Springing into allergy season


Happy spring, everybody. Yes, spring has sprung and the flowers are a-bloomin’, the bees are a-buzzin’ and I am a-sneezin’. As with many Texans, this time of year kicks my ass. Breathing in all this flower jiz is no bueno. My poor blue Jeep looks green covered in all this yellow pollen. Even my Pomeranian, Sunny, is sneezing and wheezing. I love all the beautiful flowers and green coming back to the trees but damn! It’s like God said, “Enjoy all this beauty … it will only cost you five gallons of snot.”

That reminds me of another springtime tale of woe. Picture it: 1998 and I was a new parent to my first pup, Dax. I was living at the River Oaks on Cedar Springs. I loved all of the flowers and greenery all over the condo complex, but flowers attract bees, and although I didn’t know it at the time, my poor little Dax got stung while prancing through a bunch of begonias. We went upstairs so I could get ready for my drag show later that evening. Dax jumped on the bed and went to sleep while I painted my face. A while later, when I was in full drag, I hollered for Dax to get in his kennel so I could leave. He turned his head to look at me and I screamed. His poor little muzzle was swollen up so much he looked like a fuzzy hippopotamus. He looked so pathetic and sad it broke my heart and scared the shit out of me. I started calling every vet number I had and finally found a 24-hour vet that answered the damn phone. She told me to get some liquid Benadryl and give him half a teaspoon. I hung up in a panic when I realized I did not have any freaking liquid Benadryl. So I jumped in the car in full glamazon drag and ran to Mary Thumb (what we called the Tom Thumb grocery store in the gayborhood for you newbies). I ran in, clip-clopping down the aisles looking for the right meds. I felt like Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment: “Give my puppy the goddam shot!!!”

While paying at the register, I noticed people looking at me like some crazed drug fiend. Then I realized I was wearing a cheetah print hooker dress, cha-cha heels and huge hair that only fit in the car if I hunched. So I guess I deserved some of those crazy looks. I remember asking one older gentleman, “What are you looking at?” in my deepest voice. He said, “Nothing, ma’am.” So I winked at him; after all he had called me ma’am.

When I finally got back home, I was still in a frenzied panic, shaking from head to toe. I tore into the damned childproof packaging and ripped off the lid, slinging half of its contents against the face of the lower cabinets. I tried to calm myself from shaking so much so I could measure out half a teaspoon into the syringe. Finally I got down on my knees to give Dax the medicine and realized he had already licked every bit of the spilled Benadryl off the cabinets and the floor — probably close to half a bottle. I screamed again (I was very dramatic in those days, if you can imagine), snatched him up and stuck my finger down his throat trying to make him throw up. Some of it came up; we were both a mess. I called the vet lady back and told her about the new drama. She kind of laughed at me and told me he would be fine. She told me to just keep an eye on him and if he wasn’t better by morning to bring him in.

It was a very long night. The good thing was that the swelling had gone down within 10 minutes; the bad thing was my poor puppy was fucked up. He was higher than a giraffe’s pussy. The poor guy couldn’t be still. He kept sitting up, turning around and sitting back down. His eyes looked glazed and he was feeling no pain. I’ve seen kids at the club rolling on Molly that had the same look my poor cracked-out doggie had.

Needless to say, I didn’t make it to my show that night — my baby needed me. By morning we were both sleeping hard … hell, we slept most of the day. After that night, I always have Benadryl in my medicine cabinet, especially for spring.

Now let’s get to work.

Dear Cassie, How do drag queens come up with their names? Thanks, Christy.

Dearest Christy, How a drag queen decides on a name varies from one girl to the next. Surprisingly, there is not a formula for it — we don’t use your childhood pet’s name plus the first street you lived on — I don’t think anybody actually does that. (BTW, mine would be Charlie Bethpage. That’s a horrible name.) Layla Larue got the last name Larue from a guy she had a crush on years before. Valerie Lohr got her name from a famous model from the ’80s. Krystal Summers was just appointed the name Krystal by an emcee on the fly — she said you look like a Krystal and it stuck. Asia O’Hare just took her sister’s name, kind of like Single White Female, but she’s black. Some showgirls just use the feminine version of their boy names (Eric to Erica, Daniel to Danielle) and so on.

I got my name from a bisexual porn star. Back in the day, friends and I were at Tapelenders “shopping” … i.e., cruising boys. We were too young to get into any of the clubs so we hung out any place we could. This was when they actually rented movies on videocassette — I know, how barbaric. In the back of the store, in a seedy dark corner, they kept all of their porno movies. Actually they kept the VHS movie covers in thick binders. When you wanted to rent one you took out the cover and took it to the front of the store to rent it. The binders were separated into straight, gay and bisexual porn. We were flipping the pages and laughing at all the ridiculous names of the movies and the porn stars. Then I saw it: Who Shaved Kassi Nova. It had a picture of this crazy-looking chick with huge boobs and huge hair. When you turned it over to the back, it showed she also had a huge bush. I laughed and told my friends if I ever do drag I’m gonna be Cassie Nova. At the time the thought of doing drag never crossed my mind but a few months later, bam! Cassie Nova was born. And my bush was even bigger. Thanks, Cassie.

Random thoughts: People who park in a handicap space and get out of their car without so much as a limp should be slapped. Rude! People who use electric scooters in a grocery store because they are too lazy to walk should have bamboo shoved under their fingernails. People who talk on their phones loudly and dramatically while ignoring the cashier that is trying to wait on them should be burned at the stake. Yes, I went to Walmart today … how did you know?

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. Take time to smell the flowers, even if you have to be heavily medicated. Love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.              ­•

If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 17, 2015.