Play Ball

Plus: Spring Fever, No Sheet

 Play Ball

It was a rookie mistake, really, inviting my wife to accompany me to the Playboy Spin-the-Bottle Tour's Dallas stop at Mike's Treehouse on February 22. She was only supposed to be my insurance policy, a way for me to avoid being roped into participating in the night's festivities. See, last time I played spin-the-bottle, well, let's just say it ended badly. ("I still have nightmares," is another way to put it.) With my lady there, I figured I'd get a free pass. She was fine with the idea, especially since she never gets to see me work. Instead, I was the one watching her work. And I'm not talking about the photos she shot.

Turns out I had the wrong idea about this little shindig. I was under the impression that Pennelope Jimenez and Charis Boyle--Playmates of the Month for the March and February issues, respectively--were going to be playing the game as well. And I'm pretty sure that most of the 100 or so dudes crowded around the makeshift stage (a couple of sheets of plywood topping two pool tables) thought the same thing. Then again, they were probably happy just being in the room with a couple of real live Playmates. Actually, a couple of the guys might have been satisfied being in a room with a couple of real live women.

Pennelope (ambition: to finish school and make my daddy proud) and Charis (turnoffs: hairy backs, Billy Bob teeth and someone who makes a lot of noise when he eats) were merely there to get asses in the door. Only the slightest hint of a prize was needed to get the crowd acting like (or showing their) asses once inside. Their duties consisted of smiling a lot, flirting a little and signing big stacks of 8x10s. There were a few girls with photo-spread experience participating. Sort of: A fleet of playboy.com models (read: scrubs) was on hand, dancing to Missy Elliott and (of course) Bon Jovi with less enthusiasm than the Bada Bing girls. They were in charge of spinning the 5-foot-long Miller Lite bottle around a game board full of, as the PR people would say, "provocative dares."

The people doing the bottle's bidding were a handful of men and women picked at random from the crowd, one of whom happened to be my wife--or "Red," as the MC called her, picking up on the fact that she was wearing a red jacket. (Clever.) My stomach did a half-gainer into my shoes when I saw some of the potential dares: "Kiss anyone in the room who is closest in age to you"; "change underwear with the person next to you"; "show the shortest person in the room your tan lines." And the dreaded "Wild Spot," which allowed the MC to make up his own dare.

Which is exactly what happened on the first spin of the bottle. The first couple had to perform a "standing 69"--pretty much what it sounds like--for 10 seconds. The next spin resulted in one fetching young lass showing off non-existent tan lines; "Now that's the sign of a true professional," the MC crowed. And then it was my wife's turn. After a couple of abortive spins, the neck of the beer bottle landed on--surprise, surprise--"Wild Spot." I'm not sure what happened after that, as my brain began to melt, but I vaguely recall my wife simulating sex with some random guy. I also seem to remember that she was so chaste in her attempt, she was practically booed off stage. I don't really believe in God, but I began to once she was able to escape the clutches of the game.

The final couple was assigned to swap skivvies behind a Miller Lite-festooned partition called the "crack shack." After 30 seconds or so, the crack shack was moved aside and the audience was treated to the sight of a young woman in very ill-fitting boxer briefs and a beefy young gentleman tightly squeezed into a G-string. Most of him was, at least. One part of the package was not delivered, if you get my drift. But he didn't seem to mind: Like everyone there, he was having a ball. --Zac Crain

Spring Fever

If you're planning on spending a week in Surprise, Arizona, for Texas Rangers spring training, you're going to need something to do other than watch bad baseball and spit sunflower seeds. A few weeks ago, just after camp opened, The Dallas Morning News listed some "other recreational options" for fans who make the trek. They listed wholesome family entertainment, the aquatic center and the botanical garden among them. It was very special.

But screw that. You read the Dallas Observer. Our average reader is 39.8 years old, a college grad with an itchy Visa check card. Even better, you are part of a vibrant young subset of the DO reader--a Full Frontal reader. This means you are 23.7 years old and looking for sinful ways to rack up Cashback Bonus points on your Discover card. In short, you, like Full Frontal, enjoy getting crunk on the company dime when you are out of town. You need an alternative guide to Surprise.

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