June 01, 2006



I am still reeling from sitting for one month on a grand jury. I'm never been a 9-5er, so having a rigid daily schedule imposed on me did not feel very natural. And you all know how important "natural" is for a fool whose work uniform includes a 10-pound hat, inch-think war-paint and accoutrements glued onto it's ears, eyes and fingertips with it's nasty, nelly nuts shoved up it's ass. As a teen, I used to jokingly tell myself that a 9-5 job could "kill an artist's spirit", when what I really meant is that I'm too lazy and unruly to show up for anything regularly and punctually. When called, I had no idea that grand juries, unlike regular juries, sit in session for one entire month. The good news is that once you serve your term, you can't be called again for 8 years. There was such a feeling of crushing defeat at our first day's assembly that 20 very different people bonded in mutual pity.


I have no idea what my fellow jurors must have thought of me. I am undergoing facial electrolysis, which I know from previous attempts, I have an extreme reaction to--the worst my electrolysist has ever seen, in fact. Why am I burning my beard with painful, expensive and temporarily disfiguring treatments? Well, I was in the basement of the Pyramid Club in the mid-80's when I saw the gorgeous, insane Puerto Rican drag named Alexis Del Lago. Once billed as "The Male Dietrich" at Club 82, she was a haughty diva who sewed, and was always impeccably decked out in vintage Hollywood-inspired creations of the '40's. An entire book, documentary and reality show need to be created to do this whore justice, but I'll tell you a few of my favorite Alexis tales--as if you wanted to read a lengthy essay on jury duty anyway! Alexis sewed for other performers as well, and once performer Karen Bihari complained about one of Alexis's costumes right before she was to wear it onstage, and asked Alexis to fix it. Alexis, with her latin temper, took offense and said "I fix it--I fix it good!" and ripped the dress right off of Karen's back. Still fiery over 20 years later, Alexis's temper landed her in jail recently. She now "mans" a vintage clothing store in LA's French Quarter, and disturbed by the thumping music of a neighbor, she popped by with a hammer exclaiming "I can't take this noise", demonstrating with the hammer, "pounding, pounding, pounding!" Then brandishing the hammer at the horrified neighbors' infant son, threatened "And he's next!" The poor woman was sufficiently scared to call the authorities.


And you though Alexis Arquette was the only LA drag queen throwing violent temper tantrums! I was relieved that Miss Del Lago seemed to like me, but then again, I always deferred to my elders. Alexis also liked Billy Beyond, who she rightly claimed resembled Gene Tierney in drag. Most of the Pyramid queens, however genius their acts were were, unpolished-looking, so Alexis really stood out as a perfectly accessorized glamorpuss. But when I got closer to her in the harsh light of the dressing room, her skin looked like spackle over sand-paper, so thick was "her" beard. I swore to myself that if I was going to be doing drag at her age, I was not going to be featuring that look. And since I haven't managed to learn any other skill besides drag and am approaching the age that Alexis was in the 80's, it's time for me to get to work. Otherwise, by the time I finish, I'll have a completely hairless mug--IN MY COFFIN! I hope that you'll all come to the funeral home and stroke my hard-won smooth cheeks appreciatively. But not so vigorously that you remove the heavy foundation, which I doubt I'll ever give up. My objective with electrolysis is to substitute the spackle over sandpaper look with the look of sandpaper over linoleum.


Since I'm unable to apply foundation for one week after an electrolysis treatment and also unable to live on the $40 per day I receive 8 weeks after my jury duty term, I've devised 2 matching veils to cover the irritated lower part of my face, and then I just paint my eyes and doll up the rest. I can't perform with the veil, but I can dj, and I was rushing to a gig at The Bubble Lounge when an adorable young latino hunk called "Yo, ma!" I hurriedly gave him my number and hopped into a cab telling him that I'd call him later that night. I knew this was a lie, because anyone would be turned off by the scabby mug which lay beneath that veil. One friend suggested that I cut a sucking hole in it, making it a "glory-veil" of sorts. I'm working on this.


