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Dumb Rush the radio host

SUN 01 NOV 2009

01:36 UTC: Jhonny, Wen, and I enter the elevator in one of Las Vegas’s various casinos.

Jhonny says, “Is this the first time we’ve actually had it on Halloween?”

“No,” Wen says. “It was on Halloween last year too. Remember?”


“Somebody wanna press the floor button?” I snap.


Jhonny puts a card key into the slot and then presses the second highest button.

“Wow,” I say. “The penthouse?”

“Yeah,” Jhonny says.

“What did you think?” Wen asks. “Think we were all going to cram into one hotel room?”

“I thought we were only getting, like, twelve people this time,” I say.

“No, we’ve got a lot more than that,” Jhonny says.

The elevator dings, and we wheel the cart out into the gigantic suite.

02:44 UTC: We have set up most of the stuff.

Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 arrived shortly after we did and had some more things to set up. In all, we have a dance floor, two game stations [one Wii, one Xbox], three hot tubs [two of which are on the balconies outside], and something that I didn’t recognise when Janet 1 brought it in.

“This is a foamer,” she explained to me.

I didn’t ask anything more.

02:56 UTC: “Meghan’s coming!” Wen shouts.

“Who’s Meghan?” I ask.

The elevator bell rings, and a woman exits. She has the red and white hair of Rogue from the X Men, to go with the green and yellow outfit. She is peeking about, no doubt looking for everyone.

Wen suddenly rushes up to the woman, causing her to shriek suddenly.

“Boo, you weirdo!” Wen says.

Meghan starts to laugh, and Wen introduces everyone.

I find out that this is Meghan McCain, daughter of the US senator representing Arizona.

03:36 UTC: A few more people have arrived. Reg, Rich, and Nina got here shortly after Meghan. There are two couples that Nina assures me are famous.

“Who are they?” I ask, pointing to a guy with a slight amount of hair and the woman with him. They are talking excitedly to Reg and Jhonny. The guy and Jhonny are both making increasingly silly gestures.

“That’s Cheech Marin, and that’s his wife, Natasha,” Nina says. “They got married earlier this year.”

“Who’s Cheech Marin?” I ask.

“Cheech Marin!” Nina insists.

I shrug.

“Cheech and Chong?”

“So did things not work out with Chong, or what?” I ask.

Nina laughs.

As Cheech and Natasha walk over to me, I get a closer look at their costumes. Cheech, wearing a blue suit and with a brown mustache glued to his lip, says to me, “Good evening, Quahog. I’m Tom Tucker.”

“And I’m Diane Simmons,” Natasha, who has a red jacket and skirt with a white blouse, adds. “Tonight on Channel 5 News, we’ll tell you all about tomorrow’s Clam Festival parade, we’ll have a review of this week’s new movies, and we’ll tell you which flavour of Lay’s potato chips could kill you. But first, some strong winds in the Quahog area today, Tom.”

“Yes, I know, Diane,” Cheech says, petulantly. “Rehearsal was ten minutes ago. I can remember things for that long, unlike that date you went on with that guy with the peanut allergy. Seriously, Thai noodles? He just told you, like, thirty seconds before! Disgraceful.” He shakes his head. “Disgraceful. Now sports!”

03:55 UTC: A woman in a tight white jumpsuit with a red stripe down each side walks up to me. Her face is obscured by a silver covering that resembles a fencing mask.

I stand in front of her, puzzled.

“This is the Body,” her muffled voice says in a contralto, “an expert at all games played within the Cube. She will show you how each game can be completed.”

“Okay, Body,” I say to her. “How can each game be completed?”

Boomingly, or as boomingly as she can underneath the mask, she continues, “Amber Lynn, how are you at walking in a straight line? You must walk from one corner of the Cube to the other – while blindfolded. You must stay within the path at all times. Walking the line for one thousand pounds, Amber Lynn. What could be simpler?”

I stare at her some more, until I finally notice her breasts.

“You must be Mary Carey,” I say to her.

