Forget the Ham, Dirtwoman Sells Holiday "Dirt-Grams" 

click to enlarge street46_dirtwoman_100.jpg

The holidays approach, and let's face it, unique gifts ain't easy to find. Enter Donnie Corker, Richmond's own Dirtwoman with perhaps the most unusual and — if he has his way — sought-after gifts of the season.

Move over Tickle-Me-Elmo and make way for Dirt-Gram.

Corker, by far the city's most notorious transvestite, is betting that nothing will say "I've had too much eggnog" like opening the front door to find 400 pounds of muumuu-clad Corker bearing flowers, chocolates or official court documents.

"I'll do whatever you want me to do," Corker says. "If you want me to go somewhere nekkid, I will. I'll dress in a three-piece bathing suit if you want."

Corker is still working to set pricing for his latest endeavor, again in partnership with longtime pal Gerhard Oevermann of Petersburg.

Oevermann, who owns an Internet marketing business, partnered with Corker in 1993 to produce his cheesecake pinup calendar. The calendar experience could be an indicator of marketability, Oevermann says.

"We sold quite a few of those," says Oevermann, who fielded orders from as far away as the United Kingdom and Mexico. Local sales were also healthy. "We would have policemen coming by in droves — coming by my house for them."

Though better organized this time out, Dirt-Gram is not new: "I sung happy birthday to a lawyer one time on Broad Street," says Corker, who also once popped out of a wedding cake. In both instances his intended targets "passed out."

Corker actually has a few pokers in the fire these days. In addition to mulling a possible run for mayor ("I'll clean up this town," he promises, "clean up the drugs"), Corker is also planning to reprise his annual appearance at this year's food bank fundraiser, Ham-a-Ganza.

The musical holiday freak show, which has in past years included a panoply of Richmond celebrities (and again this year includes Style publisher Jim Wark and photographer Scott Elmquist) in compromising positions, is set for Dec. 9 at Poe's Pub and Dec. 15 at Alley Katz. Tickets to each show are $10 at the door — or a canned, cooked or smoked (no raw) ham. S

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