a REAL filibuster over women’s reproductive rights in the Texas assembly. If Texas is smart, she’ll be their next governor.

Wendy Davis brought a breath of fresh air to Texas in the form of common sense.

Wendy Davis brought a breath of fresh air to Texas in the form of common sense.

Detroit went bankrupt in 2013, and all of Michigan has been stolen by Governor Rick Snyder.

Detroit went bankrupt in 2013, and all of Michigan has been stolen by Governor Rick Snyder.

New Jersey Governonr Chris Christie had his stomach stapled, which must mean he's running for president in 2016 if local Jersey political scandals don't get him first.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had his stomach stapled, which must mean he’s running for president in 2016–that is if local Jersey political scandals don’t get him first.

"The Donald" faces hefty fines and legal action from the State of New York for a bogus university to which he lent his name as part of a scam to part the foolish from their money. Graduates got to pose for a photo-op with a cardboard cutout of the megalomaniac himself.

“The Donald” faced hefty fines in 2013 and legal action from the State of New York over a bogus university to which he lent his name as part of a scam to part the foolish from their money. Graduates got to pose for a photo-op with a cardboard cutout of the megalomaniac himself.

Privacy was officially declared dead in 2013. Although privacy had actually died years earlier, it wasn't until Edward Snowden "outed" the NSA that it became official. He's living now in Russia where freedom and privacy are merely abstract concepts.

Privacy was officially declared dead in 2013. Although privacy had actually died years earlier, it wasn’t until Edward Snowden “outed” the NSA that it became official. He’s living now in Russia where freedom and privacy are merely abstract concepts.

The world lost a towering and inspirational figure when Nelson Mandela passed away--but all Fox News could focus on was a harmless handshake between Barack Obama and Cuban president, Raul Castro. It's about priorities folks. It's about priorities.

The world lost a towering and inspirational figure when Nelson Mandela passed away–but all Fox News could focus on was a harmless handshake between Barack Obama and Cuban president, Raul Castro. It’s about priorities folks. It’s about priorities.

Adding insult to injury, while the world grieved the loss of Nelson Mandela, a schizophrenic pretended to be a sign language interpreter standing only a matter of feet away from the most important international heads of state. If you hadn't already guessed--he wasn't signing anything anyone could understand.

Adding insult to injury, while the world grieved the loss of Nelson Mandela, a schizophrenic man pretended to be a sign language interpreter–standing only a matter of feet away from the most important international heads of state. If you hadn’t already guessed–he wasn’t signing anything anyone could understand.

For some mysterious reason, Zsa Zsa Gabor is still alive--and Dick Cheney cost taxpayers billions of dollars to be kept artificially alive until the heart of a suitable victim could be located. Talk about a plumb healthcare exchange. And yes, only the good die young.

For some mysterious reason, Zsa Zsa Gabor is still alive. And Dick Cheney cost American taxpayers billions of dollars to be kept artificially alive until the heart of a suitable victim could be located and installed behind his breastbone. Talk about a plumb healthcare exchange. And yes, only the good die young.

As we bid 2013 a fond but bewilder goodbye--Winnie and Duck have every confidence that 2014 will be every bit as fucked up. And the world goes 'round and 'round....

As we bid 2013 a fond but bewildered goodbye–Winnie and Duck have every confidence that 2014 will be every bit as f**ked up. And the world goes ’round and ’round and ’round….

– Disassociated Press. 12/25/2013

The Year Christmas Trees Could Fly

TheYearChristmasTressCouldFlyThe Year Christmas Trees Could Fly © WTW 2011

by William Whiting

north-pole-firI received a text on Christmas morning from my old friend Robert that read: “Enjoy your traditional Christmas tree toss.” 

Robert is one of those unforgettable people from my past who has an embarrassment of ‘dish’ about my personal history. I had to stop and think for a minute what the hell was he was talking about, when it struck me… Robert was referring to an incident from days gone-by, and I couldn’t help but let loose a belly laugh. Reflecting on that long forgotten ‘fluster cluck‘ it seemed anything but funny at the time—at least not to me—but some situations require the passage of time to fully ripen the bouquet of their absurdity.

There used to be a singing pretty-boy here in Philadelphia who I never took much notice-of. He was blond and much prettier than a man should ever be. His hair was APRH8Ythinning but he went to great lengths to try and disguise the fact, but while I knew him he was still getting away with an undetectable comb-over. I knew the fellow to say ‘hello’ but I didn’t know him well.

