Sunday, February 19, 2012
Did I Shave My Chest for This?
Then there was Carlos, a beautiful Argentine with heaving pecs, perky nipples and an abdomen that was about two cans short of a 12-pack. The crowd went wild for him. Surely he, not me, would win Sircuit's Saturday night Bear Chested Competition.
I'm still not sure what possessed me to enter. I'd had a couple of pints, so I was feeling pretty good, but it's not like all those carbs had done anything for my own upper torso. Still, I figured, if I would dance topless onstage at G.O.D. in Bangkok for nothing, why not take it off onstage at Sircuit for something?
Wait, what was I getting for this anyway?
It didn't matter. I was in. I was a little intimidated by the harness I would have to wear during the the second part of the competition, but after the guy in charge let me try one on to see how I looked in it, I actually considered wearing it for the rest of the night. I'm still not convinced that it's my look, but I'm hoping there's one tucked away in the gift bag I received for winning first place.
Ah, yes, did I mention that I came in first? I think by one point, just ahead of Carlos, who seemed genuinely surprised and disappointed. I'm not sure how the three judges decided who would win. I think they devised a point system based on pectorals, nipples, abdominals, face, tattoos (?!) and stage moves. Thankfully, legs had nothing to do with it because mine are nothing to write home about. I've seen better ones on a chicken.
Carlos, with whom I'd later have a lovely conversation in Spanish, put on his most gracious loser face and clapped as enthusiastically as Meryl, Michelle, Glenn and Rooney will on Oscar night when Viola Davis's name is called.
So, it seems, this Black History Month will go down in history for more than being the one in which two black actresses won Oscars. For me, it will forever be known as the month in which a 42-year-old black guy doffed his shirt onstage in Melbourne, Australia, donned a harness, and pretended to unbutton his trousers -- and nobody laughed.
In fact, I think I heard applause. Were they clapping for me and not in anticipation of Carlos, who'd be coming out next? For a moment, as I started undoing the buttons on my jeans, I considered dropping trou completely -- until I remembered that my "Playboy" briefs might be deemed a bit too much.
Plus, this wasn't Shame. I'd be leaving the full-frontal stuff to Michael Fassbender, who's better equipped to pull it off, and win this the old-fashioned way -- shirt off, pants on. And I did.