By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Hunt did a report December 8 on how the city's library system encourages kids to visit a Web site called www.goaskalice.columbia.edu, a "Health Question & Answer Internet service" of Columbia University.
The well-regarded site offers answers to kids' questions about drugs, relationships and physical fitness; it also includes "Genital Wonderings," a page dedicated to sexual inquiries.
The wording of the questions is racy -- gotta appeal to the kids, you know -- and deals with the usual stuff about penis length, going blind through masturbation, can you get pregnant from oral sex, etc.
There are also such subject headings as "Pierced Clits," "What's Fisting?" and "Does a Good Washing Before Analingus Remove Bacteria?"
Outraged that such smut was being seen by 12- and 13-year-olds in the city's libraries, Hunt threw down with the library bureaucrat in charge of selecting material.
"It's basically a how-to manual on sex," she told the bureaucrat. "There are things in there even I do not know how to do, and I'm a 30-year-old married woman!"
And so the question must be asked: What was it, Cynthia, that you didn't know how to do?
"As a good Southern girl, I just cannot discuss that," says the Alabama native, drawling for special effect.
Come on, now -- was it bestiality? "Yes," she says. "And 'Objects in My Anus During Sex' is not something I'm really familiar with."
Duly noted. And does all this represent a gap in your education that you are seeking to rectify?
"Wouldn't you love to know," she purrs.
One Badass Bookmobile
Houston artist Raul Lemesoff has a dream. It's more of a delusion, really, but don't quibble with someone who drives the city's streets in a mock tank with a fire-spewing cannon.
Lemesoff has created an art car he calls the Weapon of Mass Instruction. Built on an old Buick chassis, the vehicle is covered with 2,000 books.
Why? Because Lemesoff has too much time on his hands, you might say. But that would be wrong -- the WMI is nothing less than the light at the end of the Iraq tunnel. Or maybe the L.L. Bean boots that will get us out of the Baghdad quagmire.
"I hope you consider displaying my gift in front of the White House," Lemesoff wrote in an e-mail to President George W. Bush's gift-receiving office, which shockingly has yet to endorse the idea -- even as the Iraqi war drags on.
Lemesoff plans to drive the car to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where it will no doubt be met by friendly Secret Service agents. He foresees the administration building a dozen WMIs -- out of real tanks -- and sending them to Iraq.
"These are the only tanks that should be built," he says.
Hair Balls doesn't want to jinx the chances of Bush displaying the car on his front lawn. However, we must note that Lemesoff says the car was created in 2002 as a tribute to a heroin smuggler named Fred Gomez Carrasco, who used library books taped to school blackboards as a shield during the 1974 Huntsville prison siege.
Damn. We think we just ruined the chances of a dozen book-lined tanks being shipped to Iraq.
Speak No Evil
Let's say you're one of the many, many people trying to catch yourself a little bit of that Super Bowl financial magic this year.
Let's say your vision is to have a comedy festival here in Houston at the same time as the big game. You even claim it will be a hit because "there should be close to a million additional people in the area," an estimate that demonstrates all the hard-nosed scientific rigor of Colin Powell hyping WMDs at the UN.
If indeed you are all these things, then you are comedian Steven Kimbrough, the executive director of the second annual Laugh Is Hope Comedy and Film Festival. The festival will donate a buck from each $10 ticket to "beneficiaries yet to be announced," he says; after last year's Super Bowl it gave "$50 or $60" to a San Diego charity.
So if you are Steven Kimbrough, if you are a professional stand-up, if you are pimping your comedy festival, you might be expected to have at least one funny goddamn thing to say about the Super Bowl, right?
"I don't want to do any material on the Super Bowl," Kimbrough told Hair Balls. "We're not sanctioned by them. So I don't want to get in any trouble."
Man, this promises to be one edgy comedy festival.
Up to Bat
How is actor Scott Sowinski spending his holidays? As the title character in Bat Boy, the goofy musical running through January 11 at Stages Repertory Theatre. Inspired by a story in the Weekly World News -- the supermarket tabloid Paper of Record -- the show's about a half-boy, half-bat found in a West Virginia cave who must win acceptance from society.
Deep from the Batcave, an e-mail exchange:
Q. In Bat Boy you wear long, pointy ears, hang upside down, speak in a British accent and desperately want to suck blood. What kind of romantic offers are you getting these days from playgoers?
A. There's a guy who owns a farm outside Houston and he asked me to come sing to his cows. I'm not sure if he had romantic intentions, but I'll find out soon enough One lovely grandmother approached me after the Sunday matinee and asked if the rumor about ear size relating to the size of one's -- well, other parts is true. Her husband had huge ears, for the record.
Q. Does anyone ask you to keep the ears on while you're "doing it"?
A. Are you implying that they come off? How do you think I got cast in this role!?
Q. Any Leonard Nimoy groupies come after you?
A. There's a Star Trek convention in London in January, so we'll see. I'm hoping to test my diction on them -- don't want those BBC language tapes to go to waste!
Q. Are you at all into goth fashion in real life?
A. Well, black is very slenderizing, but pleather makes you itch in places you never wanted to. I'm more of a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy.
Q. Who's the sexiest vampire you've seen on screen?
A. Was Morticia Addams a vampire? Because she's the coolest.
-- As told to Richard Connelly