How to do the wrong thing right

You say you won’t do it. You say you’d rather grow old gracefully, that you don’t mind looking your age — just so long as it’s at the best you can be.

Yeah, you say all that mind-fuckery — so condescendingly, too, still on the sunny side of 50 — only to flick on the bathroom light’s reflection from your mirror one morning, and scream, “Intruder!”

Alas, your dear Howard here knows of what Penny Dreadful scenario he speaks; I just turned 59.

Nobody ever believes one’s age on the years it ends in 9; it’s simply presumed you’re lying by understating. So I’m just skipping it over altogether and instead gunning 60. I mean, what the hell’s the difference at this point? 59? 60? You can’t spin it young, no matter which way you twist it. Best just to embrace it, I say, with serenity and grace via undergoing a blissfully Aquarian birthday-morning retrofitting re-dew: CO2 Fractionated Facial Laser Resurfacing (for that dewy, 17-again glow! It only looks like one took a quick peek inside a blast furnace; feels fabulous!), a necessitated blepharoplasty (damned droopy eyelids!), a turkey wattle-eradicating rhytidectomy (neck and lower facelift) and Restylane, of course (for those horizontal forehead abominations); finally, anesthesia (total sensory-deprivation Propofol — The Michael Jackson accredited, deep-sleep remedy of choice!).

Yep, the full slab-job! Ah, what price, vanity?

As Plato observed, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Never was a truer conclusion arrived at. Hence, Rona, while we certainly have enjoyed our year of your lovely conversation, it’s time now to rip your eyes out. President Biden’s (ah, how sweet those words resonate!) vaccine-rolling sidewalk has jauntily sputter-kicked into high gear. At last, it’s here in local pharmacies! And although currently still a two-pointer, the promised one-prick’s a comin’ by summer!

Good news is, coronavirus deaths are finally beginning to decrease; bad news is, the continued spread of wildcard variants could train-wreck us again at any moment. At Valentine’s Day, the U.S. death toll stood at roughly 475,000. Doubtless, too, Fat Tuesday’s Mardi Gras festivities only two days afterwards played the heavy in yet another surge week.

Presently, 30 million-plus Americans are now known to be infected, wholly 10 percent of our coast-to-coast population. Only recently have new infections gurgled downward to a paltry 100,000 per day. Still, the American death toll was on track to coolly crack a solid half-million sometime between Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) and Washington’s Birthday (Feb. 22). Just as my stitches come out.

Scattershot reversals define the lot of us these days: Time courses backwards on my face, and everybody’s gone suddenly Oblomov — we’ve reached “the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous,” an entire year now of nothing but COVID everywhere, all the time. Its resultant ennui, like vaping, has now narcotized an entirely new generation, sapped of strength enough to even blow on a feather: All’s turned numb, hypocrisy rules, pleasure subjugates, and the upside-down questions I’m receiving seem to be kaleidoscopic variations along the same dissolute theme.

Call me Dr. Strangelove if you like, and let’s just blast hell’s atomic bells right to it:

Dear Howard: Where can I find better, more sadistic playroom toys? My pleasure chest seems so unsatisfyingly vanilla lately. There’s actually a cobweb in the corner of my sling! Apparently, my lil’ right shoulder-devil’s run off somewhere more degenerately accommodating during these lilac days of COVID. My foot-long dongs are about as fulfilling as tampons. Where’s all the “Hurts So Good” gone? I’m bored as a paddle.
— Perv Booger

Dear Crusty Mucus Slime: OK, here’s the deal, Boog. Upon depleting every possible combination of Rubik’s Cube-like website titles that might possibly feature debauchee “Sex Toy Lines of Evil” until I was cross-eyed, finally — as blind luck often does — jackpot came accidentally by punching a wrong keystroke. And there she glimmered: Just a simple one-word, one-syllable, seven-letter web address and just as cracked as all get-out. Alas, said site’s name I’m not paid to advertise here, but I sure found that “Top 25 Most Disturbing Sex Toys” for which you’ve been jonesing.

