Last week a guy called my voicemail to tell me that I got the NBA logo wrong. I wrote that it was Jerry West, and the caller insisted it was Pete Maravich. He should have Googled it, because he would've seen I was right. Another guy called about a story I wrote in which a person lost an ear to an ocelot. He said that he had the same surgery as that guy and had never heard of anyone else having the procedure done, which involved cartilage from his ribs and skin from his back. He finished his message by saying he got kicked out of the service because he didn't reveal that he couldn't hear out of that ear. The same day, a guy who was in the service called. Tony got the call to go to Iraq and was having a going away party. When I showed up at the College Area party, Tony was having his picture taken next to a sign in the living room. His name was written out in camouflage on the sign. I joked that I couldn't read it because the camouflage blended in with the wall. I asked how long he'd be gone and if he was nervous. "I'm spending 18 months in Kuwait. I'm not nervous about anything. Once I get there, maybe I'll be a little worried."
There was a stack of index cards by the door that his girlfriend Autumn was asking people to write messages on for Tony. Some started writing while others tried to think of the right thing to write. I wrote a dirty limerick using his name and discovered that a lot of words rhymed with Kuwait.
One guy that was writing Tony a lengthy message told me, "I love Tony so much. He's a great guy. I treated today like it was the last day I may see him. It might be." I considered his attitude and hoped that he wouldn't be a party downer by sharing his thoughts with a soldier ready to deploy.
Autumn organized Tony's party, and she had food tables set up in every room. She mingled and apologized to the people across the street, who had seen her and Tony...uh, being romantic one afternoon. When a couple who had too much to drink was leaving, she insisted that they spend the night and not drive home in their condition. She said, "I'll make eggs and bacon in the morning. It'll be great." I noticed an older lady who was drunk. She was eating M&M's and told me which ones were her favorite colors and explained why.
A few people were discussing the weirdest food they had ever tried. One person said sea urchin. Another said that oysters tasted gross and that the texture made them difficult to swallow.
I met one guy who told me that we had met at a previous party. He said that he lied about his profession because he didn't want me to know he was a cop. I asked him why, and we ended up talking about the number of police shootings in the news lately.
Autumn came over with a tray and said, "These Jell-O shots cannot go to waste." I grabbed one and said, "There are kids starving in China that would love these" and slipped it into my mouth. I told Autumn that they were the best Jell-O shots I've ever had. A woman named Natalie said, "Just when you think they couldn't improve beer, along came Sam Adams. And just when you thought Jell-O shots couldn't be improved, along came these. The key is to use flavored vodka. Also, I use cupcake holders, so you don't have to squeeze them out of little plastic Dixie cups or use your tongue like a snake. You just peel these back and suck them down."
After eating a few, I went to hang out on the patio. Since everyone was smoking, I made a run to the 7-Eleven near SDSU for cheap cigars. There was a long line, and it was moving slowly because a couple of young girls were trying to buy beer. They had thick accents and showed the cashier their passports, but he wouldn't accept them. A guy in front of me volunteered to buy them the beer. I wasn't sure if he was hoping he'd get lucky or if he just wanted to get the girls out of there so that the line would move.
As I made my purchase, I watched the girls climb into a car that looked to have about eight people in it. It reminded me of the old college prank where people stuffed themselves into a phone booth.
I headed back to the party and was surprised to find that there was still a large crowd. As I went to use the bathroom, I noticed Autumn had a sign on her child's bedroom door. It said that the last time she had a party, a couple was making out on her five-year-old's bed, and she didn't think that was cool.
I heard that earlier at the party, the guy who is Monty Montezuma at Aztec games gave a touching speech. I was told that he's retiring from being Monty and was sorry that I missed him.
There was a Marine who showed up late. He told me that he had been to Iraq and is going back. And then we got a call from Iraq. It was Tony's cousin. He called us at 11:30 p.m., but it was 10:30 a.m. over there. We talked for a few minutes, and maybe I've watched too many news programs, but I was expecting to hear explosions during our conversation. He didn't want to say much about what he was doing and mentioned things being classified.
One guy at the party was being pestered to talk about his acting career. I think he said he was on a show called The Real O.C. He talked about when Tony and he went on the show Blind Date. "They hooked me up with a woman who was hefty and had a bad attitude. She had four drinks she sent back. One was a margarita, [and she sent it back] because it was on the rocks and not blended. She was ridiculous. I ended up being in their Hall of Shame. A friend of mine was on the show, and he ended up on their video Too Hot For TV." I asked if they paid extra for those things. "I had to sign some papers, and, well, I don't want to discuss those details."
Classified info that I couldn't discuss with the cop or with the guy in Iraq I understood, but a TV show that was just cancelled...?
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.