That's right, I said give it to them.
Giving Downtown El Paso to the gay community's gotta be cheaper than blowing $200 million of our tax dollars on what I see as a money pit of an idea that seems geared to make the rich richer, and the poor... well, let's just say the poor will have to eat their cereal with a fork so they can pass on the leftover milk to the next person when they're done.
I asked Mayor Cook about it when I ran into him at the recent Gay Pride Parade, where he was looking mighty real, I must say. I never knew he was a fan of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
"Well, at least we'll be able to use our new baseball stadium's parking lot for free when we're busy spending our money Downtown, won't we, Mr. Mayor?"
"What do you mean your stadium?" the Mayor answered.
As a gay urban male straight outta Compton I have a right to comment on this subject, and as a ghetto warrior it would take a nation of millions to hold me back.* So let me start by saying that once Downtown El Paso is ours, the first thing we'll do is clean it up. That's right, clean it up! I'm not saying it's dirty... well, yeah, I guess I am saying it's dirty, but not so dirty a little TLC from the LGBT** can't handle.
The next thing we'll do is get rid of the homeless. Don't get me wrong, I love the homeless. In fact, I owe the homeless my life. When I was a baby, they saved me from being abandoned in a dumpster. Not just once, but several times.
My idea for the homeless is this: We buy them a really nice coat, and then we buy them a really nice one-way ticket to San Francisco. Even the gay ones. The gay homeless will have to get on that bus, too, not because they're poor, but because they dress so poorly.
San Francisco loves the gays, and it absolutely loves the homeless, especially if they're in this country illegally, so, don't worry, they'll be well taken care of. The Wicked Witch of the West Coast, Nancy Pelosi, will make sure of that.
I see El Paso as a transitional area, with an opportunity to buy low and sell high. It's already the Devil's Triangle of gay nightclubs, and it could grow to become a Vacation Zone with mobile restaurants offering gourmet and not-so gourmet cuisine. Surely we can find a parking lot somewhere to accomodate those traveling kitchens, can't we? (And don't call me Shirley!)
Downtown El Paso can be a Mecca for local food, art, and entertainment. The best bars, the trendiest restaurants, the most fashionable of stores, and the friendliest of places where a man can take a bath any time of the day or night. How can I be sure of this? I can be sure, because if you remove all gay influence from American culture all you'd be left with is Rosie O'Donnell.
El Pasoans can't be afraid of this. If a caterpillar was afraid of wings, then it would never become a butterfly. We would just look at it, and say, "What an ugly little worm." Don't be a worm, El Paso. Don't be a worm. If there's one thing I want to teach you, I want to teach you this: A gay man's taste is always good... especially when it's bad.
And, while we're at it, forget The Twelve Travelers (Please... changing the name of the statue at the El Paso International Airport that was supposed to honor Don Juan de Onate to The Equestrian because it could have caused some controversy was ridiculous. History is rarely politically correct. If there's one thing I learned from preferring things longer than they are wide, it's that you can't command respect if you're not willing to say what you are.), who's going to come to El Paso to see a bunch of boring old statues of boring old dead men. Instead, I say we have shrines erected to all our gay icons: Garland, Midler, Jobriath. Sadly, there won't be a shrine to Jennifer Lopez. The only thing gay about Jennifer Lopez is her current boyfriend.
But that's just the surface. It's raining men? More like it's raining money. Why? Because of the influx of gay dollars, of which there are a lot. Why do gays have so much disposable income? It's because we don't have kids, silly. At least the majority of us don't. Let me put it in a mathematical equation to make it easier for you to understand: Less Kids = More Money. And with that money we'll convert all the old Downtown buildings into condos. The way the Jews needed a homeland, we gays need our homeland.
Hmm, that's a lot of condos... I hear you say. (No, really. I can hear you say that. Being psychic is one of my gay powers.) Are there really enough gays in El Paso to fill all of that space? Hey, this is my dream, not yours. How about you MYOB, before I bring out the wire hangers and go all Mommy Dearest on you?
Like I was saying, the ground floors of all the Downtown buildings will be museums or art galleries or theater/comedy groups, and the upper floors will be... will be... fabulous! So, to answer your concern about building too many condos, if there's one thing I've learned from baseball, it's that "if you build it, they will come." We can advertise in all the gay magazines, such as Out or The Advocate or Playgirl, and, trust me, once the world knows we have our own Dupont Circle or Castro Station or Christopher Street, they, the gay community, will flock to El Paso. I'm sure there will be some unenlightened few who will want us to get the flock out of there, but it will be too late. Pandora's Box will have been opened.
And if the City Council is so determined to tear down City Hall, I say bravo, let's replace it with a church. A gay church. A giant gay church. San Diego has The Crystal Cathedral, and El Paso can have The Emerald City of Oz!
This would give Mayor Cook the legacy-making opportunity to sign an executive order that would legalize gay marriage. It won't really be legal, but it'll make a point. And can you imagine what it would do for the El Paso economy to have gay marriages every weekend? The receptions afterward would be open to the public, and held in La Placita. Street vendors can supply the catering, and street musicians can supply the music. Kind of like the impromptu wedding that ends the great Kevin Costner movie, so great that even he's forgotten about it, Fandango.
Let me paint a picture for you, my friends. Let me paint a picture of a Downtown El Paso of the future. A prosperous Downtown. An evolving Downtown. A Downtown with flying cars, like in The Jetsons. Well, maybe not flying cars, but really expensive cars, nonetheless. Every week will be like Madi Gras in New Orleans, and every day will end with a Gay Pride Parade around La Placita, just like in Disneyland. And, just like every day must come to an end, so must this column.
That's my dream and that's my plan for renovating Downtown El Paso without it costing the El Paso taxpayer one penny. Some may think that this city supports baseball, but all it really supports is 25 Cent Hot Dog Night. My advise to the citizens and the City Council is for them to remember Duchene's Law: Whatever you think it's going to cost... it's always going to cost more.
And remember one thing more, kiddies, homosexuality is like housework. Every time I do it, I swear I'll never do it again...
...until company comes by.
This commentary was brought to you by the fine folks at Chico's Tacos.
Fifty Shades of Funny
*Sadly, I had to leave Compton, because I wore the wrong gang colors. I didn't wear the red of the Bloods, and I didn't wear the blue of the Crips.
I wore The United Colors of Benetton.
**Suddenly, I'm in the mood for a BLT.