She lifts up the mask to reveal her grinning face. “Yeah, I figured the boobs were a giveaway,” she says. “So anyway, how are you at walking in a straight line?”

04:16 UTC: An impromptu game of Direction has broken out on what was supposed to be the dance floor. The player who has performed the best is a woman who is wearing a flag wrapped around her, from the shoulders down to the knees. It looks kind of like an American flag, but there are no white stars. Instead, the blue field contains a gold sun and a crescent.

I see a woman walk out to the balcony, holding a drink. She does not seem pleased.

I follow her.

04:40 UTC: “So yeah,” Emmy Rossum says. “That’s my sob story.”

“Doesn’t sound that sobby to me,” I answer.


“Well, I mean, you don’t sound mad or anything. Sounds like it was fun while it lasted.”

“Yeah,” she says. “You know what? You’re right. It was fun. It was great. And if Justin doesn’t see that, he’s an asshole.”

“Well, most guys are,” I answer.

“So what’s your costume?” she asks me.

“I’m Jermaine Maine.”


“You know, Stephen Colbert’s pop singer secret identity.”


She seems unimpressed.

“So let me see if I can get yours,” I say. “You know, you could have just been an Emmy. That would be easy. Some gold body paint, a pair of wings, and a big old atom.”

“Everyone suggests that,” she says. “It seems like such a copout, you know?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

One half of her costume appears to be the stereotypical French outfit: half of a horizontally striped shirt and half of a béret. The other half appears to be the stereotypical London stockbroker outfit: half of a suit, an umbrella, and half of a bowler hat.

“You are a horrible collision inside the Chunnel,” I guess.

“No,” she says. “I am the joint Anglo-French Silly Walk, La Marche Futile.”

The woman wearing the flag pokes her head out of the door and says, “Amber Lynn, right?”


“May I speak with you when you are done here?”

Emmy says to her, “No, it’s fine. Come on out. I’m Emmy.”

“Karina,” the woman answers, shaking hands with Emmy and then me. “It is chilly out here.”

“Only for those of us wearing flags,” Emmy replies.

“Yeah, what is that supposed to be?” I ask her.

Before Karina answers, Emmy guesses, “You’re Beyoncé performing in Malaysia, right?”

“Yes, that’s right,” Karina says.

Responding to my befuddled look, Emmy says, “Yeegs. Read the news once in a while, will you?”

“I read the news that matters,” I say. “I didn’t see anything about Beyoncé in Malaysia in there.”

Emmy looks like she wants to start an argument, but instead, Karina cuts her off and says, “So Amber Lynn, I hear that you are the one that we divorcees should talk to.”

05:22 UTC: Karina has told me her story.

In short, she is a dancer on some television programme who was engaged to a fellow dancer. Technically, since they never got married, she is not a divorcee, but she said that she felt like one.

I tried to reassure her the same way that I did Emmy. It may have worked for Emmy, but Emmy has long since gone back inside, and Karina apparently has not found my responses comforting.

“I mean, what am I going to do?” she asks me. “Being alone is awful. But being with him has become awfuler. More awful. More awful? Yes.”

Karina struggles to lift her legs up. In the end she gets her feet onto the seat and leans forward, her chin on her knees.

“Are you in love with someone?” she asks me.


“Do you have someone in mind?”

“Kind of.”

“What does that mean?” she says.

“Well, there was someone I met at our party last year,” I tell her. “At the time I wasn’t interested. But when we started planning this year’s party... shit, I don’t know. I thought back to last year’s party, and... well, all of a sudden I felt like I wanted her. You know?”

“So this is a woman?”


“Is she here tonight?”

“I haven’t seen her yet. I thought she was going to be here, but... no, I haven’t seen her.”

“What is her name?” Karina asks.


“Is she pretty?”

“She’s so fucking hot,” I answer. “She’s a professional athlete, so she’s in perfect shape. And she’s got all these tattoos. God, I love a girl with tattoos like that. Or a guy. I’m bi.”

