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Friday, March 04, 2005

Camouflage? So Nineteen-Nineties.

I hope you all agree we are living in an enlightened age. We're environmentally aware, delightfully scientific. And everyone knows to approach any Liz Hurley film with due caution. And even one of the last taboos - The Gays joining the armed forces - was thrown out a few years back. How utterly marvellous!

Personally, I greet this with mixed feelings. One hand: yay! Equality! The other: I think that Gentlemen Who Are Good With Colours joining the military is a very daft idea - not just because it would be like that time in the Magic Roundabout when Dougal found himself in the land of the sugar lumps. It's because most of us aren't exactly built for it. We know that, the armed services know that, and for years it seemed the people in charge were being too polite to say, 'Look, The Gays. You're very good at a lot of things - but open warfare is not your thing.' And it's true - most of us would be rubbish. We'd throw grenades underarm. We'd stop shooting because it WAS TOO LOUD. And imagine the uproar when we discover the standard issue boot doesn't come with a kicky little heel.

I mean, I've been in the army. Well, not all of them, but a fair number - enough to earn the nickname 'The Assault Course' at the Army Reserve on the Woolworth Bypass. And I'm desperately in favour of impartiality - but, lets face it, most of us Good Listeners were picked last in Games, weren't we? So if we were to be any use in the Armed Forces, we'd probably be best shaped into a special unit - one where we're not asked to run very far, nor get shouted at for all singing Brittney Spears while training. This special 'Sniper Squad' (wit, not choice of weapon) could be parachuted - well, bussed - in to the outskirts of the battle zone. Where we could wander around the local Habitat in pairs, having an under-the-breath, hissed argument at each other about who's fault it was the downstairs bathroom is green and why it's impossible to find anything to match these days.

What, actual combat? Noooo. Most of us would be getting off on the uniforms anyway. After we'd spent two weeks on the Singer, bringing in those shapeless trousers.

So I'm stupendously glad we have the option to join but, personally, I think I'll pass. Which is why it seems rather churlish to actually want more of these thar Gay Rights. For example, there's been an enormous disaster out in Asia and, while I've donated clothes and money, I'd like to help by joining the blood drive. If only to appease my own personal guilt about buying a 'I RODE THE TSUNAMI 2004!' t-shirt the other day. But I can't. They don't really like Gay Blood. And not just because most of it is 60% proof and smells of Smirnoff Ice.

Everyone I've asked about this states We Gays are a 'high risk'. For why? Most of us are aware of what our blood is doing far more than The Straights - more out of necessity than anything. I've been tested negative on all nasty things, and let me assure you, my blood is actually not bright pink. Nor does it contain glitter. And although my blood group is the rare Type-F.A.B-positive, I doubt that it will make you like show tunes if you use it.

So, go on. Let us help. We can be useful - I mean, we were the ones who warned you about Liz Hurley in the first place.

This, of course, despite the fact I screamed and fainted dead away the last time a needle was put in my arm.

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