Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thou Shalt Set It Straight

After failing to keep Byron from falling victim to Brad's House of Horrors, I knew I had to find my most vulnerable student.

ME: Boone!
BOONE: Hey Kev, want in on the game?

I found Boone in the basement playing strip poker with a bunch of drunken homos. He was down to his boxers, and his hand didn't look promising, so I pulled him from the game.

RANDOM HOMO: Hey! We're not done!
ME: If you get anymore done, I doubt you'll be able to stand up.
RANDOM HOMO #2: Way to ruin the fun.
ME: This is my friend, Boone. And he's straight.

They all looked at each other and laughed.

RANDOM HOMO #3: You are aware he initiated the game, right?
ME: You're aware that one of your nipples is way farther to the left than it should be, right?
RANDOM HOMO #3: My mom says it means I can tell the future.
ME: Excellent. Tell me which of my fists is going to knock you out if you follow us up the stairs.

Once we were back in the kitchen, I laid down the law.

ME: Boone, are you gay?
BOONE: Excuse me?
ME: You heard me.
BOONE: Why are you--
ME: Because you send mixed signals. Because you dance around the issue. Because I just found you nearly naked with three gay guys who were all ready to jump you.
BOONE: I could have handled them.
ME: Oh, I know that. I just don't see what you get out of leading them on. Either you're gay or you really want attention. One of those will get you sympathy from me. The other just gets you a kick in the head.

Boone put his shirt on.

BOONE: What I am is my business.
ME: That's usually what gay guys say when they're in the closet.
BOONE: I don't have to explain myself to you.
ME: No, you don't, but you need to get yourself straight--and I'm not using a pun there.
BOONE: Noted.
ME: Sexuality is not something you keep vague, because it is nothing you can change. It is not a flexible issue. I don't care if you're gay, bi, straight, or omnisexual.
BOONE: Sex with everything?
ME: Just figure out what you are so you don't lead anybody else on.

That's when I started to walk away.

BOONE: Hey Kev!

I turned around.

BOONE: You want an answer? I'll give you an answer.

Leave it to him to kill a dramatic exit.

BOONE: You just have to beat me in a game of poker.

I was really hoping he'd say Monopoly.

Thou Shalt Not Sleep in the Closet

I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before I found Byron in this position.

BYRON: God, Kevin! Close the door!

You thought I was speaking metaphorically?

He was upstairs in one of the guest rooms (Yes, there were several. It was a regular John Hughes movie in that house) making out with some guy on a bed.

ME: Sorry! I just wanted to make sure you were--

That's when Random Guy piped up.

RANDOM GUY: Dude, did you see a blonde girl with a red shirt on downstairs?
ME: I don't think so. Why?
RANDOM GUY: Because that would be my girlfriend.
ME: that case, I saw her walking up the stairs and--

That was all it took to have him out of the bed and out the door.

BYRON: Are you serious?
ME: Am I serious? What about you?
BYRON: Kevin, I was getting--
ME: Confused? I hope you were about to say confused.
BYRON: I liked that guy!
ME: You don't even know that guy!

Byron got off the bed, but I slammed the door before he could get to it.

ME: You are aware that a guy just out of the closet sleeping with another guy in the closet is like a recovering alcoholic hanging out with a bartender, right?
BYRON: He was hot.
ME: You know what? I'd be willing to write it off as shallowness and let that be that, but that guy wasn't even hot. He wasn't even cute. He wasn't even decent. He was just close enough to what you used to be, and so you went running for him.
BYRON: That's not true.
ME: Byron, there's nothing hot about someone who hates who they are.
BYRON: Wow, good to know you think I'm so ugly.

With that, he was out the door.

This time, I didn't bother stopping him.

I knew somewhere in that conversation, I'd crossed a line.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Be That Guy Dancing on the Coffee Table

I managed to escape from Brad's guest room using a safety pin and some loose string.

...Or some nice girl named Candy let me out.

(You decide, but keep in mind, one's a bit more exciting than the other.)

I found Brody downstairs in the living room, where what appeared to be a "Let's See Who Can Pass Out First" contest was going on.

Brody seemed to be winning.

ME: Brody...
BRODY: Hey Kev, awesome party, huh?
ME: Yeah, it's too bad you won't remember any of it.
BRODY: Don't be cray-cray. I'm totally under control.

That was when Brad appeared out of the crowd, like Scar from the pack of hyenas.

BRAD: Since all of you are clearly wasted beyond recognition, I think it's time for a little dance contest!

Out of nowhere, music started blaring, and somebody cleared off the coffee table.

BRODY: Oh sweet!

I grabbed Brody by the shoulders.

ME: Brody, listen to me. You do not want to be the guy dancing on the coffee table.
BRODY: Um, that's actually what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Now people where chanting--Brody, Brody, Brody.

Obviously Brad was trying to derail my progress.

BRODY: Kev, they're calling my name!
ME: Of course they are, Brody, because they don't have to live with you. You do. All they want is a mess to laugh at, but they have no intention of cleaning that mess up when the fun's over. Don't be the mess, Brody. Let somebody else do it.

I could see that he really wanted to just take off his shirt, and let loose, and normally there's nothing wrong with that every once in awhile, but for Brody, it would be like taking a quick drink after being on the wagon for a year.


BRODY: I'm going to go outside and get some air.

--He wanted to stay on the wagon.

ME: Good call.

I managed to rescue one of my students, but the others were still somewhere at the party.

I needed to get Brad out of my hair if I was going to have any hope of saving them all.

That's why I started chanting.

ME: Brad, Brad, Brad--

Brad looked at me with hate-filled eyes, but he never could turn down a chanting mob.

He was shirtless and on the coffee table in under a minute.

And a minute was all the time I needed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Party With Thy Enemy

To celebrate the week with my old students, I took them to a party at Brad's house.

AJ: Awww, I miss Brad.
ME: He bet that you would remain a promiscuous brat forever.
AARON: You can't really blame him.

When we got there, I was more than a little surprised to see my new students mingling with the other guests.

ANTHONY: Is this Brad trying to sabotage you?
ME: Are you surprised?
ALICIA: Don't worry. We'll be on the look-out.
ME: Thanks. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't showed up this week.

Everybody seemed to be having a good time, so I let my guard down.

Big mistake.

Somehow I wound up in a guest bedroom talking with some girl from Bolivia.

ME: So how turbulent is your political system?
ME: You know the sad thing is that Brown probably accepted you as soon as they found out you were from a different hemisphere.

That was when the girl giggled and ran out of the room.

As soon as she was out, the door shut behind her.

I went up to try and open it, but it was a no go.

I knew who was responsible for this.

ME: Brad, open the door.
VOICE OF BRAD: No can do, Kevin. I told you. I'm not losing two bets in a row.
ME: What are you going to do? Lock me in here all night?


VOICE OF BRAD: You'll notice some trail mix underneath the bed.
ME: Brad--
VOICE OF BRAD: And bottled water.
ME: This isn't funny.
VOICE OF BRAD: Plus, there's that guest bathroom. So you should be covered until tomorrow morning.
ME: Brad, what are you planning on doing?
VOICE OF BRAD: Goodnight, Kevin.

Then I heard him walk away--laughing.

It was going to be a long night.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thou Shalt Try It Out

Anthony had a great idea for a lesson with Bowie.

ANTHONY: You need to learn to be happy for others.
BOWIE: I'm always happy for other people. It just sucks that nothing good ever happens to me, and that it only happens for stupid people. Wait, something's wrong with what I just said, isn't there?
ME: Well, it wasn't exactly a Hallmark card.

We took Bowie to the one place where it's hardest to be happy for other people.

An audition.

BOWIE: This is amazing. I love taking things from people. Roles, boyfriends--
ANTHONY: You're going to tank it.
ANTHONY: The audition. You're going to take a dive.
BOWIE: Why would I do that?
ANTHONY: Because it's a selfless action.
BOWIE: It's insanity!
ANTHONY: You learn through actions, Bowie.
BOWIE: You taught this moron?
ME: Actually, I wouldn't really be able to do this lesson...per se.

