The Fabulous Life of Pandora: Episode 9

Reason not to have a house party no. 1

In the spirit of cleanliness and with the intention of actually getting back our deposits in the summer, we decided at the start of the year to avoid throwing house parties of any description. We would not invite large numbers of friends – real, and the lesser Facebook variety – wielding buckets of nasty, cheap paint stripper/ Tesco vodka, encourage said friends to down what could only be described as an alcoholic’s nightmare, and play loud dubstep – seriously, what a ridiculous genre of music – until three in the morning. We would not do anything so cool as to transform our small bathroom into the designated Chunder Point, and would certainly never allow lusty, red-faced youths to use the dark corners of the house to proceed to explore the insides of each other’s mouths. With their tongues. Our house, in short, would be an official No Fly Zone, if by “fly” you mean “fun”.

Five months later, and we realised just how truly lame we were being. We had attended a number of excellent house parties involving minimal vomit – if you avoided the dreadful concoctions marketed to gullible partygoers as “punch”, that is. Indeed, what better way is there to prove one’s student credentials than throwing a house party? None, that’s what, and we decided at once that we ought to stop being such complete and utter killjoys and transform our pristine palace – ha! – into a rave worthy of the entire cast of Channel 4’s Skins. It was time to stop being Durham’s biggest “shLASSes” (I honestly have NO idea why anyone would ever use such a term, let alone put “lass” in upper case, but that is how we were starting to be known).

We immediately set about creating a Facebook group for what would surely go down in history as the event of the decade, and chose a suitable event picture, theme and guest list. Entry would be dependent on the suitability of alcohol brought and costume worn. We even toyed with the idea of employing a friend to wait at the door to oversee proceedings – every detail was considered with the greatest of care. A date was agreed upon and fixed – one cannot possibly cancel an event when it has been put up on Facebook, as that would be akin to the breaking of a legal contract. The preparations for our party were set in motion, and the date was strictly set in stone.

The only issue was the fact that we had begun to plan a party that would not be held for another month. In our eagerness to demonstrate our inherent coolness to all our friends and acquaintances, we gave ourselves at least four weeks to organise our event. Normally this would not have been a problem, but I had asked Housemates #1, 2 and 3 to push forward the date of the party so that I would have time to write my numerous summative assignments. Considering my failure to get The Fear until invariably the night before my deadlines – a subject of a previous column of mine – this plan ultimately failed to come into fruition, and I found myself a week before the party with three half-written essays to complete over the course of a single weekend.

After many hours agonising over my dilemma, I decided that the only real option I had was to cancel the party. Of course, this would be a huge blow to the surprisingly high proportion of attendees – it seems as though we had timed the party to occur amidst a complete dearth of frivolity, as everyone with a gram of sense had decided, sensibly, to place themselves under house/ library arrest in order to complete their assignments rather than throw a house party. It came as a shock to Housemates #1, 2 and 3, but they eventually took pity and agreed to do the unthinkable: to break the sacred bonds of the Facebook contract, and indefinitely postpone our beloved event.

What my friends decided to do instead, however, ultimately proved to be my undoing. After an entire week locked in my bedroom with a heaving mountain of books and notes and post-its, I had begun by Friday to go a little insane. The pub started to look like a tempting prospect, and I reasoned that I needed – deserved – a break from the grindstone, and off I went, tracing the scent of my friends and their beer like an alcoholic bloodhound. Unfortunately, after one too many, we relocated to a local bar, where I was all too easily persuaded to move on from there to the DSU. I drank a full £20, and ended up staggering back merrily with my friends at three. The irony the next day hurt far more than my sore head, I can tell you.

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