I was at a party at The House of Blues in honor of the Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley. Forbes Magazine had just rated the twins’ combined assets as the 20th largest economy in the world. The sisters had rented out the House of Blues to celebrate.
Whoopi had arranged for me to go as her guest. She put my name on the guest list. When I arrived, I drifted around looking for her. I couldn’t find her. Eventually I gave up and found my way to the bar.
I stepped up the bar. I tried to flag down the bartender, but accidentally bumped into Candace Bergen. I grinned at her. “Hi, baby. How are you?”
Candace looked away. “Uhh, fine.”
I smiled again. “You look great.”
The bartender came over. I nodded at him. “A vodka seven for me, and the lady will have a…”
“A Calistoga, please.”
I looked at her. “Nothing to drink, baby?”
She turned to the bartender. “Just a Calistoga, thanks.”
The bartender disappeared. I turned back to Candace. “Last time I saw you was so awesome, baby.”
“Really? I left you in handcuffs. I just split.”
I nodded. “Don’t I know it. I’ve never been so turned on in my life. Nothing compares to that. Even when Barbra was tying me to her bed one time, and she had these leather spikes on, I wasn’t—“
“Please—” Candace put up her hand to stop me. “I don’t want to hear about it.”
The bartender came back with our drinks. “One vodka seven…and…one Calistoga.” He set the drinks in front of us.
I handed him a $20 bill. The bartender shook his head. “There’s no charge, sir. It’s a free bar.”
Candace explained, “The Olsen’s are paying for it.”
“Oh, cool.” I turned to the bartender and handed him the $20. “Well, take this for yourself then.”
He waved the $20 away nervously. He glanced up and down the bar. “I’m sorry, sir. No gratuities are allowed. The Olsen’s have already seen to it that we’re taken care of.”
The bartender hurried away. I turned to Candace. “I’ll have to go find the sisters and thank them.”
She took a sip of her Calistoga. “I doubt you’ll find them.”
“You wouldn’t get near them. Even Regis couldn’t get back there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Look.” Candace pointed to a private room off to the side of the lounge. Several large men in tuxedos stood in front of the door. I recognized one of them from my gym. “That’s where the twins are hanging out. They’ve only allowed Ashton Kutcher and Keanu Reeves back there so far. Just watch.”
I took a sip of my drink. I could see David Schwimmer step up to the door. He said something to the guy from my gym. The guy looked at him for a moment, then shook his head. Schwimmer said something else. Another man stepped in front of him and shook his head emphatically. Schwimmer’s face sunk. He turned and began to walk slowly away.
I turned to Candace. “Wow. That’s harsh.”
Just at that moment, Jennifer Aniston walked up to the men. They nodded at her and opened the door. Jennifer stepped quickly inside. For a split second, I thought I caught sight of one of the twins sharing a glass of champagne with Bill Gates. But then the door closed.
The bartender noticed us looking at the room and stepped in front of us. “Can I get either of you another drink?”
Candace gestured with her Calistoga. “No, thanks. We still have these.”
I took another sip of my drink. “But baby, I’m almost ready for another.”
She shook her head. “Go easy for once. You always drink too much.”
I nodded. “Fine…”
I took another sip of my drink and turned back to watching the Olsen’s private room. One of the men was turning Courteney Cox away. Courteney walked off glumly. I gestured at the room. “I wonder what their parents think of all this…”
Candace was sipping her Calistoga. “What’s that?”
I gestured toward the Olsen’s room again. Sandra Bullock was being ushered quickly into the room. “The twins. What do their parents think about this kind of thing?”
Candace looked at me for a moment. She paused. “You mean you don’t know?…”
I looked at her. The bartender seemed to be listening too. I leaned in close. “Know what?”
Candace lowered her voice. “Well…no one really knows where their parents are.”
“Yes…” She leaned close. “Their parents disappeared right after the girls turned twelve. No one’s seen them since.”
I shook my head. “Naw, that can’t be. I mean, who takes care of them?”
Candace glanced nervously at the bartender, who was hovering above us, drying a beer mug. She looked at me. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this now.”
“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind.”
She looked at the bartender for a moment. “No, I mean it. Not now.”
She finished her Calistoga, set it on the bar, and walked off.
I watched her walk away then ordered another drink.
I flew up to San Francisco to meet with the producer, John Montoya. He was working on a new TV series called ‘I Love Flipper.’ According to my agent, he was considering me for a lead role.
