Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gay Scavenger Pride

From my little third-story window, I’m looking out on the Montrose and I’m declaring dibs on that corner over there for next weekend.

That one there. There, across the street. Don’t even think about trying to beat me to it next Sunday. I called it!

I’ve been doing these Day-After-Pride Scavenger Hunts for years, and dag nab it, that corner over there is mine next week for a reason.

Next Saturday night, you see, it’s the Gay Pride Parade in the Montrose area of Houston, and for us, that’s sort of like Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving, all rolled into one.

You know how they say that everyone is Irish for one day a year, come Saint Patrick’s Day? Gay Pride Weekend is sort of like that, only instead of Irishmen, it’s sodomites. Instead of green beer, it’s sodomy. And instead of bagpipes, it’s… Okay, it’s pretty much all sodomy, all the way down.

I mean, there’s a reason that Pride Parade happens the week after Father’s Day every year. After spending the previous week with you and Sis and Mom up in the suburbs, unwrapping ugly ties and packs of golf balls, Dad starts to remember why it is he spends the other 51 weekends a year sneaking off to the bars and clubs right around the corner from my house. 

Besides, the parade gives him the perfect opportunity to stand out at Westheimer and Waugh for a few hours, proudly wearing that tie you gave him last week – wearing the tie and nothing else.

The thing is, during the parade, it’ll hardly get him noticed. He’ll still be deemed the most conservative dude in the crowd.

But I’m not excited about Gay Pride Weekend because I want to see the parade. Hell no. The truth is, in fact, I’ve never seen the parade, even after years and years of living in the Montrose.

I’ve been in the parade twice, back when I was involved with a local political group. But you don’t really see the parade when you are in the parade, especially since my organization got put behind something called “The Bears” both of those years.

“The Bears” float consisted of two fat hairy guys. Sitting in lawn chairs. In the back of a pickup truck. Kissing.

For three hours.

It’s all I saw for three hours.

I shit you not.

So pardon me if I fail to get suitably excited about the parade itself. No, the reason I get so excited this time of year isn’t the parade itself, but what comes after the parade. The next morning.

You see, the parade breaks up at Westheimer and Taft each year just after midnight, and then the hundreds of thousands of gay-for-a-day folks go back to their cars and go on about their business.

I live in the crowd spillover zone. That zone where the residents are trapped in their homes on the day of the parade because our driveways are all blocked by queer-watchers.

Gay Christian billboards
are the best billboards.
Six hours after the parade’s over, that’s when I emerge from my home and hit the streets. I come crawling out with latex gloves and with plenty of trash bags and with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Because at the very crack of dawn that next morning, that’s when the Day-After-Pride Scavenger Hunt happens.

An amateur Day-After-Pride scavenger will see something like, say, discarded Mardi Gras beads, or a broken mirror ball, and think, “Cool!” He might even bring the beads home to his kids.

But that’s small potatoes. You don’t look forward to a scavenger hunt all year long because you might find an unopened beer or a rainbow hat along the road the next morning.

No, the real treasures to be had during Day-After-Pride Scavenger Hunts are those items for which there is absolutely no possible explanation for why they would ever been brought to or from the parade to begin with.

Seven pairs of identical designer blue jeans with the tags still on them? Check. I can only imagine the tale of why someone dropped them on their way to or from their car before or after the parade.

But they’re my size, damn it, and they’re going in my bag.

A perfectly operational microwave – the kind that actually cooks at different levels, unlike the Con-Air at home I’ve been using for two decades? Ka-ching!

Sixteen dollars in nickels and a beautiful lost dachshund puppy, half spray-painted purple? Yeah, buddy!

The final season of “LOST” on DVD, a remote control helicopter, three staplers, and a pair of sunglasses exactly like the pair I’ve been wanting? Check, check, check, check.

I would love to take the kids with me on these scavenger hunts, and maybe someday I will. For now, Dana says they’re too young to deal with all those used condoms and the fights over discarded muddy lamps, and the truth is, they’d probably only slow me down. Their tiny hands can’t even lift the really good stuff.

