Invasion of the Booby Snatchers

Photo by Denise TruscelloThe Taste of Newport, Long Tall Gina was telling me, was a horror show. She'd been working one of the many food booths as a favor to a friend, and the puffy-lipped blondes had not responded well to her friendly, funny, outgoing self. Finally she'd offered one scowling bitch a tiramis—on the house. “To sweeten you up,” Gina explained to her pityingly. The woman refused. Who refuses free tiramis?

Besides the horror show (of which, as she knows, I can never get enough), Gina said there were packs of pretty men wandering forlorn and sad without me. We just had to go back Saturday night!


It was a fiasco—of which, as you know, I can never get enough—but a fiasco in a bad way.

The men? Some were pretty, but their nostrils all flared as if they smelled something bad, perhaps Chino. When Gina said hello to a guy in his 60s she'd served penne to the night before, he (a businessman who knows time is money) got right to the point and asked for her tits.

The girls? They were just as gross. We were outnumbered by E-cups (if not F; as a singularly stacked Jewish lass, I know a mere DD when I see one, and these weren't they) popping out of bony frames, their teeny original nipples slung low and hard. Below their frightful boob jobs (as fair and open-minded as we are, we were on the lookout for an attractive, elegant set of fake knockers, but there wasn't one for miles), they invariably wore slutty and unbecoming Paris Hilton cheerleader minis. Now, I'm a big fan of the too-short skirt (Commie Mom likes to tell me when she can see my hoo-hoo), but these just make you look thick, no matter how Mary-Kate you might be. After a couple of glasses of Beringer, we started saying, “Gross!” really loud whenever we walked by them. I'm a-thinkin' that I wanted to fight them, and I'm a-thinkin' that I still do.

And the entertainment? Take Blondie. (Please!) The sound was shitty, and as we watched, the still-beautiful Deborah Harrydid clumsy, awful dance moves she seemed to have picked up from Ray Bolger or Michael Jackson's Thriller. She wheezed her way through “Rapture, and then as we walked away to the accompaniment of one of her boring new songs, we were able to sing “Beast of Burden” in perfect time because she'd stolen both the melody and the rhythm.

Just wait till (Sir) Mick Jagger's lawyers hear it.

We didn't even wait around for “Sunday Girl.

We tried Muldoon's; it was full of the horrible people we'd just left, which was fine, but there was also a 40-foot line to get in, which was not.

We tried the Doll Hut; it was punk night, and we are old.

So we went on to the Canyon,where every night's a group grope.

I was talking to a cute guy; he was 31 years old and studying communications full-time in preparation for running an import/export company. “Why aren't you studying business?” I asked him, puzzled. “I don't want to take all the math and economics classes,” he explained, drooping as a wilted rose. Then why is he in college at all? “Because my parents want me to.”

Sadly, I did the sensible thing and ran away screaming, even though he'd offered to buy me a beer.

Now, it wasn't the slurring, and it wasn't even the accidental penis-brush. That I could forgive, sort of, since it's always (theoretically) possible they didn't know your firm and slender thigh would be as close to their icky rod as it was. But that whole 31-year-old-in-college thing (and not because you're all motivated and love it)? It's best to hide it from a pretty girl when you're grotesquely lame and lazy.

It's also best to hide it from your wife and flock if you're allegedly having affairs with other men. Hi, Paul Crouch!

On Friday night, I took my gay Oklahoma-born cousin (it explains a lot) to see Phil Shane at the cool new Los Vacitoson the Orange Circle. (For a review of Los Vacitos, see any article ever written about Alex'sin the LBC.) But I was worried. I'd recently taken a New York friend to the ever-lovin' Fling, and instead of seeing its blended beauty of young and old and square and hip dancing through the night, he saw only strip-mall and too much kitsch. Would my New York-livin' cousin see the beauty of Phil's many spangles and his Neil Diamond ways?

Sort of. He was mostly in the bathroom looking for crank.

Phil, as always, was his wonderful self, and though there's a bit less of his beloved Michlene to love, she sat in the back anyway, her sweet violet eyes on her man.

Los Vacitos was full of very young punks and the folk (like the Reverend Dan) who've been coming to Shane's shows for 25 years. When Phil waggled his wee in a birthday girl's face (he would never, ever touch one with it) for his horrifying “Stroke It” (also known as the Birthday Song), we shuddered in simultaneous pallor and ecstasy, but when he asked her, jivily, how long it had been since she'd made love and she answered, “Too long,” everyone was with her.

Did you make love yesterday? Shane asked.


Did you make love last week? Shane prodded.


Did you make love last year? Shane roared like a preacher seeking God.

And when she shook her head no, the crowd howled in empathy and anguish. Stroke it to the left!

And he sweated, and he sang, and he growled, and then he purred, and when, on his knees, he sang “Love Me” (“Treat me like a fool/Treat me mean and cruel/But love me”), we loved him as we ever do. Even though he's really short—and sweaty.

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