Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Busted!

Surfer Guy (aka my husband) had a birthday Sunday that we celebrated Saturday night. We had about eighty people at our house, serving our guests Hawaiian "lunch plates" (kahlua pork, teriyaki chicken, sticky rice, and macaroni salad) and entertaining them with a real, live, eight-piece classic rock band. (It’s Surfer Guy’s old-school rock band, that goes by a new name each time they have a gig. My fallback name for them is Men with Hot Wives Often Home Alone). While most of the partygoers were adults, there was a smattering of pre-teen and teens who were hanging out in the front yard and playing volleyball with the net we’ve strung there.

At about ten that night, the kids came streaming at full speed into the back yard. In breathless voices, they said the cops were coming to the door. While the adults kept on dancing to a cover of Blue Oyster Cult‘s “Burning For You,“ I made my way to the front of the house. As the hostess who wanted to stay on her toes, I had been drinking water all night and had just switched to half-caf coffee, so when I greeted the newcomers, the only scent on my breath was that and chocolate from the cupcakes we’d served for dessert. The uniformed young men were polite, commiserated that apparently we hadn’t gone wide enough when we invited everyone in our neighborhood to attend (Police Officer 1: “You’re probably having a little louder fun than you realize.”), and told me it was time to shut down the band.

I did just that, and then, back to my hostess duties, headed for the kitchen. The young people at the party were gathered in the family room, at the heart of the house, still wide-eyed and breathless. They looked at me. “Are you all right? Is everything okay?” they asked. Um, sure. Of course. And then I realized that they were actually scared. And that they’d raced to the back yard not because they were wanting to give us a head’s up, but because they were actually a bit afraid of the police! When I asked them why, I was brought back a few years… “Because, Mrs. Ridgway,” an eighteen-year-old reminded me, “When we have a party and the police arrive it’s time to run!”

Hah! Remember those teenage days? Even if you weren’t doing anything wrong you felt guilty when you saw the police. And surely even if you were innocent, there was probably somebody doing something at that teenage party they shouldn’t be doing…

I just laughed and told the kids we weren’t in any trouble. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I could have reminded them that among the adults at the party were several small business owners, at least two attorneys, a hospital administrator, a medical doctor, four high school teachers, two elementary school teachers, a college professor or two, a nurse, several prominent members of the local Rotary Club and--wait for it--a judge. Quite the respectable crowd and more likely to be arrested for Lousy Dance Moves than anything else. Oh, and the police officers gave me a piece of paper called a “Party Advisement Form” that the band members want to frame as proof they’re just as bad-ass as the real rock bands they emulate.

Has the police showed up at a party you threw or attended? Did you ever do the Teen Scatter?

22 comments:

Lori said...

Laughing, because we've been in exactly the same predicament. Happy bd to your hubby, btw. Mine is also a rocker, and has been shut down many a time. Our kids, however, think it's the cat's meow, and brag regularly to their friends (and their parents, lordy be) about the tmie they were present when we were shut down. Thankfully, many of them have also been there when we've been shut down, or been at his shows, so we aren't persona non grata , and more importantly, high-school-son isn't persona non-grata at the girlfriends' homes, but rather, ultra-cool-guy, LOL!

Christie Ridgway said...

Lori: Yay to the fellow rocker! The kids did think it was very cool to be shut down once they realized nobody was being hauled off to jail. And the adults all felt years younger for the experience.

Cindy Gerard said...

Happy birthday to surfer guy!!!
And I want to come to his next party. sounds like a blast!

No Teen Scatter for me. I'm afraid I lead a very boring life as a good girl :o( Yeah. I know. very boring. I try to make up for it at RWA nationals :o)

Anna And Sean said...

I remember those days- well I think I do! We certainly had some wild parties back in the day and I am sure we did the scatter. It was always at my house since we had the band and cool parents (total hippies). In fact, I think we ran even when nothing was going on-- I'm guessing its a teen thing. I shudder to think that my kids (ages 6 and 8) are going to grow up someday soon and do the same thing.

Happy bday to Surfer Guy! And Happy Tuesday to all!

Keri Ford said...

Hm..family is good friends with the local sheriff's office. Does that count as having police at your parties?

Candace said...

I've never had a party shut down by the police as an adult but...

Back in my first year of college, a couple of girlfriends and I decided to have a party--at her parents' house as they were away on vacation. Naive idiots that we were, we made flyers advertising the party and distributed them around campus. Why it never occurred to us that maybe that wasn't a good idea, I don't know.

As you can imagine, hundreds of kids showed up. Hundreds! And they got loud and rowdy. And they were drinking. And there were drugs. And sexual activity going on in the parents' bedroom. Things really got out of hand.

We (my two girlfriends and I)couldn't even begin to handle it. So we called the police ourselves, anonymously, and reported a loud party. And then we left the scene of the crime.

Later, after the cops had cleared everyone out and the house was empty, we crept back and cleaned the place up.

