Party People

The house was in a nice part of town. The rumors floating around the room were all about the famous interior designer who had decorated the home...

A cocktail party. A nice house. There were a lot of young people in fancy clothes, drinking fancy drinks, using fancy words like “sazerac.”

My wife was buying a drink when she whispered to me, “Look honey, they have sazeracs.”

“How about that?” I said. “My mother had those once, but she had surgery to remove them.”

My buddy, Phillip, and his wife were with us. Phillip’s wife let me have a sip of her sazerac and I almost gagged because it tasted like Windex.

“You know what?” said my wife. “I wish we woulda gone to Red Lobster, I feel old around these people.”

“Me too,” said Phil’s wife, Miranda.

“Let’s leave,” Phil suggested. “Besides, it looks like all these people do for fun is count carbs.”

“We can’t just leave,” said Miranda. “They’ve already seen us, they KNOW we’re here.”

So we were stuck.

The house was in a nice part of town. The rumors going around the room were all about the famous interior designer who had decorated the home—whose name I can’t use. The designer is from L.A., and flew in just to “stage” this house for the party.

Each room had impressive furniture, and impressive photographs on the walls. The photographs featured the young couple, posing before exotic scenery, wearing skimpy bathing suits.

“Looks like they’ve been to Rome,” I said.

“And the Bahamas,” said Miranda.

“And this girl definitely ain’t a Freewill Baptist,” said Phillip, who was raised as a Freewill Baptist against his will.

My wife sipped her glass and made a sour face. “I think there’s something wrong with my sazerac. It tastes like Pledge furniture polish.”

“At least yours tastes like Pledge,” said Miranda. “Mine tastes like Four-Oh-Nine Degreaser.”

But Phillip and I were not interested in sazeracs, we found a place in the courtyard where we held Michelob Ultras and talked about middle-aged-guy things.

Things like: the College World Series, homeowners’ insurance, dietary fiber, and our first experiences with gout.

We watched the twenty-somethings mingle, and it was hard not to feel out of place.

“I’ll bet nobody here has ever heard the name Jimmy Carter,” said Phillip.

“Or George Jefferson.”

“Or Lucy and Ricky.”

“God, I loved that show.”

“Me too. I also loved ‘Happy Days.’”

“Joanie loves Chachi.”

“What happened to TV?”

“The Kardashians ruined it.”

We counted nineteen pairs of skinny jeans at the party, which made us feel even older. Because my friend and I were wearing the international uniform of guys from our generation, khakis with cuffs and creases.

Phillip’s khakis, for instance, were the same pair he wore to his son’s baptism.

Something else we noticed, everyone at the party was tapping on glowing cellphones. There weren’t many conversations happening.

“I’m glad we didn’t have cellphones as kids,” I said to Phillip. “How about you?”

“Sorry,” he said. “What’d you say? I was checking Twitter.”

“I wish we woulda went to Red Lobster tonight.”

“Me too.”

“I love their cheese biscuits.”

“Me too.”

A woman joined us in the courtyard. She was a hair stylist from Atlanta. She gave us free fashion advice. She told Phillip he should consider getting a “pompadour” haircut.

Then she inspected my hair and said, “Dude, you should get an undercut.”

“I should?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” she said.

“Yeah, live a little,” said Phillip.

The undercut, as I understand, is not just for collies anymore. It is a hairstyle in which the bottom half of your scalp is shaved, but the top half gets dipped in thousand island and lit on fire with an acetylene blow torch.

Finally, a man in a chef’s jacket announced that dinner was served. The people applauded. The chef recited the menu for the guests.

I couldn’t understand many of the chef’s culinary terms, but it sounded like he said:

“Tonight, we’re serving a glazed reduction of Ma Cheri Amour, tossed with a silicone clarinet, and topped with Mel Blanc and Corvair potpourri.”

When the night was over, we bid goodbye to the host who shook everyone’s hands. For legal purposes, the host asked each departing guest the same question: “Do you want me to call you Uber?”

To which Phillip answered, “No, just call me Phil.”

The young host looked confused when Phillip said that.

“Nevermind,” Phillip said. “It was only a joke.”

But nobody laughed because, as stated earlier in this column, Phillip is a fossil with a haircut from 1973.

Next, the young host shook my hand and thanked me for coming. And to be honest, it was hard not to feel like a plain hick around him.

The young man is everything I am not. He is young, wealthy, stylish, well-connected, important, nice-looking, and he has a very nice house. And I should be ashamed of myself because I don’t want any of these things. I don’t care about house-size, and I like my four-dollar haircut.

“You have a lovely home,” I said to the host.

“Thanks,” he said. “Our interior designer flew in from L.A. to decorate for this party.”

“L.A.?” interjected Phillip. “What a small world, I’m from L.A., too.”

“Really?” the young man said. “What part?”

“Dothan,” said Phillip.

