By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldANNOUNCER: Once again, OC Weekly editor Will Swaim!
SWAIM: You know, I think if our publication performs one valuable service it's showing people how they can have a good time.You know, having a good time isn't as easy as when many of us were young, when all you needed was a Glock, a bodhi bag of Jagrmeister and a dozen or so Erik Estrada action figures—good time, good times. Things are so much more complicated these days. Yet we still believe in pursuing the simple pleasures. Things like the Best Hike in Orange County. That would be the one to Santiago Peak. There's poison oak and the nighttime temperature drops are designed to kill; there are false trails and scrubs that rake your hide. But there's also a view unparalleled in Orange County. Nearly a mile up in the sky, with breathtaking views to downtown LA, Catalina, Riverside County and points south. The Tower of Babel should have been this close to God.
[Ooohs and aaahs.]
SWAIM: And speaking of the Almighty, where in heaven is the Best Gay Bar? Why, Laguna Beach, of course. It's called Woody's at the Beach, and we have absolutely no idea why it's called that. Really. This place used to be Little Shrimp, and it's a relaxed place with cool bartenders and good food. The kind of place both locals and tourists can feel welcome. The kind of place with killer views.
[Ooohs and aaahs.]
SWAIM: And let's say you're looking for a club but you want to feel like your somewhere else, like not in Orange County. Then it's La Vida Roadhouse for you. La Vida Roadhouse doesn't feel like the beach, it doesn't feel like the suburbs, and it sure as hell doesn't feel like the city. It feels like the Middle of Nowhere with a really nice patio. To get to La Vida Roadhouse, you drive on a winding mountain road until you're sure you've past the club and then you keep going a ways. It's windy, it's treacherous, it's desolate, it's scary, it's inland. Enjoy!
SWAIM: Or how about a sports bar? The Best Sports Bar. It's called House of Brews, and it's got a grand ballroom swank thing going on with lush drapes, a big fireplace, tons of massive wide-screen televisions, rich artwork and great food. Big-screen sports and creative window treatments—what more can you ask for?
MAN IN THE CROWD: Celebrities!
WOMAN IN THE CROWD: Yes, celebrities!
CHORUS OF VOICES: "Celebrities!" "Yes, they complete us!" "I think Liz Taylor was never more beautiful than she was in Place in the Sun!" "You're such a bitch!"
SWAIM: Celebrities? Why didn't you say something. How about the Best Place to Spot a Geniune Celebrity? Would that help fill the void in your pathetically lacking lives?
VOICES: "Yes!" "Absolutely!" "You betcha!"
SWAIM: Then head over to the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. In any given week, there are more than a handful of internationally famous, high-mantainence, shade-wearing celebs hiding out in the county's most expensive waterfront hotel. Enjoy! And now, speaking of celebrities, it gives me great pleasure to present our own Commie Girl, Rebecca SCHOENKOPF, here to present the awards for Best Bar and Best Artist.
[A crash followed by tittering are heard backstage.]
SWAIM: Rebecca SCHOENKOPF!
[A piercing shriek is heard backstage.]
SWAIM: Rebecca SCHOENKOPF, ladies and gentlemen!
[SCHOENKOPF enters stage left and immediately trips over a mic chord, her left shoe flying off. She springs up again.]
SCHOENKOPF: I'm fine! I'm okay! Thank you! Thank you very much!
[Applause. SCHOENKOPF collects her left shoe. More applause.]
SCHOENKOPF: Good evening! I am here to give the awards for some categories of awards! But first I need to find my shoe.
[Camera pans to Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath in the audience. He is wearing sequins and looking befuddled. He is also missing his left shoe. A stagehand enters, plucks Rebecca's shoe from her hand and hands it back to her.]
SCHOENKOPF: Oh, thank you! That is so sweet! Where was it? Never mind. I guess that's not important. First up, we have the award for Best Bar. You know, I have a few thoughts on this subject, which I'd like to share with you all since you can't really leave until the commercial break. Ha! What makes a good bar? A bar is for meeting people and drinking alcohol. A bar with a cute bartender is a much better bar than a bar that doesn't have a cute bartender, but if the bartender's a jerk, that nullifies his looks. Also, bartenders should buy a round when you've been tipping well. Like, for instance, I've been going to The Swallow's Inn in San Juan Capistrano for three years now, and the bartender has never bought me a drink, and I always tip well. And even after I told him he was getting the award for Best Bar in OC, he still didn't buy me a drink. I once bought a round for my girlfriend and me, and then I only had like 5 dollars left, and there was this guy there who'd made me cry last time, and so I said to the bartender, "How about a drink on the house?" And he started getting all, "The No. 1 rule is, 'Never ask.' Now that you've asked, I'm definitely not buying you a drink." And he was going on and on about it. Like he would have bought a round if I hadn't asked!