Last weekend was the big annual Viva Las Vegas rockabilly festival — a yearly event at one of the shittier local hotel dives that attracts legions of fanatical greaser-types from around the world. German rockabillies, Japanese rockabillies, but mostly East L.A. rockabillies (for whatever reason, cholas and cholos loooooove them some rockabilly style).
If you’re unaware, rockabilly is sort of a throwback style to the 1950s, but with a modern edge — i.e. tattoos. As in, you’ll see tons of beautiful, voluptuous honeys with elaborately styled, lacquered black pinup hairdos, fantastic vintage dresses and maximum heaving cleavage…but everything is covered in ink. I personally am not a fan of tattoos, and cannot fathom why chicks do this to themselves…but I totally dig the rockabilly style because I dig anyone who’s into an EXTREME look. And these kids totally are!
Anyhoo, they descend on Vegas every Easter weekend for a big beer-fueled weekend-long party, and they bring their hot rods, swing bands and cases and cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon with them. It’s a hoot and a half! I try to stop in every year and check out the scene, but the last couple of years I pussed out because I was kinda over it. I mean, how many times can you dress up like Bettie-Page-meets-Marilyn-Manson before it gets old?? I mean, REALLY!
But this year, I had an idea. One thing on my Bucket List is to go to a Star Trek convention sometime dressed in a Star Wars outfit (the oldtime Star Wars is the ONLY sci-fi I can stomach). The idea would be to pretend I didn’t get the difference — “Star Wars, Star Trek…same difference!” — and watch the Trekkies go ballistic! I just loooooooooooove fuckin’ with people, and that would be the ultimate fuckeroo.
So, I had a similar idea with Viva Las Vegas. It’s a rockabilly festival, which generally means people are wearing clothing from the period 1940-1960…but all in the greaser/Elvis/Bettie Page vein. Now, I had just bought a FABULOUS 1965 mod minidress from the estate of a local hippie veterinarian who had just committed suicide…so I decided to go all Mary Quant and see if the rockabillies got pissed at my anachronistic dress.
Alas, the rockabillies are already sooooo hopelessly anachronistic themselves (I told you, their style spans a
20-year period…plus the fact that tattoos and body piercing weren’t mainstream back then) that no one even noticed I was afraid of getting my ass beat by a vicious East L.A. chola…but they were all too drunk to even notice. Boo!! Thankfully, some friends invited me to bail and cruise down the street to a local dive bar called Money Plays, where an outlaw country band called Cletus and the Mexican Sweat were playing. Now, THAT was awesome! The band kicked MAJOR ass (they have a pedal steel guitar player, yo, and they cover all kinds of nasty Southern rock) and my mod outfit was TOTALLY out of place in that dive bar.
I didn’t stay out tooooo late, though, because I had an awesome Easter photo shoot planned the next day. I’ve always hated Easter — I’m an atheist, and was raised an atheist, and I hate ham and chocolate so what’s the point?! The only fun Easter I ever had was this one year when my family and I dressed up in 1930s Great Depression clothes and had an old-fashioned baptizin’ tent revival, up in the mountains in California by this creek that was PERFECT for baptizin’. My sis made a baptismal gown and found this old chalice at Goodwill that had “Terry”engraved on it, and after we had all been “baptized” we sang old-time hymns and picnicked on fried chicken and whatnot as my sister read a sermon, and then we bashed the fuck out of a Jesus piñata full of candy (it was a fairy princess piñata that we painted to look like Jesus). Now, THAT was a fun Easter!
But that was like 10 years ago, and it was time for something new. Fortunately, my friend Jeff G. invited me out to the desert for an Easter-themed photo shoot. Thankfully, he shares my same warped sense of humor when it comes to these things….as you can doubtless see in the pics! I had a blast shooting with him, although I got Peeps dust in EVERY crevice, and had to take a quick Puerto Rican bath when I got home.
