25th Jul2006

A Bully Revisited

by Will

“Superman’s a little too ‘milkman and war bonds’ for me.”

So, allow me to take you down memory lane with me. Many people don’t know this, but when I had my lone year of public school (7th grade), I was victimized by a bully. Sure, it was nothing out of the ordinary bullying, but I had never experienced that before. I had attended all of these utopian schools where everyone was equal and nice. Sure, I had to pay for it, but it was worth it. But now, in the throes of Parkland Middle, there was no utopia. And Avery was the asshole who made me aware of this.

You see, Avery wasn’t especially big, nor was he tough. He didn’t beat me up or take my lunch money, but it was more of a psychological bullying. In hindsight, if I told you some of the shit he pulled, you’d think I was stupid, but it really had an impact on me back then. He made my first semester a living Hell. I remember that Mommy even had this Bible verse she used to read every night which was supposed to make him go away or wake up covered in sores or something. I forget which book it was in. The point was that this guy, I believe, was the beginning of my whole “pessimist-depression” world tour I’ve been on for the past few years. Surprisingly enough, I was once a sweet, happy kid. But now I don’t trust too many people.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, what do you do when you find out your former tormentor is now a flaming homosexual?

Yup. I was working at H&M the other day, and noticed this fidgety guy standing in line. Just as with any Sunday, he seemed like your average restless customer. “How do you know he’s gay, Will?” Trust me; I KNOW. You didn’t need a litmus test for this one, but even so, I KNOW. Anyway, he was also kinda giving me the eye. It was a cross between the “gay eye” and the “do I know you from somewhere? eye” To tell the truth, I didn’t even really recognize him. But I didn’t feel like getting hit on (I’m not vain, but as one of the few males working at this store, it’s inevitable), so I tried to slow down my line so that he would have to end up going to another cashier. I’m a master of working the line to my advantage, but this day was not going to work out in my favor. He ended up as my next customer, thanks to the new stupid french chick who’s still learning how to count american money…

Rang him up, still didn’t recognize him. But didn’t make eye contact, ’cause that’s when they get ya! So, he hands me his credit card, and that’s when I see the name “Avery Peters”. Son of a bitch. If my life had been a TV show, there would’ve been quite the flashback montage at that moment. And most of the images would’ve shown me as quite the little porker. Either way, it opened up the floodgates.

Now, I had a small window in which to react. Do I say, “Hey, remember me, cocksucker?” Surely, he wouldn’t. I’ve tried that on other tormentors from that era, and met with similar responses. Seems like I’m the only one keeping a grudge lately. Does nobody respect the idea of an archenemy anymore?!

So, at that moment, I looked him in the eye, and I think he got it. And he seemed kind of embarrassed. Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe I was simply too sexy for him. But there was a slight chill. And man did I want to say something. But at the same time, I kinda felt bad for ME. I mean, THIS was the guy who tormented me? Hindsight certainly is 20/20, and if I’d had a glimpse of the future back then, I’d probably have kicked his ass. But no. I didn’t know what I know now. We’ve both grown, and learned from the past. We’re probably not even the same people we were then. I’m certainly not. But a lot of that I blame on him, for being my “encounter phase”. He ruined my innocence. At least, he ruined my happiness for quite some time. Was it all his fault? No, but I don’t remember being as happy after meeting him as I had been prior. My only hope is that Karma is the bitch that I believe her to be, and I hope that cocksucker gets what’s coming to him…

03rd Jul2006

Why Are You Running Away…On Your Blogs?

by Will

“Papa Spank!”

So, I’m starting to feel like the Ted McGinley of blogs. I think I’ve written this before, but Ted McGinley is known as a “show killer”; every show he’s added to, with the exception of “Married..with Children”, is canceled soon after his addition to the cast. See also: “Rena Sofer” (go ahead, IMDB her. I’ll wait). Well, I’m starting to feel that I’ve taken on that role regarding blog threads.