You can get in the way of my Christmas shopping. You can bombard me with personal crises while I’m trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner. You can even make me work late on Valentine’s Day.

But you sure as hell better not do anything to throw me off-task for my annual Day-After-Pride Scavenger Hunt.

In fact, you should probably just stay clear of this corner starting right now.

I claimed it already. When that complete set of Tupperware containers ends up sitting there next week, just waiting to be swept up and brought into a deserving home by a loving family, you might as well pretend my name is already on it.

Come to think of it, I probably should not have told you about it at all.

There are at least half a dozen Houstonians who read this blog, and I really don’t need the increased competition.

So if you’re up and around next Sunday morning and decide to join in the fray, I will tell you this: Stay away from my corner and out of my way. Seriously. I will cut you.
These mounted HPD officers
are proud of where you put your genitals.


  1. the closest I came to being or watching a gay pride parade was in the westfest I wore a obama mama tshirt..I have some friends in houston that need to read you.

  2. This is really gay.

    So, what do the lesbians leave..behind?

  3. Hi again, YELLOWDOG GRANNY! I haven’t been to Westfest for years. Because of where I live, most of these festivals and parades just mean I have to find alternative ways out of my neighborhood on those days. It always amazes me how many tens or hundreds of thousands of people show up for those things!

    Hi, Spirits. It’s tough to tell what items are left by straight folks and which ones are left by gay males or lesbians. That could be the new challenge, I guess. I assume we leave the flannel shirts and mullet care instruction manuals.

  4. My brother-in-law, his boyfriend, and all of their friends are bears. And while I completely support them being together and doing what they choose, seeing two big fat hairy guys make out is enough to turn my penis inside out. It's so awful to watch, it just literally sucks up into my stomach trying to hide.

  5. Haha. And the trannies a wig and nylons, attire for the tunnel.

    Can't you escape thru the tunnel? It's the gypsies, huh? Too many gypsies.

  6. A Beer for the Shower: Yup. I support finding love wherever you can find it, as well as cool cults, clubs, and collectives. Some things are, however, more difficult to watch than others. So much hair…

    JerseyDave: Oh, was it you who left the microwave? (Yessir, it was talking to you that sent me down this road…)

    Spirit: The native hustlers and transgenders and freaks down here aren’t the problem, traffic-wise. They’re the indigenous fauna. It’s the suburban dads who come down on the weekends and have to struggle to walk in those high heels across Fairview that make my life difficult…

  7. Remote control helicopter. MINE! I realize I could just buy one, but I'd rather get one that's had some life experience.

  8. dang- you found appliances? AND tupperware?!?
    the queers and pseudo-queers don't leave cool crap like that in new england!
    just rubbers with ickiness
    and solo cups
    also with ickiness in them.

  9. If you run across a dual sport motorcycle in decent condition, let me know. We can work out a cash deal. My only request is you remove the used condoms and flannel shirts first.

  10. Rafa: The remote control helicopters they sell in the store lack herpes. So this one has, you know, character. Life experience.

    Hi, Violet. Yet another reason for me to stay down here in Texas. That makes TWO!

    Brent: I might have to claim the bike for myself, but there has been a Jeep in front of my house for about two weeks now. One more week’s worth of club flyers under the windshield wipers, and I think I can claim it by adverse possession…

  11. A jeep is even better! If it is parked in frot of your house, I think you can claim imminent domain. The last supreme court ruling de-regulated that type of proceeding.

  12. Hey, Brent. I hadn’t even thought about eminent domain. Giving me the Jeep would definitely be for the public good. And it's still sitting there! … (Oh, and I haven’t been able to comment on your blog. Blogger is screwing up and not letting me post comments on blogs unless it’s either one of the kids that set up comments on a pop-up page like mine or else just by name/URL. They say they are working on the problem…)

  13. My favorite story of Houston Gay Pride Parade was going with my college roommates and my girlfriend at the time. While we are all big allies or supporters or whatever the term is called (except the one roommate who was gay, who is gay), the parade is also somewhat hilarious. For example, as you said: Bears.

