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The Party’s Over
by Bob Blumer
Magazine Issue: Internet Only

"so long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye...". . If you're dreaming about hitting the sack while your guests are hitting the sake, try dropping a hint. Change the music to "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Good-bye" by Steam, or Woody Guthrie's "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You." If these are not among your collection, a personal atonal rendition can convey the message nicely. If that doesn't work, begin noisily doing the dishes. When all else fails, say goodnight and go to bed.

the clean up. . When guests volunteer to clear the table, the offer is usually sincere. When they offer to stick around to clean up and help do the dishes, what they are really saying Is: "Wow, that's an awful mess you've got here, but I'm tired and I have an early meeting tomorrow." Interpret such offers as you wish, but If you let them off the hook, you are paving the way to a guilt-free exit from their next soiree.

How much you are capable of tackling after the last guest departs depends on the capacity of your reserve-energy bank. Nothing can make cleaning up fun, but singing along to a favorite oldie at top volume (try The Monkeys, Missing Links, Rhino Records) is sure to help generate a second wind. If you need motivation, and don't mind treating yourself like a trained seal, save a piece of something delectable (preferably chocolate) as your little reward for completing the task.

the postmortem. . It always adds to the fun if a spouse, lover or confidante hangs around to conduct a party "postmortem" after the guests have gone. Even the worst culinary crises, political gaffs, and social faux pas can be laughed at when scrutinized under the postmortem microscope. Bad hair bad dress, bad manners, and bad dates are all fair game once the guests are safely on their way. If this seems unchantable, don't fret: they're sure to be critiquing you and your party on the dove home. I love to pull a stool by the sink, sit my co-conspirator down beside me, and let fly while I clean. It's actually possible to plow through an entire stack of dishes while losing yourself in the excitement of such gossip.

how to keep inebriated guests from driving home

Above all, at every step, make your guests feel good about their decision not to drive.

  • Collect keys at the door as guests enter.
  • Create a cab fee insurance fund (i.e., everyone contributes two dollars as they enter)
  • Pre-designate drivers.
  • Provide a comfortable sleeping space and promise an enticing breakfast and lots of aspirin.
  • Post the number of a safe-ride service or a friendly taxi company.
  • Ride share: Match those who need rides with those who can drive.
  • Body tackle.
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