Many people may not know, but I’d really like a comic friend (cue audience “aww” sound). That may sound lame, but people like to surround themselves with people with similar interests. When I was a trekkie, I had my trekkies. Now, I’d really like someone on my comic level.

Now, I’m not trying to be all arrogant about it when I say “my level”, but it’s no secret that I’ve sublimated a LOT of social angst into learning about this medium. I’d simply like to meet another current/former social outcast with a similar love of comics.

Well, lately, I’ve tried to take James’s advice. He always said, “Well, if you want to increase readership, you have to comment on other people’s blogs.” I’m not exactly an extrovert, but it’s a faceless, painless process, so I went for it. But I swear, every time I comment on a post, it’s either ignored and/or kills the thread.

I kid you not. Go over to Dave’s Long Box. Head over to Written World. Check out Seven Hells or The Absorbascon. Even the Marvel boards. Peruse the comment threads. I’m some kind of blogging pariah.

And it’s not like I have stupid things to say. I engage in the conversation. I offer intelligent points and counterpoints. I’m not some novice when it comes to comics. I’ve been in this game for 14 years! Sure, I may not be the ultimate fanboy, but this is really starting to suck.

Now, I don’t want pity comments or anything from this. It’s just an observation. I don’t blame the owners of the blogs; I LOVE those sites, and wouldn’t visit them if I didn’t. But who do you have to sleep with to get some attention on a comics blog? Two main exceptions come to mind: Ragnell was welcoming during “lurking week” and I had quite an enjoyable tete-a-tete with Jenn the other night. But otherwise, it’s kind of disheartening. I mean, I kissed Gail Simone’s ass the other night, and not even a patronizing honorable mention. I guess I’m going about this all wrong…

12th Jun2006

Happy Loving Day, Race Traitors!

by Will

“…a job a million girls would die for.”

Happy Loving Day!

For the uninitiated, June 12th is Loving Day, which commemorates the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, which legalized interracial relationships. For those of you who know me, this is the law that has kept me out of jail MANY times!

Now, you may laugh, but to most Black athletes, this day holds more importance than MLK’s birthday and 4th of July put together. Just ask Kobie. Or OJ. Hmm..I’d better come up with some better examples next year.

Anyway, go out and celebrate your right to intermingle. Christy, kiss a black guy! Becca, eat a black and white cookie! Devante, watch Soul Train just for that Asian chick! Rejoice, for this is your day!

31st May2006

The Racial Incident

by Will

“An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world that’s worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I know every inch of this cell. This cell knows every inch of me. Except one.”

This is my 500th post. Normally, when a blogging milestone comes along, I try to see what kind of adventure life will throw at me that deserves documentation. I look for crazy people on the streets, weird pop culture references, or just hidden stupid tales from my life that might give you a chuckle. Well, this is not that post. This may be the most serious post I’ve written. It’s something that I need to share, in print, because I really haven’t been able to vocalize it properly. So, please bear with me, and then we can get back to the regularly scheduled programming.

In the 70’s, Bill Cross created the “Cross Model of Minority Identity Development”. I’m not going to give a lecture, but he basically said that minorities lived in a cocoon until they experienced an encounter which changed their worldview. This encounter is different for each person, but they’re never able to look at the world the same once it happens. I’m sure that the people in the Africana department, who always joked that I was “so white”, would be glad to know that I’ve had my encounter.

Recently, I accompanied a friend as they visited with family. Now, I was apprehensive because I knew that one relative would be present, and this particular relative has never been even remotely welcoming to me. In the past, I would vocalize my apprehension beforehand, which would result in a possible argument, and more unnecessary tension. But this time, I decided to keep it inside and hope for the best. It was all in my head, right? This guy didn’t dislike ME. He just disliked everyone because he was an old curmudgeon. My friend even told me this. So, I figured I was the victim of a sense of age discrimination. Mr Smith was too old to learn new people, so I had missed the boat. That’s fine. But there were too many clues that he was going out of his way to dislike me. Especially when I’d see him meet other people, for the first time, and be friendlier than a whore on payday.