One happy hour at Woody’s Bar, the pretty-man, Calvin Quinn, clearly a cocktail or two over his limit, started to hang all over me making it abundantly clear he had placed me in his cross-hairs. It was a week or so before Halloween, and I was only out for a drink not necessarily looking to hook-up—but if cheap, easy sex was landing right there in my lap, I figured why not go for it? He wasn’t my type, but after a few cocktails in bar-light it’s surprising what becomes my type.

iLipsinkaEven though I didn’t know all that much about Calvin, he nevertheless joined Robert, my old friend Joe and me in an unexplainable Halloween group-costume as trashy showgirls running in and out of a series of parties and bars. Robert being the sexiest of us had his costume half-off midway through the evening advertising his gym-toned physique and drunkenly begging men to push him up a jukebox. The evening ended with Robert and Joe sharing or rather fighting-over an inebriated stud-muffin while Calvin came back to my house to scrub-off our make-up.

In no time at all, Calvin and I had become to my surprise—no—make that my dismay, a budding romantic “couple.” We went to my place regularly and did what passed for the wild-thing. He was very pretty, but pretty men have never been my preference. He was too pink and rosy—too soft like an inflated Playtex rubber glove. And his eyes when he drank, took-on the bloodshot look of a laboratory rat. But everyone raved about how ‘adorable’ he was, and so I started to believe what other people were telling me rather than listening to my own instincts and preferences. That said, I try to keep an open mind about people, and in those days I was often guilty of compromising my standards when it came to getting laid.

EPSON MFP imageCalvin was very full of himself, basking in self-importance, fancying himself as having a certain local celebrity-status if only in his own mind. He was an actor, model and song-stylist—gay chanteuse is a more accurate description. For Calvin, having an unconventional artist-boyfriend both complimented his self-image and his outfits. Like most of my relationships, this one wasn’t well thought out. None of them have been.

I meet a guy at a bar, have a drink, bed him, and the next thing I know, I’m the other half of an “item.” At least I didn’t allow this dude to move in with me. Calvin had a roommate, which made him self-conscious about doing the deed at his own apartment. He also had two spiteful little designer terriers who took an immediate dislike to my gentle little mutt named Buddy.

Did I say Calvin didn’t move in with me?  Well that’s not entirely true.

EPSON MFP imageWithin days he had a key, toothbrush, contact solution, and various items of clothing strewn all over my house, not to mention those evil little devil-dogs, who were forever tormenting my sweet little dog, Buddy. Calvin started foisting-off his demon-dogs on me because he was always too lazy, too busy or too hung-over to walk them. I could walk those spiteful little monsters to Montreal and back, and they’d still piss all over my sofa or crap on my bedspread as soon as we got back to my house. “Cute” as they were, they’d be looking me right in the eye, wagging their little tails as dark pools of liquid spread beneath them on my living room upholstery. Because they were nasty little things, I had to separate them from my own little junkyard mutt for his own safety. Buddy was far better behaved with an infinitely better disposition, and I didn’t like him being attacked by those monsters.

3It was early October when Calvin’s and my “relationship” took-hold—and no sooner had Halloween melded into Thanksgiving, than it was quickly becoming apparent that it was too late to break-up with him before Christmas. I was allowing myself to be led, for which I have only myself to blame. Through a misplaced sense of honor I had convinced myself I was going to have to endure this emotional mistake right through the holidays, and figure out how to set myself free at a later date. I considered it poor-form to break-up with anyone right before Christmas. I pride myself on not being like other guys—I attempt to be honorable, or at least I try. Not a wise strategy when you’re the only one playing by antiquated Victorian rules of etiquette.

EPSON MFP imageAs the holiday season progressed Calvin would be at a theater somewhere playing the straight male ingénue in a local musical production, or taking gigs in cabaret theater which was enjoying a resurgence in certain circles.  To his own group of friends, musical theater was akin to religious faith, and everyone HAD to go to New York to see the latest Broadway production of whatever current show was the talk of the town (whether they could afford to go or not). Fashion and style were tantamount to social worth; both being subjects under normal circumstances I’d find entirely off-putting. But like a man who’d boarded the wrong express train, I was in a relationship and clueless as to how I might honorably jump-off that train without getting a concussion. I also freely admit to being nothing short of a coward when it comes to hurting other people’s feelings.