The teacher doesn't take a dive...ever.

That being said, for Bowie, it might be a good idea.

We brought Bowie to a local community theater to audition for their upcoming play.

When it was his turn to read, Bowie went up and stumbled over every word. He read stage directions out loud. He even sneezed on a fellow actor.

ME: He's a natural. You know, at being awful.

Afterwards, he was incensed.

BOWIE: I'm not happy for anybody that gets in that play.
ANTHONY: It actually wasn't a lesson about that. We just thought you wouldn't do it if you knew what the lesson was actually about.
BOWIE: Uh--which was?
ANTHONY: Humility.
BOWIE: I'm going to kill you both.

That was when his phone rang.

ME: Everything okay?
BOWIE: Actually--yes.

Bowie got the lead.

So much for that lesson.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thou Shalt Reject Thy Fawners

Alicia offered to help me with Boone, since he's the straight guy of the pack.

What she didn't know was that I was planning on having her help me figure out just how straight Boone is.

ALICIA: I'm so excited! I even made a lesson plan.
ME: Alicia, we're just going out for drinks with him.
ALICIA: Oh shoot! I forgot to put that in the plan.

Boone met us at a bar downtown, where Alicia revealed today's commandment.

ALICIA: You've got to stop only hanging around with women who want to sleep with you.
BOONE: That kind of limits my options to...hanging out with guys...straight guys...straight blind guys.
ME: Boone, if the only people around you want something from you, you're not experiencing real relationships.
BOONE: So how do we solve this?
ALICIA: We're taking you off the market for the night.

That's when Alicia slipped a fake wedding band on her finger--and Boone's.

BOONE: I think I can feel my finger burning.

While Alicia was hoping that Boone learned what life is like when women know you're off the table I was hoping Boone might set off Alicia's alarms.

Say what you want about the girl, but lately her gaydar has been on-point.

Two weeks ago...

ALICIA: That guy who just drove by us is gay.
ME: Um, I know him, Alicia.
ME: Well, he's--how did you know that?
ALICIA: After you date seventeen gay men, you learn a few things.

That night, Alicia and Boone made their way around the bar as a happy couple. For the first time, Boone found that he wasn't beating women away with a stick. Only a few stuck around to talk, meaning they might actually enjoy Boone's personality.

BOONE: Apparently, I'm not as rocking as I think I am.
ALICIA: Yes, you are. There are just an awful lot of people out there who are only looking for a quick fling.
ME: We're the ADD generation, Boone. It's not always pretty.
BOONE: Wait, you think we're in the same generation? Hahaha...


When Boone went to the bathroom, I took the opportunity to question Alicia.

ME: Sooo?
ALICIA: So what?
ME: What do you think of Boone?
ALICIA: He seems nice.
ME: Anything...funny about him?
ALICIA: No, not at all.


ALICIA: Except that he's in the closet.

Uh oh...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thou Shalt Hold My Hand

Aaron was the perfect choice to help me with Byron.

His coming out process hadn't gone as smoothly as I would have liked. The main problem was his resistance to accepting who he was.

Luckily, that was something my former student experienced as well.

AARON: We're going to hold hands.
BYRON: Excuse me?
ME: Hands, Byron. You're going to hold hands.
BYRON: But I just met this guy.
AARON: Are they all this dense?
ME: Oh yeah, and your class was a regular TED conference.

Aaron took Byron's hand, and started walking.

BYRON: Whoa, wait a minute. Where are we going?
AARON: We're going to take a walk downtown.
BYRON: I'm not holding your hand while we--

I thought he was going to put up a fight.

That's why I brought the handcuffs.

BYRON: I hope you have keys for these.
ME: Brad does.
BRYON: I'm screwed.

I let Aaron do the talking.

AARON: You need to realize that you, luckily, live in a fairly tolerant state where it's okay for you to be who you are.
BYRON: Oh really? Is that why you and I can't get married?
AARON: Nothing gets better with fear. Things only get better with courage.
BYRON: Fine, but why do I have to be the courageous one?
AARON: Some men are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them.
BYRON: Can't I just have money thrust upon me?

I could see this was going to have to be a team effort, so I took Byron's other hand.

ME: Let's do this.
BYRON: Great. Now it looks even gayer.

We went for a walk around town. I'd love to say we caused a big commotion, but I think most people just thought we were RISD kids doing a piece of performance art.

By the time we made it back to Aaron's place, Byron was laughing and having a great time. He didn't even realize he was still handcuffed.

And I didn't realize that Brad was in Atlanta.

But I decided to wait until we got inside to let him know just how successful our bonding experience was going to be.

Thou Shalt Box Up Thy Honesty

My old student AJ was in charge of helping me with Brody, the drama queen.

It seemed fitting since drama used to be AJ's major at Homo U.

AJ: We're going to try a little exercise.
BRODY: I hope it's cardio, because I'm a little on the chubs side today.

AJ leaned in and whispered to me.

AJ: The fact that I didn't make a snobby comment--
ME: So much growth.

We headed over the computer where we had set up a private e-mail account for Brody where people could leave their honest thoughts about him.

BRODY: Like an Honesty Box!
AJ: Sort of.
BRODY: Omg, I can't wait to hear what people wrote.

He probably should have waited.

BRODY: Ugly? Nasty?
AJ: That one says 'He makes my skin crawl.'
ME: Obnoxious voice. Awful voice.
AJ: Voice like a dying cat.
BRODY: Are they talking about my speaking voice or when I sing?
ME: You sing?
BRODY: Yeah in the shower.
ME: Then who would--never mind.

By the time we were done reading all the entries, Brody was devastated.

BRODY: Everyone hates me.
AJ: Sort of.
BRODY: Why do you keep saying 'sort of?'
AJ: Because none of those comments were real. Kevin and I just posted them there earlier today.
BRODY: But why--
ME: We wanted you to know what it feels like to have negativity put out into the world against you. Think about how all those comments made you feel, Brody.
AJ: That's what you do to other people when you start drama.
BRODY: Wow, I feel like I just had a revelation.

AJ looked at me with pride in his eyes.

BRODY: So wait, does that mean you guys hate me?

AJ's look turned to one of frustation.

Ah, the master really has become the teacher.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thou Shalt Know When to Ask for Help

Things were starting to unravel.

Byron was still in the closet when it came to the other boys. Boone might be in the closet. Bowie thought Brody was straight. And Brad was enjoying it all far too much.

BRAD: Looks like your weekly hand-holding session isn't going so well, is it?

It had gotten so bad I'd resorted to liquor to get the guys to come together.

Instead, there was nearly a drunken brawl.

BYRON: You're such a catty little jerk!
BOWIE: Hey! You're straight. You don't get to call me catty.
BRODY: Fine! I'll call you catty!
BOWIE: You don't get to either!
BRODY: Why not?
BOONE: Why don't you all shut up? Geez, I just got my hair styled today and your yelling is making it fall apart!

Everyone turned and looked at Boone.

BOONE: What?

It was time to call in the reserves.

BOWIE: This stupid school isn't even working. None of us are getting any better at whatever it is we were trying to get better at!
BRODY: I'm still a drama queen.
BYRON: I'm still...mostly...into politics.
BOONE: I actually think I'm more homophobic than I used to be.

Here come the troops.

ME: Hey guys, I invited some friends that might help instill a little more confidence in me.
BRODY: Friends?
ME: Maybe the better term is...
VOICE: Hey Kev!
ME: ...Alumni.

The boys turned around to see Aaron, Anthony, AJ, and Alicia.

My old students.

AJ: So are these the new bitches that need straightening out?

I feel better already.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thou Shalt Keep an Imaginary Secret

I decided to have lunch with Bowie to try and figure out who he thought was gay (Boone or Byron) and let him know that he needed to keep it a secret...whoever it was.

BOWIE: I don't know.
ME: What?
BOWIE: I said I don't know.
ME: Don't know what?
BOWIE: Who the gay one is!
ME: I'm confused.

This isn't unusual.

ME: Brad and I hung out the other night and he told me that there's a closet case in our little group.

