"You're on the list?" coiffures the wedge at the Club at Firestone's entryway. The B List, baby. Check the B List. Hiccup.
"Yes," I burp, weary from a holiday Sunday that already should have seen all lists with my name on them burned. It's Presidents' Day! Let's set a precedent!
"Is your guest with you?"
No. She's already inside, asleep on the couch.
As is typical with these nominal holidays of American Historical Namedrop-ping, when the banks are closed the bars are open. Which means I better be drinking for free. Circuit DJ Hex Hector is in town for a pre-Presidents' Day, Sunday-night shirtless gay frolic -- presumably for all those who work at banks. And buff queens with bottled water are staring at each other, jaws akimbo, swaying gay sways in time with obvious house noodling. Where were you in 1997?
"Open bar upstairs," chirps relocated New York club catalyst Dan George, distracting me just long enough from some flip discussion of regional attributes assigned to Asian gays. No matter how open the bar, a discussion on the relative cuteness of Asian gays -- in this case, Orlando vs. New York -- always heralds the closing of a conversation.
Kenny Rogers, however, is another story entirely. Make mine a double.
"'Lady,' don't you dare come in here with your breath smelling of alcohol," slurs ubiquitous drag impresario Miss Sammie, referring to the tune by Mr. Rogers that was playing the last time I saw her, spinning records at a wedding. That's where my couchbound galpal and I Romy-and-Micheled it to the very same song. Work with me, here. I was drinking then, too.
"And bring me a beer!"
"Don't pull my hair, Do!" I "Coal Miner's Daughter", playing up a Southern theme that really needn't be played up. This is going nowhere.
Fortunately, Miss Sammie is everywhere. And everyone. Tonight, she's representing Stoli Vodka like a high-priced hooker, wearing some sort of tutu with Stoli knit all over it in cursive scrawl. Other nights she's dressed as other liquors. Surely, I can relate.
Why the outfits?
"I thought a body tattoo would hurt too much," she smacks.
"Well, you can't take skin off!" I glib.
Absurdity follows, as Sammie attests that yes, you can take skin off if you employ the superior exfoliation potential of concrete swimming-pool patios. With flair, she begins to mimic rubbing her face along an imaginary surface. "Sort of a like a dog rubbing his butt on a carpet," she barks.
I rub my butt curiously while my distracted girl-date slips away to the restroom (or another couch). I'm stranded like a broken circuit ... not at all turned on.
"These guys have been dancing all day," tour-directs Sammie. "I went up to one of them, and he said, 'We've been dancing all day!'"
Not me. I've been drinking all day.
In another tragic breach of reason, I had pre-assigned said galpal to babysit my redneck ex-beau ("Don't pull my hair, Do!") for his commencin' of Sunday afternoon drinkin' until I was available to babysit -- er, join -- him. Once I was at the bar, things went predictably sour, and my galpal left me to wrestle the redneck into a taxi. Now, with him finally asleep on my couch, and her asleep on a public sofa somewhere, my hope of pursuing fascinating column fodder was slipping from slim to none.
Did you get that, reader? Slim to none.
"I love you ..." coos party mastermind Dan George. "And your writing!"
He's on to me.
Anyway, the event comes off swimmingly, with the kind of people that you might expect would spend $20 on a Sunday night party modestly cutting rugs (and possibly rubbing their butts on them) to the tune of requisite diva howls and bass bumping.
"This is the worst Deborah Cox song ever!" spites one friend in passing, like Deborah Cox is Cher or something. Unh.
Someone else who isn't Cher, namely Aubrey ("Stand Still" is a club hit, which means it mixes well with others), takes to the stage for a loosely themed patriotic number to raise the roof. Only, she's backed by a dance troupe of naked boys wrapped in American flags. Nationalist controversy erupts when one flag dips a little low ("The flags are at half mast!" waves Miss Sammie), but all is well. Nobody has to burn for it.
Except for me, that is.
The next morning, I am hard pressed to find anything more exciting to write about than the blurry bumps and giggles on the useless audio tape of my Sunday night exploits. I thought I might have recorded something useful. Only, all I got was the worst Deborah Cox song ever.
So I make a few calls to remind myself of what went on.
"Aubrey played 'Stand Still,' and nobody could!" effuses Sammie.
"Hex Hector showed up in a Jag. That was cool," promotes Dan George. "And your girlfriend was drunk! Watching her take the ticket was the funniest thing that happened all night!"
Maybe not the funniest.
"I woke up in a Holiday Inn," Miss Sammie kisses and tell. "On a holiday!"
Me, I woke up on a couch.