Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lunch at Michaels: On Meeting A Baroness and a Pimp

"Ron Jeremy," said Michael McCarty, the owner of media power watering hole Michaels, "meet another Ron." I shook the Ron Jeremy's hand. "Two Ron's,"  said the porn star to the writer, "don't make a right." Laughter. "And another Ron," he added, quickly, "would me moRon."

That's how Ron Jeremy's mind works. He delivers fast one liners of a basic but clever kind by way of introduction. How his body works is a matter, of course, of general pubic knowledge.

Michaels was sort of surreal today. Today was was my semi regular catch-up lunch at Michaels with David Patrick Columbia, one of the original New York web writers -- is fifteen years old -- who has become, over the years, a good friend. Over the course of some amazing asparagus, pizza and tacos we discussed politics, our societal obsession with cellphones, the trajectory of society, Will-Hillary-Get-The-Nomination, the disappointments of Barack Obama, the Israeli election and Brian Williams and the future (if there is one) of broadcast network news.

Then things got interesting/surreal. As I tucked into some truly sublime Koran BBQ beef tacos, a courtly gentleman stopped by the table and asked if David was the David Patrick Columbia. He was. He said his companion at Michaels -- a Baroness living in Australia -- read him every morning, and could he introduce the two? David said yes and pretty soon we were talking to this lovely Baroness von Fritz with a slight German accent.

At the table by the window behind us was the aforementioned Ron Jeremy who was there with the always elegant and brilliant fellow Michaelsologist Diane Clehane. Very Magritte. Diane definitely got the tables in the restaurant talking about her guests. Along with Jeremy was Dennis Hof, proprietor of The Bunny Ranch, who just wrote a memoir, "The Art of the Pimp." Also at the table was Heidi Fleiss and a surprisingly delicate blonde lady-of-the-night. Michaels Restaurant is probably the only place int he world where one can be introduced to a Baroness and a pimp during the course of an hour. Diane, who also one brought Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer always keeps the media-heavy Wednesday lunch crowd on its toes.

As we were leaving, David Patrick Columbia and Heidi Fleiss chatted. David used to live in Los Angeles near, unbeknown to him at the time, Madame Alex, the famous Hollywood madame. Heidi used to work for her and then took over afterwards, in a line of powerful Hollywood madames in a land that values beauty above all. David and Heidi traded Los Angeles gossip and nostalgia. "Everything looks better in Los Angeles," she said, wistfully. As we were walking out Jeremy was trying and failing to pick up the hostess. Hoff, with significant determination, was making a difficult walk up the stairs to get his coat. As I left Ron Jeremy held the door for me, so who says chivalry is dead?

Also at Michaels: political analyst Jeff Greenfield, Paul Wilmot, Francine LeFrak, Jack Meyers, the very philosophical Dr. Gerald Imber in a foot cast and legendary ad man Jerry Della Famina.

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