Main | Friday, July 15, 2005

The Speaker Daddy Of Lazy Bear Weekend

From an email, July 2000....

Hey Joe!


Just came upon your AOL profile and pics. Hot man! I noticed you mention in your profile that next week you will be up at the Russian River at Lazy Bear Weekend. My partner XXXX and I are the promoters of "Sweat", the big Saturday night dance during Lazy Bear, which is held at the nightclub Fab.

We're looking for some hot SF area guys who are willing to donate a couple of hours of their time to help us out with "Sweat", a portion of the proceeds for which will benefit (local AIDS charity). You'll get a free ticket to the party and hopefully have some fun helping out too!

Let us know,

XXXX and XXXX.

I showed the email to my buddy Doug, "So what do you think about this?"

Doug shrugged, "Why does he think you are going to Lazy Bear? I thought you said last week that we weren't going, that you had that big work thing that weekend?"

"Oh, well...I was going to show you this."

And then I showed Doug my emailed notice that my employers, a 30 year old, billion dollar entertainment company, had abruptly filed bankruptcy and laid me off. They'd gotten caught in the dot-com spiral, acquired a number of expensive product-free internet companies, and imploded shortly after their highly anticipated IPO.

"Oh, so we're going."

"But what about me getting fired? What am I going to do?"

"I don't know, honey. But we ARE going to Lazy Bear, right?"

Doug and his priorities. I mulled the request for help at the dance party for the rest of the day. I wasn't sure I wanted to have any sort of obligations on a Saturday night, not one during Lazy Bear, and certainly not one on a night in which I'd likely be drinking to forget my loser unemploymentness.

Standing at the Powerhouse that night, I asked my friend Leif about it.

"Oh. Joe. Please. You have to do it. It's for AIDS, dude."

"No, it's not. It's for bears, dude. And some portion of the door charge or whatever, is for AIDS. And I'd like to be able to enjoy the party, not work it."

Leif shook his head and put his hand on my shoulder, "Joe, if you don't do this, you are totally gonna get hit by a bus. Karma. For real."

When I got home that night, I emailed the party promoters back that I would be available to help. A moment later, one of them IM'd me to let me know to swing by the club at 8PM that Saturday, and I'd be given my assignment and that "at most" I'd be asked to work for 2 hours during some portion of the party.

The next weekend, we rolled into Guerneville early Saturday morning and before we even checked into our room at the grandiosely named, but far, far from grandiose, Russian River Resort (aka Triple R), we were pretty well lit. We spent most of the afternoon criss-crossing the highway as we swung back and forth between the increasingly riotous poolside scenes at Fifes and the Triple R. After a groggy dinner of barbecued ribs and potato salad ('dem bears eats good!), I went back to the room and changed.

Doug walked me over to the box office at Fab. I was right on time, 8PM, but nobody was around and the door was locked. I was ten seconds away from saying "fuck it" and walking away, when the door swung open and a guy with a clipboard took position at the ropes. Inside the club, we could see a lot of action, guys rushing around with handtrucks of beers, tubs of ice, etc.

"Hi, I'm Joe. XXXX emailed me and I'm supposed to volunteer tonight."

"OK, right Joe. Let me just find you here, " said the doorman, scanning his clipboard.

Doug started to walk away, but I stopped him, "Hang on for a minute, maybe my part isn't until later on and I'll have some time to kill." Doug shrugged and waited a few feet away.

The doorman underlined something on his clipboard and looked up, "OK Joe, the other dancer isn't here yet, but you should go ahead and come on in now, I think the stage manager is going to want to talk to you for a few minutes."

I looked at him blankly. "The other what isn't here?"

"Dancer. His name is......XXXXX. But he hasn't shown up yet. Why don't you come on in?"

The doorman squawked into his walkie-talkie for a moment, during which I shot a frightened look to Doug.

"I'm sorry, I really don't understand. You have me on the list as a DANCER? I think that's a mistake, I thought I would be taking tickets, or stamping hands, or checking IDs or emptying garbage or something, I...I....."

Doug started laughing. Really hard. Really loud. That fucker.

The doorman shook his head, "Nope. See right here? It says ' Dancers - Joe and XXXX'."

"Maybe they have me mixed up with another Joe?" I asked.

"Nope. It's you baby. Don't worry, you'll do fine."

I turned around to Doug, "Oh, no way! I can't be the dancer! A go-go boy? I'm fucking forty years old!"

Doug said, "Oh, don't be such a baby. Have some fun with it. Besides, Joe. It's for AIDS, don't forget about that bus Leif told you about." And with that, he smacked my back and walked back towards the Triple R.

The doorman dropped the ropes and waved me in. I walked into the lobby and stood shivering in their icy air-conditioning for a few minutes while I waited for one of the promoters to come talk to me. Some hot guys were inside finishing the setting up. Some really hot guys, I should clarify. Some really, really, super hot guys. So not helping with the nervousness. A guy wearing a headset emerged from an office door and walked towards me with his hand extended.

"Joe! Nice to finally meet you in person! I'm really glad you could-"

I cut him off in the middle of our handshake, "Listen, I'm glad to help, but you guys didn't say anything about me being a DANCER!"

"Oh really? I'm pretty sure that was mentioned in the email."

"Um, NO. I think I would have definitely noticed that. For sure."

"Let me get XXXX out here to talk to you," he said, and got on his walkie-talkie.

A moment later the other promoter appeared and the two of them conferred for a moment. The second one walked over and shook my hand.

"Not getting cold feet are you?"

"Seriously, this is the first I'm hearing about dancing for you guys. Do you have a computer here? You can totally check your email to me," I pleaded.

"OK, I believe you. But listen, we're in a bind. We've advertised "hot MAN dancers" and that's what the crowd is gonna expect. What did you bring to wear?"

I held up my hands. "I'm wearing it! I didn't expect to be a dancer!" In a quick rush of relief it occurred to me that since I was wearing combat books and camouflage pants, that my outfit might be my way out of this mess.

The promoter stepped closer and in a quick move pulled my wife-beater off. "Mmm, very nice. But I already knew that. Oooh, and the dog tags are a nice touch!"

"But..."

He reached down and touched my belt, "Are you wearing any underwear?"

"No!" I said triumphantly.

His eyes glinted. "Fabulous!"



Continue to conclusion......


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