This article was originally published on December 29, 2013.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the Playboy Mansion for a screening of that new Jennifer Lopez/Jason Statham movie, Parker. I don't usually go to press screenings because it's much easier to download the movie and watch it at home and not have to talk to other people, but I'd literally wanted to visit the Playboy Mansion ever since I'd found out it was an option for me several seconds earlier. So I HAD to go.
Before the screening there was a reception featuring drinks and "photo opportunities" with some Playboy Playmates™® in the mansion's main entry hall.
Hugh was supposed to be in attendance too, but he was sick. So we had to make do with this thing.
The screening was held in the drawing room. Here's an exclusive sneak preview of it. This is from a scene where (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Jason Statham hits someone with something.
Right after I took this picture, I whispered something to the girl sitting next to me and a guy wearing a suit with Converse shoes came over and told me off for being too loud. A suit with Converses is my least favorite look ever. Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to be yelled at by someone wearing an outfit that was last acceptable on Tom Green at the 2003 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards? Horrifying.
I needed to get out of there, so I decided to "get lost" while trying to find the bathroom and see how long I could wander around the mansion before someone made me go back to the movie.
The first thing I did was go find a bathroom to poop in. I didn't even need to, really. But how often do you get a chance to poop in the Playboy Mansion? This is what you get to see while you're pooping there, if you were wondering.
After pooping, I started to notice how crappy everything was. Am I an idiot for thinking the mansion would be nice? I figured it would at least be a little bit fancy. That was the main reason I'd wanted to visit—I'm gay, btw. Wait, are straight people even into the women in Playboy anymore? Or did that stop in the 90s? How does Playboy still exist now that the internet exists? Who on Earth is buying the magazine? The kind of person who wears a suit with Converse, probably.
Anyway, this is less nice than my bathroom at home. I keep my air freshener in a cupboard and everything.
I mean, obviously this is a lovely bathroom. All marble-y and stuff. But toilet-seat covers have been "a thing" for at least as long as I've been alive. You'd think they would've put in a dispenser or something by now. This is what I imagine those mansions in London that are owned by oil billionaires and end up getting squatted by Italian crusties look like inside.
After finishing my business, I wandered through a couple of the other rooms. Most of the stuff in the house was your standard, totally impersonal McMansion-type stuff like giant ceramic animals and vases full of sticks. But there were a few personal effects dotted around, like pictures of Hugh with the cast of the Charlie's Angels movie and a photo from his recent wedding to a 26-year-old. (Which we can't publish here because of lawyerly stuff.)
There was also this lovely statue of the "happy" "couple." It's amazing how the sculptor was able to bring out the creepiness of the situation, even in bronze.
Here's the phone extensions that were by all the phones in the house. I'm not sure if you can see, but there are THREE separate extensions that deal with scrapbooking. Cute!
I headed outside, where I ran into this guy.
And went for a wander around the pool area.
This is the "Grotto." Which, for some reason, I knew exists. It was also really rundown and depressing. Look at that seat on the left. It looks like something somebody would overdose on in Russia... :(
And this was embedded in the wall. Seriously, what the fuck is this? It can't be a phone, it has too many buttons. I'm pretty sure I saw Mr. Burns use one of these once.
When I found out I was going to the Playboy Mansion, "steal a towel" went straight to the top of my mental to-do list. But look at these fucking things. I was expecting plush Egyptian-cotton thingies with the Playboy logo embroidered on them. My towels are nicer than this, and I found one of mine on a train.
Fuck, is "the towels weren't nice enough to steal" an actual complaint I just made? Gross.
Whatever, I took this picture in another bathroom. It looks like something that would accompany a 1-star TripAdvisor review of a Polish ski resort.
Down a corridor, I found this room. I suppose at one point, when fun things still happened at the Playboy Mansion, it would have been some kind of orgy room or something. But now it just looks like this.
It had another one of those steampunk, time-machine things, too. And a minifridge that is at least twice as old as I am.
It was full of Playboy-branded bottled water (which I stole a couple bottles of, obv). Note the tape holding the mechanism on to the back of the fridge.
This is when I started to get really bummed out. Nothing upsets me more than seeing something that was once glorious fall into decay. I nearly cried once while looking at one of those Us Weekly "Worst Celebrity Plastic Surgery" lists.
Wandering through the house gave me a feeling not too dissimilar to when a relative dies and you have to go to their place and figure out what to do with their things. Except for, in this case, that dead relative was the magazine industry. Or something. I don't really know what I'm talking about. But the mansion was really, really sad. And it smelled like old man.
Then somebody asked me if I was lost. So I headed back inside to watch the rest of the movie. Spoiler alert: Jennifer Lopez has an ass.
As I was leaving, I was surrounded by a gaggle of Playmates for one of the photo opportunities I'd managed to avoid on the way in. They were, without question, the most charming and charismatic people I've ever met in my entire life. I can guarantee that if I were straight, I would have written all three of them into my will within three minutes of meeting them. Which, I suppose, is the point.
Can someone straight and rich and old go rescue them from that sad old house? Please?
Also by Jamie Taete: