Being invited to a number of Super Bowl parties posed problems. I'm a football fan and don't want to miss any of the game going from party to party. I figured I could go to two and leave during halftime to hit the second party. I wouldn't miss anything during the halftime show. Hindsight is 20/20.
I got an e-vite to the first party. What's neat about that is you can see who's going, find out what food they're bringing, and read posts from the guests.
The party was at a house in Kearny Mesa and was thrown by Bryan and Victoria. They're members of a running club called the Hash House Harriers, which has chapters all over the U.S. Victoria said, "You might hear weird names. We call each other by our nicknames." Victoria mentions several of the members' nicknames, the Cleanest one being "Diaper Rash" and the others...well, not suitable for this family newspaper. "They have the names on their license plates, too." Hmm. Can't figure out how some of those names would fit — or get past the DMV.
Victoria told me about a run they have called the "Red Dress Run." Everyone, including males, has to wear a red dress. Someone else told me later, "We have a run where at the different checkpoints they hand out beer instead of water. You wear a plastic mug around your neck, and it gets filled up at each stop." Victoria hears this and says, "We're a drinking club with a running problem." She tells me that on some runs they don't even know where they're going.
People mark the areas with chalk and flour, and the pack follows, not knowing where they'll end up or if there's a shortcut they could've taken.
This house was perfect for a party. It was just a medium-sized home. But the garage had a giant disco ball, a fully stocked bar, posters of women everywhere, an old-fashioned popcorn machine, a TV, and a projector screen — which showed some crazy scenes from last year's party. I also saw they had plaster casts of a variety of breasts. I'm told those were made at one party where casts were made of different people's body parts.
The kitchen counter was filled with food. There was also a blackjack table and a craps table. Unfortunately, they were being used for chips and dips, not gambling. Victoria said, "We've had casino parties before" and showed me 1 napkins they had made for the occasion. The kitchen also had the game being projected onto an entire wall. There were neon beer signs all around. One said, "Got Beer?"
I saw one couple wearing football jerseys; she was wearing the Cowboys, he was in a Steelers shirt. I asked her, "Does that create problems in the marriage?" She responded, "No, they're in different divisions so we're okay. Besides, I'm more of a fan. I'm the one that drags him out to the sports bar on Sundays." He said, "I think it's cool to find a woman that's so into football." He and I ended up talking about those great Super Bowls with the Steelers and Cowboys in the '70s.
The bathroom had a TV. And with the Super BowJ, you can no longer go to the bathroom during commercials. In some games, the commercials are the best part. They had a soap dish shaped like a football as well as numerous bowls in the kitchen shaped like footballs, which were filled with chips.
There was a motor home out front with TVs and food. I was told that was in case there wasn't enough room in the house for the more than 100 invited guests. I can't imagine who would want to go there to watch the game. It would be like being at the kids' table during Thanksgiving dinner. You're away from all the action.
The back yard was the ultimate party setup. There was a refrigerator, a few coolers, two kegs, two grills, and a big Jacuzzi (the e-vite said "clothing ’ optional"). There were six hammocks hanging from various locations, all within sight of a IV. And the most popular item was a large frozen margarita machine. One person asked, "Was this taken from a restaurant?" A friendly guy with an eye patch joked, "The only reason I get invited to parties is to bring my margarita machine." It was like getting a Slurpee at 7-Eleven. You pulled it, and your cup was filled. After two of these, I got pretty buzzed.
Bryan seemed a lot more quiet than his wife. We talked briefly. I told him I loved how the back yard was shaded by a giant parachute he used for a tarp. I asked if he got that from when he was in the Navy. He said, "Actually, no. I should've tried, but I never took anything. I bought this on eBay." Another guy overheard this and said, "Yeah, if you took one from the military, can you imagine that? Somebody parachutes and yells, 'Oh, shit! Where's my 'chute?'— not knowing it's shading a back yard party."
I saw one woman wearing a shirt that listed every imaginable term for breasts. She said, "I wore this on a run I did for breast cancer. Everyone loved it." A few guys who had been drinking would periodically come up and say a different word. "Jugs. Is that on there? Oh yeah, there it is." I bet the woman with the Cowboys jersey wasn't bothered by as many drunk guys.
