By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by James BunoanWhen Costa Mesa artist Maria Schowengerdt moved to Berlin to marry, she had a hard time adjusting. People weren't friendly—surprise!—and her German-born groom tried as best as he could to help her fit in. "Your face is very loud," he explained, at the beginning of what would turn into a really long, drawn-out bicker on my couch as I sat there only somewhat uncomfortably. (They had been driving a very long time to come and visit; the least I could do was give them a cozy place to fight.) It was, he said, offensive to modest Teutonic folk to have so loud a face. It was very American.
I couldn't help thinking of Miss Maria's expressive, lively, un-Botoxed face—a face that is capable of registering such disparate emotions as surprise and glee and dismay—Friday night at Woody's at the Beach. There, two little gay boys had the loudest faces I've ever personally witnessed; it was as though they were silent-film stars being tied to train tracks. Jack on Will & Grace is the only person who should try to be Jack on Will & Grace, and I really began to feel for old-school, "straight-acting" gay guys who decry faggy little swishes embarrassing them all. Isn't that old and pathetic, finding energetic, happy young people annoying? Fire me now!
I sat inside with Santa Ana portraitist Skeith DeWine and buxom Mistress Montanawhile most everyone else cavorted by the fire without. It was fine by me; any closer and I undoubtedly would have been deafened by the visages of the li'l gaylets, whose pained eyeball-popping and screamy mouth-dropping were looking more like Norway's Edvard Munchthan Finland's Tom. One pretty little surfer blond had eyes as dumb as Tara Reid, minus the sense of humor. Unlike your typical Newport-dumb, they seemed unarmed and guileless, not mean and incurious. They actually made me sad, screaming as they were, "Exploit me like Pete Townsend!" But undoubtedly, while half the world is trying to use and abuse him like they're Uncle Ernie, the other half is trying to shelter him from the wolves—and, while they're at it, probably pay his rent. Yup. Deaf, dumb and blind is back.
For the record, don't you just know Pete Townsend is innocent? But just ask Pee-wee: he ain't never gonna live that down.
All righty! While the young pups were wagging their tails, we watched from a good, solid 30 feet away the goings-on outside. We had a big, faggy argument about whether the sickeningly gorgeous blond girls on the patio—expensive, stick-straight hair; expensive black clothes; little gay boyfriends on their arms—were gay. Mistress Montana, a scarlet pimpernel who's known in every gay bar from here to, oh, somewhere really far away, avowed they licked lap. I thought they were too fashionable even to be fag hags, while Skeith maintained that they were in fact lesborrific. But Skeith has very firm stereotypes about fags and femmes and fashion: he changed his mind to "straight" after seeing their shoes and their Gucci purses. I wanted to go see their shoes and their Gucci purses for myself, but then they would have thought I wanted to have sex with them, especially since we three were staring at them for, like, 20 minutes anyway. If Joel, the owner and a pillar-of-the-community type who's constantly organizing fund-raisers for Laguna Shanti and such, hadn't come over to buy us all drinks, we would have rudely stared for 20 more.
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Invaluable photog (and Faces lookalike) James Bunoan brought to our attention the fact that Kona Lanes—whose Rock & Bowlwith Costa Mesa punk bands was the scourge of the Costa Mesa PD—is closing in March. Did that get us down there? Not really. We're more likely to hit the other place that Costa Mesa cops made famous: public mens' rooms. Yeah, it's us, George Michael and some of the finest undercover brothers the county has to offer.
But seriously, folks! I know it's usually up to music editor Rich Kane to whine about the lack of all-ages venues (I personally don't care for or about the young), but closing a bowling alley doesn't only hurt the tots or the music scene; it's just plain un-American.
* * *
Saturday night, sweet, elegant fashion writer Claudia Figueroaand her fiance, Nick Schou, took departing Weekly senior editor Dave Wielenga and me to Huntington Beach's Perq's. The two like to head to Perq's occasionally to remind themselves what they're missing.
And, oh, what they're missing! Do you ever walk into an old-drunks' bar—like The Fling, for instance, or that one on Balboa where John Wayne used to get crocked—and wonder what place spawned these wonderful old lechy gropers and slurring pants-wetters? They've got their old-folks bar, but where did they go when they were young and full of even more beans?
Perq's is the word.
After paying our $3 cover, we got a table at the back; at Perq's, tables aren't hard to come by because everybody with (actually without, which is even better) a shred of self-respect is shaking their groove thang on the tiny dance floor. As Hoochie Coo wailed out Chicago covers and "Brick House" and (I believe) "Magic Carpet Ride" and a whole bunch of others that should have included Zeppelin and Boston and The Who but probably didn't, people wordlessly grabbed one another and swirled them onto the only available square of space.
A blonde who earlier had been flashing her breasts outside to the shock and dismay of Schou and Wielenga (who could only see her back through the window) was having the least fun on the dance floor. All other women were smiling like they were on Exstasy (in this case, I'm almost positive the women were just good, old-fashioned alcoholics) and reaching out their hands to touch the faces of other women they didn't know, in a friendly and mostly unthreatening manner. Sisterhood and stuff. The most astounding thing was that all the women were in complete possession of all their front teeth. They really shouldn't have been.
My favorite girl was an attractive brunette, perhaps part Filipina or Samoan, in a little white muscle shirt and snakeskin pants that were far too tight, shoving a bit of bloat overboard. She made muscle poses and vamped around the dance floor, giving high fives to other girls and having the best time in the whole world ever.
The only expression her loud, American face was making was one of blotto joy. God bless.Tell Rebecca you're lesborrific: CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.