Then we all went to Red Lobster.


  1. ccgoesdutch - June 18, 2019 7:33 am

    You certainly have to be Southern to understand that last!!

    • Lisa Edgemon - June 19, 2019 11:50 pm

      OmG you do have to be a Southerner to love this. How many parties have I been to like this and it is exactly how I feel!

  2. Dennis Lowery - June 18, 2019 9:33 am

    No one outside of Alabama, Tennessee, North Florida, Georgia or Mississippi would understand that joke!

  3. George Ann Peters - June 18, 2019 10:19 am

    LA is the best! Gotta keep those smug little hipsters guessing!

  4. Steve Winfield - June 18, 2019 10:20 am

    I can’t help but wonder if any of the guests were fans of yours.
    Maybe there’s a reason they were all drinking furniture Polish?

  5. Barb Fisher - June 18, 2019 10:24 am

    I lived in LA for awhile also – Hurricane Ivan was our decorator…. I’m lovin’ these stories – you are Lewis Grizzard reincarnated!

  6. Susan Kennedy - June 18, 2019 11:18 am

    I’d rather take a beating than go to that kind of gathering. So out of my comfort zone. But you stuck it out! Good for you. ?

  7. Phillip Saunders. - June 18, 2019 11:23 am

    Man, I laughed so hard my belly hurt and started craving deepfried oysters and shrimp. What time does RL open?

  8. Edna B. - June 18, 2019 11:28 am

    I have to give you lots of credit for sticking it out at that party. They are just not my thing. I did enjoy all your descriptions though. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  9. Naomi - June 18, 2019 11:29 am

    I really can relate to this. A few years ago, we were invited to what I thought was my husband’s cousin’s 80th birthday party. His cousin, as well as my husband grew up very poor. Their grandfather was a sharecropper, who never owned a farm or a house; he moved from one farm to another every year. However, after going through a nasty divorce, my husband’s cousin’s daughter married a doctor and she had gotten a doctorate degree in education and she was the principal of an elementary school. What was supposed to be a birthday party turned out to be a tour of her daughter’s mansion. I have some very rich relatives but had never been in a house like this. They don’t have any children, but they have a 3-story house with “suites”, not just bedrooms. They have 7 bathrooms and a music room in the basement with dozens of musical instruments. The last time I heard from them, they were looking into building another bathroom. They are both a nice, church-going middle-aged couple. I just want to know how big a house you need, how many material possessions you need to be happy? My husband and I are not going to any more of these “shin digs”. We sure don’t fit in with the crowd that they hang out with. No one actually talked to us; we just ate whatever they were serving and left.

  10. Naomi - June 18, 2019 11:32 am

    I have another one for you Sean. Did you hear about the tornado that went through LA and did 10 million dollars worth of improvements?

  11. rick - June 18, 2019 11:59 am

    Me too……lowerAlabama

  12. GaryD - June 18, 2019 12:04 pm

    Sadly I don’t live there anymore but I’m proud to say I was born and raised in L.A. (Mobile).

  13. JB - June 18, 2019 12:28 pm

    We’ve spent a Christmas dinner party evening with a stop at Krystal’s and one evening at the Abbey picking at food and discussing the fine attributes of pinto beans and cornbread. As to my age? I remember the items in your list .

  14. Brandy B - June 18, 2019 12:31 pm

    I live in South Florida and miss LA so much. I need to plan a family vacation to the real South soon 🙂

  15. Norm Anderson - June 18, 2019 12:38 pm

    They have Uber in Brewton?

  16. Joe Patterson - June 18, 2019 12:51 pm

    Thanks again been there

  17. Shelton A. - June 18, 2019 12:58 pm

    The crowd you described gives me the willies. I’d have gone to Red Lobster, too…I hate it when I don’t know what I’m eating. Thanks for the reminder that just plain folks are just fine to be seen with and hang around with.

  18. Dianne - June 18, 2019 1:07 pm

    This made my day, Sean. I’m still laughing as I write this comment. Too many young people are so concerned about “things”, while missing out on the really important every day stuff. Thanks for a great beginning to my day!

  19. Donna - June 18, 2019 1:45 pm

    “…raised as a Freewill Baptist against his will.” Perfect… absolutely perfect line!

  20. Jace - June 18, 2019 2:08 pm

    Bah-hahaha, good one!

  21. Anne Godwin - June 18, 2019 2:32 pm

    You gave me a smile again! Thanks… I had to look up sazerac!

  22. Donna Dicks - June 18, 2019 2:35 pm

    I can hardly stop laughing to write to you…but, thanks for making my day! It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but the description of the meal had me in tears! Mel Blanc an Corvair pot[pourri??? Too funny.
    Keep it up, Sean!

  23. Ann - June 18, 2019 2:58 pm

    I love L.A.. We don’t have a Hollywood sign; we have a Stuckey’s sign! Far better.

