A really wild, wanton night in Giuliani-era New York—you know, Pleasantville—involves scouring a deserted pier for a shred of a good time, only to crawl home in abject defeat to watch Golden Girls reruns. That happened to a friend of mine—all right, to me—when Squeeze Box, the longtime multisexual rock night Fridays at Don Hill’s, morphed into a Wednesday party called Cap’n Krunch! at the Frying Pan, an endearingly ramshackle boat docked at a narrow Chelsea pier right out of I Know What You Did Last Summer. I’d heard that the opening night was enchanté—partly because drag performer Justin Bond was visibly making out with a five-foot-tall, female-to-male transsexual on the deck—but by week two when I got there, the event turned out to be a three-hour tour. The dock was emptier than theaters showing Shiloh 2, the vessel having been raided during some other party and shut down for serving a minor. And now Squeeze Box, where the Courtney Loves rocked on with the Miss Guys, might be squeezed out, and Krunch crunched—though the promoters are looking for a new home, maybe back at Don Hill’s. Mr. Mayor, you are so cute, the way you continually fuck with my schedule!
The Roxy, at least, is open, but the perennial dance palace now has ominous signs in the bathroom saying the management has “absolutely zero tolerance for anyone using or possessing G.H.B., Blue Nitro, Revivarent or Renewtrient. These drugs induce coma and cardiac arrest!” For many, so did those signs.
In a similarly restrictive vein, Unicorn—the Chelsea video haven which used to only carry gay porn—now has almost as few shelves of it as there are unattached five-foot female-to-male transsexuals running around. As a result of its Rudy-awakening, the joint is suddenly filled with kiddie cartoons, Red Skelton shows, Cantinflas movies, and a video tour of the Holy Land called Where Jesus Walked—all positioned about eight-and-a-half inches away from a handful of titles like Big Brazilian Dicks! Well, our priggish mayor isn’t going to douse my boogie nights. Bugs Bunny is starting to look kind of hot to me.
Speaking of sexual merch—if I can go international here—Eyes Wide Shut is designed to remind us that Tom and Nicole are positively on fire as a twosome, but guess what Nicole told Good Housekeeping? “I wish we could say we’re this wild kind of strange couple. But I think if you were a fly on the wall, you’d fall asleep watching us.” Even before Golden Girls.
Keep your eyes wide shut for Geri Halliwell‘s snoozy, mambo-flavored “Look at Me,” which has already been banned from music stores and replaced by Cantinflas records. The tune sounds like a Shirley Bassey dinner-theater reject from the ’60s, and no amount of girl power—especially toned-down, tasteful, I-care-about-fibroids-and-starving-children girl power—could have stopped it from bombing clamorously. I guess just wanting to be a star isn’t good enough—but hey, she’s still big in Europe.
In America, my office cubicle is a glittering shrine to Britney Spears, the teen pop queen who, in omnipresent videos, appealingly veers from slutty Catholic school girl to vixeny waif-next-door. At a Britney bash at B-Bar, the guy who duets with her on tour seemed to understand her tantalizing textures. “She’s sexy and sweet,” he told me. “But she’s 17. Next year she’ll be
really good.” This night, everyone was busy speculating about Britney’s rapidly blossoming breasts, one guest loudly musing that some girls’ boobs grow naturally when they’re on the pill. While considering that, I pushed, shoved, and pinched nipples to nab an encounter with the busty belle, who looked appalled, then blank, then perky, all within a five-second span. All smiles, I asked her if she’s ever met
that other famous ex-Mouseketeer,
Annette Funicello. “No, but I’d love to,” Britney said, dutifully. Does she ever see grown men in her audience getting off on her, um, talent? “Sometimes,” she said. (Hey, that’s the name of her current hit record!) Doesn’t that creep her out a bit? “No, not really,”Britney concluded, as I went home to play my Ricky Martin records.
Muppets From Space got me out of the house again, and amazingly it’s yet another kiddie product with a free-
spirited, sexy message. At one point, Gonzo tells his peers, “Thanks for
accepting me as an alien. It’s not a choice—but all my life I’ve felt leanings.” I cried; the words could have been coming from George Michael!
In her hilarious and uplifting I’m the One That I Want show, Margaret Cho comes out—as a fag hag—but
sexuality-wise takes the Camryn Manheim route, saying she tried lesbianism once and failed. (As a standup comedian on an Olivia cruise, Cho messily bedded a woman, “and I thought, ‘Am I gay? Am I straight?’ And I realized I’m just slutty. Where’s my parade?”) The tack-sharp comic deserves a whole armada—and not on a Chelsea pier—just for taking us through her rough years starring in a demoralizing TV series, being forced to lose weight, and becoming so perennially bombed that she gave folks “lots of unnecessary head” in order to be loved back (“It was my version of the mint on the pillow”).
Cho’s found her way to sobriety—and Westbeth—and is now so controlled that I hear she recently cut a dissing of ex-boyfriend Chris Isaak from the show. Cho used to reveal that Isaak once pointed to a photo of her in People and said, “You shouldn’t let them run pictures like that. You look fat.” She later realized how angry she should have been at Isaak’s demeaning attitude—which I’m sure he’ll cop to in his Behind the Music next year.
For those in the market for necessary head—or talk thereof—Details dish Anka Radakovich is getting her own MTV show, replacing the canceled Loveline. There’s also lots of gonadal discussion going on in Fire Island, per usual, but the real fun there last week was Karen Finley (who I hear may play Michael Alig‘s mother in the movie about the club-kid killer) saying she looks really good in Playboy and the publicist for the ill-fated musical The Civil War, when asked what he’s working on, deadpanning, “A tan.”
But the ferry came back and the fairy still wanted a good time, goddammit. Bizarrely, the last-chance saloon turned out to be Christina’s Country Kitchen, an adorable if mildly alienating 24-hour place on Tenth Avenue in the 30s that feels like it’s not in New York at all. Christina’s is fronted by a gigantic water wheel, which provides a refreshing mist for the outdoor café area and also serves as a nifty reminder that you should play miniature golf sometime soon. The menu emphasizes waffles and omelettes, served by a dazed-looking waiter—perhaps extra-stymied by the fact that customers actually showed up! Right next door is Gold Rush, another themey place fit for the Pennsylvania countryside, this one with a giant covered wagon as its “What were they thinking?” outdoor emblem. Unfortunately, there’s little rush for Rush; on the Saturday night I looked in, it was as empty as Christina’s, prompting one to wonder how two places could have been constructed just for me, without anyone telling me about them.
More importantly, why is The Golden Girls only on twice a night?