Friday, February 01, 2008

"How Gay Is That?"

Hanging from the ceiling of one wing of the lobby of my office building are four umbrellas: one lavender, one white, one black, and one a bilious green. At first, I didn't notice them, since they were installed around last Thanksgiving, just as the building staff were putting up the Christmas decorations, and those camouflaged them pretty thoroughly. Once the decorations came down, though, the umbrellas became all too obvious. The impression they give is of some division of Citigroup suddenly saying to itself, "Oh, what the hell?" and deciding to camp it up.

A dear friend, after whom I was named, was passing through the lobby with me today. Indicating the umbrellas, he asked, "How gay is that?"

The question stunned me. And then I began to wonder: "How gay is that?" And I realized I hadn't the foggiest clue how gay it was.

Why, I mused, has no clever soul, aspiring to be the very Fahrenheit of sexual orientation, constructed a reliably calibrated device, wherewith mankind might thenceforth measure gaiety? For, indeed, in this Anno Domini 2008, we have naught but the grossest means of assessing local variations in that quality: Noel Coward gay; Arnold Schwarzenegger girlie-man gay; Village People gay; and so forth.

I therefore propose, to anyone who might chance upon this site, that such a device be invented without further delay. There could be big bucks in it; royalties and licensing fees, you know!

And why, you ask, don't I invent the device, if I'm so dashed gung-ho to have one?

Frankly, I can't be bothered.


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