Leave it to Brad to make sure he doesn't lose the bet we have going. If I fail to rehabilitate the boys, then Brad gets a nice pile of my money.

BOWIE: So who is it? Boone or Byron?

Two can play this game.

ME: It's Brody.
BOWIE: What?!?!
ME: Okay, that didn't need exclamation points AND question marks.
BOWIE: But Brody is--
ME: Straight.
BOWIE: Straight?
ME: Yup.
BOWIE: Then why does he say he's gay?
ME: He's struggling with his sexuality. I'm trying to help him with that.
BOWIE: So you're trying to help him come to terms with the fact that he's straight?
ME: Exactly.
BOWIE: That's insane.
ME: I'm trying not to judge him, Bowie. You shouldn't either.

I could tell Bowie wasn't sure whether to believe me or not, so I sealed the deal by leaning in close and whispering.

ME: You cannot tell ANYONE about this, okay? Brody trusts me.
BOWIE: Okay, okay. I'll keep it to myself. Nobody would believe me anyway.

You can say that again.

BOWIE: Wait a minute, does this mean I'm the ONLY gay guy you're helping right now.

Wow, I didn't even think about that.

ME: See? Don't you feel special?

He smiled, and that was when I knew I had him.

Thou Shalt Make the Video

I talked the guys into making a video for the "It Gets Better" project, but Boone, being the heterosexual of the group, was put in charge of operating the camera.

Thinking about Boone's potentially being in the closet was preventing me from worrying about the fact that Byron was still VERY much in the closet when it came to the guys.

ME: Why don't you want to tell them.
BYRON: Because I'm not ready to dive into the gay life yet, Kevin.
ME: It's not like moving to England, Byron. You don't have to learn a new language.
BYRON: Um...
ME: Oh God, I'm turning stupid.
BYRON: What's wrong with you?
ME: I have some stuff on my mind.

Brody wasn't helping.

BRODY: Can't we do this next week after I get my haircut?
ME: Brody, you don't need to look good for this.
BRODY: You ALWAYS need to look good!
ME: This is supposed to be you speaking from the heart.
BRODY: Why can't I speak from the heart with good hair?
ME: Brody--
BRODY: It's a lot easier for me to inspire others when I look inspiring.
ME: This video isn't a way for you to get people to tell you how cute you are. It's a way to help others selflessly.
BOONE: K-Broc, do you still want to borrow my shirt that makes you look like you have muscle?
ME: Yes, please!

Brody shot me a look.

ME: Hey, I'm not wearing it on-camera!

Things weren't going much better with Bowie.

BOWIE: I finished my video at home and uploaded it.
ME: Wow, good for you Bowie.
BOWIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There are bigger issues to discuss.
ME: Like what?
BOWIE: Like the fact that we've got a close case in our midst.

Cue dramatic music.

ME: Huh?
BOWIE: Don't play dumb with me. You've been withholding information.
ME: Bowie, that's not--
BOWIE: Look, I did my good deed for the day, which means I'm allowed a little bit of gossip. You can't just pull the cigarette out of my mouth, Broccoli. I'm going to need weaning.
ME: This conversation is over.
BOWIE: Fine, but that means I'm right.
ME: You're not right.
BOWIE: You don't even know who I'm talking about.
ME: Who else would you be--

Damn! Wait a second, he might mean Byron or Boone.

This was bad.

BOWIE: So I'm right, aren't I?


Friday, October 1, 2010

Thou Shalt Take Up Thy Lasers

Boone showed up at my door.

BOONE: Hey brojangles!
ME: Boone?
BOONE: Yeah?
ME: What are you doing here?
BOONE: I wanted to hang out.
ME: But there's no lesson scheduled today.
BOONE: So we can't hang out unless there's a lesson?
ME: Um, no, I didn't mean that. I just--
BOONE: Great! Throw some shoes on, and I'll pull the car around.


We pulled up in front of what looked like an arcade.

ME: Boone, I'm not a big fan of arcades. It's gambling without the promise of winnings.
BOONE: We're not going to the arcade.
ME: But what--
BOONE: We're going to laser tag!

Oh f**k me.

I'm about as good at laser tag as the Venus de Milo is at mini-golf.

We met a few of Boone's friend, and split up into two teams.

BOONE: My team is Team Destructor. What's your team name?
ME: The New Mickey Mouse Club?
BOONE: Sounds terrifying. Let's do this.

Boone's Team Destructor took out two of my guys immediately, but that's when my competitive spirit kicked in, and Team MMC wiped out everybody but Boone, who took to hiding in the back corner where it was rumored he went crazy and watched 'The Last Tango in Paris' on a loop.

...Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration.

When we were done, Boone and I shook hands.

BOONE: You're a killer, K-Broc.
ME: You should see me play Monopoly.
BOONE: What?
ME: Never mind.
BOONE: You want to grab dinner?
ME: I would, but I'm having dinner with Brad.
BOONE: Oh...okay...well, it was nice seeing you.
ME: Yeah, I'll see you at the next group session.
BOONE: Yup. Later.

It might have been just me, but he seemed...really sad.

BRAD: Oh my God, you snagged a gay.
ME: What are you talking about? Boone isn't gay. He's the token straight guy.
BRAD: All the signs are there.
ME: What signs?
BRAD: He likes laser tag.
ME: All gays like laser tag?
BRAD: Except me. I wouldn't be caught dead there.
ME: You picked Boone to be one of my students! If he's gay, you should have known.
BRAD: I've been fooled before. You should see me in Utah. I'm like a blind man in the forest.

If Boone is gay...

...I'm going to need a new lesson plan.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thou Shalt Circle Thy Calendar

Byron needed a little bit of hope.

BYRON: I did it. I came out to my family.
ME: And?
BYRON: And I need a place to sleep tonight.

We finally reached the big moment, and unfortunately, it wasn't one of those inspirational stories where everything turns out fine.

So, we wet Byron up with a place for the night, and then I offered some advice.

ME: Do you have a calendar on your phone?
BYRON: Yeah.
ME: Mark March 23rd.
BYRON: As what?
ME: The day this will all be okay.
BYRON: How do you know it'll be okay by then.
ME: Most things in life that aren't terminal illnesses, divorce, or bankruptcy tend to be fine after six months. Even this, for as life-shattering and confusing as it is, will be manageable in six months.

Byron looked down at his phone.

I could tell he didn't believe me.

BYRON: It sucks so much.
ME: Six months, Byron. I'm only asking for six months.

He looked up at me.

BYRON: Yeah, but are you even going to be here in six months?
ME: Where else would I be?

I put my hand over his.

Five months and thirty days left...

But who's counting?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thou Shalt Listen to Miss Turner

Brody needed to learn a way to channel his dramatic nature.

I figured out just the channel.

BRODY: Tina?
ME: Tina.

Miss Turner, if you're nasty.

When I want to let out a little theatrical steam, I put on the Queen of Rock 'N Roll (Sorry, Aretha, only one of you can still move) and I rock out.

BRODY: I never really listen to her.
ME: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that.

Now, most people would put on the old favorite--Proud Mary.

Me? I like to be a little more avante garde.

BRODY: Typical Male?
ME: It's so perfectly 80's. It could have been on the Cocktail soundtrack.
BRODY: And I just listen?
ME: Of course you don't just listen. You walk around.
BRODY: And do what? Lip synch?
ME: No, just walk. Walk and feel the attitude come in, and the bitch go out. It's a fine line, Brody.
BRODY: All right, hit play.

As soon as the song started, I knew he had it.

BRODY: This feels really good.
ME: Of course it does, you're summoning an icon.
BRODY: I feel like I'm on a runway.
ME: A beaten-but-never-broken runway?
BRODY: No, just a runway.
ME: Okay.

After "Typical Male," we did a little "Nutbush City Limits" followed up with "A Fool in Love."

BRODY: That was amazing.
ME: Do that once a week, and you'll be a new man.
BRODY: And no more lessons?
ME: No, we'll still have lessons. But your IPOD will be much more respectable. Nice try though.
BRODY: Can we listen to "Private Dancer" now?
ME: Um...of course!

