Would you like to know the stupidest thing I have ever done? I’m going to tell everyone, because I need to tell someone.
I did the stupid thing that I did four years ago, but I'm still feeling the ramifications of the stupid thing to this day. My first mistake was leaving the house on a Saturday, like some kind of depraved heathen. I had decided to attend a birthday party my friend Vicky was throwing at a gay bar on what happened to be a drag-themed night, which is not even really a super relevant detail, but I feel like it helps set the scene. Anyway, mistake. While I generally prefer a good jukebox and glowering in solitude to dancing and spending time in the presence of others, I figured I could hack the whole behaving-like-a-normal-young-person thing for a night. Mistake, mistake, mistake.
I did not dress in drag for the occasion, but instead wore my standard attire of jeans, a tank top, and dirty Chuck Taylors – so probably most people thought I was going as a teenage boy. As soon as I entered the club, I saw that everyone was dancing in a very intense way while a DJ discharged pop songs from a floating platform like a wily angel, or God's troubled foster child. Below the DJ, a video screen played the visuals from the recently-released Lady Gaga/Beyonce collab "Telephone" on a loop. While Gaga and Bey went on a murder spree ad infinitum, text crawled across the lower-third portion of the screen. Cute messages, happy birthdays, nonsensical emoticons, and above all that, a thing that said this: “TEXT YOUR SHOUT-OUTS & SONG REQUESTS TO (562) 482-552?."
If I have one Achilles’ heel, it’s that I can never figure out how much pasta to put in the pot. If I have two Achilles’ heels (you have got to learn how to dip a baby into the waters of immortality, MOM), the second is that I am chronically incapable of resisting a joke once the urge to make it has entered my head. Call it an occupational hazard, or a terrible personality trait.
Anyway, here is the request I texted to the DJ: “Beethoven’s 5th, please.”
And a minute later, “Beethoven’s 5th, please” appeared on the video screen, somewhere in or around Lady Gaga’s crotch. I tapped the shoulder of the fella in a dress dancing next to me and pointed out my work -- but because the fella in a dress dancing next to me was a regular human being with the capacity to live in the moment and not spend all waking existence in self-conscious contemplation of his own cleverness, he did not give a shit. Before my “comedic tour de force” (both Roger Ebert and Ben Lyons!) left the screen forever, I snapped a photo for posterity, and then I moved on.
But the DJ? The DJ did not move on. About a week later, I got a text from an unknown number that said this: “ClubLucky prsnts WILD WEDNESDAY 2NITE! w/Jewels StarletteRevue 10-11.”
After a couple internal holy hell, who did I give my digits to?s, I remembered my brush with old Ludwig van. And then I realized that asking the crowd to text in song requests was simply the club’s pretext for getting phone numbers and entering them into a huge and incredibly powerful database. How can I be so sure the club's intentions were impure? That damn DJ never did play Beethoven’s 5th.
So I got that text, and then I got another one just like it but with even more exclamation points and filthier innuendo, and pretty soon, I was getting 3 or 4 Stefon-style invites a week, every week, up until right now. They always come from different numbers, which means that every time I think I've made a new friend or have finally won the affection of my 8th grade crush who has gone to great lengths to track me down and invite me out for dinner and a marriage ceremony, I check the text and see this: "Dont miss hot fun INV[AZN] h0st3d by Miss Conception!!!"
And then I stomp my foot, raise my fist to the Heavens, and curse Beethoven at the top of my lungs. Because it feels like I'll be dealing with this for the rest of my life, and Beethoven is totally my Salieri.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t for life. Perhaps brain-to-brain zapping will replace texting and slowly dying will replace dancing, but it’s been four damn years and I still get bi-weekly texts inviting me to Karaoke Wednesday at Club Ripples. And the worst part is? I know I did an obnoxious thing and for that, I deserve obnoxiousness in return. It is Karma herself who delivers me this constant barrage of texts without punctuation or normal rules regarding which letters inside the sentence are deserving of capitalization.
So now you know the stupidest thing I have ever done and are free to judge me accordingly. And please, do let me know if you're up for checking out the world’s freshest DJs and sexiest go-go dancers all together in one place for LA County’s only wet tighty-whitey contest?