Monday, November 23, 2009


(Continued from HAIR BRAINED)

Believe it or not, even in my shit-kicker high school, we held senior superlative elections. For those who know nothing about high school, or like me have wisely repressed 99% of it, senior superlatives are those annoying 'Best Looking' or 'Most Spirited' honors that are conveyed upon a student by popular vote. That the contest existed at all came as quite a surprise to me, as at the time, my high school was embroiled in a shocking scandal that involved the grisly murder of a popular English teacher by both her lover, a fellow faculty member, as well as the school's shady, 'Person of Interest' principal. (Incidentally, the convicted teacher/murderer, William 'Wild Bill' Bradfield, simply ADORED me and without reservation, gave me an 'A+' in his Latin class. I shutter to think what that says about my lack of character.)

Despite the murder and the intoxicating presence of both the local police, FBI, and national press, our meager lives went on. The school year proceeded and votes for the superlatives were cast. As I was too busy getting stoned and trying to hide my sexuality by masquerading as 'arty', I didn't do the usual lobbying, brown-nosing or outright bullying other students undertook to boost their chances of receiving such a prestigious honor. I shrugged the whole thing off as 'bourgeoisie' and like any cliched gay high school kid, worked feverishly on the sets of 'DEATHTRAP, which in light of the current murder melodrama unfolding at our school was a wildly inappropriate choice for school play.

Imagine my surprise when I not only took home a senior superlative , but won the honor by a landslide! No, I didn't take home some paltry, two-bit 'Best Personality,' 'Most Spirited,' or even 'Most Likely To Succeed,' superlative. I took home the granddaddy of senior superlatives, the superlative that to this day I cherish with the fervor and sanctity one reserves for an Academy Award; 'BEST HAIR.'

As my seven-year-old, gay-bashing, Neo-Nazi son stood before me, his frizzy, chlorine damaged hair vaguely resembling Kate Gosselin's rabid possum hair 'don't' I became incensed. What right did my son have in impugning my fragile sense of sexual self in addition to my quasi-agnostic, had-my-Bar-Mitzvah-for-the-money Jewish identity? More importantly, who did he think he was questioning my impeccable Upper Merion Senior High School class of 1981 'Best Hair' senior-superlative winner credentials? The rage building inside me was palpable as my eyes bored into my son's beady little eyes. As I stared him down, I yanked my iphone theatrically from it's stylish Louis Vuitton case and quick dialed.

"Who are you calling?" my son asked.

"Hey Blane, it's Tod. Ethan's gone RED ALERT. How quickly can you get here?"

Despite my son's surfer boy bravado, I began to smell the fear on him, for It slowly dawned on him that unlike his dreary friends whose dads had the standard doctor, lawyer, and master-of-the-universe hedge fund friends, his gay, dark-haired, Jew-boy, 'Best Hair' senior superlative winner dad possessed a hoard of hair dresser friends happy to make a house call.

As the horror of his crew cut fate became clear, my son darted from the room screaming. I smiled to myself and stood perfectly still for I planned to savor the knock-down-drag-out confrontation yet to come.

(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"Your hair looks hideous." I say to my son Ethan.

There, I've said it. I've actually made a negative, rather bitchy declarative statement, completely disregarding my son's feelings, self esteem, or future character development in hopes of advancing my own aesthetic agenda. God, it feels so good to just say what I feel as opposed to the usual conversational mediation I must resort to in hopes of getting him to perform the smallest, most inconsequential tasks such as eating his broccoli, brushing his teeth, or re grouting the upstairs bathroom. My seven year old son who is as argumentative as any trial attorney, negotiates EVERYTHING. I constantly find myself relegated to the role of determined district attorney (Think Julianne Moore or Laura Linney) to his sanctimonious public defender. Each and every request on my part is treated like a federal case, requiring ceaseless explanations, justifications, and evidence. My son rarely responds to reason. My patience begins to wear thin as the case drags on interminably. My role quickly changes from professional district attorney, to tough-as-nails judge (Think Kevin Spacy) determined to prosecute the little shit and place his lousy, entitled ass in the pokey.

My son's eyes go wide as my voice rises and the veins on my throat begin to stand out. Unfortunately, I am now completely lucid, my Grey Goose 'mommie's helper' buzz having been officially killed and my rational, district attorney demeanour now a thing of the past. I've officially entered that hideous 'things-I-promised-myself-I-would-never-say-to-my-kid' land.

"Your hair is brittle, broken, and has absolutely no style." I shriek. "I'm tired of all this bullshit negotiating. You're getting it cut whether you like it or not! Now get in the car before I grab my clippers and shave that rat's nest off myself. Now, move it!"

