We're Not in Kansas Anymore

I usually dress up for theme parties, but when I hit The Wizard of Oz theme party in North Park, I didn’t have anything to wear. I wasn’t about to make myself look like a scarecrow.

Then I had an idea. I looked through my rock T-shirts, and my girlfriend and I both wore Pink Floyd shirts to the event. I figured this was close enough, as years ago it was rumored that you could play Dark Side of the Moon while watching Wizard of Oz and the music and movie synced up.

It was raining when we got there, and I saw a few people in costume getting soaked as we piled into the elevator of an old condo complex. The elevator didn’t have a light, and you had to manually close the gate before it would go up. One guy was trying to stuff straw back into his scarecrow outfit and was having trouble doing it in the dark.

I felt guilty with just my umbrella and Floyd tee.

When we walked in, they had Oz on the TV. The lights were out, but they had candles glowing. A yellow brick road had been painted on paper and spread over the hardwood floors.

There were some yellow slippers near the fireplace and a number of photos from the movie.

There was a table set up with chips and desserts. I grabbed a cupcake. There were about 200 Jell-O shots set up like a giant rainbow.

They had a fence all around, with cornstalks and crows on it. Everything indoors looked like the set of The Wizard of Oz.

The bathroom had lollipops all over it. When I asked one of the women at the party what the significance of that was, she told me about the lollipop guild and the flying monkeys. I didn’t remember any of that because I hadn’t seen the movie since I was little.

I saw a guy in a chicken costume standing next to a wall that had a Wizard lunch box. I asked him about it, but he never gave me a straight answer. He sounded as if he had had a bit to drink. He said something about how he wore it to a Christmas party where you had to dress as anything but a character related to Christmas. He mentioned something about “the good witch” living here before walking away.

One guy looked uncomfortable in his costume, but it was clearly the best. He made a detailed Tinman outfit. As I was checking it out, someone said, “You should see him light his head on fire.” He was reluctant to do it, as he said he’d been doing that all night.

We all went out onto the balcony, and he showed me how it was designed to have flames come out of the top part. I said to one of the scarecrows, “You better keep your distance or you’ll go up in flames.”

When he was done with the fire demonstration, he walked back inside and almost fell. Somebody said, “Imagine if he did that with the fire going. This whole place would burn down.”

I saw a female dressed in a tin outfit and asked about it. Her friend said, “She’s the tin whore.”

The party was being hosted by guys named Sam and Joe. But I found out it was Kali who loved The Wizard of Oz and orchestrated this. She told me it was one of her favorite movies and how she’s seen it hundreds of times. She said, “And we love to throw theme parties. We had an Alice in Wonderland one once.”

There were a couple of Dorothys walking around and four flying monkeys, which were funny. They were seldom together, though.

I was talking sports with a couple of guys and noticed that there were a few women by the TV set reciting all the words the characters were saying. One of them looked at me and said, “After the second time watching this, I knew all the dialogue.”

A few people approached the Tinman while he was on the couch. They wanted a fire demonstration. He tried to get up a few times and couldn’t. Someone else mentioned that he was tired of doing it. I asked him how long it took to build the costume. He never told me, but he said that it was fun to make. He told me he works on Ferraris and that it’s always fun to work on something other than a car.

As the other people prodded him for fire, one sounded like Beavis: “Fire, fire, fire!” Tinman stumbled to his feet and walked into a wall and said, “This costume has the worst peripheral vision.”

There was a big guy in a baseball shirt who was drunk and kept bumping into people. I overheard someone say, “That’s how fights start at clubs, people acting like that.”

Another guy kept eating Jell-O shots but didn’t seem to be drunk. He’d occasionally sing out, “Somewhere, over the rainbow...” before downing one.

I heard two people debating lines from the movie. One said, “The ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore’ has got to be the most popular line from the movie.” His friend contended, “I think the one about the man behind the curtain is more popular.”

The response? “You can’t even remember that line to quote it accurately!”

They asked me, and I said I thought the Kansas line was a bit more popular, but the premise of a man behind the curtain was still talked about. One said, “There is not a more popular movie line than ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore.’” I said, “I dunno. I think ‘I see dead people,’ and ‘I think we need a bigger boat’ are on par.” Someone else in a Tinman costume then said in a deep voice, “What about, ‘Luke, I am your father?’”

One woman was trying to explain the story to her friend about the actor cast as the Scarecrow and how he switched with the Tinman because he was allergic to the aluminum powder. It wasn’t until I left the party that I remembered it was Buddy Ebsen who dropped out of the film.

I overheard a few guys talking about the girls who had organized the party. They said they were party planners and that’s why it turned out so well.

Another guy, smelling pot in the air, said, “Who planned that? And why didn’t they tell me?” He then ran off in search of it.

Someone approached me and asked if I’d ever watched The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd playing. I told them I didn’t but that it’s just a weird coincidence. I said, “Look, Pink Floyd has lots of songs with heartbeats, screams, and weird sound effects. You could probably line any album up with any movie and some of the things will match up. Do you really think they watched the movie while recording the album in Abbey Road Studios?”

