“I LOVE YOU, DAD” HEARING AID COMMERCIAL. THE TRUE STORY OF A GAY LOVE THAT HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT. WHAT?
Read about the writer here: Davy D Matt
What started out as your run-of-the-mill, Saturday night male prostitute pickup on Santa Monica Boulevard, has morphed into a hearing aid bonanza for the June/December romance of a partially deaf old man and a hunky, young, out-of-work electronics engineer.
Last night, at a less than lavish, poolside banquet, basking in the millions of dollars they’ve made from their hearing aid commercial, Perry Lordy, age 83, the deaf guy, was toasted by his young companion Trent Natas, age 34, with an extra special, “I love you dad,” clink of the glass in honor of their fourth anniversary.
“I try not to think about the bad times, but, I mean, if you go back to 2015, I was broke and out of work and I needed money. I was lean and hungry, but more than hungry, I was angry,” said the curly-haired Trent who stands a solid six feet high.
“I was walking along in the dark near the cemetery where all the old movie stars are buried, I forget the name, and this car pulls up. It was one of those big cars that old people drive, people with those huge wrap-around cataract sunglasses, Something like a Crown Victoria or something I’m not sure…“
Trent’s story gets interrupted when Perry, watching our interview from the opposite side of the the swimming pool they built behind their ten-million dollar mansion in Encino, calls out,
“The cemetery is called Hollywood Forever, Trent. Used to be Hollywood Memorial, and the car I was driving was a a Buick LaCrosse – a 2001. How could you forget that? No cataracts here, honey. It’s where we had our first kiss.”
Trent seems annoyed by the interruption.
“Now he (Perry) thinks he’s hot stuff because he can hear,” huffs Trent.
“When I met him I had to scream my answers to his questions. He asked me how much I wanted to go home and sleep with him. I don’t remember exactly what I said because I wasn’t streetwise…“
Perry pipes up again, “You said you wanted two-hundred, three-hundred, one-thousand, two thousand, three thousand… whatever you could get.”
Again, Trent reacted almost angrily — on the edge of frustration or temper.
“How do you remember what I said? Dammit, Perry.
That was strange. Trent seemed to anger and soften too quickly. A moment later they both smiled at each from across the pool and the conversation continued politely. Then, when Trent said, “I love you.” Perry smiled and said, “What?”
“I said…I said, I love you… dad,” replied the former electronics engineer who was born in to Greek parents in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Satisfied with the answer, Perry smiled again and went back to gabbing with some older women and a handful of rotund, old gay guys. They were going on and on about Ethel Merman and Patty Duke and some woman named Helen Lawson and a pantsuit from a movie. It was all a distant hum to me. For a moment, I thought I needed a hearing aid.
But why did Trent add the “dad” part, and why the long hesitation? “I love you……………….dad.” It was eerily unlike the commercial that made them multimillionaires because in real life the “dad” part seemed gritty or forced. Perry, by the way, is from Tulsa.
“I’m the one being interviewed, dad. You were stone cold deaf. You couldn’t hear me when I quoted a price so I kept upping the ante. It seemed like the smart thing to do, dad.”
Strange thing about Perry, in spite of the “hunky-hustler-lives-with-fat-old- sugar-daddy” family-friendly hominess of it all, his recitation of Trent’s price quotes were delivered with what seemed to be an evil or venomous hiss — especially the “whatever you could get” part. What was that about?
After some fancy wines and cheeses, and with Trent in tow, I worked my way through the small poolside crowd and sat down beside Perry.
He’s kind of fat in an old man sort of way. Smells like Polo or Brut or Aramis – stuff my father wore. I don’t know the difference. His red sweater and sparkly blue eyes come at you like Santa Claus with a fistful of twenties. You’d never guess he was newly rich. That’s a good thing. That was my impression as we spoke. He seemed nice, like the kind of guy who would play the piano at The Monster or Marie’s Crisis.
You couldn’t tell Perry grew up dirt poor and stayed low-income well into his late seventies. There was no way to know that he’d been a rodeo clown for over fifty years until he needed a new hip. Perry was living his life like an old-school widow working retail in a Los Angeles mall to make ends meet until the day he met Trent and all of that changed.
Suddenly, it dawned on me. I had missed it, but now I was sure. It became patently obvious that Perry is actually a bitch. A hard, cold, steely bitch. Trent knows that about Perry too, but I didn’t need Trent’s help figuring it out. This isn’t my first rodeo clown, folks.
“Look at his eyes,” Trent said, as he cuddled in Perry’s ample lap and pointed at the old wrinkled-red face. “Did you ever see such little eyes in your life? If they weren’t twinkly and blue, they’d be creepy. He has eyes like little kids draw in art class with the facial features all out of proportion.”
Then they made a bunch of “proportion” and “size” jokes. Perry’s gaggle of ladies and old queens giggled at the bawdy humor. You could predict the jokes if you were in a coma, but I only had an hour to get this story done, so I pressed and asked about the hearing aid score.
“Oh that old thing,” Perry said. “Well, I was always an amateur inventor. A tinkerer I guess you could say. Now, when I say ‘tinkerer’ I am not talking about those Irish gypsies who put fake asphalt on your driveway or anything like that, but I made stuff. I never knew how to market it or patent it or even buld it. I’m not much of a businessman either, but I figured that if I came to Los Angeles, I would have more opportunities at age sixty-nine (at the time) than I’d ever had at twenty-one or thirty-one in Tulsa and Wichita. I had an idea for a hearing aid because that’s always been my thing. I’d been partially deaf since a bull rammed me at the Wyoming State Fair in Laramie. Now a bull is still ramming me, but I can hear him coming,”
I predicted the bull-ramming-me joke microseconds before it came, but again, there was something really sinister about Perry. He was like a flowery show tune Dr. Evil, whereas Trent. despite his vigorously handsome face and figure, started to look like a helpless prisoner. Something wasn’t right about this. Should I have intervened? Called the police? I didn’t and I won’t. It’s their party.
In a nutshell, Perry had an idea for a hearing aid but he had no tech skills. Trent had those skills but he was supporting himself as a part time handyman and male hustler. The two guys met, made the hearing aid, got a TV commercial – and now they’re worth about 20 million – 30 million – 40 million – 50 million. Whatever they can get! Not bad, eh?
As I left the poolside party, I said to Perry, “It was great meeting you.”
Perry replied, “What?”
I repeated, “It was great meeting you.”
Trent pulled me aside angrily with a sinister grip. He pushed his nose against mine with fire in his eyes and said, “Dad heard you the first time, punk. He just wanted to hear it again,”
I smiled uneasily and nodded. As I backed away towards the gate, I again told the loving couple that I had to go and catch my plane back to New York.
Perry looked at me with his twinkling eye slits and said, “You’re not GOING anywhere, dearie.”
When I asked why, Trent walked off murmuring. “Okay, I’ll prepare a room for him…..dad! “