Ah, Miss Tina.

She's good for the soul.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thou Shalt State Thy Trust

It was the first time I had all the boys together since the Ryan Tanner incident.

I decided to play a trust game with them.

BOONE: Why do we have to do this?
ME: Because I think we need to figure out where we all stand as far as trust goes.
BOWIE: I hate everybody.
ME: We've established that, but I'm talking about trust.
BYRON: So what do we do?
ME: We look at each other and say either 'I trust you' or 'I don't trust you.'


BRODY: I think I saw that on Dr. Phil.

More silence.

BRODY: I think it ended with blood.

Despite the protestations, I got everybody in a circle.

ME: Okay, I'll start. I trust all of you.
BOWIE: Bull.
ME: I do!
BOWIE: You have to say that.
ME: Fine, Bowie. You go.
BOWIE: I told you. I don't like any of you.
ME: But what about trust?
BOWIE: Same thing.
ME: You're not serious.
BOWIE: Totally.

Okay, that stung.

ME: Boone, your turn.
BOONE: Um, I trust you.

Okay, that's one.

BOONE: I trust Brody, I guess.
BRODY: Wow, thanks.
BOONE: And I don't really trust the other two.
BOWIE: Shocker.
BYRON: Wait, why?
ME: Byron--
BYRON: No, why do you not trust me?
BOONE: I just don't.
BYRON: Well, I don't trust you either!
ME: Don't let what he said--
BOONE: Fine! Don't trust me.

Brody raised his hand.

BRODY: I trust everyone but Bowie!
BOWIE: This is why I don't trust anyone!
BRODY: You said you don't trust me!
BOWIE: Because I know you don't trust me!
BYRON: I trust everyone but Boone.
BOWIE: Why do you trust me? You're an idiot.

Pretty soon everyone was shouting and the circle was on the verge of becoming a wrestling ring.


Everyone looked at me.

ME: Is there any chance you guys can act civil for just five minutes?



They made it ten seconds.

Thou Shalt Show a Softer Side

Dealing with Bowie is a little bit like dealing with a political crisis.

Luckily, I'm a veritable gay C.J. Cregg.

ME: I want to do a photoshoot with you.
BOWIE: No way. I'm still paying blackmail for the last time.
ME: Not that kind of--are these photos still in existence?
BOWIE: Ha ha. Give me the deets.

Facebook is a beautiful personal promotional tool. I thought if I took some photos of Bowie looking kinder and more relaxed, people might start changing their opinion of him.

BOWIE: Do I seriously have to hold this puppy?
ME: People love puppies.
BOWIE: People love chocolate too. Can't I hold a Nestles Crunch?
ME: Just try to look happy and easy-going?
BOWIE: The puppy is shedding. This is a new shirt.
ME: Then go put on another shirt.
BOWIE: You said you wanted me to look relaxed. This is my relaxed shirt.
ME: You don't look relaxed.
BOWIE: That's because this puppy feels like it's going to pee on MY BRAND NEW SHIRT!

I decided to try a different approach.

BOWIE: Where did you find a kitten?
ME: Don't ask. If a little girl comes by here crying, you don't know anything.
BOWIE: I'm allergic to cats.
ME: But you're not allergic to dogs?
ME: That's weird.
BOWIE: Sorry, my allergies don't follow your laws of logic.

Then we tried Bowie in a fountain looking carefree and Italian.

BOWIE: I'm probably catching something by being in this fountain.
ME: Scoop up some pennies and throw them in the air!

By the end of the day, we were exhausted, but I did manage to get some good shots.

ME: Bowie, I only have one photo in my hand. This photo will determine whether or not you're in the running to become America's Next Top--
BOWIE: Just show me the damn photo.

It was a photo of him holding the kitten away from himself while sneezing eight times in a row.

BOWIE: I look ridiculous.
ME: It'll help your intimidation factor.
BOWIE: Or at least get me laughed at.
ME: Same thing.

I might have another career on my hands.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thou Shalt Put on the Pounds

I'm at a severe disadvantage with Boone.

He's attractive.

BOONE: Yee-uh.

It's hard to make someone see the error of their ways if the rest of the world is content to keep helping them err.

So, I decided to do a little social experiment.

BOONE: You want me to wear a fat suit?
ME: I want you to see the world through different eyes.
BOONE: You mean Oliver Platt's eyes?
ME: Put on the suit. We're going out.
BOONE: To where? The Wing Nut Buffet?
ME: Not even close.

I took Boone to a house party at a school where he doesn't know anyone.

Boone thought maybe his charm would help him win some ladies over even with a much larger...persona.

Not so much.

BOONE: Hey, do you like--
RANDOM GIRL: I'd like it if you could move out of my way. Thanks.

He was shocked.

BOONE: That girl was a four and a half, a five tops! She should be happy I even glanced at her!
ME: Looks like you're hovering around the three-mark, Boone.
BOONE: I will NEVER be a three! NEVER!

Unfortunately, a house full of drunken people disagreed.

Boone didn't any attention, and when he did, it came in the form of dirty looks.

BOONE: This sucks!
ME: Yee-uh, it does.
BOONE: But you know what? Now I realize something.
ME: That good lucks are fleeting so you have to develop other character traits?
BOONE: No, I realized that I actually hooked up with that first girl who rejected me and she was terrible! I'm going to take off this suit, go inside, and remind her what she used to beg for!

Admittedly, some nuts are a bit harder to crack.

At least I got photos of him in the suit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thou Shalt Recognize Thy Desires

Byron was not pleased that I cut off his benefits.

BYRON: Who do you think you are?

I get that a lot.

The fact is, Rich Tanner and Byron having a fling wasn't going to do anybody any good.

Like a lot of men in the closet, Byron likes to fool around with guys and then act like he's your typical heterosexual. The guys he does this with don't mind because it absolves them of having to call the next day.

It's a win-win unless you count how psychologically f**ked up it all is.

BYRON: You had no right to scare off Rich.
ME: You mean when I scared him back into the arms of his boyfriend?
BYRON: So now you're judging me?
ME: I'm judging your actions.
BYRON: What does that mean?
ME: It's just another way of saying I'm judging you.

I could see Byron was going through sexual detox. He was in need of physical interaction with a guy, and the stronger that need became while remaining unsatisfied, the harder it would be for him to pretend it wasn't real.

BYRON: I feel like my head is going to explode.
ME: That's personal growth.
BYRON: I want to hit you.
ME: That's also personal growth.
BYRON: What else is personal growth?
ME: Pretty much everything. That's why personal growth is so awesome.
BYRON: That tree?
ME: Personal growth.

We started talking more about what it is he wants.

BYRON: It's just hard, you know? Because I don't have a type. I don't know what sort of guy I'd be into. I know what sort of girl I'd like.
ME: What kind of girl is that?
BYRON: Funny, spontaneous, loves a good burger.
ME: There are funny, spontaneous guys who love burgers.
BYRON: I know, it's

I put my hand on his shoulder.

ME: New can be great.
BYRON: New is personal growth?
ME: Yup.
BYRON: And that bench over there?
ME: No, that's just a bench.

He laughed.

It's a start.

Thou Shalt Be a Mediator

I decided to take the Rich Tanner situation into my own hands, and I brought Brody along with me so he could see how well I mediate.

Rich met us at the Brewhouse, and from the minute he sat down, I knew this was going to be--

RICH: Well, if it isn't the whore's life coach.


BRODY: Kevin, maybe we shouldn't--
ME: It's fine. He's upset. Rich, you're upset. I can see that.
RICH: I'm not upset. Everyone in town knows your friend is a whore. I won.
BRODY: You know, people who live in glass brothels--
RICH: Excuse me?
ME: Civil! We're staying civil!

Clearly, Ryan was stung by the fact that his boyfriend was fooling around with Bowie on the side, but since he himself was fooling around with Byron--

God, this was getting confusing.

ME: Rich, quick question, how did you find out about Bowie and your boyfriend?

His eyebrow went up.

