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Mayor of Ponce searches for true love

"Wait, what?s"

It's the name I have for girls who are stunningly beautiful, but stunningly dumb. Anytime you say something that doesn't relate to Bret Michaels finding true love on VH1, or the "Real World" and why it hasn't come to Atlanta, they will look at you and say, "Wait, what?" Maybe it's a defense mechanism to avoid talking to me.

It's Pablo Henderson's birthday. My crew and I drop in the club he owns, the Mark, for a small party in the plush front lounge. I've always loved the place, but I always forget about it. Maybe because it's tucked away in the Poplar district of dead downtown, or maybe because it seems like it's always been there. And you never see it marketed with silly promos like, "Come hang out with Adam Goofball from the Morning Zoo Crew!"

It's more sophisticated. It's the crowd that graduated from MJQ.

After birthday well wishes, and well drinks from the open bar, we're off to Opera to see globe-hopping DJ Dave Seaman. When I ask people what genre of techno music he spins, I never get the same answer twice. "Progressive house." "Uptempo house." It could be "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" for all I care, just as long as it keeps the "Wait, what?s" dancing.

Cruising the floor level with my wingman, I notice we're in direct competition with guys who look like they do their shopping from a fictitious International Male catalog. Shiny is apparently in this season.

The worst opener I can come up with is, "Does this shirt make me look like a California Raisin? Be honest."

No dice. The girls are too young to even know what California Raisins are.

Upstairs in the V.I.P., we're with one of Opera's umpteen owners, Dave Williams. Bottle after bottle, he's turning it into V.I.Free. Considering the ridiculous Opera drink prices, it's a grand gesture.

I make eyes with a Colombian beauty and decide it's a good idea to try and impress her with my ability to sing South American capitals from a song I learned in seventh-grade Spanish. "Bogotá, Colombia. Lima, Peru ... Lima, Peru. Quito, Ecuador ... ."

No dice. Damn you, Henry County school system.

The night winds down, and the house lights come up. I overhear a "Wait, what?" shriek, "Pink Pony!"

My mind wanders. No Pink Pony for me tonight. Sometimes you've just got to quit while you're behind. Besides, I've got to get home and find my International Male catalog. Maybe it has the Bret Michaels starter kit. Shiny, leopard-print cowboy hat, here I come. It'll have all my friends saying, "Wait, what?!"

The Mark Ultralounge, 79 Poplar St. www.themarkatlanta.com. Opera, 1150-B Peachtree St. www.operaatlanta.com.

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