Swelter

A whirlwind week of Euro-chic that reached a personal best during a chat with tour coordinator and real-life princess Andrea von Ratibor: "Yes, Brooke Shields is on the honorary committee, and of course Prince Albert. We go wherever it's warm - Acapulco, Monaco, Istanbul. One time we went to the Phoenician in Phoenix; you know it? Beautiful hotel, owned by Charles Keating. He's in jail now? Oh, but in this country everybody goes to jail.... Miami has been very nice; we've met many wealthy South Americans. Next time we go to Dubai - one of the sheiks is going to host our group. Everywhere we go we have tours, parties, do sport. Charity? No, it's just fun."

Somehow, Euro-fun blitzkriegs have a way of inspiring a thirst for all-American decadence and debauchery. Another long evening in some low dive, ending with the inevitable why-do-we-do-this-to-ourselves disgust. And then there's Jon Jon Bubblegum, gleaming like a happy otter, shattering the bleakness and putting it all into perspective: "Well, you're one of us now. It's really amazing how low you've sunk in such a short time. You willingly gave of your soul - you might as well just go ahead and make a bloodstone out of it - and the payback is decadence and debauchery. Sin must be created, and once it is, there's no going back.

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