I met Mr. Smith over a year ago, and I can say that the “relationship” has degenerated from “nothing” to “malice”. When I first met him, I went to shake his hand, and he just kind of grunted at me. “He’s losing his hearing,” my friend reassured me. It was a lot of work for him to interact with people. Umm..OK. I grew up with old folks, so I could understand that. But then, for the first time, he used what would become his signature move: the disappearing act. Whenever festivities end, he has to go to the bathroom. And he pretty much stays until he thinks I’m gone. Oh, it’s all in my head, you say? Then, why is it when I leave, he’s peering out the window at me, sullen? He ain’t my daddy, so I know it’s not him longing for missing out on my childhood. I turn and wave, but he continues to glare. I’ve put up with this on a handful of occasions, but recently, he upped the ante.

Recently, as I was saying, I went with my friend to visit with Mr. Smith. We entered the house, and I immediately felt uneasy. Mrs. Smith was there, and she was quite friendly. I reached to take her hand, and she kissed my cheek. “This might not be so bad,” I thought, as my anxiety slightly waned. Then, Mr. Smith appeared in the doorway. I let him greet my friend first, since they were relatives, but I was determined to make this guy like me. I stepped forward, extended my hand, and asked, “How are you, Mr. Smith.” His mouth kind of twisted as he looked at my hand. Now follow this sequence. He hesitantly shook my hand, wiped his hand on his shirt, and proceeded to go wash his hands in the bathroom. He shook my hand and washed it off. HE. FUCKING. SHOOK. MY. HAND. AND. WASHED. IT. OFF.

I have NEVER…I’ve been all over the world, and dealt with a lot of things. I have a house in Alabama, I grew up in a white Republican church, and my fucking college essay was about my experience being black in the former Soviet Union, but I have NEVER encountered an asshole such as this man. And what gets me is that I can’t even begin to describe what he truly is. I feel almost as if there is no word to describe how this man has treated me. I didn’t want to “play the race card”. Maybe the earring scared him. Maybe my goatee threatened him. But I never wanted to zero in on it being about race.

The worst part, and the reason I have difficulty discussing it, is that it hurt me. It didn’t anger me. It hurt me to my core. I have never been shone as “dirty”. I have never had the most self-esteem, but in one gesture, I was made to feel like half a person. And it hurts. I can’t even be mad because there’s too much emotion for it to be simple “anger”. For years, I’d think of J and wonder, “Why is he SO mad? What could have him so angry?” But, not to put words in his mouth, but maybe he’s NOT angry. Maybe he’s hurt. Maybe he’s seen hands washed so many times that all he can feel is hurt. It’s worse than any break-up, worse than any mourning.

Mr. Smith doesn’t even know me. I am an Ivy League graduate, who’s never done drugs, never been in any sort of trouble, and I’m good to my friend, his relative. But instead, I’m just some dirty nigger. “Why’d you say ‘nigger’, Will? Why not ‘black person’?” Well, I ask you, is there a distinction to a racist? I could go off and defend my country, something that I know means a lot to him, and I’d still be that dirty nigger.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What happened next?” Well, nothing. I mean, I wish I could’ve done something, but it’s one of those “hindsight is 20/20” moments. You’re so stunned by the sheer audacity, that you kinda have to catch your breath. Minutes later, we left. My friend apologized for Mr. Smith’s actions, but it wasn’t their place to apologize; they didn’t do anything. I’m sure they were embarassed and whatnot, but they were not to blame. Nor could I convey what I was feeling. Nor would an apology even suffice, from any party involved.