Stage Cornice2I should have been clued-in when it became clear that Calvin didn’t really like having sex. He just liked having me play the role of ‘boyfriend.’ We’d start doing the deed, and then he’d suddenly feign exhaustion or worse—take a phone call from another theater-queen and yack-away about whomever was currently rumored to be replacing Patti LuPone in ‘Evita.’ I’d be sound asleep by the time one of his theater phone calls were over. I was occupying the placeholder-spot as the ‘boyfriend,’ and there are very few benefits to being cast in that kind of role. Still, I felt it was only polite to wait until after the holidays to bring this travesty to its logical conclusion. I’m such a wimp.

On Calvin’s non-theater performing evenings I’d be dragged off to parties held by a friend of his: a wealthy, local, eccentric dentist who surrounded himself with musical theater people. Everyone was totally fake, giving each other air-kisses and swooning over how FAB-U-LOUS each other looked in that color, that hat, that outfit, that new hairstyle…  It was ‘dahling’ this and ‘dahling’ that…

EPSON MFP imageThe circle of women in Calvin’s cadre of theatrical devotees swore undying love to him, making bulging botoxed ‘kissie-lips’ at him. Everyone one of their faces were shoveled full of make-up applied to skin snapped-back so tight by plastic surgeons, their smiles exposed involuntary grins full of capped and bleached teeth—probably the work of the singing dentist. Everyone’s eyebrows (including the men) had that look of eminent surprise, penciled-on a bit too high or merely displaced by the surgeons knife in an effort to keep everyone looking smooth and young—or at least looking young enough to fool themselves.

121119044835-obeidallah-twinkie-pack-story-topThe men (if that’s what you wanted to call them) tended to be on the younger side, lean and dressed to accentuate their round, dancing musical theater bubble-butts, all of which were poured tightly into tailored pants. As the observer, I found myself the unintentional witness to a subculture I didn’t think existed outside of vintage movie musicals. I was completely out of my element.

The gay dentist’s dinner parties were among the most peculiar spectacles I’d ever witnessed. People didn’t gather around a normal dining table in his posh Society Hill townhouse, but rather everyone was seated at separate tables designed to accommodate two to four people while waiters brought in drinks and food. A professional pianist would be playing Cole Porter or Gershwin when our dental-host would pick-up a microphone and begin to sing in a less than professionally trained voice that loosened the fillings in my teeth. Perhaps that was how he drummed-up business…?

gg61590417Your first time dining at the good dentist’s home was always the most traumatic. Just as you put a forkful of food in your mouth, a spotlight would be aimed your direction, blinding you as if you were about to be abducted by a Stephen Spielberg spaceship. Seasoned guests acted like all this was all perfectly normal as our host would start scat-singing “Tonight-a we, doobbley-doo-ba delight in-a-in-a wel-com-ing-doo-wah our newest guest, Beihl-a Beihl-a BEIHL – a skooby do wha-pow!”

What just happened? I thought to myself as food drizzled down my chin, my mouth having fallen open in shock.

PIANO DUET CONCERTSOur host continued with microphone still in hand… “Beihl, Calvin tells us you play a little piano.” I furiously shook my head in a gesture indicating NO-WAY trying not to choke myself to death on what I hadn’t yet swallowed. Suddenly there was a thunder of applause as I felt my elbow being lifted urging me toward the keyboard. I used to play a little piano, but I was never what you’d call “good.” And it had been years since I’d sat down in front of the ivories to try and hammer out a tune. But the applause didn’t abate… In a dream-like state of hallucination, I found myself scared-shitless, sitting in front of a keyboard, which had been surrendered to me by the professional pianist. Wanting to bring this embarrassment to an end as soon as possible, I trans-channeled my inner Victor Borge and played an off-key version of “Peg ‘O My Heart” intentionally played in two conflicting, dissonant key-signatures creating a musical effect that could make dogs howl and mirrors shatter. I thought it was funny.

images I received a polite smattering of bewildered applause and floated back to my table confident nothing of the sort would ever happen to me again. It was like an out-of-body experience. I have no idea how I returned to my table.  Calvin was staring at me with stern face. “You can actually play, Beihl, why the hell did you do something like that? You’ve totally embarrassed me in front of all my friends.”

