Straight men cruising The Strip; straight women looking for husbands

So we meet again, citizens, back full-circle in our horrifically new capsized, amusement-park world, circa 2023: Welcome, January! Fresh hell start to yet another year hotter, less food and water, and wars’ senseless fodder. Bigger, more buffoonish and more baadass than ever: Global birth rates are in freefall; suicides are skyrocketing, and the fastest-growing age group requiring intense, psychological therapy is teenagers.

Last week, for no reason I can sanely fathom, I decided to close my eyes and just randomly tear out a single page every day from The New York Times. Was worldwide chaos and anarchy truly the only game in town? Our sole future forward? The blindsiding headlines from my indiscriminately ripped articles of “all the news that’s fit to print” read as follows:

“Three quarters of teenagers have seen online pornography by age 17;” “Virginia authorities flummoxed by 6-year-old student’s access to gun;” “In sodden California, thousands ordered to evacuate as the risk of mudslides and floods increases;” “Facing criticism on immigration, Biden visits the southern border,” “G.O.P. rules are facing a logjam frozen tight;” “At Goldman Sachs, 3,200 jobs are the price of ambition;” “Even as U.S. renewables surpassed coal in 2022, carbon emissions grew;” “Coinbase sheds another 20 percent of its employees;” “Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, says climate policy is not Fed’s role.”

Dear readers, you tell me: With the River Styx now frozen-over, how is it the handbasket that Earth has now gone into become so totally ablaze in flames?

Thank Heaven, though, at least here in North Texas, Universal Studios just announced Plano to be the lucky home of its latest new “carbon neutral” theme park. Uh huh. Belt it, Celine: “Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that my heart will go on!”

Yeah, 6,000 Dodge Rams rotating daily through 800 acres of paved-over asphalt sure is the first imagery that pops to my mind whenever I hear, “Tomorrow’s Green Future Today!” Anyhoo, follow me, folks. Just kick a cowpatty, and let’s get Texan two-steppin’ to the rodeo roundup right to it.

Dear Howard: I am so confused by mixed signals I seem to be receiving by one of the men who frequently goes out with my posse. He turned us on to the Cedar Springs’ gayborhood as being, truthfully, one the best places for single straight men to meet amazing straight women. Recently, while midnight-parading Cedar Springs’ colorful waterholes — Woody’s, JR.’s, then closing down the Roundup — all of us feeling rather mellow despite the near instant post-midnight evaporation of all females, with detached ennui I watched the man of our gay bars’ initial introduction begin slowly unbuttoning the shirt of a tall, rather hairy-chested individual standing immediately to his right: Me!

“Oh, such chest hair, you,” he drawled sweetly, trawling his tongue round the sugared rim of his lemondrop. “Why, oh my, do I spy a happy trail?” Coquettishly, he set down his yellow martini atop the bar stool, and I, suddenly alert, began refastening my shirt in a fever: “Sir, no offense. I may be gay-friendly, but that doesn’t mean I’m bi-curious.”

Too harsh, Howard; or, ’bout par for the circumstances?

— Manscaped Landscaper

Dear Bushwhacker: If you ask me, a pride of heterosexual American males slumming through Cedar Springs’ alluring underbelly seems to but beggar a bigger caprice: Why, oh why — if you’re just not that much into flying-freak monkeys, hysterically merry Munchkins or foppishly brain-dead scarecrows — would one ever remotely go tripping the enchanted Land of Oz in the first place?

Dear Howard: I’m a SWF, 33 — attractive, with a shapely, full hourglass figure, well-educated — and I cannot understand why, out of my entire college friend group, I’ve suddenly become the last old maid standing who has still yet to receive even a single marriage proposal. Thing is, I’m not picky. I’d be happy with a gay man, even.

I hate all that domesticity stuff anyhow — housework, cooking, cleaning, kids and kittens. All I ask from marriage is just a Harry Winston ring and a black AmEx card. What’s so wickedly wrong with that?

— Renaissance Rebel, Caren

Dear Carny: OK, brass tacks here. You say you’re ambivalent, my Lady White-Bread Entitlement, about your nonexistent potential future husband’s sexuality, that you loathe all children, chores, dieting and pets. Nonetheless, for the reward of but, oh, a mere chinchilla coat, a few Faberge eggs and an oligarch’s yacht, you’d be delightedly amenable to becoming any man’s worst spousal arm-candy from hell?

So, now let us flip this card over and ask of yourself, Miss Renaissance, what valuable gifts and precious commodities do you bring to the table for, say, a breathing man? Anything? Carny, of every conjoined couple, at least one member is required to contribute a few bare minimal household virtues; otherwise, you’re just paying homage to every given episode of The Kardashians. And we all know how their marriages go.

Honey, real betrothment doesn’t come with a behind-the-scenes crew to sweep up your hurled champagne flutes off the floor. Somebody has to be domestic! Yet, you think your blousy ambition to become a trophy spouse transcends extending any traditional work required to own the role?

Rebel, girl, hit me back again once you’ve dieted down to a size zero. Rich men do not marry fat girls. Say nothing of the “shapely, full hourglass figure” that you cut.

The price of marrying affluence, Caren, minus compromising any your amorality, is eternal hunger. Just ring the bell of any given house in Preston Hollow. Wanna know who the lady of the manor is? You’ll recognize her instantly: She’ll be the one whom you can see lamplight through her bones.

— Howard Lewis Russell

Any winter’s hangover questions you party-pooped revelers may have, feel free to forward your stalled-out, stardust resolutions here to