RECEIVED: Gotham City (Registered Mail) —
Dear Parting Glances sob-sister columnist. I came across a copy of BTL through a butler friend who, for whatever reason of overly exuberant curiosity, happened to be dream cruising the quaint hamlet of Ferndale, Michigan.
Right-O! Quaint. Quite. (And cruisy.)
Butler Arnie “Buff” LeBeau told me that Ferndale has an elected official — its mayor, I believe — with two outstanding qualifications for one deserving a much higher and more metropolitan political calling. He’s an avid comic book fan and an expert at the time-honored Yankee tradition of “roasting” (in contrasting to basting, parboiling, or lambasting). The Julia Child of retorts.
He’s also I’m told given to appearing in public displaying his politically formidable, slightly patriarchal, middle-aged but nonetheless fetching physique, accompanied by any number of young men who may or may not be passing for wards, body guards, or yet unamalgamated political groupies. All pert and personable.
That these young persons are Democrats of course goes without saying. (Log Cabin Republicans I’m told are to be found further north in Birmingham.) That these delightful roustabouts have aspirations to income, social status, or American Express dining privileges is only to be expected as they climb the ladder of upward mobility and eligibility to vote.
If you know of said Ferndale mayor please advise him for me that, now that Batman has really hit the multimillionaire big time and Robin, Boy Wonder, in abject contrast, is working as a K-Mart stock boy, Gotham City needs a mayor who will zealously advocate for same-sex marriage.
And, in so doing — he’ll be helping to save a traditional relationship unique in the annals of American romance and longevity. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson. (And just between the two of us: I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if I’ll be drawing unemployment soon. So, there’s much at stake for me.) Warmest regards, Alfred.
SENT: Dear Alfred: It was charming and totally unexpected of you to register mail me. And while I’m not actually a sob sister (though I have a Recovering Catholic friend who is) at my advanced age I do feel I know a thing or two about the many soap operas that constitute the ongoing Academy Awards of Life — and that’s no joke, as in Joker.
As I don’t actually live in Ferndale but I’ve been known to walk its festive highways and sequestered byways, should I see the mayor about whom you were so kindly soliciting (he’s been solicited before I’m sure), I’ll most certainly pass along your regards and tell him of the Gotham City mayoral vacancy.
Please keep in mind, though. As Ferndale’s mayor he’s quite content with his position (and his posture’s not bad either). His constituents to a man all seem to like him, and he’s managed to keep taxes on the down low (among other things).
You’d like him, too. He speaks both the King’s English and the Queen’s to gracious perfection. Should he be in need of a butler, I’ll most certainly inform you. (Your friend, Arnie “Buff” LeBeau: that name sounds vaguely familiar. Does he sideline for Chi Chi LaRue?)
I don’t mean to presume upon what appears to be budding friendship between us, but — one question — Is Prince Valiant gay? I mean, with that pageboy bob of his, well, it seems just a bit suspect to me. And all those stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Ta-ta! Charles
REPLY: No. His Highness is straight. All Englishmen just happen to look gay. Cheerio! Old tart!