“That must be fun,” she says. “I am not like that, but it seems like that would be fun.”

“It is,” I say. “Everyone should try it.”

She laughs and says, “Well, I do not plan to try it yet. But would you like to dance? In a friendly way?”


05:30 UTC: There are more people out here. The familiar faces of Angela Ellen Keathley and Renee Thomas, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Reese Witherspoon are now here.

Suddenly Karina tugs at my arm.

I turn around.

“Look,” she says, pointing.

I look.

“I have to hide,” she says.

“What? Why?”

In a moment I figure it out.

“Oh shit,” I say to her. “That must be him. Right?”

Karina nods, her face frozen like a deer in the headlights. She is still trying to hide behind me and avoid being seen by Maksim.

06:13 UTC: Karina has dragged me around to the other side of the suite, where the Xbox resides. We have been watching various other people, mostly Ashley Madekwe and Cheech Marin, playing an assortment of games, including Madden 10.

She suddenly turns away from the door and covers her face as Maksim walks in.

I get up and hold out my hand. “You’re Maksim, right?”


“I’m Amber Lynn. Good to see you.”

“It is a delight to be here. This is really something.”

“There’s someone here I think you should see,” I say to him, turning to Karina’s seat.

It is empty.

The door is swinging shut behind a Malaysian flag.

“Well, there was someone here. Um... want to dance?”

06:39 UTC: He is a good dancer. The Austin Powers costume adds to the effect.

06:56 UTC: Janet 1 presses a button on a device, which makes a lot of silly noises.

“Okay everyone!” she shouts. “Time for the game! This way!”

07:02 UTC: We are all crowded into the other room, the one I hadn’t seen. A curtain divides the room in front of us.

I look around and see Maksim in the corner. I don’t see Karina or Emmy anywhere.

The curtain rises, some theme music starts, and Jhonny’s voice says, “Get ready to match the stars! Tom Tucker! Brett Somers! Charles Nelson Reilly! Buffy Anne Summers! Richard Dawson! And Willow Rosenberg! As we play the star studded, big Silly Buck Match Game GoobNet! And now, here is the star of Match Game GoobNet, Gene Rayburn!”

We applaud as Reg, playing the role of Gene Rayburn, enters. He picks up a skinny microphone and welcomes us, then greets the stars. I have already seen Cheech as Tom Tucker. Edvard is portraying Charles, Ali 2 is Brett, Rich is Richard Dawson, Angela is Buffy, and Renee is Willow.

“Before we begin, I have an important announcement,” Rich says.

“Yes, Richard?” Reg asks.

“Will the owner of a yellow Pontiac Aztek please move your car, as my car refuses to be caught dead next to your car.”

As the laughs die down, Reg says, “Let’s all welcome our contestants, Rogue and the Body!”

07:14 UTC: Meghan, leading Mary 2-0, selects A to start the second round.

“Richard and Buffy, you do not play this one,” Reg says. “Dumb Rush the radio host was reeeally dumb.”

How dumb was he?

Reg waits a beat. “I’ll tell you. He was so dumb, when he heard of a national park safety programme, he accused the administration of coddling blanks!”

I think about it as Reg waits for the other four to write down their responses, showing the card to Cheech along the way.

When everyone is done, Reg turns to Meghan and says, “All right, Rogue. Dumb Rush the radio host was so dumb that when he heard of a national park safety programme, he accused the administration of coddling blanks.”

Trees? I think.

“Trees?” Meghan says.

There is a disappointed groan all around me.

“Now wait a minute,” Reg says, really getting into Gene’s role. “There are a few good answers for this one, and that happens to be one of them. Let’s just see if some of the others match her, shall we? How about you, Tom? Do you have some trees?”

Cheech says, “I sure do. And I’ll tell you where right after this. No, I said salmon.”

He holds up his card with SALMON on it, to a buzzer sound and a couple of boos from people near me.

