Make it sunnyside up 


"Did anyone tell him that there's no smoking?" curts the browned blowout at the velvet rope two stairs beneath me, cutting short my runway climb to the VIP balcony at Tabu.

; ;

"Oh, I'm sorry," I (con)descend. "But I lit it when there was an ashtray in front of me."

; ;

I can see this is going to be fun. Tonight's festivities involve some combination of hair and cancer for the fiscal betterment of the MD Andersen Cancer Treatment Center, and the eggshells, if not apparent, are definitely implied.

"It's just because of the event," continues the apologetic hall monitor. "Y'know, cancer."

I opt for a demonstrative flourish towards the door, and another velvet rope, to toss my cancer stick into the litter-filled gutter of Orange Avenue. Nothing's sacred, smoking's forbidden, blah, blah, blah.

Back upstairs, the eggshells are of a different variety, as a veritable who's who of Windermere are daintily sampling finger foods and engaging funny-panted chefs in delicacy conversations involving quail eggs and caviar.

"But it looks so small," enthuses a woman who looks likely to enthuse. "It doesn't look like it can hold it."

Well, neither can I, frankly. A quick tooling back down the stairs, and into yet another velvet rope (where a bevy of models scurries to cram themselves just to make sure that VIP means something in Orlando), reveals a washroom wherein primping boys are craning their necks in order to achieve the perfect level of dishevel. I could be of use here.

At least more of use than usual.

Earlier in the week, blue-mohawked Tabu resident SUPERSTAR DJ Sandy (old friend, twice my size) wandered into my path with some words of encouragement regarding my column on Gay Days, saying it was nice to see something kind written about a nightclub in the Weekly.

"But if I could get my hands around the neck of whoever it is writing all of the bad stuff about Tabu ...," he leered.

"Um, you can," I confessed.

At that point, I decided maybe I had been a little harsh on the place that represents Backstreet Howie's ornate nightlife endeavor, and maybe I ought to reconsider, in order to benefit future cranings of my own neck. Or crampings.

By the time the show starts, I'm somewhat desperately mingling in search of writable glimmers. Luckily, there's a sushi room off to the side, promising anonymity and a little time to reconvene with my beau. We fight over something involving infidelity and a certain Georgia Bulldog duffel bag of bathhouse tricks, and leave our own eggshells scattered in yet another display of public unapproachability. It's so small. I didn't think it could hold all of that!

Punk-rock, pink-hair diva Nancy, from Static, approaches with a big hug, and for a minute we all feel a little out of our torn-shirt, bedsit element.

"There's a punk-rock show going on next door!" I Sid.

"Yeah, but my clothes are here," she Nancys.

Onstage, the festivities are about to begin, with a polite celebrity introduction from a blond, blond, blond Channel 9 newscaster whose name sounds in my soap-opera head like Reagan Storm. I don't watch the news. I make it up.

"Evolution Revolution" is what they're calling this. The presentation kicks off with a cryptic boy-girl candle exchange that culminates in girl shaving boy's purple head. Candle = evolution, shaving = revolution? Regardless, the electric shears prove impotent, rendering purple-haired boy partially plucked on just one side. Revolution! Quickly, and perhaps less coherently, a rainbow force of manic panics are ushered onto the stage by their black-shirted hairstyling hosts and side-shaven for more mohawk futility. Suddenly it's an army of Superstar DJ Sandys raging all Skittle punk in front of my lumping throat. Something good has to happen, and it needs to happen right now:

I like Tabu, I like Tabu, I like Tabu. (Rinse. Repeat.)

A more sober presentation follows, with a cheeky host emcee goading even more hairstylists as they attempt to tame the tresses of Orlando's finest funny-panted chef folk. Me, I'm stuck thinking about the health ramifications of hair in food, when the host breaks out the pivotal point of Orlando hair-reference in search of leverage.

"Somebody here, and I'm not naming names [chuff, chuff, in the direction of one spiky-haired boy], does the hair of the Backstreet Boys and ;'N Sync."

Oh, who doesn't?

The expected cursory hair-history review follows, with requisite Girlie Show trappings of afro-puffs and flybacks, while an assembled cast of models attempt to make sure that "model" means something in Orlando. Yes, that's right dear. You are Farrah. You really are.

Ultimately, I'm dizzied by the whole affair, grabbing my own head of hair and retreating back toward the more rhetorical eggshells of the upstairs VIP hobnob. If I don't have anything nice to say, how am I going to say anything at all?

I like Tabu, I like Tabu, I like Tabu. (Rinse. Repeat.)

"I got in trouble for smoking," I snitch to the fab publicist, Amy, who seems a little amused by the whole thing.

"We should probably get rid of the ashtrays, huh?" she smirks, before adding a wary, "Oh, go ahead and write about that." Oh. OK.


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