The end is near. Stephen Hawking recently went public with the idea that space aliens may not have our best interests at heart here on Earth. Couple that observation with the idea that there’s got to be a few spaceship-loads of hungry carnivorous aliens riding around, looking for a free-range human dining experience, and it’s a short leap to the shuddering realization that our days are numbered on this planet, and allow me to douse myself with this 28-ounce bottle of Sriracha Rooster Sauce with the faint hope that I am making myself repulsive to the alien palate. As someone from the Eagles once etched into the runoff groove of an album: “He who hesitates is lunch.”
Nevertheless, if marauding and hungry aliens are indeed hell-bent on coming to Earth and chomping and swallowing their way through humanity and they’re taking suggestions, I’ve got a pretty good place for them to start. It’s in West Hollywood, it’s loaded with celebrity humans, if you believe its tireless promotional efforts, and it’s called Millions of Milkshakes. I would posit to aliens that celebrities taste better than the rest of us mortals, and it’s not like these aliens are doing us a favor by gobbling all our celebrities, because we’re also on the menu, but if we’re going to die miserable deaths by being masticated by the drooling mandibles of insectile extraterrestrial horrors, please give us the entertainment of watching celebrities get devoured first, okay? Aliens, imagine the gustatory delights of ripping the flesh off of a celebrity that just finished concocting a gooey and sweet milkshake delight, and is loaded with sugary goodness. Mmmmm! And here’s a bonus tip: Paparazzi, those guys with the flashing lightbulbs, taste great, too!
Curious about this Millions of Milkshakes, I went to Wikipedia looking for an entry on it. Wikipedia has everything. But there was nothing on Millions of Milkshakes. And there was nothing on Millions of Milkshakes’ founder, Sheeraz Hasan. And there was nothing on one of Hasan’s other enterprises, a website called Hollywood.tv. How can this be? A shamelessly famewhoring business in shamelessly famewhoring Hollywood, one that’s definitely on the radar of every skeezy cable TV chronicler of famewhores doing their famewhoring, not to mention all the gossip columns taking delight in ripping apart famewhores doing their famewhoring, and no Wiki page?
My first encounter with Millions of Milkshakes was when I saw it mentioned in conjunction with Jon Gosselin, the toady co-star of the so-called reality series Jon & Kate Plus Eight, whose Ed Hardy-clad gallivanting and skankbanging exploits after separating from his now ex-wife Kate Gosselin made her, a woman with a personality that public relations executives might describe as having “high negatives,” actually look good. That’s some award-winning douchebaggery there, and it was mystifying why Jon Gosselin was getting so much coverage as a celebrity, when all he was doing was showing up in public clad in the latest Christian Audigier-designed sartorial abortions and moping about, sucking on Marlboros or hitting on random skanks. So when I caught a report of Gosselin creating his own milkshake at something called Millions of Milkshakes, I figured this was something special, kinda like Planet Hollywood colliding with Tastee-Freez in a special hellchamber of future human tortures.
I have to admit that I was surprised by the absence of footage featuring celebrity famewhoring couple Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, who would show up at a casket opening if it got them on TV. But perhaps Hasan is smart, figuring that those two are already over, or maybe he got them early, before he started posting clips on YouTube of all his milkshake exploits. But Hasan did get land a second appearance of future 2010 obituary fodder Lindsay Lohan, this time with her preternaturally aged and now-Kahlo-eyebrowed sister Ali in tow, and the elder Lohan — fresh from a lifetime 86 at the nightclub Trousdale for tossing a drink at the head of her former girlfriend, DJ Samantha Ronson — received some special Millions of Milkshakes award, a trophy, for being the first putative celebrity to create a second milkshake. Such are the demands of stardom.
Given the sheer starpower of Millions of Milkshakes, I was frankly quite surprised that Gavin and Joe Maloof, owners of the Sacramento Kings, haven’t created their original milkshakes there yet. But I did find footage of one of their former employees, Ron Artest, now a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. Not sure what goes into a Ron Artest milkshake, and I don’t think I want to find out — milk, yogurt, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, taurine, random steroids, dog blood, uh, help me out here? (Actually, compared to Gosselin’s mess, Artest’s sounds quite drinkable.)
Anyway, if any of you aliens are cruising the internet right now trying to figure out where to start that human dining experience, here’s another link to the Millions of Milkshakes website, and there’s a map there, too. Happy eating, and hopefully by the time we see you up here, you’ll have full stomachs or whatever your digestive organs are called, and you’ll be tired of gnawing on humans. Here’s hoping. —Jackson Griffith
Must’ve been the spicy food. I had a whole bunch of weird dreams the other morning, vivid psychedelic dreams. In one, I was told by a sidewalk psychic that my dog was in danger of being sliced up by an expert swordsman lurking nearby, but not to worry; a moment later, the swordsman materialized, but the dog danced around the attacker and his swinging blade, repeatedly lunging up and chewing his face off in the process. We left the fool’s shredded body in the gutter, covered with a black blanket.