From this point on, in order for him to keep smearing Bowie, he'd have to admit that he'd done some smear-worthy stuff himself.

RICH: A source.
BRODY: A source? Who are you? Woodward or Bernstein?
RICH: A friend.
ME: A good friend or a great friend?
RICH: What's the difference?
ME: You see a lot more of one than the other.

The most important thing to remember when mediating? Let them know you mean business.

RICH: Maybe I acted a little too hasty.
ME: I'd say there's a good chance of that.
RICH: But I would still ask that you keep your little protege away from my boyfriend.
ME: And I would ask that you stop hanging around that 'friend' of yours.
BRODY: Why should he--
RICH: Or else what?
ME: Or else someone might just drop a house on you.

He smiled. We understood each other.

Then he got up and left.

BRODY: That was awesome. Can you teach me to do that?

Finally, a little respect.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thou Shalt Keep It Confidential

Bowie was mad.

BOWIE: I want to know who did it.

Understandably so.

ME: Bowie, you don't know--
BOWIE: Bullshit! I want to know who did it!

Still, it was my job to keep the peace.

The boys and I were at Boone's house. It was supposed to be movie night, but apparently, since our last movie night, Bowie experienced a bit of drama.

BOWIE: More than a bit. Someone told that idiot Rich Tanner that I text his boyfriend when I feel like making out.
ME: Is that not true?
BOWIE: Of course it's true! But the only people I told about it were all of you when we had to do that stupid Sharing Circle!

Okay, it's not stupid. They did it on Oprah once.

BOONE: I didn't say anything. I don't even know Rich Tanner.
BRODY: I can't stand him. We don't talk.
BYRON: I wouldn't even--you know--I'm straight, so...

That's when I knew who did it.

Byron mentioned to me that he was hooking up with some guy with a boyfriend.

It must be Rich Tanner.

BOWIE: Well, now after I apologized to Rich, I look like a total joke because he found out after the fact about me and his boyfriend!
BOONE: Maybe you shouldn't have been fooling around with his boyfriend to begin with?
BOWIE: Maybe you should suck your own dick.
BOONE: Would that be bad?
BRODY: So wait, what happened?
BOWIE: I got defriended AND blocked!
BRODY: Ouch.
BYRON: That's

Bowie's eyebrow went up. He must have smelled the fear coming from Byron.

ME: Why don't we all pick a movie? Something comforting to calm us?
BOWIE: Why don't you go fuck yourself?
ME: Hey!
BOWIE: Because of your stupid circle, I'm even more hated now that I was before.
BRODY: Who hates you?
BOWIE: All of Rich's friends.
BOONE: You made your bed--
BOWIE: Fuck you, Boone.
BOONE: Fine. Leave then.
ME: Boone--
BOWIE: Don't have to tell me twice.

Bowie took off. I looked at Byron.

BYRON: I vote for The Sandlot.

. . . . .

BYRON: Anyone?

Something tells me movie nights are going to be a hard sell from now on.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thou Shalt Apologize

Since Bowie's biggest problem was going to be his reputation as a mean gay, I decided to work on him cleansing him of his cattiness.

ME: You're going to apologize to everyone you've ever been unkind to.
BOWIE: Should I do it now, or wait until I have a few free decades to kill?

I knew I was going to meet with resistance.

ME: How often do you apologize for...being you?
BOWIE: Never.
ME: Then now is the time to start.
BOWIE: Can't I just send flowers or something?
ME: Bowie, nothing will make people respect you more than an apology.
BOWIE: Or they'll think I'm in recovery.
ME: In a way, you are.

I sat him down at a computer and he began going through his Facebook friends list.

(Sidenote: Isn't it crazy that he's been mean to so many of the people on his FRIENDS list?)

BOWIE: Keep your enemies close.

He wasn't kidding about the time.

It took us over three hours to send out basic messages comprised only of "I'm sorry for..." (Fill in the blank.)

BOWIE: That was humiliating, exhausting, and terrifying.
ME: See? Change feels great!
BOWIE: You realize in one night you've single-handedly ruined a persona I've worked years to build.

I waited until he walked away with a look of disgust on his face before I patted myself on the back.

Thou Shalt Not Tease the Gays

One thing Boone is not is homophobic.

BOONE: I love the gays!

He loves the gays.

Perhaps...a little too much.

BOONE: Last night, I went out to this gay bar and danced shirtless on the bar with my two gay friends.
ME: Bad.
ME: Really bad?

He was confused.

Maybe you are too.

Let me help you out.

ME: Boone, you're teasing the gays.
ME: You're a good-looking guy--
BOONE: Thanks!
ME: --And you're letting them believe they stand a chance with you.
BOONE: No, I'm not! I'm just having fun!
ME: Going to a gay bar and taking off your shirt isn't having fun. It's you giving false hope.

Boone looked crestfallen. Clearly, I was the first gay man to tell him to put his shirt back on.

BOONE: So I can't go where I want now because people will get the wrong idea?
ME: No, people will get the wrong idea if you GIVE them the wrong idea. You can go wherever you want, just act like a grown-up. A straight grown-up who doesn't look like he'd go down on you if you got him drunk enough.
BOONE: Well, you never know--
ME: You're saying that because you're mad I'm not into you, right?
BOONE: God, it's like you have crystal balls.

I'm going to take that as a compliment.

Thou Shalt Not Drink It Off

Byron, like a lot of closet cases, has a bad habit.

ME: You get drunk, have sex with a boy, then pretend you don't remember anything about it the next day.

So perhaps I've started cutting to the chase a little bit more.

BYRON: I...uh...don't...
ME: Don't play dumb. I may not drink, but I'm friends with some of the best.

(FRIENDS: Preach!)

ME: You are using alcohol as an excuse to do the wrong thing because the next day you can blame it all on the--?
BYRON: A-a-a-alcohol?
ME: You got it.

I decided a little aversion therapy was in order.

I took Byron to a party, and gave him his instructions.

ME: I want you to do everything you would do when you're drunk, but not have anything to drink.
BYRON: I...uh...don't...

I wanted Byron to own up to what it is he wants.

He wants to have sex with guys.

If he can do it drunk, he can do it sober.

(FRIENDS: Not necessarily.)

After two hours of partying, Byron was still sitting in a corner munching on a potato chip.

ME: So what have we learned?
BYRON: That I'm a wimp?
ME: No, that you use alcohol as a crutch.
BYRON: Well, yeah, I'm in college.
ME: From now on, the crutch is gone. Time for you to learn how to walk, little homo.
BYRON: Can I have a drink first?

Yeah, I'm cruel sometimes.

Blogging ain't easy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thou Shalt Learn to Laugh It Off

Remember that scene from Mary Poppins where they all laugh their way up to the ceiling?

BRODY: I don't see what's so funny.

This wasn't going to be anything like that.

I was trying to teach Brody to laugh more things off instead of getting so worked up about them.

He told me that his ex-boyfriend (who he broke up with five years ago) has a new boyfriend, and it's very upsetting to him.

ME: Brody, it's been five years. Get over it. Don't pull a Jolie.
BRODY: You mean an Aniston?
ME: Let's not discuss religion, politics, and Jen versus Angelina, okay?
BRODY: Fine.
ME: The point is--you need to just let things go, and laughing about them is the best way.
BRODY: The one who got away got a new guy. What's so funny about that?
ME: The new guy is named Dervell, right?
BRODY: Yeah.
ME: That's pretty damn funny.

He thought about it for a second.

BRODY: Okay, maybe you have a point, but I still don't see how I'm going to condition myself to think that.

That was when I threw water on him.

He looked shocked.

ME: Now laugh.
BRODY: I'm going to kill you.
ME: Okay, but laugh first.
ME: Because if you think about it--
ME: --or if you don't think about it, it's funny.

The water was still dripping off his face into his lap, when he started to giggle. You can tell he didn't want to, but nevertheless--

BRODY: You're an ass.
ME: At least you're laughing.

I handed him a glass of water.

ME: Here, go to town.

He threw the water at me.

I managed to splash some back at him.

We were both howling.

