A FEW WEEKS AGO, my husband took me to the Alan Jackson (swoon) concert for my birthday. While I was there, I learned five things as a gay country fan:

1) The fiddle player will always have a nice ass, and the singer will point that out. I've seen everyone from Garth Brooks (hefty ass) to Alan Jackson (skinny butt) to Tim McGraw (beautiful ass) go on and on about how hot their fiddle players are, what big ladies' men they are, and make them turn around to show their butts. Brooks' fiddler was packing much more in front than he was packing in back, but for some reason, Garth didn't point that out.

2) The women will have the weirdest (or highest) hair since the wigs of the 1800s. Dear sweet baby Jesus, I saw some hairdos that would make a salon-slinger weep! Some had height, some had width, all had bad split ends. That isn't to say that all women who go to country concerts are hairspray hellions, but for every five good 'dos, there's one that has a matching cow print hat and purse--looking ever so much like a Gateway computer box. At Alan Jackson, there was even one with a lighted wreath woven into her curls!

3) Since they're not in the parking lots, the men check each other out in the bathroom. You simply can't go into a multiple-urinal bathroom without the other guys there checking out your equipment. Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of no-necks out there who claim they've never scoped the other baloney-ponies at the pissoir, but it happens. So what's that have to do with the parking lot? Well, you see a lot of trucks with big tires in the lots at a country concert, and smart guys (and gals) know that the bigger the tires, the smaller the dick.

4) Blondes have more fun in the front row. At every concert I've been to, the front row was almost exclusively filled by screaming blonde girls. Sure, there's an occasional brunette, and at Alan Jackson there was a grey-haired granny, but I doubt you'll see any squealing boyfriends in front. (They've got to settle for the third row back.)

5) There ain't no homos in country music. Although there are a few openly gay country singers in the business, they haven't gotten terribly far. And references to same-sex love in country music is rarer than a long-term trailer park romance. Ty Herndon may have gotten caught propositioning a male cop for sex in a park, and Terri Clark may have oozed dyke-appeal, but you won't find them wearing pink triangles on their custom country clothes. Good ol' Garth has his "We Shall Be Free" paean to acceptance for all, but he's about the only one. Auctioning off a date with his fiddle player, Alan Jackson did acknowledge the bid of a man sitting in the fifth row bid, but for now, the sheen of country music remains largely hetero--unless, of course, you know where to look.