But each day after I left the courthouse, I'd head to the electrolysis den. The next day, I'd appear in the fluorescent lighting of the courtroom, with a traveling rash which must have repulsed my fellow jurors. Of course, in order to zap the hairs, you have to grow them out for at least 3 days, and this reinforces another reason why I'll never grow a beard--I sprout hairs which are blond, black, brown, red, white and increasingly GRAY! Nothing quite so hideous as a calico beard, is there? In this semi-mutilated state, at first I was almost afraid to ask the jurors or lawyers a question for fear of calling attention to myself. Each time I opened my mouth to contribute to the discussion, I felt the reddest part of my face transforming my words so that they screamed "I am herpes! I am syphillis! I am AIDS!" to my fellow jurors. But they didn't seem to be too bothered by it. We even became quite chatty with each other, and one day, between cases, someone brought up a guy on Oprah Winfrey the day before who'd doused his wife with gasoline and lit her on fire. "He must be crazy" I said. "With gas prices so high?" My attempt at humor broke the ice a little more. Another day, an older grump poo-pooed one of my questions as irrelevant, and I felt sufficiently confident to snap back at him "I'll ask as many questions as I need to clarify this and your impatience has no effect on how many that is!" There was a collective feeling of "Ooh, it read him!" (And besides, what's irrelevant about asking for the cock size of all the male defendants?)

But for the most part I was impressed with the other jurors, particularly the women. American women are so open and honest and cheerful. There was one perky reality TV star on our jury. She sat in the front, and would turn around at any opportunity to address the rest of us, and took special care so that anyone for whom english was a second language had their concerns fully explained to the rest of us. She even brought two giant boxes of dough-nuts on the final day! I Since I consider myself as a woman on some levels, the dough-nuts resonated with me. (Translation: I ate one of the two boxes.) In a similar traditional hostess fashion, I recently shocked two IKEA furniture assemblers by offering them coffee the way my mom used to offer workers lemonade.Well, I guess the part that shocked the Israeli and Mexican workers was when I explained that "coffee" meant "blow job" in English--after they'd acceped my offer and I squatted erotically while twiddling my nipples. Well, the gas emissions while squatted weren't as erotic, but I'd had some coffee too!

Maybe there aren't enough real women in my life, but if my female jurors were any indication, American women are a joy to work with. During deliberations, they were generally thoughtful, chatty and fun. They didn't seem to have an agenda other than being resigned to do this gruelling job in a cheery manner. I mean please, I realize that some women of every nationality "work" men who they are interested in, so perhaps I'd have gotten a different vibe had I seemed like a man, or at least a man with money, or hell, at least a thin man who wasn't covered with a facial rash! In contrast to the American gals, there was one French matron: dressy chic, nose job, lots of eye-liner--very put together. Even though I walked to the subway with her twice (my limo was in the shop) and we chatted about the days' cases during breaks, I never knew whether or not she would greet me at the beginning of the day. The American gals were always quick with a nod. And I once caught Madame's heavily made-up eye and thought, "Wow, she's full of mystery." Now, this might be a big turn on for a straight man, the mystery indicating "I know some wild love-making technique that could make your head spin". And she certainly had a more glamorous way to present herself than the fresh-faced, bubbly American chicks, but I much prefer dealing with them. I mean, c'mon! Bringing 2 boxes of dough-nuts to your last day of jury duty? That's adorable! Maybe women of other cultures which I'm not as familiar with would do the same, but I kind of doubt it. It's so Mrs. Cleaver.

