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 BunoanHe had me at "Loretta Swit had a bush you could hide a VCR in."
You don't know Patton Oswalt? He's the short, Keebler-ish sidekick on King of Queens,which, confusingly, refers to the borough. You know Patton. He lives with his mother? Who loves him inappropriately?
Oh, yes. Now you know him. Patton Oswalt is my lover. It's just gonna kill Dave Attel.
See, one night, I was all high and decided to make a list of all my famous friends, the sole criterion being that, if asked, they had to know who I was. Patton topped that list, with Dave Alvinand Billy Zoom coming in close behind. I'd regale you with more names, but the list was really depressing, so I threw it out like yesterday's garbage or The Orange County Register today. For instance? Although state Senator Gil Cedillo ranked pretty high on my personal faves, he's not really famous at all unless you listen to talk radio and want to eat illegal aliens. Liev Schreiber, who's also not famous, did not make the cut. Neal Pollack, America's greatest living writer, did. Have you heard of him? Yeah, me neither. See what I mean? Depressing!
But Patton loves me, yes, he does. So when he had a new album coming out—Feelin' Kinda Patton—he e-mailed me with sweet nothings designed to lure me into giving him some free PR. And I quote: "How are you? Yeah, that's great. Listen, I've got a new album coming out." No girl can resist a smoothie like Patton, including his girlfriend, whom he finally mentioned when we were finally at dinner, with, "Of course I mentioned her before! I didn't? Oh. Well, you know . . ." Then he stroked my neck a lot and told me I had skin you could make a vest out of. That was before we walked down Third Street and ran smack into Matt Groening, whom he introduced as "Matt" and who was not with Lara Flynn Boyle, although a woman came up to us and asked if she was, and she said, "I'm not who you think I am" in a really bored way because you know she gets it a lot because in fact I think she was Lara Flynn Boyle. She is not the droid you're looking for!
"So who was that?" I asked Patton after our couples had parted. "Oh, you didn't know? That was Matt Groening," he said. "I thought you knew!" That's when I kicked him in the shin and told him if he thought I was going to embarrass him by fawning when I found out his friend was Matt Groening, he was right and would just have had to deal with it by dragging me off in a manly kind of way, instead of withholding the information because he didn't trust me not to fawn, which I would have. Perhaps you'd like to not introduce me to Jon Stewart next? Or Liev Schreiber?
Fucking Patton Oswalt!
I thanked Patton for the $220 dinner—at luxurious AOCbecause he is a "foodie," and I didn't even make fun of him for using the word "foodie" because I am a kind and sensitive lady—and then I screamed, "See you in hell, Hobbit!" and peeled out in my sorority-girl car because I hate Patton Oswalt. Who is my lover.
"Meet me at Akbar," my gay was saying after I'd unceremoniously dumped Patton, who had to get home to his girlfriend. "You're up there anyway. It's half-gay/half-straight. You'll like it!"
And I did: it's such a luxury being the only girl in a half-straight bar! There were lots of fabulous men—whassup, Steve and Steven!—who all wanted to buy me shots of gin because I am classy and like to drink gin straight and also because I'd had a week. Did Mary Reilly take care of you while I was gone? Oh, she recommended Costa Mesa's Vegas? Then I'm sure it's now lovely! She's a good girl, Mary Reilly is. And you know she tries.
Anyway, my week was good in that I got to sing lullabies from the '30s and '40s to my Grandmama in her little Shawnee, Oklahoma, bedroom when it was my 2 to 3 a.m. shift to watch over her struggle to breathe, but it was bad in that, you know, it was bad. When Commie Mom is an island of gentleness and the soul of calm, reciting for her mother the Rosary while all around her people go apeshit, you know you've hit a rough patch. How do you know that? Because normally Commie Mom likes to fight! She will fight you in a boat, and she will fight you with a goat, and in a car and in a bar and here and there and everywhere, so usually a trip to Shawnee is a rollicking good-fighting time because it is filled with people from Oklahoma.
Whom she can fight!
"One shot of gin?" Steve and Steven asked. "Oh, that's not going to be enough." And they were right. My gays often are.
After all that gay love Friday night, I was feeling fighty Saturday at the Swallow's Inn in San Juan Capistrano, with only my sister to take it out on, while she was all Jesus-y and wouldn't fight back. You know when everybody's going all crazy around you, and you're thinking, Jesus, everybody is really crazy right now, is Mars in retrograde or what the fuck? But then you start going crazy, too, and it's such a relief to get to just be an electric bundle of mean testosterone like you're wearing a big red T on your chest, and you're just waiting for someone to look at you funny, and it's no longer mysterious at all!
Luckily, another guy had his girlfriend to take it out on, as he walked up to the dance floor and smacked her on the back of the head while she was tripping the lights (really very beautifully; we were all mesmerized) with Keith. There's never a dull night at the Swallow's, where I've had a drunk Apache lift my dress over my head and a former Green Beret poke me in the chest and land a fist to my face. Also, there used to be this drunk kickboxing chick who liked to boot men to the head before taking them home and making their lives. She could probably hide a VCR in her bush—she was all woman, man, and she is so my idol. But nobody would fight me—only one another. Fucking Swallow's. I want my beer money back.