Why the Playboy Mansion is terrifying and perfect
I visited the Playboy mansion last night for a screening of the new "Entourage" movie, which seems like something a youth pastor recommends to help kill your homosexuality. I'd expected to sit in Hugh Hefner's theater with other journotrash, watch Adrian Grenier exist for two hours, and leave without fanfare. To my surprise, we were allowed to tour the mansion's backyard and explore. Here's everything I gathered about Hef's living situation from hanging out in his lawn with a free vodka soda.
You are greeted by peacocks.
Have you ever just looked at a peacock? Like, face to face? Here's how you know you did it right: You think you're going to die. Peacocks are huge. They seem docile and happy to hug the ground all day, but they're capable of flying. Divebombing, really. They're like condors of gay pride swooping around and scaring you with glamor. Hef has a few peacocks around his backyard, along with other exotic birds that look like they're dressed for Eurovision. They'll walk right up to you too. "DON'T LOOK AWAY," suggests the peacock's glance. There is a Ruth Bader Ginsburg vibe about peacocks and I wish they could appreciate that.
There are lots of private bathrooms next to the pool.
Every toilet has an individual room within another individual room. Little toilet alcoves. Toilet pouches.
There's a shelf of mismatched towels next to the grotto, like you're at your aunt's lake house.
I forget all the nefarious things that have allegedly happened in the grotto. Maybe Bert Convy shot someone, I don't know. In person it's a small space, and next to the grotto is the most adorable site on the whole Playboy campus: a quaint shelf of old colored towels. They are not fancy towels. They are well-used, unpretentious, unspectacular towels. It's the one part of the estate that makes you feel like you're at your Uncle Gene's cottage in northern Wisconsin, not a legendary palace for hornymaking.
There's something about Hef's "castle" and his fake backyard that's very...
...Mini-golf? That's my biggest takeaway from my anthro research at the mansion. The house feels more kooky than looming with its gothic touches, and the phony putting-green lawn puts you in a "Truman Show" headspace. It's just ridiculous enough to love.
I'm psyched to go back but terrified because I know every single one of those birds will outlive me.