Piccolo Spoleto, my favorite time of the year, has once again descended upon the Lowcountry like a mothership. There are so many reasons I look forward to this arty party all year long — the amazing shows, the sold-out performances I get to be a part of, reuniting with the fascinating people I’ve met from past festivals. But the most exciting part? Two words: fresh meat.

I’ve pondered the issue of the “one degree of separation” factor in Charleston before, and how it’s not conducive to the dating scene. So any time an event such as this occurs where “my kind” of people flood the city, I’m like a Eurotrash junkie in Amsterdam. Pay attention ladies — beautiful men are running rampant in our little piece of paradise, exposing their wit and passion unapologetically. And Chucktown boys, here’s a reality check — first of all, not all performers involved with Piccolo are “gay,” and you could probably learn a lesson or two from our guests.

Moving on to a very “gay” analogy, soon enough Dorothy will click her heels together three times and the hotel rates will return to normal as the artists flee downtown like a colorful group of gypsy carny folk in search of the next circus. And many local girls will still be reeling from their three-week flings with the brilliant dancer, or comic, or actor, or painter, or mime (hey, it could happen!). Sure, they’ll trade numbers and promise to keep in touch, but let’s not kid ourselves here. There’s girls like us in every town — pretty, smart, and a sucker for talent.

In all fairness and much to my surprise, I actually know a couple performers who have sustained monogamous long-distance relationships with ladies they’ve met here. But those cases are far and few between, because, let’s face it, performers, especially comedians, are just failed rock stars. And we’ve all seen the preview of that Kid Rock/Scott Stapp sex tape. They’re in a different town every month, being charming and making good impressions on the local girls who are more than happy to show some down-home hospitality. I’m not trying to call them out, but that’s the reality of the situation. If I were in their shoes, I’d probably be the biggest man-whore alive, working my game and bedding a chick in every state.

Am I saying you shouldn’t enjoy the company of these fine visitors? Hell no. Have fun, because after all, it’s a celebration, bitches! With all the wonderful shows and events out there to be experienced, this is just as much a vacation for us as it is for anyone from out of town. Take in the sights, dance with the strangers, and soak up the excitement as much as you can, but just know that at the end of the festival, the streets will clear, the City Paper will go back to its regular thickness, and the artists will end up at the next city on their list. It will all feel like it was just a wonderful dream — and that’s because it was.

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