Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
This week: Some people called the po-po on a whale; Fergie wore a Golden Snitch hat; and Kanye and Trump met in the Room Where Nothing Happens.
I have found new flying clothes! I mean clothes to wear while sitting on an airplane, typing on my laptop while trained professionals do basically everything flying-related. I think it is important to have flying clothes but I could not really articulate why since all you're doing is sitting in a tight seat next to a lovely person coming back from a silk-painting conference for hours, trying not to hog the armrest and willing yourself not to pee. One would think that any old clothes would be fine for that. But one would be wrong! You have to have flying clothes.
I don't understand people who get dressed up to fly, like they're expecting a debutante ball in the middle of the sky. I posted about this on Facebook years ago and many of my flight attendant friends replied that they hated when people didn't dress up to fly. "Do I show up to your job in pajamas?!" my friend Ivan wrote. First of all, I think that would be adorable. When I run for president, the work week will be shortened to four days and everyone will be required to take naps. Second of all, I work from home, so chances are I am also in my pajamas. If you showed up in business casual, I'd probably scream and turn you away at the door. (Business casual is the most undefined of all professional attires and that is terrifying to me.)
I used to wear this button-down grey shirt made of a soft material whenever I flew. It was a little big on me and seemed to be cozy enough to keep me warm in a chilly airport but also cool enough to keep me cool on a hot plane. The problem was, midway through the flight I'd always feel like I was bursting out of the shirt. Button-downs aren't good for prolonged sitting, particularly when your body is going through the phase changes of warp speed or whatever happens when you fly. I don't really understand air pressure but I know you're supposed to wear a compression sock. And judging from the way my shirt stretched over long flights, I guess that sock was supposed to go over my whole body. Should I be wearing a girdle to fly? Is that formal enough for you, Ivan?! Can I get on your plane if I'm wearing a full Elizabethan gown?
I've stopped wearing button-downs on planes now. This feels like one of those ridiculous things an older relative tells you, apropos of nothing, and you listen patiently as they give an explanation that is equal parts conspiracy theory, a local news story they misunderstood, and some weird folk magic they've suddenly started believing in. I am leaning full-force into my eccentric uncle-hood and evidently that means believing that my body expands on planes but only in business casual wear. "Oh, yeah, well you see the cabin pressure pushes the buttons on the shirt into my chest which creates a chain reaction in my molecules; of course this only happens when I'm flying east to west. It's an old pioneer curse. Google it."
Anyway, all of that is behind me (like the east and those undead pioneers!). I flew to Nashville this weekend and, in my rush to get out of the house and get to the airport, threw on a hooded long-sleeved shirt with no buttons. Perfection! It wasn't a hoodie; it was definitely just a long sleeved shirt with a hood on it. A vestigial hood! I like it but I don't wear it much because I don't understand what I'm supposed to do with it. Apparently I am supposed to wear it on a plane. I paired it with these spandex-y legging pants from this unisex clothing company called Blofish. I like the pants a lot but I have never worn them because I can never figure out what situation calls for people to see the outline of my genitals. Is that business casual? I have never imagined myself as a leggings person but I am obsessed with these pants. They're definitely pants and not leggings but I do not have any evidence to back this up. They have little pockets, but the pockets are sewn to the outside like someone forgot and fixed it real quick. This makes the silhouette and feel of the pants incredibly smooth. Like I said they are spandex-esque, so they fit snugly but aren't skintight. The only thing better suited for flying would be Missy's trashbag ensemble from Supa Dupa Fly. That's a fact. Doctors agree. Google it.
I LOVE these pants and I am very confused about what these pants are. Blofish doesn't sell them anymore, which is a shame because I have never felt so comfortable and so sporty while squeezed into a sky bus doing exactly zero sports. They were kind of like joggers, except they didn't have that annoying tight cuff at the ankle. Also, I am afraid to buy joggers because based on the name alone I feel like I would get arrested for fraud. I thought maybe they were leggings so I Googled men's leggings to see if I could find something similar but all I got were a bunch of sites that sold "meggings" and that is against the law. I am staunchly against masculinizing a word just so that dudes don't feel weird buying them because of their toxic brains. PUT THE SPANDEX ON YOU LEGS, CHAD. DON'T WORRY; YOU WILL STILL HAVE A PENIS (AND ITS PRESENCE WILL BE CLEAR TO EVERYONE BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LEGGINGS WORK UNFORTUNATELY.) Let me tell you, you peruse the Under Armour men's leggings page in the comfort of your own home and, like Lucy, you're going to have some 'splaining to do when your husband looks over at your screen. Just looking at some shirtless menfolk wearing skintight pants. It's for work!
