The Hurricane Drinking Game!

Well, they tell you to prepare for Mother Nature by getting the essentials – candles, canned goods, and water. And of course, duct tape. You have to have duct tape. But, seeing as how everyone that lives in the Gulf Coast of Texas has dealt with this before, as opposed to those of us who think people who live in the paths of hurricanes are fucking bonkers, well, they have bought up everything. Absolutely everything.

So at the local Target today, I spent a bit of time getting some essentials, like soda, fruit, salad, and beer. Because when you can’t find water, beer is the next best thing, right? Right. Absolutely right. Especially because, as you might have guessed, if I don’t have booze during times of crisis, it’s not going to be Mother Nature that you have to worry about. It’s going to be me! So I’m going to be lit, like the candles, and frankly, we’re going to watch the storm come in and go. And all will be well.

I have decreed it. So shall it be. I will, of course, keep everyone updated as much as possible, so do check back often! And yes, I realize that I’m fucking bonkers, too.

A Child is Born

My friend Laurie has finally given birth to her and Andrew’s second child, Neal Thomas. He was over 9 pounds at birth, and apparently is a descendant of Murphy – the guy with the law. Why would I say that? Well.

Laurie had decided that she was done with work and that Friday would be her last day. And who can blame her, she was at term and was dealing with and additional 40% body mass to support her body and the baby. And so Friday was her last day. I talked to her in the morning, just to say hi, and got that from her. Then I spoke with Stacey and spoke the Words of Murphy – “She’ll get home and sit down and go into labor and have her baby so that she won’t really get a day off.”

And lo, the baby arrived.

Congrats Laurie!!!

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Power to the People

Sometimes we forget that the smallest states have a rather large power-base that is not compromised by the largest populations that are scattered around the country. Currently, I live in a frickin’ city that is nearly 8 times the population of the State of Maine, where I used to live. My current NEIGHBORHOOD in the SUBURBS has over TWICE THE PEOPLE of Caribou! Sometimes it just amazes me, but other times I still think “WTF? Why do they live in Maine?”

But then, something wonderful happens, and you realize that Maine is pretty damn cool for several reasons. Not the least of which are the wonderful people that have all worked at ATX, throughout it’s nearly 15 years in business.

Today, however, Susan Collins, one of the two Senators from Maine, has begun the process of investigating why, after spending billions of dollars to create the Department of Homeland Security were we unable to actually mobilize in time to positively affect the level of destruction we predicted would be caused by Katrina.

In case you don’t have a clue as to how the Senate determines power, it’s on two levels. The first is that every state in the U.S. has two senators, no more, no less, and that means that a state with a population of less than a million people has the same power as a state with 50 Million people – at least, that’s the first part of the power.

The second, and more intriguing part of the power of Senators is their longevity in office. The longer in office, the higher their power – until they screw up and praise someone for being a racist prick, of course. So that means that by being consistent in choosing even just OK people to represent their state in the Senate, small states can end up with Amazing Power. Maine’s Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have not been in the Senate for very long, having been first elected to the Senate in 1994 and 1996 respectively, however that means they’ve both been re-elected and have the confidence of the state. They are both admirable women who work very hard to get what they want, which you have to admire even if you disagree with their stance. And the longer they are in the Senate, the more powerful and therefore influential they will become – and that is generally a good thing for Maine.

How to upset my afternoon! (UGH!)

What the hell is going on with Houston? It is normally such a nice town that it’s odd to find that I’ve now had two customer service issues in two days! Damn. This one involved a manager at a cafe going off about an employee that is consistently late. Fine, I don’t care, he wasn’t that loud about it and didn’t mention the employees name, and frankly, I didn’t know this guy was a manager until later on in the incident, I thought he was just bitching – which is unprofessional, but in a gay cafe, par for the course.

However, when that employee did finally show up (and yes, I know tardiness to work kills the day for everyone, it drives me nuts, too, so don’t think I’m all lovey-dovey with late workers) the manager lit into him like he’d just stolen Christmas – RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CUSTOMERS. INCLUDING ME.

