I remember getting a call years ago from a girl named Caryn. She was having a birthday party, and I hadn’t been doing this column very long. The details sounded interesting. She was dating a guy from the show Jackass, and there was going to be a band playing in the backyard.
The Jackass guy broke up with her a few days before the party. (I joked with her about how he just wanted to get out of buying a gift.) And the police made the band stop playing before I arrived.
I got an angry message on my voice mail from her, saying I spelled her name “Karen” and she’d never be able to save the article because nobody would believe it was about her.
Now, years later, she’s learned to spell her name so people get it right. And she stopped going out with jackasses. She got engaged to a nice Jewish boy from Chicago. I went to their engagement party in La Jolla a few months back.
The guy was wearing a yarmulke. So, I asked them both a little about the Jewish religion. As he started telling me about it, I wondered why I had asked. Religion seldom interests me. And if someone were wearing a cross around their neck, I wouldn’t ask them about their religion.
So, when I heard a guy on the couch next to me say something about a funny movie, I asked what film he was referring to. He said, "Freddy Got Fingered, with Tom Green. It was actually funny. It’s on my list of favorite movies.” I told him I never saw it but figured it would be near the bottom of most lists, right behind Dude, Where’s My Car? He said, “Hey…my other favorite movies are Pulp Fiction and Office Space. So, I have good taste in movies.”
I asked the Jewish guy for his list. For some reason, I thought he would say Fiddler on the Roof, Schindler’s List, or Yentl. But he actually had great choices. I then realized that damn yarmulke was throwing me off my game: it was hard to predict what would come out of his mouth.
He’s a lawyer, and we ended up talking a lot about law. When he told me they were moving to Chicago, I asked Caryn what she thought about leaving La Jolla. She said she was excited.
There was a lot of food on the table, and as I grabbed some chocolate, I heard Caryn tell the story about how they met and were friends first. She had gotten out of a bad breakup and wasn’t looking to date anyone else. But soon they were doing the long-distance thing.
A guy at the party that reminded me of Vin Diesel told me he was a chef in town. I said, “Why didn’t Caryn have you cook all this?” He laughed and said, “She was going to. I’ve cooked for her before.” Caryn confessed that she wasn’t much of a cook.
Because this party was in the late afternoon and had lots of food, it enabled me to go to a P.B. party later that offered no food.
It was a book-release party at a bar for a local author named C.J. Koa, who wrote Story of an American Escort.
I got wind of the event from another person I’d met at a party years ago. Her name is Jackie, and she’s one of the founders of the Blue Thong Society. When I wrote about their party, I had picked up a blue thong off the table to look at it. When I set it back down, part of it touched a candle and caught fire.
I made sure not to touch any thongs at this P.B. party because there were actually a few women wearing them. And they looked as if they could possibly be escorts. I asked a few people about that and never got a straight answer. Someone finally told me, “They’re private dancers.”
I saw cards on a table that read, “This story is based on true events…” and that the book was a “fast-paced page-turner, taking place in America’s finest city, San Diego.”
I saw some people buying copies, and I ended up at a table and bought one. I felt that the author was there to promote it, so why not buy one? I had a similar situation recently when I saw a comedian that was great. I was asking him a question afterward as he was selling CDs. He asked if I wanted to buy one, and I felt obligated. On the way home, I was disappointed to hear the same set of material that I had just heard live.
At least the book was material I wasn’t familiar with. I thumbed through it as the author sat on a couch with his arms around two scantily clad women.
I ordered a drink at the bar and overheard a few people talking about the world’s oldest profession. One claimed it should be made legal. The other argued all the reasons why it shouldn’t be. He then said, “The book kind of makes it sound tantalizing and how if you avoid getting into drugs or crazy clients, it can work.”
I ran into Jackie, and she told me she met C.J. when she was 19, but they fell out of touch when she moved to Florida. She read his book and loved it.
I watched as Jackie went over to a group of people and began hugging them. I heard her say something about a Showtime series. Someone nearby made a joke about former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s call-girl scandal, and the people with him laughed.
I later asked where the book could be purchased, and Jackie said it was at Barnes & Noble. I said, “This is sort of like a how-to book for escorts.” She responded, “Well…it’s not as racy as people think. Danielle Steel is racier. So was Sidney Sheldon.”
C.J. showed me the bus they had for the party, which was like Studio 54 on wheels. I asked how much they paid to have it there and found out a friend let them borrow it. The owner of the bus walked in, turned up the music, and made it hard to hear what C.J. was telling me.
C.J. offered me a drink from the cooler, but I declined. When he went to talk to a friend out front, I walked back into the bar. When I saw him next, he was on a couch with three women and photos were being taken. I said to someone nearby, “It’s like being at a Hugh Hefner party.” The guy said, “Uh…these girls are cute, but not Bunny material.”
I went to the bar for another drink, and the two guys were still debating whether or not prostitution should be made legal. As I was handed my glass, I heard one say, “The woman in the book has a quarter-million dollars in a safe deposit box.”
I said, “Thanks a lot! You ruined the ending for me.”