Reading the following paragraphs by any persons who is likely to turn 18 in the next 4 years or who is parenting someone who might turn 18 ever, will be disturbing. If your embarrassed or offended by sex and/or violence, you should also refrain from reading this. I’m writing this on the evening after my oldest sons’ 18th Birthday party, as I think this is an event needs some description as warning to others.
It was about 2 months ago that Stuart first mentioned that he was going to have a party for his 18th birthday. It was about 59 days later that it dawned on me that, for 18 read 21 in olden days terms.. This meant a party with booze, women, booze, loud music, booze, women, and of course booze. All of this was at my house. and of course I was not invited???? What also dawned on me was an expectation I’m buying all the booze with a smile?
I conjured up pictures of drunken fools rolling all over the place, emptying the contents of their stomachs at various locations and times anywhere and nowhere in particular. Couples in little secret groups, groping and groaning. emotional spats, drunken fights, broken furniture and fighting, weeping girls holding long conversations in toilets, just like the parties when I was that age, that is everybody really enjoying themselves.
You can imagine that my wife and I were just a little nervous about this event. Having lived such sheltered teenage years ourselves. Well as you know, nothing is really as bad as you imagine, What was the saying, “Things could get worse and they did?”.
By way of explanation, we have a big double garage converted into a rumpus room built by some earlier moronic owner without teenage kids. We had arranged to put up streamers, balloons and coloured lights. The party was on Friday night, and the parents, us had knocked off work a little earlier to help son set up the room with the stereo and decorations etc. Fat waste of time. Son had taken off with his two girlfriends shopping. (The two girlfriends is a whole story in its self and not the subject of this dissertation, a tale best told when we are all drunk.)
My young daughter offered a little help, but she had three girlfriends turn up, and three or four boys, they lost interest in the project pretty early. The boys were mainly pissed, remember this was about 5pm in the afternoon after a day at school. We were not planning on guests arriving until about 8pm.
Father and Mother plugged on sorting the room out until about 6.30 when the prodigal son arrived with his two friends in tow. They were just a little mystified as to why we had decorated the wonderfully bare brick walls and concrete floor of the rumpus room with streamers, coloured lights, and balloons but to keep the olds happy they politely put up with it.
Around 7.30 my son moved the booze outside, people started to arrive and the wife and i retire to the office to watch telly and huddled up in our shawls sipping sherry, or what ever old farts do now. We had hardly had time to get engrossed in the movie of the week, the “Sound of Music”, when there was the loud noise of shattering glass. Girls were screaming , guys yelling, the doors were knocking. I nervously peeked my head outside. A pimply faced 12 stone male youth with a blond shaven head leapt into my arms crying in drunken tears.
“I am sorry Harley’s Dad, I will pay for it really, and I will be around first thing in the morning and pay for it. Please don’t call the Police” At this stage I still did not know what went wrong, my mind was racing and I was busily looking around. The car was safe, the sliding doors appeared intact. Then I spotted the outside light above the rumpus room was a great deal brighter than it used to be. Now either the kids had become really house proud and cleaned the glass shade so that their guests would be impressed with how clean our house was or the shade had disappeared all together. I cynically guessed the latter. Supporting this theory is the sight of about half a dozen kids crawling around on their hands and knees picking up lumps of glass.
I comprehended immediately, and in my most compassionate and fatherly voice, I looked the nervous youth tenderly in the eyes and said
“Fuck Off”. He understood my subtle phrases and all was cool.
We settled back down in the office in our rocking chairs and continued to watch the TV.
“Doe a deer a female deer, Far a long long way to go” etc etc etc .
We had just tuned our ear trumpets in when there was a panic knocking on the door.
“Mum Mum help!!!!! we have run out help.”
The voice was the birthday boy himself, I looked at my watch, 8.30pm. God have they finished all that booze already. Mother went to check as I was gibbering in the corner.
It turns out thank God, the issue was only the lack bog rolls. Mother instantly became a maid putting on her best Sadie smock and went to do cleaning duties in the dunny. She came back triumphant. She had found a chocolate peppermint still in its sterile foil wrapper.
“Luv, what flavour is Durex?” she innocently asked. Blood vessels burst up and down my neck and I went and sobbed in the corner.
“My daughter is out there” I kept repeating.
Mother decided to return her find to its rightful owner. She gave it to birthday boy with a wink (Remembering the two ladies he is entertaining). He stood on the balcony and yelled .
“Anybody lost this?”
He was nearly trampled in the rush as teenage girls tried to grab the chocolate peppermint for their own.
The evening progressed from here, with just the usual couples in little secret groups, groping and groaning, emotional spats, drunken fights, broken furniture and fittings, weeping girls holding long conversations in toilets, and everybody really enjoying themselves.
Woken at midnight, my car keys thrust in my hand and carried by two large teenage lads muttering,
“More Booze”. The order is to take them to the nearest dairy where I bought them more beer, and I was given a bottle of really good Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 for $4.95.
When we got back from the booze rescue mission, the next surprise I get is that the “Guys” would be staying the night.
“Ah, how many of them,” I asked expectantly
“All of them” was the astonished reply.
“Oh of course I have plenty of room for 40 people, I will go and get the spare single mattress for them to sleep on”
At this stage, it was way past our bed time. mother and father made a nice hot cup of Horlicks and went to bed.
Morning broke with the gentle sound of birds in the trees, and the sun peeking its way through the curtains. We emerged from our room and realised that we had not been dreaming, the horror had actually taken place. Draped around our furniture like washing in a one bed room flat, bodies are everywhere. It’s time for a head count. I was a coward and went back to bed with a nice cuppa tea and the newspaper while my wife got on with the real ugly work or finding out who slept with whom and where.
First call, daughter’s room. Good she was in bed (On her own.)
Second call. Middle sons room. Oh no there was a female in his bed, oh that’s right he went out for the night. Phew ! of course they are good kids brought up right.
Third call, Stuarts room. Ah good lad in his own bed. I had better tuck up his six feet, they will get cold. SIX feet!!!!, 4 with painted toes and two with hairy ankles???. Like I said good kids brought up right.
“Good morning Stuart, how are you” Mother asks. ‘
“Great Mum” comes the answer in triplicate, falsetto mixed with baritone.
“Would you like a nice cuppa tea”
Cleaning up was a carbon copy of setting up. Everybody disappeared and Mum and Dad toiled away. The rumpus room was full of half empty cans with cigarettes floating in them, food ground into the floor and unnameable substances spilt on the floor.
Items found by the cleaners included : 1 Jacket, 3 Lighters, 1 Bra, 1 Chocolate Peppermint wrapper opened, and the contents of the chocolate peppermint wrapper. (Used),
The rest of Saturday was spent taking the waste to the tip and enrolling Stuart as a fully fledged member of the Working Mans Club. He drank coke for his initiation ceremony. wimp.