Saturday, June 14, 2008

Straight but Proud Anyway

Robbie and Nicole were with a couple of other friends at Pride Fest today when I headed out to meet them, only stopping briefly by the office first, to pick up the Evasive Buddha of Questsionable Wisdom (he normally lives on my desk). But by the time I got to Auditorium Shores, they were bored and very hot, and had walked across Riverside to the park with the observation hill and the water jets. I had parked my car at work and walked down the trail. The heat was pounding, incredible.

There were an awful lot of motorcycles, I couldn't help noticing, parked around the festival grounds. The ROT Rally is also in town this weekend. People have questioned the timing in years past, but I think there's actually a fair degree of crossover.

All of us were fully clothed - Robbie in a T-shirt, overshirt, and shorts; Nicole in a halter top and jeans, and me in a tank top and silk skirt. But when it's 100 degrees out, what does that matter? We stood in the ascending jets of water and splashed one another and laughed. There's nothing else like playing outside in the merciless sun, giggling like a bunch of six-year-olds and getting goosebumps just to spite the blistering heat. My true love, the man of my dreams, is someone who won't think twice before splashing around in the water with all his clothes on. You heard it here first, folks: jump into a fountain fully dressed, and try to be straight, if you possibly can. You might win my heart!*

We walked to Bennigan's, which gave our clothes a chance to dry out, except for two conspicuous triangles on my skirt, front and back, where my underwear were keeping it damp. Nice! Next time I'll skip the skivvies, I think. And from Bennigan's we drove to Chuy's to meet up with Robbie and Nicole's other friends. I can't eat anything at Chuy's because every goddamn thing on the menu is chock full of cilantro. I think even the margaritas are made with it. Look, I don't know why I'm cilantro-intolerant, but I am, okay? It isn't that I don't like it. I don't like eggplant. I can eat eggplant nonetheless; I just won't particularly enjoy it. But the flavor of cilantro - or even the smell of a nearby fresh bunch of it - triggers a violent and uncontrollable gag reflex. I spit it out into my napkin and gasp for water. It tastes like horrible hellish death. I could not possibly make myself eat it to save my life, not even to be polite. It. Tastes. So. Bad.

So I just ordered a Dos Equis at Chuy's, and the waitress carded me! How flattering is that?! But she was probably just disoriented by the profusion of hubcaps on the ceiling, and maybe a bit woozy from cilantro fumes.

Of course the grand event was the Gay Pride Parade. We parked in the wonderful magical parking garage downtown where they charge you $7, but it's a state office building, so state employees don't have to pay. Flash your badge and you're in, baby! Then we sat on the curb just outside, only a couple of blocks past the start of the parade route.

Last year I went with Cheryl's Bitch, and I think our spot - still fairly early on the parade route, but a good bit further down - was probably a better one. The marchers weren't tired yet, but they were good and warmed up. If you catch them too early, you're essentially their practice audience. Still, there was plenty of cheering and hooting and shouting and laughing, lots of beads and other freebies tossed out to the happy mob. Before the parade started, a few bikers and pedicabs cycled past the happy, eager, waiting crowd. Everyone cheered and clapped for them, laughing, and they waved back.

I'm afraid I did shout "Corporate coffee sucks!!!!!!" at the people carrying a Starbucks banner, but I'm pretty sure I waited until they were out of earshot. It was for the benefit of my fellow parade-goers (except for Nicole, who works there; but anyone in my position is well aware that we all have to make a living somehow). I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

We cheered rousingly for the picture-perfect drag queens, for the firemen (ooh, firemen!!!), and for our own APD, who represented in one of their new shiny black-and-white Hummers, probably consuming enough gas along the parade route alone to keep my little-used VW Ribbit fueled for about 18 months. And the Chronicle! Was that Stephen MacMillan Moser lounging on the back of a Caddy and waving langorously to the crowd? Darling, you're fabulous!

I love this town, I do, I do, I do.

*Some restrictions apply.

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At June 15, 2008 10:51 AM, Blogger Kev said...

I am the same way about large amounts of cilantro. Nothing at Chuy's bothers me and I can handle Chipotle's rice (although sometimes they are pushing it), but any more and it makes me gag too.

Sounds like you had fun at the parade, sorry I couldn't come, but I had been outside way too long already and I was starving (for food and for air conditioning).


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