(“Ponder the Origin” column published in special Lavender Lampoon edition of Lavender Magazine, Issue #178, March 22, 2002)
by Steve Lenius posing as Julie Dafydd
Some people have big mouths. Or big noses or big feet or big hands or big—well, you get the idea. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk about having a big navel. So I guess I’ll have to talk about it.
I didn’t used to think my navel was anything special or out-of-the-ordinary. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that not everybody had a navel that could hold a Volkswagen. I am the world’s biggest “innie.” I used to be glad I wasn’t an “outie,” because I thought they looked funny. But now I’m not so sure, because “outies” probably don’t have to deal with navel lint.
Let me tell you about navel lint.
I’m not talking about the lint that you get on your tongue when you unbutton all fifteen buttons on a sailor’s pants with your teeth (yes, there really are fifteen buttons, although for some reason the Navy only officially recognizes thirteen of them). What I’m talking about is also known as belly button lint, belly button fuzz, or navel fuzz—as opposed to a Fuzzy Navel, which is peach schnapps and orange juice over ice, which you probably already knew. But I digress.
When I was a kid, I didn’t understand it when people talked about lint in their belly buttons. How could a belly button collect lint, I wondered? Mine never seemed to. Why in the world would it want to?
Then suddenly one day, about ten years ago, I was drying off after my bath and realized there was this dark-colored something poking out of my navel. Well, of course I was concerned. Was my life turning into a B-movie? Had my body been taken over by an alien creature growing in my stomach, now fully developed and about to burst forth? I tried (unsuccessfully) to remain calm, and gingerly got a tweezers to try to extract whatever this thing was.
Unbeknownst to me, for all the preceding years my belly button had been collecting lint. Talk about a navel reserve! And it was so navel-retentive it hadn’t even had the decency to tell me.
You know how lint is—it doesn’t hold together very well. When I tugged with the tweezers at what was sticking out of my belly button, it just separated from the rest of the lint that remained comfortably lodged. I stuck the tweezers into my navel and pulled out a few more shreds of lint, and then a few more and yet a few more. I finally lost the tweezers.
I tried fishing around for the tweezers with a Q-tip and lost it too. Things were not going well. I had visions of my gluttonous belly button swallowing the towel, the bathroom, and finally the whole world, myself included. And then where would I be? Up a creek without a paddle, up a tree without a ladder, up an asshole without a rubber glove. But I digress.
Somehow I became obsessed with the idea my belly button was rebelling (rebellying?) because I hadn’t kept it clean, and that if I got all the lint out of it the universe would be safe again. Here, in order, are the methods I tried: a) a vacuum cleaner; b) Drano; c) dynamite. It was the first time my trusty Electrolux ever failed me, and the Drano also wimped out. But the dynamite actually helped. My navel wasn’t really clear, though, until I called the friendly Roto-Rooter man. When he left, my navel was clean as a whistle, and when I bent down and hollered into it I could hear an echo. I thought that was a good sign.
Since then I have tried to maintain scrupulous navel cleanliness. I thought about calling a well-drilling company and having it capped, but reconsidered when I realized that all that cement might be kind of heavy, and therefore tiring to lug around all day.
Having a navel as deep as the Homestake Mine makes for some interesting situations. Shortly after I got it cleaned out I found myself in an intimate situation with a very handsome gentleman who offered to introduce me to the esoteric and obscure practice of navel fisting. He gazed longingly at my navel and said, “You could make me and about a hundred other guys happy, all at the same time.”
The prospect of hosting my very own navel invasion was intriguing, but ultimately I decided against letting the fleet sail in. I told him I was greatly flattered and thanked him but demurred.
At that time I was not yet into all the kinky stuff I’m into now. So, hey, just ponder the origin—even if this phrase is actually just a non sequitur.
Bye for now,
Lavender Lampoon Calendar item
Monday, April 1, 7-10PM
Walker Art Center presents “Play Fair is About Turn,” a very special After Hours event. Art appreciators will be exposed to a whole fabulous new side of the Walker’s collection as selected paintings from the Permanent Collection will be hung with the back of the canvas showing. (Will anyone be able to tell the difference? Will anyone care? Has After Hours ever been about the art anyway?) Martini of the month: “The April Fool” (no gin, no vermouth, just tap water and an olive).
Lavender Live Wire item
HRC Disbands: “Mission Accomplished”
The community formerly known as GLBT officially ushered in the post-gay era as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) officially closed its doors last week. According to Elizabeth Birch, HRC Executive Director, “It’s over. Quite simply, we won. We’ve achieved what we set out to do. The HRC is in the happy position of having caused its own obsolescence.”
Birch noted that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender “no longer carries any kind of stigma at all, anywhere in America. From big cities to small towns, sexual and gender preferences have become non-issues and GLBT folks can rest secure in the knowledge that they won’t be treated any differently than anyone else. We are no longer subject to the discrimination, harassment, violence and hate crimes of yesteryear.”
Birch concluded the announcement of HRC’s closing by saying, “This victory has come at a high price. Some people have died for this cause and many others have worked very hard, over many years, to bring this day about. Thanks to their efforts, a new day of freedom has finally dawned in America.”
When asked about her personal plans for the future after stepping down as HRC’s Executive Director, Birch replied, “I haven’t really thought about it. Right now I’m just going to go home and pop in a ‘Queer as Folk’ DVD.”
In related developments and for similar reasons, the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition/PUSH also announced they were ceasing operations.