Defending myself, I replied, “Because I don’t like being put on the spot, and I’m NOT a professional musician.” He gave me a condescending pat on my hand and reassured me some of the dinner guests might have realized I was trying to be funny—but performing at the singing dentist’s house was serious business for Calvin.

spotlightNo sooner had I settled back to eating my meal than another blinding spotlight hit our table. The singing dentist with mike-in-hand encouraged more applause coaxing Calvin up onto the stage while I was left wondering what kind of person installs a stage with theatrical lighting in their split-level dining room.

Up Calvin sprang, jumping onto the stage and grabbing the mike like a seasoned-pro. He whispered a word or two to the pianist, and then speaking into the mike said, “I’d like to dedicate this song to my new boyfriend, Beihl.” With that, another spotlight with a blue-filter blinded me in an otherworldly hue while I was trying to inconspicuously chew and swallow my food. Calvin launched into a reasonably competent medley of sappy romantic ballads while I sat there stricken with a mouthful of dinner unable to swallow feeling as if all eyes were upon me as he warbled away…

“Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you
Embrace me, you irreplaceable you
just one look at you my heart grew tipsy in me
You and you alone bring out the gypsy in me…”

What the fuck is he singing about? He hadn’t put out in over a week, let alone like a gypsy. I was considering crawling under the skirted table until this ungodly humiliation was over. It was bad enough he was giving me blue-balls in our private life, but why in the world was he broadcasting his supposed passion for me to the entire room like we were in a serious relationship?

After the dinner party, things were a little bit tense between us, but Calvin said he wanted to make-it-up to me. “Let’s go back to my apartment tonight, we can get the dogs and it’ll be a different setting—a change of pace.”  

Stopping back at my house, Calvin’s awful little dogs were merrily pulling the stuffing out of my sofa while my poor dog, Buddy sat there with his ears down, doing his best canine impersonation of innocence. It wasn’t necessary. I KNEW which dogs were the culprits. “Don’t they look cute?” Calvin said. “That piece needed reupholstering any way.” And off we went to Calvin’s apartment on the other side of town with me thinking to myself: “Why am I allowing this relationship to continue?” Then recalling it was almost Christmas, and it’s really poor form to break-off a relationship right before the holidays.

Stage Cornice3At Calvin’s apartment we finally did the deed, with him making an unusually dramatic series of erotic noises, clearly disturbing the roommate he’d feigned not wanting to disturb. His moans and outcries in the name of “Oh God, OH GOD, OH GOD!seemed a little too theatrical to me. Yeah, it was sex, and yeah, sex is fun, but is it necessary to broadcast to the entire apartment building what we were up to? I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I later learned Calvin’s roommate wasn’t just a roommate, but was rather his ex-lover with whom he was still living with out of financial necessity. The moans were less about MY performance and more intended for the sadistic audience-appreciation of his ex-lover’s ears—but I wasn’t clued-in at the time. I’ve since made it a rule never to date theater queens. You never know when they’re play-acting or acting for real—if ‘real’ is even in their repertoire.

So it came as no surprise when Calvin’s ex-lover made a scene at the breakfast table the following morning, insisting that Calvin be “OUT OF THIS GODDAMN FUCKING APARTMENT BY THE END OF THE WEEK.” And no, I did NOT offer to let him to move-in with me. I was gonna dodge that bullet at all costs. There was however, a little apartment around the corner from me that was immediately available, so I went from boyfriend to furniture-mover, to wall-painter and back to dog-sitter all in the course of one hectic week. Against my better judgment, we had keys to each other’s places so the demon dogs could be dropped off if he had a late curtain as Christmas crept closer and closer.

I did a sketch of his awful little dogs and framed it. That should be sufficient I thought, and placed it gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree in Calvin’s apartment. The same Christmas tree that I’d had to carry on my back, saw-off the trunk to level-it-up and set into the base without much useful assistance. The same tree I’d had to string full of lights and prune to Stage Cornice4perfection so the shape would be ideal to feature Calvin’s prized collection of antique mercury-glass ornaments and old-fashioned strings of red and gold beads. After vacuuming-up the excess pine needles, I said to Calvin, “Let’s get naked.”

His reply floored me:

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that Beihl. I don’t want to make love again until you tell me you love me.”

