It's not a party, it's a booze buffet

2009-09-11 11:32

At a good party, this is when everybody claps (while a caring friend reaches for the skoppie & broem). Because it's not a party until something's broken – be it a glass, a car window, a heart or just a liver.

Of course, every party's a stage, and all the playas assume their roles like clockwork.*  Meet...

The person with the tequila
Now tequila is meant to be shared. And I have good taste in tequila – so let's just say I'm not just popular at parties for my booty-parts. I remember a guest saying "You're going to kill me!" But I'd also like it on record, for the court, that she didn't say "No." Well, not fast enough. As the person with the tequila, I'd now like to warn future party-givers that having a shot with every single guest is not such a good plan. But it is fun!

The people who arrive drunk
They're pretty fabulous for the first few hours and (provided it's a Friday after-work-drinks thing) you're grateful that despite this party being in Cape Town, someone showed up on time for the alcohol buffet. Later, when they find their favourite ABBA song on your iPod, they're not so cool.

The person with more than one lover in the room
A disclaimer is necessary at this point: my scene is like a nationwide small town, and yes, almost always... circles within circles... clockwise. If you know what I mean. Or anti-clockwise works too, actually, boys, so don't let that direction thing put you off your game.

The person who brings drugs but doesn't share them.
A good strategy in theory, but as all good gangsters know, you can only trust the people who're also dirty. And we all know, friends who drug together, talk a lot together. So they're really easy to spot, especially if you're the host, or if you are hoping they're going to share their drugs with you sometime.

The person who brings drugs and does share them.
A good strategy in theory, but as all good gangsters know, somebody's always going to get assassinated. When your "friends for life"from last night regain consciousness the next afternoon they'll have your name on their lips, as in "*%&^ing-so-and-so..."

The couple that kisses the whole time.
In a word, charming. Unless the ethanol tide unexpectedly turns and they start to fight (see below). Not that they wouldn't be welcome back. It's a party FFS. Shit happens.

The person who comes onto everyone
This person may or may not actually be coming on to everyone, but everyone will say they were trying to, the next morning. Because someone has to fill this role, dammit! Usually the culprit is just so drunk they love everyone intimately and need to tell them "something right now".

The person whose birthday party it also "is"
You don't know this character, but their friend brought them because it's their birthday in the next year and they don't have a party.

The strange person in the pictures afterwards
My party friend Zaid calls these party people "Arbs". Nobody knows them, nobody invited them, nobody remembers them arriving or leaving and nobody ever meets them again – but they show up in the photographs the next day. I'm pretty sure they spend their mornings on the beaches being in other people's holiday snaps.

The people who aren't in the pictures, but were definitely there
One day many years from now, when I'm a senile old lady uploading random comments to twitter from my outdated 2000GB Macbook, people will claim that my oldest friend wasn't at my party. I'll produce the touching card she wrote by hand, but she won't have dated it, and she won't have mentioned my age, because I asked everyone not to. So nobody will believe me and they'll lock me up in a post-apocalyptic old age home with no flushable toilets and strict matrons who wear sea-green overalls. 

The people you possibly forgot to invite
Why? You invited everyone. You thought. But either they've switched social networks, got swine flu and vanished, or had kids and stopped networking at all... or you messed up – big time.

The couple that has a drunken fight
Been there, done that, thrown the glass of red wine all over his white CK T-shirt. Luckily the better half who stays behind is generally the one with nothing to apologise for.

The person who cries although it's not their party
Usually rewarded with hugs, booze, cheese sandwiches - and occasionally sympathy sex (I speak from personal experience, yes.)

The person who goes home with the person they're not meant to go home with
Sometimes this just means by yourself. But usually not. See above.

The person who drives around a lot
Whether this means ferrying someone safely home who swears they "walk here all the time", or collecting someone from a couple-who-had-a-fight from the side of the road, this character's sobriety never gets questioned because their actions never betray their actual lack of it.

The person who calls you the next morning to find out what happened
Except it's usually phrased: "Oh my gaaaaahd. Oh... I'm so glad you phoned back. So you're still talking to... did I puke? On the floor? Toilet? Sink? Oh... not blocked. Ok, thank god. Oh my gaaaaahd. Oh and I woke up in this really ugly coat. Whose is it? What... Oh but it looks great on you..."They think everyone hates them, but actually they're always a source of gratitude – in the "it wasn't me!"sense.

The person who left third-last at 2.16am, but still offers to help clean up in the morning.
This friend is either the Mother Theresa of party life, or the person you've offered unconditional love to in the recent past (but who isn't yet tired of returning it). They are the hero of the day after – not least because they give you an opportunity to offload your privileged "host"gossip to someone you can really, truly trust, face to face, while you share the awful task of pouring warm beers full of cigarette butts and putrefying red wine down the sink. Why did alcohol taste so good at 2am?

The chicken(s)
If anyone wants me to stop having bloody parties, it's not me. It's the chickens. I can hear them rallying: "Barker-barker, barker-barker!"Because every time I have a hangover, a chicken must die the next day. A free range chicken with a lemon in its cavity, fondled with herbed butter, then slow-roasted at 140 degrees for three hours. And it's not just me. Did you know that the average South African ate 22.4kg of chicken in 2006? It's no coincidence that we also party lots.

But as my friend Jeanine says: "No judgies!"

* If the party hat fits, wear it, but due to lack of actors or varying amounts of alcohol, each person may play more than one role, or fewer than one role. Any resemblance to people past, imagined or real is up to you.

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