Unimpressed by my display of power, my son Ethan does not move. He shifts his weight to one leg, and crosses his arms. He stares at me with the curiosity (pity?) one reserves for mental patients or the homeless - a look that simultaneously conveys concern and utter revulsion.

"Well, are we going or what?" I snap.

He takes a small moment to reflect, and then all at once sneers at me "I don't want to get my haircut. I'm a surfer and surfers have long hair. You just don't understand because you're gay."

At first I am stunned. I wonder if I've heard him correctly. When I ask him to repeat himself, he again states that surfers have long blond hair and I don't understand because not only am I gay, I have dark, Jew-boy hair. I'm horrified. I'm appalled. I don't know what upsets me more, his homophobia, his implied antisemitism or FAR WORSE, his appalling assertion that I know little to nothing about current hair styles!
The infuriated tranny in me suddenly rears her ugly, M.A.C. hued head. My right hand is now moving in a perfect circle, my index finger pointing due north, and in my best ghetto accent I snarl 'OH NO YOU DI'N'T!'

(To be continued)


Despite my son Ethan's never ending quest to be the center of the known universe, much to my relief, he scarcely asks for anything materially. He rarely, if ever, asks for the usual childhood 'necessities' such as the latest, glittery Star Wars gadget, coolest skull-adorned clothes, or the standard childhood dream gift; a pony. He seems oddly satisfied by the smallish number of books, Lego's and art supplies stored neatly in his room. As a matter of fact, when guests visit our house, they are often surprised by the sparseness of his room. "Is your son studying for the priesthood?" they drunkenly ask. (Why is it our guests always seem to be inebriated?) With pride, I respond that my son's cell-like room would be the envy of the most ecclesiastical monk.

As Ethan barreled through his developmental stages and the need for blocks, puzzles, and miniature plastic farm animals became obsolete, George and I gleefully emptied his room of clutter. Our need for clean, open spaces quickly overpowered any desire to run to Target and restock his room with poorly-made, Chinese shit. Once our gargantuan, two car garage was filled with enough of Ethan's chewed up, mucous covered, stained cast offs, I would host my annual garage sale. I delighted in converting my driveway into something that closely resembled an exotic Moroccan bizarre stall. The stall's shelves, floors, and racks bulged with Ethan's formerly precious belongings, and like any good shopkeeper, I gratefully peddled my wares to the hundreds of frightfully polite bargain hunters good enough to take this crap off our hands. Despite my having to sell Ethan's toys and clothes for a tiny fraction of what I originally paid, I was happy to see a small child smile broadly for having scored a 'slightly used' BEN 10 action figure for 25 cents.

That deeply discounted BEN 10 action figure rekindled the memory of Ethan and I playing one of our favorite childhood games, 'Freakish-Fatal-Car-Accident.' You see, that particular BEN 10 was deeply troubled and had a nasty habit of driving drunk and losing control of his armor plated Hummer truck. BEN's careless, cavalier attitude to vehicular safety often resulted in serious injury to himself, his fellow passengers, and the plastic pedestrians that were unlucky enough to be on the streets when he took the wheel. Due to his hard-partying ways and poor driving record, BEN became the Lindsay Lohan of Ethan's room and was placed in toy box rehab. I prayed BEN would have better luck with sobriety in his new life and would become the dedicated super hero he was destined to be. On second thought, I doubted it, as the smoking, broken down mini van BEN and the child disappeared into looked pretty rough - I didn't see many armor plated Hummers in his future.

As the day progressed, my son Ethan's belongings found their way into the trunks of other battered mini vans, cars, trucks and in one case, a creepy out-of-state camper baring a frightening bumper sticker that read 'It's not stalking, if you love me back...'
Each item I sold jogged my memory of an 'important' childhood milestone achieved by our son such as Ethan's first nosebleed, his first projectile vomiting incident, and even the memory of the delightful, near-concussion I received when Ethan joyfully pounded me in the head with a wooden mallet, as I lay peacefully comatose on the floor of his room.

By noon, our 'bizarre' had come to an end. I quietly close our shop, and whatever odds and ends are left I happily donate to charity. Exhausted, I trudge up our staircase and finding Ethan's room divinely and serenely empty, I lay down on his Batman bedspread and happily pass out. I awake (seconds...minutes...hours?) later to find my son Ethan scrounging noisily around his room. Evidently he was late for a play date and couldn't find those hideous, one-of-the-seven-signs-of-the-impending-Apocalypse Croc shoes he tends to favor. Having finally located them under the bed, he shoves them on his feet, gives me a peck on the cheek and bolts from the room. I am surprisingly sad, for as my grownup son bounds out of the house, I rub my uninjured head and wish I hadn't sold that damn wooden mallet.

