Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Palais du Hammersmeeth

Even early at the party, people howl like wolves.

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must throw caution to the wind and make a questionable decision strictly for the purposes of luxury and gratification. In my case, this means spending above and beyond my income to land a new apartment.

A good friend of mine was exploring classified newspapers looking for gigantic lofts to host raves. As an up and coming promoter, he’s always in need of large spaces to cram hundreds of crank addled dancing freaks clad in feather boas, platform shoes, and hideously ugly oversized sunglasses. Surprisingly enough, there’s a surplus of such people in Chicago. These partygoing chuckleheads enjoy lots of spare time and a desperate need to wiggle amongst others. This is where my friend comes in. He rents massive speakers and psychedelic lights and invites these people of questionable enthusiasm to revel in his artificially created environment of overstimulation. He then gladly takes their money.

In short, he’s like a nightclub owner, but without all those pesky alcohol licenses, property taxes, or steady street addresses. It’s all very covert and paranoid.

He found a spectacular loft on the south side going for dirt cheap. He called me.




“Um, yeah.”

“You have got to see this place. We’re moving in together. You’re gonna love it.”

He was right. Let’s see here. Would I like a former dance studio that has a ballroom with two story windows? Sure, why not? Add an orchestra balcony overlooking it, where cellos, violas and so forth used to play for the dancers? Absolutely. How about a kitchen five times the size of my current one? Yessir.

The three smaller bedrooms all line a hallway that overlooks the ballroom. Wow. Toss in a wooden lounge, a massive den, and the master bedroom, for me, complete with my own private bathroom and a personal stairwell to the kitchen? Count me in. I’ll eat shoplifted Payday bars and moldy pizza crusts for a while. I can handle that.

Meet Tony, our sound man and one of our nine DJs.

So he threw a party the night he moved in, last Saturday. (I move in next month.) I helped out by taping over the windows with garbage bags and collecting money at the door. Why the bags on the windows? Well, he’s more concerned with light escaping and notifying the authorities of our presence than he is by the gut rumbling bass terrorizing the entire neighborhood until five A.M. Okay, sure. I’m not in charge here.

We drew about 125 people. It was small by his standards, and only because he took the directions down at eleven. Had he left them available, our attendance may have doubled. (We don’t tell people where to go until an hour or two before the party. Safer that way.)

We had neighborhood gangbangers negotiate their way into the party by paying with marijuana. We hired a seven foot tall four hundred pound black cop to bounce the downstairs door. We introduced ourselves to our few neighbors and warned them. We did everything except tell the landlord.

The gangbangers snuck out while our doorman was emptying his gargantuan bladder. They spraypainted bullshit in our hallways and outside our door. Our landlord called and heard the directions before we took them down. All did not go smoothly.

The landlord was furious the next day. When he showed up, we’d already painted over the graffiti with perfectly matched paint. Still, he made horrible threats and scared me shitless. No more parties.

Until we move out in a year.

In the meantime, I am a king.

The end nears. Most have vacated.
2:13 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


March 07, 2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anita said...

Do you really think your roommates will be able to go party cold turkey for a year? And what kind of threats were there besides the given "kick you out?" Lawsuits? Sucks so bad on initiation night!

March 07, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Nah, he'll just go back to renting other places to throw parties. The idea of doing that at home was to save $500-$1000 venue fee each party, and throw that extra profit at rent. Oh well.

March 07, 2006 2:37 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Oh yeah, the landlord. His accent got thicker when he was upset.

"Thees very bad. No goot!"

He just said the next party would be the last, and that he was going to bring papers for us to sign to that effect. If we do it again, we'll see a 5-day eviction notice, he'll fuck our credit, and the deposit would not be returned.

March 07, 2006 3:54 PM, Anonymous bookfraud said...

nothing like a bunch of gangbangers to spice up the party.
"These partygoing chuckleheads enjoy lots of spare time and a desperate need to wiggle amongst others."

March 08, 2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous red said...

where does one drop fliers off and two hours later produce 125 people??? that's pretty impressive.

March 08, 2006 10:52 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Myspace. Actually it takes about two weeks of promotion, with the help of about 50 enthusiastic re-posters, and word gets out. A phone number is given, which then provides the address at the appropriate time.

March 08, 2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Anonysis said...

Sorry I didn't make it on Sat., but I'll be over to hang. We don't need a DJ to have fun in a big place like your new digs. We could have relay races, tell ghost stories in the dark, have karaoke fun.....

March 08, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

Fabulous story. However, is that really all the scandal that's going to go down in your new residence? I'll be slightly disappointed if that's the last we hear from your landlord.**

**Disclaimer: I don't *actually* want you to be evicted and have your credit rating fucked, so you know...

March 08, 2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

You have to have a book brewing with all these experiences...

March 09, 2006 6:27 PM, Anonymous ty said...

i have got to come up there and chill with you

March 10, 2006 1:57 AM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

i'm jealous, i'm jealous!
all these people who get to party with you and i can't be there to see and be part of the rave. sounded awesome.

March 12, 2006 5:22 AM, Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

if i had an apartment that sweet, i'd never let people come over. i'd just fix myself a rum and coke, stare out my two story windows and laugh like a supervillain. too bad about the landlord, but how does the old saying go? don't shit where you eat.

congrats on the new pad.


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