The last time I went to a “penthouse” party (which was purported to be filled with models in swimsuits and underwear), it turned out to be held in a penthouse, and the models all turned out to be men. But there was no question this time—the Penthouse 35th-anniversary party at the Spirit club in NYC was the real deal. Busty blond Pet of the Year Victoria Zdrok would be in attendance, along with a bevy of attending Pets and celebrities. Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous, Ms. Zdrok is also the author of Anatomy of Pleasure and is literally a Ph.D. in Sexology.
Surprisingly, there was hardly any crowd at the door or at the open bar. In fact, for the first hour or so, the club was practically empty, which worked out great for me. I was I able to suck back twice as many vodka tonics, while enjoying ample room to people-watch. Unfortunately, the only celebrity I saw was Gilbert Gottfried, who was wandering confusedly back and forth across the empty dance floor like a lost child separated from his parents at the mall.
On my fifth trip back from the bar, I was approached by a photographer asking me to pose for a picture. I told him about this column, at which point he informed me that he knew Pet of the Year Victoria and the Penthouse folks personally, and would be happy to make an introduction and set up a quick photo op. Sweet. I was led through the forbidding velvet ropes to a side platform sectioned off from the main dance floor, where I was directed to an empty seat right next to the lovely Ms. Zdrok.
“Victoria, this is my friend Bobby. He’s a writer covering the party for High Times. Can he take a photo with you?”
“Sure,” Victoria replied, extending her hand with a smile that lit up the room. “It’s nice to meet you.”
She was truly gorgeous—not at all plastic-looking, like so many strippers and models I’ve known. Her breasts were either natural or the product of some damn fine craftsmanship, and she wore a skimpy black lace dress that showed them off seductively. Two chairs down sat Pet of the Year runner-up Courtney Taylor. And who was nestled smack in the middle of these two beautiful bookends? You guessed it: Gilbert Gottfried.
Which begs the question: What’s eating Gilbert Gottfried? I mean, I was grinning like the Joker at Batman’s funeral, and there he was, sitting between two of the most incredible-looking women on earth with that same constipated grimace he always sports. Is he incapable of looking happy? Did he think I was trying to cock-block him? How could I compete with a celebrity? Then again, I guess I stood as decent a chance as him. Sure, he’s semi-rich and semi-famous, but I’m a hell of a lot younger and more attractive.
I knew it would boil down to whether or not these babes liked to rock the ganj.
“What magazine did you say you wrote for?” Victoria asked me.
“High Times. We’re also celebrating an anniversary this year—our 30th. Have you heard of us?”
“No,” she responded vacantly between camera flashes.
“It’s basically a pot magazine,” I explained. Here comes the moment of truth, I thought to myself. The deal-breaker. “Do you ladies smoke pot at all?”
“No, I don’t do drugs,” Victoria answered, and her companion chimed in with the same response. Shit! There went my one chance in hell of impressing these sex goddesses. And obviously, doing an interview or a photo shoot would now be out of the question. That’s when Victoria added, “I only like natural highs.”
”Cannabis is natural,” I countered. “It’s a plant—it grows from the earth.”
“No, I mean like orgasms,” she explained, a twinkle in her eye. “Sex is my drug—I just have lots and lots of sex. That’s how I like to get high.”
I stared incredulously into her eyes, unsure how to respond. Was she coming on to me? Highly unlikely. I understood, in theory, that it was her job to flirt with and tease men, that she was just being playful and provocative, and in reality she most likely had no interest in fucking me or even listening to what I had to say. Still, a guy’s got to try, right? So I said the only thing I could say in that situation:
“So, um, wanna get high?”
I could tell by her polite smile that she was neither interested nor terribly amused by my comment, and it was time to make myself scarce. Bobby Black’s seventh Rule of Cool clearly states that it’s always cooler to cut and run than to overstay your welcome. Hell, I’d gotten what I came for: I’d met and had my photo taken with the Pet of the Year. Truth is, I never really thought there was any hope of me hooking up with a bombshell like that anyway, especially if she didn’t get high. If only she was a stoner, I mused, it might’ve been a different story—the kind that begins “Dear Penthouse….”