About four months ago I was having Mexican food at a vegan place at Sunset Cliffs — I have friends who are vegetarians, and this is one of the places that we all enjoy — and I remember seeing a political banner on a garage door nearby. We could hear people partying on the patio, so I said to my girlfriend, “Let’s crash it.”
When we opened a backyard gate, my girlfriend said, “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.”
A grill had some burgers on it, but only a few people were standing near it. We walked around to the front of the house and found most of the crowd on the porch. We were told that the party was for Samuel’s birthday. “And Robyn,” someone added. A guy named Mike was the host, and he told me the cops made the band Rickshaw stop earlier in the afternoon.
A few people were getting ready to leave the party, but most of the crowd was staying. One woman said, “Here, you can look at my cleavage before I go.” She then shook her breasts as the crowd whistled. Another woman said to her friend, “Amy just ate and ran. I gave her such a hard time for doing that.” I told her that I’ve seen other people get mad at friends for leaving a party too early. I wondered why they cared.
“Well, if you’re going to leave a party early, that’s cool. Just don’t eat!”
The logic escaped me. It wasn’t like a guy I saw at my 30th birthday party. He showed up, walked over to the table of food, grabbed a hamburger, ate it quickly, and grabbed a can of Coke. He then shook my hand, wished me a happy birthday, and left. He was there for seven minutes.
A woman asked if I’d mention her realty business in my column. I told her that I couldn’t.
When I lit up a cigar, one guy smoking a cigarette asked if I had another. I handed him one, saying, “I have to warn you, they’re cheap stogies.” I heard a woman in the background say, “Speaking of cheap, I can tell you where people can find cheap prices on some good real estate.” Everyone laughed. One lady said, “Don’t write that you saw me smoking. I don’t want my son to know. I really don’t smoke. Only in crowds at parties like this.”
Someone ran over and said, “Does anyone here have a black Volvo?” A guy responded, “What? A black vulva?” The car was being towed out of the back alley.
When I asked Mike about the “Bob Barr 2008” sign, someone said, “Bob Barker...the price is wrong, bitch!”
“Oh, you won’t hear about [Barr],” Mike said. “He won’t win the presidency.” As he started going into detail about the candidate, my girlfriend said, “Was there a time you had a big Ron Paul sign up on that garage?” Mike laughed and admitted that he did. He said he was bummed that Paul dropped out of the race.
I heard the realtor say, “I won’t drop out until we find you the perfect home. Just let me know if you want the name of my real estate company.” I smiled and asked Mike his thoughts on Obama. Everyone in the group said they’d support him. One guy said, “He’s basically the lesser of two tools.”
I smelled pot coming from inside the house, and I walked in to check out the scene. One of the guys with the joint said, “I don’t mind the smell of your cigar. Hopefully you don’t mind the smell of this.”
I grabbed a piece of cake and went back outside.
One lady told me that her sister was pregnant with twins. She went into a lot of detail about pregnancy. I was surprised at how early her sister found out that she would be having twins.
Another cake was on the front patio, and I was told that Sam’s wife Kim had made it. After they lit the candles and sang “Happy Birthday,” only one person took a piece. When he raved about how good it was, I grabbed one too. My girlfriend whispered in my ear, “You had a piece of cake from inside, you pig.” I quietly said, “Nobody will notice.” When she took a piece that she couldn’t finish, I did the honors.
There was a guy with his eyes half opened who hadn’t said a word the entire time we were there. He looked stoned out of his mind, and when he finally spoke, he shouted, “Wow, man, that’s, like, your third or fourth piece of cake!”
A few people at the party were down from Northern California. One woman lived near Clear Lake, which she told me is the largest natural lake in California. She said that they come down for this party every other year.
I talked with a guy named Austin. Someone told me that he owned a surf shop in O.B. Austin shared a few surfing stories, and then someone started opening the bottles of wine that guests brought. Glasses were passed around.
We found the most interesting person at the party to be P, a petite, energetic woman who worked for FedEx or UPS — I forget. P talked so fast, you couldn’t keep up with her. A few times, she mentioned medications that she’s either on or has been on. Her boyfriend, who had long blond locks, would occasionally tell her to calm down. He told us, “Hurricane P is only a two, right now. But you don’t wanna get her going. Seriously, you won’t be able to handle it.”
But every story she told us was interesting and funny. She talked like Robin Williams on speed, going from one story to another, often veering into one that had nothing to do with the previous.
I remembered her saying something about fingernails she had painted orange. Another time she complained about a guy she dated and all the idiotic things he did. She mentioned a firefighter that she was married to and how sad she was when she realized he didn’t have the same feelings for her. Yet, he wrote wonderful notes and emails to other women.
It was great to hear that they both play a part in their son’s life and can get along now.
The best story P told involved the mortuary next door. She said her mom was Portuguese and only four feet tall. She lived to be 105. Before she died she ordered a 12-foot casket, which she designed. It had velvet inside and tulips all around it.
The day of the funeral, P got a phone call: “My mom had been lost.” She was worried and didn’t know what to do. She went to the funeral home and asked how it could’ve happened. Everyone was running around, trying to figure out what to do. Twenty minutes before the viewing, P opened the casket and looked inside. Her mom was there. She had slid all the way down to the other side.
As she told the story to a shocked crowd, she burst out laughing and almost knocked her drink over. She fell into a chair in a fit of hysterics. Her boyfriend said, “Hurricane P is now up to a six.”