An invitation to a party at a Point Loma apartment instructed me to wear an obnoxious shirt, preferably one that would offend. I put on a T-shirt that had "I see dumb people" printed on it and headed out. Teresa, who threw this party, had set up a canopy in front of her building as the forecast was for rain. (It never did.) As I stood under the canopy I saw several people run across the street to the liquor store. I said, "That liquor store has a great location. They must love when people around here party." Someone overheard this and said, "Yeah, but this is one party that probably won't run out of anything. I've seen three bottles of Jaeger."
Every conversation I had started with me reading the other person's T-shirt. One woman said, "Yeah, it really is a great excuse for guys to stare at our chests." One woman wore a shirt that said, "My eyes are up here." Teresa added, "Some guys use it as an excuse to touch you. They stretch the shirt out and say they are trying to read it."
There were a few tame shirts, such as concert T-shirts and one that read, "Kiss me, I'm Irish." A tall African-American wore a shirt with a phrase that didn't make sense. I asked him about it. He said, "I row. And when you're on a crew, you compete against other teams and win their shirts. So I have a lot of shirts with weird phrases on them."
I asked him how one gets into rowing. He explained, "Back east, where there are more lakes, it's more popular. But a lot of it starts in college. Someone will recruit you."
When I later saw him talking to a pretty woman, I said, "Are you telling her about our days on the row team together?" He laughed and continued to share his stories: people throwing up while rowing, how your body weight is regulated, and one about a rich guy who left his beach house in Del Mar to the row crew at UCSD. (I'll bet they liked living there a lot more than in the dorms.)
In the living room were two DJs, a disco ball, lights, and partiers dancing. DJ Pocket was the son of one of the birthday girls. This was his first gig.
There was a table set up with ten different-colored Sharpies. I asked Teresa about that. She told me that if anyone came without a proper shirt, they'd make one for you.
When a girl showed up in a plain white T, a guy wrote "Open all night" on her shirt. She said, "Mom is going to kill you." It turned out they were brother and sister. Another woman who showed up without a shirt had one made for her that read, "Nice rack."
Someone walked by with a shirt that said, "I used to have superhuman powers, but my therapist took them away." Another shirt read, "I put the sexy in dyslexia."
I went outside to smoke a cigar and smelled some pot coming from around the side of the building. I talked with a female probation officer who wore a shirt that read, "I need a stiff one," with a picture of a glass on it. She came with a guy who was a bartender, and another guy was trying to pick her up. He was a Raiders fan, and we gave him a hard time about that. He said, "Well, I can be a Chargers fan for a night, if that will help my chances."
I asked her if she had any good stories from her job. "Yeah, lots." She told me about an old man they picked up who was smoking crack. She said, "He was so nice and sweet until we put the cuffs on him, and then he started screaming obscenities." She told me she's reluctant to reveal her job at parties because then people act weird around her. She told me about a person who was stabbed over 270 times. I said, "Did they die?" She leaned forward and said, "Ah, let me think about that.... Yeah." A few people laughed at my dumb question, and I replied, "Hey, you could get stabbed in the hand 270 times, and I'm sure you'd live."
I talked with a guy who had a shirt that read, "PETA -- People for Eating of Tasty Animals." He pointed out someone else's shirt. I said, "Hey, that guy had a different shirt earlier." It turned out that several people at the party couldn't decide on what shirt to wear, so after an hour, they went to their cars and changed.
One couple had shirts that read, "665, the neighbor of the beast." The guy said, "Since we have two shirts, it should say, 'neighbors.'" I told him his shirt should've had an arrow pointing at his wife and "I'm with beast" printed on it. Someone overheard this and told us, "I was going to have a shirt made for this party that said, 'I'm the man from Nantucket.' The place couldn't make it in time, though."
For food, there was a table that had a few bags of chips and other snacks, and a guy named Scotty showed up with French bread and dip. Everyone devoured it. I asked what he put in his dip. "It has basil, pine nuts, cream cheese, garlic, Roma tomatoes, and two kinds of cheeses." One was goat cheese, but I forget the other. I asked if he was a good cook, and he said, "Look at my girlfriend's belly. Go ahead, honey, lift your shirt." She punched him in the arm.
One couple was walking into the bedroom, and a person nearby said, "Go take pictures of that. If it runs in the Reader, you can blur out the naughty parts, or put black bars over their faces."
One woman was showing her new shoes, and I said, "Only a woman would buy new shoes for a T-shirt party." She explained how they matched her shirt and then mentioned stepping on a guy's toes -- he was wearing flip-flops.
As I was leaving, a bartender I had talked with about the Pittsburgh Steelers was trying to get me to do a shot of something. I declined, and another guy grabbed my arm and pointed out a shirt. It read, "The more men I meet, the more I like dogs."
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.