i was on a world wide press junket and found myself in an über posh hotel in a ravaged 3rd world country with not just my crew, but a weird assortment of other 'celebrities' as well; everyone from paris hilton to dick clark's widow. (who was one of those strange, ancient 'drag queen ladies' who engage in the ritual of exact and careful daily application of culturally female 'trappings' in spite of the fact that their eggs are decades past the dust mote stage...). as i looked at her fleshy, powdered face, orange-ish poufy hair and accidental jackie-o ensemble, i thought, 'i wonder if she knows she is living a life of pure fetish?' she introduced and listed the designer items in her closet as though she was being interviewed by smithsonian textile archivists. i was captivated by her proud presentation of her buffered existence. she went on and on about how she only shopped at neimans in beverly hills (a place that on some days looks like an upscale nursing home because of the number of wheel chairs) and every once in awhile i tried to sneak a look at paris to see if she understood the weirdness of it on any level, but she was a blank slate. just as i was settling in to take more precise mental notes, dick clark's widow screamed, 'CINDY! CINDY! OMG, WHERE'S CINDY?!' i quickly realized cindy was the little rheumy-eyed yorkshire puppy i'd seen earlier but now seemed to be missing. soon paris and i were lifting up bed-skirts and checking in far corners, but the puppy was not in the suite. 'I'LL PAY ANYTHING! I JUST WANT CINDY BACK!' I thought, 'oh, that makes it easy. everyone working in this hotel is making slave wages, she'll have her puppy back in no time.'
as everyone frantically searched the grounds (including the press), i took the room-service waiter aside and slipped him a generous amount of money and told him there would be much more when the puppy was found. the look in his eye told me i would not have to wait long. as dick clark's widow wailed in her room and every guest scurried around with their nose to the ground, i was making my way to a seldom used hallway where i'd been instructed to drop $20,000 and pick up the puppy- which is exactly what i did. i walked back to dick clark's widow's room with the puppy tucked safely under my arm and said i had paid a $20,000 ransom. 'WHAT?!' the widow screamed. 'THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS! I'M NOT PAYING IT!' 'i'm sorry, i'm not sure i heard you correctly. didn't you say you'd pay anything?' i said. 'I NEVER SAID THAT!' she screamed. i looked at the genetically inbred little canine mess under my arm and thought briefly of keeping it myself. just as quickly i tallied the lifetime cost of grooming and medical bills and realized it would easily be a $60,000 mistake instead of a $20,000 one if i did. i pushed the puppy into her arms and said (mostly to myself), 'lesson learned.' 'yes! lesson learned!' parroted dick clark's widow.
i knew she had no earthly idea what she had just said.