Cal just can’t tell a story. No matter how many bladdy-blu’s you throw in there, it doesn’t make it informative, nor does it make beetles shoot out of your nose. I alone exist to provide those things to the world.
For those that don’t know, I was in The City this weekend on a vacation. A Cal Vacation. He took me to all places «Cal» in the city: his favoritest coffee shop, book store, and exotic pet store (JELLYFISH! LOBSTERS! ~AS PETS!) We also went to The Mint, where I retained the Bust-A-Move crown and may nearly have convinced everyone that I was a Michael Jackson-ized Young M.C. But the moments that stand out, for me, were those from 1am-ish until 4am-ish when I was at the greatest party in my life. Non-qualified. The Pig Pinata party, Whazzgiving 2003, the first Wrestlemania party (AUSTIN V. ROCK!), and various other pay-per-view Nonsense Extravaganzas stand out as Top 5 contenders, but this party takes the crown for the sheer sense of surreality that pervaded the evening. Ever wanted to feel as if you were living in an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force? You would have loved to have been there. ONWITHTHESHOW!
As the party at The Mint wound down, Sam told us she knew about a warehouse “6am Party” goings on somewheres in The City. I grabbed Cal and we dove into a random car that would ultimately lead us deep into the heart of… DUNH DUNH DUHHHHHHH: Hunter’s Point. This is a journey into the worlds most largest and notorious projects. Sam told us with a serious dose of seriousness to, “lock your doors, now.” We complied.
The only sound accompanying our ascension up the steps into an old, huge warehouse was the far-off thumping of bass and a very mean-sounding dog barking furiously in the inky blackness. Whether the dog was mad at homies invading his warehouse turf or mad that he wasn’t invited with other, meaner-looking dogs we’ll never know.
As soon as we entered the building my spidey-sense started tingling. Everyone at the party (at that point) was dressed in suits or tuxedos. They all looked at us with disdain as we entered. I carefully laid my coat near the door and pulled Cal aside.
I told him “This is not a party we’re supposed to be at. Keep your shit close at hand in case we get kicked out.” He protested, but I simply said that in case shit went down, he would be well to know where his coat was.
We were welcomed by some woman in a ball gown, who directed us to a kitchen with 100+ bottles of booze and ice chests full of… well… ice. The woman who invited us (Sam’s friend) had brought a case of Corona, so I had one of those.
It’s very hard to describe the enrvironment, but I’ll give her a shot. A really huge second floor of a warehouse. Very nice hardwood floors, with Japanese screens separating out roomish-areas. A large dance floor, a large room with only a holiday light-decorated ping pong table, a kitchen, an old-timey bathroom with free-standing tub, and stairs that went up to a kind of suspended deck that hung over the rest fo the room with no walls surrounding it. It appeared that the hanging room was the bedroom. Lighting was nice, and they had crammed what was seriously a 20 foot version of Charlie Brown’s shitty Xmas Tree in there with the same shitty (on purpose), sparsely decorated feel. At the peak I would say there were upwards of a hundred people there, but the crowd ebbed and flowed. I had the feeling there were secret parts of this mystery house that people were disappearing off to, but never directly saw anyone pull a book off the bookshelf and have it spin around to admit them to a lair, hallway, or lab.
So far you may be saying to yourself, “So what, Zach went to some rich guy’s 2 million dollar studio apartment. What’s so great about that?” When Munch painted the bridge in The Scream, an innocent observer may have derisively commented, “Oooh, he’s painting a bridge. How “crazy”! How avant-garde! No one’s gonna remember this shit in the morning.” Now, like Munch, I say to you “Eat shit and die. If you don’t like my stories go to http://www.crabapples.com and read about crabapples you asshole.”
Anyways, we sauntered over to the dance floor and they had some pretty good hip-hop on so we were getting jiggy and all that shit. Yes, even Cal. Especially Cal! I gave him a dance lesson: step 1.) it’s all in your shoulders. step 2.) except when it’s in your hips. Sam then pointed out that two of the women there were way into capoeira. They were all over the place in their nice evening-wear. Sam said they would usually be doing the kicks along with it, but since they had dresses on they probably wouldn’t. Extremely awesome to watch anyways. Floor show: check.
Shortly after that, we were all getting funkdified and such when attention turned to the movie being projected on the wall of the warehouse. It was 15 feet wide, so kinda hard to miss. All of a sudden, the movie that people weren’t really paying attention to turned into a scene where a woman and a man were having sex, missionary-style. Then the man grabbed a chicken and attempted to cram the chicken in between him and woman while they went at it. The chicken was going nuts and flapping everywhere. The woman was screaming (though I only surmise at the “screaming” because I was reading the subtitles) “Chickens! My god!” Just when it seemed like the shock had worn off, another chicken flew into frame as if thrown, and the man grabbed that chicken by the neck and looked like he was trying to force it INTO the woman if you know what I mean. Chickens were flapping and pecking like mad. The woman and man were both bleeding everywhere from where they had been pecked. I looked around the room and then noticed that the… entire… party… had ground… to… a… halt. Everyone was staring at this display of craziness. The music was still booming in the background, but almost all time had ceased to flow. Shocking moment: check.
