"It amazes me how much we think we know and how mature we think we are when we're younger. I mean, now that I'm 19, I'm so ahead of the game in those areas! Now I know everything." --Andy Stevenson
Welcome back to the world of Andy Stevenson, where life is just one run-in with Murphy's Law after another. Having returned home from his summer vacation in California where he "came out" the hard and hilarious way in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation, Andy heads back to college for his sophomore year. He considers himself a changed man now, enlightened, worldly and generally in a much more pleasant mood. Yes, he's still deluding himself and his penchant for finding trouble hasn’t let up one single bit.
It’s not until Christmas break is over and Andy is back at school with friends Ryan and Kim that things start to heat up. Blonde bombshell/poet Tristan may or may not be taking a liking to Andy, but how far will Andy go to find out? An invitation to visit the object of his desire leads Andy to a night he’ll never forget...which is exactly what he'd like to do. You see, the only thing worse than not being able to get what you want is attracting exactly what you don’t want. Treated like a cheap snack food, Andy soon finds himself relentlessly pursued by Tristan not for his mind or company, but only for his body.
And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, a chance meeting at a party finds Andy falling for a freshman named Alan.It's a relationship based on genuine feelings, so Murphy’s Law naturally arrives for another visit as Tristan decides to make it his personal mission in life to teach Andy about the world of sex with no commitment...whether he wants to learn it or not.What's a guy to do after promising his new boyfriend that his middle name is "Discretion"? Armed with his two best friends and recently resurfaced sense of sarcasm, Andy prepares to defend his fledgling relationship with the half-Asian and slightly domineering (yet oddly sweet in that playfully sadistic sort of way) Alan by doing battle with the most fearsome ho to come along since...since...all previous fearsome hos: The Lord of the Loins!
The beauty of a continuing story is that it has the potential to go beyond the original tale and achieve entirely new heights. The reality of a continuing story, however, is that it can tend to suck and NOT in the good way. Highlander 2, Galactica 1980, Star Trek V, Jaws: The Revenge...hello??? And then there's me. I'm Andy, just a typical 19-year-old college student from Detroit, Michigan. What's so special about me? Not a thing. Well, nothing until I went to California six months ago during the summer of 1989 and had that whole cliched experience-that-changed-my-life thing and blah blah blah. I've heard it as often as you have, so I won't bore you with the whole sordid story down to the smallest detail. I'm not my mother. Well, maybe I'll tell you some of it just so we're on the same page.
Suffice to say that I met someone in California who I was convinced was the anti-Christ, only he obviously wasn't. He's my cousin and, unfortunately for me, attractive. Okay, hot. I do want to make the distinction that he's my cousin by marriage only. It was California, not one of those other, less progressive states. Anyway, Jordan - that's my cousin - pushed me to come to terms with a major issue in my life. Not only did he finally get me to admit that I'm gay - I am, I double-checked - but he was also my first, which is how I double-checked. Oh, come on! It's not like Jordan and I didn't use protection. I'm kidding. No, we did. We used protection. After all, safety comes first...then hopefully you both do, too. Sorry. Gay humor. Couldn't help myself.
Right, so, I'd rarely left Michigan before and, well, who'd want to? I'd miss the daily season changes, our luxurious family-sized potholes and our colorful state tree - the little orange construction cone. In-state jokes, sorry. Anyway, I left home, went to LA, experienced a little of the beach and nightclub life, and finally learned how to be comfortable just being myself. I also learned that a French Tickler isn't a masseuse who studied in Paris and that ribbed isn't always for her pleasure - very important information there. So, how exactly does one top an experience like that? If this was one of those early '80s family television shows, I'd be living happily ever after in some little Italian villa with Charo as my crazy neighbor or stepmother. It didn't happen like that, though.
I went through the motions of finishing off my summer vacation back home, moved into a private dorm room at school and completed the first semester of my sophomore year - all without raising a single suspicion concerning my sexuality. I wanted to tell someone and I tried to, but no one was picking up on the clues. It felt like everybody knew who I was, but that they weren't really paying attention to what I was saying, much like I imagine Andrew Ridgley felt when he released his solo album after WHAM split up. Yeah, exactly. You didn't know he had one either.
I needed someone who I could talk to, who could help me learn more about myself and who I could grow with. Most people look for this kind of relationship with a therapist. Me? I wanted a boyfriend. Jordan would have been the perfect candidate had I stayed in California. After all, he turned out to be an excellent role model and what could be better than meeting the kind of man I want to share my future with? Meeting the kind I don't want? No, I can do without that little drama entirely. I'm a much nicer person these days, so there's no reason for the proverbial bird to fly over and shit on my head.
Naturally, this happened right after Christmas break.
Andy Stevenson vs The Lord of the Loins Sequel to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation
Kage Alan continues his coming-of-age tale in Andy Stevenson vs The Lord of the Loins. It is still 1989, and Andy Stevenson is eager to assume his new identity as a gay man when he enters his sophomore year of college. In the first book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation, Andy at last comes to terms with his sexual identity. In this next installment, readers are introduced to two of Andy's best friends: fellow novelist-to-be Ryan, and Miss Kim, a buxom black woman who has her eyes on Andy's new love interest, Tristan, the blond Adonis poet. But that's the least of the complications in this new story. Tristan doesn't believe in commitment and actually wants to introduce Andy to the joys of one-night stands among his friends. Meanwhile, Andy finds he's falling for half-Asian Alan who wants monogamy. Besides trying to deal with his romantic life, Andy applies himself to his classes, begins a novel, and keeps his friends from going for their throats or his.
Still writing in a witty autobiographical style, Kage Alan has created a comic, romantic romp that is very tasteful. It is probably the better book of the two about Andy Stevenson because it has a stronger plot. Though the author continues to make acerbic observations about people and institutions, there is more story here. And, like its predecessor, it starts off in the same stand-up comedy vein, but doesn't rely on it to support the story-the plot does just fine by itself. Well done.
Andy Stevenson vs. the Lord of the Loins
Why so serious? Imagine Wittiest Man Alive (and OutSmart writer) Jack Varsi (who used to pen TWT's "Showbiz" column) as a college sophomore (in Michigan, circa 2008) and you might conjure up Andy Stevenson, whose encounter with a cuuuute but philandering poet from a creative writing class leads to a fierce, raucous, and very public "intervention." Lots of authors attempt razor-sharp gay repartee, but Kage Alan delivers with zingers galore, dripping with sarcasm on every page.
Andy Stevenson vs The Lord of the Loins
Well folks, here's a nice light but energetic romp through school days. College, the final frontier this is the voyage of Andy, a 19 year old who had just discovered himself (six months previously in California) and is now exploring new people and other plot complications. All in all, he proceeds to boldly go where many of us have gone before!
With the supporting cast of: Kim, African-American female who doesn't take crap from anybody, Tristan, a very cute boy-toy, and Alan, the half Asian and wholly domineering kid whose friendship Andy defends. A chance meeting at a party finds Andy falling for a freshman named Alan. Murphy's Law naturally arrives for another visit as Tristan decides to make it his personal mission in life to teach Andy about the world of sex with no commitment... whether he wants to learn it or not. What's a guy to do after promising his new boyfriend that his middle name is "Discretion?"
If you wish to take a cue from "Cabaret" and "leave your troubles outside" this Fall, read Kage Alan's "Andy Stevenson vs. the Lord of the Loins."