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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    crouching fox, hidden ginger

    part two of "the grindr monologues"

    “Well you see, it all began…” The truth was, at that moment, I was unsure where the story began. How did such an attractive redhead man like me, find himself pleading for a mini-bottle of red wine as if it were his life?

    Looking down at the embarrassing prepaid credit card in my right hand, and back up at Wesley (the fabulous flight attendant whose name I gleaned from his access card) I flashed back to the moment I saw my ex-boyfriend the Polish Prince for the first time in almost three years.

    It was a cool and cloudy morning in March when our swords – I mean paths – almost crossed again. Dressed in the previous night’s clothes and sweating with shame, I found myself walking east on the sea wall at Sunset, when I saw the Prince gallivanting towards me with another man linked in his arm.

    Dressed in matching coloured Werther’s Original pea-coats, the two men looked like they had woke up between the cover pages of GQ. Left with no choice but to evacuate, I sprinted into the damp sand on the beach and dived behind a log.

    As the two men neared closer, I peeked up from my hiding spot and noted that his partner was the same height as him, six foot three, and had the same heroic jawline as me. Judging from his unstrapped boots and dirty blonde hair, I reasoned the 'gay-with-no-name' must be a free spirit – which has the exact opposite of the pompadoured Prince. As I recall, the ex-boyfriend in question was regimented by organic protein bars and early morning alarms.

    Once the two men shrunk into the distance of English Bay, I picked myself up and dusted the sand off my blue jeans. I knew at that moment, that like Casper, I had unfinished business which needed to be resolved.

    “Dear Mr. Prince,” I began texting him, “I know how it has been a while, well years, but I was wondering if you could meet me for breakfast?”

    Two days and six hours later he replied, “Yes.”

    “You see Wesley,” I loosened my belt in the aisle seat of the Westjet flight now bordering Saskatchewan. “The entire story began with a blooming tree and a mushroom scramble.”  

    With dramatic flare, Wesley released his grip from the beverage cart and leaned in right next to me. Within seconds, his moisturized lips were so close to my ear that his warm breath carried the vanilla scent of Carmex to my nose.

    “Blooming tree, mushroom scramble, is that code for a blow job and anal sex?” His voice had dropped so low I felt like Anastasia Steele after discovering the fifteenth shade of Christian Grey.

    “Oh my goodness no!” I hollered. Wesley immediately returned to his upright and locked position while I devised a new introductory paragraph to my story.

    “Allow me to try this again. It all began … on a sunny day last Spring at my favourite breakfast spot, de Dutch on the corner of Oak and 15th. The leaves on the gigantic elm trees were blooming outside the restaurant windows, as I plunged a fork into my favourite egg and mushroom scramble in the seat across from my ex-boyfriend.”

    I proceeded to tell Wesley the entire story of our breakfast together. I would provide you with the transcripts from our emotionally-stunted conversation; but at a time like this, it is imperative that we keep on track. I will let you know a few key details, however.

    key detail number one: I showed up for the date sans hangover; which is important because that is how strong and confident men wake up on Tuesday mornings.

    key detail number two: Since our break-up, I gained 30 pounds from eating chicken parmesan at the restaurant, while he shed 1.2% body fat and picked up another eighteen pounds of lean muscle.

    key detail number three: He and his partner Gabriel (the gay-with-no-name) met two and a half years ago (suspect) and moved in together, shortly afterwards in a small west end apartment.

    “If you don’t mind me asking,” I took a bite of pineapple from my fruit cup, “how did you and Gabriel meet?”

    “I am kind of embarrassed to tell you,” the Prince replied, chasing a sip of orange juice with hot water and lemon.

    “Oh come on, there is nothing to be ashamed of here. That is my job.”

    “Gabe and I met on Grindr.”

    As soon as we paid the bill (de Dutch at de Dutch), I walked home, poured myself a glass of red wine and downloaded the orange masked app on my phone.

    Back on the flight, entrenched in my own tale, I did not notice but somewhere over Regina a riot had broken out in the rows behind me. Thirsty passengers were furious that the drink service had stopped and Wesley got ripped away from me like a scene from The Walking Dead.

    With no red wine, credit card or boyfriend to speak of, I thought all hope was gone. It was clear that I had no choice left but to jump out the plane above Winnipeg; but then a miracle happened – in the form of a plastic cup.

    to be continued.


    a bitch and a beverage cart

    part one of "the grindr monologues"

    Beads of sweat dripped down my forehead as the beverage cart inched closer to me on a Westjet flight last May enroute from Vancouver to Ottawa. In the small space before me, my knees bounced furiously while my right hand clutched tight around a prepaid credit card. “This better work,” I told myself, “Meryl Streep it has to.”

    With ninja-like focus, I watched as the four wheels of the cart locked two rows ahead of me. I had been fearing this exact moment for approximately thirty-six hours and twenty-two minutes. After compromising my VISA in a virtual threesome on Grindr, I had to cancel my credit card two days prior to the flight. Usually this would not be such a major problem, except for the one simple fact that I do not fly without a plastic cup of red wine. And last time I checked, major airlines do not accept debit.

