First things first. I caused a minor kerfuffle when, in my last column, I wrote "If there exist a metaphysical bridge between 'gay' and 'southern' it is Clay Aiken." This was erroneously construed as a slam against The Clay and caused a few folks to venture a guess as to what the hell I meant by that. The statement was not an insult. It was the result of months of exhaustive research that took me on a journey not only to the outer reaches of the cosmos, but into the depths of my very soul.