Parties of trouble
October 23, 2012
Filed under Opinion Columns
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Halloween is coming up, and children across the country begin their plans for costumes and candy. For those of us who have largely outgrown the practice of trick-or-treating, it serves as an excuse to throw a party. College students, especially, use this time of year to have wild nights and do things they will probably regret in the morning. Its not always fun and games though, sometimes things can go wrong. However, if you keep your wits about you and avoid completely abandoning your inhibitions, good times can usually be had. I know this from personal experience. Some of you might not be aware, but relative to most college students, I am an old man with a fair amount of experience under my belt. I have been to my fair share of Halloween parties and I can safely say that most aren't too different from other parties, save for the costumes, atmosphere, and theme. Usually they have been largely unremarkable for me. However, once, a few years ago I went to one that almost became a disaster. The night started out innocently enough. I had gone to this house party with a large group of friends and acquaintances and had spent much of the early evening participating in the typical party activities, a raucous game of beer pong, waiting in line for the bathroom, chatting up random people, waiting in line for the bathroom again, etc. However, the good times quickly came to an end. I didn't really notice the change until I heard a shout from somewhere in the house. Interested, I wandered upstairs (I was in the basement at the time) to see what was going on. When I got to the living room, I joined a large crowd watching something. It quickly became apparent that a fight was going on, and wanting to actually see the two, I pushed forward. I then recognized one of the combatants as a friend of mine, so I advanced with every intention of breaking up the fight or at least backing him up. I never got the chance. By this point the party had gone on for a few hours and evidently the neighbors had made a few noise complaints. A patrol car with two police officers had stopped by, likely with the intention of issuing a warning. They must have caught a glimpse of the fight through the windows, however, because they seemed to bust into the room and told everyone to freeze. Obviously this was the cue for everyone to abandon the party as quickly as possible, since a fair number of partygoers were not exactly of legal drinking age. Thanks to the relatively sobering appearance of police, I was outside in the company of most of the group I arrived with in short order. Unfortunately we quickly realized that one guy was missing. Not wanting to go back into the house to search for him, and not sure if he was there in the first place, we decided to simply head back and hope he made it on his own. However, we were in for one more surprise. While walking past a tree on the way home, we were surprised by the sudden appearance of a figure next to it. It was the missing guy. He had apparently wandered away from the party some time ago and had passed out under the tree. Our voices had woken him up. So we all got home safely that night, without any jail time, and I got a story out of it. Needless to say, however, there weren't any more parties at that particular house.