by Ed Sikov
The Labor Day drag party in Fire Island Pines is either a hilarious gender circus or a reason to blow some queen’s brains out. Drag is fabulous. It’s the sweating, stinking, drunken guys in wigs who brazenly stick their tongues in your ears that’s either a kick or a nightmare.
It’s a party for Pines boys who’ve discovered the glamour girl within. I wasn’t about to reveal mine in public. I’d make an incredibly ugly Nancy Sinatra. (I’d call to mind a blonde Cynthia Ozick in white leather boots.) Dan wouldn’t do it, either. He’d just look like Dan in a dress. But our housemates all brought suitcases stuffed with secrets; nobody named their inner woman until the big reveal.
Jack Fogg came downstairs first. Sammy had put him up to doing it. Jack was clearly miserable – he was wearing a burqa. (His eyes said it all.) Sammy followed in a luxurious purple sari and a bhindi on her forehead.
“So what drink are you sending us off with, dude?” Sammy asked. “Miss Jackie-Anne Taliban here needs a drink.” Jackie-Anne was fussing with her crotch.
“There’s a pitcher of Brass Monkeys in the fridge,” I said.
“What’s a Brass Monkey?” Ms. Taliban asked through the slit in her headpiece.
“Rum, vodka and orange juice. The color resembles buffed old brass.”
“Make mine a double,” the Islamic fundamentalist begged her Hindu girlfriend.
Frankie and Ian then made their entrance. I’d expected more, but all they did was put on long blonde wigs and matching white tennis outfits. Ian immediately sensed my disappointment.
“Don’t you know who we are?” he asked in disbelief. I shook my head no.
“We’re the Doublemint Twins,” they sang out in unison.
“Brava, divas!” Dan said, applauding.
“It’s delicious and really strong!” The non sequitur came out of the burqa’s mouth slit. Sari Sammy agreed. “Seriously, dude!” she said. “I’ll be on my ass before we get to the party.”
Then Sal and Sean came down, reminiscent of grizzled, gray Old Year and adorable Baby New Year. Sal went for distinctly middle-aged laughs: he was “Edie Gourmet.” With his face framed by Edie’s signature hairdo, Sal actually looked like her in a most disturbing way. Of course this Edie was carrying a copy of M. F. K. Fisher’s “The Art of Eating” and had a can of duck confit serving as a hat. Being brilliant himself, Sal persistently overestimates the average gay man’s wit. My unspoken prediction: nobody at the party would get the joke. I was right.
It was Sean who stole the show, not only at our place but at the party, too. With his actor’s makeup skills, a copper-colored wig and naturally voluptuous body, he was an eerily perfect Beyonce. When he grabbed the burqa woman by the waist, yanked her close and began singing “We’re your dream girls” in precisely the voice of Ms. Knowles, it was way too much, and I shot some of my Brass Monkey out my nose.
The Brass Monkey
1 part dark rum
1 part Absolut
2 parts orange juice
Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, and after shaking it just enough to chill it, pour the contents into the pre-chilled glass of your choice. This drink shouldn’t be served on the rocks. Note: the original (some might call it real) recipe contains much more OJ. It’s boring. My version is a lot more fun.