ME: See? It's possible, Brody.
BRODY: Yeah, I guess. Hahaha...
ME: Hahaha...
BRODY: Dervell is SUCH a stupid name!
ME: Hahaha!
BRODY: Plus, I'm still sleeping with my ex, so who's really getting screwed over here?
ME: Haha--wait, what?

Back to square one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thou Shalt Play the Game

In another effort to bond with the boys, I initiated a game night.

BOWIE: At what point will being friends with morons help me become a better person?

He gets sweeter everyday.

I thought maybe we could try out my favorite game--


Nothing helps you get inside someone's head like having them get you to guess the word--

BRODY: Pickle! It was pickle!
BOONE: Pickle? Are you insane?
BRODY: What?
BOONE: You don't put pickles on a meatball sub!
BRODY: I do!
BOONE: That's because you're a freak!

Things didn't go much better with the next team.

BYRON:'s...when you're...uh...
BYRON: It's uh...a place where you...put...
BOWIE: Attics? Basements?
BOONE: Time!
BYRON: Sorry.
BOONE: What was it?
BYRON: Uh...closet.

Awkward seagull.

I felt bad when it was all over. After all, I'm sort of a hustler.

Plus, I had a good partner.

ME: If you like Nickelback you're a--
BRAD: Loser.
ME: Except for 'This Afternoon' which is actually--
BRAD: Decent.
ME: That last guy you dated was a--
BRAD: Toad.
ME: The shirt I'm wearing--
BRAD: Nightmare.

Hey, I had a good time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thou Shalt Introduce Thyself

I was out with Bowie at the club for our next lesson.

BOWIE: Is this where I learn to backhand people so hard they have a mark the next day?

At least he's getting excited about his education.

ME: I want you to introduce yourself.
BOWIE: To who?
ME: To--

I motioned towards the entire room.

ME: --Everyone.

Bowie looked like 'The Scream.'

BOWIE: Are you joking?
ME: Not even a little bit.
BOWIE: But I don't know the people I don't know here for a reason.
ME: What's the reason?
BOWIE: They're ugly and/or I just don't like them.
ME: If you've never met them, how do you know you don't like them?
BOWIE: Did you not hear the part about them being ugly?

For that, I gave him extra homework.

ME: Not only are you introducing yourself to everyone, I want you to say hi to the people you do know.
BOWIE: All right, now you're just being crazy.
ME: What's wrong with that?
BOWIE: You being crazy?
ME: Bowie--
BOWIE: Kevin, I like who I like, and I dislike who I dislike.
ME: Well, the last time I checked, one list was significantly longer than the other.
BOWIE: I don't need that many friends.
ME: Fine, but one day you're not going to be some hot little asshole anymore, Bowie, and when you're not, you're going to need all the friends you can get. Now start making friends before I teach you that backhand.

It took him nearly an hour, but he managed to do the entire bar.

Wow, that sounds really bar.

At the end of the night, he looked exhausted, but also sort of exhilarated.

ME: Meet anybody you misjudged?
BOWIE: Maybe a few people.
ME: See? Being kind is fun!
BOWIE: Tell that to the three guys who called me a dickhead and the one guy who threw a drink in my face.
ME: Huh?
BOWIE: Maybe you don't realize this, Kevin, but I've been a jerk for a long time. If you want to help me, you're going to have to help cleanse my reputation. I'm not some newbie to the scene, okay? If anything, maybe I should just bail on it altogether.

He slammed some money on the bar for his drink, and walked away.

It looks like this was going to be a much harder challenge than I thought.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thou Shalt Call Upon a Booty

Boone has a problem with women.

BOONE: But she's on her way over!

He treats them like Netflix movies.

BOONE: Dude, I cannot be reforming my life right now. I haven't gotten laid in hours!
ME: That doesn't--you measure it in HOURS?

He uses them, maybe watches them, maybe doesn't, then leaves them on his fridge until he remembers to send them back.

BOONE: This girl's been in my que forever!
ME: Wow, I really was on target with that metaphor.
ME: Never mind. The point is, I'm trying to make you a better straight man, and I can't do that if you're being a manwhore who makes girls come over his house at 3am.
BOONE: Nobody's MAKING anybody. She wants to come.
ME: That's because girls like to believe they can have sex like boys.
BOONE: With penises?
ME: With no emotional attachment. Damn you, Kim Catrall.

Luckily, Boone sent me the booty text by accident, so I was in intervention mode immediately.

BOONE: Please just let me be bad for just one night.
ME: Boone, what if Elizabeth Gilbert had stopped at Eat? Then the book wouldn't be called 'Eat, Pray, Love' it would just be called 'Eat: A Woman Gets Fat in Italy and Dies Alone.'

That was when the doorbell rang.

BOONE: Kev, she's a gymnast.
ME: You're making that up.
BOONE: She could be a gymnast. I could help her.

I opened the door to find the cutest little college sophomore ever.

ME: You filthy slut.
KENDRA: Um, did I agree to a threeway and not realize it?
ME: Look at yourself.
KENDRA: I'm sorry! The window was down and my hair got all kooky when I went on the highway.
ME: I mean your dignity!
KENDRA: I can't look at that. It's a metaphor.
ME: It's actually--never mind. Now look, this boy calls you over to his house at 3am and you go knowing full well he's going to use you for sex and then send you home and you're okay with that?
KENDRA: Um, we were going to watch Jersey Shore too before we--

I slammed the door in her face.

ME: That's why I stopped taking female students.
BOONE: Now what am I supposed to do?
ME: Write that girl an apology e-mail and delete her number from your phone. From this point on, until you're a good man, you're celibate.

Tough love, kids.

It hurts me more than--

Nah, it hurts him way more.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thou Shalt Dizzy Up the Girl

Byron was going to break up with Kira.

I had them set up a date at the Brewhouse. That way if things got loud, nobody would notice.

BYRON: This is going to be a disaster.
ME: I'll be right here at the other table if you need me.
BYRON: How many drinks should I have her order before I tell her I like guys?
ME: I'd order rubbing alcohol and go from there.

Kira showed up looking lovely.


Maybe she can leave here with a new boyfriend.

From my vantage point, I could overhear their conversation and still enjoy my burger.

Hey, a professor has to eat.

Everything was going along fine until Byron revealed the reason for the dinner.

KIRA: You're gay?
BYRON: Uh...yes.
KIRA: Oh my God.
BYRON: Look, I know this must be a--
KIRA: I can't believe you finally figured it out.

Wait, what?

BYRON: You mean you knew?
KIRA: Of course I knew.
BYRON: But we were dating.
KIRA: And it was fun. I guess this means you want to break up?

Okay, time for me to step in.

ME: Hi. Sorry to interrupt.
KIRA: Aren't you that guy from the party?
ME: Why yes, I am.
KIRA: Are you new Byron's new boyfriend? Because I think he can do better.
ME: I'm not--HEY!
BYRON: Kira, if you knew I was gay, why did you keep seeing me?
KIRA: Because you're cute, you're sweet, and straight men suck.
ME: So you took advantage of him?
KIRA: Or he took advantage of me depending on how you look at it. You have to admit, Byron, I was a pretty damn good beard.
ME: Who says beard anymore?
BYRON: She has a point, Kev.

Somehow at the end of this, we all ended up sitting around, drinking beer and eating burgers.

I would say Byron's first step out of the closet was a huge success.

Let's hope his luck doesn't run out.

Thou Shalt Raise Thy Expectations

I was trying to help Blake weed out his less-than-stellar associates.

BLAKE: This is the guy I hook up with on Wednesdays.

Okay, maybe my wording was a little fancy.

ME: Why only on Thursdays?
BLAKE: That's when his girlfriend visits her dying mother.
ME: I'm not even going to touch that one.

After we went through his Facebook, the next step was to help him evaluate who he spends time with on a regular basis.

I had him print out photos of all his friends and write down how he feels about them next to their pictures.

ME: Why does this photo have 'hot hot hot' next to it?
BLAKE: Um, are you not looking at him?
ME: I wanted actual personality traits, Blake.
BLAKE: So I should have written 'yummy?'
ME: Do you know anything about any of these people?