“Say WHAT…?!!!” I replied. “I didn’t have to tell you I loved you the night we met at Woody’s. I didn’t have to tell you I loved you when you were torturing your ex-lover/roommate—besides, we’ve only known each other two and half months.” Love is a serious topic, and I knew full well I was only putting-up with this bogus relationship out of cowardice and sexual convenience, which wasn’t working out all that well for me. Besides, if he wanted ME to tell HIM I loved him, why wasn’t he initiating the subject by telling ME he loved ME? It was two days away from Christmas Eve, and my plan was to regroup my thinking and decide whether to break-it-off after Christmas or wait until after New Year’s Eve. In all honesty, I wanted a ‘friends-with-benefits’ arrangement, not a “serious” Hollywood romance.

10We had a quarrelsome non-argument, where I was preached-to about the true meaning of commitment and how the holidays were the perfect time to commit to a deeper sort of love. I admit to cowardice of the first order, but I’ll only admit to being just so much of a fool and nothing more. I was not about to tell anyone I was in love when I wasn’t. I was, however, cowed into putting on a jacket and tie and further cajoled into attending another musical extravaganza Christmas dinner-party at the singing dentist’s house. The discussion about love was temporarily shelved.

In no time at all, I was back in that surreal theater-set dining room. I even acquiesced to sitting down at the piano and playing a little rendition of ‘When Sunny Gets Blue.’ I’d made it a point to never learn any Christmas carols. I can’t think of a single Christmas carol I genuinely like. Christmas carols get inside your head like an ear-wick rotting your brains and never giving you peace, forcing you to hear passages playing over and over again in spotlightyour head. When I finished my number, a portly woman wearing fashions she couldn’t logistically carry-off, leaned into the piano and said: “Do you know ‘What I Did For Love?’” All I could say was, “Madam, I shudder to think.” And I headed back to my cabaret table.

No sooner was I seated than those damned blinding spotlights were on us again. It was like having dinner while being the subject of a police air search. Tonight’s lights were a triad of rotating red, white and green snowflakes piercing their extraterrestrial beam directly at our table. The singing dentist with microphone in hand singing “That big, fat man is a comin’–yes that big, fat man is comin’–comin’–comin’ to to-o-o-wn.” After a polite pattering of applause, the dentist announced “We have a special surprise tonight, Calvin Quinn and Philadelphia musical new-comer, Bobby LaCroix are going to treat us with a duet of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’

Applause. Applause. Applause.

Calvin and some perfect stranger both hopped-up on stage while a lighting-effect snowfall served as a backdrop. On the count of three, two pretty boys sharing one mike started singing with piano accompaniment.

I really I cant stay
(but baby its cold outside)
I’ve got to go away
(but baby its cold outside)
this evening has been sooo ver-ry nice
(I’ll hold your hands there just like ice…)

The singing dentist sauntered over to my table and sat down in Calvin’s chair.  “Calvin tells me you two are falling in love.” I choked at the sheer in-artful surprise of his comment. “Love is a very serious subject,” I replied,  “not to be taken lightly.” Calvin and Bobby LaCroix warbled-away in the background…

my mother will start to worry!
(beautiful what’s your hurry?)
and father will be pacing with fury
(listen to that fireplace roar)
so really I’d better scurry!
(beautiful please don’t hurry)
well maybe just a half a drink more
(put some records on while I pour…)

Having had several single-malt Scotches, I asked the well-meaning singing dentist, “What do you see in all these people?” Feeling bold, I continued, “They invade your house and take your hospitality for granted, and I can’t imagine that a single one of them so much as rca-victor-nipper-dog-logo-large-mousepad-rare-93debsends you a thank-you note.”  He gave me that RCA Victor dog look, so I went on: “Hey, it’s none of my business,” I said “but it looks to me like you spend a small fortune on these dinner parties, and I can’t help but wonder if you’re not buying yourself a house full of shallow friendships.”

“I am,” he told me, “I have fantasy friends where I can create a moment in time where all of life seems just like the old supper clubs of days gone by.”

“Are you happy?” I asked him. “No,” he answered, “are you?” He stood-up, smiled and greeted another guest. By this time Calvin and Bobby were winding-up with a big finish demonstrating the chemistry of their stage presence bringin’ it home in perfect 2-part harmony:

“But baby it’s COLD OUTSIDE.”

Calvin bounced back to our table.  “Honey, you really don’t look like you’re having a very good time. Do you feel OK?”“I’m fine.” I answered, but Calvin continued, “You really don’t have to stay. I know you don’t quite ‘get’ this crowd of people. If you want to go home and walk the dogs, I’ll understand, and we’ll make love in the morning, I promise.”

“Bobby LaCroix is really very good.” I added carefully watching his reaction. “And very cute, but how old is he?”  

