Partying with people who joined Arnold

Rebecca SchoenkopfWe here at the Weekly would like to point out the many, many benefits of the Ralphs/Albertsons/Vons workers lockout of those who would strike or boycott–not that it's so hard to keep the boycotters out, now that I put my pretty little head to it.

1) Not only will the grocery conglomerates save money by demanding lower wages and fewer benefits for their workers, but they'll also doubtless pass the savings on to you. Right?

2) Isn't it about time we taught these lazy "workers"–as our girl Annie Coulter likes to say, "'Working families' is a euphemism for families where no one works"–not to expect free handouts such as salaries and benefits from their employers?

3) Now that Mr. Schwarzenegger is headed for the governor's mansion, we can expect lots more of these "good business climate" deals for California. Win-win-win!

Wednesday night, we threw a dinner party for some friends. I cooked. It was horrible. Boycott my kitchen!

Thursday, I'm pretty sure I watched TV.

Friday night, my boyfriend and I were going to go undercover to Oktoberfest and laugh at all the silly Germans. (I know. I'm a big racist. Boycott me!) But it seems on Friday nights, the Phoenix Club's fiesta is in a ballroom instead of the fabulous outdoor promenade. Whatever! So we instead fixed on The Rib Trader in Orange for Merlin's Magic Dinner Theater. That would be equally bizarre, but with fewer pasty fatties in tiny shorts, nein?

Well, it was! Bizarre, I mean! We were greeted by Barbara, the sassiest of serving wenches, who bustled about filling the wine glasses of the men only, with a great and time-honored obsequiousness. "You," she said to me sternly, "you're on your own." I found her delightful, for a woman who was about to get a boot to the head.

Barbara and Merlin have been presenting their magical Punch & Judy at Rib Trader since '94, skipping easily between the Ren Faire, Dungeons and Dragons, and the Kramdens. But until he stepped onstage, Merlin was just kind of a big luggy guy in a robe, with some curly locks hanging oafishly down his nape. Onstage? Presto! He's Mr. Hilarious Charming Suave Guy. Seriously. He's really good!

Merlin puts an apple on a kid's head. "Do you think he has a tiger?" my boyfriend whispers hopefully. Alas, alackaday, he does not. Merlin does some rope tricks, some card tricks, some proppy-prop tricks. Out come the rings, but livened up with a couple of jokes about public schools and Santa Ana. Barbara heckles him, as a saucy wench should. Another serving wench is more like just a regular waitress; she hasn't got Barbara's antics.

The food? Could be hotter, and the soup less brothy. The company? Basted in saucy, wenchy magic! No boycott necessary.

Saturday, we went to a swell party at the home of Laguna Beach gallerist Peter Blake. It was, as a matter of fact, a party in my honor for giving him a blubbery smooch of a recent review. Blake is a man of his word. The ridiculously beautiful mountaintop home filled up with all kinds of local celebs throwing shrimp under the beds (seriously, Blake found shrimp under his bed), but sadly, I was too drunk to take any pictures. They would surely have shown debauchery and sad crustaceans.

Sunday, we rested.

All recalled out? Well, me, too! Unfortunately for both of us, I went to the Republican Election Night headquarters –nine days ago by the time this comes out!–and if I had to sit through it, then you do, too.


The Costa Mesa Hiltonwas bursting with Republicans doing awful things, like laughing and smiling–and when a Republican's smiling, you know California just got "business-friendly"–and things were looking ugly. I watched glumly as Jo Ellen Allen–the county stalwart whose husband stands accused of bilking old widows whose only crime was to be believe in God, country and Eddie Allen–gave the invocation. First she prayed for Gray Davis: "May his days be few, and may another take his place." Now that's Christian!

And then she noted that we should help the less fortunate, but asked us to remember that that's a personal imperative, not a governmental one. I wonder if she has to remind her husband that we're not supposed to make people less fortunate? Perhaps it's more philanthropic than we realize: if it's easier for a camel, eye of needle, etc., than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, maybe Mr. Jo Ellen Allen is doing his part for our immortal souls!

We decided to split from the room full of people who, zombie-like, had JOINED ARNOLD. We headed upstairs to discover the hidden world of hospitality suites. It would be great, we figured! With my own favorite Republican (my boyfriend!) running interference, we would gain entrťe to only the finest suites–or that of the Young Republicans, whichever came first. Within 10 minutes (at 9:18 p.m.), I had to leave the room where the three ugly girls and their hot friend sat on the bed, cackling at Cruz Bustamante. I tried to remember if Dem events were as catcally-giggly-shrieky-ungracious during concession speeches. Probably, but the Dems are right. When Cruz gave props to the Pechanga band of Indians, and a florid Young Republican mocked, "Oh, yeah, those braaave Indians," I realized we had come full-circle. Five years ago, everybody liked Indians and wanted them to have casinos so we could all go gamble. Now, they're today's teachers.

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