BLAKE: I know most of their first names.

It was time to raise Blake's expectation.

ME: This is going to be fun.
BLAKE: Really?
ME: Of course not, but we're going to do it anyway.

Sometimes life is like an episode of Clean House--and you just need to do a yard sale.

ME: Does that person contribute anything to your life?
BLAKE: Tons.
ME: Aside from sex and booze?
BLAKE: Okay, nothing.
ME: Then they're out.

By the time we were done, Blake had one photo left.

BLAKE: But this is your photo.
ME: And you wrote 'lame dumb poop' on it.
BLAKE: I didn't think you'd actually read that...
ME: It's okay. I've been called worse.

It looks like it's time to get Blake new friends.

Thou Shalt Play Nice

It was the first time I was having all the boys sit down to dinner together.

BLAKE: This is just like the Housewives reunion!

I should have known better.

I thought maybe they could all get to know each other better, and help become a support system for each other.

BOWIE: Before we begin, is this twinkie high?
BOONE: Yo, I'm not a twinkie. I'm straight.
BOWIE: Of course you are, you're not the cute one.

Byron was looking uncomfortable. I told everyone that he was also straight, and was just looking for ways to become more open.

BOWIE: You want to be open?
BYRON: Um, yes.
BOWIE: I think I can help with that.
ME: Down, Bowie.
BLAKE: Oh my God! Your name is Bowie? That's wicked Gossip Girl.
BOWIE: Are you even a person?

Blake looked like he'd been slapped--which, he pretty much was.

BOONE: Why don't you back off?
BOWIE: Why don't you talk less?
BYRON: You know, I probably shouldn't even be here.
BLAKE: Um, I'm totally a person.
BOWIE: Why do you have two straights in this experiment? Isn't one token enough?

I could see it was a mistake to bring a pork chop (Byron) so close to a tiger (Bowie).

ME: Byron, you do have that thing to go to.
BYRON: What thing?
ME: The colonoscopy.

Hey, I had to come up with something.

BOWIE: There goes my appetite.
BOONE: Well, you did just eat a small child earlier.
BOWIE: You can suck my left--
ME: Okay, dinner's over!

Blake tugged on my sleeve, pointed at Bowie, and whispered--

BLAKE: Are you going to teach him not to be mean?

The tall orders keep on coming.

Thou Shalt Sneer No More

Bowie was definitely going to be my toughest student.

BOWIE: So if I help you win this bet, you'll split the money with me?

So I may have offered him up some initiative...

ME: If you still want the money after the process, sure.
BOWIE: Ohhh, I'm going to want the money.
ME: You may feel that becoming a better person is payment enough for--
BOWIE: Yeah, yeah, what do I have to do? Adopt an orphan or something?

Step one with Bowie was going to be something simple.

ME: No more sneering.
BOWIE: Beg your pardon?
ME: You sneer at people. It's not nice.
BOWIE: And you know all about nice?

Apparently, someone's never read my other blogs.

ME: Why don't you try smiling?
BOWIE: Why don't you tickle my--
ME: Half the cash!
BOWIE: Ughhh--I only make faces when I have to.
ME: Which is how often?
BOWIE: Um, like now, because you're being a moron.

Baby steps, baby steps.

ME: Let me say something sort
BOWIE: Stupid?
ME: Interesting! And I want you to just listen and not judge me.
BOWIE: Okay fine. Do I have to--
ME: You don't have to smile. Just try not to look disdainful.
BOWIE: Let's get this over with.

Phrase #1: My boyfriend is so amazing. I don't see him much because he lives in Seattle, but I'm sure he's not cheating or anything.

Bowie looked like a monster was trying to climb out of his throat. Still, he kept the poker face.

Phrase #2: This guy totally wants me. He texted me last week and said he didn't want to talk to me anymore, but he's just playing hard to get. It's so obvi.

I saw Bowie's hands grip the table we were stiting at and go white--but no facial expression.

Phrase #3: How does this shirt look?


This was going to be fun.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thou Shalt Quit Smoking

My first time with a straight boy didn't go the way I planned.

Wow, I need to revise that statement.

BOONE: Dude, I'm not quitting smoking.
ME: Can I at least get you to quit saying 'dude?'

Boone seemed to be stagnant. Lots of plans, lots of ideas, no outlets, and one big obstacle.

ME: All you do is get stoned.
BOONE: Is this a problem?
ME: What is it you want to do with your life, Boone?
BOONE: I like writing.

A writer?

One of my fellow kinsmen?

Maybe this wouldn't be so hard after all.

ME: How often do you write?
BOONE: Like...never.
ME: Never?
BOONE: Nope.
ME: That's like saying 'I'm a painter. I just haven't painted anything yet.'
BOONE: I've been busy!

Busy? We were in his apartment. The Hangover was on the television. There was a cricket playing a violin somewhere.

ME: Busy doing what?
BOONE: Enjoying myself.
ME: How often do you smoke a day?
BOONE: Um...
ME: More often than you write, right?
BOONE: Write right?
ME: So--

I grabbed his arm, got him off his couch, and put him down at this desk.

ME: When you're done writing, you can smoke.
BOONE: How much do I have to write?
ME: Let's say ten pages.
BOONE: About what?
ME: I don't care. As long as it's something.
BOONE: Can I write about smoking.
ME: If that's what it takes.

I left him there with his thoughts.

Okay, maybe that's not the best idea--

But it's a start.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thou Shalt Come Out

My first lesson with Byron didn't go very well.

BYRON: I'm not gay.

Some might say it didn't "go" at all.

I invited him to meet me at Andrea's so we could get down to business.

BYRON: I like girls.

Business is slow.

ME: Byron, I saw that guy come out of the bathroom at the party.
BYRON: He was just showing me how to use the shower.
ME: Really? I've never seen a house where the shower didn't work unless two guys were having sex in it.
BYRON: I'm out of here.

He stood up to leave, but that was when the waiter showed up with our drinks.

If there's one thing a closet case won't do, it's leave a room without getting drunk first.

BYRON: Maybe I can hang out for a little while longer, if you promise not to bring up private stuff.
ME: Um, okay.

I was going to have to take a different approach.

Little did I know that approach would be Brad.

BRAD: Hello boys.
ME: Brad, if you're here to sabotage--
BRAD: Give me some credit, Kevin. I'm actually here to help.
BYRON: Do I know you?
BRAD: Kinda. You're screwing my boyfriend.

Uh oh.

ME: Since when do you have a boyfriend?
BRAD: One of my boyfriends. He's screwing one of my boyfriends.
BYRON: I don't know what you're--
BRAD: Apparently you like to get drunk--drunk with big air quotes around it, by the way--then call him up and have him sneak in your dorm room where he helps you with your identity crisis.
BYRON: I don't--

But I could see Brad was telling the truth. That meant Byron was in big trouble. Brad treats his F-buddies like an only child treats his toys.

Nobody gets to play with them but him.

This may not sound fair, but since Brad refuses to be one of my students, there's not much I can do about it.

BRAD: Here's the deal. Kevin's going to try and help you come out the right way. If you let him, I'll back off--mostly because then you won't be a challenge, and my boyfriend will lose interest.
BYRON: And if I don't let him?
BRAD: Then I get to out you--and that's a lot more traumatic. Trust me.

With that, he picked up Byron's drink, downed it, and stood up.

BYRON: That was my drink!
BRAD: It's no fun when people steal from you, is it?

And he walked away.

Byron looked at me with a mixture of fear and rage in his eyes.

ME: Sooo...shall we begin?

Hey, don't judge me. I have a bet to win.

And now, so does Byron.

Thou Shalt Cleanse Thy Facebook

My first lesson with Blake involved Facebook.

BLAKE: Oh my God! Are we going to compare mutual friends?

This was going to be a bloodbath.

ME: No, we're going to delete friends.


BLAKE: I'm going to have to cry and then kill you.

Since it was clear that Blake's life was full of drama, I thought the first place to clear away the social debris was the social network.

