The Honey Combs
Father, Son, and Grandfather are starring on a very special reality show.
Will they ever be the same?
“Ok, flash that gorgeous smile babe. SEXY! You were born to be this beautiful”
Heh – I was a born Ethan Combs, a fourth generation chicken farmer on the great American Plains. My dad Jon still manages the operations, and it’s my job to sell our poultry to food distributors and despite the pressure of this economy, we do alright for two reasons. One, Pop has “the gift” for raising tasty chickens, and two, I can sell Combs Chicken to any buyer. I think I must come by this naturally, being great at sales. I think I’m a great storyteller – probably should have gone in writing books or films. I love good cinema. Yea, I could give those guys in Hollywood a run for their money. Ethan Spielberg – no wait, Ethan de Mille. I guess that’s one of my fantasies.
What I’m not good at? Well, marriage for one, mine lasted six years and I haven’t kept a relationship longer than a year since then. I think this has hurt my relationship with my only son, Ash. His dad is on the road a lot, and I’m missed my share of birthdays, etc. Luckily, he’s very close to his Gramps, and he’s the perfect successor to running the farm when Pop decides to retire – which is NEVER. The old man will die a chicken farmer.
And the one thing we agree on is that Ash needs to get out of this family business. That’s why he’s East at college. But when he’s home this summer, and he sees that Pop is more tired than ever, and that the productivity is down 20%, he’s going to insist that he’s not going back to school. Over my dead body – so I have to “sell” him again, but the thing is – he knows what I’m going to say before I say it.
So – I know you are wondering why I look like I do. I’m all man, believe me – but yes, here I am in a dress – low cut – with the appearance of cleavage. I’ve always worn my hair in a normal cut, but today I have long brown hair. I usually have some chin stubble and a hairy arm and chest – but today I’m as smooth as a girl. A woman to be exact. The only non-womanly thing about me right now is my manhood – buried in a silky panty. It’s surprisingly comfortable.
I am feeling a little chilly in this studio wearing this silky dress with my arms, legs, and (gulp) chest uncovered. And like I said, I’ve never ever felt anything but a straight guy. No drag queen here! But I was approached by this fellow, Marshall Crowe. He said he represented a production company, Prism Films, that was developing a reality TV series for the TGT Network. And they wanted to find a man who they could transform though makeup and clothing into a pretty woman. I guess I am that man –or that woman. It’s a little confusing right now.
We talked in this bar where I was staying courting grocery buyers in California. Over some whiskey, I shared my company, my family, and my life. Then he sprung this crazy idea. And I – accepted!
But there was a catch – two of them – and I had to put my sales skills to work like never before!
Scene 2:ASHTON'S ANGLE
I assumed that when Dad said, “family meeting,” it was when he and Pops were going to double team me about going back to Rothfield U, and I was dead set against it. Someone needs to be ready when Pops is too old to continue, although that may be a while. And how’s Dad going to stop me, when he’s chasing accounts in Phoenix or a new girlfriend in Minneapolis?
I definitely wasn’t expecting him to tell me that he was going to star on a TV show. He had to show us the contract and sure enough, it said, “$1 million for 16 episodes, plus promotional appearances, photo shoots, plus residuals.” And then…
“You have to dress in women’s clothes? Oh, really. Dress in women’s clothes, wear makeup, and live in a house in Southern California as a lady? Pops! I think he’s finally cracked under the pressure!”
“Now Ash, he’s still your father so you have to respect his wishes. Although based on this proposal Ethan, the boy will have to start calling you Mother. He’s a little old to start calling you Mummy, isn’t he?,” my grandfather chuckled.
“Funny you should say that Pops,” Dad said. Ah here comes the Salesman. “The show will tentatively be called “Honey Combs” – because they plan on having two other girls in the house with me.” Pops examined the contracts Dad handed us. “A million for each of us? I guess that’s why they call it LA-LA land. They must not realize there’s a recession in this country.”
