The House That Chuck Built

What nasty business is behind the biggest donation to the new gay and lesbian center?

As the press party was winding down, the natives were getting restless outside, where "VIPs" were gathering for the opening. The crowd seemed excited, but the handful of protesters mulling about were a disappointment. One woman dispassionately dragged an obligatory sign accusing Flynt of child pornography and abuse. "Protesters are so boring," muttered another woman.

Anxious patrons lined up around the corner, regaled by a group of rowdy and very vocal anti-protesters dressed as priests and Catholic schoolgirls, who came to support the "outspoken champion throughout the ages." Pumping up the crowd with shouts of "T&A is A-OK" and "Two, four, six, eight, show me how you masturbate," the frisky "feminists for fornication" were the true crowd pleasers. When they held up signs that read "Support Bush," some of the folks in line cheered and clapped. Mahassa Oveyssi, an attractive 30-year-old brunette Web designer, had her own agenda: "I go to strip-club openings because there's always a lot of good-looking guys." But another woman, a 24-year-old named Elizabeth, seemed less motivated. "I had nothing better to do tonight," she said indifferently.

Once the guests filtered inside, the scene was lively but far from raunchy, despite the Herculean effort put out by "Amy, a 21-year-old psych major and demolitions expert," who galloped about onstage wearing little more than a pair of strategically placed pasties. We searched in vain for a glimpse of Willie Nelson -- one of the many celebrities, including Francis Ford Coppola, Mayor Willie Brown, Harry Denton, and Denise Hale, who were said to have been in attendance -- but sadly the only real outlaws we encountered were a crew of burly Hell's Angels, who mysteriously showed up with VIP invites that were given to them by "associates."

Back on the street, one of the anti-protester priests wandered alone, aimlessly, looking lost without his flock.

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