After wiping the Peeps dust from my crevices, I went downtown to the Bar+Bistro, a lcoal artsy hangout, for dinner with a friend. We ordered all this delicious vegan food, and drank a bunch of wine…and then after dinner he suggested we go down to Fremont Street and party some more. BAD idea! We wandered around drinking, and he kept buying me shots (I *HATE* shots; please don’t EVER offer me one) until I finally puked all over his car in the Golden Nugget valet. Which serves those assholes right, anyway — back in the day I used to park there all the time when I came downtown, but now they’re super-greedy and will only let hotel guests park there. They won’t even let you VALET there sometimes, the fuckers! The last time I went down there, I had to basically LIE and say I was working there before they let me park. WTF!
So after puking up all that delicious vegan food (the second time in 4 months that’s happened to me, incidentally), my friend drove me home and I passed out in puky splendor. Blah. Unfortunately, I couldn’t loll around in bed all day because I had a TON of shit to do — you may recall that I was hired to go around Vegas and write reviews of all the porno stores for an adult version of Yelp!, and I had about 5 more shops to visit. I dragged my miserable ass around town alllllll afternoon, poking my nose into places that would have turned my stomach even under optimal conditions (including one place that has a punch-card for their porno theater — buy 9 tickets, get one free…like Costco for jackers-off!). It was rough! At one shop, I mentioned my hangover to the man at the front counter, and he handed me a little bottle from the shelf: “Here, drink this! It’ll take that hangover away in 20 minutes! Compliments of the house.”
Wow, I probably should think twice before accepting a bottle of mystery liquid from a strange pervert working in a shitty little adult store with a bare concrete floor…but I wasn’t in my right mind, so I chugged it in the desperate hope that it would work. Thankfully it wasn’t roofied or anything…but either way, it didn’t work. It was just one of those bullshit vitamin shots they sell at smoke shops and places like that — total B.S. In fact, after an entire day of detoxing, drinking water and trying to get down plain oatmeal…the only thing that made me feel better was freaking JACK IN THE BOX! Yes, I’m ashamed to admit it…but that greasy-ass chicken sourdough club did the trick where nothing else did.
My hangover ended not a moment too soon, because right after that I headed out to Lake Mead for a midnight cruise in my friend’s boat. He had some out-of-town friends along, so we cruised out in the dark, and just drifted and listened to music and looked at the stars and stuff. It was fun, but I had SO MUCH STUFF I should have been doing at home that it was hard to enjoy myself. Still, I can’t turn down a boat trip…I’m obsessed!
So anyhoo, the next day it was back to business. I still had one or two porno stores to visit, and I ended up at this FANTASTIC German Fetish shop near downtown that carries the best selection of latex wear in town. I’d never worn latex, but a cross-dressing, BDSM-obsessed friend of mine (who has a socially prominent position by day, but is a secret freak at night) recommended I check it out. Boy, am I glad I did!
This wonderful transsexual Irish saleswoman helped fit me into a latex dress, which fit LIKE A DREAM but was, alas, at $80 out of my price range. Instead, I bought a pair of fabulous black latex opera gloves…and then hung out listening to the fabulously garrulous saleslady’s scandalous tales. She’s had sex with EVERYONE — celebrities you would never in a million years believe! Not only that, but she used to dance (as a woman) in a very prominent Vegas show…and not only THAT, she told me allllll about her trips to the gynecologist (I never realized trans women had to go to the ob/gyn, but as she said in her wonderful lilting Irish brogue, “I haven’t got a uterus, but I could still get cancer on the walls o’ me vagina!”) and her robust ability to orgasm. IT! WAS! FABULOUS! That woman has THE BEST attitude and demeanor of anyone I’ve ever met…and that’s saying A LOT! I’ve never really met a post-op transsexual before, let alone one with such a great manner (“I haven’t got a Mickey” being one of her colloquial gems). Thank CHRIST I made friends with everyone in that shop, and hope to be doing some modeling for them soon! 😀 They are WONDERFUL people!
After finishing up reviewing all the porno stores in Vegas (all 30 of ’em) and receiving payment, it was now time for me to move on to the strip clubs. Strip clubs are a little harder to do, because for the most part I have to bring a guy with me (many clubs won’t let a single chick in the door, for worry she’s an angry wife or girlfriend on the rampage). So I went on Facebook and put out a call for chaperones. I had more takers than I could handle in no time!