    Hairy dudes making out for 3 hours is funny stuff.

    Our favorite group was AssistHers, which, come on, how can you not make a few jokes about that name. Ass Is T Hers? Ass Is The RS? Etc...
    Upon the third iteration of anagrams based from the name, a woman turned around to confront us. She must have been Queen of the Butch, or some such. Really, if you looked up Butch in the Gay Dictionary, you would have seen this woman. Buzz cut, stocky, plaid flannel shirt in the Houston June heat. Admittedly, we were all slightly terrified and rather certain she could destroy we few awkward guys and girl.

    Woman: Did you just come here to make fun of everyone?!?!

    The rest of us in shock, my rather drunk girlfriend jumped into the fray

    Girlfriend, pointing at my gay roommate: HE IS GAY!!!

    Woman, talking to roommate: Well you just hate yourself and everyone around you.

    Me: No, we're just having fun with some appropriate jokes. You know, like, what's the deal with gay airline food?

    Ever since then, "You just hate yourself and everyone around you" has been a versatile go-to line for so many situations. And it was all thanks to the Houston Gay Pride Parade

  14. When I first read this, it seemed to be the funniest and most light-hearted thing you have ever written here. Something made you pretty happy that day and it showed.

    Maybe you saw an old friend the night before, maybe you were finally getting over the latest disappointments in relationships. Whatever it was, it was worthy for some celebration, no matter how trivial the topic and how frivolous the conjectures. Real essence of life is rarely defined by those grandiose moments, but instead composed of countless such moments, trivial in nature but full of meanings when shared with old friends and loved ones.

  15. Gah. Makes a change from discarded flip-flops and potato chip bags.

    What is this new theme you're using? I like it very much. Can you let me know? I'd want to try it out.

  16. Hi, Evan! Nice. Some of the stuff that goes on at the parade is so over-the-top that it is impossible NOT to have a sense of humor about it. And since the only sign of opposition is usually the six guys with picket signs who stand at Waugh and Westheimer, it’s not as though gay life is a persecuted lifestyle on that night of the year. Lesbians can be very grouchy, though…

    5464: I try to balance out what I write. People don’t want to be lectured to, usually, and they don’t want the heavy stuff laid on them all the time. I am beginning to like this blog page as well as any other one I’ve done, though.

    Bill the Butcher: It’s just “Awesome, Inc.” with the lined background changed to solid black, the sidebar background changed to white. The title part up top is Word Art (!) which I cut and pasted from Microsoft Word into a jpg file. I call it “What I Did with My Friday Afternoon Last Week.”

  17. I'd, uh, need a little more detail than that. I'm not very tech savvy:(

  18. Bill: Hmm. We might have to do this via email (I’m at Let me try and lead you through…
    From your dashboard, click Design, then  Template Designer, which will take you to a weird screen. Your blog page as it appears will be on the bottom 2/3rd.
    Click template on left  Awesome Inc. (you might have to scroll through the different choices).
    Background on left  Remove image.
    Adjust widths  Entire blog = 1000 px
    Layout on left, then body layout  2nd choice.
    Footer layout  2nd choice.
    Advanced on left. New menu will pop up to the right of the first one.
    Post Title on left = Arial #ffffff
    Skip down or change as needed.
    Then Gadget background on left = #ffffff
    Border color = #222222
    Bevel color = #000000
    Then Post Background on left
    Background color = #141414
    Border color = #222222
    Bevel color = #222222
    Sidebar background
    Background color = transparent

    The other stuff, like the weird lettering, is just me hitting “Insert” on Microsoft Word, going to Word Art, and then changing the texture to a picture on my C-Drive.


  19. Eons ago I started off as a columnist for my school's newspaper. Writing a column is very similar to writing a blog, you have to earn the readers’ interest and respect with every essay. It is therefore natural and critical to have a common theme for the series, an identity, an objective, an obsession.

