Some say it’s an old Kumeyaay curse. Others blame a ghost named Gertrude. I suspect the place is some sort of vortex. Whatever the case, a University Heights home known as the Xoo (née the Big Pink) has earned the honorable title (or is it a scarlet letter?) of Most Crashed Party in San Diego. It all started with my first contribution to this column in early 2010. The theme was “Walmart Rollback,” so everyone dressed up like hell and drank a ton of Four Loko (R.I.P., thanks Obama!)
A year or so later, I ended up moving into the house, and in no time we were plotting another fête fit for the record books. My then-roommate Eli’s birthday fell on the same day as the not-so-super-secret men’s retreat called Bohemian Grove, which involves a pagan owl idol, politicians and rich guys, redwoods, and the ritual sacrifice of a human baby made from pork skin. Alex Jones can tell you all about it. But, ever the egalitarian, Eli decided to host a Brohemian Grove gathering for just us regular bros. We had Shriner car races in the alleyway, babies’ blood (bladders of wine) dangling from the trees, and our own brodigious owl god, Broloch — stunnaz, board shorts, popped collar, and all.
I moved out of the Xoo about two years ago, but the dudes continue to tolerate me crashing their couch and parties when I’m in the neighborhood, despite doing things like destroying their lawn chairs with running-jump-hugs at dawn, as was the case a few months back. Come morning, I was certain that the affectionate outburst had irritated my beloved friends, but, on the contrary, Joe dismissed the trespass, explaining that it happens at every party. It turns out Joe wasn’t just being hyperbolic to appease my conscience, because last month they threw a party specifically to battle the advance of chair loss. The idea was to get everyone to bring a chair or a few bucks to chip in on a house fund. Also, it was cyborg-themed, because cyborgs.
Sadly, Joe and housemate Ray were the only ones that seemed to take the theme to heart, which makes sense, considering Joe invited everybody and the party was also a send-off celebration for Ray, who was leaving for Israel. In his Facebook invite, Joe alluded to humanitarian protests and suggested that the gathering would be a perfect opportunity “to help harmonize our positive intent for his trip and to make sure he gets back in one piece.”
But, that was mostly bullshit. I was mesmerized by Joe’s finesse with hippie-speak, so Ray explained that time was running out for Birthright and he just wanted to go check out the land of milk and honey while he still had the chance. Anyhow, a few chairs did end up appearing over the course of the night, but we must have done a pretty lackluster job of harmonizing our intentions because, just days later, Ray’s flight from JFK to Tel Aviv was rerouted to Paris due to a Hamas rocket landing near the airport (things have been a little tense over there, you know).
At any rate, based on all the evidence I have, Ray chose to live as one with danger long ago. So, while some Israelis gather on hilltop sofas to chug beers and take selfies with Gaza exploding in the background, the Xoo will be breaking in their new patio furniture and, with any luck, inventing new reasons to invite all their friends over to keep the cosmic cycle of destruction and rebirth in harmony.