My fist stop was this dingy, smoky little neighborhood titty joint called Play It Again, Sam. I met a couple of militant redneck friends over there — the one guy is a sort of Hunter-S.-Thompson-meets-Toby Keith kind of loveable wacko filmmaker — and we whiled away the entire afternoon drinking and talking, with me taking notes on the sly. Actually, I’m pleased to report that the quality of titty at that club far exceeded my expectations — I was there during day shift, too!
Then that night was the grand opening of Vince Neil (from Mötley Crüe)’s new titty bar, “Girls, Girls, Girls…” so after working my souvenir photo shtick, I went over there to check it out. Talk about a madhouse! The place was jam-packed with 80s relics — wall-to-wall mullets, mustaches and raspy-voiced, fake-titted cougars. Nice! I hung out for about 2 minutes, watched Vince “Puffy-Faced” Neil arrive with his retinue of bimbos, and then I got the fuck out of there. Titty bars depress me — especially if I go to two in one day! But it was a really nice club…and GREAT people watching! Also, if you like rock music, it’s the only club in town that plays all rock — no hip hop. Keep that in mind for your next Vegas titty bar adventure!
Now aside from reviewing porno stores and strip clubs, I also indulged my artistic side this week with a crazy cross-dressing photo shoot. I wanted to see if I could convincingly make myself up to look like a man — and I pretty well did! My friend Randy, from Shutterbug-Studio, took the shots….and they came out GREAT! I almost die laughing every time I look at ’em! My point with all this was to take a topless shot in man makeup, and since my chest is already so flat…try to post it on Facebook and see what happens! I’m posting a few shots ths week, and the rest next week…so look out!
The best part was, I structured the shoot to be like a 3-part thing: first I’d shoot as a man, then I would remove half my man makeup and do that side up like a woman, so I was half-and-half…and lastly shoot my new latex gloves. Well, I meant to get some long red fake nails for the “woman” half in the half-and-half pic…but like a dumbass, I forgot to stop at the drugstore. I REALLY wanted this pic to be killer, so even though I had already removed half my man-makeup and had already done over-the-top lady makeup on the other side…I ventured out to buy some nails. Now, the closest place to Randy’s house was Wal-Mart…but ain’t no way I’m going in Wal-Mart with a half-man, half-woman face!! That’s a surefire way to end up on Peopleof WalMart.com… ya know?!?! Instead, I went an extra mile or so to Walgreens, where I didn’t have to worry about all that. The checkout chick looked at me funny, but I explained everything to her and she seemed OK with it.
Then after all THAT, I went and did this radio interview for a local internet radio show called Two Girls and a Microphone (I think they should change it to “Two Girls, One Mic,” personally). The Two Girls in question are two renegade feminist types who started a radio show to interview empowered, nutty women…and I was their first guest! It was pretty cool (you can hear the interview here), but the best part was a few days prior, when we all three met up at Starbucks to discuss the show. A guy at a nearby table overheard us, and recognized me from a party I crashed at Planet Hollywood a couple years ago…and invited me to the premiere of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a live show downtown at the Plaza. Wooo-hooooooo!!!! I freakin’ *LOVE* that movie — I made my poor brother watch the VHS tape about a million times growing up (well, he was growing up…I was already in my 20s at that time, shamefully!!). Anyhoo, I couldn’t make the premiere (stupid work, grrr)…but I’m going on Sunday, instead.
The rest of the week was crammed full o’ hum-drum lameness, like taxes. I went to see my accountant, and found that I owe the gov’ment $2300…which is fine by me; I look at it as dues to belong to the world’s greatest country club: the USA. If I have to pay $2300 a year to use our roads and libraries and shit…so be it! It’s a fucking bargain as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t wanna live anywhere else, ya know? That being said, he admonished me for not having enough write-offs…so from now on, every drink I buy, every vegan meal I puke up…I’m getting a motherfucking receipt, yo!
Then I did a couple of random gigs, including a photo shoot for an Israeli lingerie website and a gig at a recycling convention, where I was hired to dress in a Green Lantern costume and play Anti-Virus Girl — a sort of superheroine reminding people to use good antivirus protection on the networks at their recycling centers. It was a fun gig, but I still have one more day to go…so I won’t write about it yet.
