Pussy Galore

Diablo Cody--stripper, blogger, and "Pussy Ranch" cowpunk--takes a weird ride into the land of the brides

"My mom and I finished all the wedding preparations in a day," Cody says with an air of satisfaction. "The only thing we disagreed on is the cake. Even though we're only having like, six people, she insisted on getting this enormous buttercream monstrosity."

Cody's parents don't know what she does for a living--yet. "They know that I have a website, and that it's not appropriate for them to look at. I don't know how they're going to respond when they find out," she says. Her fiancé, Jon Hunt, a local music fixture best known as the keyboardist for Landing Gear, seems to have no problem with his betrothed's occupation (and preoccupation). They even check out strippers together, the subject of a December blog item:

On Friday night, Jonny and I went to a fully nude strip club we'd never been to before. The place had a reputation for hands-on debauch (and was reportedly raided by cops earlier this year), so of course we were curious. What a raucous joint. It was a small, crowded space, reminiscent of a Greek restaurant with white columns and a nighttime scene painted behind the stage. The girls were wildcats, climbing all over each other and wriggling blacklight-sensitive tongue studs at the crowd. Each time I laid a dollar on the tip-rail, I got molested gratefully by the performers onstage. Two of them even pulled my shirt up, which didn't phase me in the least. "You bad girl! You're not wearing a bra!" one of them exclaimed as she exposed me to the crowd. (The strippers were so attentive toward the ladies that one female customer fled the club in embarrassment.)
By comparison, Cody's day job is a bastion of reserve and decorum. She works the sunlight shift at Choice, which doesn't serve alcohol. Most of her tips come from a handful of regulars. "My best customers are senior citizens," she offers.

 

The bull's-eye demographic at the Wedding Fair is, sensibly, bona fide brides-to-be and their mothers. But the large crowd also seems to contain a lot of folks who, as Cody puts it, "are here for the wedding porn." We would be included in this last group.

Kids take up a surprising amount of floor space, some clearly too young for matrimony--or so it would seem. When we stop at the Beaver Bay booth to grab a brochure for the picturesque North Shore resort, I find myself eavesdropping on a clutch of mallwear casual girls who look like they'd need parental consent to get hitched in Utah. "We were planning to go to Las Vegas," says the tallest one, eyeing the pamphlets, "but maybe we'll go here instead."

Cody and Hunt also plan to marry in Vegas and then honeymoon in the city where their first face-to-face encounter took place, Los Angeles. The relationship first blossomed electronically, after Cody's fascination with late-Sixties psychedelia led her to The Smile Shop (www.thesmileshop.net), Hunt's online celebration of the great lost Beach Boys album, Smile. "We met in front of the Whiskey a Go-Go," Cody recalls. "It was lust at first sight." She moved to Minneapolis from her native Chicago seven months later.

In her eyes, the timing of the move was perfect. "I was one pubic hair away from being fired from a dismal secretarial post at a bankruptcy law firm," she elaborates. "My boss told me that if I continued to abuse the internet I'd be canned. They had even dredged up all the pornographic e-mails I'd sent to Jonny! So I said, 'That's okay. I'm moving to Minnesota anyway.' I think she was really disappointed that she didn't get the singular pleasure of firing the slutty secretary with the perennially exposed ass tattoo."

Though Cody in person looks a good deal like the unclothed character on her website, I have no idea if the elusive Bruce Vassar looks like his online portrait. There's an image of the wedding overlord at Ask the Wedding Guys (www.twincitybridal.com).He's dressed all in black, standing next to fellow wedding guy and fellow Twin City Bridal Association honcho Matthew Trettel, who's wearing white. Together, they tackle even the stickiest nuptial issues by e-mail: kid haters, divorced parents--serious family matters that go far beyond mere etiquette. But the Fair is the centerpiece of Vassar's career. As he explained earlier in the week via e-mail, "There are people on the East Coast who make $2,000 cakes that feed 60 people who'd like nothing more than to have me bring the Wedding Fair out there."

The Wedding Fair runs on cake. It seems we can't walk more than 10 feet without running into a cake booth. The most impressive cake of the fair is a compact three-layer psychedelic vision in green and purple, with contrasting hand-formed marzipan balls encircling the base of each tier and a crazy diamond op-art pattern on top. Unfortunately, samples of the hallucinatory confection are not available.

Cheesecake is another matter. "I'm being married in a cave," Cody cheerfully tells one vendor, "so I need something that'll keep in cool temperatures." (Cody is not, in fact, getting married in a cave.)

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