I’d heard these people were out there, but I wondered “why?” What makes a person so nasty? Sure, you may not care for people. Hell, I dislike everyone every now and then. Sadly, it’s human, but I make sure they never know it. Feelings pass, but this gesture was uncalled for. Would it have been so hard for him to grin and bear it? I’d have been gone in minutes. Is that the legacy he wants to leave behind? Most of his relatives seem shocked by these actions, so what is it about me, what do I remind him of, to make him act this way? Am I worth him ruining the positive image that he’s cultivated amongst his loved ones for so long? Mainly, where does something like this come from?

I don’t mean to be melodramatic. Most of you who know me know that I can be quite the drama queen. But in all honesty, my world hasn’t been the same since that day. It still hurts, but it also doesn’t. I kind of can’t feel. I try to put on a happy face, but it’s forced, and the people close to me keep asking, “What’s wrong?” The problem is that many of them would not be able to handle the truth. And I can’t really discuss the matter without wanting to cry. Sure, not very masculine, but you have no idea what that’s like. And if you do know, then, I’m sorry. I never knew. But I know now.

12th Dec2005

Rescue Heroes: Role Models For Kids or Porn Stars Waiting To Happen?

by Will

“Whatchu gon’ do wit all dat breast?”

So, anyone who knows me knows I have a dirty mind. I see sex everywhere, and I should probably be in some kind of therapy for that. In any regard, tonight, I felt that my thoughts weren’t my own fault, but the fault of Fisher-Price.

Has anyone out there heard of “Rescue Heroes”? If not, they’re these super-deformed action figures made specifically for younger kids. Emerging from the post 9/11 Hero craze, they tend to focus on firemen, cops, and other emergency workers. Well, their names are usually puns, but tonight I realized something else: they’ve all got porn star names.

I know you’re thinking, “Sure, Will….porn star names…”, but it’s true. These things could be passed off as something innocent, but I just know that the designers at Fisher-Price are laughing their asses off that they actually snuck these things into stores. I actually kinda know the director of market research, and I’m half tempted to e-mail him and ask him directly.

Think I’m crazy? Allow me to list the current assortment of “Rescue Heroes”. And no, I did not make up any of these; I only wish I were that gifted:

-Rex Steel
-Rock Miner
-Perry Chute
-Cole Burns
-Seymour Wilde
-C.D. Moon
-Holden Breath
-Jack Hammer
-Rivet (I kid you not!)
-Val Cano
-Telly Photo
-Clamp Down (I swear!)
-Back Hoe (I swear it again!)
-Swinger (even that one surprised me!)
-Kenny Ride (the Black guy)
-Warren Waters
-Captain Cuffs (kinky!)
-Ariel Flyer
-Sandy Beach
-Moe Zambeek (surprisingly NOT a Black guy; still has a porno ‘stache, though)

But get this, there’s also a suped-up line of figures, called “The Dual Tool Team”! These include:

-Dual Tool Team: Rip Rockefeller
-Dual Tool Team: Gil Gripper
-Dual Tool Team: Rocky Canyon

and the main vehicle for this line is the “2-in-1 Ultra Light Vehicle”

But my Personal Favorite has to be “Force of Nature”, Roger Houston

So, there ya have it. Bratz Dollz make your daughters grow up to be trendy, superficial bitches, while Rescue Heroes start your sons off on the road to the wonderful world of skin flicks. Man, if they ever merge the Bratz line with the Rescue Heroes, I SWEAR teen pregnancy rates will skyrocket. And we’ll only have Fisher-Price to blame…

29th Nov2005

My Mommy’s In The Washington Post!

by Will

“I just want you for my own, more than you will ever know, make my wish come true…”

So, not much to write about, but my mother was part of a Washington Post article on Thanksgiving day. At long last, the true origin of her name! Enjoy!

Click here

“But here comes Silver West looking for her cousin to arrive. She is worried about being ready for today’s feast. She has already baked a poundcake and a Key lime pie, but the roast beef is still frozen. And for the most part, she is happy. Thankful for the son she had late in life and the husband she was married to for four years, four months and four days before he died of an aneurysm. And thankful for her name.

