LEAD SHEET 2012
29 jan 2012
New Plan for Teentime
We’re going to go with the framing device, yes. Kem comes to town and dares me to go back with Hornblower’s new show.
This strikes me as a very bad idea.
In episodic flashbacks, mostly linear and in proper sequence, but sometimes proleptic, I tell about Teentime.
Don’t be afraid about over the top absurdity.
We go see Hornblower on Gay Street, and it’s the same damn thing. Kem would enjoy this. (Hornblower a little slower, with a piece out of his skull, but essentially the same.)
Richer, meatier remarks about Mr Smerm. Mail-order bride from one of the second-tier oriental countries, I forget which. No white woman would have him, no Japanese woman would have him. That’s the message a man sends out when he gets a nonwhite wife. If it’s an oriental, that is. If he marries a colored person, though, it’s usually as a beard. You see it all the time in the city, these obviously gay middleaged men with a negro or mulatto wife. They think we will read her as “woman” or “wife”, and imagine that the guy just happens to like dark meat. But we never take it that far, do we? If you’re a fourteen-year-old girl, you’ll never think in those terms. You just see a homosexual and pet negress that he foolishly imagines is a beard.
You are possibly asking now: If they really wanted a good beard, why did they not get a white woman? Well I’ll tell you why. Two reasons. One, obviously, is that the white woman getting into such a situation would probably be a very very stupid or low-class one. Or she could be lesbian, but if she’s obviously lesbian, or known to be (and how can you not be known as a lesbian?), well there goes the beard gambit!
The second reason is that homosexuals are repelled by the opposite sex, but if the person is also of the opposite race, that takes some of the onus off. The same way people who don’t like kids often dote over cats or dogs.
Mr Smerm was not a homosexual; gay men have standards, after all; Smermy could never make the team. But he was a schoolteacher and therefore always suspect and always on display, therefore he needed his mail-order bride. I never actually met her but I saw her a few times from a distance. Very tiny, very ugly, slightly roundshouldered and bronzy-brown. She looked a lot like Mr. Smerm’s little foreign car. The car and Mrs. Smerm (and, it was rumored, an unborn baby) all came to a bad end one morning just before Thanksgiving 1973, on the West Side Highway, just one more of the twice-a-day accidents they had up there before the tottering structure came crashing down at Gansevoort Street and they finally shut the whole thing down south of Midtown. Mr. Smerm was driving. Miraculously he survived, though he broke every bone in his body and as of January 1974 was expected to be in traction for at least another year.
I am sounding very heartless about Mr. Smerm, I know. I would not speak this way about Smermy if