Paging Dr. Phil

By Mark David Blum, Esq.

One of the things you can depend on in Los Angeles is the beautiful weather and sunshine. Three hundred sixty days a year, the sun shines and warms the hearts of those who live here. The other five days is cold, blustery and rainy. Luck being the lady she is, made sure that our visit here to the Golden State was a weather washout. It has rained and temperatures were lucky to hit sixty. I think I saw the sun too for a few minutes.

But the day was destroyed by the night of a thousand stars at the beyond posh Beverly Hills Hotel. Home to the rich and famous, my family were among the guests at a private party last night and for a few hours, we too lived the live of luxury. Free flowing champagne, busy bus boys running around with plates of varying appetizers from sushi to beef wellington and still more champagne. Dinner was a full five course affair with melt in your mouth filet mignon and all the fixins. In my life I have never seen a table set with more glasses, plates, and silverware – 90% of which I had no idea how to use. Compared to the people at the party, we were the Beverly Hillbillies. You just cannot imagine the transition from Syracuse to Beverly Hills. If I hear the word “million” again, I am going to throw up my meal. These folks talk money and throw it around like it is going out of style.

Whomever did the seating arrangements must have had a sense of humor. Seating was assigned and we were seated at a table with five lawyers. A more boring bunch of people I have never met. Of course there was the shop talk while everybody pissed on the tree and marked their territory. Being the son of the party hostess and being a New York attorney made me top dog. California lawyers just don’t have the sense of humor that we New York lawyers do. Apparently however, California lawyers make a helluva lot more money; at the least the few I met.

I cannot remember the last time I had that much to drink (and did not get arrested) and by midpoint of the party, even my bifocals could not keep my eyes focused. There came a point where I had to leave the party and pay a visit to the very famous bar at the hotel. It is called the Polo Lounge and is counted among the most world’s classiest. I led an entourage of estrogen from the party into the Polo Lounge because I sold them on the idea that I wanted to buy a drink there so I can say that I had a drink at the Polo Lounge. Four Appletinis later, I can now honestly say that I have had drinks at the world famous Polo Lounge.

Several celebrities and big shots were mingled into the jammed bar. My sister noticed Dr. Phil seated with a woman and eating his meal. On a dare I turned down, my sister went over to Dr, Phil and told him of my mother and the nature of the soiree` in the private room. Phil was asked if he would come in and say hi. Being an obviously generous man, the good doctor finished his meal (I wonder what THAT cost) and he and his date came into the party and introduced themselves.

The timing could not have been more impeccable. As we were standing at the bar and searching faces for familiarity, I was told that someone wanted to talk to me a few minutes. Actually it was my second cousin. Not knowing she was standing right behind me at the bar in the Polo Lounge and thinking she was still at the party, I mouthed aloud that I was not in a hurry to go talk to her. I think I said words to the effect of, “she’s not family, so she can wait.” I was of course referring to my immediate family. When I turned around, I saw an ashen face who then turned and started running out of the lounge. I gave chase as best I could but she was at a full gallop and so I had to let her go. She disappeared from the party and that was that. I expect to hear an earful today.

That event happened at the same moment that someone spied Dr. Phil. It was the ultimate irony that we needed someone with his special skill set at the moment he was noticed. It would have been really funny too had someone’s feelings not be hurt. But good old Dr. Phil will be in the back of my mind when I get home and start writing an apology letter. I hate family politics.

The early plans were that after the party, we siblings were going to stage our own after party party. Since there are about 30 of us out of towners staying at one hotel, the plan was to use someone’s room or take over the bar. The best idea was to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight. At 11:30, I had to be rolled into a cab just to get back to my hotel. Instead of doing the time warp, I did the drunk warp and passed out cold on my bed.

Today is going to be more of the same; cold, rainy, and another party. This time it is just an informal brunch for about 40 people and shouldn’t be THAT bad. Last night was one for the memory books. Today, we will see. Tomorrow I finally get to come home. I never thought I would ever mutter words to the effect that I much prefer being home in Syracuse than being home in LA. That aint just the booze talking neither.

Back to the MarkBlum Report

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