“People say, ‘Did you give yourself that name?’ ” she says, smiling. “I say no, my mother did. She was very poor, but she said, ‘As long as I have Silver, I will be rich.’ “

21st Nov2005

Marion Barry – 2nd Printing

by Will

“A chick who can screw AND quote The Rock? I’m gonna marry you!”

So, in honor of the one year anniversary of what is, by far, one of my best posts, I hereby present The Best of WilliamBruceWest.com, and reprint the entry that I like to call “The More, The Marion, AKA The Bitch Set Me Up…Again”.

“Watch out, ’cause here I come. It’s been awhile, but I’m back in style!”

Today’s Episode: “Oh No He Didn’t (Oh, YES He Did)!”

A little backstory: I’ve got a couple of friends at H&M who’ve never received “the blog treatment” before. Anyway, Juwan and Bruce are fellow retailers-in-arms, and we tend to have a good time whenever we’re at work together.

So, last night was Bruce’s birthday & he was throwing himself a party at the Banana Cafe. Well, I didn’t really know what to expect, but NOTHING could’ve have prepared me for what the night would bring. NOTHING.

I swear, folks…you’ve read some wacky shit on this site before, but NONE of it holds a candle to this crazy night in SE Washington…

So, Shelly and I decided to go together ’cause we didn’t really know where the place was. Let’s see…2 sheltered kids in S.E. DC. I guess we figured they couldn’t kill us both, right? Strength in numbers, and all that jazz…

The party started at 6, but we didn’t roll in until around 10. Bruce was way drunk, bless his heart! He was glad to see us, as he led us inside. Apparently, it was Karaoke Night @ the Banana. So, he leads us up the stairs, and what do we find? A room full of young, Black gay guys. They weren’t all gay, but you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the room without hitting one. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean it in a derogatory sense at all. I say it ’cause I have never seen a room so CHOCK FULL OF BLACK GAY GUYS!!!

I think what struck me, too, was that it wasn’t all stereotype. It wasn’t like the “Men on Film” guys from “In Living Color” (Wow, I’m seriously dating myself here). Instead, it was an array of NBA jerseys and denim jackets. They looked like they were in a G-Unit video or something.

Anyway, Shelly and I kinda look at each other; the White Chick & The Straight Guy. We were basically a bad UPN sitcom waiting to happen. But, what the Hell? We’re there to have fun, right? So, we get to the bar and Juwan’s drunk, too. I mean, DRUNK. But it was cute. He was kinda stumbling around. Every so often, he’d yell “Aw, this is my JAM!” and start dancing.

So, we’re drinking our SoCo & Cokes, getting settled, taking it all in. As I look around the room, I kinda start to feel like the last rib at a Black cook-out. There were all these eyes on me, ranging from “What’s he doing here?” to “Where’ve you been all my life, playa?” Now, for you frequent readers, you know that I tend to find myself in these situations ever so often. But this was only the TIP of the iceberg. Let the craziness begin:

A few minutes after we get our drinks, Bruce comes over and whispers, “Y’all will NEVER guess who that is over there!”

I ask who he’s talking about, and he points to a table near the window. Brace yourselves, folks

“That’s Marion Fuckin’ Barry!!!”

I look over and, “Holy shit, that IS Marion Barry!”

Yes, the crack-smoking DC mayor-for-life was sitting right there, about 10 feet from me. For all you uninformed, he’s that guy that Chris Rock loves to make fun of. I swear, he’s been milking that routine for 10 yrs….

Anyway, at the table sat Marion Barry and the cheapest, Sandra Clark imitation hoochie I have ever seen in real-life. This is one of those chicks who was clearly an escort. Not a hooker, but an escort. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, a hooker is someone you just pay for sex, while an escort is someone you pay to be seen with you. She might have sex with ya later, but that’s gonna cost extra.

