Rugged Fox is a gay blogger living in Vancouver, B.C. His interests include red wine, men, Netflix and spaghetti bolognese.

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    Three Very Good Reasons to Get Drunk in Public

    This post is dedicated to my dear fedora Kirk who drowned in a torrential rain storm at The Lumineers concert last Wednesday June 1, 2016 at 9:17pm. Words cannot express how much you meant to me; but they can try.

    The sun is shining, the temperature is soaring and I couldn’t be happier to write to you from a cold and dark basement. The ginger truth is that summer has never been my time to shine. Whenever I go to the beach, people think I am either a ghost or a lobster. So while the rest of the city nestles into a patio, I turn up the ceiling fan and drink mojitos in the dark.

    Before we dive into the next installment of the much-talked-about and highly-overrated “Grindr Monologue” series, I must report to you on a few pressing updates. After spending the first half of May bed-ridden with the flu and praying to Meryl Streep that I would never drink again; I spent the second half of the month swimming in a pool of Pinot Grigio and begging for forgiveness. I must confess to you, however, that my sauciness was not without very good reason. Allow me to explain. 


    There comes a time in every gay man’s life when he must marry off each and everyone of his wives.

    This past Victoria Day, I shed tears of devastation as I watched my best friend Donna exchange vows with the man of her dreams (who was not me). In what has now become referred to as “the party of the year,” over 100 of Vancouver’s finest and most alcoholic industry staff, descended upon the majestic Bowen Island, to take part in a ceremony that lasted three nights and four days. As the sun set over the mountains and the PBR flowed, the lot of us misfit toys proved that we can have a party just as well as we can throw one.

    Before it breaks on all the major gossip sites, I can confirm the following rumours to be true:

    (1)    I attended my first wedding ever with a man at my side.

    (2)    The man at my side was in fact a Boston Terrier named Clark.

    (3)    In a failed attempt at skinny dipping, I was abandoned in the middle of the dance floor wearing nothing but my CK’s.

    (4)    After two bottles of red wine I sadly ended up naked in a hot tub with a beautiful woman … again.



    Having barely recovered from the wedding last Wednesday, me and ten of my closest friends piled into a limo to watch The Lumineers at Deer Lake Park. For those of you who are not in the know, Deer Lake is this incredible outdoor music venue in Burnaby. At the base of a natural amphitheatre, the main stage is back dropped by a crystal blue river and a hilltop of trees.  When the sky is blue, the sun falls behind the stage and as the music floats up, for a moment you feel as if you have left Burnaby and turned off Highway Number One into Heaven. When the sky is not blue, this is what happens.

    Prior to the concert, I spent all afternoon piecing together the perfect Lumineers outfit. (I also spent three hours filming a ten second video for Instagram but that is between you, me and my six followers.) With sockless brown loafers, daisy duke jean shorts, and brown suspenders wrapped over a light chambray shirt, I adjusted the finishing touch, my beloved fedora named Kirk. If the lead singer Wesley was going to call up any man to the stage for an impromptu tambourine solo it was going to be me.

    Stepping outside my front door, I screamed when the sky turned from chalky grey to charcoal black. “Don’t rain, don’t rain, don’t rain,” I chanted under my breath as I felt the first drop of water land on my shoulder. “Gosh darnit!” I cried out to Meryl Streep, “not on Lumineers Day!” As it turned out, the rain started and did not stop. The good news is that I was with the perfect group of people, and even though we were soaked to the bone and covered in mud, there were no complaints or sad faces – just a whole lottta dancing and singing. Naturally, the night ended with me slurring the lines to “Stubborn Love” passed out on top of a Domino’s pizza box.  


    Having barely recovered from the wedding followed by The Lumineers concert, I met up with my gay friend Ritche at a lounge downtown to discuss our marriage plans for 2020. At Donna’s wedding, the two of us fell dangerously in love while decorating the main hall with a thousand paper cranes that he folded. At first he attempted to resist my ginger flirtations, but seven hours and four Palm Bays later he agreed to marry me.

    Sipping on house white like two homosexuals without careers, our conversation was interrupted by the biggest hunk you have ever seen. I realize that I sound like a teenage girl playing Dreamphone right now; but there is no way to describe this man without picturing yourself underneath him. Think Thor with Taylor Kitsch eyes and Matt Bomer’s smile. Well at first Ritche and I were unsure what this man was doing at our table; until he revealed, somewhat drunkenly, that he played for our team.

    “WHAT???” I exclaimed, being careful not to spit up my wine all over him. “You are way too good looking to be gay!!”

    I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth but nothing about this situation made sense. As far as I understood, gay men with his mouth-watering build only existed on Instagram or married to simple women in small towns. Believing him to be a straight man out to fool us, Ritche and I proceeded to be awful while he pleaded his case as a homosexual. Eventually, Thor grew tired of us and returned back to the bar where he came from.

    As the server brought us another bottle of wine, Ritche and I scoffed at each other in disbelief.

