How to do the wrong thing right

Howard-RussellDear Howard,
My new man is a Virgo bear, I’m a Pisces cub. We’ve only dated two months, but he’s asked me move in already, and is even hinting at marriage the day I pass my GED. I probably do love him, I guess, but here’s the rub: Papa Carson is, like, 25 years older than me, plus his track record’s not so great when handing out wedding rings. All his four former “marriages” to dudes — also near my own age — failed after less than about three years. Papa’s awesomely hot, though — I worship his salt-n-pepa Caesar. Best of all, he sure does have some monumentally gigantic “hands.” Hail Caesar, my hung furry conqueror! What should a cub Pisces say to a Virgo grizzly when he’s proposed to? — Saul

Dear Saul,
Jackie Stallone I am not, you hormone-enraged, Pisces pup… cub, I mean, excuse me. (What’s with the animal metaphors?) How you’ve managed to mix up my meretricious gay advice column for an astrology byline, I can’t imagine; regardless, it has been dear Howard’s indurate observation that an age difference of no more than a maximum of about one decade is all that’s actually bridgeable for starry, long-term success. Regarding the astrological chances of you having fatefully aligned with your love-match/soul-mate everlasting, all I collectively know about Virgo and Pisces is they both are, handily, the very dullest two signs of the entire zodiac. Who knows, though: maybe it’ll work out for you two … despite your marrying a narcissist, as low self-esteem serial husband Papa Caesar clearly is. Saul, my Pisces pup —cub, I mean, why do I keep doing that? — if you ask me (which you did) you’re too idealistically naïve yet for the likes of a slickster like Carson. Translation:
Papa Bear’s taking you to be more country than an okra sandwich. Your bucolic, boy-toy libido is working against you here.
At wedlock-best, a “monumentally gigantic” bedroom boner only takes precedence the first couple of years. All successful relationships metamorphose, Saul, beyond merely the orgasmic ecstasy of bouncing atop a Louisville slugger man-ramming your pooter. Moreover, neither of us needs necessarily be astrological prophets here to know that Carson’s four previous “marriages” were also to arm-candy boi-studs many years younger than himself whom he, I guarantee you, neither respected nor even particularly liked, say nothing of loved. Howard’s unadulterated advice: Do not marry this freak-hung, Virgo chickenhawk… ear, I mean: Such is dear Jackie Stallone-Howard’s verdict.

Dear Howard,
I’m not proud admitting this, but as a transgender female I can’t stand Caitlyn Jenner. Her vainglorious, atrociously pandering “reality” show’s second season manages to both bore and disgust me. Ms. Cait, for all intents and purposes, should be my idol; why, then, do I literally loathe her so much? — Arianna

Dear Arianna,
You are not alone in your Caitlyn-enmity: In this past year, I’ve received several perplexing variants of your question, but have yet mastered quite how to decorously respond … in lieu of my typically facile, low-road route (self-righteously superior, pandering and campy). Fortunately, however, I’ve located you some high-ground clarity here that, I think, encapsulates your feelings in relation to the real reason Jenner is alienating her natural audience: It comes courtesy of renowned advertising executive, Tim Maleeny. Here’s his condensed say:

“Successful television shows only come in two flavors: optimistic or voyeuristic. Optimistic television includes morning news programs, daytime talk shows and most family sitcoms … designed to trigger the endorphins that make us feel happy, hopeful and closer to our fellow humans. Voyeuristic TV includes the nightly news, reality TV and heavy drama; viewers want it tawdry, titillating or tragic … a funhouse mirror bearing no resemblance to ourselves, an escapist glance into a much darker world than our own, and after it’s over, the [our] world feels lighter by comparison. And that’s why, despite being a celebrity, Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t have what it takes to be a reality TV star. Because when we watch her on the small screen, we’re actually on her side. Caitlyn, like Bruce Jenner before her, is someone who people want to succeed. There’s no entertainment in ridiculing her, because she’s demonstrated too much dignity. The Kardashians belong on reality TV. They are the flip side of the optimistic-voyeuristic coin … if you insist on putting Caitlyn Jenner on TV, make her a guest anchor on a morning news program or the host of a daytime talk show. That’s where she belongs.”

Oh, and if it’s of any cold-revenge comfort to you at all, proud Arianna, I Am Cait has now been canceled —complements of Ms. Cait’s atrociously plummeting ratings. So you’re clearly not alone.

Dear Howard,
Can you name any obviously gay, world-famous celebrity, living or dead, who possibly might never have crossed my very imaginatively queer mind before as actually being someone who’s rock-solid homosexual? — Skeet

Dear Skeet,
Jesus: Does this answer solidly work for you, imaginative Skeeter; or, were you hoping for, perhaps, someone even more obviously/actually gay and world-famous?  minus your jealousy.
— Howard Lewis Russell

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 22, 2016.