December 15, 2014
Believe it or not, I am a big fan of rules. That's because if there were no rules, I'd have no rules to break. I also realize that without rules, there would be anarchy. And yet, our supermarkets in Los Angeles are becoming a strange cross between Gestapo Germany and a Turkish bazaar. First they outlawed plastic bags - because carrying home florescent light bulbs (which everyone looks crappy under) in a paper bag that will inevitably rip is such fun. But, rules is rules. And yet, I was flummoxed when nobody batted an eye at two people with carriages full of groceries in front of me - in the express lane. When I spoke up (as I am wont to do), I was directed to a new sign at the express line which now reads "Express Lane - About 15 Items". "About"? That was vague enough for the bitch in front of me to consider each dozen cans of cat food as one item. Apparently some rules are important and some rules ain't.
Earlier that same day, the daughter of Korean Air's president demanded that the flight which was about to leave JFK for Incheon return to the gate so that a flight attendant who she just fired could deplane. Why? Heather Cho (who is also a VP with the airline) said she didn't like how the attendant served her nuts! I must confess I've yet to encounter a flight attendant who didn't service my nuts properly, but that's another story. Anyway, Ms. Cho was offended to be given macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on the serving plate. She was so outraged, she made the crew member kneel in front of her and beg for forgiveness. As someone who has enjoyed the perks of first class travel, I have never had a flight attendant hand me nuts in a bag - although I have had more than one kneel before me (often with the word Ocupado flashing before my eyes).
Speaking of airline drama, I just heard about the trouble gay porn star Bruno Knight ran into when trying to fly out of LAX this summer. Whilst rushing to catch a flight to London, he was detained by DEA officers. Turns out, they had been tipped off that the porn pup would be smuggling 226 grams of crystal meth out of the country....in his ass! That's a helluva lot of crystal to be shoving up one's arse (as they'd say in Merry Ole England). Given the quantity of the drugs, the charges were possession along with intent to sell - an offense which could have landed him in jail for 20 years. However, he swore he wasn't a drug dealer. His defense was that he's simply a drug addict and was desperate to bring the meth into London - where apparently they don't have the Internet or Breaking Bad repeats to show you how to make it in your own kitchen. The judge was moved and gave Bruno two years in the pokey. It's been pointed out that one of Knight's most memorable flicks was Security Control, where he played an officer who strip searches a guy for drugs. Once again, art imitates life...which imitates porn.
Last week, it was reported that a rookie firefighter with the FDNY has a past doing gay porn - which seems to be a prerequisite of any member of the NY fire department by the look of them. Jonathan Jesensky is a former marine who served in Iraq, and then worked as an EMT for the past two years. Sounds like someone I'd want protecting me with a long hose. Days after he officially became an FDNY rookie (after being valedictorian of his class), it was revealed that he did about a dozen gay and bisexual porn flicks under the name Jonathan West (we hear he's gay-for-pay). His body of work includes such classics as Paramedics and Semper Bi" (once again, art imitating life, imitating porn). What's interesting about this story is that when the media contacted his superiors, they said he had already told them when he was hired two years ago. "The legal department is aware of his work history," said an FDNY spokesperson. The press tracked down several of Jonathan's new colleagues - some who have met him and some who haven't. It seems that the people questioned said they didn't care what he did in the past, so long as he was good at his job. Once again, firemen are setting a good example for everyone.
Every fall, the Broadway community raises money at the end of each show for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This six-week fundraising effort culminates in the annual Gypsy of the Year Competition. As you all know, Hugh Jackman is a great friend of our community, and he's always willing to lend a hand - and occasionally a shirt. Jackman is currently on Broadway in The River. As part of the show's fundraising effort, Hugh has been auctioning off his shirt. If this sounds familiar, it's because he did the same thing in 2011 during the run of Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. This year, The River broke all records by raising $549,725! This staggering amount was significantly higher than the next show - It's Only a Play which brought in $464,559. Congrats.
Speaking of Broadway, there are some interesting musicals based on films that are in the works. Garry Marshall says that a stage version of Pretty Woman is about a year away and claims that "Disney's behind it" - because if there's one thing we know about Disney, it's that they'd love a musical about hoofing hookers! A stage version of another Marshall film, Beaches, had a mini-run at Virginia's Signature Theatre and will hit London's Drury Lane next season. A musical version of one of my favorite films, Dave, just had a highly successful workshop in NYC. And we hear that Alan Menken is adapting Corinna, Corinna as a vehicle for Audra McDonald.
I'm not saying Taylor Lautner is gay. And I'm not saying he's straight. What I am saying is that he caused quite a few tongues in West Hollywood to wag when he turned up at The Abbey last week. It should be noted that while The Abbey started out as primarily a gay club, it's really quite mixed these days. So Taylor showing up doesn't mean all that much - especially on a Thursday night where you'd be hard pressed to find a gay man in the joint. I hasten to add that Taylor did find one - he posed for a photo with Andrew Christian model Murray Swanby (who also is a host at The Abbey). Draw your own conclusions after checking him out on BillyMasters.com.
Lance Bass' December 20th wedding will not be the 'NSync reunion he had hoped for. "Of course the boys are going to be there, unfortunately Justin's not going to be able to go because that's his last date on tour and I had no idea he'd be touring right next to Christmas. He'll be the only guy not able to make it that day. I couldn't imagine getting married without those boys being right there." I guess he'll have to imagine it a little.
Time for more of Billy's Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions. I firmly believe that a thoughtfully selected calendar is a perfect gift. This year, we've got some great options for you. First up is the Warwick Rowing Club. The lads started getting their kits off to raise money for new equipment in 2009. Since then, like the Calendar Girls before them, they've branched out into other directions - and raised close to half a million dollars! This year, the sexy students are raising money to fight homophobia in sports. They'll also help you break a sweat! Check out their wares at WarwickRowers.org.
If you want someone a bit more rugged, a bit hairier, a bit rougher around the edges, then the Nashville Grizzlies are right up your alley. They're a domestic rugby team and are proud to say that they're a "socially and ethnically diverse group of guys aged 19-53". This year, they are raising money to promote gay rugby and diversity. You can look them up at GrizzliesRugby.org.
Lastly, a perennial favorite of my readers is the annual calendar of naughty Orthodox priests. For the third year in a row, we get to see the pious and members of their flock nude, or at least partially nude. Having been raised in the Eastern Orthodox faith and attended services in churches around the world, I must say I've never seen anyone who remotely resembles these guys in (or out) of their vestments. They can be found at Orthodox-Calendar.com.
We're closing in on one of my favorite holiday traditions. On December 19th, the incomparable Darlene Love will be celebrating Christmas with her 29th annual appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. This will be a bittersweet celebration, since Letterman will be signing off on May 20, 2015. Love has stated that she would not move her annual appearance to another show. But she might not have to. I've heard a little rumor that CBS would like Letterman to continue the tradition by returning each year for an annual Christmas special. Stay tuned.
When we're looking ahead to 2015, it's definitely time to end yet another column. When the New Year dawns, so will the new version of www.BillyMasters.com - the site that's always evolving. And since I've been busy with gift giving ideas, I haven't had room to answer any of your questions in print. But I'm always here for you. Feel free to send your queries into Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I am caught with a sack full of nuts at LAX! Until next time, remember one man's filth is another man's bible.