After 20 years of looking, I finally saw the house of my dreams—the Playboy Mansion. It's a massive home in Beverly Hills, California, the brainchild of a rich tycoon who liked a London mansion so much he built his own in the 1920s. The second owner bought it in the 1960s and installed all the conveniences of modern life, like indoor plumbing and central air. Yet the most outstanding feature he added was The Bunnies.
Hugh Hefner lives in the Playboy Mansion.
Saying that visiting the Playboy Mansion was cool is a textbook example of understatement. Like most red-blooded American men, the Playboy mansion represents your basic one-stop mecca, nirvana, and holy land all wrapped up in one silicone-padded asylum.
As such, just visiting the place makes you the alpha male among your circle of friends. No matter where they've been, you have the trump card. And I got to go there thanks to a media buyer I worked with in San Francisco who couldn't make it. So it shouldn't amaze anyone that when I scammed tickets to a party in this shrine to adolescent fantasy, I was more than a little excited.
Not everybody gets to visit the Playboy Mansion.
Wisely, Playboy's PR mavens wouldn't let us drive to the mansion directly — due to the parking nightmare that would inevitably ensue — so we took cabs to UCLA, where a shuttle bus picked us up. We half-expected them to blindfold us, so we couldn't find our way back.
Once passing muster, our bus of losers wound its way up the long driveway, around the outside perimeter of the grounds and up to the circular driveway in front next to a Grecian fountain. We climbed off the bus and were immediately greeted by Hef's “people.” Female people, that is.
We assumed that, at one point or another, they were each photographed sprawled out across satin bedsheets in sexy lingerie and heels. Sadly, for tonight's media party, they all wore street clothes. Boooooo!
We arrive at the gates of heaven, the Playboy Mansion.
They welcomed us cheerily and ushered us to the patio/pool area, where there were already about 60 guys, one of which was a bartender. Making a beeline for him, we began quaffing free libations. We scouted out the few attractive women scattered through the crowd of testosterone-fueled lechers and, without exception, they were small framed and large boobed, straining the fabric of their bunny-head baby tees.
We see the famous grotto without catching an STD.
We held our breath and poked our head into the empty, yet world-famous “grotto” to avoid inhaling any STDs (if those heated jets could talk…). Then we wandered across the patio to the catering tent and chatted up a cute blond bunny with short-cropped, spiky hair and a drink in her hand.
She was offering tours of the grounds, but not the 30-room, 22,000 square feet mansion we really wanted to see. We gladly took her up on this offer and soon joined a line of drooling troglodytes ambled aimlessly behind her as she headed for a path around the property. She pointed out Hef's bedroom and other rooms from outside the house—wisely, they didn't let us enter it.
Women aren't the only birds at the Playboy Mansion.
The second stop on the tour was a bird cage/sanctuary which housed many species of birds from all over the world. Or so she assured us, as it was 8pm and pitch black already. We were made the same assurances when we went past the monkey house, as well.
Leaving the monkey area, one of the no-life cretins in our group identified our spiky-haired guide as Julie McCullough. Apparently, she had starred on “Growing Pains” as Kirk Cameron's girlfriend or something.
Our tour of the Playboy Mansion continued, circling the fauna-laden grounds on a paved path that encompassed a small building.
Inside was a game-room, with classic video arcade games, including a Playboy pinball machine. Also, inside the house, there was a green room and a blue room which we were told provided couples with privacy for fornication at Hef's “real” parties—the kind we were not currently at, nor would ever be invited to.
Continuing along the path, we were led past private tennis courts and 3 huge satellite dishes, on towards the house Barbi Benton had built, for what reason I don't remember. But the house was now dank and had reptiles in it.
Incredibly, I actually knew one of the Playboy bunnies.
On the way back to the mansion, we ran into another tour being led by none other than Angel Boris, the former centerfold-turned-actress who starred in our TV spot for Teva Sport Sandals. Surprisingly enough, she remembered us, and we reminisced about the time we paid her lots of money to be seen with us.
The tour ended back where the buses first let us off. The grounds weren't as large as you would think (a mere 5.7-acres), but it was a nice place to host sex orgies, regardless. Then we chatted Angel up after her tour ended back at the bar. She, once again, showed her acting chops by pretending to care about whatever the fuck we were babbling on about.
Soon enough, the party hosts announced some kind of sweepstakes or something that we didn't win, and we got our drunken pictures with Angel and a few of her centerfold friends.
Overall, the Playboy Mansion was impressive, cool, and more than lived up to my expectations in the same way seeing “Star Wars” for the first time did. I was, however, extremely disappointed that the girls didn't wear their Bunny costumes, or get naked. But since it was only about 50-degrees out in LA that night, I shouldn't have been surprised. Nor could I afford to be picky, since I was there under semi-false pretenses. Shhhhhh.
I didn't throw my marriage away and run off with a bunny (for some reason).
Still, despite the Bunnies' obvious caché and indisputable “talents,” there wasn't a single lady there that I would trade for my wife (throw in three or four, and I might reconsider). Hopefully she would feel the same way after going to the Chippendale's mansion. (Do they even have one?)
Whatever my wife may lack in cup-size (not much, frankly), she more than makes up for in the “finds me attractive” department, something which was all but nonexistent in the Bunnies. My wife has most of the same qualifications as a Bunny—charm, beauty, and friendly service—falling short only in the “entitled prima donna” and “peroxide blond hair/brown roots” areas.
Ultimately, my excursion into the Playboy Mansion was definitely a high-point, but it really had no effect on my current level of happiness or marital satisfaction. One of the many things I learned as I passed out of adolescence into, well, late adolescence, is that there's more to happiness than a sweet pair o' boobs, and that you shouldn't use someone else's benchmark of happiness as your own.
After the party, my co-worker and I went to a strip-club.