“He’s a sweetheart,” Calvin answered. “He’s just a baby starting college at Curtis Institute. He’ll be 18 on January 15th.”

“I thought he seemed a little too young for this jaded hen-house full of musical comedy wannabees.” 

“Don’t be mean, Beihl, it’s only the Scotch talking. Really go ahead and take the dogs out, and I’ll let you do anything you want to do to me in the morning.” Immediately my mind snapped into high gear: That motherfucker has already lined-up a trick for the evening, and he’s trying to gracefully get rid of me while keeping me on a tight leash.

snow-white-sketchI went home, walked all 3 dogs and counted to one hundred. I then made my way over to Calvin’s place. The apartment where I’d moved-in all the furniture, painted all the walls and even installed his all-too-perfect Christmas tree. I had the presence of mind to bring his idiotic ill-behaved little monster dogs with me and leave Buddy home. As soon as I turned the key in the tumbler, I heard soft music playing in the background with only the romantic colorful glow from the Christmas tree illuminating his tiny efficiency apartment. Right away I saw what was undeniably two male figures trying to hold perfectly still paralyzed under the covers of Calvin’s bed—with one pair of size 12 feet attempting to curl their way under the covers so as to become invisible. I turned-up the dimmer on the overhead light to full blast so the room was only slightly less glaring than the dentist’s spotlights. “Honey, I can explain…” I heard Calvin say standing-up bare-ass naked as I picked-up Calvin’s Christmas tree, still plugged-in and covered with antique Victorian mercury-glass ornaments and threw it across the room at him with all my might. The other little queen hid under the covers with his shrinking hard-on collapsing like a little wilting tent under the quilt.

EPSON MFP imageWith veins standing out on my forehead I hollered at the top of my lungs: “Calvin, you are a badly-balding, former pretty-boy with no dick, no morals and no future. AND you’re certainly no one I could ever love.”  With that I took-away my house keys from his hall table, and left him stranded, stark naked and bare foot in the middle of a floor scattered with shards of broken mercury-glass as his own little soldier went from full-attention to “at ease.” I slammed the door, spun on my heels and stomped my way home curiously satisfied with myself.

So I broke-up with Calvin before Christmas after all, and while it was more dramatic than I’d pictured, it was also much easier than I though it would be.

92-230x300By that point it was almost 2AM, so I ran all the way to the Trocadero nightclub on Arch Street where my friend Robert was working as a go-go dancer. I had to tell SOMEONE what had just happened. When I told Robert I’d just thrown a fully decorated, electrified Christmas tree at Calvin, Robert sat down in his jockstrap and laughed out loud. At the time I didn’t entirely see the humor in the situation, but the harder he laughed the more I laughed.

I was free.

I went home and spent the rest of the night, and well into the morning making hand-tinted Victorian Christmas ornaments out of Xeroxes of deranged 19th century paper engravings EPSON MFP imagedepicting children frozen to death in snow banks or eating out of dog bowls or facing other Dickensian perils. My holiday gifts definitely reflected my mood that year. I gave everyone a perverted Christmas tree ornament, macabre and dark, but darkly humorous at the same time. I didn’t have anything close to a broken heart, but I did have wounded pride for being such a trusting fool by not having ended that annoying relationship sooner.

8About a year and a half later, I got a call from Robert. He and a couple of friends stopped into a gay bar advertising live music on the 2nd floor. They went-up stairs to have a drink and there was Calvin Quinn singing an “Evening of Rodgers and Hart,” when he ad-libbed in scatter-song as the new audience members found seats “I-a spy-a shoobidie doo-boop a-group of old friends comin’-in for a drink – Scattley-a dang-pow. Are there any song-requests from the audience?” he crooned, when Robert chimed-up in a voice no one could possibly miss, “Can you sing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’?” Robert’s group left doubled-over with wicked laughter, leaving Calvin standing metaphorically once again naked and barefoot on a stage full of imaginary broken mercury-glass ornaments and his little soldier no doubt shrinking in his trousers.

Flash forward: I never became a famous artist. Robert works in hotel management somewhere down south. Calvin’s dreams dissolved into retail jewelry sales and a string of failed attempts at landing a rich lover. And the singing dentist took out a loan with organized crime to open a nightclub that tanked, sadly he tanked too—as the subject of a notorious unsolved Philadelphia murder. Maybe they were music lovers, but he certainly didn’t deserve what happened to him no matter how awful his singing. At least he left the north-pole-firworld stage with the caché of his being the subject of speculation in an unsolved murder mystery everyone still talks about to this day. The singing dentist left all his earthly belongings to a one-night stand, go figure… I bet Calvin was kicking himself for not having had himself made the beneficiary. Beauty, like life, is fleeting. Skiddley-doo-wap-POW…!!!

