Ryan Chartrand

I like to think that the fundamental reason we go to parties is to share a drink and a hearty laugh with our good friends while sharing the floor with new faces that are just as fun and exciting – a panacea of sorts to a rough week at the office. Unfortunately, not all parties have such a cheery atmosphere and instead turn out to be the biggest nightmare of the weekend.

Here’s a tale of one particular party that was supposed to turn out oh-so-awesome, but went from sweet to shit in a hurry.

The names have been excluded to protect the drunk and stupid.

Last year I had a group of friends that liked to throw some pretty wild parties. I don’t know how they got away with it considering they lived on the second floor of an apartment complex facing a busy street, but landlords and cops tended to keep their noses out of it.

Maybe it was because the parties they threw, although packed like a sardine can with enough music and commotion to rival a dance hall, were actually quite tame in hindsight. No one got into fights, the wrong girl’s butt wasn’t grabbed, nobody threw up in the closet, etc, etc. No matter how many people showed up to these parties, everyone behaved as well as inebriation would allow for.

Then there was that night.

My friends decided that the usual crowd, though large and diverse, were becoming too mundane so they needed to spice things up with some new faces. Word went out on the streets to anyone and everyone, that my friends were going to have a massive party at their apartment with a DJ, a couple of kegs, a Beirut table – the whole shebang.

The party started out amiable enough – some new faces showed up and they were cool when you had the chance to strike up a conversation – but when shady unknowns began lurking up to the apartment by the carload and filtering into the pad without a quick check to make sure they were legit, that’s when things started to go awry.

When characters walk through your door looking like glorified gangster pimps, riled-up country hicks, anemic and sun-deprived emo brats, or permutations of the three, you know the shit is going to hit the fan sooner or later.

Like rival predators, there’s no way these types can coexist in this close proximity. It’s not in their nature. And were they ever close – the living room (dance floor) and the kitchen were packed tighter than two titties in a push-up bra.

When the DJ announced that he was going to take a quick bathroom break, some buck circumvented the turntables and popped Andre Nickatina’s heavily played-out “Hell’s Kitchen” album into the stereo. As soon as “Ayo” began blasting out of the stereo, dudes and divas had their hands to the sky shouting, “Ayo fo’ yayo.”

Like I said, the living room was packed so tight that when one couple would bump and grind it would cause the people surrounding them to sway and vibrate like a human Jell-O mold.

I happened to be in-between the kitchen and the living room (a sort of neutral zone) looking back and forth to the kitchen to watch some dude botch chugging a beer funnel, and back to the dance floor where I witnessed the spark that ignited one hell of a flame.

Apparently, one of the gangster-pimps was getting freaky with a girl that wasn’t having it, and after her protests became more vocal and violent, a roughneck stepped in between to share some words with the jersey-clad groper.

Obviously this “gangsta” wasn’t taking too kindly to what the roughneck had to say, and before you could sing the chorus of Andre Nickatina’s “Crack Raider Razor,” the hip-hopper threw a right jab into the roughneck’s face.

The next thing I knew, a fight broke out that I could only describe as the live-action interpretation of a ravenous cancerous growth – it literally escalated from the center of the room into a complete living room brawl.

It became so surreal for me, being caught in the hallway, because as the living room was escalating into a violent mess, the kitchen was still jovial with the sounds of laughter and the simultaneous ‘crack’ of beer cans popping open for a chugging contest.

The highlight for me was when the DJ walked out of the bathroom and into the foray. From across the hall I saw him take one look at the mess that broke out in front of his turntables and raise his hands as if to say, “F*** this. I’m out of here.”

My friends eventually took control of the situation in the living room, but the fight wasn’t over yet. The crowd simply took the brawl out into the street. As I looked out over the porch balcony, I witnessed one guy get slammed into the ground with such sickening force that the turntables upstairs could have skipped a beat.

If that wasn’t horrible enough, I walked back into the kitchen to find a heavily intoxicated and confused young man, with a look of blissful relief on his face, using the vegetable tray in the refrigerator as a urinal.

But the pinnacle of this good time gone bad came in the form of a couple of guys who had used the kitchen balcony as their toilet of choice, which just so happened to hover over my friend’s brand new Lexus IS300.

It was a clear night after all, so to see a car completely drenched was an odd sight – that and the humanly impossible amount of barf that was splattered all over the trunk of the car. The belly confetti would have been enough to make even Jackson Pollock proud.

In the end, the cops came to clear out the place, passing out citations all around, and what was once a chill place to wild out with a shred of responsibility was no more than a musty, beer-soaked disaster scene. The apartment became a high priority on the local police’s “creep” list afterwards, in effect killing any chance for future parties.

So if you are lucky enough to have or know of a place that allows you to throw away some of your inhibitions without stressing over shady characters, the police, or eviction notices, keep it as legit and as tame as drunkenly possible.

Make sure that the people coming over know not to get too unruly, and always have someone at the front door to give new people the once-over, because the last thing you want to have happen is for “Streets of Rage” to unfold on your living room floor or for the Garbage Pail Kids to use your entire house as a giant urinal.

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