Friday, November 13, 2009


(Continued from PRINCESS PT. 2)

I wish I had a nickel for every time some schmuck called me a 'princess.' Everyone I know, at one time or another, has labeled me 'Princess Tod,' 'La Princessa,' 'Her Ladyship' or 'J.A.P. Bitch.' Not only am I not offended by these remarks, I consider them a great compliment. Being recognized for my carefully cultivated J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess) persona, is far more meaningful than the attention I usually receive for trifles like my eerily youthful, bought-and-paid-for complexion or ridiculously overpriced John Varvados shoes. My smugness comes from the profound belief that the world would be a far better place if everyone, everywhere would do as I say at all times.

Last week, as a token of his love (fear) my husband George presented me with an actual crown. Gaudily encrusted with fake jewels, replete in red velvet, and trimmed in blindingly white imitation ermine, it was the ugliest, most ostentatious thing I had every seen. It was love at first sight. My son gingerly placed the weighty crown upon my head and all at once I was magically transformed from middle aged, fatty-fat, suburbanite dad, into the fairest of them all. I could practically hear that stupid CIRCLE OF LIFE SONG from LION KING ringing in my ears as my husband, son and dog knelt before me.

In light of my recent coronation, the irony of being tackled by six burly Prince Charming security guards at Disneyland's Ariel's Grotto was not lost upon me. As a sobbing Belle was lead away by Cinderella and Aurora, my fellow pilgrims ran for their lives, the woodland creatures scurried away, and I struggled under the weight of Snow White's personal security force while protesting loudly that I was also 'royalty' and like the Disney Princesses had been recently crowned. Clearly my 'explanation' fell on deaf ears as Snow White smiled sweetly, made sure no one was looking, and then took the opportunity to kick me in the side of the face.

The blood flowed profusely from my mouth as Snow White sunk to one knee and in her Saccharin sweet voice hissed in my ear,

'Listen J.A.P. boy, I had your number from the second you walked in here. Just because daddy let you max out his AMEX Card at Saks doesn't make you a princess, it just makes you an asshole. Now, try and muscle in on our territory again, and you'll be the one left in an irreversible coma awaiting love's first kiss.'

Snow White daintily rose, and in the same sickeningly sweet, treacly voice, directed her goons to 'escort' me from Ariel's Grotto. The Prince Charmings eventually dumped me in a secluded portion of the cruelly named 'Mickey and Friends' parking structure. My head throbbed mightily as I shuffled to my car. I first checked my puffy, bruised reflection in my rear view mirror, winced and then started my car.

As I drove home, I reflected on the day's chaotic events. Like my unworthy, heretical son Ethan, I too had been cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven. Not only was I to never kiss Walt's Jew-hating frozen lips, thanks to Snow White, I was also 86'd from Ariel's Grotto and put on their terrorist watch list. Further, Snow White had managed to confirm my deepest fears that not only was I not a princess, but in reality was a spoiled, self-centered, princess-poser asshole.

Before I could descend headlong into the usual broken record of self-hatred that repeats endlessly in my mind, a sudden beautiful thought twinkled before me. Despite my bruised jaw, I smiled broadly for I realized that Snow White may have beat me down as a princess, degraded me in front of her subjects and ruthlessly cast me out of the Kingdom of Heaven, what that whore didn't realize was that thanks to my queer-as-a-three-dollar-bill 'birthright' this J.A.P bitch might not be a true princess, but was sure as fuck a queen.

Monday, November 9, 2009


(Continued From Princess)

Belle of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had a very worried look on her face. She had taken the seat closest to mine, and kept her gloved hand in mine as I bitterly complained about the sad turns my life had taken. She regarded me with a look of sympathy, but I could tell her benevolent look of quiet understanding masked a terrible sense of foreboding. Belle listened patiently as I told the tale of my former life of Hollywood fabulousness that had degenerated into a married-with-children calamity. In weepy torrents, it spilled out of me.

I told Belle of my glorious days of hedonistic sexual promiscuity, how'd I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece while I sipped champagne on a yacht. I
lamented how I had moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed them what I've got.
How'd I'd been undressed by kings and seen some things that a gay boy ain't
s'pose to see, how sadly I'd been to paradise but I've never been to me.

