It's midnight at Sadisco's monthly ball of glorious, gutter depravity, and the debauch is in full swing. Some industrial joint is screeching from the speakers, and the TVs are screening the grisly serial-killer pic Saw. There's trash on the floor and bloodstains on the checkerboard pattern pasted all over Jugheads, the club near Papago Park where this Sadistic Disco goes down. The crowd is thick with dirty dogs and begrimed bitches dry-humping and licking each other.
The theme of the eve is "Hate Lovers Ball -- Prom Night Massacre," and it's time for the prom king and his queens to get nekkid. Up on a low-rise in the back of the club, Sadisco's scurvy-pervy pied piper DJ Squalor has stripped down to a white tie and some sort of leather thong, his loose teal skirt hovering around his knees, kept in place by a pair of oversize white suspenders. He moves in synch with a royal entourage consisting of a blonde named Angie in a tiara, white thong and little else, and a saucy brunette belle who goes by Syn-eq (pronounced "cynic") in elbow-length gloves, and a black-and-white dress with the top pushed down around her waist to reveal nips covered in black duct tape.
Needless to say, Squalor's peeps are feelin' this sleazy stripzilla, as is the Jettster.
"Whoa," exclaims the switch-hittin' Christina Milian, mimicking Keanu Reeves in every film he's ever made. "This is pretty cool."
"Thanks for the news flash, Jon Stewart," I crack, sipping on the dregs of a vodka-cranberry the size of a bucket. "Hmm, this glass is emptier than Paris Hilton's post-hacker T-Mobile Sidekick. Time for a refill."
We ease up next to the illustrious Donnie Burbank (DJ title: "Dr. Father"), Squalor's partner in organizing this year-old soiree of Valley sybarites. Unlike Squalor (real name: Toby Heidebrink), who's a Tasmanian devil of frenetic energy, Burbank is the picture of Buddha-like calm. We sit with him in the eye of the hurricane, while he explains that Sadisco always has a different theme.
"Last month it was Fight Club, and we actually had people volunteer to fight each other," relates Burbank, who sports distinctive black bangs and is wearing a stylish, wine-colored smoking jacket with black lapels. "Next time it's going to be Crime Lab Absinthium. It'll be March 19, a month from today. We'll post all details on our Web site at www.sadistic-disco.com."
"Do you always have them on the 19th?" wonders the J-unit, puffing on a ciggy she swiped from some stool-warmer nearby.
"No, but it's typically the third Saturday of every month," replies Burbank, pushing the bangs from his eyes. "It only takes a few hours to put everything up, and about an hour to tear it down, but it takes a few weeks to organize. That's why we don't do it every week. We could draw the people every week, but that's a full-time job. This pretty much pays for itself. We don't profit off it. All the money is recycled back in. It's not like we pay rent with it."
True dat. Both Burbank and Heidebrink have kept their day jobs at local fashion outlets. And they sure ain't getting rich off the extra income. Sadisco operates from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., and the first and last hours you can get in for free. It's $5 a head, with a two-for-one deal if you donate something, anything, to the cause. The cause being? An oversexed spree of wanton drunkenness and spit-swappin'.
"We actually had a duck donated once, and now we have a duck living in our backyard," interjects Heidebrink, fresh from his squalid performance onstage, face dotted with perspiration. "His name is Go-Go. He stayed in a cardboard box in the car until we took him home."
"Mmm, I love duck," I moan, patting my belly. "You gonna eat him?"
"No, but he is a feeder duck, which means he's big and fat and can't fly away. He's mean, though, look," Heidebrink says, showing us his bruised arm. "He bites on you and gives you hickeys."
"Big, fat and moves slow, eh?" smirks the Jettster, studying my waistline. "You know, Kreme, if it waddles like a duck, and smells like a duck . . . ?"
"Zip it, birdie, before I cover your pretty boo-tay in love-bites," I crack. "So why the low entrance fee for something so popular?"
"We wanted people to feel a part of it, not that they were just paying us to do it for them," states Heidebrink. "If they donate something, they're adding something to the party other than their presence. Pretty much all the donations go up on the walls for the next Sadisco. So next month when you come, you're like, 'Oh my God, I donated that!' It makes people feel more connected to it."
Burbank and Heidebrink point out that there are always some 20 or so club kids laboring along with them gratis to bring the party off. (Sadisco's other resident DJs are Shelly W., a.k.a. ///She///, and Sally J.R.M., a.k.a. Aversion.) Still, I can't help but think that the duo, who also happen to be roommates, are clubland geniuses. Even though this isn't the way they make their chedda, maybe it oughtta be.
