And His Hair Was Perfect

It is raining in Southern California. But nothing can dampen my memories of our wild night of flaming debauchery at Trader Vic’s. Not even the soul-crushing pain at the base of my skull.

We at MTV News are strong advocates of team building excercises. And nothing says “team” like a night of flaming beef kabobs, coconut shrimp, and Polynesian beverages in ceramic skulls. Still, Robert and I were astonished that our supervisor bit when we proposed a team outing to Trader Vic’s, a kitschy throw-back to the era of Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii,” The Rat Pack, and the Hollywood studio system. It’s adjacent to the massive white elephant that is the Beverly Hilton, on the corner Santa Monica Boulevard of Wilshire. And it’s a trip. Three Fijian warriors greeted us when we walked in the door. It was game on.

I don’t remember much, except a whole bunch of laughter that grew more riotous as the evening progressed. I recall a grave enthusiasm for sampling as many drinks as possible, which I achieved with some success. Before last call, I downed two Zombies, a Scorpion Bowl, a Keimeia (in a souvenir ceramic coconut), and a Doctor Funk (which the waiter warned was “very strong, very strong” — and it was).

The rain began falling as we stumbled out into the warm California night. I vociferously suggested that we were driving the wrong way, but was completely turned around. I was bleary-eyed and out of my element. And so I moved to my strong suit: hip-hop. Me, my boss, and my old friend and colleague, Robert Mancini, in a rented Kia chanting, “Doheney! Doheney! I’m feelin’ kinda’ zany!”

Rum: it keeps the raindrops at bay.

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