I wasn’t at JournalCon. Enjoy the JournalCon-free writing. Here we go.
I’ve got a list of things that I have been wanting to write about sitting next to my monitor. It reads like this:
- Girls B. B. Interview
- Burlesque Show
- AIDS Walk
- Pussy Wagon
- Mystic River
So here we go.
Girls BB Interview
So a couple of months ago I had an interview to be on the writing staff of a certain female practical joke show. I had to wait about twenty minutes before they called me in, and I was sitting in the main lobby with people who were auditioning to be the host of some kind of girl game show. All of the people auditioning were seriously hot chicks — and this one guy. And the one guy, he felt a little awkward, and was cursing his agent for sending him here. We got to talking about Why Girls Are Weird for some reason — (I now remember that the book hadn’t come out yet, so this must have been in June or something) — and he was shocked that someone who wrote a book needed a job at all. I tried to help him turn his button-down into a belly shirt so he looked more like his competition.
When I got up to meet the producers, they had a large dog in their office. The dog’s nose went right for my crotch, where it hung out while I was trying to introduce myself and give my basic pitch. “Am I on one of your segments?” I finally asked after the fifth time I pushed the my-sized dog away from my legs.
These men just didn’t find me very funny. I don’t know. I told them about the Anne Heche monologues, and we talked about the book, and then they asked if I had any great prank ideas. Now the show’s in its fourth season or whatever, and I certainly haven’t seen all of the episodes, so I didn’t want to run the risk of pitching a segment they’ve already run. So I launch into the fish story, usually quite the winner of a story.
Crickets. Crickets and that mouth-half-open/eyes-kinda-squinted face that people give you when you’re making a total ass of yourself.
“And Vince… because of the fish… he drove away, but since he wasn’t on the phone I heard him all, “Mmdid moo just put those fmish behindm mmmy tiresss?” And man, that was so funny.”
“Yeah, I see that.”
“Oh, man. So funny.”
“My mom laughed, just from me telling the story, and she hadn’t even met Anna Beth.”
When in doubt, always bring up how your mom thinks you’re funny. Works every time.
Driving home I almost got sideswiped by Jake Busey. Now that’s terror.
Often after these audition/interviews, I wish there was that little title at the bottom of my life screen, like on The IT Factor, that goes “Pam did not get the job.” Makes me laugh every time.
When Jeff was in town, we were all getting together to celebrate Hilary’s birthday. And we were celebrating it at a place called Masker’s Cabaret, which I kept remembering as Marauder’s Cabaret. Turns out the latter was more appropriate, as these people raped our eyes and pillaged our wallets.
I’m telling you about it so that you don’t accidentally go to this place. Please, if you’re going to see dancing girls, go to 40 Deuces, where the girls are pretty and can shake it like a Polaroid picture. This place was like watching some strange high school talent show.
It started bad, and went worse. It started with an (admittedly) horrible comedian, dressed like the bad comic from Flashdance. People, if you’re staring down a Hawaiian t-shirt, and his first joke is about getting leid, get your ass out of those thirty dollar seats and walk down to St. Nicks and ask someone to box you about the ears. It will be much more enjoyable than the two hours you’re about to sit in front of.
The star of the show was a woman who had a serious case of Manson Lamps, and a frozen grin that made us terrified. She’d look right over our heads, grin stretched across her teeth, and she’d kind of sort of shake and dance.
Every girl would end her song with a quick flash of her pastie-covered boobs. Sometimes the song would run out before she finished taking her clothes off, so the girl would jam her hands into her top, scoop out her boobs and show them before tromping off the stage. One girl got nervous and decided not to show us her breasts. She faced the wall and got disoriented, not being able to find the curtain. She kept groping the curtain in front of her that hid a brick wall, as the audience screamed, “To the left! To the left!” Then one of us shouted, “Straight ahead!”
Did I mention we began heckling? We did. There was no other way to handle the madness. When Schecky asked us, “Do any of you know how long Burlesque has been around?” stee shouted, “About three hours!”
Jeff, Brian and I were sitting in the direct spotlight, and when we moved our shadows would show up on the girls. Jeff entertained us all by having his shadow hand feel up the girls.
One girl, dressed as our Asian Fantasy, wore a long ponytail. I’m not making the next sentence up: she had Sharpied a widow’s peak on her forehead. If we ever meet in person, ask me to do the “drawing the Sharpie widow’s peak” sound effect. It cracks me up. Anyway, in the middle of this girl’s fan dance she decides to whip her head around to make her ponytail spin. This is when her wig fell off.
Can we have a moment of silence for that, please?
So the girl held her hand to her scalp, pressing the wig to her head as she finished a one-handed bra-drop and then ran off the stage.