Now, again, I’m not normally one to care what happens in your business, but when you fight with an employee right in front of me, while I’m trying to get some work done and am a paying customer who uses the cafe regularly yet pays for it even more often than I use it, you can bet I’m going to speak up and tell you to take it somewhere else and be a professional. To then look at me and ask “is there something else you need to buy?” in a snotty tone will lead me to speak to the owners (which I will) and to everyone else on the planet about your unprofessionalism and disrespect.

You are not a star in Hollywood, fucktard, so grow up! (There is hidden meaning in that, btw.)

*UPDATE*
So I went out tonight, which was fun, meeting up with friends who wanted to see me and who, for some unknown reason don’t see me on the other 6 nights a week I’m out… and of course I discussed the Customer Service Nightmares I’ve been having. They all agreed with me. However, my best realization of the night came from when I pointed out that while I don’t like the fact that an employee is constantly late – because it used to ruin my day when it happened to be me that was directly affected by it – I can’t imagine anyone else being professional at all, which includes being on time, if the head honcho is so unprofessional as I outlined before. Really, that’s just logical, and wholly realistic.

How to Upset My Evening

Ok, so I went out to the clubs tonight, as I am wont to do, because, well, hey, it’s part of the job to be seen and to see people. In point of fact, tho, I just enjoy going out. After three years of living in Caribou, during which I was forced to drive into Canada to get to the nearest gay bar – nearest being only an hour away if the roads were clear, although one memorable drive involved well over four hours – and if I wanted to go to a club I had the option of Boston or Montreal, both of which were six to seven hours away, depending on traffic and speed traps.

Houston, however, has a thriving and pretty damn cool club/bar scene, and I have a good time 19 out of 20 times out. And usually the one in 20 that isn’t good still isn’t bad, it’s just not good. Tonight, however, was ruined, and I’m not happy about it. So let me tell you the story:

I got into the club, asked a friend if he wanted a beer, went to one of the bars where my usual bartender is normally stationed, only to find that he wasn’t there, and the guy there was a bit, well, slow. Like forever fucking slow. He looked at me several times while trying to figure something out, which was either the price of the shots he’d just made (three bull blasters, I believe… Jaegermeister and Red Bull, gah!) or was contemplating the location of Saddam’s missing WMD’s. Either way it was taking too damn long, and he was NOT being helpful. But I was being patient, I was the next in line and no one else was waiting on service. So after seven minutes, yes, I checked, he finally deigns to look my way and says “Let me help the lady” who had literally just walked up and beside me. FUCK THAT.

I’ve never, EVER been so insulted in my life. And let me be clear, had he said “do you mind if I help the lady first?” I would have graciously said yes. I’m not that big a prick. But to be dismissed after being ignored is beyond rude. I went to another bartender, someone who would 1) give me decent service and 2) appreciate the tip – as I do tip pretty damn well.

There is no excuse for rude service, ever. None. I’ve been a server, I’ve been a bartender, I’ve been a front desk clerk and I’ve been a computer help desk technician. There is never any cause to open up with a rude comment, and to dismiss a customer is a good way to have someone commenting about you for a good long time. To your boss. To your friends. To the internet.

You have been warned.

Help!!

Unless you’ve managed to hide under a rock for the last week, you know that New Orleans has been sunk under several feet of water. You know that the entire metropolis is basically gone, that the roof of the Superdome was peeled back like an apple in the hands of a 5 year old, and that more looting/finding (the difference being black vs. white according to the AP, and yes, it’s a cached page at Google, Yahoo! locked down the original, go figure.) So my petty whining is going to take a back seat to some great needs that are out there.

I would recommend that you donate to someone like

And if you want to know more of what the rest of the bloggers around the world are doing to help, by all means, find out! (Thanks to Technorati for the tags, too!)

Next week I shall return with more of my usual bitching and whining. I will also talk about the wisdom of moving 10,000 people from the Superdome to the Astrodome while hurricane season is still in full swing. Houston can easily get a hurricane, too, and while it’s not quite as dramatic as New Orleans, Houston also has parts of the city under sea level. And I moved here voluntarily. Ouch.

Katrina and the International News

Hey, I’m trying to be interesting but between putting out a magazine and trying to edit a couple of wedding videos and some other side work, it’s hard to come up with stuff that people will want to read. Ah well, I am trying, and I promise to once again get on the ball.

