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I can't say I have women figured out, but one aspect of them I understand. I got invited to a party to which I had the perfect outfit to wear. I ran to my closet to look for it. The party's theme was "Golf Pros and Tennis Ho's." I once accompanied a golfer friend to a golf shop. I don't golf and had no intention of making a purchase, but I liked a green shirt that was on sale. It wasn't until I got the shirt home that I realized it had golfers embroidered around the buttons of the collar. I've never had occasion to wear it -- until now. That shirt and a pair of ugly checkered pants I received as a gift would make the perfect ensemble. I put on one of my racquetball gloves to complete the outfit. Alanna hosted the party at her Uncle Joe's house in Encinitas. I walked into the back yard where a band was setting up their equipment. With the houses so close to each other, I figured the music wouldn't last long. After setting up, the band was relaxing near the Jacuzzi. I approached them in my goofy plaid pants; they wore ripped jeans and rock T-shirts. They told me that their name was Social Green. One of the guys told me about a recent show they did at Quail Botanical Gardens. I didn't even know bands played there. As I walked away, one guy in the band joked, "Don't write that we were over here doing cocaine." I glanced back to see if they were. They only had cigarettes.

But one guy sitting out at a table in the grass did have cocaine -- a can of the beverage Cocaine. I said, "Oh, I read about that. It was controversial that the company called it that." He asked me if I wanted to try it. As I read the label, he told me what he knew about it. His brother said, "It's the worst. It tastes like...Pixy Stix in liquid form." I said, "That sounds good to me." It was an 8 oz. can of pink liquid. I tried to remember what the article I read said about this. I didn't want to trust guys at a party. I thought it had the amount of caffeine that equaled three cups of coffee. I tried a can. I liked the taste. The label on it read, "Warning: No pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine." I did think it was lame that they picked the name "Cocaine," because I think if younger people get used to the name, it might one day make it easier for them to try the drug. Another guy at the party said, "Yeah, and all the bad press this drink is getting, the company probably loves it. Even bad press gets their name out there."

I saw a guy walk in through the back gate with a sweater tied around his neck. I realized this was a theme party that most people can dress for. One woman reminded me of Olivia Newton-John back in the '80s. Another guy brought his golf clubs. When he left one in the grass, a woman accidentally stepped on it, and the club almost smacked her in the face. One guy with a golf club told me, "I actually have an injury, so this is serving as a cane for me."

One person showed up wearing a green blazer, like the ones presented to the winners of the Masters' golf tournament. I thought he must have been burning up -- it was a hot, sunny afternoon.

Several times I overheard, "Do you play tennis?"

"No, but I have before." I wondered if the guys were using this as an opening to talk to women.

Every time someone bent over, one woman would smack them with her racquet.

One lady had a badminton racquet. She said, "It's the closest thing I had."

An hour later, the band was still hanging out by the Jacuzzi. I asked them when they would start playing. They just shrugged their shoulders. One of them said, "We might start playing when more people show up." I asked one of the guys in the band about his pumpkin tattoo. "I love jack-o'-lanterns, dude." I asked him if he was born on Halloween. "No, but my brother was. I was born on December 24th. I have a quarter Jesus in me." Another guy in the band added, "Hey, I was born on December 23rd." They hit their fists together and said they were both Sagittarians. I asked, "Do you guys get screwed on birthday gifts?" They both nodded, and one said, "All the time, bro."

Someone was collecting $10 per person for the band. Another person followed close behind with Jell-O shots. She said, "I slaved all night making these. I made 98." I asked, "How do you know the exact amount?" "I bought 100 lids and 2 were left over."

A few girls were making toasts with them. I overheard a woman who had had a few say into her cell phone, "Yeah, I'm completely hammered, and it's only 3 o'clock in the afternoon."

Another, more sensible woman talking on her phone said, "No. This party includes drinking, and I have to work tonight."

A guy who was on his phone got excited when he was the tenth caller to a radio-station contest. I had to laugh because there was no radio on. Uncle Joe was playing CDs on a car stereo he had built into a grill in the back yard. It was an elaborate setup. I asked him if he was worried about the weather damaging anything. "I just got a cover for it all. It will be fine."

I wish the same could be said for the CDs, which skipped a few times. When a Creedence Clearwater CD came on, I said to Joe, "I don't know if a bunch of 20-year-olds are going to care for CCR the way we do." When it started skipping, they really didn't care for it. One guy who saw me standing near the stereo said, "Hey, party crasher, put a different CD in! When music skips like this, that's a real party crasher!"

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

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