A recent Queen City transplant, L.A. Berlyn has thrust himself upon the Charlotte scene to become the burg’s self-proclaimed “Digital Media Darling.” The style guru works in the “business of pretty,” as a wardrobe stylist, makeup artist and writer of the popular humor blog, The Handsome Savage. The blog covers topics ranging from online dating to Charlotte nudist groups to colonic irrigation. Berlyn says he hopes to one day become “the first Puerto Rican, Jewish, Lesbian President of the United States,” but admits he will settle for just having a nice dinner with a nice guy. Find out more about this quirky fellow at geewhizzbang.com…or simply read this edition of 20 Questions.
What popular male fashion trend makes you cringe?
I have a personal vendetta against leggings, especially when men wear them. I’m not sure when this trend caught on, but I’ve been spying all sorts of men donning what are essentially pantyhose underneath their shorts. Every time I catch a glimpse of one of these guys, I can’t help but think of Joe Namath in that pantyhose ad. That is not a good look for anyone.
Have you ever shopped at Piggly Wiggly?
I’ve never shopped at a Piggly Wiggly, but growing up in a small town in Virginia, I did all my grocery shopping at the Winn-Dixie store. That’s all we had before Walmart came along. They both have cute names, so they are the same thing, right?
Can you roll your R’s Spanish language style (i.e., burrrrro)?
Why yes I can. I can also do other nifty things with my tongue like tying cherry stems and and finishing a Tootsie Pop in 184 licks (yes, I’ve counted).
If you were sick, would you rather take two large horse pills, swallow a tablespoon of bad-tasting liquid or get a shot in the ass?
I’ve tried medicine that was described as a “palatable, orange flavored vehicle.” It was neither palatable, orange flavored nor a car — so, that’s out of the question. As much as I like flashing my butt, needles go nowhere near it, which is probably why I’ve never tried steroids. Horse pills for the win. I’d rather just swallow.
Have you ever ridden a bicycle built for two?
Yes, I have. I went on a date with a guy who thought it would be cute. I tried to be a good sport during the whole thing, but eventually gave up peddling and let him do all the work. What can I say? I don’t even buy deodorant with “sport” or “active” in its name. I’m just not that type of guy.
What’s your favorite Kool-Aid flavor?
It would have to be purple. I know it’s supposed to be grape, but we all know it just tastes like purple.
Which family would you rather be part of: The Addams Family, The Munsters or The Kardashians?
The Addams Family, hands down. Creepy and kooky are two adjectives that sum me up. Plus, the Addams family was the most sincere, loving family portrayed on TV. Sure, they weren’t the norm, but look at how close and supportive they were.
Are you double jointed anywhere?
I am quite, well, bendy. When other kids dreamed of being doctors and lawyers, I wanted to be a contortionist. I can put my legs behind my head. I can do this disgusting thing where I pop my shoulders out of place. I can also fold myself up and squeeze myself into really tight places.
If you could shapeshift into any one animal form, which would it be?
You know, I’d like to shapeshift into a bird. Who wouldn’t want to just take off and fly around, pooping on cars and people you’re not that fond of?
How do these films rank based on the number of times you’ve seen them: “Rocky,”“Rocky II,”“Rocky III,””Rocky IV”?
I wish I could say I was butch enough to even consider watching a Rocky film. There’s something that disturbs me about Sylvester Stallone. I’m not sure if it’s his mumbling or the fact that he looks like he’s made of leftover pieces of Mickey Rourke.
Do you own a colander?
Yes. My roommate is a trained chef, so I think she has several floating around in that room where you’re supposed to cook stuff. I forget the name of it, because I never go in there. The kitchen, that’s it.
Can you think of a better use of the “closed-cell resin material” that’s used to make Crocs?
Let’s just chop up all the Crocs ever made and use them as a sustainable mulch for children’s playgrounds. You know, nowadays, we’ve got to protect their soft little noggins from hitting the poured concrete of my childhood playground days.
Have you ever ruined a bed sheet with a lubricant stain?
Yes, I have, but who knew WD40 could squirt several feet across a room when you’re trying to make a door stop creaking? Oh, wait. That kind of lube. Yes. Yes, I have.
If they hadn’t become iconic gay pop stars, what would the following men have done for a living: Boy George, Elton John, George Michael, Sylvester?
Boy George would have been a drag queen, no doubt. George Michael would probably have been a rent boy. I could see Elton John being a hairdresser, but definitely not a dentist. As for Sylvester? I’d say he’d be a great Walmart employee. Pass him those leggings, gentlemen.
Which do you own more of, books or pairs of shoes?
I’m addicted to both, really. All in total though, I have more books than shoes. I’d say we have a good 200 books floating around my condo, but only around 40 pairs of shoes. I tend to keep books longer than shoes.
Grits, oatmeal or cream of wheat?
It would have to be plain oatmeal mixed with a little peanut butter, chocolate syrup and a whole lot of sugar. Breakfast of champions, indeed. The texture of grits and Cream of Wheat turn me off. It’s like eating wet sand.
As a child, would you have more enjoyed an afternoon spent coloring, playing kickball or catching salamanders in a creek?
I was a very hyperactive child, so all three would’ve appealed to me. In fact, I would have done all three within an hour. Then, I would’ve taken the salamanders and dropped them down a friend’s pants. Yes, I was that kid.
What is your all-time favorite newspaper comic strip?
It would have to be “Calvin and Hobbes.” I can completely relate to a slightly deranged, hyper, over-imaginative child with an imaginary friend.
Can you sew beyond re-attaching a button?
Yes, I can. I went to college for fashion design. I’ve made several garments, some home goods and even those fancy handbags my roommate carries around. I’m also a little nugget, so I find myself altering my clothes to fit me…a lot.
Who wins your most stylish man and most stylish woman award among current celebs?
My guy choice is Simon Doonan. I love a guy who wears punchy colors and loud prints. He’s just so fey and I love it. Now for the ladies, definitely not Lady Gaga. Let’s go with Kate Middleton. She’s the epitome of the three important Fashion Cs: Class, Color and Cut. Man, I love those Brits! : :