Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bigots, Bigots Everywhere

Sure, bigotry is everywhere, but you know, since I get my all of my news from Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy, all I ever know is what kind of cake Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had at their wedding (a chocolate mousse cake, in case you were wondering) or that Carnie Wilson is addicted to alcohol (funny, I thought she was just addicted to food). But lately, even the fluff pushers over at my favorite "news" magazines have found a way to work in some social consciousness in between all of the celebrity gossip:

Kelly Ripa vs. Rosie O'Donnell: All right, seriously, who decided that Rosie O'Donnell would be the new spokesman for gay people? I was just fine with it being Ellen Degeneres, but then she found out that it's possible to be successful without cramming your sexuality down everyone's throat, so she stopped talking about being gay and just focused on being funny. Fair enough. Hey, Rosie, take a memo: Like Ellen, we all know that you're gay. Can you just shut up about it and be funny?

Now, anyone who actually watched The View before Rosie replaced Star Jones knows that it was just a trainwreck of inappropriately named "television personalities" who had absolutely no personalities at all. Joy Behar would cackle on about something, Barbara Walters would talk about how great she is, and Star Jones would talk about how she used to be fat. Then, we bring on Rosie, and we realize, hey, she's actually funny. The problem is, she doesn't know when to shut up. Rosie, another memo: As soon as you hear yourself start a sentence with "As a gay person," just stop.

All right, enough. What am I getting at? Apparently, on a recent episode of Regis and Kelly, Clay "I Should Thank My Lucky Stars I'm Still Getting Booked on National Talk Shows" Aiken was a guest. Kelly, as usual, said something moronic and/or annoying, and Clay took it upon himself to put his hand over her mouth to get her to stop. Say it with me, OH NO HE DIDN'T.

Honestly, I'd be pissed. Not only is what he did wildly disrespectful, it's just plain gross. I don't know you. So that's basically what Kelly said as she pushed his hand away from her mouth: "Hey, I don't know where that hand has been."

Fast forward a few days, and we've got Rosie cackling on The View about how what Kelly said to poor old Clay was homophobic. Well, apparently, Kelly was watching the show, and called in to yell at Rosie (I want that kind of power).

Kelly contended that it's "cold and flu season," and that he had shaken hands with everyone in the studio audience and she didn't want his hand near her mouth. She said that she's not homophobic. So Rosie blabs on and says that "As a gay person, [she] found it offensive." Here's my take on it:

1. As a gay person, I don't find it homophobic. I had an internship interview last week and the guy told me that he was just going to go to the bathroom and then we'd have the interview. I just prayed that he washed his hands before our hands made contact. Was he gay? Who cares? I'm just not very fond of germs that aren't mine. So here we've got Rosie O'Donnell, the prototypical angry lesbian who screams homophobia every time she blinks, who evidently, finds it unreasonable for someone to not want a stranger's hand on their mouth or face. You know what I find unreasonable? Crying homophobia every time something bad happens to you.

2. Clay Aiken has always said that he's not gay, so I'm sure he really appreciates Rosie going to bat for him.

Michael Richards' Career is Over (Oh wait, it was over when Seinfeld ended): So Michael Richards was heckled by a black guy during a stand up routine and he freaked the fuck out and started screaming "nigger," among other things. Then he back-peddled and apologized on Late Night with David Letterman. Ala Mel Gibson, he said that he's not racist, and that it just happened in a moment of anger. Here's the thing: when people get angry, they don't start spouting racial epithets that they've never said before. That's what I think, anyway.

And hey, let's throw in something actually intelligent for good measure: According to Newsweek, the Pentagon has reclassified homosexuality for the military, grouping it with "conditions, circumstances, and defects." According to the government, being gay is up there with other "defects," such as "repeated bed-wetting" and "repeated VD infections," among others. My question for the government, what happens if you're gay, you repeatedly wet the bed, and you've got VD? What then? Can you still fight and die in Iraq, and then get cheated of your military pension when you want to retire in fifty years? Probably.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Poughkeepsie Restaurants I Can't Go To

I haven't really had an embarassing incident in a restaurant since I went to the Palace Diner one drunken Freshman Friday night and fell out of the booth and dropped four sets of silverware on the floor. That is, until I started going to restaurants with Christine. Presumably, when you're twenty years old, you should have some semblance of responsibility. Also, since I've taken some elementary math courses in my life, I should be able to figure out the bill with tax and tip. Not so much. So now, without further ado, the ever-growing list of Poughkeepsie restaurants I can't go to.

Lucy, Christine, and I decided to go out to dinner at everyone's favorite neighborhood bar and grille. After "enjoying" the cheap, college style meal that consists of water with lemon and an appetizer as an entree, we spent a lot of time scratching our heads and declaring that we didn't know how to do math because we're Communications majors. Eventually, we figured it out and headed to the car. As we were pulling away, we saw our waitress and an Applebee's manager running out after us and screaming for us to stop. Apparently, we shorted the bill $10. So we apologized and slipped the money through the crack of the car window and sped away as quickly as possible.

Chili's: I had a $50 gift certificate, so I decided to let Christine tag along for the feast of a lifetime.
For some reason, it was very important to me to use all $50 in one trip, so I insisted that we order appetizers, steak entrees, and dessert. On the way into the restaurant, both of us realized that neither of us had any cash. Figuring that the tip could be taken off of the gift card, we resolved to spend exactly $50 with tax and tip. When we got the check, and it was $53.40, not including tip. Not having any cash, credit or debit cards, we decided there was only one option. No, not dine and ditch. Christine drove back home, 20 minutes down Route 9, to get money to pay the rest of the bill. I sat there and tried to remain as calm as possible. When I wasn't making trips to the bathroom every 30 seconds, I was examining my class ring, pretending that it was really interesting. Our waiter obviously knew something was up, as I sat there, watching Christine's ice cream melt. So he asked if anything was wrong. Presumably, two scenarios were going through his head:
1. "Oh my God, these stupid bitches don't have enough money to pay the bill."
2. After seeing Christine storm out of the restaurant, he probably thought that Christine and I were on a date and that we had gotten into a fight. She stormed out in an angry rage, and I sat there for a half an hour, looking both dejected and rejected.

Finally, after the longest 20 minutes of my life, Christine came back, I paid the bill, and she wolfed down her chocolate molten lava cake and we made a speedy exit.

From now on, I think I'm just going to order take-out.