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Drag Queen

Drag Queen - Robert Rodi There’s an old writing rule attributed to Chekhov: “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise, don’t put it there.”This concept deals with foreshadowing, and the fact that all details, however small, are significant and should be integral parts of the story. Well in Robert Rodi’s “Drag Queen”, the gun (in this case Blossom Dearie) isn’t fired until twenty pages before the end. (If you don’t know who Blossom is, honey, google it.)As I read, I envisaged a few ways ‘the gun” might be fired, but didn’t predict the way it was in the end. That unpredictability, for me, is always a plus.Written in 1995, “Drag Queen” explores the world of chicks with dicks, in the purest sense of the phrase.Underneath the humor, the book explores a few serious themes, and has some classic quotes: “Elizabeth the First, She’s been my real obsession. Probably the first great drag-queen role model in history.” This dialogue came after a long section where the concept that men have had heroes to model themselves on ever since the time of Homer, while it's been different for women: “I was determined to find a forgotten iconic tradition for women, and hon, it was just not there....The few women who did achieve any real influence or power over the years had to invent themselves from scratch.”The words were spoken by Kitten Kaboodle who just happens to be the long lost identical twin brother of Mitchell Sayer an uptight, anal retentive lawyer who specialises in real estate cases.As you can imagine, the sparks fly. From the time poor Mitchell tracks down Donald and discovers to his horror he is a drag queen, he ends up in all sorts of dire predicaments, including sucking a few cocks in a leathermen orgy, something he’d never have dreamed of doing beforehand, and tries desperately to forget afterwards.* Not that that was Kitten’s fault, more Simon an ex-boyfriend who is heavily into the scene. No Kitten was too busy chasing after one of Mitchell's college pals or trying to avoid being upstaged by another drag queen who, God forbid, mimed her songs.I really enjoyed the story. Campy, irreverent, sarcastic and over the top, just like the people it’s talking about. Underneath there is a worthwhile message. Mitchell's adoptive mother sums it up best: "Maybe he's someone desperately trying to find a corner of the world where he can fit...Someone who shows more courage every time he walks down a street than you or I have ever had to show in our lives.Especially as Donald says about himself: "I'm just this ordinary nothing of a man. Someone you'd never look at twice if you saw him on the street. A big gray absence of a person."*And Kate, I read this after I sent you my synopsis of "Joe Blow"!!!