The Crown Room ain't no penny drink place. This is for the hustlers who're rockin' the $50s on top, and the Benjies on the bottom of their rolls. And like the man said, you get what you pay for -- big drinks with the finest hooch, served in the illest of environs, with low, plush couches and chairs, Bellagio-like glass fixtures in the ceiling, and dim lighting accented with deep reds. The crowd is smaller, and despite the price tag on the likker, not as stuck-up as at other Scottsdale spots, at least on the evening that we make the scene. In fact, as soon as we're in the door, my own Pussycat Doll, a.k.a. Jett, is feelin' up this tall blonde with curly hair named Stacey, another lass who claims to like it both ways.
"I've made out with this chick before," squeals the Jettster, her hands grabbing the gal's chi-chis.
"Christ, who haven't you made out with in this town?" I wonder of the switch-hittin' Tori Alamaze.
"Uh, well, you, for one," she cracks back.
"Oh, right. Well, then, how did you two meet?"
"She just came up to me and said, 'You're hot, wanna make out?' So we did," explains the sultry Stacey. "She's the best kisser."
"She has really nice boobs, I remember that," says the J-unit, her paws glued to Stacey's headlights.
"Nice. And did you two go downtown?" I wonder.
"Nah, we just made out, Kreme, pull your mind out of the gutter!"
"With you around? Riiight," I sputter as they go at it.
Believe it or not, fellas, watching squalies swap spit and grope each other can get old after a while. I mean, no matter how good the porno is, you don't wanna watch the same DVD over and over again. So I let Jett get her grind on and perambulate over to the bar, where this bartender Jeremy is holding an empty bottle of Malibu rum with a napkin stuck down its neck like a homemade bomb. He sets the napkin alight, then takes a swig of whiskey or something and sprays it before the flame, creating a ball of fire. Must be good for tips. After Jeremy does this trick two or three more times, he takes my drink order. I decide to chase my vodka-Red Bull with a glass of bubbly. After all, if no one's makin' out with me, at the very least I'm gonna drink well.
Next to me is this ebullient blonde in a pink shirt with the Rolling Stones tongue on it named Autumn. Autumn is a honey, and I have no problem admitting that I'd like to do to her what that tongue on her tee is implying. She's in the house tonight with her pal Dublin, who's off in another part of the bar. She swears he's just a friend. Flash back to that old-school Biz Markie song. But hey, there's no harm in conversatin' with a hottie, is there?
"I'm a newly single bartender," she informs me, flashing her ivory-white grill with a grin. "Write that in your article. It pays to advertise, right?"
"It does if the message is right. So where do you sling drinks, girl?"
"I start next week at the Satisfied Frog up in Cave Creek," she replies. "But I used to be down here, at the Grapevine. I just moved up there. I've got a new everything. New job, new roommate, new house."
"Did you have to lie to get your first bartending job? Most bartenders I know tell me that they had to, you know, pad the résumé."
"Not me. I kind of just lucked into it. It's my personality. I have no problem telling people to fuck off, or to come on over. They seemed to like that," she says.
"Guys like it when a hot chick tells them what to do," I state, smiling.
"Ex-actly," she responds, sipping her margarita. I have no idea if this is going anywhere. If only ladies came with a flashing neon sign that told you what was goin' on in their noggins.
Before I find out what my chances of guzzling Moët in the hot tub with this cutie are, the J-girl bumps into me and demands a libation.
"I need a cocktail," she demands of me.
"That's your problem, too much of both parts of that word cocktail," I spit, while signaling Jeremy. "You ready to work now? Or are you plannin' to do your Courtney Love impersonation tonight?"
"Look who's jealous," she utters, tossing her hair. "Just because I'm getting all the play with the babes in this place."
"I was trying before you interrupted me." I notice Autumn is chatting with her bro Dublin. "C'mon, let's circulate."
Though there's not really a dance floor, people are getting their swerve on best they can in front of the DJ booth where Jared is workin' the boards. We pat the spinmeister on the back as we pass. Outside, we run into this fella named Chad, a civil engineer with the City of Phoenix. He's huggin' up on this thin brunette Carolynn, though they both insist they're "just good friends." Cue Mr. Markie again.