ME: Blake, your Facebook is a magnet for trouble.
BLAKE: What are you talking about?
ME: You have four relationships, four break-ups, a feud with some guy named 'Stoney Joe,' and nineteen passive aggressive statuses with hearts all on the same day of newsfeed.
BLAKE: That's called a life, K-Broc.
ME: That's called we're hitting the restart button.

I decided to take things slow.

First we defriended everyone that Blake wasn't actually friends with--

BLAKE: NO! Not Taylor!
ME: You like Taylor?
BLAKE: I loathe Taylor.
ME: So why are you friends with Taylor?
BLAKE: Keep your friends close.
ME: And defriend your enemies.
BLAKE: Ugh, I hate slash love slash wanna punch you.
ME: Slash your friends list, then we'll talk.

By the time we were done defriending and removing embarrassing posts from his wall, all he had was--

BLAKE: My favorite movies and a wall post from my grandma.

Well, it's a start.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thou Shalt Start The New Semester

Life begins at parties.

You know who said that?


Brad. That's right.

BRAD: And someone else, but who cares?

He'd talked me into going out on a Wednesday night to some house party in the PC area.

ME: I'm not sure why I let you talk me into this.
BRAD: What's wrong?
ME: It's midnight on a Wednesday and I'm just arriving at a party.
BRAD: And?
ME: Brad, we're not in college anymore. We're in our late twenties.
BRAD: You're in your late twenties. I'm a sparkling nineteen.
ME: Is that the ecstasy, the alcohol, or the bitterness talking?
BRAD: A combo of two, now--

Brad suddenly had a devilish smile on his face.

ME: There's another reason I'm here, isn't there?
BRAD: Remember when you said you'd give me a chance to win some of the money I lost to you back?
ME: You mean when I transformed four little ducklings into glittering duckettes?
BRAD: That's right.
ME: Brad, I'm a little too busy to be taking on--
BRAD: Too bad. I have four boys inside this house who all need a mentor.
ME: Are they tied up in different rooms?
BRAD: Damn, I didn't think of that.
ME: So I meet these boys and then decide if--
BRAD: No, no, no. You accept the mission. You find the boys. You fix them by the end of the semester--
ME: Which school?
BRAD: Let's just say December.
ME: And you pay double?
BRAD: Or you do.

I was tempted, which means I said--

ME: How do I find them?

More of that devilish grin.

BRAD: Look for the purple ribbon.

. . . . .

The house was packed.

I only met my first pupil, because he spilled his drink on me.

BLAKE: Oh my God! I am so sorry!

I immediately noticed the red ribbon tied around his waist.

ME: Are you somebody's present?
BLAKE: Some cute drunk old guy gave this to me.
ME: That would be Brad, and you are--?
BLAKE: Blake. Is he your friend? Because I'm sort of dealing with Daddy issues because my father was really absent during my childhood. Do you want a drink? I'd get you one. You seem nice. Sorry about the spill. Want to take off your pants? Haha...Sorry, that was lame. But if you want to make out, I'm very sexually progressive.
ME: I'm...wet.
BLAKE: In a hot way?
ME: In a wet way.
BLAKE:'re amazing. Do you think this could be fate?
ME: I think nothing about this was unplanned. Is there a bathroom in here?
BLAKE: Yeah, but, ugh, people were making out in it. I mean, good for them. I'm probably just jealous, but like, everybody needs love, you know? And I really have nobody in my life since my last boyfriend left. It's just--
ME: Hold that thought, Blake.

Okay, so clearly, a drama queen. That was going to be tricky, but not impossible.

When I got to the bathroom, I noticed a red ribbon tied around the doorknob.

One of the boys in here must be--

RANDOM GUY: Um...someone's in there.

The random guy who just popped out was still zipping up his fly when he warned me against going in.

ME: Yeah, I figured as much.

Was this guy my second student?

I had my answer when he took off, and a minute later another guy popped out looking really ashamed.

ME: Are you okay?
GUY: Yeah, I was just using the bathroom. What's your problem?
ME: I don't have a--
VOICE: Byron!

That was when this adorable girl appeared, and grabbed Byron's sleeve.

GIRL: You've become the worst date here.
BYRON: Sorry, Kat.
KAT: I'm only teasing, By. You know how much I love my boyfriend.
ME: Is your boyfriend here?
KAT: Yeah, this is him.
ME: I see.
KAT: Who are you?
ME: I'm Kevin. Did you know--

I saw Byron look at me with pleading in his eyes.

ME: --that koala bears are incredibly fertile?
KAT: Oh great, a zoology major.

With that, Kat took off with Byron following after her.

She calls him 'By'--how appropriate.

Once I wiped down my jeans in the bathroom, I found a note scrawled in lipstick on the mirror.

And nobody has better lipstick penmanship than Brad.

"Up the Stairs. Second Door on the Left."

If I walked in on any sort of spanking, the bet was off.

In fact, when I walked into the room, all I could see was red ribbon covering the bed.

ME: Went all out on this one, huh Brad?
VOICE: Are you Tony?

I turned around to see a jittery guy with tattoos staring at me like I was about to do a magic trick.

ME: No, are you Tony?
BOONE: I'm Boone
ME: You're kidding.
ME: Who's Tony?
BOONE: This...guy...I'm waiting for.
ME: Oh my God, are you soliciting?
BOONE: What does that even mean?
ME: Are you waiting for a prostitute?
ME: Oh, thank God.
BOONE: I'm waiting for my dealer.

Annnd we're done.

ME: You can't give me a drug addict, Brad!

I called up Brad from my cell phone while sitting on the staircase as people puked mere feet from my head.

BRAD: He's not a drug addict. He only smokes pot.
ME: That's still more than I do.
BRAD: Which is probably why diamonds are forming in your ass as we speak.
ME: I'm not dealing with a gay pothead.
BRAD: Great. You don't have to.
ME: So you're taking him off the roster?
BRAD: No kitten, he's not gay.
BRAD: He's my wildcard. A straight boy.
ME: That is--

As I was about to say 'bullpucky,' I felt a red ribbon be pulled down in front of my eyes.

VOICE: Gotcha.

I lifted the ribbon, turned around, and there was--

BOWIE: Looks like my Christmas came early.
ME: Uh--
BRAD: From the sound of it, you just met your last recruit.

I hung up the phone.

BOWIE: I'm Bowie.
ME: Kevin.
BOWIE: Nice to meet you.
ME: Same here.
BOWIE: Sorry if I was a bit forward. Some guy left ribbon everywhere upstairs, so I thought I'd put it to good use.

So he's, what? A slut? Too direct? Same difference?

ME: It's fine, really.
BOWIE: So do you want to get out of here?


ME: Actually, I'd like to get to know you. I'm trying to make some new friends.

Four new friends.

BOWIE: Well, I don't really need friends.
ME: Everyone needs friends.

Bowie laughed. It was a...scary sort of laugh.

Then it stopped.

BOWIE: Look, you can either come back to my lovely apartment with me off Hope Street and screw until we pass out, or you can stay here, but considering you look like you got dressed at Savers, you should consider yourself lucky I ever pulled the ribbon over your eyes in the first place.

Uh oh. Dangerous, Will Robinson.

This guy was no mere slut. He was--

BOWIE: Fine. Stay. But just so you know, I'm going to go home, find you on Facebook, and send every one of your friends a message letting them know you use too much teeth while you're giving head. Maybe next time you'll be a little more humble when a cute guy offers you the night of a lifetime.

--A cobra.

By the time I made it out of the party, the police were already on their way to break it up.

Brad was waiting for me outside on the lawn.

ME: A closet case. A straight stoner. A melodramatic case study. And--
BRAD: Bowie. Ain't he something?
ME: You've got to be kidding me with all this, right?
BRAD: Double or nothing means raising the stakes.
ME: Yes, but you drove the stake through my skull.
BRAD: So you're backing down? Because that means you pay up.

Trying to transform these four guys could give me a nervous breakdown.

ME: Start saving up, Brad. It's going to be an expensive Christmas.

I hear the looney bin is lovely in the fall.