Lame Adventure 318: The Lion in Summer

This week, on Wednesday, my close personal friend Milton bade farewell to the coveted 18 – 49 age demographic six days ahead of his obvious counterpart in the hairline department, Tom Cruise.


Milton had a good day.  He had entered the ticket lottery for one of the handful of front row $26 seats to the matinee performance of Wicked, the always sold out musical on Broadway.  He won!

Milton loved the novel written by Gregory Maguire that is the basis for this show, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, but he was certain it would be watered down.  During intermission he emailed me.  I asked:

Me: How’s the show?

Milton: It’s empty, but has its moments.

Me: Oh, it’s the story of my life!

Afterward, when we got together at Bettibar, an adorable theater district pub upstairs from the Hourglass Tavern, Milton admitted that he was very impressed with the show’s overall production.  Had he seen it when he was nine he thinks he would have been in such a state of bliss he would have instantly become obsessed with Broadway shows.  He seemed pretty happy about it at the half century mark or maybe it was the shot of tequila he had just pounded talking?

Initially, Milton was afraid to get together with me for he was with a few other dear friends the night before celebrating at the Cheesecake Factory in Westbury, Long Island.  They arranged to have Happy Birthday sung to him.  He was now irrationally worried that I might subject him to the same fate, something he could not endure twice.  What could I say to assuage his fear?

Me:  Are you insane?  Do you know me at all?  Is this the first time we’ve met?

Only if faced with the prospect of torture that would lead to certain death would I ever subject anyone near and dear to me, or even someone far and loathsome to me (yes, I’m referring to you Dick Cheney), to that dreadful public humiliation.  I would not want to be subject to that pain myself so why would I inflict it upon one of my VIP-level friends?  If I had past lives, I highly doubt that any of them included me being a sadist.

Yet, I will admit I did have one noisy trick tucked in my satchel.  When we had moved to a table, I gave him the sound effect birthday card that I bought for him three years earlier in anticipation of his milestone.  One glance at those glitter-coated Audrey Hepburn eyes and I knew this was the perfect card for him.

Audrey Hepburn eyes.

I had no choice but to get it then and there and proceed to wait over a thousand days to give it.  In the intervening three years I misplaced his card twice and I lived in fear that when I would finally present it to him on his natal day proper the battery would be as dead as Rafa Nadal’s 2012 Wimbledon hopes but fortunately, Papyrus uses some fantastically long shelf-life ultra battery.  When Milton opened his card to read the caption, “The Big 50!”, our corner of the establishment was consumed with the sound of a woman shrieking in terror at the top of her lungs.

He liked that.

I was not feeling so confident about his gift, a DVD of one of his favorite films, Fellini’s Casanova.

A slender slice of snafu?

Although he frequently lamented about it not being available on disk, he is a blu-ray aficionado.  Right now it’s not being produced in blu-ray so I anticipated one of two things – he already had it since it’s release last November, or he’d be disappointed that it was not in his preferred blu-ray format.  Much to my surprise he wasn’t even aware that it’s now available on DVD, and he didn’t care that it was not on blu-ray, he was so elated to finally have it.  Score!

I will end this post with a trademark Miltonian observation he shared with me last weekend. Milton was expounding on one of his favorite topics, the male animal, after reading an article in The New York Times called Normal as Folk written by David M. Halperin.  Halperin expounds that the current generation of gay men are blending in more in mainstream society as opposed to their elders.  Milton observed:

Milton: Gay people are not less gay.  Straight people are more gay.  They know it’s sexy so they’re now embracing it.  You can’t tell who’s gay … You can’t ask anyone out any more!

The next day we were in Greenwich Village waiting for the Pride parade to start when Milton discreetly confided to me:

Milton:  Look at that guy over there.  Oh my God, he’s so gay!  But he’s not; he’s straight — with his girlfriend.  Exactly what I was talking about.

I dyslexically looked in the wrong direction at the wrong gay-looking-straight-guy that was standing with his arms wrapped around a woman wearing a sundress.

Me:  He sure looks gay to me.  I feel for his girlfriend.  What’s that about?

Milton: You’re looking at a woman!

Me:  Huh?  [focusing my myopic eyes better on a very androgynous butch lesbian with her femme girlfriend] You’re right!

Pictured below is Milton’s straight metrosexual guy that personifies someone who’s embraced the gay male style.

“Does this French sailor shirt make me look fat?”

Happy birthday buddy!

123 responses to “Lame Adventure 318: The Lion in Summer

  1. Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!




  2. Felicitations to Milton for having made it to the other side of the mound. Or as we uses to say when we were younger, dude you’re over the hill. I know you guys are denizen of Manhattan so car ownership is such a royal pain. But if he wants to keep his gay-ness from fading, can I offer him a slightly used white Kia Soul that should be delivering tacos and Dos Equis?


    • I more recall saying, or at least thinking, a variation of, “Dude you’re over the hill,” to members of my parents’ generation. Now I think that 50 is the new 40 and since 40’s the new 30, I might have gotten Milton the wrong card. Is the family vehicle you’re referring to the flaming one with the Tinkerbelle sticker?