“Well, now, I think this should count,” Ali 2 says. She holds up three cards, one at a time. “The great redwoods, sequoias, pines, and other forests found in our national park system.”

A bell rings.

“All right, Rogue. Three to nothing now. Charles, what about you?”

“I had a good answer,” Edvard says. He holds up BEAR ARRESTS.

“Accused the administration of coddling bear arrests,” Reg says. “Of course.”

“I’m gonna take you outside and shoot you after the show,” Ali 2 says to Edvard.

“You always were a procrastinator.”

Reg turns to Renee and says, “Rogue is looking for some trees, Willow. Where are yours?”

Renee says, “I might have fucked this one up. I said the Sierra Club.”

“Yes, you did fuck this one up. All right, three to nothing. Body, you must match three to tie, four to win. Here’s your second round question. Alice the astronaut said, ‘I really hope NASA gets moving on that Ares rocket. After they retire the Space Shuttle, we’re going to have to get to the space station using blanks.’”

I think of elevators first. Then I picture an escalator going all the way up to the ISS. That makes me start to laugh, and I look around self consciously.

“Okay,” Reg says. “Everyone done? Good. Body, Alice the astronaut said, ‘I really hope NASA gets moving on that Ares rocket. After they retire the Space Shuttle, we’re going to have to get to the space station using blanks.’”

“Using... elevators,” Mary says.

Some people in the crowd applaud.

“Using elevators,” Reg repeats. “That would certainly be a long elevator ride, wouldn’t it, Tom?”

“It certainly would, Gene,” Cheech says. “Especially if the guy in front of you farts.” He holds up his ELEVATOR card and gets a ding.

“I thought they would use something different,” Ali 2 says. “I thought they would use the Seattle Space Needle.”

There are more boos.

Reg asks, “How would they use the Seattle Space Needle?”

“I don’t know.”

“Because, you see, it’s not nearly tall enough to go all the way up to the International Space Station.”

“I know it isn’t. I just didn’t think it through.”

“No, you certainly didn’t. Charles, what do you say?”

“The correct answer,” Edvard says with no small amount of pride, holding up ELEVATOR.

“Two elevators,” Reg says. “Alice the astronaut said, ‘I really hope NASA gets moving on that Ares rocket. After they retire the Space Shuttle, we’re going to have to get to the space station using elevators,’ according to the Body. What is it according to you, Buffy?”

“Do escalators count?” Angela asks, holding up ESCALATOR.

The buzzer sounds.

“No they do not,” Reg says. “Not the same thing. Richard, what do you say?”

Rich says, “Well, you see, they weren’t planning on using these any more. Not since the slingshot disaster of ’89.” He holds up SLINGSHOT, to laughter from the room.

“Slingshots,” Reg says. “I can see why Alice would be eager to avoid riding a slingshot to orbit. Still three to two. Last chance for an elevator, Willow.”

“I’m sorry, honey,” Renee says as she holds up GOODYEAR BLIMP.

Reg says, “No, the Goodyear Blimp. Rogue, that means you’re our winner! Come on out here, Rogue.”

Meghan shakes hands with Mary and stands up from her seat, taking position next to Reg.

“Well, thank you very much indeed for playing our game, Body. We have some wonderful gifts for you. There’s a lifetime supply of arm hair, and a dust bunny farm, to go with our best wishes. Thank you. The Body, everyone!”

07:44 UTC: I am dancing with Reese, who is dressed in tiny black leather shorts, fishnet stockings, and a sky blue and white halter top, when the stars of Match Game GoobNet enter and accept our applause. Meghan won 32,768 Silly Bucks by matching Rich’s response of UP to STAND _____.

I lean in to Reese and say, “What are you supposed to be?”


“I said, what are you supposed – aaaack!

We are both covered in foam that apparently came from dish soap.

So that’s what a foamer is.

08:58 UTC: “Hi, Karina.”

“Oh. Hi, Maksim.”

Uh oh, I think.

Karina and Maksim have finally run into each other on the balcony. They are both staring out at the Las Vegas lights.

