By Ed Sikov
Onboard the Neue Weimar, queen of the Deutche-America line: I write this column on the second day of the honeymoon Dan and I never had the chance to take before. We’re on one of those VSOP cruises you’re always seeing ads for – not a Pacifica cruise, the brand aimed at the younger set with ads featuring hairless, Speedoed gym twinks, but a VSOP, the one pitched at those over, um, 40. Well, I am here to tell you that the average gay man over, um, 40 is in no better physical condition and has no flatter abs, nor a firmer rear, than the average straight man over 23. In fact, I’ve never seen a more grotesquely obese shriek of gay men in my life. (Fish swim in schools; gay men move in shrieks.)
Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of stiffy-worthy hunks aboard. The hormones are raging; the heady whiff of male funk wafts through the corridors like tear gas in Syria. Everywhere you look there’s some shirtless dreamguy with military shoulders and a Peter Pan butt. But the view is often blocked by an elephantine gentleman wearing shorts that could have been sewn together for a circus sideshow with more acreage of naked flesh on his single gargantuan body than on the 10 guys he’s blocking. What is wrong with this country? No, we do not need a breakfast of fried eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast, sausage, waffles with syrup and butter, and a side of grits and, oh, yes, that chocolate chip muffin looks good…. It’s amazing this tub still floats.
Anyway, last night was our Bon Voyage party. The theme was “Pirates!” We’ve had too much on our minds to deal with pulling together clever theme-night outfits. Apparently so did a lot of other guys, who just brought black eye patches. (One campy fellow added a wig and turned himself into Bette Davis in “The Anniversary.”) But then I spotted two men leaning over the railing wearing matching vintage-looking baseball uniforms with the name “Waner” on the back, and I laughed so abruptly I spat some rum out of my mouth and onto Dan’s new white T-shirt. “Lovely,” he snarled. “Sorry, but look!” I cried, pointing. “I don’t get it,” said the sports-hating Manhattanite as he vainly blotted the brown stains with a paper cocktail napkin. “Paul and Lloyd Waner! Pittsburgh Pirates from ’20s! We’re meeting these guys. Now!”
I dragged a disgruntled Dan through the throngs of one-eyed sea thieves to the two baseball legends, who turned out to look even better from the front than they did from the back. Their firm, round asses were flawlessly stitched into their pants, but their strapping chests and long, lean abs were outlined in what appeared to be spandex. They were both quite cute, too. “Which one’s ‘Big Poison’ and which one’s ‘Little Poison’?” I shouted over the blasting music. “Thank you,” they yelled back in unison. “You’re the only guy on this ship of fools who knows anything about baseball,” said the taller of the two. “I know nothing about baseball,” I confessed. “I just grew up in Pittsburgh.” “Good enough,” said the other one. “Yuns havin’ fun?” We sure did, especially when they turned out to be players in more than one sense of the word.
Get yourself a bottle of good rum – not the kind you mix with cola or waste in one of those hideous fruit-a-bumbas everybody’s supposed to drink on Caribbean cruises. I like Gosling’s Black Bermuda and Haiti’s Betancourt. Pour it over ice or drink it neat. Savor it, like scotch or good bourbon. And say “arg” a lot.