    “The nerve of these attractive heterosexual man who think they can pass as gay,” I pipped.

     “Ugh, I know!” chirped Ritche, “the least he could have done was take his shirt off.”

    Moments later, our jaws dropped to the ground when we watched another man start making out with Thor at the bar.

    For the first time all night Ritche and I had no words. Staring into our wine glasses and the white wine abyss, the two of us caught the most terrifying glimpse into our futures. Looking back at us were not the faces of two fabulous thirty-something gay men living in the big city; but rather the haggard reflections of two wretched old Queens.

     “Should we get the check?” I begged, no longer thirsty.

    “This one’s on you,” he replied.



    Rugged Fox and the Online Search for a Husband

    Part Six of "The Grindr Monologues" - Rated NUCF


    And just like that, with a perfect stranger I let it all hang out…

    You see, when I moved to Vancouver from Winnipeg seven years ago, I had much higher hopes for my love life. At 23 years old, with $2,000 in my savings account and a hairline that was yet to recede, my life was like a box of bottomless red wine. After being devastated by my first lover Frederick Davenport on the prairies, I was ready to welcome a new cast of men into my life. Not in the late-night “line up and take a number” sense, but more the “can you help me put sunscreen on my back?” day at the beach sense.

    That first week I settled into my studio apartment on the corner of Spruce and 12th, it did not bother me that I had no friends apart from the season four cast of Grey’s Anatomy. My life was filled with unbridled optimism and guided by a much greater purpose to find a husband and settle down immediately. As far as I was concerned, I had spent years preparing myself for this moment. This was the dream that made high school survivable and the only thing that could stop me was a poor internet connection.

    Now before we carry on, I must illustrate to you how my brain envisioned possible romantic futures at the time. From everything I had read, studied, watched, listened to, seen and touched up until that point; I reckoned there were a handful of journeys that a young gay man, such as myself, could choose from. Allow me to provide you with a list of these possible adventures and subsequent relationship statuses.


    Young Gay Man escapes shackles of homophobic small town life and finds salvation at the end of the rainbow AKA big city. From there he (a) finds love and an over-priced apartment in the West End (b) exchanges his soul for a six-pack, cheap trick and condo in the sky or (c) returns home broke to his family and that boy he made out with once behind a barn.

    RELATIONSHIP STATUS: There is Something You Should Know

    Young Gay Man contracts HIV (too many circumstances to list here). If infection occurred prior to/or during the 1985 premiere of The Normal Heart Off-Broadway (and also the month I was born), outlook not so good. If diagnosis made post Madonna’s 1990 “Blonde Ambition Tour,” combination happy hour drink special and drug cocktail therapy. In my sexually active day and age, refer to last listed treatment and/or PrEP.

    RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Happily Married

    Young Gay Man settles into comfort of walk-in closet, marries a woman and has three children. Future highway exits lead to I96: a long and faithful life of desperate solitude dressed in beige Docker’s and sandals with white socks or I95: responding to multiple ads on Craigslist during Tuesday lunch break.

    RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Another One Bites the Dust

    Run amok by depression and anxiety, Young Gay Man drowns in past, suffocates in the present and dies by suicide before he makes it to the future.

    RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Single, Grateful and Fat

    Young man surrenders divine will to Meryl Streep and leads joyous life sitting on couch eating mozzarella sticks and watching back episodes of Sex and the City and/or sports.

    Okay, the truth is I completely forgot where I was going with this.

    “You were trying to tell me the reason you didn’t hook on up Grindr was because you had unprotected sex with a guy who was HIV positive and hadn’t been tested yet,” said Irene, the lady with the little bottle of red wine.

    Gosh you are so right. I have completely lost track! Must find a way to bring us back somehow. Let me think…




    Got it.

    Well before I jump right into the night I blacked out and woke up with a man on top of me, I must tell you the series of wrong turns I made to get there. As it turned out, my search for a husband led 99.9% of the time to terrible drunken sex, which then increased my likelihood to wake up the next morning at an STI Clinic by 200%.

    My preliminary search online for a mate (Rugged Fox at ages 22 to 25) yielded little to no results. On Manhunt, I was shot in the face. On Plenty of Fish, I was thrown back to the sea not once but six times. And on eHarmony, I was busted after my cover as a five-foot-two blonde Christian divorcee was foiled. I knew it was time to log off when sent me an email one morning that read, “Zero people are interested in you.”

    In person, however, I faired somewhat better. Or so I thought.  The first man that kicked my love life back into gear was the Poet. When I met him, the six-foot-three wordsmith was a part-time graphic designer and full-time barista at a trendy coffee shop that charged $9 for a macchiato. Dressed like the fashion child of the years 1955 and 1978, he was what I refer to now as “The Original Hipster.” Years after the two of us became one, I saw his entire two-dollar wardrobe on showcase at Urban Outfitters for ten times that amount. He was also hung like a baseball bat.

    To be continued.