But far and away the BEST gig I did all week was this craaaaaay-zaaaaaay bachelor party I pranked at the request of a friend. You know how I do those wacky corporate scavenger hunt gigs now and then, where I dress up as a bawling bride or Secret Agent Hotpants or whatever? Well, one of the guys who works for them contacted me, and asked if I could arrange an elaborate hoax. Me and this other chick were supposed to be pretend to be drunken Vegas party girls wandering around Fremont Street, who “happen” to meet up with the bachelor party, and sort of latch onto them for the rest of the night, riding around the ghetto in their limo, taking them to sketchy clubs in between snorts of mystery party drugs before my character finally suffers a drug-induced seizure, to freak out the bachelor…at which point my “friend” pulls out a fake syringe, a la Pulp Fiction: “Not again! This happens every time we go out!”She plunges it into my chest, at which point I spring up all “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!”-like…and hilarity ensues.
It sounded like an OVERWHELMING task, but I made myself say yes, I’ll do it. I put together a slutty party girl outfit, and made up this whole back story about how me and my girlfriend met at a strip club, where I was a stripper and she was a cocktail waitress. In the meantime, she moved on and got a job as a sexy blackjack dealer, and now she convinced me to get out of stripping and try blackjack dealing instead. I wanted to get out of stripping anyway, since I had a 2-year old son back in Texas, who was living with the baby daddy because I was deemed an unfit mother by the court….so now I gotta become a successful blackjack dealer in time for my custody hearing back in Texas next month, so I can prove to the judge that I’m fit and get little Damon back. (I even downloaded a shitty blurry snapshot of some unfortunate snot-nosed mixed-race toddler and put it as the screensaver on my phone.)
But MEANWHILE, in my story, it also happened to be my son’s 2nd birthday that day…so I was depressed, and my “girlfriend” took me out for a night of drinking and partying to get my mind off it. That gave me the excuse to be a total WRECK, and also explained why I kept sneaking off behind the limo to sniff little bits of white powder from a little baggie I had in my purse (it was cornstarch, FYI!). I mean, I was a hot mess!!!!!
Now, this bachelor party consisted of about 10 or 12 Stanford alumni, all earnest young intellectual types, and about half of them were in on the joke — but the other half had no idea! The guys who were in on it helped out by making sure the guys who weren’t in on it were niiiiiice and plastered, so that my antics (in particular my fake seizure) were more believable. And I’m proud to say….it went SMASHINGLY well!!!!!!
We “met” the guys down on Fremont Street, where they were clowning around with the bachelor, making him do all these cheesy stunts and challenges. We goofed around with them for awhile and they “invited” us to come party with them in their limo, which we “grudgingly” did, “sniffing drugs” along the way and being generally obnoxious and drunk.
Once in the limo (even better, it was one of those douchey Hummer limos, LOL), I told them I’d take them to a reeeeeeeel good strip club — then I crawled forward and told the driver to take us to Showgirl Video, that ghetto-ass porn store I wrote about last week that has the peepshow in the back. The driver played along like a champ, buying us more time to get drunk by driving around the ghetto for about 15 minutes, even though Showgirl was right down the street. By the time he dropped us off, they were all wasted. We made the bachelor and the other guys go in and watch the peepshow (remember, you have to put a dollar in a turnstile just to get in…and then it’s $5 or so for a few minutes of peep, so not very exciting) and then I convinced the peepshow dancers to let me go backstage and pop out to surprise the guys mid-jerk.
IT WAS FABULOUS! I busted into the peepshow stage room all crazed, swung wildly around the pole slapping my ass and whatnot (I had on my “Ready For Anything” underwear, LOL), and generally freaked the fuck out of those nice Jewish Stanford boys. AWESOME! It was weird, though — I couldn’t see them through the 2-way glass windows. I don’t know how the peepshow dancers can tell which booths to play to, unless I was doing something wrong. Maybe I forgot to wear my X-ray peepshow glasses or something!!