I met up with John at a private party being held at Caffe Proust. It was a birthday party for a singer he’d produced, Joe Powell. When I walked in, I saw John Montoya talking with his brother, Baby Jim. John was wearing a full-length fur coat; two small dogs were barking at the trailing edge of his coat. John ignored the dogs and hurried over to give me a hug. “Hey Man…”
John gave me a look. “Listen, you can’t call me ‘John’ anymore.”
“Oh. Sorry baby.”
“In this town they call me ‘2 Cold.’”
“Right, right. ‘2 Cold.’ Got it.”
He nodded. “It’s just too cold for me here. I can’t roll with it. L.A.’s my town.”
“I hear that.”
2 Cold pointed to his brother. “This is my bro, Baby Jim.”
We shook hands. “Good to see you again.”
2 Cold put his arm on my shoulder. “Come on. I’ll get you a drink.”
He began steering me toward the bar. The dogs trailed after 2 Cold’s fur coat. Suddenly we bumped into Joe Powell. He was talking to Anne Heche and Emilio Estevez. I paused and patted Joe on the back.
“Happy Birthday, Joe.”
He turned and gave me the famous Joe Powell grin. “Thanks, man.”
I smiled. “You know what, Joe, I gotta tell you, your band is so great. ‘Stanley and the Prince James Love Machine’ is the best band in America. I’ve been meaning to catch one of your shows because— ”
Joe squinted at me. “It’s ‘Stymie and the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra.’”
I nodded. “Oh, right. Yeah, I think I heard that—”
2 Cold leaned over and began pushing me toward the bar. Joe gave me a quick look and turned back to Anne Heche and Emilio Estevez.
We stepped up to the bar. I noticed that Miss P herself was bartending. I smiled my tough-guy-with-love smile and looked into her eyes. “How are you, baby?”
Miss P grinned. “Fine, thanks. What can I get you?”
“A Bud, please.”
2 Cold looked at Miss P. “Make that two Buds.”
2 Cold turned to me. “Let me tell you about the show.”
“Yeah, baby. Lay it on me.”
“I want to do a show that’s totally retro, you know?”
“And I want to take the best stuff from the best shows.”
“Talk it like you walk it.”
Miss P reached across the bar and handed us two bottles of Bud. I smiled at her. “Thanks.” I put a $5 bill in her tip jar.
2 Cold took a sip of his beer. “What I want to do is take part of ‘I Love Lucy’ and mix it with ‘Flipper.’”
I drank my beer. “Yeah, baby.”
“And maybe a little bit of ‘Leave It To Beaver.’”
2 Cold adjusted his coat. Several gold chains jingled around his neck. He looked at me. “So I need to get the good-looking Ricky Ricardo guy who teaches the dolphin, you know? ‘Cause it’s all about their relationship. Each week we gotta learn more about them.”
I nodded. “Yup. That’s it.”
Suddenly, Baby Jim walked up to 2 Cold. “Your lady’s getting hit on by Anne Heche.”
2 Cold looked at Baby Jim. “Anne Heche is digging Warmer Parts.”
“That’s what I said.”
2 Cold looked around the room for a moment. Then he turned back to Baby Jim. “That’s cool.”
Baby Jim nodded. “Just thought you’d want to know.” He took a sip of his drink and walked away.
2 Cold adjusted his fur coat. He took a sip of his beer and stared out across the room. “Yeah, all my ladies, man…But Warmer Parts, you know…She and I are tight, you know?”
“Rick James has got Mary Jane. I got my Warmer Parts.”
He took a sip of his beer. I finished mine and motioned to Miss P for another.
2 Cold looked at me. “Are you and Roseanne still kickin’ it?”
I shook my head. “No. That ended years ago.”
“Oh…” 2 Cold stared off across the room. He took another sip of his beer. Then he turned to me. “Anyway, I’m gonna make this show a big hit. And I’m gonna need that Ricky Ricardo, dark-haired, handsome dude, you know?”
“I mean, you hear me, right?”
I nodded. Miss P handed me another beer. I put another $5 bill in her tip jar. “Thanks.”
I turned back to 2 Cold. He took a sip of his beer. “And I’m gonna need you, too.”
I paused. “Wait—what?”
2 Cold nodded. “Yeah. I need someone to play Big Craig. He feeds flipper. Each week he falls into the tank and they have to pull him out. He makes a big splash and gets all water-logged. They have to pull him out before he drowns. The audience’ll love it.”
