Friday, August 28, 2009
(Continued From THE FIRING SQUAD PT. 2)
The ravenous-looking coyotes continued to stare menacingly at the stupid daddy. Their cruel, gold eyes fixed on the cumbersome SNUGLY sling and it's tempting, $40 per bottle, Mustela baby shampoo-scented 'package.' As the exhilarating, narcotic effects of the magic RED BULL potion had worn off a mile or two back, the daddy returned to his natural state of neurotic, unproductive self-loathing.
"How could I have been so dumb, so ridiculously unprepared?" The foolish daddy asked himself as the famished coyotes began to boldly circle him and the magical baby.
Hadn't the daddy watched every episode of WILD KINGDOM as a child? Hadn't the daddy recently developed an unhealthy relationship with ANIMAL PLANET not for it's informative animal-centric programing nor inspiring message of ecological conservation, but rather it's bounty of incredibly hot naturalist dudes who tended to host shows in far-flung, steamy jungle habitats that necessitated removal of their sweaty shirts revealing their six-pack abs and bulging pecs? Even worse, had the daddy learned nothing from those fascists at Fox News who joyfully featured the lurid story of some crazy, leftist rock climber who pinned under a two-ton boulder, and possessing no cell phone, resorted to cutting off his own arm with a hunting knife to escape death? Faced with that kind of fucked-up predicament, unlike the leftist hiker, the daddy who had spent buckets of money on over-priced manicures and Kiehl's hand cream, would have remained pinned under that rock, and would have wound up looking like a Lycra-clad version of those chained-up skeletons you see at THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride at Disneyland.
With an extremely unpleasant coyote attack facing the daddy and the magical baby, the scared-to-death daddy's first instinct was to remain motionless and blend-in with the picturesque, indigenous setting of Griffith Park, which consists primarily of dirt, sage brush, weeds, newspaper scraps and used condoms. The having-seen-it-all coyotes were not at all impressed with the daddy's douchy, Jewish American Princess-inspired powers of camouflage. Even the oldest, frailest, most sight-impaired coyote would have little difficulty spotting the dopey daddy's snow white John Varvatos tshirt, glittering Cartier watch, and highly reflective, Nike Day-Glo hiking shoes. As the coyotes closed in, the daddy and magical baby were on the brink of being tragically torn to shreds not only for the dumb daddy's careless planning but for his criminal, J.A.PPY sense of fashion.
All at once, the daddy remembered an episode from THE JEFF CORWIN EXPERIENCE, where the super cute Jeff Corwin, the married, yet slightly lispy 'naturalist' with the blinding Pepsodent smile, gym-worked biceps, and perfectly groomed eyebrows (you do the math) was able to fend off a hungry bear by athletically jumping on a boulder and shouting at the top of his resonant, 'flamboyant' voice. The frightened bear took one look at glittery Jeff, turned and high-tailed it out of there, clearly having lost his appetite after Jeff's knowing, uncanny impersonation of a screechy preteen girl at a BRITNEY SPEARS concert.
The formerly immobilized, paralyzed-with-fear daddy, inspired by his ANIMAL PLANET fantasy lover, er...hero Jeff Corwin, grabbed a fallen tree branch and while shouting 'FUCK YOU, SONS OF BITCHES!' at the top of his own wildly lispy, queer-as-a-three-dollar-bill voice rushed the suddenly caught-off-guard coyotes.
(To Be Continued)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
(Continued from THE FIRING SQUAD)
Despite the oppressive stillness of the night and the constant threat of being accidentally shot by communist bloc street thugs who while sitting in their shiny BMWs, use the kingdom's bucolic, secluded streets as a quiet respite from their exciting, high-octane lives of drug dealing and petty thievery, the overwrought daddy bravely set out on foot. The magical baby quickly dropped off to sleep, securely strapped to the daddy's tummy in the loathsome, terry cloth SNUGLY sling the magical baby demanded.
Fortunately, before crawling out of their castle, the daddy took a magic potion called RED BULL, whose mystical and presumably carcinogenic ingredient Taurine, gave the exhausted daddy the strength, stamina and shaky excitability of a 17 year-old-girl on prom night. As the day's first light began to break over the kingdom, the over-caffeinated, body dysmorphic daddy had the brilliant idea to go for a strenuous early morning hike through the kingdom's trash strewn 'urban wilderness' Griffith Park. He insanely reasoned that the magical baby's ten pounds of extra weight would be "Like...you know, a totally awesome cardiovascular workout!"
Due to his sleep deprived, energy drink fueled insanity, the daddy set out on the park's steep trails with neither diapers, baby wipes, baby bottles, water canteen, or back-up baby supplies of any kind. And just for fun, the short sighted daddy neither told anyone where he was going nor took his cell phone.
