Diary of a house party: ‘10.45pm. There’s a man at the door. We definitely didn’t invite him. He has a Leicester City Council logo on his outfit. Ah. We’ve fudged up.’
By James Cannell
House parties. We have all been there, whether it be invited to one, next door to one or hosting one. I usually find myself being the latter. However, for the first time in my partying career, I have found myself facing my toughest challenge yet: a noise complaint. Here’s how it happened.
The door opens, and students come pouring into the house. Now I am accustomed to large crowds in small places. I excel in them. But through some lunacy, myself and my two other house mates thought it to be a good idea to invite at least 30 people to our, narrow, thin-walled house. Within the hour, our two- to three-person sofas are working at double capacity and the arm chairs faintly resemble refugee camps.
The alcohol is flowing, the drum and bass music is pounding and my sorry attempt to retain control is dwindling.
It’s not a problem. “The best parties are always the ones you can’t remember in the morning,” a friend of mine always says.
There’s another party happening next door. Just over the fence. At this point, one of my house mates takes the initiative to make first contact with them. With a mighty heave, during which I am almost positive he has put his back out, he lifts the fence from its rightful place. And so, the parties merge.
The merge isn’t a problem for me either. I am all for new faces. It’s just the fact that the party has not dispersed between the two houses, but we’ve added to the number of heads in my living room.
At this point, a game of ‘civilised’ beer pong has begun.
I say ‘civilised’ in such a way because the level of competitive chanting was something similar to Donald Trump shouting nonsense at an innocent journalist who was just minding his own business.
The game ends with me landing the final shot into the cup. During the celebrations, a drunken friend decides to chock slam another through the beer pong table, which is actually a door that we had found on the side of the road. Because of the fact it was a fire door, the two ricochet off the table, like a tennis ball against brick.
Upon closer inspection, we realise the table is in no fit state to continue the night. Because me and my fellow housemates didn’t buy the door/ table, we have no monetary or emotional tie to it, but that didn’t mean its retirement is any easier. In a moment of mourning, the music switches to The Sound of Silence. A dramatic change from the heavy, bass from before. A reverent hush is demanded as all 45 plus people are urged to file outside and pay homage to the table. Not the most unusual thing I have ever done, but maybe the most meaningful thing I will do tonight. It’s at this point that my stupid, drunk brain thinks it would be a good idea to set off a firework.
As the song comes to a close, I stand in front of the crowd, firework in my hand. I raise it to the sky, the fuse is lit, the fuse makes contact with the firework, it ignites.
At this point I realise reading the instructions would have been a good idea. See this firework is attached to a stick. I’d assumed that the firework would shoot off the stick. It didn’t it. It went off in my hand. At head level. The damage is minimal, luckily. Everyone laughs it off and the party continues.
Now as many students may know, 11pm is when you should quieten down the music. No more loud noises, right?
Turns out noise complaints can be made any point. I discover that after cleaning the soot off my arm.
There’s a knock at the door. With one house mate passed out upstairs and the other calming down a hysterical girl, it’s left to me to answer the door. There’s a man stood there. A much more mature one. Someone we most definitely didn’t invite. Ah. We’d fudged up. The reason I knew this instantly had to do with his outfit. Smart but causal, but with the Leicester City Council logo on it.
The party has been shut down. Someone has complained about the noise we had been making. Whether it was the firework so close to the ground, or just the heavy bass we’re not sure. All we know is that it’s over, and we are to expect a council hearing soon.
Still, it had been one of the best parties we’d had and yet, come tomorrow, we will be very much able to remember it.
Well, maybe. We decide to throw caution to the wind and go out.