This Just In!
By Lake Stevens, Man About Town
June 8, 2005
Reasons to Celebrate
Tis season of celebrations! June has blessed me with two reasons to pop some champers and ring up my A-list
friends for a little nosh and nibble.
It may come as a surprise to you, dear readers, that I, Lake Stevens, have become a father! Well,
you couldn't be more shocked than me!
Two weeks ago, life was as normal and sweet as my mechanic's son's bottom in his tight Old Navy camouflage
dungarees. They all grow up so fast these days. I remember when little Davy tried to sell me wrapping paper
or some such rubbish while I waited for his father to adjust the rearview mirror on the Miata. He said it
was to raise money so that his school could afford textbooks or hot food or something. The poor lamb; how could
I possibly tell him that I only wrap my gifts in handmade linen paper, hand painted with vegetable
ink by that clever little Korean woman over near the Beverly Center? He's got a lot to learn about this world.
The "wife" and I had just returned from a Goodwill Mission to Cambodia. I don't see why Angelina should
always get all the credit. I threw a few nickels at the squalling orphans who were loitering in the
alley near my hotel. I have to admit that I did develop a soft spot for the one with the missing limbs. The valet
told me that the poor dear had stepped on an old landmine. On my last night, I pressed a quarter into his hand. American
money goes a long way over there.
I kept a close eye on José, my manservant, as he unpacked my luggage. I swear the man has sticky fingers --
and I don't mean from all those Chalupas he eats. I still can't find the Hermès ascot I wore to the Derby --
the one with the darling jockeys and prancing horses. Not that I would be seen in the same thing twice, mind
you, but it was a gift from "the wife." If anything happens to the newest ascot I picked up at Fred Segal --
the one with the smart little anchor print -- I fear I shall have to turn him over to INS for deportation.
To think that yachting season at Martha's Vineyard is just heating upů It will look so divine with my crisp
white boating slacks and jaunty captain's hat.
I was torn away from thoughts of the wind whipping through my hair off the tip of Cape Ann when I noticed the
clothing inside my luggage had begun to move! I screamed in terror. José remained calm. I suppose in his
country of origin, clothes move about at will -- probably because of those scorpions or whatever his people are
forced to coexist with in the jungle. My screams were loud enough to cause the "wife" to come running in halfway
through "her" pedicure. "Her" sturdy chambermaid, Inez, trailed behind her, still clutching a bottle of M.A.C. Nail Lacquer
in Violet Smoke.
Inez and José set about riffling through my belongings, determined to find the source of the offending movement.
It wasn't long till we all let out a collective gasp -- almost as delicate a sound as when one opens a new bottle of
imported Italian sparkling water. There, amongst my Ralph Lauren vacation wear, was a little brown baby. Actually
more of a rich cinnamon color...but this was definitely no WASP.
A few seconds of silence ticked past. Then, amazingly, the "wife" began laughing.
"Ohh, I thought I left her in the hotel room in Cambodia! Silly me -- where's my head?"
I was too stunned to speak. "She" continued.
"I picked her up at the outdoor market on our last day when you were busy haggling over that
embroidered chemise. How could I not? She such a steal -- only 200 U.S. dollars! Won't she look lovely
in the East sitting room wearing that Anne Geddes butterfly outfit that I bought? You know -- the one that
was too small for Mr. Puddles? The room will be stunning! Especially after I redecorate with the
gorgeous textiles and bas relief carvings pillaged from ancient temples that I purchased.
The room will be transformed into a The King and I wonderland!"
I stood, mouth agape. A baby. A girl baby. So that's what it looks like. I was a father. Everything
would change. I would have to learn...discretion.
The next thing I knew, José was gently wiping my brow with a cold cloth.
"Es no dream, Señor Lake. Es no dream."
I went on bed rest for over a week and refused to let anyone see me in
such a state. Everyone, of course, but my editor. Lake knows who spreads the toast points with foie gras.
When I managed to explain the situation, she applauded and hugged me.
"Lake, we have two reasons to celebrate! In addition to your bundle of joy, today also marks the one
year anniversary of your column!"
I went limp. One whole year. I have been writing my now famous column for a year. I passed out for the third time in as many hours.
I awoke to my editor yelling into a cell phone.
"...no, I will not take that dreadful table in the back. I want the corner window seat over by the indoor water
feature! And be sure to keep this quiet -- I don't want that trashy Lohan girl wandering in again."
I smiled. This could mean only one thing: a luncheon celebration at The Ivy.
