Tuesday night was the National Night Out. It is supposed to be the time when every neighborhood in the country has a party. Well, that’s not a lofty goal, is it? Being a block captain, it is my job to be in charge of our street’s party during the National Night Out. In past years I’ve organized relay games and made lots of tasty food. Some years several people have come, but most of the time people blow it off. Because who wants to know their neighbors better? What a dumb idea! (Even the two families on the cul-de-sac who had the party going in front of their houses still wouldn’t come out. So we sat and gossiped about them. Take that, anti-social neighbors!)
Last year I bought drinks and asked people to bring their favorite snack to share. We ended up with one watermelon and beer. Lots and lots of beer. Did you know beer is not a drink but a snack food? Me neither. And then everyone was kind enough to insist that I keep all the beer. My cries of, “No, we really, really won’t drink it. Really.” went unheeded. So I just packed it all into the back of the Suburban of the lady who brought the watermelon when she wasn’t looking. Hope she’s not a recovering alcoholic.
This year our party was a dud. As in us and one other family. I can’t say I was disappointed because I was in no mood to throw a party. If you are needing a few tips to have a lame block party, then let me help you out:
–Let procrastination be your guide! Even though you know the party is coming up, wait until four hours before the party to put flyers on everyone’s doors. That way it will be fresh in their minds!
–Make sure it’s on the hottest day of the year. Who doesn’t want to sit outside when it’s 107º (no exaggeration. 107º.) And make it at 7 pm, when the sun is still blazing hot and the shadows are so wacky that the big tent you put up provides no shade.
–August is a great month. It’s perfect to wait until everyone is out of town. (If August doesn’t work, your second choice should be Christmas Day.)
–Make bad food. Popsicles and root beer floats are ideal (especially made with no-name bargain brand products).
–Invite people you don’t actually care about. You could look at it as an opportuity to meet new friends, but it’s really better to think of it as hanging out with people you pretty much never see. This is Suburbia, after all. We prefer to live our desperate lives shut away in silent isolation.
See how easy it is to have a crummy block party? With a little procrastination and apathy, you too can have an evening worth forgetting.