Who knew a deaf leatherman contest could be so poetic?
I certainly didn't, but as I stood in awe, watching these obese, handcapable Tom o' Finlanders pantomime for the silent approval of their peers, well, I knew I had seen something greather than myself.
Here's how it went down.
Bryce came scurrying back to me as I casually surveyed the lower floor of the Toolshed in Washington, D.C. "Neil, you won't believe what happened upstairs!" My curiosity was piqued. As we sipped our whiskey shots, Bryce told me that the upstairs was filled with leather daddies, full on chaps, harnesses, chains and boots, but no one is speaking to anyone. And how when he broke the eerie silence, the group simply turned their heads to stare at him and noone offered a hello, or even a cocktail! Curiosity moved beyond piqued and into obsessed.
"I think they're deaf," surmised my brawny boyfriend. "They were talking in sign language."
Jinkies, a clue!
Well. I was not about to let a deaf leather bear convention pass my sociological observation. So I downed my whiskey shot, gave my lover money for another round and sashayed up the creaky staircase to investigate.
I was not disappointed.
The upstairs billiards room was packed with chubby guys (and a few ladies) all signing and gesticulating up a storm. I wonder. Much like when the din in a room is too loud, do you think the deaf are distracted by words they see in their periphery? Like, "Hey buddy, can you sign with a little less flamboyance? I'm trying to talk with my friend here."
Of course he'd have to sign that to him. It's fascinating.
Well. I stood apart from the group and held a respectful pose with my hands hidden behind my back. I didn't have any leathergear on, so I was afraid I'd get tossed out. But for the most part they just ignored me as the skits began.
I eyed the jukebox and wondered if playing some tunes to accompany their meeting would be crass.
I've been in a leather pageant before. As far as the talent portion went, all I did was walk around in a jock strap. I failed at that. So when these deaf leather bears began pantomiming for the crowd's amusement, well, suffice to say, I was impressed.
One involved an older deaf leather daddy capturing a leather g-string clad, deaf gent in the woods. I don't know if he was in the woods. I only assume that if you're in a leather g-string and you end up captured, you're likely skulking about in the woods somewhere. Am I right?
Anyways, the leather daddy proceeded to bind his prey with chains while moaning loudly. Then he pantomimed guzzling a bottle of merlot and the bitch passed out!
Does he not watch Lost? You can't pass out when you tie someone up! Drink some waaaaa not wine.
This was obviously a bad plan, because the deaf hostage freed himself, tied up the evil leather daddy in his own chains and proceeded to paddle him with a concealed board he'd carried with him into the woods.
It wasn't Shakespeare, but it got the crowd stomping and banging on tables.
A skinny, leather, deaf otter (he looked like Borat) in sneakers, handcuffs and a black thong proceeded towards the stage for his talent portion and I returned to the lower floor where another whiskey shot and my doting cubby were waiting for me and my observations.