By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
She was just warming up. Clutching the white-gold pen, studded in 1,430 brilliant cut diamonds, Miss Collins composed her addition to the storyline. With barely a hint of her British accent, she read as she wrote, commenting as she went along. “‘Pinky’ — the heroine of this book is Pinky, not a name that I would have chosen — ‘arrived in Argentina and was met by Nick, a very good-looking lawyer.’ If you are going to have a lawyer, he may as well be good-looking. They charge you so much, they better be good-looking. ‘She checked him out. He was hot, sexy and loaded — in more ways than one. This could be the start of something, or was he another loser, just like all the rest?’”
“Let me tell you,” Miss Collins said after completing the paragraph, “this really expensive pen writes really well. I think they should present it to me.” Not that she needed another set of diamonds. On her left hand was a baguette that might have been designed by Frank Gehry, and on her right, enough ice to rival the pen she reluctantly relinquished.
“You could just buy this pen,” I interjected, while getting the feel of its auspicious heft in the palm of my hand.
“The secret of success is not buying things for yourself. It’s getting others to give them to you,” Miss Collins replied. At which she turned to Schmitz and said, “He should give it to me, hint, hint.” The Montblanc president smiled affably, knowing that the place was surrounded by walleyed security men who would think nothing of frisking Miss Collins.
With the ribbing over and Miss Collins wading into the crowd, it was now up to the audience to expand on the lives of Pinky and Nick. Stephen P. Wonn, a 50-ish sports-event planner and “a big fan of Jackie Collins,” went first. Using the Jules Verne, one of the “Writers Series” pens — Frederick Schiller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne and Franz Kafka — available for the book-building, he scribbled, “Nick was hell-bent on discovering Buenos Aires’ top leather store, really cognizant of Pinky’s leather fetish.”
“This is L.A.,” Wonn said. “We all have our fetishes.”
Move Over, DudeSk8er girl(Photo by Arlie John Carstens) Forty years after its pleasant sidewalk-surfing origins, skateboarding is more or less made up of an endless mob of kickflippin’, sweaty rebel dudes swingin’ their dicks and runnin’ their mouths . . . girls decidedly relegated to the side of the action. Truth be told, not a lot of women want to roll around and collect scars. But as the inaugural Wicked Wahine Bowl Series proved a few Saturdays back, those who do are some talented badasses. This was not some “pretty good for a girl” bullshit — all clichés melted away as more than 30 riders took turns dropping into the massive, intimidating combi-bowl at Glendale’s new cement skatepark. Skate moms (including second-place Am finisher, Jean Rusen, 35, from Tempe, Arizona) and girls as young as 8 threw down tricks ranging from raging full-on axle-grinds on the brutal pool coping of the 11-foot over-vert capsule, to backside inverts and huge frontside ollies in the 9-foot bowl.
Apart from the girls animatedly discussing their successive runs, there wasn’t a lot of chatter from the crowd assembled around the perimeter of the skatepark. Everywhere I looked I noticed housewives with dragon-lady nails precariously sipping diet sodas, slack-jawed little boys enviously clutching their skateboards, and men eating Subway sandwiches — all with mouths agape and goggle eyes fixed on the competitors, perhaps in awe that girls could skateboard this aggressively and elegantly, or perhaps more so that they’d even want to. Not even the predominantly male, salty-dog photographers had much to say, other than to periodically erupt with short, enthusiastic cheers whenever a girl completed a particularly difficult or stylish trick. Overall, the contest’s vibe was sort of reverential (truly the diametric opposite of most other modern-day skateboarding jockathons). It felt like a proper first step in community building, not just another excuse to pitch Target and “Do the Dew, dude.”
Which means — listen up, dudes — at some point between tossing that backside-smith-grind into a frontside-lien-to-tail down at your local skatepark, you’re going to have to get out of the way and give big ups to the fairer sex skateboarding alongside you. This is not a bad thing. Welcome it, embrace it. The change has come.
—Arlie John Carstens