The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Dear Miss Tinkles

Dear Miss Tinkles


Dear Miss Tinkles:

I am recently divorced from my wife. It was my third failed marriage. I have three beautiful children and although I have custody of none, I am on very good and loving terms with each of them. I am an attractive-looking man and I have no doubts that I will find another woman to love and who will love me. There was nothing wrong with these women. The marriages just did not work out. Recently I was out with a friend. He told me that he thinks I have a problem with women. When I inquired what he meant, he said that he wonders whether I am gay and don’t know it.  This was a totally unsolicited opinion and I was offended by it. He is not the only one in my life to make such a remark. Other of my male “friends” have “wondered out-loud” whether I might be secretly gay. On each such occasion, I have assured the “friend” that I am keenly aware of my own sexuality and that I am quite definitely heterosexual. My hope was that a firm declaration would put the matter to rest once and for all. Apparently I was wrong. I have nothing against gays or lesbians. Many of my friends are gay. But I am tired of my “friends” so arrogantly presuming to know more about me than I do. How do you suggest I go about convincing my “friends” to accept what I am telling them and to accept me for the martially-challenged heterosexual that I am? Sincerely, Miffed.

Dear Tom Cruise:

It does seem to me that you have reason to be miffed. I think your so-called “friends” have definitely crossed a line. They obviously will not listen to reason.  If you have done everything you can to convince your “friends” that they are wrong about you, then your options are limited. I suggest that you sue them blind.

You should do this absolutely as soon as possible, like next week, so as to avoid the impression that you intend to take this while lying down. You’re the top gun; don’t you forget that. Time to get up and lay that cannon right in their stupid, disbelieving faces.

The other thing you should do, preferably on the same day that you actually file suit, is get married again. Have the ceremony in the courtroom during a break in the trial and use the same judge who will decide your defamation of character claims. This will not only make the most efficient use of the news cycle and media resources, but will also create additional evidence to use against your so-called “friends.” 

Bear in mind that this courtroom ceremony will mostly be for show and I do not mean to suggest that you and your bride sacrifice the private and obviously more meaningful rubber hose and electroshock sacrament at the L. Ron Hubbard Church of Egomaniacal Bliss. There will be plenty of time for all of that. What matters right now is the impression in the minds of those jurors.

As you may know, nothing dispels rumors of homosexuality like ultra-aggressive heterosexuality. Accordingly, I suggest that you have your lawyer mention to the jury in his opening statement that your new wife is already pregnant with triplets. Your new bride – (a woman!) – needs to be present for every day of that trial and you must remember to make sure that your affection for her is credible and readily observable by the jury. Always smile. Always allow her to enter and exit the courtroom ahead of you. She will be nervous for you, so give her a reassuring kiss. Do not overdo this or the jury will think you are just acting. No more than one public kiss a day. Do…not…over…do…this.

However, when you do kiss, make that sucker count. See if you can swab the entirety of her mouth with your flat of your tongue. And if you can find a moment to jump up and down on the witness stand and scream how much you love her, well, that’s just pure hetero gold!

In the aftermath of the trial, just to cement the truth, you might also consider venturing into some high-octane cinema. Climb into a fighter cockpit and really work that joystick as you straddle a jet engine after a sweaty game of beach volleyball. Or maybe grip your way bare-handed up the side of a towering cylindrical building. See if you can do another movie where you get to suck on Brad Pitt’s neck. And don’t underestimate the power of a good title to boost you hetero street cred. Think Cocktail meets A Few Good Men.

Remember: your true friends will always love you for who you want them to believe you are. And if they can’t find the compassion and understanding to choke down the truth, then they deserve nothing more than to be cross-examined within an inch of their lives as you tongue-swab your blushing fourth ex-wife-in-waiting and future custodian of your triplet spawn. In the end, Tom, these “friends” of yours are to be pitied. Not everyone can handle the truth.

Happy litigating! Yours, Tink.

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