Amazingly, we didn't get in near the trouble we should have for pulling such a dumbass stunt. I can only assume the adults involved decided we'd learned our lesson.

Kathleen Eagle said...

What a cute story, Christie.

We attended a teachers' end o' year party in Mpls host teacher's backyard that was busted for loud music. Of course we said "if it's too loud, you're too old," but we were told it was an old fogies' neighborhood. The cops did the warning thing and joked about "another wild teachers' party." I think it was a joke.

Christie Ridgway said...

Candace: I love it that you called the cops on yourselves! That should go in a book...

Playground Monitor said...

I never had a party exciting enough to call the police, but my sons had a few where the neighbors complained. Both had garage bands and they only knew two settings on the amplifiers: off and LOUD. Their practices in my garage drew the cops a few times too.

The only thing I'm worried about now is the police calling about the DH shooting rabbits in the backyard. :grin:

Happy birthday SurferGuy!

Nicole P said...

Unfortunately, no, I never had the cops show up at a party when I was a teen. I did however, have my dad show up at one and drag me out. I think that might be worse.
When I was in my 20's and used to go club hopping, I got pulled over by the cops more times than I can remember. Lucky for me, I was never much of a drinker and was usually the designated driver. Which makes me wonder, why the cops always chose to pull me over. Maybe it had something to do with the drunk people hanging out my car windows.
Ah those were the days. So glad to be a grown-up now.
Happy Birthday to Surfer Guy!

Michele Hauf said...

Nope, never cool enough to be at a party where the cops showed up, I guess.

Though I can commiserate with NIcole. My dad showed up a few times to drag me out of parties as a teen. Funny thing is, I never drank or did drugs. It was just the crowd I hung out with. Sigh...

Nowadays are parties are very tame. Relatives can be so boring. :-)

lois greiman said...

For reasons unknown, I kept expecting the cops to be strippers. What do you think that says about me? :)

Debra Dixon said...

Christie!!
A "party advisement form" ??

Now that's too funny.

And prior to your post I hadn't heard the very commonsense proverb about parties:

"He who hath police arrive with advisements has not gone wide enough with his invitation."

limecello said...

Christie, happy belated to your hubby! My birthday was this past Saturday :P. I feel so boring! I've never been to a party the cops busted up. The cops went to shut down a grad party I was at, left, and returned to - so my near miss probably doesn't count. I have seen parties get busted up by the cops in college... and friends who have been ticketed for noise violations...
;) Maybe someday when I grow up I'll be cool enough to have a party the cops come to. With my luck, I'll get ticketed though.

Liza said...

I did the teen scatter when I was a teen. Our field parties were raided at least once a month when I was in high school. It's funny now, but not fun when you are hiding in the woods or a ditch. I'm sure they were looking for underage drinking, but I always got away, and can't remember anyone getting taken in.

I don't think I've had the cops called out on any parties. My friends and I had a pretty big party several years ago, but the neighbors all came by for BBQ chicken and seemed fine with the noise since we fed everyone.

Jane said...

The police showed up three times in one night at my cousin's apartment. The neighbors called the cops to complain about the loud music. I'll admit that it was 3 in the morning. Everybody crashed at the apartment and the cops left.

Christie Ridgway said...

So many of you are such good girls! No cops coming to your parties!

Do have to say I love the stories of the dads showing up. Mortifying moments, I'm sure!

Christie Ridgway said...

Happy Birthday to Limecello!

Have to say, we asked for no gifts and now have dozens of bottles of wine and the gift my kids are thrilled with...free burger certicates at In N Out Burger. For those of you who don't know SoCal fast food, this will mean nothing, but to my boys...nirvana. They didn't let dear old dad hold onto those for more than thirty seconds.

Christie Ridgway said...

Lois: ::snicker:: about the strippers. Now =that= would have been funny.

And Deb, I may have to embroider that new proverb onto a "party pillow."

Estella said...

Never did the teen scatter or had the cops show up at a party I attended.
Guess I'm too old an staid.

catslady said...

Darn it all - no lol.

Betina Krahn said...

Christie, how totally cool that you got busted for a TOO LOUD party! I could just see you explaining to the officers! lol.

Never did a teen scatter myself-- there weren't many in our town. The kids who did par-tay kept it QT. The rest of us just heard the gossip and longed to run with a faster crowd.

the only party we had at my house was for the football team after a game. All the other kids were invited and we had music and pizza and lots of supervision, including the football coaches and spouses. We had warned the neighbors personally and asked them to callo us first if anything untoward happened. You guessed it: somebody called the cops and the DH anbd head football coach had to explain about the friday night parties. Can't say I was especially pleased with the neighbor who turned us in. . . whoever the wretch was. I told my DH I didn't want to know who it was. . . now I wish I had asked. Party poopers. It was a really clean party, intended to keep the kids out of trouble after games. . . and it did!

Good for you Christie! And Happy Birthday to Surfer Guy!