On days that are known as party days, I try to challenge myself. I’ve had a few New Year’s Eves when I went to over five parties in one night.
This past Fourth of July, I had five invites. First, my girlfriend and I went to Paul’s party in Bay Park. I started talking basketball with a guy after overhearing him say he was supposed to bring a friend that was the sixth man at LSU, behind Pistol Pete Maravich. I asked if he went on to play pro ball. The guy said, “Sort of. He played for the Washington Generals, the team that goes against the Globetrotters.”
Paul had a couple toy fox terriers running around. One was named Scooter. I said, “My friend had a rabbit named Scooter. Is that a common name for pets?”
He replied, “It’s common for me.” He then talked about how the name came about.
“Online, we saw this service that shows what breed of dog is best for you. I had never heard of fox terriers before that. An ad in the paper had them for sale in Alpine. Someone was selling a scooter on the opposite page, so we picked that as a name. I guess his name could’ve easily been Wheelbarrow or Lawnmower.”
Someone had moved a TV outside. A baseball game was on. One person walked by and was bummed. He said he was recording the game at home and didn’t want to know the outcome. He reached over and turned the volume down. A few people yelled at him. I asked him why he didn’t watch it there, at the party. He paused before saying, “Well…then I can’t fast-forward through the commercials.”
I told him I thought baseball was boring, and he asked, “Why are you staring at the TV then?”
During a commercial, I grabbed a cupcake and headed to Clairemont for the next party. I got there at 9:00 p.m., an hour after it started. The crowd was relatively small, especially for this huge backyard that had a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, ice luge, two tables for beer pong (with one game going strong), two Porta Pottis, a DJ, and street tacos being made. There were also a few security guys to keep crashers out.
You know the crowd is small when you overhear a woman come out of the Porta Potti and say, “I was the first one to use that. I could tell because the toilet paper hadn’t been torn off.”
We didn’t eat at Paul’s because even though he provided food from the barbecue, he had asked that folks bring side dishes or their own bottles. We felt guilty that we didn’t stop for something (we were pressed for time).
We waited 15 minutes before we saw a line of people go for the tacos. As we approached, we heard a guy say to a girl, “Okay, it’s safe to go over there now. We aren’t the first.”
While we were in line for the tacos, I noticed a chocolate fountain inside the house. Marshmallows and fruits surrounded the fountain. I asked Greg, one of the guys throwing the party, about the chocolate fountain. He said only women were allowed inside.
He then asked if I was the party crasher. When I told him I was (thinking he would be like Willie Wonka and lead me to the chocolate), he said, “You wrote about a party I was at before. You talked about me falling down and getting a bloody knee. I hope you don’t write about that again.”
I replied, “Well…don’t fall.”
When we sat down to eat our tacos and chips and salsa, we noticed lots of people showing up.
David, one of the residents, said, “I think it was a low turnout because people were at parties during the day and just stayed where they were. Or they went to watch fireworks. I saw fireworks when I was six, and that’s covered me to this day.”
The women we sat next to were having an interesting conversation. One said she was hungover in L.A. the previous day and had to GPS herself to find out where she was. Her friend replied, “That’s why you need to see the movie The Hangover.”
Three of the women were married, and one was single. It sounded as if they were trying to talk the single girl out of getting married. They had a variety of horror stories to share. My girlfriend glanced at me taking notes and said, “You shouldn’t write any of those stories.”
Instead, I figured I’d write about the patriotic guy. His shorts were red, white, and blue. He told me, “I bought these seven years ago. I only wear them on the Fourth. Each year, I work out less and less and always fear they won’t fit. This year, they were tight. But I still got them on.”
When I started getting the video camera going, one person said, “You can’t video me dancing. My agent would get pissed.”
I saw that go-go dancers were on platforms in different sections of the backyard. I figured they’d get pissed at a guy with a camera.
I realized that I’d earlier heard two guys discussing where the go-go dancers were. One of them had said, “If they don’t show up, you’re getting up there and dancing.”
I talked my girlfriend into going inside and getting us some chocolate-covered fruit. She came back with a banana slice and strawberry. I asked why she only got two pieces, and she said, “Well…there were a few girls standing there. I didn’t want to look like I was taking a huge plate. I couldn’t explain that it was for me to share with someone outside.”
There was a huge bar with cute women slinging drinks. They had a wide variety of alcohol. They weren’t charging, and there was no tip jar.
One woman was working the ice luge and doing a great job of talking people into drinking from it. I asked her what was the craziest thing she ever witnessed while serving booze through the luge, and she said, “This is my first time working the ice luge, but my friend said someone once threw up after the shot hit their mouth. I think it was a mix of tequila, vodka, and Jägermeister. And I imagine when that happens, the luge is done for the night.”