SUCKER!

Times are good: Theres one born every 54 seconds!

Perhaps you are one of those sweet innocents who were born yesterday. You get taken by the carnies at the Orange County Fair—all of whom, oddly, have clean hair and mouths full of teeth. You're a soft touch for the magazine sellers who come to your door, trying to rack up enough points to get off the streets. And you love—love!—time-share presentations. A free trip to Catalina? For you?

Okay, so I have approximately 83 magazine subscriptions, and the carnies plying the games at the fair divested me of $40 in 20 minutes (I actually fell for the three-games-for-$5 over and over again). But when it comes to time-shares, who's the sucker?

There are pros who go up and down the state to enter wet-T-shirt and bikini contests. And there are pros who go up and down the state in search of time-share presentations and the "rewards" they offer just for attending. I am one of those pros.

Last time I went to a time-share presentation, I brought home a CD player for Commie Mom; this time, I got a one-night stay in Catalina for my best friend, Greg the Fireman, and Annie, His Special Lady. I like to get gifts for people this way because rather than just buying something for them, I've earned something for them. Saying no to a time-share presentation is hard work! So I cruised down to Grand Pacific Palisades—overlooking the prohibitively expensive Legoland—for what was billed as a two-hour tour. I stopped at the bar to fortify myself with a scotch and soda and shyly ignore the handsome and personable barkeep, who was flipping bottles like Tom Cruisein Cocktail, but dropping them.

"You know what the answer is?" he asked me in hushed tones when I revealed the purpose of my visit. "The answer is 'no.'"

I'd found a friend: Handsome and his ex-girlfriend were frequent time-share presentees, reaping trips to Lake Tahoe for staying firm through the hard-sell and coming through unscathed. Whatever you do, don't take your checkbook.

When we gathered amid the cotton rinunculas (complete with fake water in their vases) for our happy video (narrated by an apparently hard-up Corbin Bernsen; he's balding!), it became apparent that I was the only mercenary. Denise, the plump and zitty girl of my own age who I had assumed was also there to bilk the time-share folks? She's already a "vacation owner" in two time-shares, with costs starting at $40,000.

Gerry, my guide through the resort, quickly sensed my firmness and declined to even bother to try to change my mind. "You might want to keep in mind, next time you go to one of these with no intention of buying anything," he said mildly before we parted, "that we work on commission here." I felt moderately terrible; I was taking the food from his table! I must be about due for a subscription to Highlights.

Is there a CoolGrrrl in the house? I dragged a carload of Libertarians from the Shadow Convention cocktail reception in Santa Monica to Hollywood to catch up with metalicious grrl-about-OC Barbie and her global counterparts at the CoolGrrrls party at the dark and dank Goldfingers on Aug. 10. CoolGrrrls (www.CoolGrrls. com) are cool girls in different spots around the world who go to lots of clubs and parties and stuff and then write about it for you, the reader. What a silly idea!

We left before the terrifying Texas Terri threw one of her legendary fits; apparently, it is impossible to just ask the sound guy to turn up the monitors. That is not punk rock! But we did become acquainted with the mesmerizing nipple of the singer from Venus Envy. Brain.com editor (and OC Metro writer) Kedric Francis was the first to notice the saucy nipple creeping up from the singer's bra to say hey to the crowd; by the end of the set, it was all anyone was talking about—the nipple that ate people's brains! Outside, OC-based rock chick Barbara Ann was milling about, putting her equipment away while people avoided talking to her so they wouldn't have to mention that she's tuneless and tinny—in a bad way (go ahead! Download her MP3!). But she sure is skinny and cute! You can see her at Linda's Doll Hut in September.

Price's Fabulous Foothill is soon to be neither. Owner Ron Price—grandson of Bonnie, who founded the place as a honky-tonk in the 1940s—wants to "spend more time flying" his airplanes, so he has sold the venerable and much-loved club (Patsy Cline and The Man in Black used to play there) to a salsa outfit. What will become of Hank, the Mean Old Bartender? The countdown is on.

Aug. 11 and 12 saw Kill the Internet, a launch party for CornerstoneRAS.com and LasRebels.com hosted by parent entity Skunk Records. Outside, sizzling Barbecue Motherfucker Jeff Walker fed ribs to the masses; inside, dreamy Bert Ziggen and an all-star band, featuring The Ziggens' merch dude and the producer of a couple of Ziggens albums, laid down tasty covers of "867-5309" and "No Woman, No Cry" while a bunch of knuckleheads moshed gracelessly at the front, getting right in the bands' faces and making the clever Devil hand sign. Why? Because they love the Bert Ziggen! Other people played, too (Corn Doggy Dogg, Mike Watt, Bob Schaffer and other legends), but none was as doughily gorgeous as Bert. Despite the knuckleheads and the metal-detector wand at the front door (security was bracing for a lot of love in the air), things stayed low-key. At last report, Doorguy-to-the-Stars Mikey Myer (who has seen more errant electricity than a Texas death chamber; for some reason, microphones only become ungrounded when he's around) didn't have to stomp on anyone, and neither did Deanna, the award-winning bartender (ask her to make you the big, fancy, purple drink that won her the prize in her native Australia).

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