It began in the fall of 1980 when I started working at WUOG. This was before Student Activities threw us off the air in April of 1981 for numerous offenses (FCC violations including airing of obscenities during half tracking of new Dead Kennedy's album, climbing out the window of Memorial Hall to smoke on the roof, Randy Tatel saying "asshole" during Evening Exchange, being on the roof of Memorial Hall some more, insubordination to douchebag program director, more FCC violations, adventures on the roof (God, I loved that roof!). Jay Sisson trained me for my first air shift and schooled me about the "I Wanna Be Sedated" guy. "He will call you constantly and ask you to play "I Wanna Be Sedated." He will drive you crazy." And Jay was right:
Me (answering phone: UOG.
Sedated: Will you play "I Wanna Be Sedated"?
Me: Sure. (And then I wouldn't play it.)
26 minutes later:
Me (answering request line): UOG.
Ramones freak: Hey, can I hear "I Wanna Be Sedated"by the Ramones"?
Me: Yeah. OK. (Didn't play it.)
33 minutes later
Me (picking up request line): UOG.
Guy that needs to be Sedated: Is "I Wanna Be Sedated" coming up?
Me: I can't find the album (Hell, no I didn't play it.)
14 minutes later:
Me (answering goddamn request line again): UOG.
Punk ass Ramones fanboy: Did you find that Ramones album yet? Will you play "I Wanna Be Sedated"?
Me: Yes, I've got it coming up. (A lie.)
Lather, rinse, repeat...
But that was then, and this is now, so, here's a special treat for the "I Wanna Be Sedated" guy and his persistence. It might have taken me 33 1/2 years to get around to it, but this one's for you:
One of the best presents I have ever received was a painting my dear friend Johnny Turner did for me. It was a portrait of Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley, and Ronnie Spector standing in a men's room. Johnny called it "Ronettes and Urinal," and I hung it in my living room. Eventually, I lost the painting in a flood, which saddens me to this day. If I still had it, I would display it in my office so the Ronettes could enjoy the excellent company of my Iggy Pop action figure and Howard Finster cocaine dinosaur.
The best place to sit in the Uptown Lounge was on top of
the cigarette machine in the back of the club on the way to the
bathrooms. I have dragged my friend Deborah Reece's husband with me to
see the BBQ Killers, and he seems to enjoy them. Between songs he tells
me he especially likes the singer, "that little boy in the dress."
Yesterday one of my friends told me that she recently received a letter from her father in which he revealed to her that, from now on, he intends to live his life as a woman. Do some people have all the luck or what?
So I checked out her dad's pictures of his new self on Facebook, and, just as my friend warned me, he does pretty much look like an old man in a cocktail dress and heels. I was especially disappointed to see Dad wearing an ankle strap sandal, as those things do nothing but cut a girl off at the leg. I do have to compliment him on his tucking, however. Well done, Pops!!!
While I try not to begrudge others their good fortune (as Paul Rea says, sometimes other people's shows just have better plot), it is hard not to think about all the wonderful ways in which my own life might be improved if my father suddenly decided to take estrogen supplements and curl his eyelashes.
For example, my father's name is Don, so, naturally, he could begin calling himself "Donna." That, in and of itself, would be badass:
And my dad and I could enjoy talking to each other about our periods and bitching about our menstrual cramps:
We could get our nails done together:
And we could shop for mother/daughter outfits:
In honor of all queens who once upon a time were kings and all mothers who used to be fathers, here's another poem I wrote some years ago:
In enormous, silver Payless heels
and pistachio-colored satin,
William works an imaginary runway.
He feels delicious, like dessert,
breasts rising, vanilla cupcakes,
barely covered by the frosting
of his Layne Bryant gown.
William shakes his spun sugar curls.
Girl, he is fierce…perfection, confection!
And rising in a flambé of desire
is his sweetest wish of all:
that the place between his legs,
duct taped and concealed by his extra-large Bodyshaper,
might someday be empty, soft and smooth as meringue.