It's peak season for stupid theme parties and dumb, costumed bar crawls.
This week alone, Portland will see an ugly-sweater party at an otherwise very cool beer bar, and a drunken Santa rampage through downtown.
Look, we get it. Binge drinking is fun. Being transgressive is fun. It's natural to seek out a spirit of community. There's a healing power to embracing the absurdity of this horrific era.
And yet, come the fuck on. Ugly Christmas sweaters are played. They were played a decade ago. Santa rampages haven't been cool since Clinton was in office.
But, hey. Sometimes you've gotta do you. To prove that we're not claiming to be "too cool" for this stuff, we've shared the details of the lamest themed parties we've ever attended. We're embarrassed. So embarrassed that we've granted ourselves anonymity. But take heed: You can be cooler than us. Just give that stupid sweater to Goodwill and go on with your life.
As stated in the Constitution, if you're white and went to college, you're mandated to profess an exaggerated love of the Wu-Tang Clan, and my college-educated white friends are no scofflaws. But quoting RZA lyrics in casual conversation is one thing; dressing up like him is another. When my buddy turned 30, he insisted on throwing a Wu-Tang-themed birthday party, the notion of which made me a tad uncomfortable. No one showed up in blackface, because we're not that stupid, but that didn't mean I was willing to be photographed anywhere near the guy in the Old Dirty Bastard costume. Some of us managed to get around the theme while still attending the party. One of my friends came as a can of Tang. Myself? I wore a suit and said I was Wu-Tang's accountant.
Snuggie Bar Crawl
Remember Snuggies? They were blankets with sleeves, and in 2009 they rode silly infomercials to ironic infamy. A bunch of my friends and I decided to wear them around to bars in a crawl, using safety pins to keep them on while standing and enjoying many a toddy. I didn't feel bad until I saw a Tumblr meme that explained the Snuggie was popular with people in wheelchairs—like most other infomercial products that seem silly to the able-bodied but which are life-savers to people with limited mobility and dexterity. The Clapper? Slap Chop? Comfort Wipe? Gyro Bowl? EZ Cracker? Universal Jumbo Remote? Yup, very obviously these products were designed for handicapped people. We inadvertently mocked them. Eek.
Too Soon Party
If you recognize that it's "too soon," it's not that bad, right? Wrong. There are photos of me at the Too Soon party that I not only attended, but hosted while my dad was out of town. Before Trump, I thought the photos would keep me from running for public office. Now that nothing matters, I'll confess: I dressed up as Twin Tower 1. Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson and Matthew Shepard were there. There were three or four Amy Winehouses—she had, like, just died. The only person who managed to pull this off without offending anyone was the girl who dressed as pregnant Hilary Duff.
White Trash Party
Given the whole Trump situation, it's hard to feel bad about making fun of what the French call "garbage blanc," and who are otherwise euphemistically referred to as "working-class whites" by the polite press and Bernie Sanders. And yet, there were so many three-armed babies born of cousin incest (a serious problem in West Virginia!) and meth (this was before they got into Oxy and black tar) that, I dunno, maybe there's something to feel ashamed about? Oh, who am I kidding. There are basically two kinds of white people now: white people who'll wear blackface and white people who'll mercilessly mock poor white people.
Unironic White Trash Party
About 80 percent of the weekends during my teenage and college years were spent with hesher friends, drinking extremely shitty beer and listening to death metal in freezing-cold apartments. But every once in a while we'd go out, and I'd usually see some hillbilly shit I couldn't unsee. In one notable case: a 30-strong house party with literally one girl, which climaxed with a guy running a gas mower through the living room while Pantera blared.
Wigz and Chainz Flip-Cup Tournament
This happened in Portland, and not as long ago as you might think. None of us wore a costume, but several of us attended, and that in itself is problematic.