We leave B&H to handle their biz, and circumambulate 'round the venue to press some flesh. Folks on the dance floor are bustin' some freaktified moves to the tracks being dropped, a combo of noise, industrial, EBM (electronic body music) and electroclash. Jerky and spazzed-out, like Herman Munster on crank, the boys in sheer tops and gals in tiaras and prom dresses could pass for a passel of androgynous androids gone haywire to the so-called "four on the floor" beats. On the various boob tubes currently: Heathers.
I bump into a stunner with a black Louise Brooks-ish wig, red-red lips, alabaster skin, and blood-orange eye shadow, resplendent in white dress and choker, with pearls and lace gloves. I'm smitten, even when I learn that she's a he, who refers to himself as "Abel."
"What are you able to do, Abel?" I query.
"Pretty much anything you want," he says, playing along. "As long as it's naughty and not nice."
"You look fantastic!" I gush, maybe a bit too much. "Tell me about your gown."
"I got this on eBay for $24," he confesses. "The whole outfit. I'm such an online whore."
"And the hair?"
"It's a $16 wig. It's coming off later, and so is this," he says, indicating the outfit.
"Be still, my beating heart! What's underneath?"
He lifts up the skirt to reveal a pair of sheer white stockings on shapely legs. "I took my garter belt off, but it'll be back on in a little while."
"You're a very attractive person," I say, flirting shamelessly.
"You're not too bad, either, but we have to do something with your hair," he frets. "Maybe a little Elvis wisp right here. Did anyone ever tell you you look like Elvis?"
Cue the J-unit, suddenly deciding to pay attention to her job: "Yeah, the fat Elvis, the one who keeled over on the crapper." She hooks my arm and drags me away from the gent in drag. "C'mon, lover-boy, I've got something to tell you."
"Get yer paws off me! Who taught you manners -- Ludacris?"
"Didn't you realize that chick was a dood?" she asks me.
"Of course I realized it. So what? Think you're the only one who can go bi? And anyhoo, that boy toy was a dime."
"Now you're really scarin' me," spits the switch-witch. "Keep yer yap shut, I wanna chat up this babe."
Before us is a bodacious beauty with long, straight two-toned hair and cleavage that'd put Monica Bellucci to shame. Her name's Stephanie, and she's wearing a one-piece fetishy sort-of dress that leaves just enough flesh exposed. Jett, of course, has her x-ray glasses on and is giving Stephanie the elevator stare, while I mind my Ps and Qs.
"What do you like about Sadisco?" I inquire.
"I really enjoy the effort Toby puts forth in it," she answers. "This place is decked out every single time. The music is incredible, and the people are very nice. I've been coming for the last three months because I really want to support it."
"Weren't you going to be doing some sort of performance tonight?" asks the Jettster, presumably recalling something Heidebrink had told her earlier.
"My friend Anna and I were going to be doing this sort of dirty cheerleader performance, but she passed on that," she says. "You know, I also do LifeSuspension performances with Steve Haworth."
"Wow, does that rip your back up?"
"You wanna see my back?"
"Sure," we reply in unison. Stephanie then turns around to show us the pinkish keloid scars between her shoulder blades.
"I know everyone asks this, but doesn't that really hurt?" I ask.
"Once your feet are off the ground, you forget that there are hooks in your back," responds Stephanie. "Then your adrenaline and endorphins kick in and it's a whole lot of fun."
"Intense," murmurs the Jettster. "Thanks for sharing."
Jett mulls over what the mysterious Stephanie has shown us as we make our way around the bar in the center of the room, and on to the entrance to the baños. The J-girl pops in to make a deposit, while I strike up a confab with this small, frisky gal named Rachel, who's hangin' with two pals in tuxes. Come to find out, she's a photographer by profession, and she shares that she recently left her husband for one of the cats in the penguin suits, a fella with a big ol' grizzly beard.
"Hey, can I take your picture for the column? Usually, my partner does this, but she's in the crapper."
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"Sure," replies the alluring Rachel. "Wanna take one of my tits?"
"Is the pope Polish? Flash me them headlights, girl!" Rachel does, I do, and we're wrapping up as the Radha Mitchell of the PHX emerges from the bog. She shoots Rachel a nasty look.
"Who's that chick?" she asks me, ready for a catfight.
"Heh-heh, unless you keep me happy, that, my dear, is your replacement."