"I call him 'good time Chad,'" kids Carolynn, who's a nurse by trade. "You better watch out for him, he's shady."
"Yeah, no one parties like a civil engineer," says Jett sarcastically.
"Oh, I'm just playing," effuses Carolynn, oblivious to the J-girl's disdain. "I love him. We used to be roommates. I'd do anything for him. I'd wash his drawers. In fact, I have washed his drawers."
"Uh-oh, T.M.I.," exclaims the Jettster.
"Yeah, guys' drawers are nasty," I say. "You know, throw 'em against the wall and they'll stick. Ladies', on the other hand . . ." I rub my chinny-chin-chin.
"Kreme's a perv," claims the bi Kelly Brook. "He'll buy the panties right off you. I've seen him do it."
"Unless they're yours, Jett," I sniff. "Lord knows what I'd catch."
"I'm not wearing any anyway, so there." She sticks her tongue out at me.
Back inside, we see this dude Alfredo Martinez with his shoe off as a passel of females ooh and aah over his gross, sock-clad right foot, which he refers to as "Socko." Normally, this would make as much sense as Donald Trump on the dole, but fortunately, DJ Jared is takin' a breather from spinning, and breaks down the mystery of Alfredo's foot.
"Fred has these really big, smelly feet," relates Jared. "And when he and our buddy Joe Dominguez used to be roommates, Fred would wake him up by sticking his smelly feet all in Joe's face. I'm not sure how his foot got the name Socko."
"How traumatic for Mr. Dominguez," I mutter. "Dominguez? I think we met that guy at Myst. Wasn't he the one who used to pick up chicks by using a fake British accent?"
"One and the same," answers Dominguez, who's eased up next to us. "I loved that article, dude! I sent it to everyone I know."
"Cool to see you again," I tell him, as I recall him from our trip to Myst last year ("Meatmarket of Dreams," June 10, 2004). "Hope we didn't blow your cover by much."
"Not at all. I promote this night now for Todd [DJ Jared]. We're trying to bring things back to the way they were when Insomnia and Sanctuary were around. You know, just dance music, no hip-hop."
"I see. Who's your lady?" I inquire of the lovely lass next to him.
"This is Danielle," he tells me.
"So Joe didn't try the English accent on you?" wonders Jett.
Danielle rolls her eyes, laughing. "I would be there watching as he'd pick up all the girls."
"Damn, Joe, you're a straight-up, jump-street pimp. Or maybe she's changed you," I suggest.
"Oh, way changed," insists Joe.
We chat for a while, then Jett drifts away to hit on this tall psychiatrist cat who's chillin' at the bar, playin' Sir Stud-a-lot. I see Autumn over on one of the couches, so I sit next to her and do my balla best to get some digits. We conversate about men and women and relationships. Finally, I ask what she wants in a stick-man.
"Ultimately, it's not looks, it's not money, it's about sense of humor, security, and backbone," she insists. "I want Napoleon Dynamite to come out of that corner standing tall, with his little dick in his hand, going, 'I know you want me, this is what I got,' and I'll fuckin' be all over that."
"Whew, I'm glad size is not an issue for you." I wipe my brow in jest. "And that you're a fan of Napoleon Dynamite."
"To be completely honest with you, my last boyfriend was 45, bald and had a little tiny penis," she confesses. "It's really, ultimately about the other things you offer."
"Like, a full head of hair." I comb my fingers through mine. Finally, Autumn coughs up the digits and I put them into the celly before we part. The next day, Jett calls me up to compare notes.
"You call that bizzatch who gave you her number?"
I sigh, "I did, but I think I messed up. I'm one digit short, like the dude whose finger ended up in that Wendy's chili."
"At least she didn't give you the loser line, bud," says Jett. "You know, that number on KISS-FM that girls give out to guys they don't want to hook up with."
"True," I agree. "'Cause that would've sucked harder than a crack whore on all fours."