The chemically pumped-up Daddy, soon made short shrift of the park's filthy, treacherous trails. The sun had yet to appear on the horizon as the daddy made his way into the heart of darkness. Miles from anywhere or ANYONE, the daddy found himself in a clearing at the top of hill with stunning, commanding views of the Kingdom. As the daddy breathed in the clean early morning air and marveled at the beauty that surrounded him, the hair on the daddy's neck rose as as a coyote the size of a Buick entered the same clearing, hungrily regarded the daddy's bulging, padded 'tummy' and let out a blood-chilling howl. In a terrifying instant, the giant coyote was joined by his posse of mangy pals who seemed to share his taste for domesticated cats, dogs, and in the daddy's pathetic case, self-important, entertainment industry dickheads.
Oddly, unlike most cases of near-death experiences, the daddy did not see his sad little life pass before his eyes. Instead, the daddy visualized the sensational headline in the Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter exclaiming how a dopey, clueless entertainment marketing executive was mortally wounded by a pack of vicious, rabid coyotes. The stupid, negligent daddy's last words uttered in his best Meryl Streep Australian accent to a band of benevolent Korean hikers, "Help...A coyote ate my babeh!"
(To Be Continued)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Before my son Ethan came barreling into our shallow, self-absorbed lives, I used to really savor my evening hours as this was the sacred time I reserved for Tivo’d episodes of SEX AND THE CITY and a very tall, very dry Martini. As if remembering a pleasant dream, I recall leisurely dinners with my lover George, who after stuffing ourselves fully, would float to our media room in a haze of red wine-induced goodwill. George would curl up next to me on our overstuffed, spotless sofa and begin to snore softly as I downed my for-medicinal-purposes-only, industrial-strength Grey Goose ‘nightcap.’ Despite the thrilling, melodramatic adventures of Carrie Bradshaw and company, I would soon join George in snoring away on our sofa due to the gentle warmth of his unconscious body and my exhausting, near manic obsession with cataloguing the crazy, Patricia Field costume changes wrought on poor Sarah Jessica Parker. (Gym shorts paired with athletic socks and Jimmy Choo strappy sandals, anyone? Girlfriend, please!)
Like Keanu Reeves who in the MATRIX is ‘unplugged’ from his cushy computer world and awakened to the gritty and depressing ‘real world’ of smarmy Laurence Fishburne, (By the way, speaking of THE MATRIX, I sure as shit would have taken the blue pill and stayed the fuck in MATRIX land. Despite my affinity for Pleather cat suits and hand guns, I would have avoided the whole cyber-messiah, save-the-world thing like the plague. Besides, I’m at my most charming when I’m stupefying drunk or deeply and irretrievably unconscious.) my evening existence has changed from a vodka-induced dream into an alcohol-free childcare nightmare. I have come to call this time of day ‘The Firing Squad,’ as getting my son prepared for bed has evolved into a formal ceremony that has the order and precision of a military execution but lacks all the charm one expects from capital punishment.
Despite my utter lack of interest in the agonizingly painful set of treaties I must negotiate with Ethan that gets him from our dinner table, through bath and reading time and finally (mercifully) into bed, I do find one small, fleeting aspect of ‘The Firing Squad’ enjoyable. I love to tell him a bedtime story. His favorite is a story that is based on real-life events and is aptly called ‘The Coyote Story.’
It goes something like this:
Once upon a time, there lived two men who despite their unrelenting narcissism and selfishness, offhandedly and cavalierly decided that having a baby would be ‘Like...totally fun!” So the two men who were biologically and divinely barren, paid a pot of money to a bunch of lawyers, psychologists, agencies, egg donors, and surrogates (…and a partridge in a pear tree) and were ‘blessed’ with a gorgeous, magical baby that could only be lulled to sleep if his loving, yet blithely unprepared parents death marched with him in a kind of sling, ominously and frighteningly called a ‘SNUGLY.’
Despite princely sums spent on cribs, bassinets, mechanical swings, vibrating chairs, and boxy pack-and-plays, the magical baby would not sleep on his own and would not be appeased. His ear-shattering, nerve-jangling screams and cries would reverberate clearly in the densely packed, overbuilt canyon the men lived, so fearing that the kingdom's protective services would take the magical baby into protective custody the men packed him into the hateful SNUGLY each night, EVERY NIGHT and set off into the forbidding, inky darkness that is Los Feliz.
(To be Continued)
Friday, August 21, 2009
(Continued from Birthday Bash Pt. 3)
Eons ago, when I was but a small, impressionable child, my mother would often drag me on many of her manic shopping 'benders' at Loehman's. After sternly warning me not to move from a hard, leather bench situated at the front of the store, she would relentlessly roam the sale racks looking for bargains. My mother would check on me every 20 minutes or so, as she knew that left to my own devices, her 'creative & arty' son had the humiliating habit of trying on every deeply discounted, Halston, Yves Saint Laurent or Mary Mcfadden dress that caught his eye.