  24. debbie wilson - June 18, 2019 3:16 pm

    One of your BEST!!

  25. Ken Dunn - June 18, 2019 3:23 pm

    Loved the article on the PARTY ! I’m like Phillip since I live in L.A.- lower Alabama- in fact live in Dothan- the PEANUT CAPITOL OF THE WORLD. Stop by to visit with my wife and myself sometime since we own a business here and have been back home 26 years running our business. Phillip might be one of my customers. We will fix you a homemade tomato sandwich made with homegrown Slocomb tomatoes. Slocomb is to tomatoes like Vidalia, Ga. is to onions. World’s best tomatoes. By the way this weekend is the Slocomb Tomato Festival. You need to visit it once in a lifetime. Then you could say you have really lived. By the way if you stop by to visit I can fill you in on everything you need to know about Fadette, Al. You barely covered all there is to know about Fadette in your article.

    • Pam Bateman Ramos - June 19, 2019 1:59 am

      I envy you and your Slocomb tomatoes !! We can’t get those in Tx !!

  26. Linda Moon - June 18, 2019 3:59 pm

    Did you by any chance help construct this house full of PARTY PEOPLE, like the one in which you attended another DINNER PARTY a while back?? Stay humble, Man From Lower Alabama.

  27. BeBlue - June 18, 2019 5:23 pm

    Tell Phillip my first thought when you said “L.A.” was lower Alabama since I grew up in the Peanut Capital of the World but the story was long enough to dupe me into thinking it was the left coast “L.A.”. My bad…

  28. Janet Mary Lee - June 18, 2019 7:19 pm

    Okay, I blew coffee and scared the dog when I got to your description of an undercut!! It has been a while since I laughed that hard!!! Oh, I am so with you on all of it!! And I live a little north of Prattville!! I guess my house could be a showplace though not real expensive..Well, except for the less than pristine floors and floor mouldings and the giant dust bunnies my sweet dog leaves every day!! I would not have it any other way!! Oh, bless you my friend!!! Keep it real!!!

  29. Liz Watkins - June 18, 2019 7:34 pm

    You ARE important!
    God Bless

  30. Karen - June 18, 2019 7:50 pm

    On no! My husband and I are going to New Orleans next weekend for our 35th wedding anniversary and I planned to have a sazerac at Carousel Bar at the Monteleone Hotel. You ruined it for me ☹️ Got any recommendations other than Michelob Ultra?

    • stevebeisner - June 18, 2019 8:21 pm

      Go ahead an order the sazerac. It was invented in New Orleans in the early 1800s: it’s not a “young peoples” invention at all. If you like strong drinks, including rye whiskey and absinthe, you’ll love it. Otherwise the Michelob Ultra is available… for wuzes!

    • Martha - July 18, 2019 8:11 am

      I did the same thing. If you don’t like the taste of kerosene, save your money.

  31. Linda Fidler - June 18, 2019 8:22 pm

    Sounds just like any of the millennial parties I have attended!! Knew the LA joke immediately!!

  32. Brian P - June 18, 2019 9:48 pm

    I’m sure you do love your four dollar haircut !!!!!!! Where in the hell do you get a four dollar these days.

  33. James A Clark Jr - June 18, 2019 10:10 pm


  34. Janet C Averett - June 18, 2019 11:02 pm

    I just love this. Yes Red Lobsters sounds great to me.

  35. Melanie - June 19, 2019 1:28 am

    Yes Dothan Alabama! Sean how on earth you ended up at that party? But I have to say I laughed like I haven’t in a while. Thank you ?

  36. Pam - June 19, 2019 1:55 am

    I love the L.A comment ! I always tell everyone I’m from L.A. ( Lower Alabama ,namely Ozark ) !!

  37. Jack Darnell - June 19, 2019 2:34 am

    You are such a pain! You could had at least made an appointment for an undercut! You keep up the $4 haircuts and soon you will be like me, using a razor on the 15 hairs on your head! Shucks for an extra $50 you could get an undercut on the beard! BUT in reality, Red Lobster wasn’t a bad choice!
    Sherry & jack

  38. Gayle - June 19, 2019 1:08 pm

    Oh, I’ve endured a few similar dinner parties! Thanks for the laugh! Headed to LA and the Redneck Riviera next week; best beaches in the world.

  39. cartynol8 - June 19, 2019 1:17 pm

    This is hilarious!!!! I hate gatherings like this where everybody is showing off. Such fake people. I laughed until I cried. Thanks, Sean. I needed a laugh this morning.

  40. Sandra - June 19, 2019 6:12 pm

    I’m from L.A. too! Love Dothan and you too!❤️

  41. Gloria Rumph - July 30, 2019 5:50 pm

    Love Dothan, especially when I go through there on my way to Panama City beach!? love veggies from there too! Great story Sean but you should have home to Red Lobster to start with!???


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