(Yeah, we shoulda run it last week, but we didn't actually have any experience with it until Saturday. Clip 'n' save for next year.)
So you met a real happenin' chick at the Atlantic reception, you just bonded over margaritas at Lauriol while waiting for important people to finish their catered dinners, but now there's a bit of a conundrum. You're on the list, but she's a nobody. What do you do?
* Lie. One veteran Washington reporter told us of a Correspondents Dinner long past, in which said reporter and companion trolled the receptions looking for invitees. They found two, introduced themselves, and eventually entered the Vanity Fair party as Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Friedman. Nowadays, though, they card at the door.
* Stalk. Follow people entering alone and declare yourself a "plus one." Most people didn't know they had plus ones. See how far you can extend this -- at the Capitol File party, we were ushered past the doorman with "this is my plus one, and his photographer." Having your own photographer = you are important.
* Be Famous. The ones who didn't have to go through the indignities of the line arrived via limo and went straight up the red carpet. If you can mange a convincing imitation of a well-known pundit, you're golden. Because no one's gonna stop Ann Curry. They can only hope to contain her.
* Plead. Bloomberg's Judith Czelusniak has the final say on who gets in. If the other methods don't work, and she's outside by the entrance (as she was for part of the night), she's your last, best hope. But honestly, if you didn't manage to sweet talk her in the month leading up to prom, it's probably too late now. Better luck next year. Reuters is letting anyone in, we hear.