I pretend to mind my own business in one of the deck chairs.

“So, how are things?” Maksim asks.

“Not bad. I am good. You?”

“Oh, the same. This and that.”



They are quiet.

“Look, Karina –”

Karina begins to speak in another language.

Maksim responds in the same language.

The discussion begins to get heated, when suddenly Karina abruptly says something.

Whatever it is, it ends the discussion. Maksim glares at her and then storms back inside.

I get up and stand at the railing next to her.

Karina forces a smile.

“We never got to dance, did we?” she asks.

10:55 UTC: Having danced with Karina – who was even better than Maksim – I then danced with Cheech and Natasha, two other guys and a girl, and finally Edvard. A few of us then went to one of the hot tubs on the balcony.

“So Amber Lynn,” Karina says.

Her Malaysian flag is on the floor next to the tub. Reese had walked up to it, said, “Fuck it,” and entered the tub with all of her clothing on, including the platform heels. Angela and Renee have their vampire slaying attire bunched up next to Karina’s flag. The two guys, who turn out to be named Todd and TR, and the girl, who turns out to be named Avril, are also here.

Karina continues, “Who was that girl you were talking about?”

“What?” I ask, sinking into the water.

“That girl you met at last year’s party? The one you were telling me about?”

“Oh, right. Natasha.”

Todd goes bug eyed. “Natasha?” he asks. “You mean Cheech Marin’s new wife?”

I shake my head. “Different Natasha.”


Avril says, “Umm... hey, um, I forgot your name,” pointing to Karina.


“Right. Karina, isn’t that your costume?” Avril points to the edge of the balcony, where the flag has been blown.

Karina looks around but can’t seem to spot it.

Suddenly the wind increases.

“Oh shit!“ Reese shouts, trying to get out of the tub. “There it goes!”

The flag goes over the edge, as Reese falls over inside the tub.

We watch it flutter through the air until it can no longer be seen.

“Some tourist is gonna have a souvenir,” Renee says.

“Fuck,” Karina says.

“That’s okay,” I say. “We’ve got a couple of extra bathrobes.”

“Really? Thank you.”

“Not a problem. But I hope you learned not to leave a Malaysian flag on a windy balcony.”

Reese adds, “And I learned not to wear platform heels in a hot tub.”

TR says, “So what are all your costumes?”

Angela says, “We’re Buffy and Willow.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“I’m McLovin,” Todd says.

“I’m Beyoncé performing in Malaysia,” Karina says. “Or I was.”

“I’m Jermaine Maine,” I say.

“It’s from The Colbert Report,” Todd says.

“That’s right,” I say. “How did you know?”

“I love that show,” he says.

“I’m Gov Mark Sandford’s mistress,” Reese says.

“I’m Chaz Bono,” Avril says.

“And I’m Shatner,” TR says.

Todd says to me, “So you like The Colbert Report?”

“I never miss it,” I answer.

“Why don’t I get you a drink?”

“I’d love that.”

As he exits the tub, I watch Reese, legs in the air, trying to remove her shoes.

“Let me help with those,” Avril says.

Reese turns to the side, and Avril sits at the edge of the tub, putting Reese’s feet in her lap.

Avril undoes one of the shoes and pulls it off. She strokes Reese’s leg, her fingers following the fishnet pattern.

“Look at your legs,” Avril says. “You know, you have the most perfect legs I’ve ever seen.”

“Really?” Reese says. “You think so?”

I make eye contact with Angela, then TR, and finally Karina.

The rest of us slip out of the hot tub and leave Reese and Avril to their business.

12:36 UTC: Todd says, “I’m sorry, babe. I really have to leave now.”

“Now?” I whine. “We’re just getting started!”

“I know. I’m sorry. Look, I’ll call you as soon as I get home. Okay?”

I pretend to give a frustrated sigh. “Fine.”

“I can’t wait to see you again,” he says.

“Can you name a dish after me?” I ask him.

