Each year I go to two Super Bowl parties. I leave the first party at halftime, which I don’t mind doing if the TV halftime show includes musical guests such as Bruce Springsteen.
This year, the first party I attended was being thrown by a woman named Linda. I called her to ask if I could bring my dog. (I’d just gotten him from the shelter and already had a complaint from a neighbor because the dog barked when I was gone for a few hours. Until I could train him to deal with the separation anxiety, I wasn’t thrilled about leaving him alone.)
Linda said she had a few big dogs and it wouldn’t be a problem. She was worried about people stepping on him, and I said I’d keep my eye on that.
Linda’s backyard in Mount Helix was perfect for a party. It was huge and had a pool as well as an outdoor bar. TV sets were everywhere. There was so much food, I couldn’t find a place to put the Super Bowl cupcakes I’d brought (half of which were ruined when I stopped suddenly and they fell off the seat).
There were two large canopies set up, and Linda told me, “I really looked at all the areas, to see how shaded it would be.” I glanced over and saw three huge palm trees on one side. They offered no shade.
She told me that a wedding reception was held here, with the groom throwing the bride and the cake into the pool. She made a joke about it turning into “sponge cake.”
There were a couple of huge dogs; one had a diaper on. I asked the owner if it wasn’t potty trained. I was told that it was a wound from a pit bull attack.
I saw a few teenagers drinking Dr Pepper, but all I saw was booze available. There were four coolers, but each one I opened was empty. Not even ice. I grabbed a drink from the frozen-margarita machine.
I heard Linda tell someone that she was going to get a projector to show the game. Someone asked, “Did you buy all these TVs for the game, or did you borrow them?” She said they only borrowed one.
Because I got there an hour before the game started, I was able to mingle.
I found out one guy trained dolphins for the Navy. I asked him about his job, and he said he didn’t want to talk to a reporter about it. Someone leaned in and said, “You could understand that. What if he’s training them to go on suicide missions with bombs strapped to their dorsal fin or something?”
I met a bailiff and his friend who worked in law enforcement. They told great stories. One involved a defendant who was mad at his lawyer. He smuggled in a bag of his own feces and rubbed it on his attorney’s face before throwing it at the jury.
I put down the bean dip I was enjoying.
The bailiff’s friend, a woman, spent a lot of time petting my dog and praising it...and also praising another furry thing — the toilet seat in the bathroom. She told me I had to try it. I explained that guys hate furry seats because they don’t stay up. Someone heard this and yelled, “That sounds like a personal problem to me!”
Every time someone came out of the bathroom, the lady would ask them what they thought of the seat.
I finally went in there and reported back to her. I said, “That seat is great because it’s furry and actually stays up without you having to hold it.” She then talked about how it’s great because it can sop up all the mess the guys leave. She added, “My brother was the worst, but that’s because he was born with a small pee hole.” She went on to explain that at four years old he had to have surgery. She said, “I brought that story up at his wedding. I don’t think he liked that.”
I met a couple that had just moved here from Texas; the guy was stationed on a ship there. He told me that the previous night a homeless guy had assaulted him. He said he didn’t want to fight and risk getting in trouble with his work, so he just walked backward as he dialed 911. The homeless guy kept yelling at him as cops showed up. He said, “They were there really quick. They tased him and he pissed his pants. It was insane.”
All the conversations I was having were about going to the bathroom. As I grabbed a few spicy pieces of chicken, Linda told me about her family in Boston and how they brag about their sports teams. She then brags about the weather.
I thanked her for letting me bring my dog and headed to the next party in San Carlos.
I stopped at home, where my girlfriend said she’d watch the dog. I picked up a Super Bowl cake (which I managed to get to the party in one piece).
The second half had started. And, it wasn’t toilet-seat talk I heard. My friend Gerald and I argued with a guy that thought Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner should make it to the hall of fame. I said, “Uh...he threw an interception that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown.” We debated for ten minutes.
Everyone was looking at the squares others had bought for one of the betting pools. The woman that won bought only one. Someone said, “What are the odds of that? The person with the fewest squares wins.” Someone else said, “Can’t you spare a square?”
A cute redhead in a Chargers jersey kept saying, “There was a score. We have to do Jell-O shots.” She’d grab a large tray from the fridge and pass them out. I said, “Did you make these in the Cardinal colors on purpose?” She said she didn’t.
One guy kept wrestling with a woman. At one point he got her into a headlock and was trying to make her eat a chili pepper. I mentioned they were really cute together. Someone leaned in and said, “Uh...well, they’re just coworkers. They’re both married to other people.”
This was a smaller crowd than the first party, but it was harder to hear the commercials because nobody cared about them.
When the Steelers won, I asked the guy with whom I’d argued about Kurt Warner if Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will now be talked about for the hall of fame. He’d just won his second Super Bowl in a young career. The guy responded with “He’ll need to perform like that for years to be considered.” I got mad and said, “What are you talking about? That was my whole point with Warner! He’s only had three good years in the NFL. Just because those years all led to Super Bowls...”
We agreed to disagree, and I left during the postgame celebrations.