Ask Francine – Time Forgot Manilow’s Face, and It’s Unnerving

I hate to admit this, but during my very first kiss in the back seat of a 1982 De Lorean DMC-12, the radio was playing Looks Like We Made It, by Barry Manilow. Since that time, his voice has always touched a part of me deep inside, so when I heard he was coming to town, I giggled with glee. Here is a man who wears makeup, noticeable Botox , a lovely hairpiece and skin tighteners and lip-synchs.

Perfect for Camp.

From our suite box seats in the Sprint Center (our soon-to-be-U.S. Rep. Kay Barnes twisted my arm into purchasing one), I held court with some of my oldest friends, with Miss Johnnie of Brookside as the oldest and crankiest. I pushed her wheelchair past the metal detectors and into our suite, where we spiked our wine spritzers with extra estrogen and sat down to enjoy our concert, entitled Music and Passion. As the lights dimmed, dozens of walkers and wheelchairs slowly ? slowly ? made their way to their Fanilow seats in the front row. (What is a Fanilow? One of Barry?s groupies, belonging to a select group of fans [mainly Christian women, like me> who follow him from concert to concert. The entire front 10 rows of each concert are reserved for them.) I felt my palms sweat with anticipation. I was hoping that the sight of Barry would recapture some of the warmth in my loins from long-ago romance.

Once he appeared onstage, however, my heart sank, knowing that Mr. Time had also captured our dear Barry. His youthful visage wasn?t in sync with the rest of us, for he had conspired with artificial means to keep his youth alive. Yes, his voice was vibrant and the lyrics brought tears of long-lost love to my eyes, but cheating old age is visible in an instant.

On the way home, Miss Johnnie asked me to cancel our reserved tickets to Union Station?s current ?Bodies? exhibit.

?Seen enough preservation for the rest of my life,? she said.
The AIDS Money Feud
Scheduling Conflict? Francine to the Rescue
The last time I was confused by nurturing behavior was when my little gerbil, Abby, devoured her newborn gerbilettes minutes after they were delivered. Why anyone would destroy the very essence of life is beyond my comprehension.

That?s why you little Sodomites are giving me a headache when you all have these little scheduling ?conflicts? that interfere with each other?s major fundraisers.

I?m one of the few folks who actually had the energy (thanks to some new vitamin drink that I got from Chris and Don) to attend both AIDS Walk and Dining by Design in the same day.

Each event just saps the strength right out of you. Combining them in the same month is an error, the same week a mistake, and on the same day ? well, as Kansas City?s major socialite, I?ll come out and say publicly that this feud needs to come to an end.

It takes me hours to have my stylist come over to my manse to condition and style my hair, not to mention trying to coordinate my spray-on tan and then having my tailor sew me into my form-fitting gown for DIFFA. This is the event to see and be seen. The anticipation of seeing Kansas City?s finest designers create masterpieces of antiques, floral arrangements and place settings is causing heart palpitations as I dictate this. The year?s social calendar isn?t complete without a ticket in my manicured hand.

But I attended my first AIDS Walk this year and didn?t expect what I encountered. Finally, God has spoken and the common heterosexuals now attend something that raises money for AIDS! There was a beautiful mix of gay and straight people Saturday morning: families, churches, children and parents: a scene right out of a Disney movie. Thank you, Jesus, I whispered as I wiped tears from my eyes watching the brave mothers and fathers and other family members carrying banners honoring their AIDS dead.

These two events cater to two very different crowds, but what I find disturbing is that neither event honors the other. DIFFA doesn?t have a Walk Team for AIDS Walk, and the AIDS Walk doesn?t design a table for DIFFA.

Are my curlers on too tight or does this feud need to stop? Your humble Francine has taken it upon herself to call Richard Manes, chairman of DIFFA, and Michael Lintecum, director of AIDS Walk, to sit down in her sitting room to work this out. Boys, does a week from Thursday work for you two?

AIDS Walk has been held for 20 years within the last two weeks of April. Seniority should prevail, don?t you think? Readers, what are your thoughts?

Next year, I want to participate in the fundraiser(s) that show honor and support for each other. Do I make my voice heard?
Francine offers her slightly skewed viewpoint on issues in the Kansas City metropolitan area?s LGBT community in each issue of Camp. This satirical column is meant in jest and non-thought-provoking fun! Francine?s opinions are her own, and they do not necessarily reflect those of Camp or anyone connected to Camp. And since you?re asking, yes, she?s a fictional character. Well, you asked. Would you like to respond to Francine or give her a tip on something that may be of interest? E-mail her at”

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