Anyhoo, after a few minutes I ran outside to “sniff more drugs,” and the guys came out behind me bitching and moaning about how lame that place was, and how they wanted to go to a REAL strip club. “Ohhhhhh, you want to go to a striiiip cluuuub,” I said. “I got a great place I’ll take ya, right down the street!” Back in the limo, I told the driver to take another circuitous route thru the ghetto for about 15 minutes until we got to the Talk of the Town, this über-düber skanky nude club on Las Vegas Blvd North whose parking lot is filled with creepy, decrepit mannequins arranged in a bizarre tableau involving a swingset, a kiddie pool and a mechanical bull.
Back in the day, they used to pay a Russian chick $7 an hour to swing on the swings (which hang from a towering, sun-baked sign blaring “STRIPPERS” in peeling, faded paint) and wave at passers-by…ostensibly to draw in traffic. But now…thanks to the economy, the Russian chick’s job was outsourced to these mannequins. And these mannequins need to form a union, because they take some serious abuse! One is strapped to the back of the mechanical bull, which is permanently set on low speed, and bucks around in disturbing slow motion allllllllllllllll niiiiiiiiiiiiiiight looooooooooong, 24/7/365. Creepy!
Another mannequin is dressed like Marilyn Monroe, but….like Marilyn Monroe after the apocalypse, when all her teeth were blown out by a bomb. Some homeless woman stole her dress one time, but they recovered it with only a few new snot-stains. And it looks like someone took a baseball bat to the third mannequin.
The best part is, there is a warning sign on the mechanical bull warning that trespassing might cause injury, and that the Talk of the Town assumes no liability. But it doesn’t explicitly say NOT to trespass! It’s basically an open invite to drunk frat boys and cracked-out homeless people to hop on and go for a
ride! Nice!!! I swung on the swings, turned the mechanical bull up to HIGH so that it started bucking wildly, almost throwing the busty mannequin off its back, and then when that mannequin lost an arm, I swung that around like a baseball bat…all in all, generally freaking out the bachelor party, who by this time were way over me and my loser “strip clubs.” They tried to ditch my “friend” and me, but we caught up with them just as their limo was pulling away…and that’s when I had my “seizure.”
The guys were yelling at us about how lame we were, and my “friend” was bitching at THEM because they were reading trivia questions from the Economist (I told you these were nice Stanford boys)…and I dipped into my purse for another sniff of my “part drugs,” but also secretly stuffed my mouth full of Alka-Seltzer tablets…which shortly began to foam, as I “fell back,” began jerking, and then banged my head on the console. Ouch!!!
It was worth it though, because they TOTALLY fell for it!!! Everything went as planned, with my “girlfriend” pulling out her syringe and all that…I popped up, like “SURPRISE!!!” and hilarity totally ensued. We all cruised along laughing hysterically at how well it had gone down, and the guys invited us to accompany them to Sapphire, the World’s Largest Gentlemen’s Club (TM), where the REAL bachelor party was to go down. Since I have to review all those fucking clubs anyway, I went along…and had a pretty good time, all in all. But after a couple hours of THAT, they invited us back for more partying in their sick-ass suite at Palms Place, which had a Jacuzzi on the balcony, overlooking the whole Strip. Nice! It was one of those infinity-edge Jacuzzis, with just a thin sheet of Plexiglas separating you from the void. Yikes!!!
I stayed for quite a while, but then they invited this Midwestern bachelorette party up to join us, and by then the guys were getting kinda snarky, so I sort of developed a case of melancholia and left. I hate to see the sun rise, but even more than that I felt kinda embarrassed…like, here were all these young professional guys laughing at me, while I was monkeying around like a halfwit, reinforcing every negative stereotype about Vegas women. I mean, it was method acting…but still. Worse, when I got downstairs I realized they’d unintentionally stiffed me $20 of my $150 fee…but was too embarrassed and tired to go all the way back up there and bang on the door for my $20. Instead, I went and ate a cheeseburger for breakfast and then went home to sleep all day. Crazy!
Anyhoo, this was the second bachelor party prank I’ve arranged (the last one involved my finding a male stripper and a dominatrix as well as another party girl)…so I was thinking I should totally go into business doing this! Ever since the Hangover, there is apparently an unquenchable demand for disastrous mookish hi-jinks that end badly…so it might actually be a good business plan! Hmm……….