Party Animal

Man with a springy top hat

Despite my introverted and shy nature, people may be surprised to know that I’m not much of a party animal. I don’t have the natural instinct for merrymaking, an instinct loudly evident in most members of the general population. However, my friends (both of them) assured me that partying could be learned, and unselfishly offered to teach me (for a fee). I don’t know if I learned anything from what they called their “raise the roof” lessons because I usually woke up in my underwear, lying stiff and sore on my concrete bomb shelter floor, surrounded by several empty bottles of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill Wine.

My insufficient partying skills once ruined a surprise birthday party I threw for myself. Looking back, I think I suspected something was up because of all of the party decorations displayed throughout my house, the birthday cake I purchased at Dairy Queen, and the glittery party hat I wore all day with “It’s My Birthday!” written on it.

To make matters worse, I had mistakenly ordered the wrong cake flavor (chili chocolate) and my name on the cake was misspelled (“Dan” spelled with two n’s and a silent k). I tried to act surprised, but I could tell my heart wasn’t into it. Not only did the shindig flop because of my lousy attitude and preparation, but also from relatively few guests (none).

A short year later, I was ready to try again. I accepted an invitation to a Halloween party from a coworker who was actually extending an invitation to another coworker at the time. But I was squatting close behind them, clearing a paper jam in the copier and could hear where and when the party was being held. Since I could wear a costume and attend incognito, I thought, “Sounds fun! Count me in!” as I RSVP’d using ESP.

I arrived at the party wearing a surgical mask and scrubs, looking like the male keyboard player in Prince’s “1999” video. I grabbed some punch and meticulously implemented a technique I haphazardly concocted on the spot called the “single mingle.” The method involved me standing around and watching other people talk, occasionally catching someone’s eye (by waving) and giving them a big thumbs up. This eventually led to me slow dancing seductively in a dark corner alone.

Before the night was over, though, I became the life of the party…or, rather the giver of life. Because of my medical themed costume, I was forced to perform CPR on an unconscious vampire. I ended up in the ambulance helping with an emergency tracheotomy to remove the fake fangs the vampire had accidentally swallowed, which were blocking and biting the inside of his neck.

Recently, my inner party animal has gained confidence and I feel it’s time for me to let loose again. I want to invite everyone to my polka party celebrating the end of my male menopause (featuring one-man Craigslist band, Polka Shane). Let’s raise the roof at the bomb shelter!