Also, allow me to say that the good mayor looks like SHIT. I mean, during his recent campaign, there was talk of how bad his health was, but I had no idea it was THIS bad. The poor thing looked WRECKED…

“I’m gonna go say ‘hi’,” I said, as I rushed over to the table. Not really knowing what to say to a world-renowned figure, I offer my hand and say, “Congratulations, sir.” Hell, I didn’t really know WHAT, specifically, I was congratulating him on. Was it his recent election win? Was it his ability to find a woman to come out with him tonight? Was it the mere fact that he’s still alive? Damned if I know. I just figured such a phrase would make him feel good about himself or some shit.

He gave me a limp handshake and kind of mumbled something. I figured it was a pearl of wisdom from a man who’d clearly enjoyed a colorful life and career. “I beg your pardon?” I responded. Once again, he mumbled something. I leaned closer and asked, “What?” The third time, I heard him: “Do I have to go up to the bar, or will they come to the table?” Yup, that’s what the old fool asked me. I kinda stammered: “Uh…they’ll come to the table…..Did you need anything?” Yup, I was gonna buy old Marion a drink, but he just kinda waved me away. Yes, the good mayor and I were about to become enemies…

So, I decided to sing something, while Shelly & Juwan chilled on one of the couches. The first song was “A Song For You”, sung by the Temptations, but better known as a Ray Charles song. Surprisingly, the crowd seemed to like it, or they were just blowing sunshine up my ass.

When I was done, Shelly & I just kinda hung out together, the whole time trying to figure out how the Hell we ended up in a gay bar with Marion Barry?!!! But wait kids, there’s more!

It turns out Marion’s skank wanted to sing, too. How to describe her… Well, she was wearing an all black catsuit, with a chain around her waist. She thought she was cute, and Marion seemed proud to have her on his arm. That chick had the audacity to try to sing a Mary J. Blige song, and I don’t think she hit a single note in the song. But she was just smiling and singing like she thought she could sing. Marion decided to get a closer seat, but as I’ve said, he’s a bit out of sorts these days. As he started to sit down, his chair was tipping over and almost spilled him onto the floor. If someone hadn’t caught it from behind, he’d have fallen and I KNOW he wouldn’t have been able to get up! So, he sat there, drinking his drink, watching his girl. A couple of the divas decided to help her out ’cause she just wasn’t doing that song justice. When she finished, Marion smiled and clapped.

The entire time, we’re drunk, off in the corner, asking, “Is that REALLY Marion Barry?!!!’ Juwan would scream out, “Why is he HEEERREE?!!!” Bruce came back over, and I asked if Barry was a regular there. His response: “I ain’t never seen his crack-smokin’ ass around here before!” Barry’s like 4 feet away, mind you. I cringe and say, “He’s right there! He can here you!!!!” Bruce replied, “I don’t care! He knows what he is!”

So, the night continues on, and the drinks keep flowing. I decide to sing another song, but what to sing? Well, I went for the “ringer approach” and chose a song I already knew: This I Promise You (Which, btw, can be downloaded from my music section *wink*). So, I chose my song and signed up on the list.

Turns out, “Catwoman” had signed up for ANOTHER Mary J. song before me. I swear! So, I sat back and watched her butcher yet ANOTHER song, but I also noticed Barry talking to the DJ off to the side. Something nefarious was going on. I think he was trying to arrange for her to sing another song. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna watch THAT happen! You see, I was next on the list, and I wanted to sing my damn song.

I kinda got belligerent at that point. Ask anyone on that couch. “What the fuck is he doing?” I asked. ” I will fight Marion Barry! I ain’t scared of no old Marion Barry!” Sure, I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs, but I was vocal. That’s what alcohol does. It’s pure science.

I wanted to sing my song and, I’m sorry, there’s a line! Luckily, he didn’t get in front of me. Shelly swears I wasn’t going to do anything, but I don’t know…considering how surreal the night seemed, I kinda thought it was all a dream by that point anyway!

