Toronto
3 min

Last-minute miracles

I hope you’re ready, my friends. It’s no mean feat, this whole preparing for the wonder that is Pride in this city. And I’m not just talking about stocking up on rainbow streamers and Super Soakers.

There are outfits to buy, Lycra shorts to squeeze into, haircuts to get and full-body waxings to submit to. Many of you will brave spray-on tanning booths. As parts that seem rather, um, internal get sprayed, you’ll ask yourselves, “Does that really need to be tanned?!”

There are clunker or placeholder boyfriends and girlfriends to be dumped — harsh, but true — either in anticipation of the impending pick-up fest that is Pride or because, frankly, Kathy’s gotten a bit clingy. Or Frank has nothing nice to say about anyone and, with his weird feet, you really don’t know where he gets the aplomb. Or look out, your recent gf Jocelyn’s been talking about marching topless. Run away!

Most obvious among the preparations is that once-a-year wonder known as going from Fred Flintstone to Charles Atlas in the course of one last-minute (and least-minute) week at the gym. Come on, you know I mean you. Frankly, I mean me, too. Don’t think I’d keep myself from the joy of getting ready for the promenade of Pride by being crabbily hungry and feeling the burn from exercise (but not in an aerobics class kind of way, more like in that “Who knew that area could jiggle?” kind of way.

But we’ve got to be ready, friends! Who knew Pride was coming around again so soon? How can this have happened? Someone should have told me last November when I cradled the long-evening’s butter tart and took such comfort in a mashed- potato sandwich.

By the way, anyone who says the English can’t cook is crazy. Did you know they make a sandwich of Wonder Bread, butter and French fries? Who are they, my innermost thoughts?

So it was that in the beginning of June, with virtually weeks to go, I decided it was time to prepare for Pride. It was time for some exercise.

But like any homo with flair, I decided that in order to get ready to begin my outdoor exercise routine — which I decided was going to be jogging — I needed the right accoutrements.

Here’s a fascinating mathematical equation you may not know, U + Pie = lbs. According to my gay guy friend Adam, this translates into the following: The amount of winter weight you put on should be proportionate to the splendour of your new running outfit.

It’s the “Look over here at something shiny!” school of presentation. As the boys say, if you’re going to do it, dazzle!

Well, I went for the dazzle.

Off I went to get the right outfit for my new pre-Pride exercise stint. I started out at Lululemon, which I discovered is actually French for “My pants are too tight,” and instead went next door to Your Big Sneaker Brand Store Here. They were so helpful, and I look great in my pro-looking shorts and shiny, ventilated T-shirt with fancy logo.

The outfit was ready. Time for the perfect running shoes. I found a genius pair; they come with a fancy sensor that sends a signal relating the distance and pace of your run directly to your iPod.

Man, that thing is powerful. So far my iPod has picked up the police band, a gossipy cell-phone conversation about someone named Cicely and an old episode of The Golden Girls.

My only concern is that it’s also a GPS device with which my personal trainer could track me down at Starbucks when I should be out running. Or it might transmit a signal to (insert the name of crazy ex-girlfriend here), letting her know I haven’t moved to Austria as I told her.

Regardless, the outfit was chosen, the supersonic shoes purchased, the iPod and armband acquired. But I neglected to refresh the most important part of an outdoor workout — the music.

So there I was running along looking like I was listening to Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas or something cool, when an earbud suddenly popped out, and the three people jogging past clearly heard the strains of Angela Lansbury singing songs from the original cast album of Mame.

Oh, dear. Well, at least I looked good.

If by chance you’ve arrived for Pride with no more prep than a happy exuberance and a great smile, well, I have a feeling, you might have the right idea.

Happy Pride!