One a side note: where did the phrase “on the ball” come from? I’m going to go with the absurd and say that it has to do with seals, Michael Jordan and a night he’d rather not remember. Either that or it’s yet another carpenter’s saying involving a level. Regardless, I want to know.

But back to the main point of this story: I was chatting with my mom today, as that is our normal form of communication, and she decided to rant. Basically, with all the damage that Katrina has caused, she wanted to know where the support and sympathy of other nations was. In fact, she was livid, to the point of dropping a texted f-bomb more than once, and I believe her final statement was “well, to put it bluntly… fuck ’em!” and, honestly, if they hadn’t given sympathy, which, after all, only requires a press release, not even a televised or radio speech, then yes, mom, I agree.

I, of course, being me, thought about it for half a second then asked if she’d heard any news from anywhere other than the affected states and her local news. She hadn’t, nor had I. Not because the rest of the world stopped turning as we dealt with the weather, but because our news organizations don’t really care about what happens in the rest of the world unless Americans are somehow involved. That’s how we operate, and it’s not ever going to change, it seems. And to prove the point, I did a Google to find out if one of our usual allies, and by that I mean since 1946 or so, had offered sympathy or support of any kind. And, of course, they had. And so mom was placated, and we found out that, once again, the news leaves out important things in order to make their story “sell”.

And if their story is their soul, how much did it go for, I wonder?

Long week

I’ve been trying to keep up the posting, trying to make the blog more interesting and less of a waste of digital space and everyone’s time. I’m apparently unable to do this because it’s become social acceptable for morons to make comments that are beyond mean and stupid, and actually require me, the kind, loving, demure person that I am, to LITERALLY COUNT TO TEN. SEVERAL. TIMES!

I don’t know what these people are smoking, but get with the program. I once cleared an entire two-story office building because I was upset at my bank. Granted, they emailed me with all my personal information… all of it, including my mother’s maiden name, my birthday and my driver’s license number, as well as the usual list of personal data. So yeah, I put my impressive lungs and overactive mind to ruining the career of some poor schmuck who probably wasn’t directly involved after all, but who had made the mistake of telling me she was in charge. Poor her. And hell, Laurie, who knows and loves me, was part of the mass exodus because, to use her words, I was “freaky angry, and not just a little scary” which, I think, is a good warning to everyone else.

If I scare my best friends when I’m angry, why do fools continually try to make me mad? Is there some contest going on that I don’t know about? Regardless, patience is not my strong point, but I’ve been holding my temper. It shall not last, however, so someone is going to very soon discover just how mean I can be. I’m going to filet someone verbally, and everyone in the Greater Houston Area shall know.

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Maine on my Mind

My lovely friend Laurie (not to be confused with my lovely mom, Lori) sent me more pictures of her. Pictures of her and her belly. She currently swells with the future brother to the fun-loving Owen – yes, another baby boy for her family, and frankly, I don’t think that her husband is too sad about that development. (As an aside, it’s taken me nearly two hours to conjure up her hubby’s name, but it’s Andrew. God, I’m a loser sometimes.) While Laurie may be bulging in all forward directions, it’s reassuring to know that she’s still the grooviest chick I know.

Here’s a picture Laurie and Owen, on the deck of her camp, overlooking the lake.

Laurie & Owne on the camp deck

And yes, I Photoshopped the hell out of this image, but it started out great anyway. Of course, any picture of a pregnant mom smiling tends to be amazing. Click to get the full-sized version if you want.

This picture is what my memories of Maine look like. It’s a sweet place to live, truly abandoned by modern life in so many ways, but fully connected in enough ways that it’s a special little version of paradise. I don’t know that I could live there anymore, certainly not as a single gay man, not and be happy. But man, the place was endearing in so many ways, that if I’d ever found the guy of my dreams while there, I think I could have stayed.

And you have no idea how shocked and amazed I am to think that.

Maine . Who knew?

This one is for my mother…

But it’s a legit question – If you are so concerned that the Supreme Court of the United States of America should be using the ideas, ideology and morals of a foreign nation, as you said you were, why would you feel comfortable with anything that comes from Justice Scalia?

For those of you just joining us, I’ve been reading the news again, and yet again, one of my favorites, Christopher Hitchens, writes about the background maneuvering that goes on in Washington, which in this case involves Judge Roberts, the nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor.