So, I got up and sang This I Promise You. It probably wasn’t the best venue for such a song; did I mention Black, gay, and S.E. DC? But I wanted to sing it anyway. I guess I was singing it for Alouise. That’s my girl, ya know? And we had THE BEST DAY on Saturday, so it was still on my mind. So that’s where my heart was.

During the instrumental part of the song, I got a little creative. I said, “This goes out to Bruce, on his birthday. And I also wanna give a shout-out to Marion Barry.” People kinda laughed and/or looked shocked. “What? He’s right here. We all see him!” I said. Did I mention that Marion was like 2 ft away from me? No? Well, he was. Yeah, it was dick of me. But in a drunk, funny way…

I think I got a little too into the song, actually. In fact, I think I might’ve been as off-key as Barry’s girl. Why, you ask? Well, this dude came up from behind me and said, “You’re lucky you’re cute.” OUCH. Back-handed compliments. Thanks, boys…So, I finished that song, and I think Shelly was the only one who clapped. Thanks, Shel! 🙂

But the night was about to jump the shark. Just when you thought it was safe, what happens next? Well, I’ll tell ya!

When I get back on the couch, who do i see heading up to the mic? I thought he was lobbying for his girl again, but it was something bigger than that. Something more unexpected. Something monumental. Yes, Marion Barry was gonna SING KARAOKE!!!

I’m about to lose my mind here!!! Am I really seeing this? Is he really who he claims to be?!!! It’s all a blur. And what song did he choose for himself? “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, by Otis Redding. Yes, I was about about to watch the tides roll away as Barry butchered a soul classic. We’re falling out of our seats in disbelief! We’re scrounging for camera phones and anything else to immortalize this moment. I yell,”Do you know how much Wonkette would pay for these pictures?!!!”.

He was beyond bad. It’s not that he was tone-deaf..it’s just that he wasn’t listening to the background track. Then, his lady decided to join him for the WORST duet….I can’t even….I’m fuckin’ blown! And to cap it off, you know how the song ends with a whistling solo? He sang it! No, he didn’t whistle it; he SANG IT!!! Words can’t explain…

When he finished, the crowd erupted. I guess we were all in awe of what had just transpired and, as they say in the ‘hood, “Marion was getting his propers”…Some of the guys helped him off of his chair, and after a few more political handshakes, Marion and ‘ho left the building. It was like a mass UFO sighting, though. For the next hr, we were all asking each other, “Did you see that?!!” or “Did that really just happen?” or, my fave, “Fucking Marion Barry?!!” It was like, for that night, we were all brought closer due to our shared ordeal. I can say that I’d do anything for Bruce, Juwan, and Shel. Well, maybe not ANYTHING, but you get the point. God bless alcohol and fallen celebrities…

The party wound down, we closed out tabs, and Shelly and I laughed about that shit all the way back to MD. I hope this made some kind of sense in print, but you really had to be there. And I’m sure it’ll never happen again, so you missed out. But from this day forward, children around the world will sing songs of the time Crack-smoking Marion Barry Sang Karaoke in the Gay Bar. And if you ever hear them sing these songs, you just tell ’em my name and that I was there on that fateful day.

Marion Fuckin Barry…

17th Nov2005

She Lost It For Guys In Black Turtlenecks

by Will

“More than meets the eye!”

So, as an addendum to the Myspace saga, I was looking at the pic and I realized I was wearing the The Black Turtleneck.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told this story on the blog before, but if you’ve met me for more than 5 mins, you’ve heard this story.

Anyway, back in college, I used to look forward to a cappella events ’cause that was the extent of my social life. When we’d go on tour to other schools, that was the mother lode. Imagine, being 19 and thinking you’re the shit ’cause you can sing a poor rendition of a popular boyband song, and people will ACTUALLY pay money to watch you do it! It was the tits.