“You’ll be perfect. How much do you weigh?”
I put down my beer. “I…I’m not sure.”
“You gotta find out, man. Have your agent call me. We’ll get some clothes fitted for you, okay?”
“Okay, great…Listen, I’m gonna go talk to my lady. But you enjoy the party, okay?”
2 Cold turned in his fur coat and walked off across the room. For a moment I watched the two little dogs jumping at the bottom of his coat. Then I picked up my beer and took a gulp.
Ovitz and I were sitting in the bar of the Hotel Roosevelt, talking about women, baseball, and life. Richard Simmons was supposed to join us. But he called from his cell phone to say that he couldn’t make it. Ovitz was hurt that Richard was blowing him off. He threw back his martini. “Jesus. Richard doesn’t even have time for me. My ex-wife wants more alimony. I can’t get arrested in this town.”
I took a sip of my whiskey. “Come on, Mike, you’re the king. You and Geffen, man. You guys are IT.”
He shook his head. “I don’t feel like I’m ‘It.'” He waved to the bartender for another martini.
We sat quietly for a moment. The bartender shook up a new martini and set it down in front of Ovitz.
I gestured to the bartender. “Put it on my tab.”
Ovitz looked at me slowly. “You don’t have to do that.”
I patted him on the back. “It’s no problem, baby.”
Suddenly Christina Aguilera drifted through the lobby with her entourage. I waved at her. “Christina, baby, I love you…come have a drink with me and Mike Ovitz.”
Christina strolled over to us. Two of her bodyguards followed. Christina’s hair was braided with little red-white-and-blue ribbons. Just as she stepped in front of us, I caught sight of a shiny silver ring piercing her navel. She smiled at us politely. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”
I raised my whiskey. “Baby, we bumped into each other at the post-party, you know, after the Heston funeral thing.”
Christina looked at us. “I wasn’t at the Heston party.”
I looked at her. “Oh, baby, I’m sorry. I had you confused with someone else. Can you ever forgive me?”
“It’s all right.”
She started to walk away, but I pointed at Ovitz. “Hey, Chrissie, you know Mike Ovitz, right?”
She paused. “Umm…I know the name…”
I nodded. “Everybody’s heard of him. He’s the best agent in Hollywood.”
Ovitz stood up and shook Christina’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you.”
Christina turned to her bodyguards. “You guys can go get a drink or something.” She waved them away and they drifted off. Christina took a seat next to Ovitz.
Ovitz lifted his martini. “Here’s to you, Christina. You and I could make millions together.”
“I’ve already got an agent.”
“Oh, really. Who?”
“Oh. Well, I’ll get you away from him eventually.”
I tapped Christina on the shoulder. “Baby, do you want a drink?”
She smiled. “Are you buying?”
“I sure am.”
“Okay. A whiskey sour.”
I turned to the bartender. “One whiskey sour for this fine lady, please.”
The bartender hurried off to make the drink. I turned to Christina. “Baby, you are so fine.”
Ovitz slugged his martini. “Damn right. She’s finer than frog’s fur.”
Christina giggled. “I’ve never heard that one before.”
“What? ‘Finer than frog’s fur?'”
The bartender brought over Christina’s drink. I nodded at him. “Put it on my tab, Darryl.”
The bartender squinted at me. “It’s David.”
“Oh, right.” I handed the drink to Christina. We all clinked our glasses and sipped our drinks. I looked at Christina and smiled. “Baby, you are finer than the finest grain of sand.”
Ovitz nodded. “You are finer than the finest Persian silk.”
Christina giggled. She pointed at me and said, “I like it better when he tells me how fine I am.”
I patted her arm. “That’s right, baby. I know just how fine you are.”
Ovitz took another sip of his drink. He looked at Christina intently. “Well, let me tell you, words can’t begin to express how fine you truly are.”
I nodded. “Yeah. Scientists can’t even measure a grain of sand as fine as you.”
Christina laughed. She touched my arm. “You are so funny.”
Ovitz glared at me for a moment. “Yeah, he’s funny all right.”
I looked at Ovitz. “Come on, Mike, lighten up.”
Christina nodded. “Yeah, lighten up, Mike.”
Ovitz frowned. “I’m trying to talk business here and you’re getting in the way.”
“I’m not getting in the way.”
“Yes you are.”