The guy then said, “My friends and I did it two times. It’s amazing. The heartbeat, while Dorothy listens to the man’s chest. When they sing about a lunatic on the grass, the lion is on the grass.”

I wanted to say, “Are you the one that was smoking the pot?”

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Sorry Josh, but that was pretty lame wearing a floyd shirt. Nothing worse than a theme party and someone not dressing the part.

Yeah, I know. But, the first theme party I ever wrote about for the Reader, they specifically told me if I didn't wear pajamas, I wasn't getting in. I don't even own PJs anymore! I went to Mervyn's, bought a pair. Borrowed one of those masks you put over your eyes when you sleep from my mom. Wore my stepdads slippers. I put my toothbrush sticking out of the front pocket. Wore my bathrub over it all.

Then, driving to this place in North Park, I realized my car needed gas. I looked insane filling up with a bathrobe on, at 8 p.m.

I get there, and in the living room, are about 20 Latinos, all wearing white T-shirts, looking at me like I'm insane. I ask if this is the party. They tell me it is.

A few that were in PJs were in the backyard. One gay guy had the same exact robe as me, which was odd (he had a teddy bear with him, too). And, the woman that threw the party told me she was mad her friends/cousins didn't dress up.

I vowed then, that I'd dress up if I had the stuff (which usually I do). I've still gone against my own philophy, and went out and purchased things to wear for a theme party.

At the Wizard of Oz party, I'd say 40% of the crowd wasn't dressed up, so my Pink Floyd shirt was a step above them!

Well....can't a glass pipe be for smoking regular tobacco? After all, if you go into those head shops like The Black, and say the word "bong" they throw you out (so I heard)

This just in: went to two 80s themed parties. I went in costume. And, it was disaster. Details when I write it up in Crasher.

Fumber, you are promoting glass pipes. Be gone, Doe-doe bird.

Well, one of the things I love about my phone number appearing at the end of the Crasher column, are the people that leave messages. One time, a guy insisted I got it wrong about the NBA logo being Jerry West. He insisted it was Pete Maravich (I was right...and, he could've Googled and found that out).

I received a nice message from a guy today, who went into detail about how I'm wrong, and that Pink Floyd DID purposely have Dark Side of the Moon coincide with The Wizard of Oz. He explained how to start the movie at the appropriate time, and everything.

But, let me tell you guys a few things, if you believe this rubbish. First, why did we not hear about this until the mid-90s? I'm guessing Dark Side came out around 1971. And, music magazines ALWAYS did stories on that record, since it broke Billboard records of being the longest charting album on the Top 100 in music history. It virtually never fell off the charts in something like 28 straight years!!! That's a lot of weeks in a row to chart.

So, you're telling me, when the lads were in Abbey Road Studio recording it (with Alan Parsons help), none of them, or any studio technicians, decided to share this info with anyone for 30 years?

Or wait. How about this. VCRs weren't around in 1971. At least, my family didn't get one until the late 80s. So...did they just get a few reels of film, thread them up in the Abbey Road Studio, and then go to work?

And, if you ARE going to go thru that much trouble, why are there just 8 things that match up? Seriously. You thread the movie. You have Roger with his bass. You have Dave with his guitar, and..Rick, or whatever the keyboardists name is...they are sitting there, watching Judy dance around, and the tin man. And, the most they can come up with is 8 different things???? Wow, Pink Floyd went from being one of the best group of songwriters in the 70s, to lame. Weird Al can do a parody song that is word for word rhymes, and works.

Now, for the person that called, and ANYONE else, feel free to Google. Or to go sites like mythbuster, or Snopes. And, they'll give you the scoop.

And, just for fun, grab another Floyd album. Pick a random classic movie, and see if anything matches up. Since albums are 40 minutes of music, I'm guessing there will be a few things that match up.

Try WISH YOU WERE HERE. With songs like Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar, I'm guessing there can be things that are machines, and people smoking, that will line up. And, all of you guys out there smoking other things, will have another fun thing to do at parties.

Josh it's often painful to read, your unedited writing because you put a comma, wherever you think one might possibly go. Instead of knowing, where they go.

Really? That bothers you that much? Wow. I'd hate to see the kind of road rage you must experience dealing with all those idiots out there.

It's kind of funny you write "your a moron" when it should be "you're" a moron. Also, it might be hard for you to ever have a job like mine when you write "though" one more time then necessary.

fumber, you need to get a life. I get paid to write and respond to idiots like you. I'm not sure what your deal is.

It's kind of funny you write "your a moron" when it should be "you're" a moron.

Fumbler never made it past 5th grade.

I have tried to point out his pathetic English errors, but it falls on deaf ears.

So, I must say Fumbler, keep "your" nose clean or it will be back to Chino (or was it Lompoc?) for you.

Remember Fumbler, the truth can "hert" sometimes.......bwahahahahahahahah.

it herts, too read fumber, though with all the wheatgrass, smoked with a glass TOBACCO peip, I'd also kill to have you're job, though i can right like fumber, though its not ezy, and i donut even get payed

Oh, I have to stop.

