The Flamer

A month ago, I had a temporary job with a production company. I wish I could share the specifics of that experience because it yielded some hilarious stories, but a confidentiality agreement prevents me from doing so. Fortunately, I can share a tale that is inconsequential to the production itself.

During the shoot, someone from the crew had a birthday. To celebrate, craft services baked a cake. Busy with work, I missed the singing and cutting of the cake, which I regretted not because I couldn't support Simon* - I didn't even know Simon - but because I wanted a piece of cake.

Fortunately, my interminably peppy coworker Alana* waltzed into the room I was stationed in with several plates of cake. "Who wants caaaakkkeee?!" Alana announced in a singsong voice. Several of us eagerly reached for the plates; the cake was marbled with such bright colors that it appeared to be tye-dyed.

"It's pretty," someone commented. "Yeah!" Alana responded proudly. "Rob* said it's a rainbow cake because Simon's a big flamer!"

Instantaneously, the crowd went silent, except for some awkward laughter and an exasperated coworker saying, "Alana!" Realizing she made a faux pas of some sort, Alana asked, "What? What did I do? What did I say?"

The most offended coworker stepped in to explain that "flamer" was a derogatory term for a gay man. Alana's eyes went wide and she covered her mouth. "Why would he say that to me then?" "He probably didn't think you'd repeat it to a whole room of people," the coworker countered.

"I didn't know!" Alana said innocently. "I thought flamer meant he did stuff with fire behind-the-scenes." She paused and reflected. "We have a lot of flamers here, don't we?... Oh, wait, I'm not supposed to say that!"

Happy belated birthday, Simon. Good luck with the pyrotechnics.

And because I live to post parallel Arrested Development clips these days:

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