Ethylene Glum and Me


MANY OF YOU MAY BE UNAWARE THAT I was the original choice for “Dorothy” in “The Wizard of Oz.” There, it’s finally out, and what a burden it’s been these— sixty? one hundred? I lose count—years. And I hesitated about telling you,

knowing you’d never again be able to watch Ethylene Glum singing, “I Wish I Were a Sad-Eyed Puppy GIF” without a pang of frustrated disappointment and maybe a petulant toss of one of those silk throw-cushions you had re-covered in the two Pantone Colors of the Year (Elegant-Piss Yellow and Hideous to be Poor Greige, if I recall).

But that’s the scoop. Victor Fleming wouldn’t let me wear my glasses, which meant I stumbled over some munchkins during the preliminary phone audition.

The munchkins were lodging with me at the time, OK? What’s it to you?

Disaster by speakerphone! I’d prepared an ace version of “Jitterbug,” rehearsing day and night with my girl-mentor Kay Thompson, who’d unfortunately seized up during a photo shoot with Richard Avedon and couldn’t be pried off her brass bed frame. But—she could move her eyes!

Brave, foolish Kay! Saved by her desperate need to turn every waking moment into a dazzling display of over-confidence! With just a glance here or a glance there, she communicated everything she knew: how to flail my arms in a random pattern, and how to just talk through a song if I didn’t feel like singing.

So, like, everything she knew, or, more accurately, both things.

Kay was truly one-of-a-kind: a stick-thin, shifty-eyed Lesbian vocal coach attached to a bed frame.

If that weren’t just the very nadir of the tragique, a teenage curling injury resulting from a badly-mixed Canadian Club and soda makes it awkward for me to click my heels together more than twice, and as you know everything works in threes. Ruby-red heel-clicking. Personal tragedy due to force majeure. Sex with munchkins.

If only, if only. I lie awake at nights reliving the humiliation of that little-people pile-on, blaming myself for my failure instead of, for example, blaming you, or, really, just any old random person who springs to mind.

If only I’d stuck with the Mateus rosé. If only I’d opted for the Lasix surgery limited-time offer. If only Kay had skipped her Kegels that morning.

Seriously? Now I know how Oedipus Rex must have felt.

They told me later that George Cukor was listening in, crying like a baby, which I’m sure comes as no fucking surprise to anyone.

Ah, well. The world is a cruel, harsh place, a vale of sorrows, but what’s the alternative? Live with a Kardashian? As if. Even a spacious Bel Air mansion can only accommodate, say, fifteen wannabes, twenty tops if they clear out a shoe closet. Still, I’d line up around the block in a heartbeat if it weren’t for my recurring phantom ectopic pregnancy gives me swollen calves.

Also, I’m not a wannabe. I’m a Surely Am.

But sweet, sweet revenge: they cut the “Jitterbug” number from the film. Instead, Ethylene Glum sings some sappy crowd-killer about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bully for you, Miss Hashtag Gay Icon Hashtag Sad! A big bunch of sour grapes served ice-cold in an old-fashioned glass is my favorite thing!

Victor Fleming called me the day after the audition to confirm I’d lost the part, big surprise.

“Look on the bright side,” he said, “You gotta fall on your face at least once before you can make a comeback. Just remember: Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses, generally speaking, but with the Lollipop Guild?

You’d be wise to take precautions.”


#MondayManCrush: Shaman Dude Jake Angeli

Clearly, a vegan.

WELCOME TO ANOTHER INSTALLMENT OF #MondayManCrush, this time two days early, not several months late like you might be thinking. I seriously have no space in my life for “glass-half-full” types, so please try to be more positive, less high-maintenance.

This is the recurring feature—and I mean recurring like that asteroid that caused the dinosaur extinction is recurring, i.e. it’s definitely going to recur but you might not be around for it—in which I binge out on hunky, luscious, cute str8 dudes because I actually literally have nothing better to do. At least I admit it.

This week’s slice of hot brisket with red-eye gravy is Capitol Insurrection Shaman Dude, Jake Angeli.

Jake is just the sort of low-life trash that I’m drawn to after I’ve downed a mickey of vodka and set fire to the back of my Banana Republic turtleneck with a coffee table lighter. For one thing, check the body—Shaman dude is slender and a bit furry, an otter, in fact. He’s handsome as fuddle-duddle.

And he’s a bit of a kinky exhibitionist. He walks around historic seats of government swingin’ his flag pole and showing off his credentials and he doesn’t give a damn. Stand back, my head may explode!

I pray he has PTSD from his childhood experiences growing up in a trailer park in the Everglades. Without PTSD, it’s like, game over in my books when it’s a question of possible friend-with-benefits material. I always want to make sure that whoever I’m hangin’ with has had at least one worse experience than me hangin’ with them, and then—in good company with with Julie Android and Ethylene Glum, see above—I don’t feel so bad.

If he doesn’t have PTSD, I’ll fall back on Plan B, which is not giving a fuck, or Plan C, which is making the experience of me hangin’ with him so bad, he’ll have PTSD for the next superstar blogger. Win-win-win, with all three wins for me!

Let’s see. Wears punky make-up, check. Tattoos, oh yes. Bad childhood compared to the natural offspring of the First Earl Grey, check. Criminal record, are you kidding me? This little cock-ferret hits all the high notes, aided by that fetching, though rather Wagnerian, antler chapeau that’s like something Philip Treacy designed for Steak of the Month Club.

But more out of left field than all this, he is vegan, for cryin’ out loud! Which means, I guess, that the twenty animals draped around his taut, masculine frame just crawled up there and died of old age.

As you can imagine, the food in prison caused him serious gastric distress. I’d love to make him stomach-soothing ginger tea, lie beside him on a rainy afternoon when he’s on his meds and massage his belly while we watched my pirated Maria Callas DVDs, or maybe read passages to each other out of “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville. Gay Progressive? I’ll have him onboarded in no time.

In conclusion:

Insurrectionists are a threat to public order and the rule of law, totally reprehensible, dumber than concrete, and where can I get me some??!!

High fives and a chant of “Hang Mike Pence!” in honor of Jake Angeli, Capitol Insurrection Shaman Dude, for he is your—our!—



2 thoughts on “Ethylene Glum and Me

    1. Thanks, Jorah, if you liked the original, you’ll LOVE the rewrite. Kind of like, the original is a little puff on some legal dope bought in a government-run outlet; the rewrite is a speedball slammed down an alleyway in Paris with Jim Morrison. Also “Monday Man-Crush.” As for not feeling anything, I was up to my what’s-its from writing about politics night and day. Some intensive frivolity was in order. I appreciate your comment.

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