What's that old saying? Everybody loves a parade? Well, Hearsay loves parades, too, none moreso than the annual Capital Pride Parade, which this year played out like an episode of Fear Factor, due to the non-closure of certain streets along the route. (See if you can get your marching band across the intersection before the light changes!) The notable lack of men-and-women-in-blue notwithstanding, the parade was entertaining as ever, with an abundance of floats that dazzled with their creativity, ingenuity and extravagance. Of course, the usual suspects were there, including Results the Gym and Freddie's Beach Bar behemoths, generating much vocal glee from the assembled masses. Hearsay loved the Khush-DC entry, so much so that it walked up to one of the Kamasutra-experienced lads and ask if he wouldn't mind being Khush-Khushed in the bush. Ten minutes later Hearsay found itself being mildly perplexed as to why the longtime drum major of the D.C. Different Drummers wasn't wearing his usual uniform, relegated instead to an orange sun-shirt that seemed more befitting a Florida retirement home. At least he had his baton. He'll always have his baton! Go Mama Go's float was a festive cacophony of whirling, swirling, kafirling personages, presided over by the store's much-beloved owner, Noi "Have I Got An Iron Butterfly For You" Chudnoff and her boytoy Matt "A Tisket, A Tasket" Foreman, head of The Task Force, which now has offices in Washington, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, Disneyworld Orlando (on the second floor of Sleeping Beauty's Castle), Moscow and on a small outpost on the dark side of the moon. Rival organization HRC was out in full force with its usual array of squeezably soft clipboard boys who it turns out are mostly straight volunteers that are part of a greater liberal organization secretly headed by activist judges. These volunteers -- or Stepford Kids, as they're sometimes known -- spend Pride getting people to sign up for the fabled gay agenda, an agenda that includes same-sex marriage, military service for butchies and fems, and free ice cream on demand for any card-carrying homosexual at any participating Moo-Moo Creamy Cream store (some restrictions apply).
Hearsay gives this year's cherished Misguided Idea Award to the Straight 8's Car Club for stuffing Pride's Illustrious and Deserving Heroes inside hardtop vintage automobiles, with nothing more than signs plastered on the side identifying who was within. It was like being at the zoo and searching in vain for the hidden animal. One animal that wasn't so hidden was Rip "I Own Stock in a Confetti Company" Torn -- er, Taylor, who regaled the overjoyed onlookers with his relentless mugging and confetti-producing flicks (or is that swishes?) of the wrist. Mayor Anthony Williams was away in China learning the art of Szechwan needlepoint, so Mayor-Wannabe Adrian Fenty took over hand-clasping duties, and did a pretty good job (at least his palms weren't sweaty).
Hearsay got a little distracted along the expanded, extended, longer-than-usual route, stopping for three beers each at Fireplace, Omega, Chaos, JR.'s, Titan and Green Lantern, where it let out one goddam monstrous burp. Hearsay then ambled up to Cobalt where it was overwhelmed by the retro-spins of retro-spinmaster Jason "I've Got the Music In Me" Royce. Next stop: Velvet Nation, where Hearsay was a little taken aback by former Thunderpuss DJ Chris Cox who took to the stage and played an electric guitar. On stage. At Velvet Nation. Where the gay boys go. To hear dance music. Which is always -- ALWAYS -- electric-guitar free. Let's just say the queens were seen running in fear for their ears. Hearsay then hit Sunday Mass services where a certain indefatigable porn star delighted the crowd with tales of onscreen buggery ("And then there was the time my tongue slipped!").
Later that day, at the Festival, Hearsay made the rounds, dutifully visiting each and every booth at least once in search of swag. Needless to say, Hearsay got plastered with stickers and handed lots of brochures that smell funny when set on fire. The most unique bit of swag was lip-balm handed out by a funeral home. Yes, well, there's a cylindrical object that will never go anywhere near Hearsay's mouth. Hearsay was intrigued by a representative from the newly opened Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, who claimed that the museum could take a person's DNA and make a necklace from it. Always wanting an authentic pearl necklace, Hearsay gave the somewhat alarmed representative a few teaspoons of DNA right on the spot. Hearsay bumped, several times, into the radiant rainbow-colored peacock known as Cookie "Triumph of the Political Will" Buffet, who confided to Hearsay that this would be her last year volunteering for Pride. Of course, this was eclipsed by Cookie's other news, that's she's pregnant with Adrian Fenty's lovechild and intends to name the kid either Mallomar (if it's a boy), Sugar (if it's a girl) or Pecan Sandie (if it's trans). Pride Master Robert York seemed relaxed and happy, and was even game when Rip Torn -- er, Taylor decided York needed a new hairstyle.
The mainstage entertainment went without incident this year, primarily because there was no Sophie B. Hawkins on hand to cause an "I'm Not Leaving Unless You Drag Me Off!" uproar. Truth be told, it was the best, most diverse entertainment lineup ever, with outstanding performances by Bob "Grrrrrowl" Mould, SONiA and Disappear Fear, Amber, Ella Fitzgerald, Mara Levi, the DC Cowboys, The Gay Men's Chorus and their Singing Puppets, Chi Chi LaRue, Betty, and Frenchie Davis, to name a few. It was, however, Deborah "Divalicous Supreme" Cox who drove the heat-stroked crowd into fits of pride-primed ecstasy. You could say the boys went nuts for Cox....