    From my aisle seat, I sussed out the Flight Attendant, who was going to be the only person to come between me and a mini-bottle of red wine. The good news was that he was gay and male. The bad news was that I had no idea whether or not he was a total bitch. If my prepaid plan did not work, then there was no question I was going to need this homosexual on my side if I ever stood a chance of surviving the flight.

    The clock was ticking as the airplane climbed to 36,000 feet. By my calculations, I had approximately three point eight minutes to deduce whether or not my gay Flight Attendant was a queen or princess.

    Like Sherlock, I paid close attention to every detail before me. First off, I noted the section of the plane he was attending. Typically, the snobbiest gays with the highest service standards can be found in first class, or in this case, “Westjet Plus.” Because this man was placed in steerage with me, the odds were in my favour that his service record was far from immaculate.

    Second, I completed a visual scan of his physical appearance. You can tell everything you need to know about a man by how he wears his uniform. Did he spend his layover resting up for the next flight or physically laid over? Meryl Streep must have been watching over me because this guy was a hot mess. His white collar-shirt was untucked and spilling out from underneath his company-issued navy blue sweater. Rather than looking healthy and vibrant, his blonde highlights looked pale and sickly.

    Letting out a gigantic sigh of relief, I felt my body relax into the chair. There was no way this man was going to be a threat. He might even forget to charge me. Aimlessly playing with the TV screen in front of me, my knees came to a full stop as the cart wheeled up beside me.

    “For you miss,” he prompted the lady to my left in the window seat. His voice was lower than I expected and certainly not as poofy as I wanted it to be.

    “Red wine please.”

    Like a gentleman, I assisted him with the transaction. I helped to pass over her credit card and then returned it with a white cocktail napkin and a mini-bottle of red wine.

    “And for you?” he motioned to the lady in the middle seat.

    "Gin and tonic.”

    “I am out of limes at the moment, is that acceptable to you?”

    Is that acceptable to you? I repeated to myself, question marks popping up over my head. Something did not feel right. He did not look first class but he certainly sounded like it. My knees began to tremble.

    “That is fine,” said the lady in return. I leaned back in my seat until the transaction was complete.

    Just when my turn had come, he excused himself for a moment to tuck in his shirt.

    No, no, no no no no no no no! I screamed internally. I had absolutely no back-up plan if this card didn’t work.

    “I’m sorry about that,” he said, making his final adjustment. “I just noticed it had come undone. And for you sir? Would you like something to drink?”

    “My good man,” I replied, buying time with extra words. “I will take 250 millilitres of your finest in-flight wine please and thank you kindly. But first, if you don’t mind, may I beg you a question?”

    I motioned for him to lean in before discreetly revealing the contents of my right hand. I was too embarrassed to let anyone else know what was going on.

    Lowering my voice into a whisper, I confided to him, “as you see, in a tragic set of circumstances, my VISA was compromised less than forty-eight hours ago. I was wondering if you –”

    “We do not accept prepaid credit cards,” he cut me off, loud enough for everyone in the back of the plane to hear. “Can I interest you in a complimentary juice or pop? Tea or coffee perhaps?”

    My heart stopped in my chest. I was twenty-nine years old and about to go in to cardiac arrest. With four hours and two time zones left on the flight, there was no way I was going to make it on an orange juice and a pack of pretzels.

    “Would you mind trying it just once?” I asked, my tail between my legs.

    “Sir I’m not going to repeat myself. The card will not work, now would you like a pop?”

    The worst part about this entire situation was that it was karmic retribution. I would never admit this to be the case on a conscious level; but somewhere deep down, strapped underneath the seatbelt of my unconsciousness I knew it to be true. Previous to this point, all winter long at the restaurant I scoffed whenever a guest presented me with a prepaid card. Now I was the one being scoffed at.

    “No," I answered slowly using my man voice, "I would not like a pop.” .

    My eye lids dropped into squint formation while my teeth sealed the trap to my mouth shut. I feared I was about to make a scene as the wild west of Calgary passed underneath us. Hearing the groans churn out from the thirsty guests on the other side of the cart, I knew I did not have much time left.

    By my estimates, I had exactly three options available to me. One, I could try to seduce him into exchanging red wine for post-flight sex. Two, I could order a coffee and then spill it on him and rob the cart while he tried to cool himself down. Three, I could appeal to the one experience that every gay man has in common.

    “Look buddy,” I placed my hand on his arm pleadingly, “I swore I would never tell anyone this but I compromised my credit card on Grindr the other night with a guy who looked like Zachary Quinto but turned out to be a scam artist. Please, I beg you, in the name of Radiohead don't leave me high ... don't leave me dry.” 

    I waited for his reaction for what seemed to be an eternity. And then there it was. Like an optical illusion, the slightest curl of the lips revealed the semblance of smile. 

    “OHMYGAWD YOU HAVE TO TELL ME EVERYTHING!” his arm went limp underneath my hand loosening his wrist into a full-on flail.

    “Well you see, it all began…”

    To be continued.