I was livid. “Oh HELL no. No amount of money will ever get me in a dress. Dad, how can you even suggest that Pops and I would ever follow you into this madness? I think years on the road has finally gotten to you.”
“Ash, $3 million will make men do crazier things. Think about it, we’re spending our savings on your college – and you WILL get your degree. Now, you know that Pops isn’t getting younger, and I know that we’ve talked about selling but the big farms want to buy us for a song. Screw em. We can take these contracts and then sell a minority share to the Paulsons across state. They’ll uphold our family values and keep the crew employed, and we can use our new wealth to start new lives. Dad?”“2 things, guys. Ash – you are going to get a degree and that’s that. And I am getting tired of the long Midwest winters. If I have to wear a bar for a year to set me and my family up right for the rest of our lives, it’s something I can do. Besides, after Doris died, I’ve made you both thousands of meals and did all your laundry. I may be overqualified to be a little homemaker,” Pops chuckled.
Well – I was the last to consent and we signed the contracts. Flash forward a month later, and here I am smiling with ruby red lips, wearing mascara, blush, and my hair extensions blowing to show off these cute hoop earrings. I now go by Ari, and I’m wearing this sundress that matches my lip color.
And yes, I’m wearing lingerie – but I’m not the only one here playing a new role…
Scene 3:JONATHAN'S STORY
After that fateful morning when the guys and I discussed our future, my doctor suggested that after 50 years of raising chickens, I was definitely going to need a change of pace or I wouldn’t see 60. “In addition to your body being broken down by all those 20 hour days, you have been exposed to that treated chicken feed. Some others who have been exposed to that develop female hormones in their bodies. You might wake up one day with soft breast tissue – or failing male response.” In other words – sounds like working with hens may just turn you into one. Not that I ever felt like the cock of the walk – pardon my French.
We Combs boys were always short and lean with pleasant faces. After Doris died – can’t believe it’s been 10 years now – I never cared to seek another woman’s company. I was married to my farm. Ethan will tell you he’s a ladies’ man – never saw in himself what others saw. He has it in him to be more refined. And Ash is so smart, but he’s very shy. We’d hoped that college away would build his confidence with girls. Oh well, that’s moot for the next year.
At least at this photo shoot, I was given this nice sweater to put over my dress. My poor “daughter” and “granddaughter” were showing so much skin. Even I was shocked at wearing something so low cut and provocative. “Jeanie” was pretty foxy for an older gal. I guess 60 is the new 40 – or is it 30?
Elly smirked as we returned to our trailer. “From chickens to chicks! Who knew?” Ari rolled her eyes. “Ha-ha funny. I feel like such a fool!” I smiled, “Well, if you’re a fool, dear, you’re in good company. I’m amazed. Nobody outside this studio lot would guess that we are guys underneath. This experience is very eye opening. Don’t you both agree?”
Ari shrugged her shoulders, “I guess you’re right Pops. I mean – wait, you don’t seem much like a Granny to me. Can – can I call you, GG, would that be alright,” she said timidly. GG was little Ash’s name for Doris; he was only 8 when she left us. I struggled to respond, as memories long suppressed came forward. “I wonder – what she thinks of us, sniffed Elly. I motioned for my girls to come together, and we embraced each other for what seemed like hours.
“No doubt,” I whispered through my tears, “She would tell us how pretty we look, and how much she enjoys seeing us together like this. How long has it been since her family expressed their love for each other?” “Too long,” gasped Elly. “I think when we get back to the Mansion, we girls should go shopping, then put on our aprons, and do some baking together. Kind of tribute to that sweet old lady we all love so much. Mom, Ari, how does that sound?”
“Oh Mom, that’s a great idea,” laughed my granddaughter. “But Mom, have you actually cooked? If not, then GG needs to teach both of us to cook and clean, before we leave the house and get married.” “Yes, honey, and like any mother, I have to teach how on how to handle your husband on your honeymoon.” The three of us howled hysterically – but what was really funny was how much we all that to learn about posing as women…