By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
By Pete Kotz
By Monica Alonzo
By New Times
"Not yet," says Dominguez, a tall Latino dude who's 31. "But I'm getting ready to go out there."
"What's your approach, if I may ask?"
His friends answer for him in unison: "The accent!"
"I use this British accent," he explains. "I just bump into them and say, 'Oh, pardon me.' Then they ask, 'Where are you from?' Chicks love the accent. Plus I'm Hispanic, right? And I'm in Arizona, which is pretty white. The accent's a big help. How do you think I won Danielle's trust?"
"Awwww," she cries. "That's not right."
"Wanna hear a funny story?" he asks.
"Does the pope shit in the woods?"
"Okay, so I'm living near Lake Havasu at the time, and we used to go up to Laughlin a lot to party. This one time, I'm in one of the casinos, drunk off my ass, and I meet these three girls and hit them with the accent. They're all, 'Oh my God, he's sooo cute -- and British!' I end up staying with two of them all night, with my accent going the whole time. But I'm so drunk, I don't remember anything. The next morning, I wake up and I'm so hung over, I fall out of character and go, 'Ah, where am I?' I see these two women getting dressed, and they look at me and say, 'What happened to your British accent?' I'm like, 'What accent?' They left me in the room all by myself, and I had to call my friend to come pick me up. Never saw 'em again."
"So how long have you been a professional con artist?" I ask.
Joseph chuckles. "Actually, I'm an aspiring actor. I've got a head shot and everything."
"What? Another actor? What is this, Universal Studios?"
"No, really, I was briefly in Ocean's 11 with George Clooney. I was in the scene where they take the Asian guy to the vault -- right in the back, playing poker. I got paid like $1,400 for three days, which is not bad."
I could chat with this dude all night, but just then Jett taps me and says she has a couple of live ones I should talk to. So we leave the Joseph-Danielle posse, and head over to one of the couches where Mandy and her homie Bernice are kicking it. Bernice is drunk off her ass and talkin' smack about the 'Zona.
"It's really good in heyer," says Bernice in heavy Brooklynese. "Nwot bad fwor a Areezonean club."
"I take it you're not from Arizona," I remark.
"I'm from New Yawk, originally," responds Bernice, who's not bad-lookin' for her age (40 must be pushing her). Nice bod, long brown hair. The accent could be forgiven, but it's hard ignoring the 'tude.
"I'd never have guessed," I lie. "But, come to think of it, didn't you used to act in The Nanny?"
"Naaaaa! But I live heyer now, in Gilbert. And I fowkin' hate it! It's like The Stepford Wives. They're all zombies. But that's okay. I'm getting a divorce and movin' to Floor-ee-dah."
She looks puzzled, but then the J-girl chimes in, "Well, invite me to the divorce party, girl." She looks at Mandy: "How 'bout you, Lady Day, what's your story?"
"Napa!?" exclaims Jett. "I'm so jealous. I love wine."
"Yeah, you get to drink a lot of great wine in Napa," she says, smiling. "I'm pretty desensitized to good wine by now."
"But you're not drinking vino tonight," I observe.
"No, this is Makers Mark."
"Makers Mark!?" I spurt. "Finally, a lady of distinction and class. I think I'm in love!"
Mandy laughs. "The bartender was impressed, too. He poured me a really tall drink. I guess not a lot of women order it, but I really like bourbon."
Jett pulls me aside and whispers, "Lay off, ice cream ass. She's mine. I've always wanted to visit Napa."
"Maybe you should take it up with Mr. D," I say.
"Yeah." I grab my crotch, Brooklyn style. "Deez nuuuts!"