Perking the Pansies has exceeded 50,000 hits in just five short months. How did this happen? I know the winter months are long and bleak but we all really do need to get out more. As the orbit of the Earth slowly warms the northern hemisphere with longer days, pansy fans will emerge bleary eyed from centrally heated hibernation. We can free ourselves from our enforced virtual lives and enjoy the bountiful summer. Alas, I guess my hit rate will plummet accordingly. Oh well, maybe my bacon will be saved by renewed interest from a wintering south plunged into darkness. So far, South America, southern Africa and Australasia have been immune to my pansy pulling power.
To lift my spirits I thought I’d celebrate my minor success with two pansy parables from America. In Blighty I was casually thumbing through the gaypers (the free gay publications distributed to pansy establishments). In between the relentless diet of pop, porn, prossies and pec pics I came across a more serious journalistic piece. Called ‘Distant Voices and Gay Lives’ the writer David McGilliveray profiled long forgotten pansy pioneers. The subject that most caught my eye was dashing William Haines who was a major box office star in the twenties and early thirties. One of his first talkies, ‘Way Out West’ (1930) included the immortal line “I’m the wildest pansy you’ll ever pick.” Obviously Billy never visited Bodrum.
Haines’ stubborn refusal to stay in the closet and play it straight eventually killed off his Hollywood career. He didn’t seem to mind and became an interior designer of some note. He met his partner Jimmie Shields in 1926 and they stayed together until William’s death in 1973. Three months later Jimmie killed himself because he found it “…impossible to go on alone and I’m much too lonely.” This is a tragic though strangely tender tale that belies the notion that gay men can’t sustain a relationship beyond a nanosecond. Joan Crawford called William and Jimmie the happiest married couple in Hollywood. I asked Liam if he would consider suicide if anything terrible happened to me. He said he was considering suicide because nothing terrible has happened to me.
From the delicious to the ridiculous, the second entertaining tale concerns my namesake and distant cousin Jack Scott, turkey trapper. Jack Scott’s affair with wild turkeys spans more than 30 years. Read all about Jack’s ever popular box and the legend of Bubba’s gobbler here.
And finally, spare a thought for the spring-loaded wannabe VOMIT who googled “im a woman wanting casual sex with a man in turkey where would i go” and returned Perking the Pansies. The lusty lass must have been devastated to find friends of Dorothy. Of course, the obvious answer is jump on the next plane for the ride of your life (or so the local boys think).