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I was invited to several Halloween parties this year, among them a "goblin gathering" in Spring Valley, a haunted house in Chula Vista, and the Halloween Ball at the Prado in Balboa Park, which I scored free tickets to. I had a few friends with me and agreed to be the designated driver, but I didn't feel like driving from one party to another. We knew of seven different parties and agreed that we would leave a party if it was lame and move on to the next one.

The first party we attended was fun enough that we never went to another party.

Ken and Chris, who had invited me to their Oscar party last year, gave me the heads up on this Halloween bash -- a TV sitcom-themed party. My stepbrother was going to dress as Barney Rubble. He's a teacher, and many of his students had told him that that's who he looks like. I searched for a pirate shirt because I wanted to go as Jerry Seinfeld (from the puffy shirt episode of Seinfeld). We had no luck finding these costumes, so my friends and I didn't dress up.

As we arrived, a guy dressed as Zorro was leaving, as was a guy with a wig who told me he was supposed to be Abbie Hoffman.

Ken greeted us dressed as the gay cop who wears shorts on the show Reno 911. I asked him if his gun was real. "Nope. It has the orange tip. I like it that way, too. I don't need a real cop shooting me." Ken's wife was dressed as one of the cops on the show as well. He told me that when they went to pick up their friends, they shined their flashlights in the living room window, and their friends freaked out.

Inside the party I saw a guy in a white tuxedo. I asked him if he was supposed to be James Bond, and with the appropriate accent he said, "No. I'm Ricky Ricardo." I soon realized that this wasn't the type of party where you can guess someone's costume. A woman in a wig who I thought was Elaine from Seinfeld told me she was Peg Bundy. There were some obvious costumes, however, such as Fred Flintstone, and the casts of Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan's Island . (It's not a good idea to play the "Ginger or Mary Ann?" game while they are both standing in front of you.)

There was a guy at the party who looked like Jerry Seinfeld. He was wearing jeans and tennis shoes, and his face was an exact match. He told me that people often yell out "Seinfeld!" when they see him. I said, "This is the perfect party for you. You don't have to dress up." He told me that he wanted to dress as Gilligan, but he couldn't find the right hat to go with his red shirt.

I talked to the party host, who was dressed as Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies. He awarded prizes for the best costumes. First prize was a gift certificate for Costco, second prize was a wine package, and third prize was a tequila package. And he handed out $20 toward cab rides to those who had too much to drink. He told me, "In the past I've given out limo rides home, but that got expensive when people decided to take detours to other places."

The hosts told me that they spent weeks decorating their house with skeleton heads and candles, and in the back yard they had skeletons floating in the pool. There was a bar and bartender out by the pool, as well as Mexican food and a variety of appetizers, including fruit with a big bowl of chocolate to dip it in. There were coolers filled with nonalcoholic drinks. Chris told me, "They have more fun on Halloween than on Christmas."

Along with the food and decorations, the hosts provided a variety of music. I heard songs from David Bowie, ZZ Top, John Lee Hooker, and King Curtis. When I commented on the mix of music, I was shown the hosts' CD collection. There had to be over a thousand discs.

I met a blonde nurse who was drunk. She told me she had had her breast pierced. Unsure how to respond, I asked her if it hurt when she got it done. She said something I couldn't make out. I said, "It sure hurt me when I had certain parts of my body pierced."

She was with her fiance, who was dressed as a wacky doctor. He seemed buzzed as well. At one point I heard her yell at him, "Don't worry, I'm not gonna f*** anyone here! There's no room." I wondered what would've happened if it was a bigger house.

As the couple was leaving, the woman grabbed Chris and gave her a big kiss. Chris pushed her away. When I told our friend what happened, he told me that he overheard the woman say that she "goes both ways."

I talked to a guy who was dressed as Kramer from Seinfeld . He had the right clothes for Kramer, but the wrong hairdo. The hair's the key to Kramer's look. A guy who was supposed to be George from the show was bald and short, but didn't look like the guy who played George, Jason Alexander.

I'm not judging them, though. I didn't even bother to dress up.

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

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