Notes of a Cranky  Old Fag

by Simon Sheppard

"A Defense Department survey sent this week to 400,000 service members asks such provocative questions as whether its troops have shared shower facilities with a gay person or if they would be comfortable using a base commissary if their neighbors were gay." - The Washington Post, July 10, 2010


You've got to hand it to the cryopto-homophobes in the U.S. military; they'll do almost anything to delay letting the openly queer into their star-spangled ranks. They even came up with a busywork survey, chocakablock with double-bind questions. Shades of "Gay in the military: are they a threat or a menace?"

Now, such a test plays to the most idiotic stereotypes, as though some otherwise fearless bomb disposal expert would be scared to shower with the gay guy who'd given him a drunken blow job the last time they were on leave. The Hurt Locker meets the locker room at Gold's.

It's not like the military is a source of sexual wisdom. Back in the Viet Nam War, the draft doctor I told was queer asked whether I was "the boy" or "the gurl," and though I suspect they've gotten beyond that, it's still tough to imagine the Chariman of the Joint Chiefs boning up on postmodern gender theory.

But hey, if the military establishment is going to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on an idiotic exam about homos in uniform, it might as well be a really good one, right? So herewith, my proposed test to be given to would-be sodomite soldiers.


1. When I hear the words "Dick Armey," I think of:

a. a rightwing asshole

b. a rightwing asshole who called Barney Frank "Barney Fag"

c. a really, really, really bad pun

d) all of the above


2. Match the designer with the uniform:

Gorgio Armani U.S. Olympic Team

Ralph Lauren The Italian Army

Mattell G.I. Joe


3. The MOST embarrassing thing about taking a shower with straight soldiers would be:

a) noticing their manscaping was better than mine

b) dropping the soap and having no one care

c) their humongous hard-ons


4. Finish this phrase "This is my rifle, this is my gun,..."

a) one is for pleasure, the other is really long, hard, and stiff.

c) and Jesus said not to use either one.

a) send in the clowns; don't bother, they're here.


5. If someone were to make a movie of my life (and they will, they will) the actor I would choose to play my commanding officer would be:

a) Tom Cruise

b) Kevin Spacey

c) Cher


6. If I were to be deployed to a combat zone, the transport I would choose would be:

a) a Harley Soft-tail with lots of fringe and chrome

b) an armored pink Cadillac on the freeway of love

c) a Subaru Forester with two lesbians in the front


7. The woman who most inspires me to defend my country is:

a) Kathy Griffin

b) Kylie Minogue...wait, she's Australian

c) Cher


8. In Apocalyse Now, Robert Duvall famously said, "I love the smell of _____ in the morning."

a) poppers

b) mixed-berry waffles and maybe a mimosa

c) my C.O.'s funky crotch


9. "The few, the proud, ..."

a) the gym bunnies with really big pecs

b) the guys who've managed to top me

c) the people who actually finished reading Proust


10. The best dancing sailor ever was:

a) Gene Kelly in On the Town

b) Fred Astaire in Follow the Fleet

c) Cher in that video where her tattooed ass was hanging out


11. When the doctor at my intake physical grips my balls, I'll:

a) cough and wink

b) try not to get a stiffyc) is he cute?

!2. What is a "rearguard action?" (Careful now...)


13. straight soldiers are apprehensive about showering with gays because:

a) they're insecure

b) they're insecure

c) they're insecure

d) all of the above


14. Essay question: If I were commanded to redecorate my barracks for Halloween, and given a budget of $200 and 15 minutes to shop at Mood, I would...


15. Jarhead Extra Credit:

True or false: Jake Gyllenahaal


And there you go: a homocentric test worth the pixels it's printed on. No, Mr. President, I'm not a expecting a Medal of Honor. A dream date with Rahm Emanuel would suffice.

copyrght 2010, Siimon Sheppard

originally published 7/9/2010