It's fun and easy to make fun of fumber, but I was taught by my mom not to pick on the disabled.

Hey Josh, let's all of us crash fumber's next party...we'll find out if he's as much fun in person as he is online.



Nicely said, Fred.

I'm down for that. Fumber...just post the details here, and we'll all "crash" the party.

If your mom is cool with having people over, that is.

I'm coming too, even though I'm only a pantywaist liberal and not a pantywaste liberal. Josh, you bring the gange, and I'll bring the wheatgrass bongs. If I know Don, he'll bring triple-malt scotch.

Fumber lives with his mom...so we'll have to party out in the garage, quietly. He'll dress up like Toto again (all of them, Tony Spinner, Greg Phillinganes, Bobby Kimball, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, and Leland Sklar) and Josh will dust off his Pink Floyd shirt.

Don will show up with a Brahms concerto record and Scrabble...but the whole game Russl will be correcting our spelling.

Then, just when we think it can't get any more interesting, fumber's mom will find us, and call the cops.

After a lengthy interrogation, and cavity searches that some in the party find oddly thrilling, Josh will be driven downtown for simple wheatgrass possession. (Since the rest of us are good friends with Bonnie Dumanis, we won't be charged.)

Only Don has enough spare cash to bail Josh out, of course, and he grumbles about always having to pony up for these shindigs. Russl rolls his eyes at this, and we all barf...because seeing him remove his eyeballs from their sockets and rolling them is pretty disgusting.

Eventually, we all make it home in time to sleep it off, except fumber who is already home in the first place. He ends up sleeping with Towelhead, who turns out to be a stunning beauty. We're all jealous, but what can you do?

Now that's a great party!

Instead of Brahms, how about Vivaldi's Mandolin Concerto? Yes on Scrabble, too.

Hey...was Leland Sklar really in Toto? That's a trip. That guy played bass on every 70s album I own. He gets around.

YES on Scrabble.

NO on Proposition C!

Josh, how about party crashing at Golden Hall election night?

Just two words to convince you, dude:



So you can eat and drink for free, and party with the pols.

You are invited!


(Yeah, sure, political campaign staffers can't dance, dress, or hold their drink very well, but you should hear what they say once they get liquored up. Show up about ten o-clock to see them really get going.)

I'll go. Call my # at the Reader (619-235-3000 ext 421), give me the details.

Hi Josh (and all other San Diego party crashers),

There aren't any details, really. You just show up at Golden Hall, and wander around. When you see someone who supports a candidate (not difficult, they'll be waving signs) ask where the suite is located.

Some of the hospitality suites are right there in Golden Hall, others are across the street at the Westgate.

The quality and quantity of food and drink is enormously variable, ranging from nothing but stale popcorn and burnt coffee to fancy party platters and a full bar. That's one of the interesting bits, wandering around searching out the most generously financed reception.

Now you might have to be a bit, um, flexible.

You see, they'll kinda expect you to be a supporter of the candidate/proposition paying for the goodies.

So wear neutral clothing, and be willing to slap on a campaign sticker or button as you enter a suite. When you leave, take it off to make room for the next party's paraphernalia. For example, Francis and Sanders ought to have competing hospitality suites, and making the mistake of having the wrong name stuck on your shirt might earn you glares rather than free booze.

Do be sure to keep your little "I Voted" sticker on though, and as you enter each doorway, enthusiastically declare "I voted for (fill in the blank)!"

As the evening wears on, you'll see the winners growing more rowdy and the losers more subdued. You'll see shouts and actual jumping for joy, as well as tears and wails of frustration.

Bring a camera.

Generally, the winners provide more booze as they see the votes tallied in their favor, while the losers wind down. Unless you are a morose drunk who loves miserable company, you'll want to gravitate to the winning campaigns.

If you're really lucky, you might even see a shoving match or two. These often involve portly middle-aged men with very red faces, and rarely end in anything approaching real violence. This won't stop the participants from loudly threatening each other with fanciful lawsuits.

No invitation is required. You don't even have to vote or give a damn about the elections. Just show up at Golden Hall on the evening of June 3rd, and join in the fun.

I guess early results should be up shortly after 8 p.m., but things really get going around 10 or 11 when enough precincts have been counted to start calling the races.

See you there.


I get dibs on the Steve Francis suite. For what he's spending on himself, he better have tons of swag.

Fred...nice meeting ya the other night. I was inspired by your well written piece on the W party. So, I added one to my Daily Crasher blog. Enjoy.

I'll have to write up the Election night parties, I suppose, with Josh out of town.

The question is whether I report it straight, or do a satire-goof on the whole spectacle.

What say you, dear Readers?


Fred...I just posted what ya sent me, onto the Daily Crasher blog.

I just hope I don't get a bunch of other people that want to do that.

I know in the past, when I write about a club for a party that I've crashed, my voice mail fills up with other clubs that want me to write about them. They aren't even having parties, they just want the press.

Well, I suppose the Republican Party will be calling you soon, Josh.

R: Josh, why weren't we included in the article? You described the Democrat's platter, but no ours. It's not fair!



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