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 "This is where the real party was going on"
  • "This is where the real party was going on"

When I went to see the Proclaimed in concert, I saw the Biddy Bums, a local band, open up the show. By the time both bands had played, it was after 1:00 a.m. I heard one of the singers of the Biddy Bums tell his friend, "...the party at the hotel is still going on." I didn't know them but asked if I could crash it. One guy said, "Sure, but the party isn't starting until 2:00."

I went to buy some beer to bring to the party, which was at the Hotel 8 in Hotel Circle. I stopped at an AM/PM, and the cashier said, "We don't sell beer after midnight." I asked if that was a law and he said, "No, we just don't sell it that late. There's a liquor store around the comer that sells beer until 2:00 a.m."

I got to the liquor store at 1:50, and three people in line were holding beer. One tall Latino was already drunk. He spent five minutes trying to decide if he wanted beef jerky or pistachio nuts. When the Middle Eastern man working the register said, "Sir, please, I have other customers," the customer snapped, "Man, I need my fucking pistachio nuts first!"

I bought two six-packs and headed over to the hotel. There wasn't a single space to park, so I went to the hotel next door. Signs stated that unauthorized vehicles would be towed — but I took the risk.

As I walked into the parking lot, I saw a giant crowd on the fourth floor. I asked, "Is that where the party is?" I was met with a voice saying, "Who the fuck wants to know?" I held up the beer, and he said, "Room 400."

As I climbed the stairs, I remember being told the party was in room 214. Sure enough, there were two parties going on. I walked into 214, and it was a room that looked to be only 12' by 12' with about 50 people in it. And they were playing volleyball.

There was a redhead passed out on the bed. I thought somebody said, "That's Annette." What they said was, "That's the net" There were 20 people on each team, and as they hit the volleyball back and forth, instead of scoring points, each team had to drink shots. I haven't seen anyone have this much fun with a volleyball since Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

One girl saw me taking pictures and said, "You got to see this." She took me into the bathroom, where the bathtub was piled high with a dresser, a couch, and other things. She said, "We needed to make room for the volleyball game."

Someone else said about the game, "The people below us have already complained about the noise."

There was alcohol everywhere. Occasionally, an errant shot knocked over a bottle. The drummer of the Biddy Bums said something about rock bands partying at hotels, and I responded, "Don't they usually throw TVs out the window?" He went over and grabbed the TV and laughed.

When the volleyball hit the ceiling, I noticed there were ten bottle caps somebody had pressed into the ceiling.

The hotel called the room and said the cops were on their way because of noise complaints. One guy said he had a plan. "Listen, that party a few floors above us has been a lot louder. We've made sure we're quiet whenever the door has been opened. So we need to send somebody to that party. Bring a case of beer and hang out on the balcony being loud. That way, when the cops show up, they bust that party instead." Somebody responded, "Dude, you're being paranoid." He replied, "No, I'm being pre-pare-anoid. I'm getting prepared."

One guy volunteered to take the beer up there. I found out that party was for a guy who just got back from Iraq.

The plan didn't work too well. Somehow there ended up being a fight in the parking lot. We were watching from the window, and the bass player wanted to go out and join the fray. Nobody was letting him out of the room. One girl said, "You'll get arrested, too. And we'll all get busted. Just stay here." He was struggling to get out there. One guy involved in the fight was standing on crutches and could barely walk.

A guy in the band named Josh was telling me they have two guys named Josh in the group. He asked, "Do you play an instrument? We'd like to get a third Josh in the band." I told him I can play a mean tambourine and five songs on the piano — including "Chopsticks." He responded, "Hey, that's a classic." I asked him how they got the name Biddy Bums, and he said, "From Fiddler on the Roof; a song in that." A woman overhearing this started singing, "If I were a rich man /Deedle deedle daidle digga digga dum /All day long I'd biddy biddy bum /If I were a wealthy man."

Another guy in the band was talking about the carbs in alcohol. When he was saying how surprised he was that Slim-Fast actually tastes good, somebody came over and said, "Don't listen to this guy talk about health. We were out of town once, and he was supposed to go buy gas and Diet Coke. He came back with chewing tobacco, no Coke, and hardly any gas in the car."

The police showed up. The party had been going for exactly 48 minutes.

Even though the lights in the room were out and everyone was whispering (one whispering for somebody to hide the pot pipe under the bed), we still got thrown out.

The band was talking to the two cops in the parking lot, who were surprisingly nice. One said, "I'm a singer in a band. I know what it's like." I later asked somebody what band he was in, and I was told it was Big Time Operator. The younger cop laughed when he found out the party was going to be moved to the bass player's house in North Park. He said something, in a joking manner, about following us over there to break up that party.

One girl was avoiding the cops. She said something about a recent run-in with the law. The officers cleared everyone out without checking IDs or harassing anyone. Not even the girl who was "the net" in the volleyball game. She could barely walk, but another girl said she was going to drive her home.

The drummer, his girlfriend, and I went to the house in North Park. Since we were the first ones there and she had to use the bathroom, he went into the back yard. He climbed through a window and unlocked the door. Within 15 minutes, everyone else showed up. Most hung out in the living room playing pool. There was a beer tap by a bar, and one girl asked, "Is this real?" She pulled it and beer came pouring out. She said, "Oh, I guess it is." The bass player said, "I'm so glad you did that. Now I'll have to clean that out later."

Some people were in the back yard smoking. When I went out there, a woman asked us what our favorite Muppet from Sesame Street was. When one guy said Bert and Ernie, she said they were gay. I said, "They are characters on a children's show. They aren't gay. They aren't heterosexual either. They are just Muppets."

She said, "Kermit and Miss Piggy are Muppets, and they're heterosexual." She went on about the way Bert dresses and them living together. I said, "They aren't even adults. They are Muppet kids." She said, "They are adults. You don't see their parents, do you?" I said, "You never see Charlie Brown's parents." She responded, "But you hear that weird noise when their parents talk. Why don't we ever hear from Bert and Ernie's parents?"

At that moment, a neighbor turned on a light and stood by a window. It was after 4:30. He looked to be in his mid-60s, and his white hair was messed up from sleeping. Somebody pointed to him and said, "That looks like the Muppet from The Muppet Show. The one that would watch the show from the balcony with his friend, making fun of everything."

That neighbor called and asked everyone to be quieter. That lasted about ten minutes.

When we finally went back inside the house, you could smell marijuana. Someone said, "This is where the real party was going on."

I drove a few people home who'd had too much to drink. There were still some people shooting pool. We apologized for being so loud outside, and the bass player said, "Don't worry about it. My neighbors are all dicks."

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