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One guy was wearing a white shirt, a long black tie, and a bicycle helmet. He was carrying a Bible and would occasionally talk to people about God. I heard one woman ask, "Is he really religious?" Her friend had to explain, "He's supposed to be one of those Mormons, you moron. That's his costume."

Most of the guys were just in jeans and T-shirts. And they were all crowded in the back yard to see the band Hornswaggled. I had seen this band at The Blvd. in San Marcos and they impressed me. Since I heard the music all the way down the street in this Mira Mesa neighborhood, I was surprised the cops weren't here. Well, two songs later, the cops showed up.I was surprised when one officer walked in and started screaming. I heard him yell, "I'm not gonna say this shit twice! The party's over. Everyone get lost." As people scrambled out of there, another officer nicely asked for the owner of the house. I said, "Is that Jack?" The officer said, "I'm Jack, and I'd like to talk to the owner of the house." As the owner of the house stepped forward, a drunk guy on the front lawn was yelling at the cops. "Go ahead, arrest me then." He stuck his arms out as if he wanted to be handcuffed. After five minutes of him yelling at the cops and a few people in the kitchen contemplating whether or not to go out and get him, the cops arrested him. As an officer drove off with him in the backseat, I could see him still screaming and bobbing his head.

I went to talk to Jack, the officer I knew. I asked him what the noise laws were. He said, "Basically, a neighbor can't have their peace disturbed. Now, if the neighbor works nights and is sleeping during the day, and they complain about a lawn mower at two in the afternoon, that's too bad for him. But if somebody is mowing their lawn at 2:00 a.m., we'll make the guy stop. I've driven by some parties that were really loud and crazy. But if none of the neighbors complain, I won't stop. Once somebody says they are bothered, we show up. And if we show up a second time, the owner of the house can be charged. When we tell them that, usually the party ends."

As we talked, one guy stumbled out to his truck and got inside. Another officer walked up to him and asked if he was planning to drive in that condition. The guy opened the door and puked near the cop's shoe. Jack looked at me and said, "Aren't you going to take a picture of that?" I laughed. And as the guy puked a second time, the officer said, "If you don't go back inside, I'll arrest you for public drunkenness." The guy walked inside. Another car was blocking the driveway. A guy couldn't get his car out and kept yelling for the car owner to move his car. Finally, he decided to drive his car across the front lawn and over the sidewalk and curb. The officers just watched as he drove away.

I overheard the guys from Hornswaggled talking as they broke down their equipment. One said, "We're like the five-song bandits, dude. We always seem to get five songs in, then the cops show up and bust everyone." I asked the drummer if all bands get shut down at house parties. He said, "When there is more than one band, there never seems to be a problem. But when we are the only band, that's when we usually get shut down."

Before I left, I took one look around the place. The back yard was a muddy mess from the recent rains and everyone standing out there to watch the band. The table was filled with empty beer bottles and Halloween candy, which some guests were putting in their pockets before leaving. A petite Asian girl was on a couch, saying into her cell phone, "You have to pick me up. I'm so drunk."

One of the closet doors was off its hinges and hanging out into the hallway. I went over to talk to Jack a little more. He told me about another party in Mira Mesa that had a naughty schoolgirl theme. He laughed, saying, "Some of our officers went out there on a complaint, and they were there for a long time. I show up, and they are standing around talking to all these girls in plaid skirts."

We talked about how we haven't played poker in almost a year and agreed to have a game soon. But if any of his superior officers are reading this, we don't play for money.

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

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