Enjoy your Winter Holiday However You Chose to Celebrate It,

- Winnie, Duck & Beihl

PianoWinnieDuck

The Secret of the Virgin Birth Revealed at Creationism Park

FirstTimeAtChristianMinglejesus_and_the_dino_baby_infant_tshirtFinally, the secret of the Virgin Birth has been revealed at Creationism Park. According to park officials, secret papers and DNA samples were discovered in the basement of the Vatican confirming long held suspicions that Creationism is true. It all came to light after a Komodo dragon named Flora, living in the London Zoo laid 25 eggs without her having access to a male mate. Five of the 25 eggs hatched, thus giving birth to five little Komodo dragons named Jesus’ One through Five. The secret Vatican papers made reference to the Virgin Mary being from a bloodline that commingled with dinosaurs during the Triassic period, 230 million years ago. After scientists examined a sacred reliquary containing tears from the Blessed Virgin, it was confirmed that the Virgin Mary did indeed have dinosaur DNA, and was without dispute of reptilian ancestry.

97aff4616c4f3b74b7690f9c60ae9bf7-jesus-with-a-dinosaur-16Dinosaurs are a reoccurring theme in both the old and new testaments in spite of there being no actual written reference to them whatsoever in any existing text. Park official, Daryls Charwin explained that “those particular scrolls were not among the ones found at the Dead Sea, but we have every confidence that additional sacred writings will eventually surface. Until then we do as we always have, and take it on faith, endeavoring to make it all up as we go along.”

jesusdinoWith the multiple births of Komodo Jesus’ One through Five, park palaeontologist and part time priest, Daryls Charwin explained that “the second coming of Christ has taken place at the London Zoo, and our long awaited raptor-rapture is finally upon us.” He went on to say, “there are now five contemporary little Komodo messiahs who can spit a toxic poison saliva up to twenty-five feet at both believers and non-believers alike. Our hearts are filled with joy.”

gloriaAll of the Christmas Nativity displays at Creationism Park have been updated to reflect these new scientific findings and their subsequent theological revelations. The entire Creationist Christian community is very excited about the arrival of the new Komodo Messiahs, as they will undoubted provide a powerful new weapon against the imaginary war on Christmas. There will be no more of this ambiguous, all-embracing “Happy Holidays” stuff or a giant lizard will spit in your eye and eat you alive, just like Christ would have commanded.

creatCreationist “intellectuals” have opened several Creationism Museums across the country and courageously stand by their beliefs without the customary embarrassment normally associated with blowing ideas out your ass and palming them off as factoids. “We try never to allow scientific principles to impede our mission.” said Reverend Charwin, “Facts and research done by the mainstream scientific community offer little assistance in our quest to find truth in fabrication.” Anyone who sees the giant vacu-formed plastic dinosaurs and plaster mannequins together in the Creationism displays will be hard pressed not to agree. As holiday visitors first approach the Noah’s Ark display, everyone is struck by the accuracy and authenticity of seeing creation-noah-trex-cropped-proto-custom_2what is either a brontosaurus or the Loch Ness Monster greeting visitors from atop of the re-creation of Noah’s legendary vessel.

Now that the definitive link between the human and reptilian origins of Christianity have been established, the faithful worldwide are crying out to commingle with their reptilian brothers and sisters. The challenge in mating with the dragons boils down to the pitfalls of how the dragons spit a toxic saliva which paralyzes their mates (or victims  depending on your attitude). Some human and Komodo cross-breeding can result in one mate feasting on the remains of the other, but no marriage is ever perfect. All efforts to recreate virgin births in specimens of entirely human ancestry have been attempted only by teenage Catholic school girls who wear too much indexmake-up and hemlines well above the knee. According to Daryls Charwin, most human experiments in birthing the virgin way have resulted in “very happy” shotgun marriages that aren’t appreciably different from being consumed by a Komodo dragon.

– Disassociated Press, 12/9/2013

See below fior National Geographic’s story on the Komodo Dragon virgin births at the London Zoo.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/12/061220-virgin-dragons.html