Seattle- Outside, dancers twirl fire sticks while invited guests line up at the door. Inside, three acrobats hang from the ceiling as tattoo artists prepare their needles.
And the freak show hasn’t even started yet. It will, once Dennis Rodman arrives, and here he comes on a Harley, two-wheeling his way into the bar, greeted by hundreds of fans, many flashing pictures with their cell phones.
This was the scene Tuesday night at Consolidated Works on Boren Avenue, where Rodman hosted a party thrown by Captain Morgan, the rum-and-hangover maker.
They are introducing a new rum called Captain Morgan Tattoo — and that’s why Rodman is here — he’s the perfect spokesman for body art and booze.
I waited to talk to Rodman as he spoke to KOMO-TV, flanked by three Captain Morgan girls in pirate outfits.
He had already made the quote of the week in the publicity release, reminding everyone to know when to draw the line, “which means drinking responsibly.”
As if — let’s ask the Huntington Beach police about that.
Standing there, I nearly got hit by a dangling woman who would later introduce herself as “Tamara the Trapeze Lady.”
This is what hitting bottom feels like, waiting to interview a man who has had 15 million minutes of fame more than he should have while some Ringling Bros. wanna-be is upside down winking at me.
So what do you ask Rodman when you’re told you only get two minutes with him? I decided to wing it and blew it, forgetting to ask about Madonna, which should have been question No. 1.
“Are you happy?”
Yes he is. Though he seems to be in constant search of something that’s missing, Rodman said he’s “very content,” at his happiest with his wife and two children. Dennis Rodman, family man? Let’s change the subject.
“Where does your victory on ‘Celebrity Mole: Yucatan’ rank in your lifetime achievements?”
“It’s in the top 10,” Rodman said. “Those people didn’t think I was smart enough.”
“You played with the Bulls in Chicago, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona this summer. I heard you might run naked with them next year.”
“Dennis Rodman will always do something different,” he said. “I might ride the bull naked next year, who knows?”
“Well, you posed naked for a PETA ad (which urges — ‘be comfortable in your own skin and let animals keep theirs’). I didn’t know you were such an animal lover.”
“I do love animals,” said Rodman, who has four German shepherds and must also love birds, owning 12 macaws.
“Were you at any time worried that Frank Brickowski was going to kick your butt in the ’96 NBA Finals?”
“Nah, man, he’s my brother,” Rodman said.
“Heard you have a new book coming out, ‘I Should Be Dead By Now.’ (The cover shows Rodman smoking a cigar and playing Texas Hold ‘Em with a grim reaper behind him.) That’s a great title.”
“Many things have happened in the last 10 years. … I should have been dead,” Rodman said. “The crazy antics, the wild parties. If I did drugs the way I partied with drinking, I would be dead.”
“How often have you come close to dying?”
“At least 50 times,” said Rodman, who claims to have never taken drugs. “I’ve jumped off a building, jumped off a cliff in a car. I’ve been in bedrooms when women came in with knives and guns.”
No doubt handcuffs, too.
I knew I’d exceeded my two minutes and, besides, Captain Morgan was over at the bar, calling my name. I needed him to get through this night — over in an adjacent room, Jeremy Ormsbee and Tiana McGuire were playing an interesting game of tug-of-war.
They each had two metal hooks going in and out of their skin, a few inches above their nipples. The hooks were tied to a nylon rope that attached Ormsbee and McGuire together in bonded, bloodied bliss.
“It’s a very intimate connection,” Ormsbee said. “It’s the same kind of rush you get from skydiving.”
For McGuire, it was masochistic nirvana, too.
“I’m very glad I had this opportunity,” she said.
By now, Rodman is in a VIP room listening to Hell’s Belles, a band of female rockers who play AC/DC’s greatest hits.
I never get a chance to thank him, nor to tell him how very glad I was to have had this opportunity.