Pot party at the Playboy Mansion.
I slip into line for the open bar and spot Margaret Cho in front of me. Painted in borderline geisha-face, hunched and twiddling a lollipop in her mouth, she looks fabulously bored to death. She's talking to Bridget the Midget. After years of thinking it was a waste to study liberal arts, I'm grateful to Sallie Mae. I've arrived.
Perry Farrell will be DJing. Monkeys swing a few yards away.
I think: Los Angeles is so great.
Adrianne Curry of America's Next Top Model "fame" is onstage in a shiny fuchsia prom dress barking about the benefits of marijuana, a belief I endorse on occasion but that many dear, dear friends support intensely, even in the morning and on workdays.
Being from the East Coast where, in general, the natives are chestless (at least compared to L.A.) and indulgence means a $100 night on overpriced Crayola cocktails, I'm eager to study the partying habits at the Playboy Mansion.
I'm going to walk in on hairless, evenly tanned group sex in the grotto! Watch Rollerblading orangutans zip by butlering trays of cocaine! Witness unsavory acts illegal in red states and purchased per hour in blue ones!
One thought keeps running through my head: There is a little person who has sex on film for money standing so close to me I can touch her implants.
Onstage, Adrianne's shilling for the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest lobbying organization in the country dedicated to the legalization of medical marijuana and the decriminalization of plain old shwag. It sounds like a goofy cause until you know someone with cancer. The crowd claps and tokes in approval.
After a while something terrible happens: My friends and I get kind of bored.
How can the buzz of standing next to Margaret Cho and Bridget the Midget fade this fast? I'm restless. I need to find the big man of this tribe.
I want Hef to float by in his silks, or maybe in the tiny little-skipper costume and captain's hat he sometimes rocks on Girls Next Door. Where are the bunnies?
But no bunnies. No Hef.
Like heat-seeking missiles, we split up and go looking for the action.
The art gallery showcases stunning original portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and other iconic Hollywood women. My gaze wanders from the photos of these women to Adrianne Curry. Huh. Perry Farrell hits the decks with an M.I.A. song.
We reconvene. My friend Dennis interviews a guy from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Jeff spots Jackie the Joke Man in the bathroom.
I try not to notice that most of the guests are regular people gussied up to look like celebrities trying to look like regular people. I press on and change bars. I strike up a conversation with the guy next to me, a bartender who's seething about not slinging drinks. He sweeps his arm across the party. "This," he says dramatically, "this is the final frontier."
I say something like, "Yeah, they must be making a lot of money tonight."
"Fuck money!" he yells. "I don't want money. It is the fame. The fame!"