When Curtis Sliwa founded the Guardian Angels in 1979, it had just 13 members. Ruffians and cads native to the NYC area must have laughed to see Sliwa and his beret-clad fellows. Alas, such laughter was all too often met with missing teeth. All kidding aside, whether the original 13 members got into fistfights over their berets or not, people soon learned to respect the Guardian Angels, at least to their faces. The Angels now number more than 5,000 members in 67 cities throughout North America. In these France-hating times we live in, berets tend to garner more than a few snide remarks. But the famously French cap has never been seen as the most manly of hair covers. Sliwa himself totes his headgear to this month's "Puerto Rican Nights for the Americas" networking event, held at the Fianna Restaurant and Night Club (Ramada Plaza Hotel, 1925 Harrison St., Hollywood) from 6 to 10 p.m. Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti also puts in an appearance. No doubt the event will be the subject of one of her well-written and enlightening columns. Admission is $10, with part of the proceeds benefiting everyone's favorite beret-wearing vigilan... er, crime-fighting group. Call 954-923-3737.
Last fall, a handful of local gay and lesbian writers packed the house at the Pride Factory (845 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) when they read selections from their steamiest works. "Not Your Average Bedtime Story" returns to the Pride Factory at 7:30 p.m. today with even more sexy stories. Led by author Karen Dale Wolman (full disclosure: Wolman is also a freelance writer for New Times. Check out her rodeo story in this week's Sports/Outdoors section. Good stuff.), anyone who has a steamy story to share can hit the mike. Local musician Ditmara Tomayo kicks off the evening before the writers take to the stage at 8 p.m. MC Mary Damiano keeps things going between scenes. If you've penned some hot porn, sign up to read it to the masses by contacting Lavender Writes, an organization providing support to gay and lesbian writers, at LWrites@mindspring.com. Admission for audience members and readers is free. Call 954-463-6600.
Fans of misshapen midgets, rejoice! Bob Levy of the Howard Stern show is now appearing at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton), and he's bringing K.C. Armstrong and Beetlejuice with him. Stern once discussed on his show how his eyes lighted up when he heard he had an intern who stuttered; that, of course, gave rise to Stuttering John. One can only imagine the shock jock's squeals of delight upon learning of the existence of Beetlejuice, a man whose sideshow cred becomes obvious upon a single glimpse. Point and laugh at him and in doing so feel better about your own lot in life when the trio looks for laughs at 7, 9, and 11 p.m. today. If you've already got plans, then fear not -- there are 8 and 10:30 p.m. shows on Friday as well. Call 561-470-6887.
For almost three years now, the Bear has been bringing his Earth Rhythm Concert Series to Secret Woods Nature Center (2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach), but all of that is about to end. The final Earth Rhythm Concert features members of Crazy Fingers and Sage & Spirit for three sets, with a drum circle spicing things up in between sets. As for the Bear, fear not -- you'll probably see him selling his wooden boxes, dream catchers, and other assorted swag at jam-band shows for years to come. The concert takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 954-566-6161.
The Loxahatchee River Historical Society offers history buffs a peek into the past with a Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Tour. For added effect, the tour takes place at sunrise and sunset, or 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., to be more precise. The lighthouse (Lighthouse Park, 500 Captain Armour's Way, Jupiter) was first lit back in 1860, and the 108-foot tower sits on top of a Native American archaeological site. After climbing 105 steps, visitors will have an almost unparalleled view of the sunrise and/or sunset. Admission is $15. Call 561-747-6639.
Have a fear of death? Well, that's hardly surprising. Death, after all, is something of a mystery, in that anyone who has done it refuses to give details of the other side to anyone -- shysters such as John Edward excluded, of course. But for some, death is only an annoying queue to be passed through. Learn all about the wonders of reincarnation during the five-week course "Karma and Reincarnation and How to Unlock the Power of the Soul." For $50 of earthly cash, participants learn all about the unearthly realms. It's unclear as of press time how the teachers of the course know any more about the subject than you do, but you're the one shelling out the money, so just assume they're experts. The class takes place at ArtServe (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) at 7:30 p.m. Call 954-303-3070.
James McDonough, director of the Florida Office of Drug Control, comes to Nova Southeastern University's Steele Auditorium (Terry Building, Room 2100, 3200 S. University Dr., Fort Lauderdale) at 7 p.m. to hold a town-hall meeting on "Prescription Drug Abuse: The Quiet Killer." McDonough couldn't be more right. Prescription drugs are killer. Just a couple of Percocets or Vicodin and you're good to go. A bar o' Xanax will do in a pinch -- try snorting it for added effect. All kidding aside, this is indeed a serious problem. Addiction ex-perts and drug-control advocates fill out McDonough's panel, which examines prescription drug exploitation and its effects as well as possible solutions to a problem that has spiraled completely out of control -- particularly in Florida, where illegal drug use is practically the state sport. Admission is free. Call 954-262-1383.