Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout: The Zona finally starts jackin' its game up to the minimum of what's expected from 21st-century party people by extending the drink curfew until 2 a.m. It's like the end of friggin' Prohibition, yo!
Granted, it's not like Gotham where you can slam back the firewater to 4 in the morning, and then keep going if the bar owner locks the door. But at least we're steppin' in time with the ballers in wild-ass cities like L.A., Seattle, San Diego, and, er, Salt Lake City. Yep, from this point on, Omaha, Nebraska (with its 1 a.m. cutoff), is officially P-town's bitch.
So on the initial night of AZ's later last call, the lezbot Avril Lavigne (Jett) and he of the Kremey innards (me) decide to hit the only club off the chain in the Phiddy on a Tuesday night, DJ Kevin Brown's Posh at Snottsdale's Suede. By the time we stroll past the doorman at 11 p.m., the spot is bumpin' with dimes and playas partying harder than the night shift guards at Abu Grab-Ass. The J-grrl and I get our drink on at the bar, then navigate over to a dance floor ringed by dark couches and banquettes, with illsters chillin' in the shadows. A promo chickie puts some New Orleans-style beads 'round our necks, and like magic this hot, blond shorty with a mouth on her like the late Sam Kinison asks me for one of those shiny strands of gold.
"What's in it for me?" I query.
"Look me up around Mardi Gras, and I might show you my boobs," she says, smiling.
"In my case, a pair in the bush beats some beads in my hand," I say, handing her a necklace. The bizz-atch's name is Jen Levi, a DJ by profession who sometimes works Posh, but not this night. Says she's from Tucson, tells me her age, then swears she'll kill me if I print it.
"Jeez, so sensitive," I comment.
"Don't put it in the interview, asshole," she growls. "Otherwise, it'll be a slow, slow, painful death."
"The way you describe it, it almost sounds like fun," I reply. "So as a DJ, do you get a lot of groupies?"
"Not at all," she grouses. "In fact, I originally got into DJing just to pick up hot dudes. But it doesn't work like that. Guy DJs pick up hot chicks. And girl DJs just intimidate every hot guy in the world to never talk to them."
"No hot guys, huh? What about 300 pounds of muscle and joy?" I ask hopefully.
She shoots me a look that says, "Is you crazy, nephew?" So Jett jumps in.
"Don't gross us out, Kreme. No one wants to imagine fat people having sex."
"Are you tasteful in what you write?" asks Levi, all of a sudden.
"I'm guessing from that comment that you've never read our column," I say.
"I'm leaving this town forever in two weeks, so do me some justice in your article," orders Ilsa the She Wolf.
"Oh, if only I could," I say, as she walks away.
We move on to Christine Garner, who's kicking it on the sidelines with her posse, sucking back a Grey Goose on the rocks. Garner, 30, is a genuinely friendly gal, athletic and lovely, who played volleyball for ASU and for the women's Olympic team for many years, and overseas as a professional.
"Were you really on the Olympic volleyball team?" asks the Jettster.
"Yeah, I played for them on and off for about six years," explains Garner, who is now in real estate. "I was an alternate to the '96 Olympics, though I never actually competed in the Olympic Games. Then from about '98 to '99, I played professionally in Europe, mostly northern Italy and Istanbul, Turkey."
"Indoor or outdoor?" inquires Jett.
"Indoor," answers the brunette beauty. "I also coached volleyball at ASU for about three and a half years when I got back."
"So indoors they don't get to wear those skimpy little Speedo bathing suits, do they?" wonders Jett, giving Garner the once-over, no doubt imagining her in same.
Garner laughs. "No, indoors you just have a regular uniform. It's only outdoors where it's appropriate. Though in Europe they wear little bikini bottoms with a jersey top."
"Cool," coos Jett, all googly-eyed.
"Pardon my perved-out bud, here," I say. "So how long have you been coming to Posh?"
"About six months now," she shouts over the progressive house thumping behind us. "I really enjoy this night because of the music, which is different than other nights at Suede. It is an offbeat night, but I think it's easier to socialize on a Tuesday. It's not as crowded, and there are a lot of down-to-earth people you can talk to."
We stumble into one of those down-to-earth types right after we bid Garner adieu. The cat's name is Tim, and he's just arrived in a black stretch limo, rented for Tim's pal's b-day. Tim, 28, is dressed casually in a white tee and jeans, and he explains this is his first time to Suede.