Shortly after that I excused myself to the bathroom. The bathroom door had no lock. As a matter of fact, the door didn’t close in the conventional sense. If you closed it, it would just swing open again. Kind people in suits and tuxes held the door closed so their friends could go wee wee without being seen by everyone. I did not have a suit on, ergo I had no friends in the bathroom line. I just peed with everyone chatting in plain view. On the back of the toilet was a sign that said, “One square per person, no toilet paper available.” At that point (maybe 1:30am) there looked to be only about 10 squares left. Someone had written an addendum to the effect: No Pooping.
As I exited the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of a naked guy. My imeddiate thought: “Holy Shit, some guy got naked. They’re gonna throw this guy out of here.” Oh, how little did I know. My next thought: “The naked guy is playing an ALTO saxophone.” My next thought: “He’s pretty good tootin’ on that thing.” For the next little while the party was abuzz with talk of Naked Guy. All he had on was a bow-tie. Oh yeah, and he was about 60 years old. And waxed from head-to-toe. And pierced. Just trying to establish the scene for you. It was around this time that we collectively noticed that no one in the suits or tuxes seemed particularly perturbed by the state of things. The ratio of unclothed-to-clothed at a party is typically 0, so any deviation from that is cause for excitement (definitely) and alarm (perhaps). The guy was playing his tunes and people were having conversations with him just as if everything was right as rain, the bees knees, and all those other sayings. I happened to be walking past a suit-covered gentlemen who was talking about the naked guy. “Wow,” I interjected, “What’s up with that guy?” The man gratefully explained “what’s up with that guy.” I’ll try to paraphrase his explanation.
Oh yeah, that’s just John (not real name). This is his eleventh year doing that. When he got here earlier tonight he asked if he could get naked yet. We told him to wait until later. It was pretty funny, the first year we had this party was down on Ocean Beach. It was cool, all the surfers came over and joined the party and we had a bonfire. Then John got out of his clothes and started playing his saxophone. The last thing I remember of the night was the cops busting up the party, and John running away from the cops up the beach, waving his saxophone in the air.
Case closed. Naked Guy was a beloved fixture of this social group. It was easy to accept; all I did was skew my temporal worldview to include naked musicians and everything was back to “normal.” Naked alto saxophone player: check.
Shortly after that conversation a woman in an evening gown showed up with her white pit bull on a choke chain. It rambled around the party and licked beer off the floor. From what I remember, it’s nipples were fucking gigantic. The dog’s, not the woman’s. Random pit bulls at swank affairs: check.
Then The Speech started.
Apparently, we were at the holiday party for either the most insane or coolest (maybe both) company on earth. Part of the evening was to be a speech by the CEO/Founder/Maybe the janitor. Let me now set THIS SCENE up. They brought out a ladder, and set it up right in front of the wall where they were projecting the movie. A guy with a suit and long kinda scraggly beard put on a headband with a flashlight and ascended to the top. He sat on the ladder and told us matter-of-factly it would be a long speech. And then he launched into a LONG SPEECH. I stood and listened to the whole thing, and for this reason: this guy was apparently the leader here, and he had arranged an awesome party. Whether or not it cost him a jillion dollars was beside the point, he hadn’t thrown me out when I walked in with jeans and polo to his swank affair. He deserved my attention. So he started blathering on about “Number FOUR: Jim is cool!” and whenever he raised to toast to one thing or another, I dutifully raised my glass and yelled, “To BLAH!” Cal was standing next to me and he started to get cranky. “This speech is boring,” he said to me. Then he turned his ire on the speechmaker, shouting “BOO!” I grabbed him by the arm and asked if he’d like to get atacked by a pit bull and then thrown out in the rain. I threatened him that I’d punch him if he didn’t shut up and let this modern-day Jesus give his speech. I swear to god, if Cal would have been at the Last Supper he would have sat in the back pouting until Jesus was saying, “And my body is bread, and my blood in wine and stuff–” when he started yelling, “BOO! Jesus, you are soooo boring!” Then Jesus probably would have crossed his arms, I Dream of Jeanie-style, and turned Cal into a salamander. Anyways, I quietly yelled at Cal until he went over by Sam, who was standing far from the speech. Then he came over by me and booed again and I punched him.
Oh yeah, and while all this is going on; while the speech is being made, and people are toasting, and Cal is complaining about the Length of the Speech, Naked Musician is flanking the ladder as if he is the honor guard, and every time Jesus uses a rhetorical flourish in his speech, Naked Musician lets loose with a alto sax improv routine. doodle-doodle-doo! Oh yeah, and the whole time of the speech he’s bouncing up and down ont he balls of his feet, so his donger is waggling around. Best Speech Ever That I Didn’t Know One Major Point Being Made Due To Threatening Cal, The Platform The Speech Was Made On, The Accompanying Music, and Other: check.
Shortly after that we left. We got about half block away in the car when Sam turned around and said, “That was a pretty cool party. Let’s go back in.” Sam’s friend and I were enthusiastic, but Cal was monstrously against this idea. He started coming up with any and all excuses to leave. I jumped out of the car, ran around in the rain, and did a dance, but instead of convincing him to come back in, Cal only yelled at me to, “Shut up and get back int he car.” I obeyed, because by this time I’d had about a liter of vodka and several beers. As soon as we were speeding back through Hunter’s Point, I was passed out. Jostled awake at Cal’s house, I mumbled something to Sam, went inside, and slept the sleep of the damned on Cal’s couch. He woke me up 6 hours later with a text message from his bedroom to the living room:
From: Cal Hedling
Hey hey hey!