So because Kat's in House Bunny, we went to the Playboy Mansion Wednesday night for the premiere after-party, and now I can confirm that the grotto really is incredibly gross. It's not that anyone was performing, you know, oral on the rocks-- heyyyyyy, remember that seminal Neil Diamond song?-- because this was supposed to be a classy event and Demi Moore was walking around with her children.
It's just that the grotto is incredibly hot and moist (I guess the word for that is humid) to the point of being unbreathable, so I can't imagine how you'd have sex in there without needing a jug of Gatorade a quarter of the way through. Or why you'd want to. Yesterday I went to the "Body Worlds" exhibit where they have the corpses preserved in uncomfortable positions, and this display card explained that the plastination process involves boiling the bodies at a low temperature and then impregnating them with liquid plastic. Well, it's kind of like the same thing happens to you in the grotto, except instead of the liquid plastic your cells are busy soaking up Pauly Shore's vaporized sperm.
(By the way, if any of the Girl Scouts I gave a career talk to last week have decided to check out the blog, maybe you should just come back next week.)
We were given a tour of the grotto and the rest of the grounds by Athena, former Playmate, except she was in a Diane Von Furstenbergy wrap dress and not an official bunny outfit, putting the tiniest damper on the mansion twinkle. Even she looked pretty disgusted when showing us the carpet in the game house guest bedroom, which was, not exaggerating, at least six inches thick, made of some kind of alien foam substance, and the color of fallopian tubes from the seventies. Also, it didn't really help that there were boxes of Kleenex on every edge in the room. Not even nice boxes of Kleenex, though, and I know nice boxes of Kleenex because over the past year I've been delighted many times by the introduction of the company's newest designs, particularly the metallics they bring out during the holiday season. But these were those low-lying tissues boxes that used to be at my pediatrician's, who was similarly a wood-paneling enthusiast.
When I got home later I discovered that Geoff had supplied me with some naked photos of Athena, which were actually really rewarding, since I love a good "Before & After."
Athena also took us through the mansion zoo, and from the way they were behaving, you would think that monkey's don't (!) like Notorious B.I.G. blasted into their cages in combination with rapid fire strobe lights. That, or else all that agitated swinging around on the bars and vines was just them jumping on the super popular Strip Aerobics craze. Honestly, my favorite part of the whole property was the front of the house, which had a very gingerbready charm and was strung with small, white lights. After being served a rum and coke by a bartender who told me, "I can tell you're my type of woman because you refused the straw," I left Geoff and George and went back to the lights and spent some time there, just thinking.
I guess what struck me most about the whole Playboy party fantasy was the surprising fragility of the bunny personas. I already knew, from watching shitloads of reality TV, that the Playboy enterprise is intensely specific about the appearance of the girls, down to the amount of fluff on and placement of their tails. So I'd also assumed that an equally rigid code of characterization would have been imposed upon them on party nights. But it wasn't like that at all. Beyond their costumes, the bunnies mostly looked as if they didn't know what do with themselves or how to be. A number fell into pairs, clutching onto each other self-consciously and then hitting the dance floor in very innocent faux-lesbian giddiness that I haven't seen all that much of since I went to a bar or bat mitzvah every other weekend in 1993.
Athena, especially, as she was without ears and bustier, seemed to be floating unpolished, unsure of her role. When Geoff asked her if she lived in the mansion and she said no, in that moment I could actually picture, really picture, her apartment and her blinds on the windows and her hand soap pump in the bathroom, and even if I was so wrong and homegirl has curtains, I immediately had the thought that the whole idea of the bunny is supposed to be that your imagination can't penetrate her life. But there were such gigantic cracks in all the bunnies' armors, to the point of them not feeling armored at all, that I found myself envisioning them making stuff in their microwaves.