When you’re at a party, you can improve the world in which we all live, raising not just your mood and your mental health, but the mood of complete strangers.
We’ve all seen it. You’re with friends, having a good time, the host brings in a new party arriver, settles him in for a few moments and then leaves, after pointing out the makeshift bar manned by two awkward looking teens. The newbie wanders over and is presented a tepid beer which has been sitting up out of the ice for the last twenty minutes.
The newbie turns to us party-goers and realises he knows…nobody.
He’s a “No-Know”. What does he do? Where does he go? How uncomfortable, especially as Hornswood (the mythical little suburbs between by Hornsby and Chatswood) can be a bit clicky.
I’m socially brazen. I’d walk up to the closest group, introduce myself, tell them I don’t know anybody and welcome or not, hang with them. However, most No-Knows will hover, not knowing who to approach. It must be terrible.
So, I always make a point of walking over to No-Knows, saying “you don’t know anybody, come meet my friends.” Because if a No-Know struggles socially, he will probably go home nonplussed, from a great party. It’s a small thing, but it can be big for the No-Know and who can’t do with possibly making a new friend?
About five years ago, we were at the 50th of Mel (we’ll call her), a really close friend. She had decided that as guests arrived, we all had to sketch on this two-metre mounted canvas, a picture depicting where you first met her. So people drew the Golden Maccas arches, the school gates, Hoyts, etc. Wherever they met Mel for the first time. Some guy was taking forever, so we went to the bar, intending to come back.
After two hours, I’m hanging with my mates and a No-Know I picked up at the bar earlier, who turned out to be a great guy. We were chatting to Trevor, Mel’s husband, who was pissed off about her previous boyfriend (who Trev didn’t even want invited), who was a ridiculously fit and handsome, French, romantic, cool guy with a man-bun, called Gaspard. He was also an amazing artist and had taken about an hour, to draw on the canvas an amazingly accurate picture of him and Mel, making out on the beach where they had first met.
Mel planned to have the canvas mounted on the wall, so Trev was stressing that each morning she would be looking at such a reminder of her French lover.
Trev – “Kids, oh that’s just Gaspard an old friend of mummy’s. What? Why are they kissing while he’s shirtless?”
Trev is a 50-year-old, gutted, balding dad, with three kids and a mortgage. He can’t compete with an annoyingly still-handsome, muscle-bound artist, who’s had a lifetime of facials, gym and was no doubt telling Mel that he stayed single just waiting for her.
So, I whispered in Trev’s ear and snuck off to the front of the house.
Everybody had finished drawing on the canvas and it was unguarded, on its easel. Now I must admit, the picture of Gaspard and our Mel with eyes passionately half-closed, was incredibly lifelike. He had used up about half of the canvas, but it was very good.
I drew a penis on Gaspard.
It was not an overly large penis (again thinking of the feelings of Trev), but a penis it was. My work having been completed, I returned to No-Know and the rest of the lads who then went to check out my artistry. About five minutes after they returned, slapping me on the back, it started.
Three women I didn’t know approached.
One of them – “WHO’S THE ANIMAL WHO RUINED THE PICTURE?”
I had no idea how they knew it was one of us, but I thought I’d better cop to it. After all, it was a harmless little thing, doodled with honourable Trev-intentions.
Me (in a contrite voice) – “I um… I penised Gaspard.”
Well, the women went BERZERK. They screamed at me, called me an arsehole and quite a few other names. They berated me for a long time. And when they had finished, the next bunch of party goers stepped up, went psycho at me, and then the next. I felt like there was a queue, all waiting to rip me a new one for defacing Gaspard’s masterpiece.
Each time I got abused, No-Know and the boys just pissed themselves laughing. As each group of abusers walked away, No-Know always commented how he thought it was over the top. The abuse continued all night as everybody checked out my penising. My wife left because of the blow-back she was experiencing from all the guests (but my wife normally leaves parties early anyway), Mel spent much of the night shooting me the old stink-eye from the kitchen and I was attacked all night. Too much.
Eventually Gaspard comes up. The word FURIOUS (even in capitals) doesn’t go far enough to describe his anger. He was IRATE!
Gaspard (in a French accent) – “YOU HEATHEN! HOW DARE YOU DESTROY MY DRAWING? IT WAS MY TRIBUTE TO MEL.” He was waving his arms around theatrically.
Me – “Well mate you did take up a lot more space than you were allocated.”
Gaspard (with his finger right in my face) – “IT SHOWED OUR PASSION, OUR LOVE. WHO ARE YOU TO DO THAT?”
Me – “SHE’S NOT YOUR WIFE MATE.”
To check I hadn’t crossed the line, I snuck a look over Gaspard’s shoulder to Trev. He shot me a subtle thumbs up, which said thank you my brother. So it was worth it.
I thought No-Know was going to collapse laughing. Eventually Gaspard moved on and started sledging me to other people. The party went along and I copped constant abuse, and it finally came to the end of the evening. Mel had gone to bed angry and No-Know and I were the last to leave.
On the way out, I went to have another look at my art-work, considering the degree of hatred I had inadvertently created amongst seemingly every guest.
To my horror, I noticed that my harmless little Gaspard-penis, had been vandalised! Somebody had drawn little dashes, to represent an ark of momentum, and they had put semen, not just being projected from the Gaspard-penis, but landing in Mel’s eye! Her half-closed look of passion that the French artist had so magnificently captured, now looked like she was squinting because she had something untoward, IN HER EYE!
Everybody for the last five hours had thought me some depraved, semen-drawing weirdo!
Me – “I DIDN’T DO THAT.”
No-Know – “Yeah, sorry, I embellished it a little. Couldn’t help myself. Why’d you think the lads and I were buckling over with laughter each time somebody got up you?”
I was dumbfounded.
Mel never forgave me.
Everybody, including my lovely wife, left thinking I was a disgrace.
I thought to myself, f#ck…I really like this No-Know. It was such a brilliant piss-taking thing he did to me, a bloke who he’d never met before, that he’s now one of my closest mates.
So, include the No-Knows at parties, and you’ll go some way to improving the world in which we all live, one social event at a time.
Thanks for reading. I write blogs, oftentimes simply to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.
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