The policemen were not quite as cute as little miss TV star, though I must say that a light blue dress shirt on cafe con leche-colored skin of the latino cop is so irresistible that it ought to be a crime! Yum! A few were steroid monsters who couldn't disguise their contempt for jurors who questioned their sworn statements. But for the most part, jury duty gave me a much greater respect for the police than I've ever had. I'm basically an anti-establishment ex-hippie who will always tend to view them as "pigs" or "the fuzz", and most of my personal dealings with policemen have been negative. Not only have I filed 2 harassment complaint in the past 3 years which police did not want to take to (I assume) avoid generating paperwork, but I've actually had policemen mistake me for a hooker on more than one occasion. (Lift jaw and return to closed mouth position.) Several times while living on Gaansevoort Street in NYC's meat market, back when it was a haven for cracked-out tranny hookers instead of coked-out label whores, Lahoma, RuPaul and I would be mistaken for working girls. (We may have been trannies, and we may have been cracked out and we were usually looking for sex, but to my knowledge, none of us was getting paid for it.) The police would speak sharply to us while we were hailing a cab to get to work at Disco 2000 or wherever. And once in Miami, I was staying in downtown Miami for a dj gig and I got in a day early. That night, I walked 3 blocks to a gay bar named Cactus which was dead, so I headed back to the hotel. Since it had been freezing scarf and gloves weather in NY for months, I decided to sit on a stoop across from the Marriott and enjoy the balmy night air. A police car pulled up and an officer barked "Keep it moving." I said "What?" and they said "Keep it moving or we'll bust you for prostitution." Shaken, I explained, "I'm a guest at the hotel across the street" to which he replied "Tell it to the judge."

I had a friend drive me to the Miami police headquarters a day or two later to make a formal complaint. Since I didn't take down the license or badge numbers, my complaint didn't do much good. I tried to explain that there was nothing wrong with me sitting outside on a railing which lined the street on a pleasant evening. The officer explained to me that this was an area known for male prostitution. I asked him if the prostitutes normally flew down from New York and stayed at The Marriott and dj'ed on the side, but the supervisor seemed unwilling to even take my complaint--Dade County police are notoriously brutish. So I told him, I'm over 40, overweight, and effeminate--is that even a stereotypical description for a male prostitute? And get this: he said "I've seen worse!" The noive!

So I'm predisposed to distrust policemen. I mean, every society needs a law enforcement agengy. But the intrinsic problem is who wants to see themselves as a law enforcement agents? Sometimes, it's gonna be power-abusing bullies. It's an occupational hazard, just like child-molesting priests and alcoholic drag queens. (Hey! Now that his career as an alcoholic drag queen is winding down, maybe Michael Jackson should try joining the priesthood!) An even if the police aren't power-mad bullies, the force doesn't usually attract the most enlightened men and women, so their racial or homo- or trans-phobic prejudices color their enforcement of the law. I have been recently shocked by tales in The Village Voice of police casting orange nets over protesters, so I'm not saying that policemen are sweethearts. But seeing them in the courtroom with meticulous vouchering of evidence, lab reports of confiscated drugs, and all of the ID numbers which must accompany every single arrest, I was forced to admit that despite my unfair run-ins with "the fuzz" and the few who are bullies, most of them are decent people who regularly risk their lives to stop burglars and rapists, keep drunk drivers off the streets, and really turn me on, too!


The cops turned everyone off with the sheer number of drug arrests. It seemed that was most of what we focused on. Even the older jurors who'd probably never taken a drug in their lives had a hard time indicting defendants on laws based on "presumptive ownership", which is, for example, say I offered you a ride home from a club and you weren't aware that I was a coke dealer who had a certain weight of drugs in the car, even if you had never shared the drugs or sniffed one in your life, you were "presumptively" co-owning it with me. This also applies to marijuana ownership in larger quantitiies., Now it was our job to indict or dismiss based upon the existing law, not change the law. But it was clear the jurors were bristling at this presumed guilt by association. It just seems so odd that a victimless crime like buying a bag of weed should occupy so much of any officer's time when a fucking murderer is in the WHite House!