Then there were skits. These pieces of “comedy” that had no beginning, middle or ending, nor did they make any sense. And at one point they pulled out their scripts and tried to figure out what the next line was supposed to be. I’ve never heard a room filled with people be so silent. And as I looked around at all of my friends and saw the politely dying smiles plastered to their faces, I completely lost it.
I was bent over laughing a donkey laugh that I’m so glad wasn’t caught on tape. Everybody looked so horrified, but was grinning like they were pretending they weren’t looking at someone’s ugly baby. Oh, man. Frank’s happy polite face was funny, because he was trying to hide his horror behind his clasped hands, but I know he was thinking about how his girlfriend completely lucked out by deciding not to spend the cash on the show. I know he was wishing he could pull a Freaky Friday right then and there and force her to watch this instead.
And poor A.K., who loves naked women more than Howard Stern, was sitting just about on the stage and couldn’t have a worse seat in the house. There was no escape from the badness. He tried to keep his head facing a direction where he could easily avert his eyes, but there was no way.
And poor Jeff who was trapped between our two large tables, stuck facing forward. And Brian, who was stuck in the spotlight, and stee, who turned down an offer to be at 40 Deuces at that very moment…
I couldn’t stop laughing for about three minutes, the length of the skit that made no sense at all, that involved a boxer and a shiek, and the entire bar was looking at me, wondering what was going on with that girl who might be having an asthma attack.
It wasn’t pretty.
So we did it. It was hot. We had fun. There aren’t a lot of stories to tell about walking in a circle in Hollywood, but I did try to get the Atheists United team to rumble with the Scientologists. Jeff enjoyed the way I did it, walking up to the front of the Atheists team, up to their leader, putting my hands on my hips and sounding not unlike a Dennis the Menace when I said, “Aren’cha gonna rumble with the Dianetics guys? I came here to see a fight!”
My favorite part was how we were rather close to the front of the starting line, with a huge wave of people that began walking while Liza Minelli’s sister sang that Jerry Lewis song from Carousel (and right there, that’s how you know I’m not actually a gay man. I’ve made a few of them fall out of their chairs right then. When she was singing (Lorna Doone? Lisa Luff? I don’t know.) I saw how many of the people were mouthing all the words, including Alex. “What the hell is this?” I asked him. He gave me a squinty-eye before taking the high road: “I love this song,” he said. And then LizaLoo/Lucy/Leeza sang the words “You’ll never walk alone!” and I was like, “Oh! Jerry Lewis!” and then they almost didn’t let me do the AIDS Walk) — anyway, when she was singing that’s when they opened the gates and let us go. And after being crushed with a hundred thousand people craning their necks to see one inch of Eric McCormack and Nia Vardalos, the feel of people walking, leaving your body, moving forward — gave me the chills. I was all choked up by Looza’s song, chills overcame my body, and we walked, not alone, but with purpose…
…right into the Coffee Bean on the corner of Santa Monica and San Vincente. What? You totally would too, Judgey.
We spent twenty minutes in line with other members of Team Coffee, and the swarm of people outside never died down. It was an amazing number of people. I can’t seem to find any stats online to brag, but it was quite impressive. There were enough people that by the time we finally passed the one protester, the guy holding a sign saying “Lesbos and Homos Will Die” (we pronounced that first word like the French (Leh-BOH)), he had run out of really good things to shout. Instead he screamed at us, “Anal sex will always lead to problems!” Ain’t that the truth, mister.
When we went to see Kill Bill we did it at High Geek — noon on opening day at the Vista Theater, which is where the opening scene of True Romance was filmed. And we were in a rather large line. I turned to stee and whined, “You know, if I was Quentin Tarantino, and I was unveiling my FOURTH film, or whatever, and there was a huge line outside my noon showing on opening day, at a theatre where one of my movies was set, I’d at least drive by and scream, ‘Thank you’! QT’s an ass.”
Turns out he did just that all day, and then parked the Pussy Wagon right where we were standing. Sorry, QT. You’re awesome.
So Jeff and I ended the AIDS Walk by taking inappropriate pictures against the Pussy Wagon. This ensures I’ll actually develop this roll of film. Man, I miss having a digital camera. Mine broke after Book Tour 2003.
So, yeah. For about two weeks I thought that there were two Clint Eastwood movies. One was that Mystic River film about sadness and Sean Penn screaming, “Is that my daughter!?!” while he I-Am-Sam’s it to the ground. And I kept hearing another one, I assumed was somehow a comedy with Tim Robbins, called Mr. Gruber.
Yeah. Same movie. Some of my friends are mumblers, I guess.
I kinda want to see Mr. Gruber, though. In my head it’s hysterical. And Ellen DeGeneres is in it.
- Devil in the White City. Sort of. It’s for Book Club. And it’s nominated for the National Book Award. But man, is it making me sleepy. How can killing be so boring? (lifeless. probably the better joke.)
- Frisco Pigeon Mambo. Yay, funny bird jokes.