The Fab Five have nothin' on Bubber - Kathy Jefcoats

One of my favorite shows is "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." At first, I couldn't believe that homosexuals were going for the Q word because I always thought it was considered derogatory. Kinda like blacks using the N word in a television program. But who am I to argue?

Anyway, if you don't know, the show centers around five gay men considered experts in a particular field. Carson is the fashion guru, Kyan is in charge of hair and skin care, Ted is the food and wine expert, Thom is the interior designer and Jai focuses on culture, which seems to me means dance and music and cuddling.

The Fab Five, as they call themselves, make over a straight – heterosexual – guy so that he is more appealing to his wife or girlfriend. Obviously, the show plays on the contradiction that gay men know more about how to please women than straight men do. Straight men have taken to the ideas presented on the shows. Statistics are showing that more and more straight men are having facials and manicures and paying more attention to their appearance. Someone has dubbed them "metrosexuals."

I know people who find homosexuality offensive and against the Bible teachings will not watch the show and I respect that. This column is not about judging or not judging homosexuals or people who oppose that lifestyle. I just wondered what it would be like for the Fab Five, who have only made over straight men who live in the ultra-hip New York City, to make over a less urban guy. A rural guy, for example.

I know such a guy. Let's call him Bubber, a name I came across years ago while working in Twiggs County. I assume it is a countrified variation of Bubba but never confirmed that. Anyway, I was talking to my friend Bubber about the makeovers. He didn't understand the concept. He kept saying, "Huh? Why'd they do that?" so I started referring to him and others like him as huh?sexuals. You will never find these guys in a manicurist's chair having their nails buffed to a sheen or trying on haute couture or lying in a seaweed wrap listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

"Listening to the water makes me wanna go to the bathroom," said Bubber. "And I can see all the seaweed I need next time me and Lil Joe go fishing. I don't know why anyone would want to lay in it though."

"But don't you want your skin to be smooth and soft?" I asked him.

"Huh? If I did that, I wouldn't know where my skin ended and where my old lady's skin began," he said.

"What about your fingernails? They are all rough from working. Don't you want them trimmed?"

"That's what I got a pocketknife for," he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a faded Old Timer. He opened it and began slicing off the ragged nail tips, one by one. Then he held up his hands. "See? All done. And it didn't cost me 50 bucks."

"Yeah, and at the same time, you got the grease off that had built up under them, what a bargain," I answered. "But what about your toenails?"

"Huh? Ain't nobody lookin' at my feet," he said. "I always got shoes on so who cares what they look like?"

"Right," I said, seeing this is a lost cause.

On and on it went. Ralph Lauren meet Faded Glory and Dickies. Designer hairstylists meet a pair of scissors and a bowl. CD changer meet an 8-track tape player. Gourmet cuisine meet Waffle House. Home d?cor?

"We got that there davenport from the Goodwill and this milk crate does real good to put my feet up on," he said. "This rocker here is one Mama was gonna throw out but I said, ?Shoot, Mama, this chair's got some life in it yet. Let me take it on home with me.' The sheets do real good covering up the winders, doncha think?"

I look around what passes for a living room and sigh. The Fab Five would keel over in a dead faint if they walked inside this house.

"What else ya got?" said Bubber, meaning, what else do the Fab Five do?

"Well, none of the men from New York have needed any help in the proper use of the English language so I don't know how that would be addressed," I said.


"Never mind."

Kathy Jefcoats covers public safety and municipalities for the Daily Herald. She may be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at kjefcoats@henryherald.com.