Kids Eat Free!

Photo by Rebecca SchoenkopfWe hadn't planned on going to the Fullerton Museum Center's opening for “Orange Groove, our pal Jim Washburn's extended remix of his much-loved exhibit of OC rockiana at last year's Orange County Fair. Friday was my ninth anniversary with my small buttercup of a son, and in a tradition most sacred, we always celebrate with dinner at IHOP because, in a tradition most sacred, after 4 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, children eat free. But after seeing an early showing of Lemony Snicket (which had a much better message of fambly than the very funny but odious Cheaper By the Dozen, in which Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt apologize humbly to their childrens for the unbelievable selfishness of pursuing a dream and swear to never let it happen again), we decided to head up to Fullerton instead of just going home to watch Lawrence Welk. I swear, now that I've got bright young thing Mary Reilly to do all the horrisplendiferous clubs events for which I'm too creaky, I'm positively done.

So! The Fullerton Museum Center! We bumped immediately into our dear Washburns, both Jim and Leslie, as well as every other friend we've ever had, most especially the famed Linda Jemison, former proprietress of Linda's Doll Hut, and her mother, famed AIDS Walk do-gooder Pearl Jemison-Smith (and you should hear the classy lady talking dirty). We saw Phil and Michlene Shane, both looking like thousands of millions of dollars, taking a break from a lounge schedule that now includes an early all-ages Sunday show at Original Mike's to which you may take your kids as long as they have been taught that at times such as these, it is in fact not about them but about me, and they must sit quietly while the grown-ups get drunk and stupid and sing along with Phil in a manner quite as embarrassing as when they shriek and yowl in the car along with Patti Smith. Children should be seen and not heard, Commie Mom used to tell me, and if children chose to sneak off and be unseen and unheard, then they were the best children of all, and as such welcome to whatever mischief they might silently find, up to and including jumping off the roof or secretly looking at porn, as long as if someone should break his nose he didn't come a-bitching about it.

Ah, the '70s. A magical time.

So. “Orange Groove.” There were many other people there, too, but I've lost my cocktail napkin.

But it was when Jimmy Intveld started playing the party that I really wished I'd stopped at home after the movie and done something to my hair, as in fact I looked like someone's mother, as in fact I am, and even though Jimmy Intveld has lately completed his usual pendulum swing from pompadoured rockabilly dreamboat to shaggy Manson, he was still entirely too sexy for the womanly hearts in the room, which were busy a-fluttering and a-thumpin'. Mmmm, Manson!

Three members of No Doubt were present also, and after saying perhaps the most middle-aged sentences I have ever spoke—”Are you Tony? My son wanted to meet you”—I had nothing else but “Uh, okay then!” Tony and Adrian were both very gracious, and I felt particularly uncool, as if any minute I would be wearing a flowered smock and showing my grandchildren's pictures to ladies I've accosted in the dentist's office. He's an accountant, bubbeh—and single!

Then we left and went to IHOP. Kids eat free there, you know.

There are few sights more delicious—though IHOP's lingonberry pancakes are up there, even ice-cold the next day—than the e-mail informing you, “One Night, One Liver, 12 Bars.”

Now in its fourth year, we think, the 12 Bars of Christmas is a flash mob started by the Hawaiian Shirt Clubevery last Saturday before Christmas that now includes a lot of guys whose cousins' boyfriends' bosses got a forward of the itinerary. Still, even with a hundred people traipsing through from Angelo N Vinci'sto 2-J's, last we heard, there was only just that one arrest (one of our guys had bumrushed a bouncer—like Everest, because he was there), though we did hear of talk over the heat's radio when they found the white male in a cow suit (just a witness!) for whom they'd had an APB.

The Christmas rhino and the six-foot-six Scooby Doo were already off in the night.

Still, city of Fullerton? We love your 437 bars—we do!—but considering you have 437 bars, don't you think the citywide law banning overnight parking is, how you say, a crime against humanity? I like leaving my car overnight when I've made an utter pig of myself, and one of my fondest friendships was based on mutually calling my homegirl Arrissia to take me to my car, usually parked in towns unknown, or taking her to hers, before she up and got married with children. (There were two arrests at the Euclid sobriety checkpoint Saturday night; whether our people, I've no idea, but I do know, like Shaggy, it wasn't me.)

I don't remember what else happened at the 12 Bars, except that we only skipped two of them, both due to overcrowding even before our mob arrived, and having beaten our livers into submission, we still managed to make it to 12. There, at 2-Js, was a meat market perpetrating to loud DJ music that in no way was Lawrence Welk, and being geezers, we just did the quickest of toe-touches—of the same sort geezers might execute to technically go Mile Highin what's really a very cramped cube.

Merry Christmas, darlings. Don't let Bill O'Reilly get you down.

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