Monday, March 27, 2006

Bloggers and Bunnies Part I: The Arrival

I ripped a gagger in front of the spider monkey cage and wondered how many blowjobs Hef must have gotten standing in the same exact place. Did all of Hef's girlfriends swallow? The blonde hair and the enhanced boobular region was a must and I assumed slurping down Hef's love juice was also part of the job description of being Hef's latest fuck toy.

The existentialist moment of "How the fuck did I get here?" (which creeps up on me every few months) got a hold of me as I stood in the middle of the largest concentration of Redwoods in Southern California. It kept the Mansion secluded from the outside world while it provided a lush habitat for his small zoo and aviary that housed Hef's parrots, cockatoos, peacocks, rabbits, and spider monkeys. If you are a fan of the HBO series Entourage, there was a scene where Johnny Drama was banned from the Playboy Mansion because Hef assumed he let all the animals out of the zoo during a pajama party a decade ago. During the course of the episode, the viewers found out it was Ralph Macchio Pauly Shore who got drunk and let loose all the monkeys and finally Johnny Drama was back in good graces with Hef. I prayed that none of us would do anything stupid enough to get kicked out (like puke in the Grotto) or egregious enough that we would be banned for life (like puke on the spider monkeys). At some point during the course of the evening, we'd all flirt with that one moment where if the impulsive side of our degenerate gambler brains would steer us down a dark path of lunacy. Fortunate for all of us, we all survived the mind fuck of wandering around the Hugh Hefner's backyard shithoused drunk.

We all gathered at a hotel near LAX to meet up with AlCantHang who flew in from Philadelphia just for the event. The other seven of us drove from Las Vegas where we had been partying and gambling. Change100 drove Spaceman and I through bat country in the desert. Without any traffic to LA, we made great time. CJ drove the rental car and followed Joe Speaker a few hours later. By the time they arrived, I was already downing glasses of SoCo with AlCantHang.

We were given a free room that was given to the bloggers for covering the event. We were supposed to get two, but they only had one, which meant that Bobby Bracelet had to sleep on the floor wrapped in an AIDS-ridden bed spread and that BG had to curl up into the fetal position in the mildew encrusted bathtub. I luckily was going to stay with Change100 anyway which helped alleviate the sleeping situation. We really paid very little attention to that. We had bigger tasks at hand like getting ready for the Mansion. Between the eight of us, we must have spent about $300 each on new clothes. I know most women who will spend that on a pair of shoes but for us guys that's a ton of money. We didn't care. We were heading to the Mansion.

Several poker pros were also booked at the same hotel. Steve Dannenmann, who took second place at the 2005 WSOP (and won $4.5 million), ended up drinking with us at the bar along with "Cowboy" Hoyt Corkins and Gavin Smith, who's one of the top young players on the tour today. Dannenmann bought us all drinks and said he'd reward the blogger who had the best fake story about him. None of us had been invited to the Playboy Mansion before, but since poker players were the new rock stars, they were invited to appear at the charity poker event.

AlCantHang got chummy with them and hitched a ride in their limo to the Mansion. We were stuck having to drive to UCLA's parking lot and hop on a shuttle to the Mansion. We parked under the athletic fields and I quickly took a piss behind a pillar with Boy Genius. It was our first classless move of the night and would not be the first stint of public urination.

We figured out that we had to check in first before we could get on the shuttle. There were several lines... players, guests, talent, and media. Yeah, we were media reps and got word that no cameras would be allowed. So I didn't take one with me. I just took my notepad, a pen, my voice recorder, and my party favors.

There was a mix up and we could not get checked in. Spaceman called our contact and when she arrived five minutes later, we had the go ahead. We boarded the shuttle to the Mansion and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning ready to tear into my first present. As we passed through the gates, BG who had been sitting next to me said, "I think we should enjoy this moment in silence."

He was right. We were stepping onto scared sacred ground as the iron cast gates slowly crept open to allow us inside. As the bus climbed the hill, we could see the Mansion sitting on top with a large sloping lawn in front.

The bus stopped and we all got off clueless on where to go. There was no sign of AlCantHang's limo with the poker pros. The red carpet was in front of us with paparazzi clutching cameras and a film crew behind the ropes. Should we go behind the ropes? Or walk the carpet? We huddled in hesitation for a few seconds, when Joe Speaker pointed to the red carpet.

Fuck it.

I led the way and headed down the carpet while I took a deep breath. When the red carpet ended, I found myself in the backyard only a few steps from the Grotto and infamous stone bar. I never stopped my stride and walked up to the bar with Joe Speaker as I looked back and watched CJ, Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, BG, and Chad all saunter inside with shit-eating grins on their faces. Speaker flashed me that million dollar smile and said, "Doctor, we've arrived."

... to be continued

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