My parties are like a well-oiled machine |

My parties are like a well-oiled machine

I have a backup plan in case my journalism career takes a nosedive.April E. Clark, at your party-planning service.Saturday was an experiment in hosting the best Slip ‘N Slide party ever. At least I’d like to think so.Dubbed Lubrication Celebration ’06, we had Jell-O/baby oil Slip ‘N Slide racing, Crisco Twister, beer pong and relays, trampoline jumpin’, beach volleyball and hot tubbin’.If that didn’t keep guests’ attention, I give up.The idea for the bash was sparked Strawberry Days weekend, but it really didn’t take hold until last Wednesday during karaoke at The Bayou. Did someone request that “Slip Slidin’ Away” song by Paul Simon?By Thursday afternoon, Steven had ordered me a case of Jell-O from his distributor. At that moment, there was no turning back.My roommate, Susan, and I spent Friday night making a ridiculous amount of gelatin product that would eventually sit in the little pool at the end of the Superman Slip ‘N Slide. I’m thinking the toy makers didn’t quite have that in mind when they drew up the original sketches.We filled two large buckets – and our crisper drawers – with the sticky emerald-hued dessert.All 40 quarts of it. At least we knew it was fresh.Susan remarked that someday we would be in a nursing home, gumming our dinner and reminiscing about the good ol’ days.”Remember that time we made all that green Jell-O and had the best Slip ‘N Slide party ever?” I’d ask.”Nope,” she would reply, in between bites. “I can’t even remember where I put my dentures today.””Me either,” I’d say.That’s probably for the best.Saturday morning we went on a mission to stock up on items for the summer party – pink tiaras, Crisco oil, hot dogs and hamburgers, a Twister game.You know, the essentials.We ended up with a couple of extra favors. Every party needs “Hello My Name Is …” tags for Slip ‘N Slide stage names (mine was Thelma, Susan’s was Louise) and little plastic medals for beer pong champions. We even had some extra cash for American cheese slices for the hamburgers.I think it was Martha Stewart who said, “Processed cheese – it’s a good thing.”The party started out immature enough. A couple of co-workers came armed with two buckets of potent “Sip ‘N Slide” punch, water balloons and squirt guns. Key-lime Jell-O shots kick-started the fun.Temperatures may or may not have reached 100 degrees, but we didn’t feel it. Who would, with all that water sprinkling on the Slip ‘N Slide and cold gelatin to glide through.Deja and Caleb tied for the most styley Slip ‘N Slide moves. She scored the last medal while Caleb had to resort to wearing his pride on his hairy chest. Kristin was impossible to beat in the racing competition. An all-female team of co-workers were undisputed champions of Beer Pong. Kendra and I won the beer relay, which unfortunately took place after I ate a cheeseburger and a hot dog and chased down with a PBR.My stomach loves me.Crisco Twister was fun until all the dogs – and there were like 10 – decided vegetable oil would be a special mid-day treat. I wonder if Crisco makes for a shiny coat.As the sun went down and the sky turned pinkish-purple over our Sopris view, the party got even hotter. I’m sure if they were called “cold tubs,” spas just wouldn’t be the same.All I’m going to say is when I woke up in the morning, my landlord had drained the hot tub.That’s also probably for the best.April E. Clark is thinking of penning a how-to party-planning guide called “Party Till the Cows Come Home: An Indiana Girl’s Guide to the Best Parties Ever.” She can be reached at

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