    However, they also share a common challenge, how do you inject variety without confusing the majority of readers who have not and would not have read all of your works in the chronological order.

    So sometimes we have no choice but to periodically bring up the lecture and the heavy stuff, especially when we haven’t talked to each other for a while. Everything needs a good foundation, and this foundation must be periodically checked and tended to, so that we could build or rebuild everything else on top of it, you know, all the fun and crazy stuff that let us share and enjoy life, despite of how demanding and tragic it really is.

  20. oy vey. I think foundations must be consensual otherwise they shift, and aren't always usefull for those who fancy themselves vagabonds. Regardless of whether they are actually vagabonds or not.

  21. Alrighty then! BTW, what's the deal with lesbians and knives?

  22. Whoops. Forgot to click to receive comments.

  23. 5464: I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs lately – especially blogspot stuff – and it amazes me that people are so able to stick to one topic or theme. There are a lot of people who are able to come back and write about, you know, movie reviews or something, week after week. I might be able to do that about music, I guess, but man… why does it seem like it wiould feel like a job really fast?

    JerseyDave: Not all who are vagabonds roam. Not all who roam are vagabonds. Blah, blah, blah… something profound… Thank you, folks, and good night…

    Cal-el: Hmmm… I dunno. Is this lesbian/knife connection most evident when you are harassing one?

  24. @KatyDid No, that's why I ask. I offered to give two lesbians from drama whom I used to hang out with after band a ride because they were walking down Ella to go to the pizza place way down the street. They got in, then one of them put a knife to my throat. The only thing that kept me from smashing her face in for it was the fact that she was a woman and I don't hit women. I guess I should have learned "no good deed goes unpunished" way back then. To this day I haven't figured that one out. Maybe she was strung out on drugs that night or something?

  25. @KatyDid I KNEW it! I thought I saw a squirrel outside giving me the eye! Of course, he WAS kind of cute!

  26. Cal-el: Too much testosterone. Definitely. The lesbians, that is. Not you. … About the squirrel, well… We’ll vote on it next week. Voting is apparently the way to decide these issues about marriage, especially if we’re sure the voting is going to come out the right way.

  27. Those are the boring blogs after a while, LOL, the ones that talk about a hobby, a pet, an ideology, or political leaning for 15 hours a day and all year long. It is pretty much a job, self imposed, and mostly uncompensated. For them, it must be better than their real life. But for you, your real life must be more interesting and rewarding, for you to not have much sympathy for such blogs.

    But the more unfortunate thing is, that some blogs are used as an escape for their authors. They are meant to be written, but not really to be read nor understood. Why? One, they never, yes never, talk about the real and core issues in their own lives. And two, although they may cover a variety of topics making them seemingly more interesting, but we would quickly realize that they hardly ever talked about anything in-depth, anything meaningful and emotional, anything human, with the fears and tears that make us human. There are no identity, no objective, and not even an awkward obsession in these seemingly well written and well balanced blogs of NOTHING.

    Now your blog here screams gay rights and such related things. And you seem to be nutty enough to be assumed to be a real person. I hope, for the sake of all well known lesbians online, though many of them have been found to be middle-aged men in their basements. Do you have a basement at where you live?

  28. Hey, 5464. Clearly, if I wrote about one type of music or something every day on this blog, my “audience” would be very well defined. As it stands, I’m not using this as a poor man’s psychotherapy technique nor a one-topic place. I’m not sure what it is. I am here to entertain you, I guess…

  29. Yes there should realize the reader to RSS my feed to RSS commentary, quite simply

  30. Katy, that little girl is so stunningly beautiful, i`d love to perform every sex-act in the known universe on the sweet little darlin` ! ! !, but i wouldn`t be allowed to of course, because we`re living in "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION".

    1. I am publishing this horrific comment only so that there will never be any question as to why you and all of your alter egos are banned permanently from my site.

      You're a sick mother fucker, and I have tolerated your bullshit for too long.


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