You see, Roberts, like Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy are all Catholic, and in case you somehow missed this in World Culture or whatever your Social Sciences course was called in High School, the Catholic Church is also a country – with diplomats and it’s own laws. And sometimes that country does things that our country, the good ol’ U.S. of A., doesn’t approve of – like Cardinal Law. Bernard, not some new rule for those in red.

But the bigger point that I’d like to make is for my mom, who got all fired up that Kennedy used the findings of foreign nations to determine what direction the U.S. should go – not because she disagreed with the direction, which was to not administer capital punishment to juveniles, but the idea of taking a foreign idea and applying it to America is abhorrent to her. Think nature and a vacuum, and you’ve got my mom looking at Justice Kennedy.

And while that may be how she really feels – and I don’t doubt her, I just think it’s foolish – I know she didn’t think it all the way through. You see, the Catholic Church has threatened to excommunicate people who don’t legislate with Catholic ideals. I believe that is close to calling Anathema on a person, but I’m not positive on that.

Should Roberts get the post as Justice on the SCOTUS and a case involving abortion comes before him he’ll have an interesting choice – do what the Pope says and impose THE WILL OF A FOREIGN NATION on the U.S., or read the law as it’s stands. And regardless of his actions, it’s a no-win situation for him, because the moment he says anything, the press will fry him. And Scalia and Thomas will probably fry as well, especially Scalia since he got all huffy and wrote his dissenting opinion on taking the ideas of a foreign land to home were, Kennedy alone can stand and not be counted a hypocrite. What’s more, the Catholic Church has not threatened excommunication on politicians and judges and others for not removing the death penalty. We see, yet again, that the entire church can be hypocritical and hysterical in it’s inability to get it’s story figured out.

So mom, and the rest of you out there reading this, what do you think? If you don’t want the ideals, ideology and morals of another country imposed on this land, do we let Catholics on the bench? I know where I stand on this, and I’ll let my mom comment before I state it.

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“Let’s Just Be Friends” Speech

OMG. I got the friendship kiss of death on thursday. I don’t want to go into who did this, or why, as that would be really sucky of me. I do want to point out that giving truly is better than receiving, as the old Christmas maxim goes, tho. I just hate that speech. I hate getting it, I hate giving it, and I hate hearing about it. I especially hate it when it’s a cop out, a way for some weasel who shouldn’t even have a moment of your time to separate themselves from your heart, which, through unknown and unknowable machinations, has become attached to said twerp.

I got the LJBFS. From someone I’m interested in dating. From someone who, really, shouldn’t have been able to give the speech since we’d laid out the ground rules for going forward in advance. In fact, I got it from someone who explicitly wanted to avoid the LJBFS. I know, we talked about it.

The absolute worst part of this is that I can’t really be down about it, or maudlin, or evil, or even cranky. I know the reasons behind it, and I know that this once the LJBFS was not a “you and I can’t date, ever, because I don’t feel that way about you” wake-up call. No, nope, not at all. This time the LJBFS was a cover for a “there are not enough hours in the day, and neither of us has enough energy right now to devote to figuring out how to date, let alone actually dating, so let’s be friends until we have the ability to focus on it” speech, which no one really gives because really, who in this day and age is willing to pass up even a small chance at love?

Unless one of you has millions on the line with a venture, and the other has a new venture that provides, um, conflicts with certain situations, then, THEN!, you have this dumb speech burst forth, before you even realize what’s happening, and ruin a perfectly good evening.

To the point of tears, but then I got over it, with some help from Johnny Walker – Red label, of course.

Now, however, the relationship is in a comically weird place, tho. We’ve already advanced beyond friends in some ways, and in others we are woefully lacking. With these new restrictions, do we continue to be so open and honest that we’re growing more close, or do we hem and haw hoping that a time will come when a formal retraction of the LJBFS is issued, therefore allowing us more? Does Johnny Walker make enough whiskey for this?

I suppose we’ll find out, yes?

And while some may think it odd, this posting of a moment of zaniness, remember two things:

  1. My mother is one of only two people who read this blog; and
  2. No one knows who I’m referring to.

And to those who think they do, hush up. And if, by some weird chance, the guy who I got the LJBFS from reads this, well, hell, it’s not like you don’t already know this, too.

