The Daily Dump

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Tuesday, June 13

The Tony Awards Called, And I Answered: Part 1

The official kick-off to a Broadway themed extravaganza of a weekend saw me and four of my friends partying at the super casual, super gay dance party at The China Club sponsored by Budweiser* (For all you do, this Bud's for you). Your choices of drink included Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select. And while I still think that actually approaching a bartender and having this exchange:

Bartender: “What can I get you?”

You: “Budweiser Select.”

is beyond hilarious, the fact that it was free means that I had to try one just to see if it lived up to its billing as a premium alternative to the traditional Budweiser beer. The conclusion? It tastes exactly like original Budweiser – a heavy, bitter start with a bready finish. Goes down hard, makes you bloated. Budweiser Select.

After trading in our Budweiser Select for Bud Light, we began dismantling the buffet table, where we overcame their stinginess by filling up a plate, bringing it to our table and immediately going back and starting on line from the other end with a new plate. We then sat down and relaxed with approximately eight plates of food and 16 Bud Lights and watched as groups of people filtered by, of which there were two kinds: 1) the group of four guys with one girl, always with the girl leading the way and the guys looking for someone cooler to talk to, or 2) the group of three girls, mildly attractive, wearing new outfits from H&M, with their heads on a swivel surveying the crowd with a keen eye that gave off an air of “If there is a straight man here, I will find him.”

For our part, I have no idea what people must have thought of us. One moment a gay guy would be ready to approach our table after overhearing my friend Scott say, “I don’t know what kind of jeans they are, I just got them. Here, check out the label on the back,” and stand up with his ass in my friend Matt’s face, then immediately do a u-turn when overhearing, “OK, let’s all put in $20 for the first guy to make out with a woman over 60.” We were a group unto ourselves, men who made the decision early on in the night to accept the facts of our circumstances:

1. that we would appear gay

2. that there was little to no chance of meeting a likeable girl

3. that we were at a party for an industry with which we had zero affiliation outside of being invited to parties like this

We decided to embrace it and view it as a liberating experience the same way that traveling to a foreign country imbibes you with the feeling that, for lack of understanding the laws native to the land, you can do whatever you want. When in Rome, eat carbohydrates and drink wine. When at a Tony Awards party sponsored by Budweiser . . . dance.

I will say this as unequivocally as I possibly can: It is a damn shame that somewhere down the line it became embarrassing for guys to dance. And I’m not talking about dancing like “grinding up on a girl for five minutes before making out with her.” I mean dancing like unrestrained movements of both arms and legs, like the way you danced at weddings when you were a child and all you wanted was attention and more sugar. Yeah, I agree – most of the time it’s not a pretty sight. But if we could all just have a collective “GET OVER IT” and realize how fun it is, the world would be a better, less horny place.

Even I had my reservations when the music switched over from hip-hop to 80’s, the traditional dance music of gay men and New Jersey women for over two decades. But as I sat there on the stage (did I mention we were on a stage?) listening to Madonna and thinking, “How can you possibly dance to this?” I watched everyone flail around me and, with the final swig of my sixth Bud Light, all semblance of masculinity seeped from my body and by the time Elton John came on I was in the middle of a dance circle pulling out and old Kid N’ Play move. For a man who trades in sarcasm on a daily basis, it was some of the most unsarcastic moves my body had ever made.

And you know what? It turns out the truth is attractive. Because with about 15 minutes left in the night, my friend Scott and I were unabashedly dancing around each other in small circles when an attractive girl approached us coyly from the side, dancing by herself with modest, unobtrusive movements. When my friend Scott noticed her he called her over to us and motioned for her to dance with us. Wordlessly, she gladly obliged and jumped in, fists pumping and legs kicking. When the song was over, we were all smiles and adulation. Then after introducing ourselves, we had this conversation:

Me: “So where are you from?”

Her: “Edmonton, Canada.”

Me: “Oh, wow. You must be pretty excited right now [for the Stanley Cup finals, of which Edmonton is a part].”

