King's Eye Land: Life full of experiences helps throw good, successful parties

In the interests of not wasting precious beer time, here's a short list of party killers. These things have been the undoing of many a party. Don't let them ruin yours.

Sausage-fests or Tupperware parties: There is nothing worse than arriving at a party and finding that the crowd's gender dial is set to "mono." Invite a diverse crowd and, if you are having trouble getting girls to show up, promise a showing of "Grease."

Paying for beer: Chipping in for beer is one thing. Trying to turn a profit on your guests is another. Guests should expect to pay for beer, not put you through school. Don't try charging more than $5 a head or you'll end up drinking that Icehouse by yourself. (If that is your desired result, I applaud you for your courage.)

Poor beer selection: Expensive does not always mean good. (For an example, try Rogue Old Crustacean. My sources tell me it tastes like a dead body.) Find out what people like before you get beer. Don't blindly get Busch Light and tell people, "That's the beer. Sorry if you don't like it." Remember, there are 419 bars in the Village and another 927 liquor stores within walking distance of campus. People will leave if you don't give them a reason to stay. Being "cool" is not a reason.

Big dogs: Some guy with a Jeep will bring a huge, annoying dog named "Lars" or "Sampson" or "Marvin." This dog will bark at everyone, end up locked in a room, and relieve itself wherever it pleases. People will still pet this dog.

No food: I love stepping out for LaBamba as much as the next drunk, but don't make your guests leave to get food. They might not come back, or worse, they may take all the girls with them when they go. Have something for people to eat. Guinness does not count.

Acoustic guitars: A sensitive guitar guy shows up and thinks your party is his "gig." He takes out a guitar and starts playing Eagles covers. Then he takes requests. He plays Dave Matthews' "Crash Into Me" and distracts your girlfriend. He plays Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville" and starts a lethargic sing-a-long. Just when you think he's done, he busts out Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." You know this guy. You've seen this guy. I've been this guy for years. You hate me. I don't care.

Poor ventilation: Someone will smoke in your house, no matter how big you make the sign telling people not to do so. As a result, non-smokers will not be able to breathe. Open a window and use a fire hose if necessary.

Fights: The idea is to have a good time, not kill over who has your car keys (you left them in the bathroom, moron). Don't fight, just cool out and show your love to each other or something.

Bad Music: The B-52s' "Love Shack" is a party staple that will not go away, ever. I could be at a party on Venus and hear it. Upside: people will dance. Downside: you will not in any way hop in a Chrysler that's as big as a whale.

Cops: Nothing can make world-class sprinters out of us all like those flashing lights. Luckily, some of us older folks don't have to run anymore. For the under-21 crowd, serve Kool-Aid. Older people: don't warn anyone by shouting, "Cops!" This impedes racing excitement.

I've seen these things. I've lived these things. By giving you this list, it is my way of showing I care. Please party safe, but hard.

Write to John at


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