SLC Walk of the Damned!

I didn’t post this before because I couldn’t quite believe I did it. Yes, it’s that weird, even for me. You, all four of you who read this blog, might have noticed that I was on a trip to Helena and spent a bit of it in the airport at Salt Lake City. Lovely place, actually, and I’m really looking forward to skiing there again, as My Former Boss invited a bunch of us there to ski in March of 2004. It was lovely. It was also the middle of tax season, so some of the invitees were back dealing with e-file. I’m not that geeky, I got to go ski.

But I digress. I flew into SLC after sitting forever and five months on a plane on the tarmac of IAH (that’s the Current President’s Father’s International Airport, in case you were wondering). I was not happy, but as it appeared that I should be ok if I hiked quickly across the entire length of the semi-circle that is the terminal in Salt Lake, I might make it on time. And by ‘on time’ I mean I wouldn’t miss the entire bit of festivities happening at my friend’s house. After all, she’s getting married, there was a rehearsal and the traditional rehearsal dinner, and then the oh-so-wonderful-yet-not-traditional-at-all-and-you-won’t-ever-order-one-for-your-mom red-headed sluts, which is a shot that involves Red Hot and Crown Royal and either gasoline or lighter fluid, whichever is handy. In other words, they are great!

And I would order one for my mom, but she wouldn’t drink it. But again, off subject.

So, I’m rushing across SLC and I’ve got my slinged backpack on, which holds my computer and a camera and some other electronic equipment. Oh, and the life-force giving iPod, of course. And I’m pulling a standard carryon wheeler that is on it’s last legs (wheels?) and I’m using the moving sidewalks to help me haul my ass over there. Thanks to whomever invented those things, by the way, they are quite good. The only malfunction you usually have to deal with is the ‘tards who, for whatever reason, can’t do the whole ‘stand on right, walk on left’ thing and this time was no different.

I was run into by a jerk who STOPPED right at the entrance to the moving walkway and then, as I moved to go around him, DRAGGED HIS LUGGAGE OVER MY EXPOSED LITTLE TOE. Which hurt, but not enough to slow me down, and I had other things on my mind. I looked down, didn’t see any blood and gave the twat a look and moved on.

So then, I got to my gate, realized I had a few minutes before boarding and I decided to hit the restroom because, well, the lavs on a plane are a bit small. And I’m not. At all.

So I go in and as I put my luggage against the wall I notice that there is blood all over my flip-flop and that my little toe is bleeding badly – enough that I look a bit and realize that I’ve left a trail of blood spots across the airport in The Land That Jesus Visited Later and that Joseph Smith Found and Named After Honeybees. Yes, I’m the Despoiler of Deseret. Look it up.

The airline I was flying was partially to blame for my discomfort and my need to rush through SLC. They are also the primary airline at SLC and most of the employees I saw worked for them. They were all too busy, and then I was too pissed, to get a first aid kit. Plus, once I was peeved, I had to not say anything to anyone. The current stupidity in the TSA prevents you from speaking your mind inside an airport, no matter how right you are, and when I’m mad, if I get started, someone else is going to be really hurt and upset, and frankly, I’m not a fan of being strip-searched anymore. So I said nothing. At all.

So when you next fly into SLC, do what I’m going to do. Look for ellipses of dark brown on the fine blue carpet leading from concourse B to concourse E. Those are my footsteps. Follow in them at your own risk.

Today is a brand new day

Well, yesterday has finally seemed to be coming to an end, and while I’m a bit freaked out over a mess I’ve created for work, I’m going to get over that. More important matters have arrived, not the least of which is myself finally getting to Helena from Houston via Salt Lake City, home of dooce after spending, I kid you not, the entire paleolithic era inside a Boeing 737. (Go read the dooce entry I linked, it’s the only reason I’m going to relax now)

Flying from Houston generally requires, at least during Hurricane Season, a signed hall-pass from God. I, once again, have not been to his house to get one, and so was stuck in the damn thing for three hours while we neither left the gate or were fed/watered/liquored up. I mean, come on, if we have to sit there forever, give a guy some whiskey. That way my comments can be LOUDER!

