Goodbye, Norma Jean (Limbaugh)
I sit on the porch in Rehoboth, speechless and slack jawed that Sir Elton John would sing to—and for—Sir Nasty Limbaugh at his fourth wedding. I need a drink. Who was more out of line—Limbaugh for asking or John for accepting? So I asked with a snarling tone if anyone thought Elton had rewritten “Candle in the Wind” as he’d done for Lady Di. Without missing a beat, my friend Patrick said, “Maybe the third Mrs. Limbaugh was named Norma Jean and he didn’t have to.” I fell off the porch! What a dream sequence. There’s Elton up front in the church, bidding adieu to number three before the “I do” can be said to number four.
Goodbye Norma Jean
though we never knew you at all...
The third wife is out! And waiting in the back of the church—yes they had the audacity—is the glowing 33 year old (26 years his junior) fourth lady in waiting, Kathryn Rogers. How neat and tidy. With three exes, and Elton not asking why—it was a good enough bet that maybe, just maybe, number three would luckily actually be named Norma Jean. And if that got played out into its logical vignette, Norma Jean would show up at the reception and Sir Elton could, roll right into “The Bitch is Back.” After all, because of Elton, we all know Saturday Night’s All Right (for fighting). Bring it on.
But, alas, we learn by Google research that number three was named Marta Miranda—which is almost better. Am I the only one picturing fruit on her head? Meanwhile at her lovely ceremony, at which Justice Clarence Thomas officiated, no one read Marta her Miranda rights (you have the right to remain silent, marry a right wing nut, get dumped, and join the other two on the trash heap). Sure enough, she joined Michele Sixta-Limbaugh and Roxie Maxine-Limbaugh in the first wives club that is sprouting chapters across the country. Yes, Rush is the king of brides. Not to mention prejudice. And while he forgot his three wives, let’s never forget his many prejudices. Let’s just, for a a moment, remember his stance on one-man-one (ok-4) women.
When you’re defending four marriages from the godless homosexuals, it’s trench warfare! So spouses for Rush are quad. Queers, zero. But you can invite one to your wedding to perform and he’ll...he’ll...he’ll...sorry this is hard to write…accept. In a market driven economy, a hate driven homophobe books a Knighted Homo for $1,000,000. It’s a lovely country we live in. Now questioning the patron saint of sissies is risky business and I’m willing to speak truth to power. Elton had clothes in common with Gianni Versace and bulimia in common with Lady Di. Besides addiction, what does he have in common with nasty man? Elton has auctioned his cars, his clothes, and donated (not to mention lost) millions of pounds. Why then would he honor the man who hurts us and flaunts a fourth marriage when we are in the fight for our lives for marriage equality? Why?
My dear friend Patrick, who is the inspiration for this column and so much in my life, married Howard, his partner of 31 years, just last month. In a small intimate ceremony attended by family and close friends, two men who’ve waited 31 years together to become legal, became legally wed. The rabbi said what so many of us were thinking: we only wish that their parents had been able to be with us. When policy makers deny basic civil rights for this long a duration, the by-product is that you end up with four funerals and a wedding, instead of the reverse in the popular movie.
We still don’t know what Sir Elton John sang to Sir Wacko “Wed Better” but here are the lyrics from Stephen Sondheim that Patrick and Howard chose for the wedding:
And if they try to say it’s a thing we’ll outgrow
they’re jealous as they can be.
That with so many people in the world
you love me.
Count ‘em Rush. One man. One man. 31 years.
As for you Sir Elton, I worry very much that your lyrics “and I think it’s gonna be a long long time...” will dog us for decades because of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. Tune your piano: “Sorry seems to be the hardest word...”
Brent Mundt resides in Washington, DC but lives in Rehoboth Beach.