"Julia" was always one of my favorite Beatles ballads. Now it would be one of my favorite party people. She called to invite me to her Pee Wee Herman party. I refrained from making a joke about him in the movie theater and listened as she explained that they often have theme parties at her complex in Pacific Beach. She said, "The last one was Hulk Hogan. That was fun. Before that, it was a Caddyshack/country club theme."When I pulled onto Chalcedony, I wasn't surprised by how hard it was to park. This was P.B on a Saturday night. I didn't realize, though, that every other house would be having a party. It was December, and my statistics on partying (it's a colorful pie chart that looks like the crap in USA Today) indicate that December has more parties than any other month. My goal was to leave the Pee Wee party with enough time to hit the others.
The problem was, when I crashed the party directly across the street, I was the one who almost got hit. We'll get to that later.
I pulled out a white dress shirt and a red bow tie I had. When I worked in radio, some company in Carlsbad once gave us all this crazy clothing: socks that were tie-dyed and a red bow tie that had little red lights around it. I think I wore it to one Christmas party years ago and thought it was too goofy to ever wear again. It had sat in a drawer ever since. Yet another reason why I say you should save everything. You never know when you'll need it again.
It didn't occur to me that I'd also have to get a battery. But there was no turning back now. I already had the thing strapped around my neck as I headed into Sav-On.
When I walked into the party I saw one of the hosts handing out T-shirts with various Pee Wee phrases painted on the front. One said, "I know what you are, but what am I?" Another had "Take a picture. It'll last longer." I saw one that said, "Large Marge sent me." And there was a fourth that I never caught a glimpse of.
The ladies living here had also made red bow ties, which looked funny when people pinned them onto their T-shirts.
There was a lot of hip-hop and dance music playing, but I was surprised I never once heard Pee Wee's dance song, "Tequila." There was tequila to drink, though. They had a couple of kegs and a few bottles. One guy walked in with a six-pack. And when he and his friends were leaving 20 minutes later, I heard him complain that he wouldn't leave without taking his beer. He walked out to the street carrying his three cans.
There was a big-screen TV, and I asked Julia why one of Pee Wee's movies wasn't going. She said, "We just didn't have the time to get any of the videos." I said, "Well, what did you have for the Hulk Hogan party?" She said, "On the patio, where everyone smokes, we had signs made up. One said, 'Hulkster in the House.' Another talked about what would happen to you if you made too much noise. We didn't want to upset our neighbors. We also had his cassette playing. He actually did a record, and we found cassettes of it in a 99 Cent Store."
I also noticed there were no Pee Wee Herman dolls. When he first got arrested, they were all pulled off the market. People were placing ads in the newspaper selling them for upwards of $100. It always surprises me that people pay these types of prices. Do they still have the Talking Elmos and Cabbage Patch Kids that sold for so much? I bet they're probably worth $5 today.
Speaking of Cabbage Patch Kids, let me comment on Julia's dimples. They were so cute, on the top of her cheeks. I've never seen that before. She said, "I look like a Cabbage Patch doll, I know."
Other people didn't like being told anything about their looks. I went onto the patio for a cigar, and another guy was smoking a stogie. He told a girl she looked like Neve Campbell. That gal got mad, which we couldn't figure out, since most people find Campbell attractive. I told him about the time I told a woman she looked like Samuel L. Jackson. She was attractive, but I just meant that she looked as if she could be his sister. I didn't get a chance to explain that as she walked away angry.
Every time a woman walked onto the patio, we would discuss who she looked like, to see if she would get mad. One red-haired girl we said looked like Julianne Moore. She liked that. The Neve Campbell girl said, "Hey, wait a second. Are you that guy from the Reader? About a year ago, you wrote about this party with a really skanky girl. Do you remember that?" I laughed, thinking that describes about half the parties I attend. I said, in an attempt to be funny, "Why? Was that you?" She said, "No. It was my mom." A few people were silent. A few people laughed. This gal then lit up a joint and toked away. When that was finished, she lit another one.
I went inside and talked to some people on the couch. When I walked back out half an hour later, she was smoking pot out of a pipe. I asked if I could take her picture. She said, "Are you crazy? Not while I'm smoking this. You can take a picture if it doesn't show my face." I clicked a few. She wanted to see them, to be sure I didn't show her face. She said, "Oh damn! People will recognize my belt. Ah, so what."
I noticed another guy was taking pictures with his digital camera. I asked why, and he said, "Do you know what romp.com is? They take photos of college girls and create a video game where you try to score with them."
"Is that what this is for?"
"No. These are just for me, personally. One time we were at this crazy party and got so drunk. I didn't remember anything. When I woke up the next morning, I looked at the photos on my camera. I didn't realize there were so many hot-looking chicks there. It had documented everything I couldn't remember."
Ah, technology. Helping drinkers remember. That should be a slogan.
One of the girls living upstairs was asked if people could use her bathroom. She jokingly said, "It depends. Are they going to go 'number one' or 'number two'?" I never did see anyone go up the stairs.
One guy peeked over the fence and said, "Dude, that's an awesome tie. I didn't have anything to wear. I wasn't going to buy a suit just to wear to a party." When he found out they were giving out T-shirts, he eagerly put one on.
It was Julia's 25th birthday. I found out another girl named Lisa Latimer was turning 24. We talked about having birthdays so close to Christmas. Neither of them had a problem with it.
I was talking to one good-looking guy for a while. A few women came up as we talked. I overheard one ask her friend if he was single. She said, "His girlfriend is in the kitchen making margaritas." The blonde who asked about him, with the glitter on her eyebrows, walked away. The guy laughed and said, "Did you hear that? She was interested in me." He then told me about how he and his current girlfriend are perfect together. He said, "I had one girlfriend that never wanted to have sex. It was horrible. My woman now is really sexually active. It's great."
He looked into the kitchen window and said something to his woman. I asked Julia if she could bring me a margarita, which she kindly did.
We talked about her job. A few of the younger people in the crowd talked about not knowing what they wanted to do with their lives. Some were still in school. Others just had part-time jobs. One guy told me, "As long as I have enough money to pay the rent and can go surfing, who wants a damn nine-to-five job?" It reminded me of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
It was 12:30 in the morning, and I decided to go to the party directly across the street. It was in a nice three-story house, and I saw a well-dressed couple leaving. Maybe there'd be more food than the variety of chips at Pee Wee's Playhouse.
I asked a guy at the gate if I could crash the party. When I told him who I was, he said, "I've read that column. I was going to invite you to a party I had when I lived in Oceanside."
I didn't realize that within minutes I'd come close to getting my ass kicked. But, we'll go into that in the next issue. (Hey, I ended with a cliffhanger. How cool is that? I can leave you wondering if it was because of my goofy red bow tie. Or if I told the wrong woman she looked like Samuel L. Jackson. Stay tuned.)
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.