Sometimes, late at night, Hearsay gets lonely and longs for what it doesn't have. Then it thinks about a Ryan Gosling blow-up doll
. And a thought like that always does the trick. Soon enough, Hearsay's busy pounding away at its favorite solitary past time
-- and it doesn't mean scarfing down Edy's Quadruple Churn Mint Chip 'N Raisins ice cream with a pair of chopsticks. Hearsay has often thought that somebody should put together a calendar that offers tips and pointers on getting the most out of its particular past time. You see, sometimes, late at night, Hearsay gets a little weary of its repetitive technique. It's always up and down, up and down, up and down
, maybe a little to the side for variety, then back to up and down, up and down, up and down. Faster, faster, faster, faster, faster, until... well, you get the idea.
Anywho, Hearsay thought it was going to get just that last week -- 24 pointers on stroking technique -- when it traipsed over to the Long View Gallery last Thursday, Oct. 11, for the Men of Strokes Calendar launch party. Unfortunately, the strokes in question are different from what Hearsay had in mind. They're more along the lines of the strokes you might make at the gym on a rowing machine. Possibly with a buddy. Or two.... Anyway, the members of DC Strokes are experts at stroking, let's just say that and be done with it. William "Photoplay" Waybourn's gallery was packed with at least 100 gawkers, all there to drink free and view the members of the DC Strokes rowing team in all their tight-T-shirted glory. These men -- and they are men, manly men, the kind of men for whom muscles aren't something that come steamed in a pot with garlic and white wine -- posed for Waybourn for the first-ever calendar, which will help the team buy things like oars and boats and fancy undergarments to prevent chafing.
All but a few calendar boys showed up at the launch party (shy little dears), where gawkers could buy the calendar for $20 (you can buy it, too, at Lambda Rising), and bid to win signed enlargements from the calendar, which were well hung on the gallery walls. Former Metro Weekly art director Tony "Rapidly Fading from Memory" Frye had the pleasure of laying -- er, laying out -- the boys in the spread. Frye was there with his partner of 250 years, Robert "Like Revenge, Gefilte Fish is a Dish Best Served Cold" Lischinsky. It was pretty easy to spot those who stepped right out of the calendar, dressed as they were in skin-tight black T-shirts -- and seeing as how the calendars were being fondled and flipped everywhere you turned. And then there were those enlargements on the walls. Even with all that, Hearsay couldn't get tired of the calendar pin-up crew, including organizers Dalin "Sacredcherry" Holyoak and Michael "My Time Is Now!" Zagoda. And then there were all those Stroke supporters. Those whom Hearsay had the pleasure of greeting included Tyler "Mr." Garrison, Chris "Sir" Bengston, Chris "Captain" Hook, Doug "Royal" King and Mr. Garrison's cute friend Matt, whom Hearsay will forever call Master.
After too many glasses of wine at the launch party -- they even served Two-Buck Chuck! -- Hearsay skipped two doors up to Be Bar, where Lena "Take This Wig and Shove It" Lett commandeered an increasingly rowdy bachelor's auction. It was as good as any excuse to raise money for the team and, of course, get the Strokers shirtless. Or in the case of one hapless young man, pantsless. But it was calendar boy Grant who stirred things up the most, at least on stage. Grant got sassy with Lena after she asked him to remove his shirt, spouting to her that he needed more champagne for that and at another point seeming to take over for her as emcee. In short order, the shirt came off and Grant was off the stage. Lena doesn't suffer fools gladly. Unless they're submissive.
It was calendar crewman Jeff who snagged the highest bid -- $600 -- just for signing his enlargement. Hearsay asked Jeff afterwards how much it would cost to take him to dinner. He laughed, before responding, "Not enough," and then simply walked away, never to be seen again -- until the very next night, when he was seen eating dinner with... well, Hearsay promised not to reveal that. But by all accounts they enjoyed a very lovely stuffed chicken....