I am interested in entertaining
people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather
than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative
impressions. – Walt Disney
This week was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for me. Any of you
experience this once C-ticket, now-defunct ride at Disneyland? It was
in the Anaheim theme park’s Fantasyland section, and it was a crazy,
jarring, darkly surreal kiddie rollercoaster—especially for the likes
of Disney. It was one of my favorites.
As the Widen Your World (A Restful Haven for Walt Disney World’s
Deceased, Deferred and Deflowered) website states, Mr. Toad’s was a
ride that, “No matter which way riders swerved or ducked, all roads
ultimately led to a direct collision with a speeding locomotive in a
pitch-black tunnel and an audience with Satan, surrounded by a horde of
grinning red devils in the volcanic bowels of hell.”
That’s right. Hell.
Stop by and see me sometime.
So my week like a wild amusement park ride was fun, to be sure. And
probably the kind of week you’d imagine I’m having all the time. Full
of drinking, debauchery, transgendered fun, the high fashion of 1986,
sex, candlewax, amphibious organs, glamour, hilarity, excitement and
all roads leading straight to hell.
Some of which I can actually tell you about right here in this column!
I spent a good deal of time at Ray’s and the Sly Mongoose last week,
sharing laughs with Mikey, Tio and their respective, wonderfully un-OC/Laguna Beach bar ‘ohana.
Thursday night I briefly checked in with the Erin Smith Band at
Henry’s. Yep, she still rocks. Then it was on to the Zion-I gig at
Hapa’s, where Amphibeus Tungs gave me a hip-hop lashing I thoroughly
Get it? Tung-lashing? But it was the good kind. See, that was Tung-in-cheek… Anyway, I’m saying I really liked the show.
And on Saturday I was fortunate enough to know people who know
people who got me in to see Gomega and Slightly Stoopid at Paradice
Bluz, where I promptly got slightly dumb with tequila. Okay, maybe more
than slightly. Those people even ushered me into the coveted VIP
section at the joint. But it was lonely at the top so I resumed my
usual cavorting with the peasant masses. Them’s my people.
Thankfully, Mr. Escargot supplied me with bitter limes for my journey to Club Pillow. He’s good like that. Even for a VIP.
Sunday I watched Private Benjamin
for the umpteenth time before I donned Madonna-crosses and ankle boots
for the big ‘80s Prom Party at Bocalino. The kids there barely
remembered the ‘80s, but did a fantastic job mimicking the style and
dancing with gusto to “PYT” and “Push It.” Although one pretty young
thing in leg warmers and neon pink half-gloves expressed disappointment
that she couldn’t have her “Safety Dance.”
“It’s my most favorite song ever!” she said.
Her friend with Dynasty-fabulous hair wearing a shoulder-padded power suit and pearls agreed.
And then the next night Kim and I returned to Bocalino for the cross-dressing Victor/Victoria
Party. While we reveled in Taylor Dayne, Cher and Gloria Gaynor hits,
we admired the drawn moustaches and sideburns of our lady friends, and
the grace with which six-foot tall divas walked in size 13 stilettos.
“Damn!” said Kim, of one. “She looks better in those heels than I would.”
Unfortunately we’d left our camouflaged pants, combat boots and Rambo-dirty wifebeaters at the cleaners. So we very unimaginatively went as women dressed as men dressed as women. I know, we suck.
But a machine gun bandolier has no place at Hapa’s, where we went to
next to check out Willie K and his much-deserved legion of fans.
But yeah… this past week is just so not normal. Generally, my life
is filled with schmaltz, kitsch, sarcasm, borderline boredom, cheesy
jokes, nice scenery, fun but underpaid tour guides, wild but docile
animals, plastic snakes…. and is overall, pretty relaxing—until the
cannibals get restless.
Yep, my life is more like the Jungle Cruise Ride in Adventureland.
Still, it’s entertaining for three-year-olds, teenagers on acid and
perpetually drunk grown-ups. Definitely an E-ticket attraction—I don’t
care what Walt says.
Samantha Campos is currently finishing her dissertation on the impact Goldie Hawn had on cinema in the 1980’s. MTW