I turned to Christina. “Baby, if Mike and I keep arguing like this, we’re gonna end up going “No I’m not,’ ‘Yes, you are’ until both of us throw up our hands and say, ‘FINE.’ But let me tell you, you are finer than both those ‘Fines’ put together.”
Christina touched my leg. “WOW. You are so funny.”
I grinned. “Baby, you are finer than all the fines I’ve ever paid for overdue library books…”
Christina giggled out loud. Her breasts started to tremble with laughter. “Ah-hah-hah…”
Ovitz slugged down his drink and stood up. “That’s it. I’m out of here.”
I waved casually at Ovitz. “Okay, Mike, see ya.”
Christina continued touching my leg. It was a good night.
I was standing on line at the bank when I ran into Candace Bergen. She was wearing sunglasses and flipping through the latest issue of ‘Variety.’ I walked up behind her and whispered in her ear, “Hi baby.”
Candace spun around. “HUH?”
I smiled at her. “How’ve you been?”
She lowered her sunglasses. “Oh…it’s you.”
She smiled. “What’s going on?”
“I just did the Heston funeral.”
“Really? You went to that?”
“How was it?”
“Great. I rocked it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Best gig I had in a while.”
“It was a funeral.”
The person ahead of Candace stepped up to the next teller. We moved forward in the line. I nodded. “Yeah, I know. But I had a speaking part.”
“A speaking part?”
“Yeah, Lenny asked me to give a short speech. And I nailed it. I had all my lines down and everything. It just flowed. Whoopi said I did a great job. I think it might lead to some other work.”
One of the bank teller’s said, “Next.” Candace turned to me. “See ya.” She stepped up to the teller. I continued to wait in line.
I was at Caesar’s Palace, trying to get backstage to see my old roommate, Celine Dion. I had always tried to keep in touch with her from the days when we were both just starting out in L.A. Reporters from PEOPLE Magazine and Entertainment Magazine were milling around in front of Celine’s dressing room, waiting to catch a word from her. A security guard was checking for my name on the guest list. He looked me up and down. “Sorry sir. I don’t see your name on here.”
I smiled. “That’s okay. You can just tell her I’m here.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
Just then, Celine’s dressing room door swung open. Celine leaned out. “Gary, can you do me a favor?”
The two magazine reporters tried to jostle for position. The security guard turned to her. “Yes, ma’am?”
“Can you get us some lemons and some chamomile tea?”
I waved at Celine. “Baby, how are you?”
Celine stared at me. “Oh…hi…”
I stepped over to her doorway. “Baby, I didn’t hear from you. So I thought I’d come down, see how you’re doing.”
One of the reporters took out a mini cassette recorder. Celine glanced at the reporter quickly then looked at me. “I’m kind of busy.”
“Don’t I know it. You’re playing Vegas. Me doing auditions. We’ve got it going ON.”
Celine patted me on the shoulder. “I have to run.”
I smiled. “Oh…okay. I just wanted to tell you not to be upset about doing Vegas or anything. Just enjoy it.”
Celine frowned at me. “I am enjoying it.”
“WOW—really? I remember how you used to say that Vegas is where people go to die. Remember that?”
The reporters leaned in. Celine shook her head. “I never said that.”
“Yes you did.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Sure you did. When we were sitting at Denny’s that time…remember? The night you tried that laser eyebrow thing.”
“No, maybe it was when you got your ears done…I think that was it—”
“Hey—remember that crazy nose doctor with the German accent. I always mix them up. Those were great times. Remember?”
Celine glared at me. “SHHH.”
“I have to go.” She ducked into her room and shut the door.
I looked at one of the reporters. “She didn’t used to be like that.”
The security guard started to push me away. I turned and walked back to the casino.
Later that night, Chickie Vaughn, Sandra Bullock, and I were walking out to our cars. Scoops Nolan had left earlier in the evening. Chickie suddenly pointed up at the night sky.
“Look at all those stars.”
I looked up. “Yeah, baby.”
Chickie waved her hand. “Wow. I think I saw a shooting star.”
Sandra and I helped Chickie into her Camaro. I gave Chickie a quick kiss on the cheek. “Okay, baby.”
Chickie smiled. “See, you’re not such a bad guy.”
“You know it.”
“I’ll call you soon. We’ll do lunch.”
“How about sushi?”
She started her car. “Naw, I hate sushi.”
I nodded. “Okay. Whatever you want, baby.”
She drove off.
