A Wee Bit Lame

Photo by Davis BarberI don't normally lose a lot of sleep over the fact that I can't do the Power Jam. I don't normally lose a lot of sleep over anything, really. I'm quite talented when it comes to sleeping. Anyway, I'm always happy to try the redneck answer to The Hustle, but my bean can never quite send my feet in the proper directions for all them fancy steps; you might as well ask my brain the difference between muons and quarks, or how to knit, or how to relate in a friendly manner to people in the fashion industry.

But well . . . The fine people at Integrity House Saturday night for "Cinco de Rocko"were lined up real purty and nice, and they were turning and stepping to their Power Jam (actually, I suspect it might have been an Electric Slide), and oh, now it's time to turn again, and four steps back, or something, and they were doing just fine, line-dancing away, and most of them have incurred traumatic brain injuries, and I supposedly haven't. So I'm feeling a wee bit lame—but not in the crip/gimp sense. That would be insensitive.

Suspicious Trash Fires have been playing Integrity House for many years. Every few months, the former house band at the Times OC gets together at the facility (which helps disabled folks with independent-living skills for the outside world) and puts on a monster dance party where everybody has a joyous and wonderful time and nobody is sad even a little bit. Mike Young (former managing editor at the OC edition; he has been back up on Spring Street since Sept. 11), our Jim Washburn, some cats from the Cold Hard Facts, a pretty, sexy blond lady, and some other people all lined up at the front of the rec room and played fabulous covers from the '60s and '70s, including the crowd fave, The Monkees Theme.

The pretty, sexy blond lady, whose name is Christie, or Kristy, or Khrysteey, or some permutation thereof, was among the evening's grander inspirations. When one is at a dance party for people who are mentally disabled, it seems unseemly to writhe about sluttily. One makes a conscious decision to tone it down to an asexual, junior high sock-hop level—though, come to think of it, today's junior high dances probably look like the orgies in Eyes Wide Shut. Would someone please invite me to one?

Anyway, Christie/Kristy/Khrysteey refused to dumb it down for the sake of our hosts. She bounced, and she shook it, and she sexied it up, smiling like Teresa of Avila overcome by the Spirit (should you ever read the blessed saint's account of unity with God, it sounds an awful lot like a big, fat orgasm; por favor, no Cardinal Lay jokes). And oh, how everyone loved Christie/Kristy/Khrysteey! Soon she was leading six women in a joined-hands, circular folk dance, where each took turns being in the middle and having the rest swarm forward in a big ol' love crush. But not like the big ol' love crushes in Eyes Wide Shut. Assorted shouts-out to Albia, a tiny woman of 25 who thrilled the crowd with her medley of "Jesus Loves Me" and "If You're Happy and You Know It"; Dana, who has kick-ass rhythm and owned the dance floor all night long; Gus, who refused to stay in his wheelchair when Patty Booker sat in for some sultry ballads with Chris Gaffney; Owen, who likes to hang out at Lucky John's and who told me I had a real purty mouth, but not like in Deliverance; and Big Red, who's teaching her 19-year-old boyfriend the language of love. Mazel tov, amigos y amigas!

Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach was shockingly lacking in cheese cubes at the First Thursday Artwalk May 2. But there were still tons of folks (provocateurs Ed Giardina and Brian Boyer, bombshell Nora Novak, and the pixieish Brigette Burns) meandering among the many, many portrayals of man-rods. John Sonsini's portraits, with big, purple meat a-hanging, were outstanding, as were Sharon Ryan's doodled-over photos of genitals and Laura London's fully clothed (but compelling anyway) photos of surly punk families. They run through May 25.

The first rule of Puppet Club is "Tell everyone about Puppet Club." So here goes.

Come to the Artists Village Gypsy Den on May 16 'round about 8 p.m. Bring a puppet. Come up onstage. Have a puppet show—but no puppet sex! 'Cause that's just gross. May 2's virgin installment featured puppeteering legend Bob Baker, who says he won an Oscar and has done, like, 500 films, including Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Baker performed a marionette medley that was almost as inspiring as Christie/Kristy/Khrysteey; one bit was a closely danced tango between puppets in fancy dress. Another was a soft pink pussycat who climbed on people's laps, twitched her ass and sang torch songs. A third was a marionette Mr. Bojangles; it was difficult to know how to respond to the minstrelsy, but Baker performed a tap dance that so solidly evoked the far-out talent of the real thing that only mad applause could suffice. Baker said Bill Robinson's widow begged him never to retire the tuxedoed puppet, and everyone in the room could second that emotion.

Call your mother! CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.


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