You may Google, of course, just whichever of these fun, assorted gizmos fly your mast highest: 25) Pig Tail Butt Plug, 24) Area 51 Love Doll, 23) Hooded Spandex Full Body Jock, 22) Rubber Gates of Hell, 21) Baby Jesus Butt Plug, 20) Houdini Loving Sheath Cock Chastity, 19) The Perfect Pair Nipple Enhancers, 18) The Cone (As Adam Sandler — aka, Billy Madison — concurs, “I was a loser in denial, too, until the lacrosse team stuck a parking cone up my ass.”), 17) Anal Speculum, 16) Orca—15-plus inches (without the base), 15) The Hot Jock Inflatable Cushion Vibe, 14) Rubber Foam Mittens, 13) Electro-Sex Glove Set, 12) HotDoll, 11) The Tongue Vibrator, 10), OhMiBob Vibrator, 9) I Rub My Duckie Massager, 8) AutoSuck (Avoid while driving), 7) Kaylani’s Foot Fetish (Gurl, who?), 6) The Pleasure Periscope, 5) Kochi The Anime Doll, 4) Dildo/Poppers Gas Mask, 3) Stuffoscope, 2) Princess’ Wand, 1) Mr. Jack With Mustache.

Keep in mind, Boog, I’m not peddling this smut; I’m just the messenger.

Perhaps coronavirus, too, shall turn out to be that best of bad cliches, after all: a blessing in disguise; Rona driving the safari jeep, with former-person Trump riding shotgun beside her, may very well have been just the nudge we needed, as a country, to, in the words of Cher, “Snap out of it!” All this lethargy, our patriotic malaise and nihilistic apathy.

Bubbles of life beneath the swamp muck are popping to the surface again. The days are noticeably lengthening again. The things Trump didn’t understand — like science, empathy and foresight — he discarded, derided and detonated. L’Orange proved, if nothing else, that inertia can’t go back again to whatever made us “great” 50 years prior.

Fossil fuels (big coal, gas) are dinosaurs glancing up in awe at the asteroid’s approach. The cost of modular solar energy has declined by 99.6 percent since 1976. Geothermal breakthroughs are allowing scientists to extract energy from our earth’s molten core. Compact thermonuclear reactors are no longer the stuff of Hollywood sci-fi, nor are those self-driving vehicles we’ve been promised we’ll be driving.

They’re here, folks: blue skies, through the tears in our eyes! All we need do now is pull in the rope Trump hung himself with, and dust off our hands — rather, wash them thoroughly for 20 whole seconds with good soap and running water, then towel completely dry.

To quote that late, great drag icon of bubble-babe divinity, Billie Burke (Glenda, the Good Witch of the North from Tinsel Town’s 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz) on the topic of achieving Hollywood-esque aspirations: “To survive there, you need the ambition of a Latin-American revolutionary, the ego of a grand opera tenor and the physical stamina of a cow pony.”

And on the topic of big floating burlesque bubbles full of fluff, our quote of this month arrives courtesy of the recently deceased Larry Flynt (whom, I assume, needs no further introduction among this crowd). Flint chimes, “If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it will protect all of you. Because I’m the worst.”
Remember this number: 96.5. According to the latest CDC findings, that’s by how much simply keeping ones’ masks on — along with doubling them, or by tightening them up — can stop coronavirus in its tracks. 96.5 percent! We’re talkin’ A-plus territory here, kids. Either you can wear two masks, or just pull one of ‘em tighter. It ain’t hard to reduce viral transmission. It’s SO easy, in fact. All you gotta be is just a little bit less than full-lazy.

The director of the CDC explains, “The bottom line is this: Masks work, and they work when they have a good fit and are worn correctly.”

Just stay always a pace ahead, kids, never veer off the Yellow Brick Road, and remember now, too: Be wary of the Ides of March, wicked witch Rona of the East’s first birthday! Yes, oh, the variants are comin,’ my little pretties, the variants are comin’!

— Howard Lewis Russell

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