I don't think I want leggings. I think I want a tight fitting sport pant. I feel like leggings show people what your whole body looks like, which is not what I want. I want something that gives a vague illusion while convincing me that I look like Michael B. Jordan. These Blofish pants did that.
Completing the sport drag costume that I was putting together, I also wore my Pride-themed Under Armor running shoes, which are very breathable and have rainbow soles.
I got them in August and have been jogging zero times, but just wearing them made me feel like both a very fit person and also a social justice warrior. Many people complimented me on them, so essentially I've ended prejudice. You're welcome. In short, when you ride a plane, it is very important that your body is able to expand, Violet Beauregard-style, you should have some sort of costume suggesting a kind of life you do not currently lead, and your footwear should let everyone know that you obviously have very strong opinions about whether Lady Gaga will EGOT and how.
This week, speaking of Lady Gaga, I wrote a guide to where you will hear the A Star Is Born songs; Kanye and Trump competed for who could be the most annoying; and Beto met a bunny. But first, a whale of a tale!
As someone who once tried to call a Lyft to a fishing boat after getting very seasick and realizing I do not want to catch any fish ever, I understand this. But I will still mock it. What did they think was going to happen? The cops were going to call block captain Jason Momoa? King Triton was going to issue a citation? Trust me, if all you had to do to get some burly sea-faring dude with flowing locks to show up was board a boat and ring up the 5-0, I'd be on a ship singing "Gee, Officer Krupke" as we speak. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Places you'll hear... "Maybe It's Time"
- Before a Republican political rally, with a shocking lack of irony.
- Before a Democratic political rally, very, very intentionally.
- The seventh inning stretch at a baseball game.
- A weird father/daughter dance!
- Karaoke at a bar where a lot of people wear hats. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Other things that happened during their meeting:
- Kanye said "Time is a myth," like he was auditioning for a sequel to A Wrinkle In Time in the role of Mrs. Whatthehellisthis?
- Kanye was asked if he'd run for president and promised not until 2024, and for once I'm rooting on climate change to just wrap this whole thing up. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Enthusiastic normcore Senate Zaddy Beto O'Rourke heard you were having a meh day and he's here to help with a new video of him petting a bunny. That's all, just 21 seconds of him gently and lovingly stroking a bunny's fur like some sort of beautiful emotions porn you custom ordered from a catalog called "Heart Tingles." [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Lena Dunham seems to have no problem reminding her fellow celebs that when you do clownery, the clownery comes back in an anecdote on a late night talk show. She's like an Old Hollywood star, showing up on The Dick Cavett Show, smoking 17 cigarettes, and telling a story about the time Clark Gable got so blotto at a party at Ava Gabor's house he started slow-dancing with her pet orangutan. That sort of willingness to tell everyone's business is so rare in Hollywood these days, which is why I thank the Lordt Beyoncé every day for people like Tiffany Haddish and Lena Dunham who are the griots of the good goss. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
This morning, the British continued their cold war against the United States by holding another royal wedding in the middle of the night. Technically, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were wed at a time when it was "morning" in "England," but as the great American industrialist Daddy Warbucks once said, "if it's dark on the Chrysler Building, it's dark around the world!" Anyway, I'm not here to argue about whether time zones exist (they do not); dearly beloved, I have gathered you today to scream about the fact that Princess Eugenie's mother floated into the royal wedding wearing a Golden Snitch hat. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Oh, hey! I told a story on the Moth Radio Hour about the (first) time I was cancelled by the internet! You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts--the episode is called Squeaky Wheels--or you can find it at this link.
My new play Nightbird, which was a 2018 commission by the National New Play Network, was one of 12 finalists for the National Showcase of New Plays. It concerns a couple that buys a home across from a park that used to have a Confederate monument and gets mixed up in the question of what should replace it.
I am one of four playwright's in this year's Ingram New Works fellowship at Nashville Rep, which will bring me down to Tennessee once a month to develop a new play. The play I'm working on is called Crying On Television and I am not good at describing it yet so here are some words: reality television, apartment building, belonging, The Bachelor, televangelism.
Two classes at the George School in Newtown, PA has been studying my play Mrs. Harrison in English this year and I got to talk with them about the play and the questions therein, and, better still, I got to listen to them tell stories inspired by themes in the play. It was simply incredible. I am newly obsessed with talking to (and even moreso listening to) high school and college classes!
Random Thing on the Internet
I am obsessed with Brother Nature, the Twitter dude who is somehow always around wild animals with zero explanation but an abundance of joy.
Keep it business casual! JUST KIDDING, NEVER DO THAT!
P.S. Carlos* the Instagram guy I talked about last week was in Denver for about a week according to his Instagram Stories but now he is in D.C. WHAT IS GOING ON CARLOS?! ARE YOU EMPLOYED?!!
*not his real name.