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.