Parting Glances: A Rose by Any Other Name

By Charles Alexander

There's a joke about the gay guy who goes for his annual medical checkup. He coughs three times and bends over for the proverbial Pokemon.

The proc-doc finds a rose, retrieves it, then another, and finally a blooming dozen. American Beauties all. "Where did these come from?" he asks. "How should I know," coos the retentive patient. "Isn't there a card?"

Having seen "Gypsy" with Ethel Merman belting out "Everything's coming up roses," I'm sure the proc-doc joke has other punchlines. "What's matter, doc, what's a bottom's rosebud for?"

In spite of Dr. P's & Q's advice that an exit is not an entrance, there are those who prefer revolving doors for convenience and quick turn around. (But not in hotel lobbies.)

In truth, we humans -- straight and gay -- have been widening our horizons since the ancient Cretans gifted the world with the perfect tool for that purpose: the dildo.

We've updated Old Faithful with AAA batteries, packaging, celebrity sizes and nicknames. For the sports minded there are plastic balls on a rope. A well-placed pillow is a useful prop for the required gymnastics, and an understanding chiropractor helps.

Occasionally, an excess of zeal and/or KY means an unplanned visit to the ER Lost & Found Department. A variety of objects d'art have been recovered, cataloged and occasionally bronzed. Gerbils, for example.

Unbelievable? You're right. But this lovable critter is the subject of one of America's persistent urban legends. It surfaced about 1985, and was given out in some anti-gay media as fact not fabrication.

Jan Harold Brunvand, an urban legend expert, says he collected a dozen versions of this homophobic story. (In one, the unwilling gerbil sex partner is wrapped in a plastic bag and given a dash of laughing gas to enhance it's track record. Variants include mice, ferrets and neutered ragmops.)

Another urban legend is the Gay Roommate Caper. (Campus straight guy is chloroformed by horny roomie and wakes up with an unaccountable need for Prep H.) Variation: Army setting. And -- God Bless America! -- a few soldier jerkoffs actually wore, "Watch Out for the Ether Man" t-shirts.

According to Brunvand, the source can be traced back to "The Arabian Nights," with wine as the narcotic, a pasha as perpetrator and European youngsters as the victims.

There are AIDS scares, too. Here's one that made the rounds: Beware where you sit at the movies, HIV-laced hypodermic needles are being left on the seats. (Always carry an inflatable whoopee cushion.)

My favorite urban legend --- circa 2017 --- concerns the unsedated GOP homophobe who got his minuscule Trumper caught in a revolving door at rush hour. He wasn't sure if he was coming or going. (Don't hold your breath, Mary!)

Charles@pridesource.com
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