I made the mistake of trying to go to a party in the Hillcrest area during the Gay Pride Festival. Not that there’s anything wrong with that...other than road closures and parking problems!

My girlfriend and I found our location and someone was leaving as we pulled up. When I saw a pedicab with two heavy-set women starting to roll backwards, I jumped out and helped push them up the hill.

A couple of guys whistled and hollered about how good my legs looked. The ladies in the pedicab laughed. I said, “I’m glad you’re enjoying the fact that I’m being treated like a piece of meat back here.”

When we walked up to the “Thanksgiving in July” party, we couldn’t believe the length of the table. It was probably 800 feet long.

My girlfriend felt guilty that we showed up without any food. The email invite said that they’d supply the main course and suggested that guests bring side dishes. I asked what I could bring, and they told me not to worry about it.

When we overheard a few people complaining that there was no apple pie, my girlfriend ran to the store to pick one up, along with a few two-liter sodas.

While she was gone, I saw a couple playing “horse” at a basketball hoop. The woman, Sandy, was smoking the guy. After they played a few games, I asked who won. Sandy said, “I did. Do you think you can beat me?”

She was busting her outside shot, and every shot I made, she matched. I had to pull out my big shots. I went onto a driveway behind a car and shot it over the backboard. She couldn’t make that. I went about 50 feet away and made one. She got her second letter.

When she missed a shot from the baseline, the ball rolled into a canyon and landed in a cactus. When I retrieved the ball, I encountered a swarm of bees. I told Sandy about the bees, and she said, “Well, better you than me. I’m allergic to bees.” I said, “I’m not allergic, but it doesn’t mean I like being stung.”

A few guys were throwing a football nearby, and I asked them if I could borrow their ball. I did a trick shot where I had the basketball in one hand and a football in the other. I put both into the basket, which ended our game. Sandy said, “You’re lucky I’ve been drinking all afternoon.”

I could smell cotton candy in the air. It reminded me of being at a fair. I found out that the hosts had rented a machine. Someone said, “It only cost $55. And $5 for the tubs of stuff to make it. Each carton makes 70 sticks.” As one woman made herself one, she said, “It’s not as good as I remembered.”

I asked Connor about the party permit. “It was easy to get. The only thing we couldn’t have was a dunk tank. We had to notify the fire department and agencies like that. We had to get signatures from the neighbors. It wasn’t permission from them, so that was weird.”

I looked around and wondered how the neighbors would get out of their driveways with tables in the street. And there was a blow-up “Moon Bounce” for kids.

I saw a guy in a blow-up sumo-wrestler costume and remembered overhearing a woman who had spotted him earlier that said to her friend, “I think some guy is wearing a big turkey outfit. It reminds me of when Paul Simon wore one on Saturday Night Live.”

The sumo wrestler had trouble negotiating the front gate, but when he finally made it out, he challenged someone to a wrestling match.

As he tried to climb into the Moon Bounce, he fell. The kids were smart and had scattered from the area. When he tried to climb in a second time, he fell over the side and landed on a bunch of balloons that popped. The crowd had a good laugh at him. On his third attempt, it was the Moon Bounce that popped. As it was deflating, one guy explained how to re-inflate it. He used a lot of technical terms, and someone said, “You sure know a lot about Moon Bounce.” The guy replied, “Well, in college we used to get them. We broke a few when we put too many people in. They cost thousands of dollars.”

Lauren, one of the organizers, was handing out shirts with “turducken” logos on them. When they insisted I wear one, I went to the bathroom to change and wash up. I saw photos of a rubber duck on the wall in various countries. Lisa said, “Oh, that’s Arty. He’s a bit pissed about us serving the turducken.”

Guests continued to show up with side dishes. One woman brought Jell-O shots in the shape of the U.S. with the blue and red states represented.

Near one of the kegs, a guy said, “I’m the senior keg master. This is the junior keg master. That’s why he has this high-powered water gun.” Someone walked up and asked, “Where’s my cup?” I informed him that there were markers to write your name on your cup. He said, “I had my name on it. I just can’t remember where I put it. My cup needs a GPS device.”

I glanced over and saw that the guys throwing the football had gotten creative. One made a catch and dove into the Moon Bounce. When he threw it back, the other guy made his catch after jumping onto the table. I wondered if anyone would think it was gross that his foot was on the table.

A few partiers were dressed as pilgrims, and there were others dressed as Indians. One Indian girl was shooting arrows at people. When she had trouble with her shot, a guy next to her said, “I can put an apple on my head. Maybe that will help.”

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Comments

bluenwhitegokart Aug. 15, 2008 @ 3:02 p.m.

That's one thing I miss about living in San Diego: block parties. I lived all over IB, OB, PB, CV, Hillcrest (before people knew it as gay central), Kensington, Abby-normal Heights, even out into East San Diego. Very few areas didn't have block parties back in the day. North County...not so much. Well, those were the good old days.

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Josh Board Aug. 18, 2008 @ 3:14 p.m.

I went to a block party in North County...Carlsbad area. I wrote about it, maybe 6 months back. I forgot the theme of it, but a bunch of 5th graders had a band playing. One woman was really into dogs. Another lady runs a bakery out of her garage...and she hooked up the neighbors with some awesome desserts. I think it really depends on the type of neighborhood you live in, in terms of how the houses are designed and the street, etc. In Mira Mesa, I grew up in a cul de sac. Lots of block parties. Yet, down the long stretch of Gold Coast, you didn't see many block parties. But, it's such a busy street traffic wise, maybe the houses all thought it wouldn't be safe to have kids running around the front yard and into the street. Who knows.

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