Living in Los Angeles, you run into a lot of tribal affiliations, gangs and cliques. I used to like telling people that I was in a gang called "Sparkle Motion," mostly as a tribute to one of my favorite films: Donnie Darko. Sometimes they would believe me, often it just went over their heads. I did my best to put up a tough front as a former member of a pre-teen dance outfit. I would even sing snippets of the group mantra, lyrics from Duran Duran. Has anyone seen them lately? I've been looking for them.
Of course, the joke was completely lost on Mitch, who took what I said to heart and actually went out and formed a gang of his own. He can't stand the idea of anyone having something that he doesn't have, even if he only rejects it. Mitch had his little band of marauders over recently and I tried my best to ignore them and their silliness, but after a while, my curiosity was aroused and I asked: "What's the name of this gang, Mitch?"
"We are the Pansy Jackers!" The group announced in unison, smiling ear to ear to ear. I surveyed the motley crew gathered on my living room floor. Mitch stood near the fireplace, always the alpha male, he was their fearless leader. Other members included a black lesbian drum major named Consuelo. (Don't ask...) And two or three apparently homeless people that Mitch had no doubt promised punch and pie to... There were no refreshments being served. I wanted desperately to smile and say "Of course you are" then retreat to the safety of my room, but I didn't. I pushed the issue and inquired: "What exactly is a Pansy Jacker?"
Mitch explained that their moniker was self-explicit, and that their group was committed to prowling the streets and jacking pansies. I thought about this for a minute, trying to imagine what the point of stealing flowers could possibly be, when Mitch explained exactly how they set about their business. "See, we wait outside a club or restaurant until some pansy comes out, usually alone, and then we pounce. A couple of us hold em down while we wrestle him out of his pants, then we jack."
"Are you serious?" I asked. "You masturbate unsuspecting gay guys on the streets? That's actually kind of sweet."
"It's not sweet at all," said one of the homeless guys. "We don't even clean up afterward!"
Suddenly, I started to feel a little nauseous and had to excuse myself. I suppose if Mitch and his gang want to go around terrorizing people with hand jobs, I shouldn't try to stop them. To each, their own.... Right? One thing is for sure, the next time I see a homeless guy on the street, I am running the fuck away.