Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kind of a drag

I dodged a bullet in the automotive repairs category, this weekend. The Pinkmobile had been shifting very roughly between gears, and stalling entirely when the engine was cold. I dropped it off with the Cute Mechanics and spent a day on tenterhooks, praying that the judgment would be more "Oh, we need to adjust your idle speed" and less "Oh, your transmission is going to fall out on the road."

The verdict was a happy medium: leaking transmission fluid. They performed a slightly premature 90K tuneup, ordered me to replace some failing gaskets sooner rather than later, and sent me home for $300 bucks. After April's repairapalooza, when I could actually hear the dollars whizzing out of my bank account, this left me comparatively giddy.

In conversation the mechanic referred repeatedly to my "tranny"--topping off my tranny fluid, luckily we didn't need to put in a new tranny--and because I am twelve years old I had to repress snerks and chuckles every time. Because how awesome would it be if every auto-repair transaction included a 6'4" drag diva in 5-inch platforms and a Dolly Parton wig? TOTALLY AWESOME, that's how awesome! She would have the greatest coveralls, too, all Bedazzled and shit.

Drag queens again. I guess I should talk about my college roomies. Few things are much more entertaining, or alarming, than a 19-year-old baby drag queen away from home for the first time. Junior year I lived with B., who loved to come swanning into the living room in our shared student housing and launch into some Dynasty-fueled improv conversation with whoever happened to be present. He'd address you with something like "Chantal! Where is your gown? Brock Rutherford will be here for the banquet any instant--what are you doing here in the poolhouse?"

Lacking improvisational skills, I was never a suitable foil: "Uh...watching Golden Girls on Matt's t.v.?" I think I disappointed him.

My other lingering memory of B. is when he made up another of our housemates, Libby, for the annual Deb Ball. I want to say that ours was the first college-sponsored AIDS benefit, a fundraising "formal" winter dance that usually played out something like Your Debauched Liberal Arts Leather Prom. Anyway, Libby was a shy little violet who made her own bread and wore earth shoes; we were dragging her to the dance with us and B. begged and pleaded and cajoled her into letting him make up her otherwise fresh, clean Tom's-of-Maine face.

Ladies, don't let the drag queen do your makeup, really. I say this with only love intended. "Ta-daa!" B. cried, thrusting Libby into the room after his furious labors. And...that was a man, baby. It didn't help that the rest of us laughed fit to piss ourselves; Libby locked herself in the bathroom and it took us a good hour to coax her back out and onward to the dance, at which everyone ultimately had a splendid time. I still have the pictures, the housemates dressed to kill in mostly black, Libby still red-eyed and blotchy from sobbing and scrubbing. Aww. Poor Lib.

Senior year there was C., who actually lived in my then-boyfriend's house, not mine. We never knew each other well, but he is fixed in my memory for one vivid reason. The communal house-style housing on campus was notorious for funky electrical issues and plumbing backups, and I strolled into C's shared bathroom one afternoon to confront what I at first thought was THE MOST HORRIFIC HAIR CLOG SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. The tub was six inches deep in cloudy water and GREAT CLOTS AND CLUMPS OF HUMAN HAIR MY GOD IT'S GOING TO KILL US ALL and I recoiled in, wait.

C. was just soaking and rinsing his eight wigs.

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