Sunday, July 16, 2006

Season of the BBQ

In the last week, I've attended three seperate barbecues...and the pace looks like it's going to hold until either the snow comes or I get a girlfriend.

Bet your hand accordingly.

The first affair was one I hosted, actually, the first of a series of Wednesday night barbecues that should keep up through the end of the summer, or until the numbers get down low enough to offset the cost-profit ratio. Ultimately I'd like to name each event after a special person. For example, two weeks ago we held the "Bob-a-cue", in honor of birthday boy Bob Leeper. In future events I'd like to honor such luminaries as Ralph Macchio or Richard Simmons, and fill the scene with elements indicative of their presence--such as my Karate Kid T-Shirt ("Sweep the Leg") or my lifesize Richard Simmons cardboard cut-out.

But Wednesday's affair had no such theme...perhaps that's why the female-to-male ratio was about 1-to-5. If it weren't for my (now) longtime friend Ashlie coming with roommate in tow, my poor sister would have been the sole female representation, and the sole recipient of what surely would have degenerated into a machismo-centric barrage of dirty jokes and offensive noises.

Thanks, Ashlie.

We're hoping for bigger numbers this week.

Saturday night's BBQ was a bit more planned, and in fact was the second of a now yearly event hosted by ex-32nd Ward EQP Bryan Hill up in Kaysville. It was well-attended, had some good food, and managed to surpass the "typical" event status that most such activities deliver these days. I would have felt more upbeat about the affair if my wingman hadn't ditched out on me and turned my attempt to contact one girl from a group discussion into an uncomfortable third-wheel debacle.

Thanks, Jesse.

The event that not only took the cake this week, but ate it too, was the house party on Capitol Hill Friday night. Thanks to social network guru Steve Read (he of the Steve Read Memorial River Trip), my roommates and I joined an event that had to have featured upwards of 3-400 people. I'm not even kidding. At one point my friend Les and I camped out next to a major backyard thoroughfare and just people-watched for about a half hour. The design of the backyard itself confined traffic into a U-shaped formation, and so everyone had to keep moving through the same point in order to get anywhere during the party.

Some highlights:

1. I wouldn't be surprised if the total age range for the event (not including host parents) was about 17-40. Seriously. When we first got there, the pack of high school aged guys standing around the entrance text messaging almost convinced us that we were at the wrong venue. But after standing around in the road for a bit, we decided to re-enter...and proceeded to find a human feeding frenzy inside that spanned the aforementioned age range. As my friends Jared and Alicia instructed us, the farther we got from the grill, the older people got.

2. This age range was offset slightly by the host parents, who rather than camp out downstairs and watch TV while waiting for the deck to collapse, instead worked the crowd like Colonel Parker himself, giving hugs, filling (non-alcoholic, I think) drinks, and having a swell old time. The mom was a social butterfly that seemed to have made tanning a way of life; the dad's resemblance to Harry Anderson of "Night Court" was uncanny.

3. The centerpiece of the party was the backyard pool, mostly frequented by a parade of dudes that spent most of their time playing a version of jamball on the plastic pool basketball hoop. But above the pool on the south end, the party organizers had mounted a 20-foot projector screen that was running a surfing documentary on loop. The sound was turned off on the movie, enabling us to combine the bizarre scene in the pool with the movie, all to the soundtrack of contemporary hip-hop that blasted from the stereo system on the deck. It was kind of like a 2006 version of those weird Andy Worhol orchestrated acid trip Velvet Underground shows from 1967.

4. Not long after arriving, many partygoers were entertained by the streaker that decided to grace the pool area after a full-sprint run from elsewhere on the property. Said streaker turned out to be an acquaintance of my friend Ness, who had agreed to the stunt when a third party offered to pay him $500 to go au natural. Heck, for $500 I'd consider it. I think a real pro would just do it on his/her own.

5. Towards the end of the festivities, a third "over 40" fellow joined the party, arriving in sun glasses and shark hat around midnight. Shark Guy's hat consisted of a black headband with attached shark head, tail, and dorsal fin. Like I said, I don't think anyone was drinking at this party--all I saw were Sprite's, Dr. Pepper's, and Mountain Dew's--but I'm not sure I'd wager a taco on it. To tell the truth, I think any party that manages to feature a surfing documentary, a streaker, the judge from "Night Court", and some 60-year-old in a shark hat without alcohol is an event for the archives.

...or at least for the blog.