Methinks Maverick doth protest too much. Why else would you file a $100 million-dollar defamation lawsuit against an obscure French magazine for publishing a story that claims--mon dieu!--you "wrestled" with a man?

It can't be the money. You've got plenty of that. And I don't think you need any more publicity. That messy divorce with the missus has given you far more tabloid ink than all the studio-fueled buildup for Far and Away, Days of Thunder and Eyes Wide Shut combined.

It must be something else. Could it be that you actually, gulp, are straight?

I don't think you've always been a full- fledged het. I hold true to the belief (OK, maybe it's more of a wish) that you once had cock tales before Cocktail. But that was probably long before you became Mr. All the Right Moves. Am I right? I know I'm right! I also know that, if I were you, I would seriously do everything in my power to squelch people talking about my so-called "deviant" sexuality--especially if I were getting paid 20 million buckeroos each time I showed up to work.

Yeah, Mr. All-American, I think you just might be who/what you say you are.

A new study seems to support this way-too-controversial theory of "conversion." According to Columbia University psychiatry professor Dr. Robert Spitzer, homosexuals can change. For his report, Dr. Evil--oops, I mean Dr. Spitzer--conducted interviews with 200 people who sought to change their sexual orientation. His conclusion shows that "the subjects' self-reports of change appear, by and large, to be valid, rather than gross exaggerations, brain-washing, or wishful thinking."

Sounds just like you, Tom.

Of course, the sad and true fact is that organizations that provide "willing participants" to studies like these are already in the biz of "brainwashing," a.k.a. providing religious support and counsel to men and women who are unhappy with their sexual orientation.

Tom, these are the bad guys.

And you're a bad guy too.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure you out. Plain and simple: Fame is your bitch. You don't need men. And I guess now you don't need women. But what's going to happen when that cute butt of yours starts to sag? I'd hate to see you on the Playboy Channel trying to prove your manhood.

Perhaps, Tom, it's time you started acting like a "real" movie star. May I suggest Marlon Brando? When asked if he ever did it with a dude, Brando replied: "Like a large number of men, I've had homosexual experiences, and I'm not ashamed. Homosexuality is so much in fashion, it no longer makes news."

And neither should you, Tommy. Shame doesn't really become you.

La Cage Aux Folles

The feathers will fly during this musical treat filled with a kajillion local drag queens as directed by none other than Greg Tamblyn.

Eastside Performance Center, 531 SE 14th Ave., 916-6592. Opens 8 pm Thursday, May 17. $30-$35.
Masquerade Gala

The Coalition Against Hate Crimes and Pride Northwest are slapping on the sequins for a benefit ball that's sure to be a ball.

Alberta Arts Pavilion, 2315 NE Alberta St., 282-7700. 8 pm Saturday, May 19. $20 Donation.

Mr. Nude Portland

Time to get the yardstick out!

208 NW 3rd Ave., 222-5338. 8 pm Sunday, May 20. $10.