How to do the wrong thing right

Summer has turned raggedy. Everything about late August projects an aura of … spent. The air throbs with waves of ripples. Dehydrated crepe myrtles, cottonwoods, pin oaks and pecans rustle constipated, cobwebbed and crinkly: Photosynthesis along Turtle Creek’s lovely lariat of emerald elephant ears limply sag, too exhausted even to consider verdant movement — a city too stickily frigid indoors to fornicate and too nefariously-scorching outside to play clothed games. Like the proverbial three-legged dog, the wonder isn’t that August ranks, far and away, as the number one personal-mobility/globe-trotting month of the year; no, the miracle is that it manages motor function at all.

Such a paradox August is: Torpid, fetid, yet refreshingly awash in historical gold. August’s first and last days bookend fun facts and trivia so astoundingly significant as to leave all the other 11 months eating dust. Breathlessly, at its front end, August the First proudly stakes claim to Joseph Priestley’s 1774 discovery of such a wondrous mundanity that, despite being the first person to figure out human beings breathe a highly volatile, poisonous and odorless gas called oxygen, it was Edison (not Priestley) who nonetheless won triumphal glory via the history books with his flashy, twin August inventions of supernaturally-prescient legs: The phonograph and the kinetoscope (precursor to the movie projector). Lamentably, the first day of August equally lays claim to the recorded start of the deadliest, most witlessly cruel manmade disaster in human history: General Mao’s Chinese Cultural Revolution. In a similar vein of annihilatory cheer, on Aug. 1, 1944, Anne Frank made her final diary entry; closer to home (and on a genuinely upbeat note), at 10 a.m. on 8/161, Six Flags Over Texas swung open her thrilling, fun-for-the-whole-family gates — the very first in the amusement park’s cross-country chain!

Not to be outdone, day 31 from August’s backside boasts an even richer goldmine of historical milestones. ’Twas on this final day of August 1803 that Lewis and Clark left home in Pittsburgh to begin their epic, landmark expedition West into the dark frontier. Incredibly, just shy of a century’s shipload of wondrous inventions later (1897) Edison received his patent for the movie projector which — probably inevitably — ultimately metastasized one exact century further forward (1997) into the untimely death in a Parisian tunnel of the first celebrity in history to be, literally, driven to death at the hands of paparazzi cameras. Cinderella-like, nevertheless, on this same date in 1957, a perfunctory release of the title track to a summer-bubblegum throwaway movie became the quickest, original-film song in Hollywood history to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts — staying there for five weeks, and another solid six months in the Top 40. “Tammy” not only became the top-selling single of the year, but subsequently inspired a whole generation of white-trash parents to believe that naming their own daughters after an imaginary swamp-girl innocent — portrayed by America’s sweetheart, little Debbie Reynolds — would likewise snare bachelor millionaires for their own feckless little guttersnipe cinder-hella Tammy-Jos, Tammy-Sues and Tammy-Jeans: “The ole hooty-owl hooty-hoos to the dove/Tammy . . . Taaammy . . . Taaaammeeee’s in luuuuuuuv.“

All of August’s in-between dates, too, are every bit as paradoxically-larded full of historical gigantism as its two overstuffed bookends, not the least of which being the very name of the month, itself. Bestowed in the year 8 B.C. by Augustus Caesar (Rome’s first emperor) upon flat-out hijacking the year’s most-fruitful month, Sextilis, and renaming it in honor of himself; then, for good measure, stole an extra day from failed usurper Julius Caesar’s month, tipping August up to 31 days by demoting April down to 30 (itself having already previously robbed poor, barren February — twice!). Apparently, Augustus’ derring-do set a sorcery-like precedent for his namesake month so consistently being chockful of truly unfathomable, global game-changers: Everything from the Aug. 12, 1908 rollout of the world’s first mass-produced, affordable automobile (Ford’s instant-hit classic, The Model T, or Tin Lizzie as she was affectionately called, custom-painted in any color his customers so desired, so long as it was black). In sheer worldwide reach, August’s embracing scope is indefatigably untouchable: Aug. 22 (1913) hosted the founding of The International Red Cross, on Aug. 4 (1914) World War I began; on Aug. 14 (1945) World War II ended; and on Aug. 25, 1919, the first recorded international air service began (from London to Paris). No less monumental, August equally played host to the time-capsule preservation of Pompeii’s congealed burial beneath the A.D. 79 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, along with Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech, and the ignominious 1974 resignation of Richard Milhous Nixon: Repercussions from all these solemn totems remain forever unfolding.