Scott: “Well, not that excited [as Edmonton was down 2-0 in the best of seven series].”

Insert fake laughter and guy banter.

Her: (clearly confused at our non-gayness) “Uh, yeah. Totally.”

And with that we took off, reveling in our dance moves, ambiguous sexual orientation and free Budweiser haze. The best part? This was only the first event. There were two more to come, each with a much different tenor, i.e. more dignified, less “Dancing Queen.” But for those few short hours, we were in the moment, enjoying this industry with which we have no affiliation, yet collectively we knew that we belonged on Broadway. Or at least the part of Broadway where the hookers hang out offering hand jobs for $5. Yeah, at least that part.

* Apparently, back in 1999 Budweiser ran a series of gay-friendly print ads in a limited number of publications. The ads, which showed two men holding hands with the slogan "Be yourself and make it a Bud Light,” prompted such outrage amongst conservative beer drinkers that a grassroots campaign was established in opposition to the ads. One chain email circulated to drum up support wrote: “We can let Anheuser Busch understand that pro-family Americans are terribly concerned about homosexual images coming into our homes through advertising campaigns.” And you know what? They’re absolutely right. I remember back when I was younger and my Dad would sit me on his lap and we would read through the beer ads in all the current weeklies, and I always felt “This is what family is all about.” But here we are six years later, and Budweiser is back to their family-destructing ways, transforming five otherwise heterosexual men into Bud Light waving dancing queens doing the YMCA dance ON A STAGE.)


while i prefer coors light to bud light any day, there is something to be said about a table full of bud lights and food.

did you just FREAK when you saw patti lupone?

or, worse yet, did you just FREAK when you didn't see her?

By Blogger ionca, at 1:04 PM  

I'm not sure how you could be confused for gay men - no gay man would drink Bud Light. It just doesn't happen!

By Blogger Cherry Ride, at 1:10 PM  

At least you didn't have to drink Zima.

At a party for his rugby team, one of Boyfriend's teammates came back from the store on a beer run with Smirnoff Ice for the ladies. Does anyone still drink that crap that's out of college?!? Blech.

Anyway, glad you were able to let loose and get your groove thang on! You go girl!

By Blogger liberalbanana, at 1:25 PM  

sounds like fun to me.... especially the ambiguous sexuality part.

By Blogger verbald, at 1:34 PM  

this made me actually laugh out loud. i am soooo happy that you danced. i totally agree that if there were more true, spastic and childlike dancing we'd all be a lot more laid back. it is SUCH fun.

By Blogger mere, at 1:46 PM  

Wait -- was spastic, childlike dancing supposed to be embarassing?

Someone took me of the mailing list.

By Blogger The Retropolitan, at 1:50 PM  

BudLight sponsored the Rock Paper Scissors Tournament (which was on TV last night! You better have watched it!) and the bartender's only job was to have someone walk up, hold up a hand indicating how many they wanted, and pop the top. Utterly useless. And after a weekend of being plied with uriney beer I never want to see one again. Also, there was much dancing. BudLight just does that to a person.

By Blogger Hope, at 1:54 PM  

You and Scott totally should have called yourself the "ambigiously gay duo." Then you could have had a pre-made theme song and everything.

By Blogger Rebecca, at 2:18 PM  

I'm confused as to why Budweiser was sponsoring anything related to the Tonys. The Tonys are gayer than my luggage and no one gay drinks Budweiser...unless it's for flip cup purposes post kickball games.

By Blogger Carrie Broadshoulders, at 2:31 PM  

this homofaggotasslicker drinks bud light. and coors light. and pbr. and *GASP* regular BUDWEISER.

anheuser-busch loves the homos. and the homos love them.

(apparently not many have drank at east village faggot bars, which proudly serve bud)

By Blogger ionca, at 2:35 PM  

Boy, that's an awkward comment.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 2:47 PM  

Um, I'm not sure what to write now.

By Blogger Momentary Academic, at 2:56 PM  

Would deleteing that comment be a hate crime?