I grew up in the smallish city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and even though our house was within city limits, we generally felt fairly safe and suburban. I've only been mugged once in NYC in over 20 years, so I suppose I have false sense of safety. Jury duty let me know how often someone is pushed into their hallway and robbed while fumbling for their keys, or met with someone lurking in the hallway. Maybe I've just been lucky--or even more likely, maybe I don't look rich enough to bother robbing or desirable enpough to rape! And say what you want about Bill Clinton's office in Harlem gentrifying uptown, I'd say that over 85% of the cases we dealt with occurred above 100th St. I guess it was a much-needed wake up call. Sometimes, I'll sense a shady-looking character approaching as I access my outer door, and I'll feel silly suspecting them and laugh it off after nothing happens. But jury duty was a wake-up call to let me know "You're in NYC, honey!" and I'd rather be silly and safe than stupid and cut. And these fools had every kind of weapons imaginable!

Speaking of lethal weapons, I encountered one of my past regular tricks during a break. Since we knew each other from "another world" and he was on his job delivering packages, I was floored when he motioned me into the bathroom..........Now I am trash but I didn't go! I did get a giggle out of it, though. After weeks of all those long, penal codes, I could have used something that was long and penile! And even though I say I'm trash, it's important that every kind of voice is represented on the jury--even trash! That's what I find so peculiar about the outrage of these recent club closings. The clubs were shut down when extensive drug-dealing by club employees was uncovered, as well as underage drinking. There are laws preventing these, and of course police will selectively enforce them based on the mood set by an upcoming election, character of a police chief, bust quotas, etc. But if trashy messes don't step forward and say "I want to do drugs!" or "I want to protect other people's rights to use drugs", then their voice isn't heard. Don't scratch your head and scream "homophobia" because the latest round-up was mainly gay clubs. The previous slew of club closings was straight, so I don't think y'all have much of a case for pulling the gay card. If it means that much to you that you have a drug-friendly club environment to party in, then put your money where your crackpipe is and start chipping away at the legalization of marijuana and other attainable drug-tolerant goals. I don't think underage drinking is to attainable a goal, but how about speaking out against the Rave Act which unfairly penalizes club/event owners who don't sufficiently police their own venues against drugs? But when Giiuliani's zoning laws for sex shops hit, there weren't many porno freaks who were willing to join the protest and hit a street corner with I WANT CITYWIDE ACCESS TO FISTING PORN signs, either. If you want a more permissive society, you gotta fight for it. Our enemies have gotten a lot stronger during the Bush administration. I'd love to see NYC/the whole US adopt more of Amsterdam's attitude which seems to say "We celebrate our kink." But it doesn't happen by itself, folks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the sites I visit, this was one of the best blog entries I've read in a long time. Thanks Bunny.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Your points are good ones (great ones, in fact). But I'm afraid that America will never be a very permissive society because it's become so violent here that it's causing people to pursue the opposite extreme and push for very restrictive laws that they THINK will deter crime. Apparently, they've never heard of the Forbidden Fruit factor. But WE know about that, don't we? ;-)

Congratulations on surviving all those weeks of jury duty! Now, no more for at least 8 years! I hope your face heals nicely--but I must say you did your eyes up beautifully for the picture with Mrs. Executioners Song...very mysterious with that veil. Barbara Eden would be proud!

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mz. Bunny

Isn't it easier to get laser hair removal? I'd imagine they just strap you down and laser your face for ten minutes and your cheeks will rival a newborn babies cakes.Instead of sticking a needle in each and every pore.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jordy said...

You're amazing....

5:46 PM  
Blogger Mistress_Mini said...

What happened to you with the cops is no surprise. I have very little respect for police anymore. A few years ago a 15 year old friend of mine was being sexually taken advantage of by a 35 year old Dallas police officer. I wanted to chop his balls off for it, or at least get his badge # to turn him in, but I never got close enough to the scumbag. Anyway...cops are bad lol. Hallelujah for no more jury dooty;)

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a glory veil. You are a very clever heifer.

2:43 PM  
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7:19 AM  
Blogger Devans00 said...

Lady Bunny,

Thanks for your article on Superstar in a Housedress. Especially where you mention the origins of diva Alexis Del Lago. I sat through the whole movie AND the extras and I had no clue Alexis was anything other than an aging faghag. Shows how perceptive I am.


12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for article!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like articles like this. Thanks!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for article! Very interesting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you can write anything else about it? Great article!

2:04 PM  

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