I wouldn't say that I was a transvestite in the true sense of the word, as I wasn't particularly desirous of being a female as much as I wanted to be something pretty..something different. My mother deeply worried that there was something definitely 'unusual' about her young son, who in addition to his inexplicable attraction to marked-down, couture gowns, exhibited an annoying habit of wrapping her whiter-than-white percale sheets around himself and fluttering around the backyard exclaiming he was 'Madame Butterfly.' My mother would queasily watch these 'displays,' and alarmed, would knock loudly on the kitchen window while shouting 'No!' at the top of her lungs. She would storm out the back door, stomp across the yard and rudely strip the sheets from my body.
"Stop doing that!" she would say.
"Why?" I would ask.
"Because it's faggy and weird."
As I was only 6 or 7 I had only the basest understanding of what 'faggy' meant. I only knew that being 'faggy' probably wasn't a good thing.
"Why don't you play with the baseball glove and ball we gave you?" she demanded.
"I don't like baseball."
"Well, learn to like it. I'm sick of washing these fucking sheets - Jesus, would you please stop acting like such a fruitcake already!"
With that, my mother angrily turned on her heel and headed into the house, my alabaster 'costume' clutched firmly to her breast. While my resolute, determined mother may have clipped my wings she should have never underestimated the power and determination of a 'faggy' boy. As my mother angrily shoved the soiled sheets into our washing machine, I stealthily snuck upstairs and pulled the over-sized terry cloth bath sheets from the hall closet. Within a few short moments, I was attired like a
JC Penny version of Marie Antoinette - the opulent towels piled turban-like on my head, the others used to form my bodice and billowing skirts. I regally descended the staircase, crossed our formal, never-used living room, and even dared to perch myself on my 'throne' which in this case was a tacky, plastic slip covered French Provincial wing chair. I knew that I was committing a supreme act of sedition, but like Marie, was prepared to die for my right to be fabulous. I held court in our ghastly living room for only a few minutes, before my mother caught site of me and furiously chased me from the room. In my haste to escape her, my poly blend 'hair' and 'skirts' would fall away, the sickening smell of Downy left as the only reminder of my short, tragic reign.
Having been summarily dropped by the flirtatious Aquaman, who was surprisingly astute in determining that our personal association would not lead to a 'break-out' role on GOSSIP GIRL, I aimlessly wandered around the maddeningly, over-decorated villa of The Duchess. As I hadn't seen my son Ethan in over two hours, I figured I might want to check on him. I planned to bribe him with whatever toy or treat he wanted so that we could hastily depart.
I gradually made my way to the living room veranda and peered out over the expansive, sweeping lawn of the backyard. Unexpectedly, I caught a glimpse of my son engaged in a spirited game of soccer among the festively dressed Supermen, Captain Americas, Spidermen, and Jokers. His face was joyfully flushed, his rent-a-nanny, hand stitched cape flew behind him as he made a miraculous kick at the ball. I couldn't tell if he had actually scored, for I momentarily lost sight of him among the blur of older, taller boys. He suddenly appeared, surrounded by a gang of high-fiving grade school dudes. His young, soft face beamed with pride as our eyes inexplicably and magically locked. The Mojitos must have finally caught up with me, as strange, unfamiliar tears stung my eyes. Ethan raced over to me, and breathlessly exclaimed, "Dad, do you see that - I scored!"
"You were awesome!" I choked out.
My son grinned, waved and happily rejoined the game. The desire to leave abated, and like Marie Antoinette, I daintily took a seat on a rented, gilded chair and cheered on my young 'champion.'
As twilight fell, the party finally began to break up and my son who had gorged himself on cake icing and gummy worms, had had enough. As the valet fetched our car, Ethan bid goodbye to his super hero pals. He obediently boarded the 'Bat Prius' and instantly passed out. As I stared at him peacefully asleep in my rear view mirror, a bright red juice mustache covering his mouth, I couldn't help but envy his having no desire to be 'pretty' or 'different.' Ethan was destined to be the popular, 'normal' kid whose ordinariness my parents would have loved, but were denied.
