It was my dream. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I moved to LA eight years ago. No, not receive an Oscar, or to even attend the insidiously long event itself, hell, it’s boring enough on tv. I’ve always wanted to crash the Oscar parties.
My plan was simple, the people, namely the bouncers at the doors, are too busy to actually WATCH the show which meant I could dupe some unsuspecting door man into thinking I actually belonged there. First I dusted off a bad tux, the only one I owned. I bought one of those cheap Oscar-looking statues from a gift shop on Hollywood boulevard, then I convinced our lovely 22 year-old intern Sarah to put on a revealing evening gown and attach herself to my arm for the evening.
I was ready.
The night began well enough. I loosened my bow tie, unbuttoned my shirt, messed up my hair and affected the look of an all too happy drunk. I then proceeded to scream at the top of my lungs “YESSSSS! YEAH, BAAAAABY!” as I waved my phony Oscar statue violently in the air. (Sarah got a little frightened at this point, but man did she look hot.) First we entered a convenience store on Hollywood Boulevard to practice our act. I hugged some guy I never met then kissed some homeless woman in my glee and realized immediately what a bad idea that was. (Her crusty mouth was halitosis central. Ugh!) The patrons in the liquor store beamed as the guy behind the counter shook my hand. I grabbed a cigar and he didn’t even make me pay! Hey, this was goin’ good.
Then it was off to Sunset Boulevard and onto the golden parties. It took about a half hour just to park (like I was gonna cough up $20 just for valet). Spago’s was awash with onlookers and getting to the door was a nightmare. While the unsophisticated dregs on Hollywood Boulevard bought my “deliriously-happy-Oscar-winner” schtick, the people on Sunset weren’t buyin’ it. They were laughing. The star watchers behind the ropes could tell my Oscar statue was a fake and made some rather disparaging remarks. “What did you win for? Worst tux?” Sarah was scared and wanted to leave. The jig was up.
We figured we’d walk up Sunset at this point and actually made it to the door of some pretentious restaurant (whose name escapes me but it was French-sounding). Some big Oscar shindig was in the making and the limos were lined up outside. I just felt like a jerk (well, larger than usual) as the giant neck with a head on it (the doorman) actually laughed at my appearance. He knew it was fake, I knew it was fake, we smiled that knowing smile and he said, “That’s funny, but no way.” I at least convinced him to let me go to the bathroom. My trip took a lot longer than anticipated as I tried to wander to where the festivities were in progress. Just as Sarah was beginning to freak out, I ran into neck man again and he administered a vise-like grip to my shoulder. He was actually really friendly as he told us politely to leave. I was actually pushed out the door. I thought that only happened in the movies?!
Sarah and I got to the car and ended up having to stop to get something to drink and eat. It was a French place all right, “The Che Vron” where I also filled up with unleaded gasoline. Anyways, next year I’m going to borrow a real Oscar statue from a friend. I just have to make a friend who, uh, has an Oscar.
Posted on March 25, 1997 in Features by Chris Gore
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