As tiny tears rolled down Belle's carefully powdered cheeks, she blew her Shiksa nose into a tiny gold satin handkerchief. She collected herself, rose and as dozens of cute, fuzzy woodland creatures suddenly surrounded us, Belle began to sing in the sweetest, clearest voice.

Hey lady, you lady
cursing at your life
you're a discontented father
with a hideous, shallow life
I `ve no doubt
you dream about the things you never do
but I wish someone had a talk to me like I wanna talk to you

Please lady please lady
don't just walk away
Cause I have this need to tell you
why I'm not alone today
I can see so much of me
still living in your eyes
won't you share a part
of a weary heart that has lived a million lives?

As Belle continued to sing, I casually glanced around Ariel's Grotto and could see that
Aurora and Cinderella were giving me the stink eye as Snow White furiously screeched
into a walkie-talkie.

Belle's verse had come to an end and as she and all the woodland creatures peered
at me expectantly, I decided to throw caution to the wind. I took Belle's hygienically
gloved hands, waltzed around the room, and while trampling beaming kiddies in
their cheap, Disney Princess knock-off costumes sang:

Sometimes I've been to crying for unborn children
that might have made me complete
but I, I took the sweet life
I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring
the subtle whoring
that costs too much to be free
hey lady I've been to paradise
but I've never been to me...

As we waltzed, Snow White put Ariel's Grotto into full lock-down and had bitchily
alerted the security guards, disturbingly attired like Prince Charming, to take me out.
Time was not on my side...

(To be Continued)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland, sans child. Decked-out in my Sovorsky Crystal encrusted Mickey Mouse ears (Yes, I underpaid my nanny to painstakingly apply every precious crystal by hand.) I giddily wandered through Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland as if in a dream. As my son had not been invited to attend, there were none of the usual banal cries like 'I'm hungry,' or 'I'm tired,' nor my personal favorite, 'Daddy please stop doing the choreography to GET'CHA HEAD IN THE GAME from High School Musical, you're so not Zac Effron - you're just pathetic.' I was able to wander the park gaily. (God, I've so wanted to use that word!)

I flounced from Pirates of the Caribbean to The Haunted Mansion to Space Mountain preening in my sparkly ears, happily unfettered by the whiny demands of my son who last year had the audacity to announce that he did not care for Disneyland as the rides were 'scary' and 'loud.' Can you imagine such a grotesque pronouncement? Naturally, I berated him for being some kind of pinko-commie, un-American, unholy, agitator-terrorist and reminded him that Disneyland was a God-given privilege not an earthly right. Like Lucifer my son Ethan was now officially cast out of the kingdom of heaven and would remain so until he was imbued with the light and goodness of our God, Walt Disney, whose frozen, Nazi-sympathizing head is rumored to be held fittingly in suspended animation beneath Space Mountain.

Like the Shroud of Turin or the Veil of Veronica, Walt's frozen head is a holy relic, whose viewing is strictly reserved for the most exalted of Disney pilgrims. Despite my Jewish roots and propensity for flamboyance (wink, wink) I'm praying that with the purchase of enough overpriced season passes in addition to buying all those Chinese manufactured Disney 'collectables' I too will be permitted to view Walt's head and like Salome kiss his dead, frozen lips. Please God Walt, let me be worthy!

I was particularly humbled on this particular day I was granted entrance to Ariel's Grotto, which like the Roman House of Vestal Virgins, is home to the purest, wisest, and most enlightened women in the Kingdom of Heaven, The Disney Princesses. Like the Vestals, the Disney Princesses are pure of heart, chaste, and beyond reproach. The answers to life's most damning questions can be found here. Sibyl-like, the Disney Princesses are omnipotent, their powers absolute.

I do not speak and keep my head respectfully bowed as I descend the sweeping staircase that leads to Ariel's Grotto. I take my place at a greasy table and nervously glance at the menu. I take a moment to foolishly debate with my fellow pilgrims whether to order the ghastly short ribs or anemic salmon when I suddenly feel a soft, gloved hand on my shoulder. I glance at my fellow pilgrims in alarm as their mouths have gone slack, their eyes wide, for as I slowly turn and follow their gaze, I peer into the flawless, shining face of Belle from Beauty and the Best.

"Well hello!" Belle says dreamily as she takes my hand in hers, "What brings such handsome men to the kingdom this fine day?"

Shocked, I stammer, "Oh Belle, I have so many questions, so many 'issues,' where do I begin?"

Belle gazes at me beatifically, thinks carefully and with unquestionable sincerity responds, "Perhaps, like any good story, you could start with ONCE UPON A TIME..."

(To Be Continued)