By Blogger [Disgrundled], at 3:06 PM  

Hilarious. My favorite part: "And you know what? It turns out the truth is attractive." Well said.

By Blogger Leezer, at 3:07 PM  

I was going to write something about how ironic it was that Anheuser BUSCH placed an ad featuring homosexual MALES...but I decided not to go there.

(Even thought I kind of just did. Go there.)

By Blogger Jenni, at 3:14 PM  

you could delete it. i'm assuming you're referring to my comment. as a homosexual, i feel entitled to use the word faggot, much like blacks and the N word.

and since a few comments referenced the phenomenon of no faggots EVER drinking bud, i hadda set the record straight....HA, straight.

By Blogger ionca, at 3:16 PM  

It pains me that you had to drink Bud Light all night but it is pretty gay when compared to Miller Lite. They pay me to say stuff like that...

By Blogger Julie_Gong, at 3:16 PM  

miller lite = frat boys
bud light = sorority girls and homos

By Blogger ionca, at 3:23 PM  

One thing I've notice in this series of "Tony Awards" posts is that you haven't mentioned any of the shows. Have you actually seen any of these productions or do you just go to the parties?

By Anonymous Neil, at 3:56 PM  

The closest I came to seeing any of the shows this year was watching my friend Matt convince a girl at the Tony's afterparty that he was in Jersey Boys. Plus I ran into Cynthia Nixon, who may have been in character at the time, if that counts.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 4:05 PM  

So glad to hear you got your groove on! Sounds like fun.

By Blogger babyoog, at 4:08 PM  

cynthia nixon doesn't play a lesbian with a manly girlfriend, so i doubt she was in character.

By Blogger ionca, at 4:17 PM  

Did you have any Idea that the World Cup is going on right now? Heard of Football? Not soccer the gay american name for the sport. Don't be a typical american who is clueless to this phenomenon going on right now. So, heads up, Watch some football, the real kind- Or the whole world will think you're gay.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 PM  

I'm gay and I'm okay with Bud Light. Stupidly, it is in small part due to the fact that they were smart enough to run that ad campaign several years ago when Coors was being rabidly anti-gay. Of course, I'd prefer other beers, but Bud Light will do in a pinch.

Dance white boy dance white boy dance!

By Blogger Dennis!, at 4:20 PM  

I like your point of view on dancing, the world would be a better place if we all danced around like
little kids..

By Blogger manuela, at 4:40 PM  

Out of all the clubs in NYC I never been to the China CLub.. I used to go to Twilo on Saturday nights and the gay guys always drunk rolling rock.

By Blogger mrsmogul, at 4:53 PM  

By the way, Budweiser sponsors the World Cup. Just FYI

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 PM  

I couldn't stop laughing...
And to think that your friend struck up a conversation about hockey... 'classic, eh?'
Loved the commentary about the Bud ads...

By Blogger Pendullum, at 5:15 PM  

Thank God, I had no clue where Anonymous was going with that futbol comment.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 5:15 PM  

I'm so proud of you for eating at a gay bar. That should have been the red light to any and all comers (hee hee!) that you are, in fact, not gay. As a spokesman for my people, we're for the most part food-phobic in social settings. eating in a bar where dancin and/or bloat might way nuh-uh...Hat's off to you for being who you is and rolling with it.

By Blogger JP, at 5:22 PM  

Aren't you glad you got picked up by Gawker the day after you posted your family photo? Let the gawking and stalking begin.

By Blogger Cupcake, at 5:43 PM  

Dancing around like a little kid at a wedding with too much frosting in him? And I missed it?

Dancing is the best damn thing you can do with your body. Yet another reason I am glad to be a woman: I don't have to supress my hips on the dance floor. Dan just laid it down men! You know you want to dance!

By Blogger Janet, at 5:43 PM  

Ew, I'm gay and would rather not drink (at all) than gag down any Anheiser-Busch produced beverage.
And Coors is just wrong.

I like my beers from the primary source - Deutschland.

