This house was large, and it looked as if it had had a few rooms added on. We went to a back room where everyone sang "Happy Birthday." Rick's wife Faye told us about some games we'd be playing. The first one involved a bunch of rolls of toilet paper. I said, "Why don't we go over and toilet paper the neighbor's house? The ones who called the cops?"
The game involved teams of three people, with one person being wrapped up like a mummy. We had to unwrap the person, with all the toilet paper going back onto the roll. Even though I was on the team with the nude model and the idea of unraveling her was tempting, I had to head out to my next party.
It was almost midnight by the time I got to Clairemont. When I talked to Alexis's mother a few days earlier, I told her I wouldn't be showing up until late in the evening. I asked, "Will the party still be going on?" With a bit of a Middle Eastern accent she said, "These are teenagers. They will be up late having the party."
I thought that if I pulled up and all the lights were out, I'd split. But I could hear the hip-hop music from down the street. Two girls were leaving and they told me the party was still going strong.
I walked into the living room and saw a giant King Tut and lots of gold things. It reminded me of a room at Michael Jackson's place (not that I've ever been there...I'm over 12). But I really liked how this two-story house was decorated. In the dining room, they had a few large cages with birds. This cute eight-year-old girl, who wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, took the macaw and put it on her shoulder. I said, "That beak looks like it could do some serious damage." Her father said, "They can crush walnuts with it. Do you want to hold him?" I looked down at my knuckles, which could probably be broken like walnuts. I passed.
I saw a half-sheet cake in the kitchen that hadn't been touched. I thought, "Kids today. They don't know how to party." But when I walked out back and saw two girls in bikinis dancing in the Jacuzzi, I thought maybe I had judged them too soon.
There was another cake out there that was half eaten. And lots of food. Since these were all teenagers helping Alexis celebrate her 16th birthday, I didn't want to pester them with questions. I sat across from the large fire pit near the pool and talked to Alexis's father, Vincent, most of the night. He brought me a beer as I was digging into the cake. I said, "Having this exercise machine by the cake isn't such a good idea. It's making me feel guilty for taking such a big piece." He said, "We had that in our bedroom, but we stopped using it. My wife made me put it out here."
Vincent also told me about how interesting it was watching the different couples and wondering if romances would evolve. He said, "I saw one guy walk out front with a girl. They kissed for a little bit. Another couple broke up here at this party." I said, "Does your daughter have a boyfriend here?" He yelled to her, "What happened with Dustin?" She rolled her eyes and said, "He doesn't talk to me anymore."
That kid is crazy because Alexis is very cute. And she had a good sense of humor. I joked about all the kids having cell phones on the table and she didn't waste an opportunity. She said to Vincent, "Yeah, everyone but me has one. I don't have a car either." I replied, "Well, the perfect gift for a 16th birthday for Alexis would be 'a Lexus.' " She agreed. He laughed and told me, "She doesn't have her license yet. I'm teaching her how to drive. I think 16 is a little young."
He told me a story about growing up and getting his license in New York. He promptly got into an accident, so he was in no hurry for his daughter to go through the same thing. We ended up telling stories of our first tickets and car accidents. I laughed when he talked about being a cab driver in New York. He said, "Sometimes in winter, it was so cold you had to heat the key with a lighter to get it into the door." I asked him what he did that brought him from his cabbie days in New York to a two-story house in San Diego with a beautiful wife and kids. He told me the story, but because it was late and I had had a few beers, I didn't write it down, and this was my last party...I have no idea what he told me. I think he said he's an electrician now. But it could've been something else that ended with the "tion" sound.
At around 1:00 a.m. I thought the music was a bit loud. I asked about the neighbors. Vincent said, "The two guys that live behind us, they party. They always have empty kegs in their back yard. The family next door, their kid is right there in the swimming pool. We used to have a neighbor that complained, but everyone here is fine with it now."
At 2:00 a.m. he lowered the music on the boom box. I asked what he thought about the rap and hip-hop the kids were playing. He said, "It's not my kind of music. Some of the words they use bother me. They cuss. And sometimes you hear 'nigger this' or 'nigger that.' I don't like that."
At one point, all the kids left the pool and Jacuzzi to sit by the fire pit. Alexis asked her dad to put more logs on the fire. She said, "We ran out of towels and we want to dry off and stay warm." The girls were all spending the night. Periodically, there were phone calls from parents to make sure everything was all right.