Hear Me Out


April 28, 1997

In two days the biggest "So what?" event since the infamous Geraldo-Rivera-and-Al-Capone's-Vault-letdown will hit the little screen. I've tried to keep out of it but I've been asked by several (3) readers and even more people at work to express my thoughts (as a lesbian as well as a humorist) so I've decided to step into the fray. Pretty much I think people are acting like my dog in the kitchen.

Basil, the six year old Miniature Schnauzer my girlfriend and I have raised, is one of the smartest dogs I have ever met. Don't think that I'm one of those canine loving goofs that thinks because I own it, the dog is a genius. To the contrary, I think if I am involved in the raising, there is a very good chance of inflicting major brain damage. (This is also one of the major reasons I am iffy on having kids.) When I was growing up, my family adopted a terrific Springer Spaniel, Toby, that was lovable, brave and considerate, but he was no Lassie.

Toby, like most Springers, loved the water. We'd take him to the beach, throw a ball or a stick into the ocean and he'd happily chase after it until: a) he'd pass out from exertion, b) frost bite would make his generous lips taut or c) we'd get tired and toss him in the car. When we would arrive home, Toby would immediately vomit up about three quarts of sea water. My point is, he never got the connection between swallowing the water and vomiting it back up.

Basil, in contrast, is so smart she's devious. She'll never touch a plate of food or a glass of beer while people are around. No, she'll wait until we are all distracted and then she'll move like a stealth bomber. She's able to move with such a smooth gate that her tags don't clang together and her toenails don't click-click-click on the hardwood floors. I think the Pentagon could learn a lot from her.

The one thing she is stupid about is the kitchen. No matter what she is doing, she will drop everything to see what's going on in there. She could be defending us from the vicious and conniving black and white cat across the street by barking until she coughs herself into seizures, but once anyone steps foot in the kitchen, she's bounding toward the fridge. I guess she's playing the odds. Every once in a while I will drop a sliver of bacon on the floor. Sometimes I've been known to let a slice of cucumber get the better of me and we get cucumber burps for the rest of the evening from our little domestic companion. She is ever hopeful that one of these days I'm going to lose my mind and toss a half cooked steak on the floor and let her have it. More often than not, though, I'm getting a soda from the fridge or turning the marinade and she gets ZILCH but for those few times when lightening does strike, Basil, like the lesbian and gay community, is ever vigilant.

My point is this: Ellen, the show, isn't all that funny. Ellen, the comedian, is a hysterical laugh riot with her hesitations and goofy incompetence but I suspect Ellen, the person, doesn't have a lot to do with the actual dialog that Ellen, the character, says. I am glad that Ellen, the lesbian, finally came out so the seventeen people in America who didn't know will be clear on the issue but as far as Ellen, the TV lady goes, I think it's a way to save a failing show. Lastly, it proves that Ellen, the person, isn't a very good actress.

I know most of you are leaning toward the this-is-better-than-nothing-and-stop-bashing-one-of-our-own camp. We are divided on this in my own house. Leslie thinks it's a great and historic rite of passage for our community. Just the fact that a major TV person is coming out and admitting to being in an actual relationship, inferring active sex stuff is happening, is enough to please her. The Ellen Parties are enough to convince me that I am in the minority on this one.

I want you all to know that I'll be in front of the little tube watching with the rest of you hoping that this show ends up being the steak flipped out of the pan and left there for the vigilant defenders but in my heart I know it's just going to be a bunch of dry pasta.

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Copyright 1997 by Laura Jiménez.

Updated 05/02/97
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