Among other’s—and the point of this isn’t just to name drop—this weekend I saw Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis; Jackass dude Johnny Knoxville; the T-1000 from Terminator 2 (or okay fine, Robert Patrick, but I swear he asked me if I’d seen John Connor); the guy who accidentally sent his girlfriend a sex tape instead of a love song in that movie with Tom Green, Road Trip; and maybe just maybe little Harriet the Spy (Michelle Trachtenberg) although I couldn’t tell because she was wearing these dark bug-eye sunglasses and she hasn’t been eleven years old since 1996, so who knows?
But even better was the reason why all these stars were there (some of them still pretty bright, some of them having super nova-ed fifteen years ago): it was a children’s Earth Day event at the ritzy Santa Monica Annenberg Beach House. And oh yeah, the reason I was there was because I was doing a little PA work for a buddy of mine—being a good sport and setting up organic juice-bar booths, eco-friendly arts and crafts tents, lugging boxes of seashell necklaces and even spreading brown butcher paper over every table so all the kids could crayon anywhere they wanted to—but you better believe by the time all that was said and done, I just had to cut the shit out of five or six Lacoste polo-wearing six-year-olds waiting in line at the build-your-own-organic-parfait table, because, I mean, they were kids! And what’s a kid doing making an organic parfait anyway? There should be an age limit on cigarettes, booze, and organic parfaits. Anyway, I was pretty hungry too.
So this event was also celebrating the release of this completely outrageous children’s book—Last Night I Swam with a Mermaid—photos by Michael Muller, story by his wife Kimberly. And look, I’m sure it’s a fine children’s book (and really all children’s books are one hundred percent ridiculous anyway, so it’s not Michael or Kimberley’s fault, see: Everybody Poops)—but what really got me was that as all these celebrities were mulling around with their kids and their nannies, I couldn’t get around the fact that every one of them was about my height, either the same age as me, or my two older brothers, or old enough to be my parents, and the more I think about it the more I’m thinking it’s something I don’t necessarily have to get around—celebrities aren’t people.
Just give that last statement two seconds to breathe. Let me fix it. Look, it may very well just be a problem with me, but when I saw James Van Der Beek messing around in the arts and crafts tent, I couldn’t believe it. Dawson was all grown up, that baby-face long gone, and I was proud of him—he’d made it through those tough times alongside Pacy and Joey and the rest of them from, where was it, Massachusetts? And I was wondering if they were still friends. I mean look where he was now! All the way out in sunny LA! And I hoped they were all still friends, or at least kept in touch. In other words: who the hell is James Van Der Beek? I know Dawson Leary way better, and it’d be like if Bart Simpson walked into a room and expected the hired help to think of him as anything else (which worked out great anyway, because James VDB and the rest of them couldn’t have given two shits about what the hired help was thinking of them, so everybody left the party with a seashell necklace in hand, totally happy).
So more or less, one way or another, I learned everybody wins on days like these. Some less so than others—but that’s all a sticky matter of perspective anyway, so let’s just stick to the concrete:
By the time Anthony Kiedis was out of there with his son Everly Bear in hand, followed by a few people in his entourage I didn’t recognize (one of which may have been Flea’s daughter, Clara, but who knows), what did he have?
- Some take-home arts and crafts.
- Memories of a fake pirate going ARGGGGH.
- A fake mermaid flopping around in the pool, posing with the kids.
And Johnny Knoxville?
- Well he had a grilled cheese sandwich from the kid’s table.
- Some good full-throated laughs.
- Maybe a beer although it could very well have been apple juice, I couldn’t tell.
- A sore back.
- One hundred bucks cash for a full day’s work.
- And several armfuls of
- Zico coconut water
- But mostly just really cheap cab sauv—
Because you’re telling me this is a private event for the stars, and you really think they’re gonna want to down two-dollar wine all afternoon?
- Even I know that and I’m the one throwing it in my trunk when no one’s looking.