Louis and I are back by the soda machine shooting the shit.
“Check this out,” Louis says, “Did you hear of that new gay TV network that’s starting up?
“I heard something about it,” I reply
“Well they called me.”
“My twentieth high school reunion is next month. No one in my little New Mexico hometown knows I’m gay. The network wants to fly me and Bill out and film everyone’s reaction at the reunion.”
“To your being gay?”
“Yep. Coming out reality TV.”
I have an uneasy feeling in my gut.
“What’s Bill’s take on this?” I ask.
“He’s not thrilled about the idea.”
“How do you feel about it?”
“I don’t know. It’s an all expenses paid trip plus a speakers fee,” Louis says.
Louis is one of the nicest and funniest waiters I’ve ever worked with. But I know being funny sometimes flows from a wellspring of pain. Louis keeps that part of himself very private. I wonder if him being on TV is the best idea.
“Well, if you want my opinion,” I offer, “I’d take a pass.”
“No matter how tastefully it’s done – TV is TV. Gay network or not, they won’t have your best interests at heart. It’s still about money.”
Louis is quiet for a moment.
While he’s thinking an old Dylan lyric pops into my head,
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in.
That’s reality TV in a nutshell.
“Don’t whore yourself out for a TV show,” I say gently, “Don’t gargle in the rat race choir.”
“You might be right,” Louis murmurs wistfully.
“So,” I say changing the subject,” what other programming is on this gay network?”
“Lots of Golden Girls reruns.” Louis says.
“Golden Girls?” I bluster, “Can you please tell me why gay men love that show so much?”
“I have no idea,” Louis says shaking his head.
“I mean why do gay guys the world over watch that show? I think some big gay alien is beaming messages directly into your brains.”
“YOU WILL WEAR ARGYLE SOCKS AND LOVE SHOWTUNES! I, BEA ARHTUR, COMMAND YOU!” I mock bellow.
“Oh that’s fucked up,” Louis chuckles.
“Why the Golden Girls? Why THAT show?” I wonder aloud.
A sly smile spreads across my face,
“Why not, let’s say oh….. BJ and the Bear?”
Louis stares at me in astonishment.
“Oh man, that has multiple meanings doesn’t it?” I say cracking up.
Wiping the tears from his eyes Louis says, “Brilliant, fucking brilliant.”
“Well they should have the truck driver and the chimp on the gay network,” I hurumph.
Out laughter subsides. We’re quiet.
“I like bears.” Louis says suddenly smiling.
“I’ll bet you do.”
Thank you for doing this blog. I’ve been reading you since I found blogspot.com. Many of your stories strike a chord, and I find myself thinking about them even days after I read them.
I work at a diner in Alaska, which is about as far from your environment and experience as can possibly be, but there are many similarities that I can see from what you’ve written. For instance, hostesses and foreign customers are the same up here as they are in NY, it appears.
Thanks again for writing. You help me feel better, knowing that we’re all in this together.
cool as dude just getting out of the industry myself (a four year extraction) teaching calls. anyway the waiting/hospitality experience differs little in australia…. something to think on, or is it that the people that work in the industry differ little….
My ex came out of the closet five years ago…almost to the day…April 28, 2000. What a reality show that would have been. I don’t get how other people’s pain has become such a national pasttime.
Love your blog. Did some waitering myself when I was a young girl…long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
I used to waitress in a trailerpark bar.
You are seriously one funny dude.
If I knew where you worked, I’d apply for a job. And, I have a great job.
Funny you mention BJ and The Bear. That’s were the band Minus The Bear got their name from..
Спасибо наконец то нашла то что хотела прочитать тут. Кстати у меня есть рисунки на эту тему. Куда можно скинуть? Ещё раз спасибо ! 🙂
Спасибо, люблю читать ваши посты очень интересно