Shepherding the event was doyenne Frida Burling. Normally this means a rather uneventful evening with stark, high-concept floral arrangements and barely a pumpkin in sight, but this night would be different. Soon after my arrival, Bob Schieffer draped a colorful sisal handbag over his shoulder and began sowing seed everywhere, while international catering star Marcel Wolterinck made an offering of chickens as food for the gods during an unholy animal sacrifice with much blood. Then a possession involving Senator John Warner took place, and arriving from the world of the spirits was the redoubtable Charles Rebozo, more often called Bebe, the guardian of the cemetery.
Bebe/Senator John Warner strutted around with two Cuban cigars in his mouth wearing a top hat and tails, one hand eagerly tickling the bottoms of Nina Pillsbury and Maria Shriver, the other holding a tall glass of rum with red-hot peppers. Sandra Day O'Connor and John O'Connor, Robert Bennett, Erica Moorehead, Paul and Pat Stern, Larry King and Don Imus, Giorgio and Anna Maria Via , Mandy Ourisman, Gail Scott and husband Fred Hubig also became possessed by Bebe. They leapt to their feet with wild howls and raced to the buffet where amuse bouche and pepper-spiked raw rum were offered to the gods. They gulped down the rum and began shivering and quaking, crying out wordlessly. The other partygoes commenced a wild and impassioned dance. There was no singing, only an occasional call from the crowd, "Come to us, Bebe!" The dancing reached its climax and the dancers collapsed to the floor.
All eyes turned to an exotic, fabulously outfitted woman in a vivid orange silk suit with a stunning spray of diamond skulls and an explosion of fire curving around her head. It was Rep. Mary Bono! The front door slowly swung open. The darkness of the surrounding slums penetrated the inner temple of Southeast Estates. A sepia hand reached out from that darkness and took Mary's and drew her outside. The glassy-eyed, costumed partygoers mutely followed her, the door shutting behind them. I remained inside, standing before the door.
The party was over. I made my way to the buffet and picked up one of the bottles from which they had drunk. There were a few drops of the fiery rum left in it. I poured them onto my finger and tasted it. For hours afterward my mouth was on fire.