Any gay who drinks Budweiser is self-loathing. And boring.

And I miss Twilo.

By Anonymous Hans, at 6:20 PM  

Wow, that party sure sounded like a great time! I agree about "getting over it" when it comes to guys dancing, I hate that my boyfriend wont dance at all in fear of looking stupid - WE ALL DO! sheesh! Great post, love your site, Keep it up!

By Blogger Beechball, at 6:32 PM  

Things I learned from reading the comments section on this post:
1. A seemingly innocent attempt at a joke would lead to such comments about beers that gays drink/don't drink and why/why not.
2. That the word "soccer" is actually gay (thanks anonymous)!
3. That not watching the World Cup makes you gay (thanks again anonymous)!

By Blogger Cherry Ride, at 7:02 PM  

Anonymous is probably foreign...or just one of those annoying americans who call soccer "futbol."

By Blogger My Novelty Organ, at 7:04 PM  

The way I see it, I don't care if you're gay, straight, or Billy Idol - if they're throwing out beer like bread crumbs to the pigeons, you'll take it.

By Blogger the belligerent intellectual, at 7:53 PM  

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. His thought was that Budwieser Select is actually Bud Dry, and that they just had to wait until everyone forgot about it and then come up with a better advertising campaign. I agreed, because who would want a thirst quenching beer that sounds like it will dry your mouth out.

I myself like Bud, or just about any beer. But I wonder if all the beer snobs who posted so far realize the difference between liking something, and actually thinking it is good. I like Budwieser, but it is not good beer. As I like Pizza Hut, but it is not good pizza. Guinness is good beer. Pyramid Hefeweizen is good beer. Budwieser is less expensive. Big difference.

Conclusion: Bud Select is good...enough.

By Blogger Gus, at 8:21 PM  

I ADORE that you danced! I once made the unforgivable mistake, as a drunken college girl at a trendy dance club 14 years ago, of questioning my future husband's dance moves (think White Man Robo Cop-esque Dance). He danced the obligatory first dance at our nuptials a few years later, but has never set foot on a dance floor again. Which in reality is probably for the best, for all concerned, but still . . . It would be nice if he tried some boogie shoes on again now that I've learned my lesson. Maybe when I'm 90, and he has Alzheimer’s, wiping out his memory of that evening.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 PM  

I know there's a joke somewhere I can make about how the Budweiser name was bought out (originally "Budweis" brand) from Czechoslovakia and somehow cleverly tie that in with the U.S. v. Czechoslovakia World Cup match...but my brain's not thinking fast enough. I can only throw out the frame of the joke.

By Blogger nabiya, at 10:58 PM  

I received an email from a friend today telling me that it's too bad I'm attached because I should be dating you (my friend included a link to your blog in the body of the email). Alas.

By Anonymous Kat, at 12:44 AM  

Guinness is not BEER. It's stout.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:00 AM  

This reminds me of a confession I made in my old blog many moons ago:

In the spring of 1998 I walked out of a gay club in the middle of "Vogue."

It's sad to recall that half of the people reading thought the part I was confessing about was being in a gay club.

And for the comment about Gawker: Gawker has linked to the Daily Dump a number of times already. In fact, BI, you're in danger of becoming their next Anderson Cooper.

Or not.

By Anonymous Jaime, at 9:01 AM  

If this is how you acted after 6 Bud Lights, I imagine if you stuck with the Bud Selects you would have been giving our free handjobs in the coat closet by the end of the night.

By Blogger Tim, at 9:53 AM  

Straight women love gay men - and they'll never see you coming! Heh.

Bold move. Even if it was for the piss beer.

Oh and I agree with Kat's friend: you two would be deeelightful together!

By Blogger Lena, at 1:12 PM  

On behalf of all woman I'd like to apologize for making straight men afraid to dance. Years ago I remarked that my husband (BF at the time) had had akward arm gyrations when he danced. He has rarely danced since then.

By Blogger Leezer, at 1:15 PM  

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