One of our favorite schools to visit was Yale. Now, I missed the first trip which yielded National Greg Levow Day (ask a callboy), but I WAS there for the next trip. We were singing with a group called Something Extra (who ROCKED, btw) and we knew that afterwards was the obligatory “after party”. Sometimes these parties were ragers. Sometimes we would’ve had more fun at a Denny’s. This party was…interesting, to say the least.

Well, I happened to be wearing the same sweater as in the pic, and little did I know it would become a conversation piece. One of the members of Something Extra starts giggling to one of her friends. I guess the friend said “Go for it”, ’cause the next thing I know, there she is in front of me. Let’s examine the awkward exchange which followed (along with commentary!):

Her: “Oh my god! Are you wearing a black turtleneck?” (What kind of a line IS that?)

Me: “Uhh….yeah…” (Smooth, Will)

Her: “Oh, god! I totally LOSE IT for guys in black turtlenecks!” (Umm…desperation, party of 1)

Me: *nervous laughter* “uhh…heh…you lose it for guys in black turtlenecks?” (that’s right, Will. Reflect it right back at her)

Her: “Yeah!”

Me: *nervous laughter* “…..” *turn and run away*

Yeah, I ran. It goes without saying that we weren’t invited to sing with Something Extra again. Was that the reason? Probably not. But I gained a new reputation that night. I’d gone from being “The Black Guy in Last Call” to being “That Weird Black Guy in Last Call”. We had Eddie by then, so he was the normal one, and I was the crazy Negro.

It loses some of its emphasis on paper, ’cause you have to see the gleam in her eye. She TOTALLY lost it for guys in black turtlenecks, but what exactly was “it”? I’m thinking her sanity. Either way, I didn’t even know how to play that game. Was it a joke? Was it real? The world may never know. But I’m still alive today, so I think running was the correct choice…

14th Nov2005

Not The Last Time I’ll Mention Ted McGinley…

by Will

“Goddess, NO!”

So, I’m starting to think of myself as the Ted McGinley of blogging. For the uninformed, Ted McGinley is an actor who is referred to as a “show killer”; every time he is added to the cast of a show, it ends up getting canceled. The main exception to this is “Married…with Children”, where he played Jefferson Darcy for about 9 years. Prior to that, he had a hand in killing “Happy Days” and “The Love Boat”. It’s not his fault, but people seem to think he’s cursed. The same goes for the lovely Rena Sofer and Carla Guigino.

Either way, whenever I comment on someone’s blog, I kill the thread. Sometimes, I kill the blog entirely. There’s a site out there called “Ithaca Has Gorges”. It was created by some people I know from Cornell, and I found them through a random, boring afternoon online. Anyway, while they hadn’t been online long, they’d prolific in a short span of time. I commented about how glad I was to find them online, and then nothing. Nothing which lasted for about 2 months. They finally posted again 2 weeks ago, but it still seems like they’re on life support.

This is only one example, but I have had this happen many times. And all I’m trying to do is cultivate e-friendships. Listen to me, I’m like Casper, the Friendly Ghost over here!

09th Nov2005

Terry McMillan Needs A Talk Show, STAT!

by Will

“We are men. Men is what we are.”

Can somebody PLEASE develop a daytime talk show for Terry McMillan? I swear, she is one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve seen in a while. It’s so refreshing to see someone with real feelings, who hasn’t been coached by their handlers and publicists. I’m paraphrasing, but her description of the relationship went like this:

“I never expected it to be a long-term thing. When I’m 70, he was gonna be 50. We weren’t gonna be sitting on the porch in rockers. I felt that it was happiness, and you have to enjoy happiness for as long as it lasts. I treated Jonathan as a puppy. In the beginning, puppies are frisky and full of energy. You nurture and take care of a puppy, and he will lick you all over and love you to death.”

The Oprah interview wasn’t as “Springer-esque” as I had hoped, but Terry never stopped entertaining me. Whether it was her quick wit, or the animated way in which she shook her head, Terry really needs to do this on a daily basis. Forget Tyra and Martha. I want to see Terry in Fall ’06.