So, what a more perfect month than this one (simultaneously totemic and lethargic!) to engage in a bit of reverse-chic, poolside frolicsome fun… if “fun” is what one calls exposing to sunlight my darkest of locked away vampiric questions, so noxiously moldering and overheatedly scalding that, same as spent uranium fuel rods, it’s impossible to dispose of them as normal refuse. These sordid questions require eternally vigilant submersion in “heavy water” just to stay cooled-down enough not to flash-trigger some catastrophic, feasibly irreversible meltdown of the entire LGBT community. My own personal friends frequently call me up and disgustedly groan, “Howard, just when I think you’ve finally hit bedrock bottom, I read your next column to discover an even deeper thunder-box sinkhole maw has opened before me! Are there no limits to how Hades-digging low you’ll go?” And, granted, it may indeed appear during these deepest Dallas dog-fart days of summer that I’ve no standards, whatsoever, in so far as which topics I deem beach-blanket reading; or, whether there are actually any “off-limits” summer reading topics, at all…considering everyone’s already both secretly pissing in the pool and wanking-off in the pina coladas anyhow. Hence, for those of you not surreptitiously engaged in Summer Bible School pastimes, I’m inclined to say let’s drop the kids off at the pool and get right to it.

WARNING! If you are offended by indecent, puerilely-mortifying material do not read further. BEWARE! The following is of an extraordinarily scatological, sexually-graphic nature, and is intended for an over-21 adult fetish audience, exclusively. STOP! If you are uncomfortable with, or are in any way excited by, extreme “taboo” bedroom scenarios. DO NOT READ FURTHER! This is your politically-correct FINAL WARNING. There. Squalid, then, here we delve! (You had your chance.) Oh, and FYI, in order not to incriminate any singular individual, the following are “composite” questions; meaning, they’re culled together from some of the most popularly unhygienic imagery questions I’ve ever incidentally laser-branded my diminutive hippocampus with: Needless to say, the following were quite naturally never considered publishable, nor even toyingly floated for publication.

Dear Howard: More often than not, my 17-year-old son, Will, forgets to erase his online Recent History Searches which, in the name of paternal Pasteurization, I quietly correct the next morning, before my 13-year-old stealthily arises (in every way possible) to peek at whatever forbidden gardens his horndawg big brother forgot to lockdown upon crusting the comforter. I try never reprimanding Will just for what every 17-year-old boy is involuntarily obsessed with; I mean, he watches exactly the types of videos I would have been secretly streaming had the internet only existed back when I was his age… with one glaring (psychiatrist-bound!) exception: Will seems over-obscenely fixated with an obscure, niche-fetish category, “Taboo Scat.” To give you, among many, just one disturbingly recent title example: “Son Devours Dad’s Mexican Dinner for Breakfast, Licks Dispenser Clean.” Yep, my eldest gets off on watching college-age boys, mouths open gaping wide, jonesing for their squatting dad’s diarrhea dumps. Like, who even invents this twisted shit (pun intended)? Which man was first with this lightbulb-moment, “Oh, wait, son, you know, I just thought of the perfect way you and me both could make a whole shitload of dough during your Saturday night webcam show!” Worse, what does it say about how Will views me? Howard, who does my son brand as the actual perv here in our family — himself, or me, his good Christian father? — Extremely Concerned Parent

Of course, my sweet readers, the reasons are monstrously myriad as to why this, among similar DOA queries, never see a publication date: Just toss a brick shithouse dart blindfolded at any individual Frankenstein component, and it’ll reek “unprintable” no matter which ring of fire within Dante’s Inferno of fleshly pleasure rot it sticks. Take your pick: homosexual incest, intergenerational sodomy, defiling minors, indecent exposure, public sanitation hazard, kidnapping, coercion, endangering public health and safety, sociopathic pedophilia, nutritionally negative force-feeding, borderline psychosis, sex trafficking, and so forth, and so on, sullying and descending perversely. But, kids, just between you, me and the devil’s dick, I’m fairly certain our skeleton key to unlocking this unsavory delight lies in vigilante dad’s very own two self-anointed paternal superlatives: “Good Christian.” (Do I hear, “BINGO?”) All the very best roads to Hell are paved in them, explicitly: “Whippoorwill, whippoorwill, you and I know/Daddy … Daddy … can’t let him go.”

Dear Howard: What are the black-and-white differences between child endangerment, child molestation, child abuse and outright pedophilia? I only see a lot of courtroom gray area and nothing officially exonerating: What are the basic rights of those fearing life-destroying accusations of this sort — thanks to spoiled little ’tween boys just because they didn’t receive the latest, greatest Xbox or iPhone? — Tom E.

First of all, I’m sorry, but I can’t find in my resume where it states I offer expert pro bono legal defense against jailbait twunks’ felonious indictments. Secondly, dear readers, notice how Tommy Gun nixed a crucial clarifier to his wolf-crying, “What are the basic rights of those fearing life-destroying accusations of this sort?” Pointedly, he excluded the one word that could easily exonerate him blameless as Caesar’s wife: He omitted the simple word “false” — five salvational letters: “What are the basic rights of those fearing life-destroying false accusations of this sort?” Hence, it has been Howard’s wan experience that whenever one accommodates room for even a tiny little leak to stain an otherwise perfectly watertight credulity of victimization, then it’s no longer just an odd question for your local gay advice columnist, but rather an interesting matter altogether for the FBI: “The breeze from The Bureau keeps murmuring low: Tommy … Tommy … you love him so.”

— Howard Lewis Russell

Have a question on life, love, sex or etiquette, no matter how strange? Send it to [email protected] and he may answer.