I got home before midnight, which is the earliest I've ever returned from a night of partying. I flossed and brushed my teeth (I highly recommend doing both for fighting gum disease and tooth decay), and I was in bed by 1 a.m.

An hour later, I was woken up by a party going on at my apartment complex.

Was this bad karma? All these parties I've been writing about that have tortured neighbors trying to sleep. I looked out my window and saw it was the two Marines who moved in last month. They seem to make noise most nights, outside smoking and talking loudly.

I tried to go to sleep, but they continued. A car would drive up, honk a few times, and then they'd yell, "Dude, I thought you would never make it. Semper Fi!"

I heard yelling that sounded like a fight. I looked out my window, and two of the guys had taken off their shirts and were ready to fight. The big, red-headed Marine who lives there was trying to break them up. The shorter of the two then started pushing the peacemaker. The short guy was pushed into some bushes and then started screaming. He punched a light pole a few times and then reached up and broke the bulb. As he walked away, someone said, "You're forgetting your shoes." He took one of his boots and threw it across the parking lot. It landed on a brand-new BMW and the alarm went off (the same alarm that goes off every time it rains, or the garbage collector comes; if anyone reading this has sensitive car alarms, you are as annoying as the people with cell phones in the theater).

Later in the morning two other Marines started getting into it. They quickly made up and hugged each other. I thought that our military really is ready to fight. They even fight each other.

I saw a few neighbors looking out the window, but none of them said anything. I would've yelled at them to be quiet, but I was kind of getting a kick out of watching the dumb jarheads.

Their front door was open and one guy was sitting on the living room floor. Another walked over and poured beer on his head.

There were two women and about 30 Marines. One of the women said, "Are you guys ready for another round?" I immediately thought of the Tailhook scandal.

One of the guys tossed his cigarette into the bushes and she said, "Won't that start a fire?"

I wondered, if firefighters showed up, would the Marines try to fight them?

One drunk guy stumbled outside. With a thick Southern accent he told a 20-minute story about how he got really drunk last week and lost his ID.

I noticed a few more Marines had their shirts off, and I wondered why it is that guys with muscles always want to take their shirts off. When I see them at a Padres game, I want to say, "What's the problem? Is a T-shirt too restrictive? Is it hard to sip a beer with sleeves on your shirt? Or do you think we'll all be impressed with the fact that you spend three hours a day in a gym?"

When I saw one Marine puking into the bushes I decided I'd seen enough. I turned the TV on so the sounds of CNN would drown out the noise of them yelling.

Just as I was dozing off a story about Marines in Iraq comes on.

Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.

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