December 23, 2005



This is from an actual press release sent to a friend at indy radio:

Subject: Interview source / NYC transit strike

Dear (Name Withheld),

I am working with (Name Withheld), celebrity fitness trainer named "the
hottest trainer in America" by Out magazine. He has developed a fitness
routine called "The Traffic Jam Pump," a tool to help New Yorkers
maximize their
time during the transit system strike.

I've pasted a press release for you below. Please let me know if I can
schedule an interview for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
(name withheld because I'm sure this publicist googles herself constantly))

This has got to be the most ridiculous notion on earth. I asked my friend at WFMU to PLEASE have him on the air and have her first question be "What makes you think the transit strike would last long enough for your fitness routine to take any effect whatsoever?" (It's already over.) Maybe a second question could be "Why would you think that most New Yorkers have cars to get stuck in so they could use your plan--that's the whole problem with the strike, dunce!?!" And if anything, New Yorkers are exercising more than ever, marching miles in the freezing weather to and from work, you ninny!

I actually enjoyed walking from the West Village to 81st and Park Avenue for a doctor's appointment--technically I was "on transie strike" and called in sick to my show at XL Wednesday night. It was funny to see all the New York characters out in force--the haggy New York broad angrily blowing her whistle on a bike, the cab-drivers bickering in more languages than there are middle-eastern spices in the average cabbie's fart, unbothered, well-turned out upper east side ladies being pushed in wheelchairs by their maids and some very confused, cheated tourists. But it did remind me of post-9/11 NYC when there was this feeling that New Yorkers can always find a way to cope. (I can't believe it, but I'm actually echoing the sentiments of The NY Post's Andrea Peyser here.) Sometimes ya gotta pay your dues to live in the USA's greatest city and when ya do ya fuckin' make the best of it. Today, we're back to normal, and with the weather a little milder, you remember how wonderful "normal" is in NYC, baby!

I don't know too many of the details of the negotiations, but Bloomberg was more likeable than ever in his forceful denouncement of the union as "thuggish". He wasn't his usual disinterested-seeming self, and perhaps it was his no-nonsense approach which kept the strike short. I think shutting the city down should be the very last resort--especially around Xmas--and that's coming from an atheist! My friend from Tea and Sympathy mentioned that he lost $20,000 in unsold Xmas merch which won't be sellable after the holidays. He's not a major chain who can afford to take a financial hit--just a small entrpreneur whose marketing plan was royally fucked by this ill-timed strike coming out of the blue.

I realize that unions are necessary to act as a voice for the voiceless workers. But my personal experience with union workers has been with sound technicians in larger venues like Lincoln Center. (OK, I ain't frontin' like I play there every night--I was there once 8 years ago! But I've been in other large venues--ok, as a customer, but what the hell!) These guys are typically assholes with a "dare-me-to-fuck-up-I-can't-get-fired" attitude. I guess their dream gig would be roadie for a Stones tour, so they seem to think that the idea of a drag queen or track act with a cd backing track is beneath them. (And they usually aren't cute enough to make ya want to get beneath them!) So they're either so disinterested or incompetent that they have no problem fucking up simple instructions like "I want this loud"or "Start the track when I'm introduced." I'm not slamming unions in general, but my personal experiences with union sound people has usually been bad, if not horrid.

I think drag queens need a union to meet our special needs.


1. Drink tickets upon arrival--10 per hour should suffice. Does not include complimentary shots of Jagermeister.

2. All payments to be made in cash, off the books.

3. Double pay if we are forced to wait until the club closes to get paid by a coked-out club-owner--unless they share!

4. Regular "powder" room breaks.

5. Spare pairs of queen-sized support hose, nail glue and hairspray to be provided by venue on request.

6. A private sucking station, with a sanitary ledge for our dentures, which should be re-sanitized after use. Industrial strength sanitization required for Chi Chi Larue's "engagements."

7. Dressing rooms to be shared only with strippers who are hung over 10 inches. We're big "girls" and it takes a lot to satisfy us!

8. "Fun", frisky customers who raise our skirts, squeeze our falsies, or say "Love your hair, hope you win!" are entitled to a stinging smack on their stupid, drunken faces.

9. Healthcare benefits to include a shot of Geritol and a bump of Doan's upon arrival.

10. Retirement age will be dropped to 50. Sorry Lypsinka and RuPaul! But you had good runs. Well, considering...

11. Pension plan to include a Bob Mackie bugle-beaded gown upon retirement--it'll make that inevitable triumphant return to the stage even more sensational!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could not have seen too many rich upper eastsiders, most of them are rich enough and smart enough to go to Palm Beach or the islands this time of year, the usual yearly circut. As for the strike, those workers are already getting more than ALOT of working people! Who the hell can even hope to retire at age 55 nowadays, They have JOBS, they are surviving, just be grateful!

11:58 AM  

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