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January 2007

Me: Mildly clothed in Mayfair…

I don’t want to scare you, but lately I’ve been thinking about the moral value of telling the truth: Is it ever really a good idea?

For example, there was that evangelical minister, who despite being married and the father of five kids, was accused of having sex with a male escort, who also supplied the minister with crystal meth. When the escort first went public, the minister denied everything, and then later he said that he’d only paid the escort for a massage, and that though he’d purchased the drugs, he’d never used them.

I feel that while the minister was obviously lying to the extent that his nose visibly grew by several yards, and that even the Pope was giggling, the minister’s real issue was this:

He didn’t lie big enough.

He should have said that he’s only paid for sex to help put the escort through divinity school, and that he’d only bought the crystal meth as a gift for his wife’s birthday.

This past week I saw the film adaptation of Augusten Burrough’s completely entertaining memoir Running With Scissors. And while Burroughs was obviously writing the truth, the veracity of other autobiographical authors has been questioned. Oprah had to get uber-haughty with James Frey, that nerdy guy who’d fabricated a whole bunch of his book about overcoming his various addictions, and about having a root canal without painkillers. The edgy novelist JT Leroy, who bragged that he’d been a transvestite prostitute , was also unmasked as being someone way more normal and far less fun. And so, before anyone starts calling 60 Minutes and questioning the authenticity of this blog, I would just like to own up to a few difficult, but extremely necessary ‘exaggerations’:

* When I claimed that, out of respect for my own relationship, I ended my illicit affair with Hugh Jackman, who then married someone else on the rebound, I was not being entirely truthful. In fact, our passionate relationship continued long after his marriage, although he was not fully aware of it.

* I once asserted that I had advised Clint Eastwood to stop making so many masterful, Oscar-worthy films about the searing complexities of American life, and that I told him to concentrate on a big-screen version of his early TV series, Rawhide. In all honesty, Clint has called me to see if he should tackle the feature reworking of The Facts of Life. And yes, I did tell him, gently, that he was too old to play Tootie.

* I may once have remarked that there can never be too many sequels to the Tim Allen Santa Clause franchise. I was lying, although I am intrigued by the pitch for next year’s edition, in which Santa visits Muslim children and leaves development deals in their stockings.

WHEW! I feel so much better. Honesty is so cleansing that I almost can’t stop.

Okay, I once told Madonna that if you adopt three foreign-born infants, you get the next one free. And I did swear to my dear friend, the still heart-tuggingly single Tammy Faye Baker, that if you write a mawkish personal letter to Patrick Dempsey and enclose a nude Polaroid, it constitutes a binding legal agreement. And I repeatedly e-mailed Jennifer Aniston to tell her that every time she elegantly flips her hair out of her eyes on Oprah, an angel is burned alive.

From here on, I dub 2007 as the year of the honesty colonic. Tell your friends.

The last time we chatted, It was just nearing the Christmas holiday and I was assuredly hitting up all of my doctor-friends for low-dose prescriptions of Valium. Just enough to take the edge off of seeing my family, but not so much that I’d slump into some Wynonna Ryder-style binge where my prescription drugs were just falling out of my bag at various airports. That would be bad.

I spent some of my holiday in Philadelphia, where I had the opportunity to do a Christmas dinner with a friend’s family. Earlier in the day, I actually braved the malls (yes, I waited until the last minute to get my grandma a gift) and came away relatively unscathed. Frightened, yes, but the bruising was thankfully at a bare minimum. Shopping is evil.

Wawa: The last bastion of good pre-Starbucks coffee…

Dinner was fantastic. The family was friendly. My post-Christmas-Christmas went well and I was really glad to have spent it with people who really embraced the holiday.

The trip to Philly also brought on an opportunity to finally stop by the Premiere Agency townhouse and get to meet some of their crew. Located on a non-descript street (but literally a block from the largest Dave & Busters I’ve ever seen), this bi-level house serves as the control center for one of the Northeast’s largest and longest-running male escort agencies. While business was quiet the night I was around, they have an incredibly comfortable setup and I can imagine that their clientele is very happy with not only the guys they see, but the atmosphere if it happens to be an in-call.

In spending time at other ‘brothel’ style houses of ill-repute like BluBoy in Amsterdam and Villa Gianni in London, it was clear that Premiere catered to those who prefer a more personal approach to who they see. Much less an assembly-line operation than a place where conversation, genuine concern and a smile were in fashion… Not to mention hardcore and hot action.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was spent back in San Antonio in 70 degree weather. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas my ass… Hell, I just hoped for the mid-50’s.

The following day I packed myself up and headed for the airport: This New Year’s Eve was going to be spent outside the states (London) and I was pretty jazzed about getting to experience some colder temps, the European outlook, Boxing Day sales in Knightsbridge, Kylie Minogue’s NYE concert at Wembley Stadium and basically just being thousands of miles away from having to hear or see Ryan Seachrest wax poetic with a way-past-prime Dick Clark.

The funny thing about opening up Tupperware is that once air hits the contained object, it’s never quite the same again. This, I fear, is what happened to Dick Clark.

The trip started off on the right foot, with Northwest Airlines offering me an operational-upgrade from DET-LGW (meaning, in non-commercial aviation-nerdspeak, a totally free bump to first). I had never had a chance to fly NWA’s Airbus 330s before and have heard so many good things about the experience that it was a real treat that this happened.

Incredibly comfortable seating (2-2-2 layout) that rivals, if not exceeds, Continental’s BusinessFirst product. It’s a newer seat design, so you