He thinks. “What kind of dish?”

“Maybe like a pasta. Linguini Amber Lynn?”

He says, “You know, linguini is from the Italian for tongue.”



We kiss.

“Linguini Amber Lynn,” he says. “I like it.”

12:51 UTC: I am helping Wen, Reg, Nina, and Jhonny clean up. There is foam everywhere, but other than that, things are surprisingly clean.

Whilst I am collecting whatever plastic cups I can find, Mary retrieves a broom from the closet. In her contralto, she says, “You must collect every foreign object from the floor of the Cube. Missing a spot will result in a life lost.”

“Mary, calm down,” I shout. “The party’s over.”

In her normal voice, she shouts back, “The party’s not over until I say it is!”

I ask Reg, “We didn’t have Tony and Eva tonight, did we?”

“No,” he says. “The Spurs played tonight.”

“And the Beckhams?”

“The Galaxy play tomorrow.”

“Playoffs, motherfucker!” Jhonny shouts.

“So tonight’s theme was recent marriages and divorces,” I say. “Right, Reg?”

“Just about, yeah.”

“How did that come about?”

“I don’t really know,” he says. “It just did. I figured that we should be trying to celebrate celebrity weddings that do take place and help the ones that don’t take place.”

“So that’s why we had both Maksim and Karina?”

“Yeah. It didn’t work, did it?”

I shake my head.

13:19 UTC: Reese and Avril each hug me.

“A pleasure to meet you,” Avril says.

“Good seeing you again,” Reese says.

“Where are you guys headed now?” I ask.

Reese and Avril look at each other.

“I’m at the Bellagio,” Reese says.

“MGM Grand,” Avril says.

“I can take you there.”

“That’d be marvelous. Bye, everyone.”


They retreat to the elevator.

13:25 UTC: The only ones left are Rich, Wen, Nina, Jhonny, Mary, Emmy, and myself.

“Is it time to go home yet?” Jhonny says.

“I think it is,” I say. “The place is all clean, there’s no one left who still requires a designated driver, and there’s nobody to go bail out.”

Gaby and Deb enter. Deb announces, “Okay, we’ve de-shitted the hot tub.”

The rest of us look at each other.

“There... um... there was shit in the hot tub?” Jhonny asks.

“Oh yes,” Gaby says.

“Which one?” Nina asks.

“The indoor one.”

“Who was using that one?” I ask.

Deb says, “I don’t know. We just sent the samples to the lab.”

We all look around, making sure the place is shipshape. At least, that’s what I imagine everyone else doing.

Jhonny says, “So what was your costume, Wen?”

“I know!” I say. “The Beverly Hills Chihuahua!”

“Right,” she says.

I continue, “Jhonny, you’re Rod Serling.”

“You are entering another dimension.”

“Nina, you’re a dominatrix.”

“What kind of dominatrix?”

“I don’t know!” I shout.

Nina points to a green armband on her leather attire.

None of us seem to know.

“Come on!” she says. “I’m the spectre of Neda Agha-Soltan dominating the discussion about the situation in Iran!”

We look at each other.

“Dude, that’s just creepy,” Jhonny says.

“Completely inappropriate,” Wen says.

“Yeah, what the fuck?” Gaby snaps.

“All right,” I say. “Moving on. Gaby, you’re the Ares 1-X.”

She says, “Would you have gotten it if I hadn’t put 1-X on the side?”

“Not a chance. Rich, Mary, Emmy, I know what you are already.”

“Wait,” Jhonny says. “What are you, Emmy?”

Emmy tells him, “The joint Anglo-French Silly Walk, La Marche Futile. From Monty Python.”

I say, “And that takes us to you, Deb.”

She raises her eyebrows.

“The interior of a porn star’s pussy,” I guess.

“Hey, what the hell’s that supposed to mean?” Mary says.

The others laugh and crowd into the elevator. We run out of space, so Deb and I wait for the next one.

“That’s close enough,” Deb says.