Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 3099 (Age of Middle Earth)
Some people, after purchasing, say, a perfectly serviceable purebred Norfolk terrier feel that on its own, the animal is lacking and needs improvement. So they tinker with it, fashioning a topknot using colorful red bows, or strapping two pairs of elegant spats onto its legs. On Halloween they might wrap up the poor thing in a homemade pumpkin costume and take it out on the town. (The technical term for these people is, I believe, “my Aunt Wilma.”)
So, too, with their state-of-the-art home theaters. Some folks find that the big-screen, big-sound experience comes up short. So they host themed parties, where they watch and celebrate their favorite shows. Sex and the City enthusiasts gather together wearing their Jimmy Choos and flirty dresses to watch DVDs while sipping sugary Cosmopolitans and munching on decorative cupcakes. (For the record, I think these guys are nuts, but hey, to each his own.) Similarly, Mad Men parties seem to be all the rage. If you’ve ever worn a suit while chain-smoking and drinking yourself into a blackout, then you have a rough idea of what goes on. Some hosts like to spice things up with vintage hats, a cheese ball, and a few heart attacks and/or wrecked marriages. Because there’s such a hunger for these types of things, I thought I’d offer my own party ideas to enhance your viewing experience.
Who wouldn’t love a Matrix-themed party? For the record, I would not, but that’s only because I don’t feel at ease wearing long coats and tight, body-hugging vinyl clothing. Clearly there are people out there who do, if my many trips to San Diego’s Comic-Con are any indication. To get the ball rolling, you’ll want to send out invitations at least six months in advance. That’s because they should preferably be in the form of a cryptic message sent to your guests’ computers while they’re sleeping and—here’s the tricky part—about to wake up. (An optional step: You may want to increase your chances of timing it right by sneaking into their homes and workplaces and planting tiny monitors near their workstations.) Once you’ve got them to follow you down the rabbit hole, you can offer them a complimentary pair of sunglasses and a paintball gun and invite them into your rented bouncy castle where they can simulate walking sideways on the wall while shooting the ever-living hell out of everything. For snacks, put out plenty of Red Hots to represent the red pill and bowls of NyQuil gel caps to represent the blue pill (just make sure to tape a “Do Not Eat” sign to the bowl). Once the guests are good and hungry, serve them up some soup but no utensils with which to eat it. When they ask, pause dramatically before saying, “There is no spoon.” Your guests will love it.
Now that the Extended Editions are finally available in a fantastic-looking Blu-ray package, you may want to consider throwing a Lord of the Rings fest. It’s less a party and more of a festival because you’ll need to set aside at least an entire weekend. And that’s just for the viewing
of the movies themselves. The pre-party can last anywhere from several hours to 17 years (a neat homage to the amount of time Frodo dawdled around in the Shire before he left on his quest with the One Ring). During the pre-party, you’ll want to serve plenty of good, hearty peasant food. But no need to portion it out in the cutesy, Hobbit-y fashion; if some jackass finishes eating and then asks if it’s time for second breakfast, just serve him some cold, congealed eggs. You’ll want to prepare plenty of flatbread as an Elvish lembas stand-in to eat during the long, slow death march toward the moment the Ring is thrown into Mount Doom. And during the four additional endings that Peter Jackson tacked on, I suggest you and all your guests jump on the bed and giggle.
If you prefer something a little more austere, why not base your get-together around another apocalyptic death march, 2009’s The Road? There’s no need to send invites; small bands of people will just come across it. And don’t bother preparing any food; just let guests root through your garbage and gnaw on the ends of chicken bones or lick the leathery remnants of a discarded pudding cup. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you could place bowls of premade grime around the room that guests could freely dip into to properly en-grime themselves. (Note: The Road party not recommended for those who live in high-rises. And all others may want to tape your knife drawers shut and keep poisons out of reach. Oh, and enjoy!)
Although I’m certain that Twilight parties already exist, I wouldn’t know for sure as my mailbox has been curiously devoid of invites. So I’ll just have to devise my own. I will of course request that all my guests cover themselves in clown-white makeup and body glitter and that they adopt as morose an attitude as possible, as though they just lost their job, dropped their brand-new MacBook Pro, and then went home to find that someone had shot their dog. Before we get to the screening, we’ll spend a good amount of time lying on a putting green surrounded by plastic daisies (a stand-in for Twilight’s ubiquitous field of wildflowers). Half the guests will scribble bad faux-gothic poetry onto a notebook while the other half gaze at them moon-eyed and stroke their hair (no exceptions!). Then another hour or two of half-whispered inanities before we tear into a freshly killed faun.
Finally, may I suggest a Requiem for a Dream party: For this dark but stylish variation, you’ll want to—you know what, never mind.