How to do the wrong thing right

’Tis barely mid-January, your resolutions are already fucked, the teens are over, the ‘20s here and, girlene, it’s lookin’ to be some more long, leapin’ bitch whore of a year. I feel for you, bois: Happy I am — as you are — for the teens to be over and done with (just the thought of us all itching to enjoy one more extra day added onto this already anxiety-addling election year has me yearning to leap right back under the covers of 2019’s devil-you-know). Before 2020’s quagmire of the unknown sucks us in too deeply, why don’t we cast one final last glance over our shoulders (salt pillars’ risk, be damned!) and test what doozies we gaily remember from last year’s yellow-brick-road-trip down Memory Lane. That’s right, kidz, it’s pop quiz time! Fear not, though, sweet readers, about taxing those still-hungover gray cells too hard; if you’d rather cheat (and, duh, who the hell wouldn’t?) then, by all means, feel perfectly free to head straight to the bottom of this page where, for your brain-fried convenience, the answers aren’t even listed upside down. Let’s wave good riddance to 2019’s bad rubbish, and all get drag-queen-dramatic right to it, shall we?

1. What’s the biggest-selling, most copied dress in all of Hollywood motion picture history? a. Elizabeth Taylor’s cinch-waisted/knee-length, white silk chiffon V-neck cocktail dress from 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; b. Marilyn Monroe’s pleated, ivory “subway” showstopper from 1955’s The Seven Year Itch; c. Joan Crawford’s organdy chiffon, white-ruffled/whipped-cream confection (concocted by MGM’s legendary Adrian) from 1932’s Letty Lynton; d. Vivien Leigh’s moss-green, tasseled “portieres” gown from 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

2. Call it a curse or a blessing, but only one out of every 5.5 million men is born with diphallia (with Noah rumored to be the most famous example). A man with diphallia has what? a. Reverse blood flow circulation; b. Two penises; c. A tail; d. Webbed fingers and toes.

3. When did these following global game-changers all take place: WWI began; WWII ended; the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buried (for future archeological posterity) the thriving Italian coastal towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii; Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech; President Richard Milhous Nixon resigned the American presidency; the first Model T (Tin Lizzie) rolled off Ford’s assembly line; Princess Diana died; international air service began; the phonograph was invented; Lewis & Clark started off on their Wild West frontier expedition; Anne Frank made her final diary entry; and this very same month, a dangerously lethal gas, oxygen, happened to be identified as, surprisingly, the actual “air” human beings breathe to survive? a. April Fool’s; b. The month of August; c. Festivus; d. Feb. 29.

4. How many participants — individual gender and sexual persuasions aside — does an “official” gangbang require? A. 3; b. 5; c. 10; d. 12.

5. Exactly how long is a minimum to call something a “long-term” relationship? a. Three months; b. The minute one is no longer “single” on Facebook; c. Two years; d. Until you’re both on your third bottle of Tabasco purchased together; until each of you are able to echoingly pass one another in a hallway with the walking farts sans even a whiff of mutually mortifying embarrassment given to it; until long silences when facing one another opposite a table in a restaurant are no longer remotely uncomfortable.

6. With adult novelty items now available everywhere from Walmart to Amazon to Toys-R-Us, and with plain vanilla sex more quaintly G-rated these days in our brave new underworld than even the adventures of Ken & Skipper on the down low at Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse, all beggars the question of what really is today’s behind-closed-doors’ mantra for Millennials, as personified via the perv-extreme “Dr. Sado” line of MEO Germany sex toys? a. Sex without pain is like food without taste; b. A slave minus its master is worthless as a rosebud minus its fist; c. If you need a “safe” word, the gag’s too small; d. Love can hurt so beautifully — be sure to hide the key!

7. The same number of men are truly straight as are truly gay: What precise percentage number is that? a. 1 percent; b. 5 percent; c. 10 percent; d. 50 percent.

8. In a move tantamount to Lady Gaga tossing away stardom to become Darlene Love, what was the official explanation given for Dallas suddenly rejiggering its much ballyhooed Pride festivities from mid-September — along its traditional Cedar Springs route — to early June at the Three-Miles-From-Stardom, Texas State Fairgrounds’ location? a. September’s Cedar Springs’ parade always created too much road trash; b. Roadside construction along Cedar Springs had become an impediment for waving around rainbow flags; c. All roads lead to Trammell Crow; d. A road less tawdry is a purer place for engendering good Christian values.

9. What are the names of Dear Howard’s two beloved, orange-furred, geriatric housecats, ages 19 and 15, respectively? a. Tangerine & Kumquat; b. Carrot Top & Ginger Grant; c. Diocletian & Vespasian; d. Boo & Roo.

10. Of the four U.S. presidents to have been assassinated in office — Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy — what singular, standout factor did they all share in common? a. All were assassinated in broad daylight; b. All were shot from behind; c. All died instantaneously; d. All four were elected on a year ending in zero.

And here, m’dears, are the answers! 1: C; 2: B; 3: B; 4: B; 5: D; 6: A; 7: C; 8: C; 9: D; 10: D.

Howard doesn’t usually ask the questions, he answers them (hence the name of the column), so send your inquiry — about love, sex, kink, etiquette, queer history or gardening — to [email protected] and he may answer it.

— Howard Lewis Russell