In another part of the dream, I was walking through a video gamescape, like an early Renaissance European city, and I wandered off the main course to examine a glint in the shadows. Next to a huge set of double doors, like a cathedral entrance, was a sparkly beggar, an Easter egg in the game, and when I reached out to touch him, the prize added to my inventory was a “magic porno carpet.” Suddenly I was airborne, naked, en flagrante delicto on a flying carpet, ravenously and gleefully humping away with a beautiful genie while, below, a Merrie Melodies version of the cityscape from The Thief of Baghdad whizzed by. Then I found myself back before the double doors, and where the beggar had been was a huge glowing gold cross like the ones on the sails of Columbus’ ships, which I touched, and the doors opened, and a glorious, luminous cathedral beckoned me in. “Not my time to go yet, San Pedro,” I said, then I shambled off down the road, looking for the next glint from the shadows.
I wish I had a magic porno carpet. Gosh darn, I’d settle for a simple old magic carpet sometimes, if it would give me temporary escape from this town. Not that I want to leave this town, mind you; I like it, and I like the sense of community here, and the friends I have and the people I know, but there are times when I have what are impolitely called “WTF moments,” and I wonder what it is that keeps me here, and why the hell I just don’t pack up what little I have and try for better luck somewhere else.
Case in point: There’s a nightclub up the street from where I type this, Azukar Lounge, which caters to the kind of oontz-oontz Hummer-limo crowd that, well, it just isn’t my thing. It’s the kind of joint that I really dig in principle, because its clientele is pan-ethnic and out to have a funky good time, a place where the mooks and mookettes from Jersey Shore might land if they deigned to host a Chicken Cutlet Guido Fist-Pump Night in our fair city (which just might motivate me into visiting Azukar if I could get by their stringent-for-hippies dress-code enforcers, but that’s another story). Azukar, perhaps Sacramento’s shining exponent of the Maloof aesthetic, recently got into a bit of a messy tête-à-tête with some skanky subterranean nightclub booking agency over a scheduled appearance by the spectacularly multi-talented Kim Kardashian, whose non-derriere-related assets somehow escape me, although I’m sure they’re there somewhere. I mean, when Spencer Pratt wants you to be the first non-Heidi artist signed to Heidi Montag Records, you know you’ve got some stellar assets, right?
So apparently Azukar thought they’d booked the spectacularly talented Quim Lardassian for an extra-special appearance on April 29, but there was some kind of mix-up, and Ms. Kardashian will not be there to recreate the golden scenes from her famous video masterwork with former boyfriend Ray J, brother of actress-singer Brandy. Now, Mr. Ray J himself is no stranger to Azukar; having appeared there last November. No report on whether he displayed any of the talents demonstrated in his screen debut with Ms Quim.
I guess if there’s some factor of butthurt on my part related to a local nightclub booking someone who’s claim to fame is that she was a demonstratively lousy lay in a celebrity sex tape — and I use the term celebrity loosely, because she seems to lack that iconic status of a Charles Nelson Reilly or a Jaye P. Morgan, both of whom actually did something other than going shopping and getting peed on by some rapper to merit their fame — it’s that Azukar was willing to pay her $11,000, plus hotel suites for her entourage and black Escalades to ferry them about, to make an appearance in their club. To me, that marks Sacramento as a monumental embarrassment in the milieu of popular culture.
Okay, it is a weird little world we live in, and I guess I’m having trouble living in a city that will pony up eleven grand to some Los Angeles turboshopper with a large ass and putatively not large brains, but can’t seem to support an original local music scene. Yes, apples and oranges; the people who go pay for overpriced drinks in oontz-oontz joints are not the same people who go out to see live music, and the people who go out to see live music are sitting around watching Lost and talking about their J.J. Abrams is a genius fixations. Or maybe they’re just not interested in the current crop of local musicians, or they don’t know about them, or whatever.
I have a vested interest in this, because even at the ripe old age of 55, I’ve discovered that what most I want to do is play and sing the songs I’ve written in front of people, and go into the studio and record the songs I’ve written, and generally just make a little joyful music. The world may disagree, or at least feign indifference, but I think I write some pretty good tunes. One of these days, I’ll finally push that boulder uphill far enough that I will release an album of my songs. Maybe I will find some people to back me up so I can get bookings outside of the solo singer-songwriter ghetto. I’m gonna keep at it, because for me to give up, I’d probably die a little too much inside, and I’ve already relived large parts of the Old Testament Book of Job over the past few years, and, dammit, I don’t want to give up. I would like to avoid moving to Los Angeles, or Portland, or Austin, or somewhere that might recognize and respond to what I have to offer. But I will, if I get to that point where I realize that trying to make it in Sacramento is an exercise in futility. Some days, I think I’ve arrived at that place.
If you’re reading this as a humble call for some kind of help, you’re probably right. —Jackson Griffith