Daahk, Veddy, Veddy Daahk

Mermaids, Hitler, vampires and Dwight Yoakam, but not yet Halloween

Owning a chalice shaped like a human skull that you can take to cocktail parties and coffeehouses is even cooler than walking around with a parrot or a rat on your shoulder. Luckily, Michael Bloom, founder of the League of Vampiric Bards, has just such a chalice! Michael Bloom is such a thespian! I hope, though, that he wasn't drinking anything as pedestrian as coffee out of such a fabulous vessel when we saw him sip from it at Long Beach's Coffee Haven on Friday the 13th. Perhaps some chai tea instead?

The Bards, who entertained up to a half-dozen coffee drinkers at their reading, were really darling and creepy. They all wore capes. One was a sweetling teen girl with a lisp. She was adorable. And all refused to say their "R"s, as though they were all Madonnaor Kathleen Turner or the Queen of England singing "The Monster Mash." They all said, "Daaahk" quite a bit; not one of them talked about light, or sunshine, or butterflies or flowers. But they did talk about flesh a lot, and sucking youh soul and finding youh essence. All of them wanted really badly to be evil, but you know what? They weren't evil at all! They were just as nice as vampires could be! Also, one of them advocated rubbing her painted nipples on the canvas of youh back. Painted nipples? Yes, please!

Meanwhile, the nipples upstairs in the Haven's erotic art gallery were all very sad, having been tortured with clothespins for the benefit of Liezel Rubin's camera. (Although, to be precise, the clothespins on the nipples really didn't bother me; after all, nipples are made to be squoze. It was the clothespins on the tender underside of the breasts in question.) And to make the photos really forbidden, one half of the erotic she-some was a lady in Hitlerdrag, her widow's peak drawn on with eyeliner. Hitler's bad. You know?

Saturday's "mer-musical" to benefit Laguna Beach's Friends of the Sea Lion was without question the best mer-musical I have ever seen. Held aboard the lovely Electric Riverboat Angela Louise(which also hosts a completely bitchen buffet), it featured crunchy boys on bongos who looked like they could really use a couple of bags of Doritos; a didjeridu player; April Sweeney, a ringer for Courtney Love, as the Sea Mother; belly-dancing mermaids; a lovelorn woman who misses her sailor straight out of Looking Glass' immortal shanty "Brandy"; and such lines as "My lips are humming with pleasure." We were greeted by mer-lasses, who said in gentle, cultured voices, "Good evening, gentle merfolk. How art thee?" Indeed, the only thing the mer-musical was missing was unicorns. Are unicorns too much to ask? Oh, and the mer-musical was also sadly lacking in Ted Crisell, the unsuccessful Democratic congressional candidate whom I've seen skipping about in other OCC dancetravaganzas. Come to think of it, Crisell should also have been at the League of Vampiric Bards. I have personally seen him wear a cape.

Letters of Translucensea was written by Orange Coast College dance student Laurie Buenafe, who played Lorelai Blyss while narrating the action, strumming a guitar and belly dancing. Can you say "triple threat"? I did wonder, though, what Buenafe's elderly Asian parents thought of the number "Flow of the Living O," which featured volcanoes heaving and waters erupting, or maybe it was the other way around. During the number, the heroine, Annalee, gets thrown over the side of the ship on which she's been searching for her faithless sailor love, Caronte, and falls beneath the waves. See? Sex does equal death! Luckily, some mermaids and stuff were there to save the brave Annalee, in a pretty cool dance number that had two maidens in blue tossing the pretty, non-dancing actress who played Annalee back and forth in their arms like a game of London Bridges. Get it? They were waves!

Friends of the Sea Lion, which aids and rehabilitates injured sea mammals and educates the public, received $710 from the mer-musical.

The men and women of SCOW won themselves a big, beautiful professional grill when they won the California State Championship BBQ Cook-Off at Long Beach's Beachfest. (SCOW are serious about barbecue. Not only do they know Jeff Walker, the Barbecue Motherfucker, but they've also grilled with his dad in Fresno!) And SCOW, a collective of musicians and social terrorists who extol the virtues of laziness and create non-events to promote their music, are not letting their big beautiful professional grill go to waste. Indeed, things were lazy and the food was plentiful at Saturday's SCOW picnic in the suburban paradise of Fountain Valley's Mile Square Regional Park. On hand were shy, black-shirted teens; accupuncturists; and longhaired guys whose comic book collections are probably wrapped in enough protective Mylar sleeves to keep them safe when the oceans rise, as the oceans will. All of the above were sitting on lawn chairs and not doing much of anything, really. Chase, a young man with braces, didn't say anything until drawn out in conversation. What does he do? He plays guitar. Is he in a band? Sort of. And what are they called? The Signal. And what kind of music is it? It's a dark, satanic mix type thing. And how old is he? He is 14.

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