To get the conversation back to football and away from breasts, I asked the Cowboys fan if she was from Dallas or if she just jumped on the bandwagon when the team was winning in the '90s. She lectured me for half an hour on how she grew up in Arizona but had been a fan since she was a kid watching them on TV. "Even when they sucked, I stayed a fan," she said.
I overheard one guy saying, "I had a Jacuzzi like this put in my back yard, and my SDG&E bill went up $200."
As I was leaving, a six-foot-tall African-American woman showed up and hugged Dave. She looked like Vanessa Williams but prettier. I said — but I swear it was the alcohol talking —“Is she in any of your movies?" My date elbowed me, but, luckily, this lady laughed.
Halftime was starting, so we headed out. I felt too drunk to drive and gave my date the keys. Big mistake. I saw us pull nto the parking lot of Fashion Valley. She says, "I just have to pick up this necklace at Tiffany's." Little did I know, as she picked up the necklace and ran into another store to try on an outfit, Justin Timberlake was ripping Janet Jackson's top off.
We finally got to the second party. It was thrown by a beautiful Chinese woman named Jeannie Lu and her husband Steve. The invitation said, "Bring a bottle to help us stock our liquor cabinet."
It listed a lot of things that would be going on at the party. At the bottom in small print it read, "Oh yeah, the game will be on.
I was smoking a cigar on the patio. One overdressed guy was out there talking into a cell phone about selling stocks. Steve was pouring everyone shots of tequila. After a few, my date wisely said, "We better stop drinking or neither of us will be able to drive home." I reminded her we still had another half of football to go and lots of food to eat. Jeannie showed us all the food they had. It included wonton soup, hot wings, rolled tacos, lumpia, Asian lettuce wraps, rice, Asian pot stickers, chili, cookies, brownies, and cream puffs.
I joked to Steve that he kept missing me when passing out the shots of tequila. I told Jeannie I didn't think her husband knew I was joking, and she said, "Oh, he's so sweet, and he's a great host." She tells me he was the youngest guy to ever become a helicopter pilot with the Border Patrol when he was 21 (he's in his early 30s now).
There was a diverse mix of people here. Not just racially. One girl drinking a beer looked young. I said, "Can I see your ID?" She admitted she was too young to drink. An older man came outside and she said, "That's my grandfather. And he doesn't mind."
I saw a few little kids come up from downstairs. They all had to stay down there, which was nice for us, and I presume they weren't allowed to drink.
There was a tall blonde woman who looked to be in her late 40s. She was so sweet and kept telling us to try the cream puffs she'd made. I noticed she was with a slightly younger guy who was wearing a Chargers jersey. He looked like a bigger version of Gregg Allman. I found out later that he was her son. She kept bringing him drinks, and he was getting plastered. He told me he worked in an auto body shop and that he had quit school in ninth grade. He said, "I was making close to $15 an hour. Why go to school?" In my head. I'm doing the math, comparing $15 an hour to $500 a woman.
As the game got close in the fourth quarter, this guy started cussing at the TV and the referees. I wondered if he thought the refs could hear him. When Carolina scored and took the lead, he was pissed. He stood up and said, "The Patriots are still gonna win. Anybody here think different?" The room was quiet. He continued, "I'll bet anybody here the Patriots win, or are you all a bunch of pussies?" With that, I said, "I'll bet." As we made our wager, his mom said, "Dear, you don't have the money to be making bets." He said, "Shut up and go get me another shot!" My date said, "If you win the bet, are you going to try to collect from him?"
Well, it didn't matter. New England came back and won. I handed him the money as he laughed. He said, "If I would've lost, I wouldn't have paid you!" The guy sitting next to me said, "I would've then had to knock out his other tooth." He had one missing.
I went back out onto the patio and talked for a while to a guy who was a lawyer. Somebody came out and asked him if he "wanted to smoke a doobie." He said, "No way, man. I'm too fucked up already."
He reminded me of Chuck Barris, the way he looked, and had a continuous smile on his face. He talked about how he swims miles each day and how that's better than getting high. And we ended up talking about past Super Bowls. I was surprised at how much he knew about football, going back to the first couple of Super Bowls. My date said, "Can we go? All this football is really getting boring."
We left. And didn't stop at any malls.