IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT, WHAT KIND OF PARTY…

BEFORE WE CAN wallow our way through the wonderful world of the quintessential party we need first establish a formality or precedent, if you will. Party culture is much akin to the ancient order of the samurai. Under their ritual of tea service, to spill one drop of tea is to diminish the entire ceremony. In my misspent youth a party was only considered a success if Clita H. departed with at least five guys or if Mickey Rose didn’t show up at all. During my time as a married suburbanite our “block parties” were considered only average unless someone spent the night under the mimosa, or Mrs. F. had her neo-cretin son come over to complain; the evening was perfect if you got a slow dance with the postman’s wife from down the street (they later got a divorce).

Since you can’t be all things to all people, the absolute epicurean extravaganza would be impossible. You couldn’t have a party south of Mockingbird Lane because the North Dallas folks don’t know the names of the streets and wouldn’t be able to find their way. To give maximum pleasure to one group you’d have to have a rifle range, a bomb shelter and a place to spit tobacco; others would require a roomful of mirrors to admire their own clothes or special lighting that would highlight pink material but not make the maroon blush or the gold lame blind the guests. No, this invitation business is serious. I once planned a party to which I would only invite people who hated each other: ex-spouses, freshly divorced, and people having affairs with other party-goers’ mates. Unfortunately, it never came off. So who would I invite this time? I like just about everybody except for a smattering of current politicos and moral mesmerizers, so I guess just about everyone would be welcomed.

So on to the party!

You are cordially invited to attend a party limited to 600 diversion-oriented and self-gratifying people. The location will be an old five-story building in the warehouse district, a major commercial endeavor that has fallen prey to automation. Its executive office space on the fifth floor is done in rare woods and includes an executive bathroom featuring Italian marble stalls and multishower accommodations. The bath area, for periodic freshening up, will be attended by delightful old people with great stories of bygone eras and wonderfully warm towels. They will be, at that moment, making more money than they ever have on your handsome tips -given discreetly, of course. At the fireplace you can dry off in preparation for your return to the festivities below.

The party will begin at 6 p.m. on a Saturday, so you can arrive fashionably late at 7:30. The date will be that one evening of the year when the weather is such that you neither sweat in a lavish costume nor get a chill wearing scanty apparel. The party will last until noon Sunday so you might want to take advantage of the free baby-sitting service, featuring registered nurses trained in drama, mime and children’s authors, and possessing a sense of modesty that won’t allow them to go through your things.

There will be extravagant prizes for costumes, various abilities, originality, daring and lack of taste.

Free valet parking will be available, and a small valet gratuity will include a wash and wax during the party. For those with cheap, old or hand-me-down cars, there will be a choice of a chauffeur-driven Mercedes or limo available at the door to pick you up and drive you to your real car at party’s end. Your car will be parked well out of sight of the other guests.



FIRST FLOOR PARTY

A coat and tie will be required (Ladies, no slacks, please) for entry to this party, but you’d want to dress anyway-the party will feature a Dynabusiness costume theme. You can dress for success just like you do at work. Prizes will be given for the perfect business outfit for men and women in the blazer division, Annie Hall division and, of course, polyester easy-care category. To eliminate the possibility of a tie we will have 150 first prizes. Entertainment will include a Wall Street analyst, movies of great old buildings being imploded to disco sounds and great moneyless storytellers from Joe Miller’s. Gift certificates will be awarded for best fraternity and sorority stories, ethnic humor and verified use of parents’ money in starting a new business.

The elevator is operated by a perpetually giggling little person dressed as a leprechaun.



SECOND FLOOR PARTY

As we leave the elevator we are surrounded by gyrating hula girls and boys who shower us with garlands of exotic orchids. If we have chosen the “World War II Hawaiian Sleaze” as our costume motif we are handed a libertine libation of pineapple and a delicate blend of rums and fruit juices created by our imported bar specialist: Kimo .Watanabe.

A row of sunlamps has been placed above soft silk couches overlooking downtown. The not-quite-naked islander of your choice will rub in your tanning oil if you wish. In keeping with the WWII theme, a 15-minute blackout will be imposed on the hour. This gives you a chance to fool around or hula your head off, unseen. Prizes will be given for the most authentic Forties costume and the sleaziest Hawaiian shirt (gutter stains add five points). Two weeks for two in Honolulu will be the grand prize in the Adult Virgin Sacrifice competition, where you simply prove you’re still a virgin. In the event this contest proves impossible we will have a spelling bee using only Hawaiian names.



THIRD FLOOR PARTY

The instant we step onto this floor we realize we’re in a replica of Goya’s Spain. Small campfires arranged around the giant room create a warm glow for the frenzied flamenco dancers as they pound out their stories of humor and sadness. Every seventh guest is arrested by government soldiers and locked away for an hour in a plush dungeon with great-looking peasants who are trying, in the best way they know, for handouts. (The peasant with the most money at the end of the night gets a free Toyota).

As you stroll the area you are invited to try your hand at gypsy knife fights (harmless, of course) in which you hold a bandana in your teeth, leg-of-lamb-devouring contests and petty-theft games. Great casks of fine wine (not Spanish) are at every corner. Large bins of vegetables are available for roasting over the open flames. Patriotic songs are being sung around the fires. The big prize, a trip to the Spanish Riviera, will be awarded to the couple who pulls a giant cannon the farthest across the room.



FOURTH FLOOR PARTY

You’re greeted by an enormous water tank stretching across the room. Each hour there is a Texas Western Water Wonderland Show, featuring stereotypical coed swimmers and golden-guy lifeguards all wearing swimsuits made from the skins of little West Texas range deer. Dancing water fountains work their magic to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas.” A giant mirror reflects the precision swimming of the young people as they form various historical shapes such as the Alamo, the Dallas Skyline with twinkling Reunion Tower and the Houston Ship Channel. As a 16-piece orchestra breaks into the theme from “Giant” the entire troupe swims toward what will be the high point of the show: A finely detailed model of an offshore drilling rig emerges from the water, its lights flashing as tiny helicopters circle above. On the left we see small farm animals: calves, lambs and colts. They join the swimmers in the water, floating securely with their little water wings made of rubber state flags. Suddenly from the right, little animals of the wild follow suit: armadillos, jack rabbits, fawns and tiny foxes all paddle to the music.

As the morning sun spills through thewindows of all the party rooms, thoseasleep on the plush couches are gentlyawakened and offered a morning refresher: steaming coffee, exotic hot chocolates, Bloody Marys or hair of the dog.Nurses are on hand with oxygen.

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