Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tiny Vignettes

OK....I am a piece of shit. Two weeks with no post. A thousand pardons. I am still trying to process the CodePink v. Republicans showdown.....

In the meantime, some tiny vignettes of tonight's festivities:

So, tonite we were back at Mrs. Hatfield's....and of course one of the Republicans of the CodePink drama was a guest.....and of course she wants her daughter....soon to graduate from Santa Catalina.....to work for us. She is assuming that CodePink was a temporary abberation.......Right.

The party was a Monterey Museum of Art fundraiser. Two hours in and out, as a favor from Mrs. H. to a friend of a friend. Liberal Republicans reaching out to less than liberal Republicans for The Arts.

Vignette #1: Todd Leuders appeared....my ex-wife's new husband's ex-wife's new husband....and ironically, the host of the wedding last Sunday that had two of my crew still hungover. Todd is head of the Community Foundation, the local umbrella charitable trust. Snapshot conversation: "Our local foundation has only a $100 million trust....compared to San Francisco's $700 million. But they oversee five counties, and we only have the one, and only 400, ooo residents......" Two hundred fifty bucks a person, in trust, independent of government, for good works. Not much.....But then, $100 million is $100 million.

Vignette #2: Republicans and food. The commonly accepted Cypress Point rules are changing. The former rules were: Arrive at the stroke of the invited hour, literally as the second hand sweeps the twelve; cocktails must be available instantly (see: Mr. Lawry's rule); finish at least two cocktails before eating anything whatsoever; eat several of two or three hors d'oeuvres, one of which must be prawns with cocktail sauce, one of which must involve broiled cheese; leave before two hours have elapsed, or risk looking like a Democrat; ladies must drag the husband reluctantly away. The food must not be audible (no crunching to make obvious the utter lack of spirited conversation; appetizers must be small to accomodate the limited stretch of oft lifted lips on the ladies....one bite only (what does this say about matrimonial oral sex amongst our betters, and/or penis size?); appetizers must not spill or drip on clothes or carpet; appetizers must be constructed of readily identifiable ingredients.

New rules are evolving. Atkins/South Beach has shot crostini all to hell. Endive spears and ceramic spoons rule as appetizer foundations. Ingredients must be biochemically as well as visually acceptable. Conversation with the server is almost like an HR interview: ''Would you care for an appetizer?" "What do we have here?" "It is organic grilled chicken breast meat in a ginger soy sauce, shredded without the skin, and wrapped in a sorrel leaf from our organic garden. No MSG, no peanuts in the sauce. Organic dark sesame oil." Or...."It is a grass-fed, all natural hanger filet steak on our own English muffin, with a light tamarind sauce, and an Emmental goat cheese made by lesbians from Humboldt County......That is a pineapple sage flower from our organic garden....." No one will have more than one of any kind appetizer, so bring lots.

The old school guys are still there. An old lawyer, banging back gin at the bar, eating all the olives. The barman says to him: ''Sir, you know we are serving hors d'oeuvres....." Old guy: "You serving fucking olives, are you?" "Uh, no sir...." "Alrighty, then......"

Vignette #3: Steve and Iris Puncture appeared. I am pleased to say that they drank something....but ate nothing. They remain pure. They must have heard about CodePink. Steve is the son of Justin Dart; Iris is an author, and former big wig with the California Council of the Arts. Justin endowed a huge wing attached to the La Mirada museum branch where we served dear Mr. Hawke last month.

Conversation snapshot: Iris to an ancient Cypress dowager, the wife of the olive-eater: "Oh, Mrs. Blank....I am so pleased to meet you. I have heard so much about you. My name is Iris Dart, and....." Mrs. Blank, putting her hand on Iris' arm to stop her: "I am so sorry, dear. I don't do names anymore......" Wow! Me, either!

Vignette #4: Twenty-three years ago we were Daddy Justin Dart's bitches in catering-land. One particular party stand out in memory....at ''Sanderling'', Justin's cove-side pile almost next to Cypress Point. It was a sit-down for 50 or so. Victor, Big Daddy's Beverly Hills major domo was in charge, and he whipped us like dogs......It turned out that the invited guests were all the presidents of all the insurance companies in the U.S.

Background: At the time, Buncture Industries had a pamphlet listing all the companies under the master company umbrella....just names, addresses and phone numbers.....about three per page. The pamphlet ran 125 pages: Rexall, American Airlines....that kind of thing. And Justin was the head of Reagan's "Kitchen Cabinet" to boot, with Alfred Bloomingdale and that crew. So, when Justin Puncture invited the heads of all the insurance companies to dinner....they came in droves.

The guest of honor was a Democratic senator from Oklahoma. Justin introduced him as ''being one of us, despite being a Democrat...." The Oklahoman made a long speech about privatizing social security, and group discussion followed, along the lines of ''how quickly can we get this done?'' The basic premise was the Chinese Chewing Gum Theory: sell a one cent piece of gum to one percent of Chinese at a one percent profit.....you still make a thousand dollars a day.....And there are trillions of Yankee dollars at stake, not a mere billion Chinese gum chewers.

At the end of the dinner, Justin presented the Senator with a gold-plated Model 1876 Winchester lever-action saddle gun. I remember thinking: "Winchester, hell. Where is my AK? I could advance democracy a generation with maybe two clips......"

We sent in the bill to Beverly Hills as normal. When the check came, it was from the University of Southern California. The memo line said ''Sociology Seminar, Pebble Beach".

No shit......every day.

7 Comments:

Blogger JoAnna said...

your app descriptions KILL me!! My motto is:

"it shouldn't take more time to describe the thing than it does to pop it in your mouth and chew it."

Hell, by the time you're done describing it, the person eating it is either reaching for the second one or manifesting an allergic reaction to something that was last on your list of descriptors.

C'est la vie!

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