I said a quick good night to Sandra Bullock and walked over to my car. I found my keys and climbed in. Then I turned the ignition, and switched on my headlights.
I shifted into first gear, and was about to drive off when suddenly I noticed Sandra standing directly in front of my car. My headlights burned a bright yellow against her tan shorts. She was staring at me.
I poked my head out the window. “Is everything okay, baby?”
Sandra continued to stare at me.
I shifted back to neutral and hopped out of the car. “Baby, you startled me. I almost drove right into you.”
Sandra looked at me. “Are you a team player?”
“Are you gonna play ball?”
I looked down at the ground nervously. “I love to play ball. Any kind of ball. My dad thought I should’ve been a quarterback. But then I was a lifeguard and—“
“You know what I’m talking about.”
“No, I don’t, baby.”
Sandra pointed a finger at me. “I can make life very good for you, or very bad. What’s it gonna be?”
I swallowed nervously. I tried to give her my big-guy-with-a-big-heart smile. I could feel my pulse pounding in my neck. “Oh, baby, I know I’ve made some mistakes in the past. But I want to be good. Trust me on that.”
Sandra raised her hand and poked me sharply in the chest. “Then start keeping your big mouth shut.”
“It’s shut, baby. Absolutely shut.”
Sandra grinned. “Good. Just play ball and you’ll be fine. You hear me?”
Sandra nodded. “Okay, great. I’m glad we had this talk.” She patted me on the shoulder. “Have a great night.” She turned and walked away.
I turned and climbed slowly into my Hyundai. I reached for the stick shift but my hand was shaking uncontrollably. I waited a few minutes, then finally drove home.
I was sitting at a booth in the NoHo diner with Sandra Bullock, Chickie Vaughn, and the cartoonist Scoops Nolan. We were eating hamburgers and fries. Sandra ordered a vanilla coke. We were having a great time. Scoops had just told the joke about Ted Danson acting his way out of a paper bag. We all laughed hysterically. Chickie laughed so hard that tears came to her eyes.
Sandra took a sip of her vanilla coke. “You guys are the best. I am having so much fun.”
We all smiled. “Cool…”
I was still chuckling over Scoops’ joke. I looked at Sandra and smiled. “Hey, Sandy, I gotta ask you something.”
Sandra took another sip of her vanilla coke. “What?”
“Well, it’s pretty wacky and you’d probably, uhh—never mind.”
“Well, we’re having such a great time and you seem like such a nice person. I don’t want to offend you or anything…”
Chickie poked me in the arm. “Just ask her. You can’t start a question like that and then not ask.”
Sandra nodded. She slurped down the last of her vanilla coke. “Yeah—what were you gonna ask?”
“Well, you gotta promise not to get mad.”
Chickie looked at me. “She can’t promise that.”
Sandra smiled. “Yeah, just go ahead and ask.”
I paused. “Well, all right. It’s just—it’s the damnedest thing. I’ve heard this wacky rumor a couple of times, and I know it’s just something that someone must have made up somewhere—”
Sandra’s face darkened. “What kind of rumor?”
“Well, it’s so stupid.”
“What is it?”
I shook my head. “It’s so silly. It’s just something ridiculous. Like, you belong to a super-secret organization that controls Hollywood. That’s how you got your start in movies or something. You and Keanu. I mean, I know it’s so obviously false—”
Sandra stared at me. “Who told you that?”
“I don’t know. I mean, it’s just something I’ve heard, here and there…But it’s so ridiculous, right?…”
Sandra pulled a pad and pen out of her purse. She looked at me. “Tell me their names.”
“Anyone who told you.”
“I don’t know. I don’t really remember.”
She squinted at me. “Who-was-it?”
I swallowed nervously. I could feel Chickie and Scoops watching me. “Well, uhh…maybe there was this make-up woman at Paramount…uhh, I think her name was Missy—but that’s all I remember. I swear it.”
“Are you sure?”
“All right. I believe you.” Sandra scribbled something in her notepad then put it back in her purse. She looked at us. “What a silly rumor. Of course it’s not true.” She looked around the table. “Who wants dessert?”
None of us answered.
Sandra looked at us. “Come on—who wants dessert? I’ll buy.”
After a moment, Chickie said, “Umm…I could eat some rice pudding…if someone’ll split it with me.”
Sandra looked at me. “You’ll split that rice pudding with Chickie, won’t you?”
I swallowed. “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I love rice pudding.”
Sandra motioned to the waiter. The rest of us sat in silence.