Bi-ers Market

Unreal reads the first-ever bisexual Regency romance (actually, we just skimmed for the juicy bits). Plus, Marshall Faulk's healthy sausage and a nationwide hanger shortage.

 Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander: A Bisexual Regency Romance, features the nineteenth-century antics of British gentleman Andrew Carrington, heir to an earldom and fond of cock. Written by 51-year-old bisexual Brooklyn (New York) resident Ann Herendeen, it's the age-old story: wealthy boy meets poor girl, wealthy boy joins cucumber sandwich-munching gay club called the Brotherhood of Philander, blackmailer threatens to spoil the fun.

Unreal: Have you written any other books?

Ann Herendeen: This is the first book I've tried to get published. I did write some sword-and-sorcery bisexual fiction but it was based on another author's work, and just from a copyright point of view I didn't think I'd be able to get it published.

Joe Rocco
Dan Zettwoch

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Is this the first bisexual Regency romance?

As far as I know, absolutely.

How have we survived this long without one?

I don't know. It was very difficult for me. When I was reading Regency romances and historical romances, I kept thinking, this would be great if only the hero had a boyfriend.

Is it possible Carrington is simply bi-curious?

I'm not too fond of that term. There are so many ways of being bisexual, it's not one monolithic thing. Bisexuality has such a range. I think of him as primarily same-sex in orientation but with the potential of being attracted, occasionally, to women.

Who do you think is the best-looking bisexual member of the New York Yankees?

I don't follow baseball. I wish I had a smart, clever answer to that. I do like the looks of Derek Jeter, but I don't want to get in trouble, for rooting for the Yankees over the Mets for example, so I think I'd better just steer clear of that.

Who'll star in the movie version? Let us guess: Anthony Edwards as Carrington, Alyssa Milano as his wife and Joey Fatone as his lover.

I was thinking Clive Owen for Andrew and Kate Winslet for his wife. As for the other one [Fatone], I'll leave it at that.

No Brainer
"Attention Grabber. Erotic images elicit strong response from brain."

— June 8 headline from Washington University School of Medicine News & Tips

Marshall's Meat
Though St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk has been cagey about whether he plans to retire from football, he did recently announce a new venture: selling his meat.

"[W]hen you bite into the sausage you can really taste the meat and flavor," trumpets the press release that arrived in Unreal's inbox, adding that the "boneless" products are "flavored with a blend of natural herbs and spices made with your diet and health in mind."

About a month ago, LA meatpacker Money Saver's Meats became Marshall Faulk Foods & Meats (www.marshallfaulkmeats.com). The new company offers everything from smoked turkey necks and tails to lean beef oxtails and hog head cheese. But it was Faulk's sausage we were most interested in sampling, and, after procuring the one-pound package, we quickly grilled one up.

Made from hormone-free chicken and low in fat and sodium, the link lacked the flavor wallop of high-MSG competitors. But also pleasantly absent were the slimy mouthfeel and guilt often associated with greasy wieners.

So much so that a few minutes later Unreal found ourself wanting to eat Marshall's sausage again.

Brother Can You Spare a Coat Hanger?
One of Unreal's Francophile friends, who lived in Paris during Europe's record heat wave a few years back, told us how the whole country ran out of fans. Thousands of people were sick and dying.

It seemed so bizarre: an entire nation out of a single item.

It all came flooding back when we saw a sign taped to the door of American Cleaners on Tesson Ferry Road: "Please Help: There is an extreme hanger shortage in the U.S. Please return all unwanted hangers! Thank you."

Alarming news indeed. When American Cleaners owner Joe Mach didn't return our calls, we contacted Chris Trankle, manager at Saneco Cleaners on Telegraph Road, to iron out the mystery.

Unreal: Are you familiar with the hanger shortage threatening south county?

Chris Trankle: I've never heard of one, but I know they've raised the prices of hangers. So it's a shortage in the same sense as gas prices. There's not a shortage of it, we just pay more for it.

How long has it lasted?

I have no idea. I know we never used to take them back. We used to tell customers we don't want them, but the last couple years we've been taking them and recycling them. But not under the auspices of a severe shortage.

So you'd still loan us some hangers?

Sure, if it's one of our regular customers and they say, "Hey, I need to get some pants hangers or some shirt hangers." No problem.

Do you guys hear a lot of Joan Crawford "wire hangers" references?

You know what, I don't think I ever have. Hang on one second.... [Asks staff: "Has anyone heard any references to Joan Crawford with the hangers from our customers?"] No.

Wow. American Cleaners refused to talk about this shortage. Are dry cleaners typically reluctant to air their dirty laundry?

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