"What do you think of the new 2 a.m. deal?" I ask.
"Well, I just moved back to Arizona from Oregon, and it's been 2 a.m. there. So I'm used to that. Ever since I've been back, I'll be out at 11 or 12 o'clock, and I'll be like, 'Holy shit, these people don't party like they do in Oregon.'"
"Whoa!" I say. "That's some weak sauce, bro. 'Cause when I think about Oregon, I don't think party animals. I think beavers."
"Yeah," says Tim. "Or ducks. But people are so much happier up there as compared to here. Maybe it's the weather. But you've got your hippie dudes, your yuppie dudes, your regular dudes, and they all get along better than here. The girls up there are a lot different from down here, too."
"You mean, it's easier to get into their pants?" asks Jett, her interest piqued.
"Hell yeah!" exclaims Tim. "Up there, they're not into what I call the BBD, then Bigger Better Deal. Down here, the girls are all about that -- what kind of car you drive, what kind of house you live in, how much it's worth, and all that bullshit."
"Thing is, man, you gotta be able to spit some game," I tell him. "If you ain't got the looks, the fast car and the shiny shirt, you gotta be confident and talk your ass off. Also, it doesn't hurt if they're drunk. Which is why the 2 a.m. thing is a step in the right direction, for fellas like us."
"Look at you, giving advice on females," says Jett. "That's like Stevie Wonder driving."
"You guys got it all twisted," I tell 'em. "I've got to conversate with someone with some positivity. Y'all are making me jones for a handful of Zoloft."
I wander off, and step to this gorgeous gal with straight, shoulder-length auburn hair, sipping a glass of Chardonnay and groovin' to the beats, the warm red light of the club lighting up her lightly freckled flesh. She goes by Sandi Cristiani, and guess what? She's a DJ, too. What is this, The House of a Thousand DJs?
"So what do you think of the new drinking time, since this is our first night of it?"
"I think it's a fantastic thing for Scottsdale," she beams. "It's going to raise a lot of revenue for the bars, which are basically what keep Old Town alive."
"You think it'll bring new people out, or the same people out later?"
"The same people out later," she says. "I'll probably party later. Why not?"
"Being a DJ and a hot chick, do you have stalkers?"
"Not really," she says, laughing. "Maybe I'm not stalkable."
"Sure you are. I'd stalk you if I were so inclined. But I'm afraid of jail. Otherwise, it'd be an honor."
I could talk to Sandi all night, and into the next day, and then some, but I'm not sure she likes me enough for that sort of commitment. So I perambulate on. Jett, it seems, has flown the coop. Maybe one of her lezzy admirers slipped her a roofie.
Which leaves me to approach two more ladies all on my lonesome. It's a duo of bodacious babettes sitting to the side, each with a set of majestic mounds, if you catch my breeze. Their names? Diane Soza and Yvonne "Hurricane" Vonsh.
"Hurricane?" I ask. "So where's the eye of the storm, baby?"
The luscious Yvonne chortles, "Only a very few people know."
"Did you get that nickname because you have a temper?"
"No, because I'm from Texas," she says. "I've lived all over Texas, from Amarillo to Austin. But at the time I got it, I was living in a place that got hit a lot with hurricanes, so that's how I ended up with the nickname."
Texas is on the Gulf Coast, I recall. "Do you like it better here in the Zona?"
"Absolutely. People underrate it here, but there's much more of a party atmosphere than in other places. Life's a lot faster. And now that they've got the 2 a.m. thing going on, forget about it!"
Miss Hurricane is married, and Miss Soza is newly divorced, but with boyfriend. Both have kids, and explain that this is a "ladies' night out." Somehow their conversation turns to breasts (for real, fellas), and each cops to having had some augmentation.
"Wow, I would never have guessed," I play along.
"It's just like in Hollywood or anywhere else," says Vonsh. "If you've got the money, the sky's the limit."
"I'm actually thinking of making mine bigger," claims Soza, looking at Vonsh's enviously. "Hers are as big as her head!"
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"You know, I've never been with a lady who's been enhanced," I confess, while trying not to stare and thinking of baseball -- Diamondbacks baseball -- all the while. "Are they, uh, soft or hard?"
Soza reaches over and lightly touches Vonsh's ta-tas, in a sisterly way. "Oh, they're very soft."
"Unless you're a doctor," says Vonsh proudly, "you'll never know the difference. See, without clothes, they look all natural."
Sigh . . . I have no choice but to take her word for it.