When your week starts with magnums of older vintage Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne in Los Angeles and ends with cookie dough shots in an Indian casino in Hemet you have to figure that something has gone horribly wrong. I'm not sure how it all happened but after the Champagne class on Friday night I found myself at a friends house drinking the leftovers and listening to her painfully describe having to go out to Hemet and spend the night in her Stepmother's crazy house of dolls. I was fascinated, curious and maybe just a touch buzzy and the words lept from my mouth, "I so want to see that....I'll go with you" to which my husband quicky said, "I wont"....well that is the clean version of his reply. My friend on the other hand said, "Cool, that would be awesome"...damn it.
I woke Saturday morning wondering if I was really going out to the 9 O 9's after working a full shift on the busiest day of the week, I thought better of calling anyone as we had a late night, and if they were feeling anything like I was they would not be picking up the phone anyway. I packed an overnight bag and drug my puffy, and might I add very thirsty butt to work. I was in full Saturday mode when I got the text message...."printing you directions" well, least I know what I'm doing tonight, that is comforting right? I had wrangled Merritt into coming with me and she wore the same wtf face when she arrived at work with her bag packed and sleeping bag in toe.
Tasting over and we set out for our grand adventure to Hemet and the house of dolls. I had been hearing about this place for years, nick-nack central, dolls everywhere and cribs over flowing with stuffed animals, Merritt and I were fired up. You know, Hemet is really far...and the smell of cow urine is a reminder that this is a place you might not want to be. That and the creepy guys hanging out at the Chevron station that we had to ask for directions....I was feeling skitsh and ready to reach our final destination. That was until I walked into the house, I instanstanly let my mouth drop open and my eyes were darting from wall to wall. There was crap on every surface, clowns, dolls in gowns, stuffed bears the whole nine. My skin began to itch and I felt like I was seconds away from banging my head against the wall in order to make the schizophrenia stop. Never seen anything like that before....hope to never see it again.
Needing an escape someone suggested we hit the Soboboa casino and I was on the front porch with my purse before there was a period on the sentance. Becuase you know nothing says calm, warm and inviting like a casino. We walked in and I just gave myself over to the joint, "I'll be needing a GIANT cocktail and lets find a table already" I warned. Played blackjack, won some cash, hit the video poker, won some cash and then in the middle of this stuffed animal, cow urine smelling nightmare of an evening I found my oasis a dance floor!
We walked into the nearly empty "dance area" I found a chair and made friends with the bartender, (guy never missed a step all night. Remembered everyone's drink and was on us the second our glasses were half full) and best news ever....I could smoke in there! Be free my friends, when you are ready to go come collect me here! I listened to the music, the others filtered in and out and I made a new friend.....
Two people had caught my attention from the second I walked in, one guy was a decent dancer, (I always notice them) and the other looked like either a life size garden gnome or Yosiemite Sam there is magic happening out in Hemet I assure you. After a dance with Merritt dancer guy came and asked me to well....you know dance. Properly juiced up I agreed and we had a fun little spin on the old dance floor, had fun thanks, see ya later and I returned to my table. Three minutes later he is back asking for another dance....sigh.
I was secretly hoping the gnome would ask me to dance but slightly reluctantly I agreed to dance with "Mister Dancer Man" but this time I noticed he was grabbing me more than I was comfortable with, super fun. I did a little spin move and ditched him joining the others at the table just in time for the girl with the test tube cookie dough shots. "Gonna need like 7 rounds of those" we told her and there we sat letting the icy cold, super sweet elixir glide down our gullets.
Another dance with "the girls" on the dance floor and here comes...."Mister Dancer Man" again. Okay fine lets go. We are having fun and just then he leans in and says, "okay I get it you're bi-sexual"....DUDE! I stood there and threw on my sexiest face, pulled him by his too tight sweaty T-Shirt and said, "Nope, very married but given the option of those girls and you....". Freaking Hemet.Merritt and I got out of there as fast as we could the next morning and my fuzzy over-active mind was trying to figure out how I got from, "Fancy French Wine Tuesday" to, "There".
Back home, lots of showers and very few drinks later I am willing to confess, craziest week ever but for those people, those wines and this kind of story I would do it all again in a second!
Federal Donuts and Abe Fisher
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