The house was dark and slightly forbidding when we arrived home. I scooped my sleepy child from the car, and as he laid his sweaty head on my shoulder, he held me very tightly and slurred in my ear, 'I love you, dad.' As I mounted the towering staircase leading to our home, I had to steady myself several times, for the extraordinary and weighty treasure I held in my arms nearly caused this queen to lose her head.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Recently, after a round of near-lethal apple Martinis, my mother drunkenly confided to me that my 7th birthday will always stand out as one of her most cherished memories of motherhood. Remarkably, she can recall the color of balloons (red), flavor of the cake (chocolate - baked from scratch!), and the number of guests who attended. With a look of quiet contentment, she muses how at first I was reluctant to ride the miniature ponies and baby elephants she and my father graciously rented for the occasion, but with some gentle prodding from the assemblage (and the press), straddled the little beasts with gusto and delighted everyone by bravely cantering around the backyard, smiling and whooping it up madly. My mother's eyes moisten and her voice cracks as she recalls how I gently blew her a kiss and lovingly mouth 'Je t'aime maman' while surrounded by a treasure trove of presents as the crowd sang a rousing and stirring version of 'Happy Birthday To You.'
"You were so precious - so darling! We were all so happy then." She recalls, her moist eyes giving way to full-blown tears.
For a moment, I am dumbstruck as I have no memory of this party. When I further probe my mother, I realize with horror she has mentally co opted the infamous birthday party scene from the film 'MOMMIE DEAREST' and unconsciously inserted herself in the part of Joan Crawford and relegated the role of the long-suffering Christina to me.
That about sums up my childhood experience with birthday parties. Not only did my mother never make me a birthday party, she has brazenly and conveniently pilfered scenes from infamous films and TV shows and chosen to mentally store them as her own personal birthday memories. I'm certain that in the near future she will recall how at my 8th birthday, our devoted live-in housekeeper Alice, made a delicious Gateau De
Chantilly, as my siblings Marsha, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Peter, and Bobby sang their own adult-contemporary version of 'Happy Birthday' to me while she cuddled up to her loving, permanent wave-wearing husband, Mike.
When one takes into account my staggering inexperience and naivete regarding children's birthday party etiquette, it's easy to understand how I could have made a few small, inconsequential faux pas at Cody's creepy, over-the-top birthday grande fete. As Ethan and I made our way down the obnoxious red carpet, the rent-a-paparazzi swooped in and nearly blinded me with their flash bulb assault. I resembled Posh Beckham, and covered my face stoically as I hadn't taken the time to shave, do my hair nor change out of my creased, wrinkled pajamas. My son Ethan on the other hand, worked the red carpet like a withered old pro. While preening for the cameras, I half-expected he would announce to the assembled 'press' whom he was wearing and shamelessly plug his upcoming film projects.
Once past the phalanx of intrusive photographers, Ethan and I stumbled into the grand foyer of Cody's mansion. A liveried butler gave us the stink eye, whisked away our measly gift, and grudgingly beckoned us to join the festivities in the garishly decorated main salon. As Ethan raced off to join his school chums who at the present time were lasciviously and obscenely licking the icing off a Cat Woman cake, I ventured forth to acknowledge and thank our hosts before making a speedy departure.
The sheer size of the house, and the outrageous number of invited guests made locating our hosts difficult. Thankfully, I caught a glimpse of one of Cody's two dads, whom I will call 'The Duchess' barking orders at the cowering waitstaff. After a round of requisite gay-boy air kisses and meaningless LA small-talk, I innocently inquired as to what time the party was going to wrap up so that I knew when to pick my kid up. The Duchess looked flabbergasted.
After giving me a steely look she remarked "You can certainly leave Ethan, but do you really think that's a good idea? I mean there are so many people, so many 'entertainments'...I just don't feel comfortable accepting that kind of responsibility."
An awkward silence passed and I continued to stare dumbly at The Duchess. With mounting panic, it began to dawn on me that there would be no sweet escape for me. My dream of running to yoga and a quick coffee in Larchmont Village were dashed to bits on the hard, unforgiving shores of hideous parental responsibility island.
"No, I guess not." I responded lamely.
"Of course not." The Duchess soothingly cooed back, "Now, go find the bar darling, our bartenders are moy caliente."
As I was now formally dismissed, The Duchess was free to continue the relentless debasement of the rented staff. I mercifully located the bar out by the enormous, Olympic-size swimming pool. As I sipped on a blood-red watermelon Mojito, I began to wonder when the rules for children's birthday parties changed. When did it become compulsory for parents to attend these things? As a child, my parents were startlingly young and attractive, they wouldn't have been caught dead at the same children's birthday party as me. (I was way too nerdy and awkward for them) Why was my pathetic presence necessary here? Laying supine on a lounge chair, I was on my third Mojito, fucked-up and feeling really sorry for myself, when God took pity on me. Like Neptune, a scantily clad man rose from the depths of the pool, hoisted himself to the pool deck, and shook the water from his gleaming blond hair and rippling body.
He extended his hand and said, "Greetings land-lover, I'm Aquaman would you like to pet my sea snake?"
(To Be Continued)