Thursday, March 23, 2006

Please Don't Hate Me...

"The greatest cliche ever!" my buddy the Joker screamed into the phone when I told him about my invite to the Playboy Mansion on Saturday night. "I'm really curious about the Grotto. What's that all about? I get the concept of Heff putting on these parties with tons of hot chicks walking around. But are they lame? Please give me all the details. Oh, and are you gonna get high with Snoop Dogg? I'm glad I have a reporter on the ground embedded at the Mansion. I'm so proud of you. I can finally sleep at night knowing that you will be at the Mansion raising hell."

Yes, the rumors are true. I'll be heading to LA on Saturday to the Playboy Mansion with a group I'd like to call Pauly's 8 in homage to Ocean's 11... Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and... AlCantHang. I'm still looking for an acrobatic Mandarin-speaking Chinese guy to fill the last spot on my crew. Oh and we need a wise cracking black guy for the zany one-liners. If you have any leads, shoot me an email.

A few weeks ago I turned down a free cruise to the Bahamas. The Poker Prof handed me a "gift assignment." And I declined. He was shocked and didn't know what to say. He ended up going himself and took lots of great photos. Make sure you read his trip report.

This past Sunday I found myself in another stressful situation. When Spaceman told me about the invite to the Mansion, I originally declined. I think he was shocked. It was bad timing... I'm here in Las Vegas to hang out with one of my best friends in the world... Senor. He's my Neal Cassady. He's my attorney. He's my Goose. He's my Carl. (Bonus points to you if you get all four references.)

Anyway, Senor works his ass off and hasn't had a vacation in a very long time. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and 1.5 kids. He's got a second son due in July. We were both looking forward to our yearly trip to Las Vegas for March Madness. Gambling. Golf. Strip clubs. What could be better?

So when I found myself at a fork in the road... I was perplexed. Do I take the road that leads to the Playboy Mansion? Or do I spend time with my best friend? (Make sure you read this old story called... Amanda Dick.)

I made the decision and declined the invite to Hugh Heffner's paradise. I'm a good friend. You want me in that foxhole with you. I'm the guy you wanna be stuck in an elevator with for three hours. You need me on the wall...

Slowly, my friends and my brother all took time out to tell me how stupid I was skipping out on an invite to the Mansion. My buddy Jerry called me "retarded." Derek questioned my sanity. When I got Senor on the phone he was concerned, "Dude, you skipped a cruise to the Bahamas and a now trip to the Playboy Mansion? Are you OK?"

He talked me into going. That's why he's a great friend.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Senor said. "As a writer, you have to go."

He was right. The last thing I want to do is cover another charity poker tournament. I've done that and it sucks. But this one is different. So different that I needed to buy new clothes.

"What are you going to wear?" Change100 asked.

I mumbled something and she quickly disagreed with my choice.

"You have to go out and buy a nice outfit. This is not some hipster bar in the East Village you're going to. It's the Playboy Mansion. I dig your 'I'm a writer' look with jeans and a sports coat. But that's not going to cut it at the Mansion."

When she arrived in Las Vegas, she took me shopping. Two hours later I spent $400 on an outfit. $198 for a shirt. $148 for pants. $40 for a new belt. I haven't spent $400 on clothes in the last three years. I usually let Briana buy me clothes. I hate shopping. The concept horrifies me.

I discovered that Joe Speaker and CJ also bought new outfits. The spent about $400 too. That's $1,200 on new clothes since the dress code will be strictly enforced.

That's the skinny for now. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, I have to go win an extra $500 on March Madness games (I'm driving to LA and flying back to Vegas on Monday on JetBlue) just to cover expenses. UCLA is my team in the Sweet 16. If they cover against Gonzaga, my trendoid clothes are free.

Please don't hate me...

Editor's Note: This was cross posted to the Tao of Pauly.

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