Main | Sunday, October 14, 2007

This Place Smells Like Balloons

As tedious as leather pageants can often be, last night the Farmboyz, Chris and I decided to drop in on the Mr. East Coast Rubber 2007 (NSFW) contest at the Eagle. I'm pals with Dave and Joey, the last two years' winners, and while I find rubber fetishism a tad incomprehensible (I tried some on years ago and nearly had a claustrophobic stroke trying to get it off), I thought the evening would at least provide some amusing blog fodder.

We arrived to find the joint completely packed on all floors. (Best line of the evening, provided by Eric Leven's friend, Alex: "This place smells like BALLOONS!") On the lower floor, where the contest was taking place, a large curtain blocked entrance and view of the festivities, so we retired to the roof to wait out the results. About an hour later, I went down the back stairs and managed to squeeze into the contest room just as the winner was announced.

But as the judges festooned him with a giant sash (rubber, natch), a bit of an outcry began to erupt as audience members disputed the results. That's rather common in these things, but it turned out the audience was right. The judges had miscalculated the scores. An embarrassment for the organizers to be sure, and a bit humiliating for the winner, who'd just been congratulated by his supporters and photographed by various press and leatherati.

The real winner was John Weis, head of Folsom Street East, who I'm told had performed a hilarious take on the Miss Teen South Carolina flap, something along the lines of "Why is it that 40% of Chelsea boys cannot find the Eagle on the map?" The not-really-the-winner, who'd actually placed third, sat glumly on the end of the stage with his boyfriend while the judges huddled to decide how to de-sash him. Weis shuttled between the judges and the winner a couple of times, then came over to us to announce, "Well, he says not giving up the sash. The winner goes to Berlin to compete in the world finals and he wants the trip." (Not the mention the rest of the prize package, which is surprisingly substantial.)

The general reaction was incredulity, of course. "What? He's not giving up the sash? But he's not really the winner!" Somebody jokingly suggested that Weis go over and tackle the guy and wrestle the sash off of him. (That might have been me.) Anyway, the not-winner left amidst vague threats of a lawsuit against the organizers. So I'm told. Weis didn't get his sash and when I left it was unknown who was going to Berlin and how things would be handled.

Weis handled the debacle with great humor, as did the other rubberati in the room, most of whom were highly amused by the petulant departure of the not-winner. I'd have more quotes, but I'd forgotten my note pad. I did have an amusing conversation with a couple of guys wearing gas masks. One of them said to me, "Snrogle thwp frls bwrorws!", which I think was something about loving his people. Me too.

UPDATE: John Weis reports that his sash was "graciously" delivered to him yesterday. He also sent along this photo of himself in full rubber, per reader requests.

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