  3. Happy Birthday Milton! … good tribute Lame.


  4. Happy Birthday Milton! That card is the BEST!
    I couldn’t believe how on fire Rosol was yesterday! Nadal played well, but he played out of his mind! I know. I should have been working… 🙂


  5. That’s a man?….


  6. Apologies for double post. iPhone malfunction. Yeah, right.


  7. I love reading your Milton stories. Happy birthday, Milton!!!! And tell him he’s right— straight folk ARE gaying it up more these days, at least in NY. Because it’s trendy and hot. But it’s really throwing off my gaydar big time. Good thing I’m already married because it would be a nightmare now trying to figure out which guys bat for which team.


    • Hopefully, Milton is feeling the love. Straight guys gaying it up throws off Milton’s gaydar, too. In the case of straight women sporting my soft butch lesbian Larry David Collection look, I just assume they were born without the sense of style gene.


  8. I have a friend who decided to relocate to Maine several years ago, in large part because of the number of women wearing plaid and Timberlands. She thought she was in lesbian heaven. Until she realized that they were all straight, it’s just that that’s how they dressed up there.


  9. Rolling laughs today! Loved this post & Milton’s exquisite quote!


  10. yet another great post. hon, please put a pinterest bug on your blog so I can pin it. thanks.


  11. Sweet tribute to Milton. I love the photo of him beneath the Ethnic Hair Care sign. I agree with Milton and the Times piece, straights are dressing more like gays. It IS harder to tell who’s plays for which team.

    Strangling the subway ignorant with her Kindle earbuds is good.

    I see my friend Robert (commented above) was up bright and early reading this. He finds the subway comment hilarious.

    Sad about Nora Ephron. A great loss. She was just my age, too. Scary. I regarded her as a generational/writing compatriot.

    The bright spot is Milton’s b’day celebration. Happy Birthday, Milton!


    • Milton’s b-day and the SUPCO holding up the Affordable Care Act (as Mike G brilliantly reminded brain frozen me) were the positive highlights of this week. Nora buying her rainbow was a bummer. She was in a league of her own, and what a class act during that grave illness. I get a hangnail and I’m yammering about it endlessly as if I could lose that digit. Always great to hear from you Samantha!


  12. Tell Milton “Happy belated birthday” (love his photo—what a sweet face!) and that he shouldn’t feel too bad about turning 50. At least he’s not being sued for divorce by Katie Holmes. 🙂


    • Milton does not mind being 50 at all. I’m sure he’ll love it when he reads that you think he has a sweet face. If Tom had only married Milton in the first place that union would have been the one with staying power.


  13. Snoring Dog Studio

    I avoid horizontal stripes at all costs. That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m visiting my parents right now and we’re far too engaged in a an onging, continual discussion about the temperature in the house (too hot? Too cold?) for me to focus on anything else. Dear God almighty.


    • How about discussing with your parents the price of gasoline at every station in a 10 mile radius? My dad is 91 and drives 20 miles per week at most. How much gas does he go through in a month?


      • Snoring Dog Studio

        Your Dad is 91 and still behind the wheel?! Mine is 91 and housebound. Last time I visited all we talked about was how to work the TV remote and which day of the week it was. Now it’s all about how cold or hot it is in the house. The other day, he complained that the thermostat wasn’t working. It was set to HEAT.


      • That’s better than your dad ripping you a new one over your gay Kia … or maybe not. My dad is forever carrying on about how much he loathes Tiger Woods. The elderly tend to fixate on topics.


        • What’s at the root? El Tigre’s philandering or ESPN’s near deification prior to the Thanksgiving Massacre of 2009?


          • His inability to keep the tiger in his pants leashed.


            • My daughters feel much the same. I guess I am possessed of a deeper reservoir of forgiveness than most because he’s the only reason I still watch golf…which I am about to do now–third round at Congressional.


              • When my father spouts off about him I keep quiet. I think artists, athletes and our dumbbell (male) politicians play by a different set of rules.


              • How perfect that I just turn on Golf Channel and what do I see: Cialis commercial. On an odd aside, my wife (who just butt dialed me from Thessaloniki ) represented the company that developed the drug in a merger 15 years ago. No, no free samples!


                • HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!!! I’ve yet to meet a guy who’d ever admit he’d pop that, even though I openly admit I’ve been on lesbian Viagra (Aleve) since hitting 50. Hey, whatever works. They’re both effective little blue pills.


    • HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! That is hilarious SDS! Right now it’s sweltering in the Big Apple. I don’t have a/c so it’s definitely far too hot here in Casa de la Lame. My 85-year-old father’s house is always too cold come to think of it …


      • Not that I’m philosophically opposed to the med, but if did take it I’d probably (in the words of George Costanza’s mother) be treating my body like it was an amusement park. I do recall your advising against the Seinfeld references but I tell you that I’d be less productive at work than I am normally.


        • Where I work as long as I show up and find things that we’ve misplaced or we assumed were long lost my boss is content with my performance. Elsbeth could care less if I dropped acid at my desk as long as I continue to reliably come through when she needs me.


  14. Happy Birthday from me too!
    I never sing happy birthday, and hope that others will always return that favour!


  15. My mom is ten years younger, but she’s the one who’s losing it. I guess it’s really all about genetics.


    • It’s all about genetics, Mike. I’ve been essentially mother-less since 1990 (she suffered a long illness that robbed her of her personality until she checked out in 1999) but luckily, I’m still father-full.


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