I went to a Fourth of July party on July 1. When I got the call from Eric, he left a weird message. He told me there would be a dunk tank, lots of games, a pie-eating contest, and "we even have a Port-a-Potty." I guess since I mentioned a party last month that had a portable toilet out front, people think that's what I look for in a party. The house was across the street from Torrey Pines Beach, near the Roberto's on the corner. I was surprised I found a parking spot.
As I walked up, I noticed a truck parked at a red curb. Eric said, "That's not a real red curb. The guy that owns that place painted it that way so nobody parks there." I asked, "Are you allowed to do that?" He responded, "A cop knows about it, and he doesn't ticket us if we park there. But I wonder what will happen if some rookie cop drives by." I wondered what would keep others in residential areas from painting their curbs red.
I once went to a party in which a neighbor had a blue curb with a handicap sign. I got an angry voice mail from someone that said, "Would you rather be in a wheelchair, asshole? Then you could park wherever you wanted!" When I told Eric this story, he said, "I know this black lady that had two strokes and she's in bad health. They won't give her a handicap placard. They told her not until she has another stroke. She says, 'I ain't givin' 'em one.' A white guy I know, had his foot ran over by a drunk driver. He still does jujitsu. He's fine. But he can now park in handicap spaces. It makes no sense how they issue those things."
But I digest...as I sit here writing this story, after eating all the delicious food that Brett and his wife served. Brett is Eric's neighbor, and they have parties on the same day.
Eric's dog was a mix of shepherd and wolf. He owns a roofing company, and one of his employees is afraid of dogs. Eric said, "If anyone should be afraid of dogs, it should be me. As a child, a pit bull lunged at me. I needed 15 stitches in my testicle." As shocked as I was, it wouldn't be the worst animal attack story of the day.
I see a guy in the dunk tank (which someone had written "drunk tank" over), taunting his tattooed girlfriend as she threw tennis balls at the target. She found out that the tennis balls didn't work as well as the soft balls that were used later in the day.
Eric told me it cost $200 to rent it for the day, but that the place was closed on Sunday, so they'd have it all weekend. One of his employees suggested they take it to the beach to make some extra cash.
I walked over to Brett's place, which had red, white, and blue balloons everywhere. His blonde wife wore a bikini in similar colors, and an Uncle Sam hat. There were so many people on her front patio, another blonde said, "Why are so many people crowded over here, when there's all that space over there? And why are so many people here anyway?" I said, "Well, I heard that more people celebrate the Fourth of July in America than anywhere else in the world." She thought about it a second and said, "That's probably true."
I was jotting notes, and a guy asked, "Dude, are you writing a speech or something?" I told him about this column, and another guy said, "You're that crasher guy? Write in your column that I'm rolling on ecstasy, that way I know you're talking about me." The girl he was with got mad and said, "Don't say anything like that. People's parents read this column, and these are nice friends of mine. I don't want them thinking everyone here is wasted."
I'm not sure the mothers would mind. Brett's mom, a schoolteacher, was orchestrating the games. She had her whistle, and when she'd blow it, everyone would stop what they were doing to listen to her instructions. The beer-chugging contest was self-explanatory. Three lines of 15, and the group that finished their beers first won. (Placing the empty can upside-down on your head proved it was empty.) The three-legged race was more difficult to understand. Teams of two each had one leg tied together. They had to hop across the back yard, and the teammate had to pour the beer down your throat. It often ended up all over the person's face and shirt.
One guy came up to me and said, "Eric is the best boss there is. I've worked for a lot of old farts. He doesn't bug you, if you get the job done. He doesn't care if I blaze up. He's awesome." The guy then went to the Port-a-Potty, and a girl started ramming into it, to try and knock it over. A few times, it came close to falling. This guy came out and said, "What the hell? I pissed all over everything in there!"
I saw a washing machine with a sign on it that said it was reserved for "Hooker." I was told that at a previous party, this guy ended up using it with a woman he "hooked" up with.
This party didn't get as crazy as some of those in the past.
There were interesting characters. One guy made a large camera out of wood. It had a real camera inside it and a space for a beer can. He would chug beer, and it looked like he was snapping photos.
There was another guy that was picking the blue chips out of the red and blue tortilla chips, saying those were the only ones he could eat and that he has a form of OCD.
I noticed Brett had an ear that looked like it had been badly burned. I asked what happened, and he told me an animal-attack story that rivaled the pitbull story from earlier. His dad had exotic animals in Colorado, but when they moved to California, the only animal he brought was an ocelot. Brett was ten days old, and when he was put down, the cat was hiding in the closet. It attacked Brett, biting off his ear.