"This city is hot right now -- in lots of ways." That's how Mayor Adrian "Heat Index" Fenty addressed the many hundreds of folks who braved the heat and the humidity - oh god, the humidity - in the early evening Monday night, August 10. It was the hottest day of the year so far. What better time for an outdoor pep rally in Stead Park to show the town's support for hosting the Gay Games in 2014? That's some serious sweat equity.
Boy, was it ever hot out there. Each participant got what organizing entity the Metropolitan Washington Gaymes were calling "rally towels," which reminded Hearsay of something else, but nevermind all that. Last night the cute li'l towels did double duty, as li'l flags to twirl in unison, and as handkerchiefs to wipe one's brow of sweat. Brent "But I'm A Cheerleader" Minor served as the event's main emcee, though he got a little assist from Robert "Here She Comes, Miss Gaymerica" York and ABC7 news anchor Leon "D.C. Rocks" Harris. It must be said, the microphone fit Minor's hand like a glove and he confessed to sleeping with it. But who hasn't?
In addition to the Mayor, Elliott "Convention Central" Ferguson of Destination DC and Robert "Go Team" Sweeney of the Greater Washington Sports Alliancewere on hand to show support for the effort and wow the visiting committee that will choose betwixt exciting, thrilling, clever, urbane, swanky, intelligent, intriguing, monumental, delightful, delicious, delovely Washington, Cleveland (in flat, dull, boring Ohio) and Boston (in flat, dull, boring Massachusetts) as host of the 2014 gaylimpic events. President Barack "Health Matters" Obama wasn't, but four other U.S. Presidents were - specifically Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt, courtesy of the Washington Nationals' Mt. Rushmore Presidents. Nationals' reps even set up a booth and gave out some swag.
DC's Different Drummers marched into the field to start the festivities shortly after 7 p.m., but soon enough they were replaced by a group of still more different drummers: the Batala Batala Women's Drum Corps, banging on all types of different drums - and only drums. This Afro-Brazilian-influenced troupe stole the show. They took their time beating down the runway on entrance, and took just as long to exit. The ladies even interrupted DJ Rosie's replay of George "Give For What You Take" Michael's "Freedom." (Get it? D.C. bidders are billing the potential 2014 event as the "Freedom Games": We won't let you down!) To her credit, Rosie, once they were out of earshot, saw the Batala Batala challenge, and she raised it "Boom Boom Pow."
The crowd was festive, especially considering there was no alcohol served on the premises. It was technically prohibited, though not all of those plastic bottles or coolers were pure, of course. Some contained Gaytorade. And no one was as festive - they never are - as the always-reliable fun-leading couple Michael "Finger Puppet" Ulrich and Paul "Finger Who?" Cooper. They each brought plastic bugles, and they bugled the night away....