My editor finished inviting the necessary guests.
"Now that we've got that settled, tell me: what have you decided to name the little angel?"
Huh? Name? Oh yes, the baby. They need names and all. I didn't know. I had to ring José to ring Inez
to ring for the "wife." When "she" finally appeared, I was informed that our baby was named Chantrea.
"Chantrea! Sweet Jesus strapped on a cross! I thought she was from Cambodia -- not South Central! Chantrea?
This baby is from Cambodia! Not Detroit! I refuse to let my daughter grow up with a name fit for an inner-city hairdresser!"
The "wife" hastily explained that Chantrea means "moon" in Cambodianese. I cut "her" off in mid-sentence.
"No. From this day forward, my daughter shall be called...Mandarina Duck Stevens!"
I was delighted. My daughter's name now bore homage to my favorite line of women's handbags. Little
Mandarina Duck even looked a little leathery. It was settled. I would display her while lunching at The Ivy.
Upon arriving at the posh eatery, I sent José to secret himself behind a large planter in order to alert me of
any big name celebrities. I simply had to be the first to greet any of the Hollywood royalty attending
my luncheon. José is permanently wired with a walkie talkie; it was, hands down, the best money
ever spent. It is sort of like a pacemaker, except it's safe for him to use near the microwave. I think. His signal
transmits directly into my custom Movado watch. We are able to communicate up to 900 feet away.
Mandarina was ensconced in a huge bed of ivy and soft rose petals for all the guests to adore. What a perfect
angel! Her brown skin contrasted nicely with the lily white 500-thread count baby blanket. Inez was
stationed at her side should she fuss or begin to smell like the crotch of some rough trade one might pick up
along Santa Monica Blvd.
The guests began to arrive and I began to develop a little chafe on my lips from all the kissing. Minnie,
Paris Latsis (I'd left explicit instructions at the desk not to allow entry to "girlfriend" Paris Hilton),
Angelina, Brad, Stella McCartney, Angela Lansbury. Even Portia and Ellen stopped by the table to wish me well.
"Darlings! So wonderful of you to make it!"
Then, horror of horrors, in walked Tom Cruise. He wasn't alone. Clinging to his bicep like a breathing robot, was his,
ahem, girlfriend, Katie Holmes. Quickly I radioed to José and demanded to know why he hadn't warned me about Tom. The only
response was a raspy, breathy sound and some words that sounded Greek? Arabic? I couldn't be sure.
I motioned frantically for my editor's attention, but she was busy admiring Joan Rivers' latest face lift. How
could this have happened? How dare he come to my luncheon.
I was absolutely convinced that Tom would ruin my special day with another round of table pounding and telling anyone within earshot how much he
was in love with a girl. I tried to signal for the maitre d' to remove the crystal from the tables. I did not want
to be stuck with the bill should Tom's inevitable outburst end in broken Baccarat.
Just when I began to feel sweat breaking out on my heavily powdered forehead, my editor whispered into my ear,
"I smell a story Lake. I smell an exclusive on Inside Edition."
I followed her gaze towards a furtive-looking Tom sneaking away with -- no, not Katie -- but with Paris Latsis,
the Greek shipping heir engaged to Paris Hilton. We watched as they whispered hurriedly to one another and disappeared
in the direction of the restroom. I spied a nervous Katie glancing anxiously about. No doubt the young thing was ill-at-ease around so many powerful
and famous adults. I sent the "wife" over to console Katie. I knew what I had to do.
I crept toward the men's loo, silently thanking Ferragamo for using such soft leather for the soles of my loafers.
One can never go wrong with the malleable hide from the belly of the endangered South American water buffalo. There are only a few
left in the world. I was stealthly like a ninja;
my feet made naught a noise. I paused in front of the heavy men's room door.
"I have the balls to do this," I told myself. Lord knows I have the balls.
With a deep breath I silently entered the room. Utter quiet, but then...what was that? I eased my way
toward the last stall on the left. With
a swift kick (thanks to Sven, my Thai Bo-pilates-jazzercise instructor), the door flung open to reveal a scene
that was unlikely to appear in any of Mr. Cruise's upcoming films. Dear Readers, no doubt you are familiar with
the expression "Never turn your back on a Greek wearing sneakers"? Tom apparently was absent the day they
taught that lesson. And Diesel brand sneakers to boot!
Being a gentleman, I quietly closed the door in order to let the otherwise engaged gentlemen resume their reading of "a really hot script."
-Lake Stevens, Man About Town