I did have an interesting time chatting with the girl seated next to me, who, for reasons of her father’s employment, will be living in Aberdeen, Scotland for the next few years. Hate her. But she was quite bright and terribly funny. Between the two of us, we had the area around us cracking up, because the pilot was a dolt who couldn’t tell us anything, and so we decided to make up new announcements for him. I have to say, I wasn’t the funniest of us, either, that goes to her.

My best line was, “In the unlikely event of a water landing, we’ve actually arrived at Salt Lake.”

Her best was: “Should we actually become airborne, party hats will drop from the ceiling and the pilot will chug a bottle of tequila.”

I could only laugh and ask who was to eat the worm. But I’m here for THE WEDDING and will be ushering, as a groomsman and filming the entire production. And if all goes well with some technological wizardry, we’ll be broadcasting it to some lovely folks in Houston as well. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know how this goes!

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Categorized as Politics

07-07-2005

Ok, so I get up this morning and get to work and for once, don’t read the news and don’t open iChat and don’t spend any time doing anything but calling people and setting up appointments for RED and really thinking that I want to get laid and should be spending more time on Terry who is one of the loveliest people on the planet, and who, it so happens, lives in London.

I didn’t read the news, but I did read his email, as they are few and far between because he’s exceedingly busy running a very impressive and successful Design Firm and I was confused. I felt I’d lost my mind and perhaps a few emails from him. The email, in it’s entirety said this:

Subject: Ian and I are okay…

Dear Friends and Family,

Just a quick note to let you all know that Ian and I are okay…

Love to you all.

Terry

And me, again, being a caring and loving friend who had yet to read the news thought ‘Huh? Is something wrong with their relationship?’ and thus sent this reply:

Dear Terry & Ian,

why would I have thought you weren’t?

Ok, so I have been WAAAAY out of touch, sorry about that. I’m glad to hear you two are doing ok, and I don’t really need to know if there was drama or whatever… and I truly wish you all the best as the years roll by, because you two are pretty damn cute together and really love each other!! That’s a truly special thing, and I’m glad to know you both!!!!

much love,

kev~!

Um yeah, and then the reply,

Hi Kev,

You silly girl! Uhh… huhuhuhuhu… terrorist attacks here in London… DUUUHHHH!!!!! But we are both O.K… (and of course still damn cute together…)

;)

Love,
Terry

Which really shows how much more calm about tragedy the Brits are, as opposed to us in the U.S. My heart goes out to all those affected by this violence, and I know that with the cameras that blanket London it’s only a matter of time before we find the fuckers involved and have them strung up as a warning to others. Unless we let Bush lead us to war in the wrong place, again, of course.

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The Wizard of W&G

We, all the fags of the world, have watched every version of The Wizard of Oz ever put out, and, although after a few different versions we get tired, but then we see Judy in all her glory and BAM! life is good again. Having said that, let’s think about a new scenario. Imagine the characters of Will & Grace doing The Wizard of Oz.

Now think about that for a moment, because it would really only be funny if you avoid the clichés. Like so:

  • Will would have to play the Scarecrow. Not because he lacks a brain, but because he doesn’t, so it adds a nice twist to his bits.
  • Grace would have to be the Wicked Witch of the West. Because she’s not really evil, as we’ve all learned from Wicked and because Grace is really the right blend of strength and neurosis to channel the twists that this casting gives.
  • Jack would have to be the Tin Man. It leaves him open to complain to Will with things like “But I shouldn’t be the Tin Man, you’re the heartless bastard.” Of course, this can lead to Will replying with something like “That might be true, but you haven’t been this hard since that time with the football team in high school.”
  • Guapo, Jack’s parrot, would be Toto. Just because it would be funny. I know that Jack owns a dog, but with the death of Stan a while back, Jack’s dog will need to play The Wizard.
  • Karen, in perhaps the most inspired casting moment, will play Dorothy. Just imagine the moment when she comes upon the Wicked Witch of the West and spouts off with “Honey honey honey, what’s this? What’s going on? What’s with all the green?”

I know that this *could* happen, but there is no reason to think that it *would*. Right now, tho, there are several queers at a coffee shop in Houston who are cracking up coming up with lines for this. Actually, if you can think of lines, do post them below. Cheers!