Pussy Galore

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

"You've gotta do something really fun and different," the woman replies cheerfully.

The purveyors of lingerie and massage oil-enriched nuptial delight at the IntimacyParty booth would almost surely concur. When this vendor finishes her spiel, Cody responds with "exciting," in a manner so thoroughly Entertainment Tonight that I find myself scanning the room for cameras.

"This is awesome!" she says, looking back at the naughty booth. "I love that this stuff has gone totally mainstream. They have these things like Tupperware parties."

The fashion show, in a huge, walled-off, darkened area of hall, is the Fair's pièce de résistance--and it's packed. "This is actually pretty impressive," Cody observes. She's right. The show is perfectly timed, the lighting is great (moving floor lights, even!), and the models are thoroughly pro. "I've gotta lay off the cake," she remarks, checking out her cat-walking cousins. Cody describes her own gown--a long, backless black halter peekaboo affair with lots of sequins--as "looking like something Nudie of Hollywood might have designed."

After the show, we find the wizard relaxing in the control booth. Vassar, a sleek 41-year-old dressed all in black (with a four-button jacket!), seems perfectly poised, even after working on the fair's production for two days straight. You'd never guess that segments of the gig have not gone at all according to plan.

"The A-V part of the show is computerized," Vassar explains nonchalantly. "Friday night, the program froze. It took us 12 hours to rebuild it." But this is a man who clearly has cake in his chromosomes. Vassar's love of weddings goes back to childhood: At the age of 10, he rushed home after school to see Tricia Nixon's matrimonial extravaganza on TV.

While he glides around Cody's suggestion that a pregnant bride would add a nice contemporary touch to the Wedding Fair, Vassar is more opinionated on the issue of gay marriage. "You are who you are," he asserts. "I wasn't put on this earth to judge anybody." He notes, though, that he's speaking for himself and not for this whole extravaganza. Still, as he explains it, while opinion is divided, many of the fair's exhibitors favor gay marriage. Commitment ceremonies are already a hot item.

"You'll notice that none of our literature makes any reference to 'bride' or 'groom.'"

Bathed in the wisdom of the wedding guru, we head back to Minneapolis. This time, Cody takes us by way of 55 East (don't ask). And yet, it's Cody's propensity for blithely confronting the unknown that's earned Pussy Ranch an average of 5,000 hits a day. Before she wandered into the Skyway Lounge, only a few close friends and relatives read the blog. She wouldn't have a potential book without her chance profession either.

Let's just hope she doesn't up the ante too far, as this blog entry from March 28 comically suggests:

Note to self: post more nude photos. Watch more television. Get myself into hilarious scrapes at the strip club. Start hanging out with the heroin addicts. Stop eating and transform Pussy Ranch into a pro-anorexia blog. Be more interesting by half.
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