How to do the wrong thing right

_howard-russell-logoThe holidays are here again! Yet, from Dear Howard’s viewpoint, precious few of us this year appear to be any happier than we queers were during last year’s holiday season. How does that deliciously foul, annual Christmas ditty favorite go, kids? …Your heart’s an empty hole / Your brain is full of spiders, you’ve got garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch / I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole! Ah, les mots juste.

With 2016’s holiday spirit already teetering atop Mount Crumpit to dump it, dear readers, let’s just get poinsettias-stripped-of-their-leaves right to it.

Dear Howard,

I got married to my new husband a year ago last Christmas Eve. Marc’s favorite TV show of all time is Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, so as my first anniversary present for him I actually found online an original TV production cel of Marc’s favorite character, Max the dog, signed by Dr. Seuss himself. They’re asking $400 for it. Marc insists he doesn’t want me give him any Christmas gifts this year, that we’ve plenty of time to exchange Santa presents later in life down the road when we’ve more money, but I love my man and want to surprise him with something fabulous I know he’ll love for our first anniversary. Your thoughts? — Whit

Dear Whitmore,

My thoughts, you lovesick crocodile, are that you should hand over the reins of all mutually-shared finances to your newly wedded spouse, immediately, and that you should never be permitted to shop for art again. Here’s why, Whitley: It requires but the very briefest, minimal Google search to reveal that not only did Theodor Seuss Geisel never sign so much as even one original Grinch TV animation cel. Granted, the occasional hand-signed Grinch production cels do come on the art market very rarely, yet not a single one of them will be signed by the patronymic, pseudonym sobriquet known all the world over as “Dr. Seuss” himself; moreover, even should you luck across a cel actually signed by either the original storyboard or animation artists, such as, say, June Foray, Maurice Noble or Virgil Ross, you’re easily going to spend northwards these days of $4,000, not $400… and for any cel featuring the ever-popular Max, prepare to spend a heaping sleigh-full more. In short, Whitney, you foul one, you’re being duped.

Here’s Howard’s advice, Whitlock: Simply present to Marc, for your first anniversary gift to him, a DVD version of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas: He’ll treasure it, forever, I promise you … just as his heart will additionally grow two sizes each and every year, for you, that you’re both together, forever afterwards, eternally.

Dear Howard,

My 42-year-old husband of 20 faithful years is a blond Adonis: sapphire-blue eyes, six-pack abs, bubble butt and a great English accent. He dresses in the latest European fashion, especially those tight slacks that show off his large “manhood.” He’s practically the love-child of Tom Daley and Brad Pitt! Whenever I leave my husband alone in a bar, even for but a minute, I always return to find him being hit on by some gym rat or a retail queen: I’ve come to expect that if they don’t know we’re a couple, they’ll cruelly say to me, “Go away, you don’t have a chance!” Worse, sometimes they’ll actually squeeze in between us and coo to my husband, “You can do so much better than that.”

While I’m no Cary Grant, I don’t scare small children, and I quickly dispatch them back to whatever inky-dark corners whence they oozed. My problems are: 1. Why do these rude people feel they can do this? And 2. All my husband ever hears is, “Who’s the pretty boy? You’re the pretty boy, yes, you are.” He doesn’t ever hear the insults they’re directing to me; he only hears their complements to him; otherwise, he is the perfect husband. What do I do?
— Anonymous

Dear Anon,

Girlfriend, your quandary isn’t exactly a rare one. Alas, whenever two males are involved in any relationship not 100 percent platonic, then one of said horny two is always going to “hear” that the other is more visually-fucking-fabulous; consequently, one receives far more extra attention solely for his looks than is seemingly fair. Granted, it means that (merry fuckin’ Christmas!) life translates into a totally unfair advantage for men gifted with gorgeous looks over those born just plain-looking: “Looks aren’t everything,” is what we’re all taught to take assured comfort in, yet this maxim is, of course, pure bullshit. Looks… are… everything! “Can we talk here?” as the famously non-gorgeous Joan Rivers so infamously noted, “No man ever put his hand up a woman’s skirt looking for a library card.”

So, you want Dear Howard’s suggestion for what you do? Honey, I suggest you learn to just deal, after 20 years of faithful betrothal now, with having miraculously lucked across an Adonis who loves you even more than everyone else on this Earth whom merely lusts for him sporting a fantasy penis larger than their born-in-a-manger-studs’ fantasies.
— Howard Lewis Russell

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2016.