As a teenager, I never thought twice about the bi-monthly raging keggers I had at my house. Having raised my brother and sister whose partying would put Lindsay Lohan to shame, my parents were "over it" by the time I reached 16. They left town often and as long as I didn't get kicked out my expensive Catholic school or crash my Cutlass Supreme, they had a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. We had a huge backyard, a pool and a big, fully-stocked, oak bar in our family room that rivaled the one from "Cheers." The parties were always large, loud and wild. One party got so out of control that Parker actually stood on the bar in her black studded Zodiac boots, knawing on a turkey leg while brandishing a butcher knife, and screamed, "Everybody out! That means you, Mutherf*ckers." It worked.
Parker and I always did our best to clean up the evidence the next day, but inevitably something would be broken (like one of my mom's rare Kachina Dolls or a piece of Ho Hokam Indian pottery that dated back to the 1700's). We'd get up the next day with our Alice Cooper eyes and matted hair and fill the Hefty bags with Miller Lite cans and add tap water to the empty vodka bottles. I should have known back then that karma would come back to bite me in the ass.
My son Daniel is 12. A great kid, but with the cleaning skills of a crack-addicted squatter. He is, to put it mildly, a slob. Most 12 year boys are, so I should have know better when I allowed him to invite 2 friends for a sleepover last Saturday. The boys wasted no time in behaving like a metal band at a Best Western. Their first plan of attack was to go into Daniel's room, shut the door, turn on Guitar Hero and throw everything (including mattress and box spring) on the floor. Promising me that they'd put everything back the next day, I let it slide while they continued to hurl pillows and shoes at each other. This was my first mistake.
My second mistake was going to bed at 9:00. The boys, having nothing left to destroy in Daniels room migrated downstairs to the family room to "watch movies". Apparantly "Watch Movies" is 12-year old code for trash the kitchen, graffiti the furniture and burn random things with a cherry scented candle.
When I awoke the next morning (refreshed from 10 hours of sleep) I sauntered downstairs to find Jake Ryan's house from the party scene in "Sixteen Candles." In an effort to stay up late, they had made coffee. It must have been strong because the entire can was empty (about half was strewn across the kitchen and stuck to the granite counter with some sort of adhesive-like substance). Evidently they didn't like it black, as they used a full jar of Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer and all the sugar in the house to sweeten the deal. The coffee cups (4 in all) sat throughout the family room, along with an empty bottle of Starbucks Mocha, and 3 cans of special edition Orange flavored Sierra Mist. One of Daniel's friends had eaten an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, leaving a trail of of cinnamon that looked like a cocaine party circa 1983. The other friend, who must not be fond of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, preferred to eat raw spaghetti, which also doubled as "confetti" since it was completely covering my wood floor. At some point my cherry scented candle was lit and used to melt spaghetti, pens, pencils a few large marshmallows and god knows what else.
I stood their, mouth agape and ran back upstairs to my bedroom. Knowing that if I returned to the scene of the crime, I would start screaming like Gordon Ramsey when the risotto isn't cooked right, I made Tom go down and deal with the boys. "He can deal with those Kitchen Donkey's," I decided as I took a long hot shower.
Later, after a long hard talk with Daniel about respecting his house and not letting his friends act like cast members from the Real World, we began to clean up the mess. It was at that time that I found, horror of all horrors, a large 5-inch black sharpie mark across the cushion of my brand new chocolate brown sofa. I sent Daniel scurrying to his room (amidst a flurry of my best Chef Ramsey one-liners), imagined what it would be like when he was sixteen, and realized that Karma is A Bitch.