Yesterday afternoon was the Pride Parade, and the small accounting firm I work for entered its own float. We all wore costumes (mine was the "gay business man on-the-go") and our dance number was set to Bronski Beat's "Why?". Our routine consisted of all of us whipping Howard with real whips. Howard is a sixty-year-old ex-drill Sargent from the army who wasn't too thrilled to be involved in the event but got stuck with the "leather thong and heavy chains" outfit and that was the role he had to play.
I kept a log of everything that happened as it went down. Please find it transcribed below.
Everyone from the office is at the garage where our float is being housed. Don, the sole openly gay male in our office, is the only one missing. Howard's wife and grandchildren are helping Howard get into costume. They seem downbeat, and a scoch apathetic which is quite off putting. Dot, the only openly gay female in our office, is unrecognizable in her Elvis costume with thick side-burns and a pompadour.
Charisse, who helped organize our float in a show of support for our two gay friends, and who choreographed our entire routine, has thrown a fit over creative differences and has quit the event. No one has noticed, except for me, as I just saw her from the corner of my eye stomping off. The rest of us are are too busy laughing at Howard and his wife, and how sad they look. No sign of Don yet.
Charisse has returned, stating that she is willing to compromise. No one has noticed her return, except for myself who just barely glanced her, and that was only because I almost tripped on her before shoving her out of my way. Don is still a no-show.
Don is here! With his parents from the country! Except that he's dressed in acid wash jeans, a Van Halen T-shirt and is wearing a strange mullet wig. He's also talking in a deeper voice, and moving in a stiff, exaggerated, masculine way as he shakes his head at us like he's embarrassed of us.
Don just lied to his mother that he's only here to support Howard. He lies again and tells his mother that Howard is gay.
Howard's wife just slapped Howard across the face.
Don's father just came out of the closet! He told his wife he couldn't help it, being surrounded by so many happy gay people. His wife said she always knew, and that she is so proud of him.
Don just shouted into his father's face, "I hate you! My father's dead to me!"
As Don is storming off, his mother has also just come out of the closet. Don's father is in tears, blubbering how proud he is of her.
Don has returned, pitching away his wig while belting out "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".
Don and his parents are group hugging each other, swaying back and forth, singing, "People... people who need people... are the luckiest people..."
And we are off. The float in front of us has five topless lesbians in pirate outfits. They're really rowdy, and talking with real pirate voices. I have to put my pad and pen down, as we all get ready to whip Howard.
In just thirty minutes, all hell has broken loose. Dot was abducted by the topless pirate lesbians and is now one of them, topless herself in a pirate get-up and sword as she and her pirate friends tie the now abducted Howard to a mast aboard their float. We all look on from our own float, horrified and helpless.
Don's mother is now also topless in a pirate costume with an eye patch and a parrot on her shoulder as she attempts to set fire to our float.
We all watch from the sidelines as our float crackles aflame.
All is forgiven between our office and the pirates as they return Howard, Dot and Don's mother back to us. In front of the police, we all "shake on it" and agree to settle our differences differently from now on.
As my wife picks me up to take me back home, and I secretly draw up plans for our float next year, I look over at Don, through the rear-view mirror, as he sadly watches both his parents "get some" while he gets zip.