Where the Wild Things Are

January 16, 2008 at 6:33 am (Uncategorized)

Tell me something. Why is this kid who had the party that got out of control attracting international news media…? I must be missing something. I’ve been trying to ignore this story for days, but since it’s (bizarrely, given the state of the world) still topping online news headlines, I can no longer maintain my silence. Here is what I have to say:

Huh?

What 16 year old kid when left home alone doesn’t blatantly disregard the long list of parental instructions about what not to do whilst their parents are away and clearly having a much better time without them? It’s been happening through the ages, or at least since I started watching teen movies. Oh yes, and then there was that one minor incident that got me – yes, yours truly – kicked out of home aged 15. Ah yes. I’d almost forgotten about that.

I never intended to have a big party. I can’t talk for Corey or Cody or whatever “Party Boy” is called, maybe he did invite several schools and the members of at least one Leagues Club to come doof doof in his hood, but I really only meant to have a small gathering. With my friends. No strangers. Certainly no police, no angry neighbours, no broken windows, no cigarette burns in the carpet, no teen sex in the beds, and, ultimately, no roof over my head, but I got all these things and so much more than I bargained for when my totally obvious, predictable and somewhat inevitable idea first hatched.

I still remember the name of the guy from the boys’ school who spread the word. This was pre-email, you have to understand, pre-MySpace, pre-Facebook, and pre-mobile ‘phones. I still owned cassette tapes and we all still thought CDs were indestructible. It was about halfway through 1988, it must have been because I was still 15. Anyway, this guy, who really always had a bloody big mouth, told everyone that there was a party on at my place because my father and his girlfriend were away.

And it’s true that I invited my friends to come and get drunk at my house that fateful Saturday night. Indeed I did. An innocent victim I was not. But I had no idea – absolutely no idea – what hit me that night. It was some kind of gatecrashers’ paradise.

I got a warning from one of my friends on the afternoon of the party that people were coming. Lots of people. People whose numbers I didn’t have even if I’d wanted to call it all off. Which, let’s be honest, I probably didn’t. All of a sudden I was poised for my first big party, my social debut as a hostess, and it looked like my party, my little gathering, was about to kick arse. I don’t think I even thought of cancelling the whole thing and boarding up the windows. But what I did do was phone the properly grown-up daughter of my father’s girlfriend and ask for her help. She agreed to come over and keep it under control and bounce people out of there as required, which she did, and thank goodness, too.

But it wasn’t enough. It was a very small house on a rather major road, so once there were about 150 people there, the situation was both very public and very quick to escalate into something it was never supposed to be. We didn’t attract a helicopter or anything like the 500 or so rumoured guests at Corey or Cody’s little soiree, but there were three police cars, some theatrical mooning, and quite a lot of urination on various adjoining lawns.

We had a big, friendly Maori guy living next door at the time, and I ran over there to get him the second – truly the second – I realised Cathy (the grown up) and I could not stem the flow. He was awesome, he started bouncing arses out of there like he was skimming stones on a lakeshore. But once they were out, where did they go? Nowhere. People just congregated out the front and down the side and up the back. Bottles were smashed. And a window. The ejected people got angry.

You know, one of my best friends from school ended up marrying and having children with the guy, a friend from the boys’ school, she hooked up with for the first time that night. For years and years and years later, he always mentioned the party whenever we saw each other. “I loved your party,” he said. “That was such a great party.”

I think it was, but it gave my father the ammunition he’d been waiting for to boot me. Finally, I’d given him a reason. Until that night, I’d kept my nose pretty damn clean in the 3 years I’d lived with him. I had a part-time job, I did well in school, I had nice friends, and I was even extremely neat. But then came the fateful day I ignored the fact that he expressly forbade me to have a party whilst I was home alone. For my father, the party proved to be a gift too good to ignore. I’d brought it on myself, and now he could wash his hands of me.

I don’t like thinking about the day they got back. I don’t like thinking about what happened when the three of us stood in my room that final time, or about what was said. I don’t like thinking about what they did to all my stuff, or about the slow, stunned, uphill walk to my best friend’s flat to tell her I had nowhere to go. That’s all a long time ago now. I was only 15, and 20 more years have gone by since then. None of that matters anymore.

It’s curious, though. No one from the media arrived to hear my story or offer me a job or invite me to speak on national radio. I was not an instant celebrity, and I certainly didn’t make headlines around the world. But that party did change my life. And even when the worst thing happened, it turned out to be the absolute best thing that had ever happened, and if I had my time over, you bet. You bet I’d have that party again, and fuck it, this time everyone’s invited.

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2 Comments

  1. Jac said,

    one thing’s for sure – you would have been a hell of a lot more interesting in the public eye than Snorey Corey.

    thanks for sharing your story. i had one of those parties. it involved signs up on the railway stations. and a girl temporarily stopping breathing on the back lawn and needing resus. and vomit on my folks’ leather sofa. and my childhood’s worth of plant collection ending up in the bottom of the pool. and hurriedly hiding everything of any value at all under the sink when i realised how many people were turning up. and my friend losing her virginity on the bonnet of my dad’s car. and several other people jumping up and down on my boyfriend-at-the-time’s car. and having to chop up and dispose of cigarette-scarred outdoor furniture, corpselike, piece by piece in other people’s bins.

    worth it? dunno. but i regret the lies i told afterwards. to this day, i’m still not sure what my parents do and don’t know. and they keep insisting that an outdoor setting comes with SIX chairs, not five. they’re absolutely right.

  2. doctordi said,

    Wow, Jac, sounds like you were in a parallel party universe! In fact, you might even get the coveted Orchy trophy for the near-dead girl. I doff my cap.

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