Melissa had this idea for a graduation party that Evan should have. Evan never has an idea for a party and always prefers to let others have the parties. In fact, Evan will fight you on the idea of having a party. I guess there’s too much opportunity to commit some grand faux pas even though he’s just graduated and will probably never see these people again – at least for 20 years. He could stand on the table and crap in his own punch bowl with impunity. This is the one time that a faux pas would have no consequence and yet he resisted the plan. But Mel can be persuasive.

Evan and his buddies have for the past few years made videos for fun. They created a faux (I’m liking that word – can you tell?) production company called “Swoot Unit Productions” and they typically make music videos. Their site on MySpace has gotten thousands of hits and has a friends list that numbers way into the hundreds. So Mel had the idea for the Swootapalooza; invite everyone who has ever participated in one of these videos as an extra. And that is a pretty wide net to be casting when you invite that kind of cast.

All together, I’m guessing that about 30 people showed up at various times. Mel (who is a very take-charge type of person when it comes to parties) had all sorts of things in mind to do but the kids are all 18 now and they mutinied early on and came up with their own activities. Well, no matter. The important thing is that they not get bored. They certainly were not bored.

I should point out that since they are all 18, they are not bound by the midnight curfew any more. More’s the pity for me since it was very late when I got to bed.

As each guest arrived, they were put up against the wall in front of a poster of the party theme and had their photos taken which were quickly uploaded to Facebook – redeye and all. There were many other cameras in evidence and I’d like to see the results from some of these. I probably never will though.

One kid showed up on his Mom’s Vespa (or some such scooter) and so scooter rides around the neighborhood were extremely popular. I was not aware of this or I might have tried to put a stop to it because most of these kids had never even sat on a scooter before, much less piloted one. My one trip out front was met with a kid who repeatedly tried to start it but honked the horn instead. One time I can understand but multiple times? Some kids just are not smart. And that’s the prime reason that they should not be riding a scooter around the neighborhood in the dark. There was a helmet but sometimes that’s not enough. But thankfully, there were no mishaps and we put a stop to any further excursions. Now that they’re technically adults, they have no particular obligation to follow our suggestions except out of a sort of psychological momentum that they should generally heed old people like me. I’m glad they do.

Evan and his buddies had two laptops set up, one with a kickin’ set of speakers, that were playing their videos and various other tunes. Somebody brought a briefcase full of poker chips and playing cards and so a rousing game of Texas Hold’em broke out on the patio. I wouldn’t have minded this except that each winning hand was accompanied by deafening whoops which I was afraid might bother the neighbors.

Someone hooked up “Dance Dance Revolution” to the playstation and this kept people sweating for awhile and then somebody brought in a Wii which made them sweat some more.

Evan brought out all his tacky Christmas lights and strung them around the patio (Erin’s idea) which added just the right amount of “something” to make it fun. There were flamingos, disco balls, tiki heads, and shotgun shells. I have no idea where the tiki lights came from. I feel that way a lot these days.

Somebody showed up with a pinata shaped like Spiderman. This they filled with candy and little photos of themselves (and the band director – yes, that seems pretty random to me too) that they had somehow printed out. The pinata-breaking part was downright scary. They did in the best old-fashioned Mexican, i.e., impossible fashion which is to say that they blindfolded each victim and pulled on the string to make it go up out of range and swing. They were using our broom but very quickly broke it in two. When I looked out there, there was one guy on another’s shoulders trying to maneuver around and break the pinata, and by that time they had found an eight foot piece of electrical conduit in the garage and were swinging that. Mel’s comment: “This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

I chose not to mention that the dog used that area as her bathroom. They did not need to know about all the little hidden tootsie-roll landmines out there. No, I had not picked it up before the party – sue me. Collecting dog turds in a bag is not my idea of fun and it wasn’t my party.

Given the number of people that were there, they ate remarkably little and drank much less soda and more water than I would have expected. That’s not a bad thing – just an observation. I will also observe this: Evan is friends with a remarkably large number of beautiful girls. And it seems that every old girlfriend of his except one was in the house at the same time which was apparently not awkward for anybody.

Mel, Erin, and I spent much of this time cloistered in the back bedroom watching movies. Erin loves a party and hated to be imprisoned back there with us but we figured that having a little sister in the middle of everything would have been bad. Erin was pretty unhappy about it though.

When it was all said and done and the gossip was in it turns out to have been a big success, much to Evan’s relief. Evan was sent outside Saturday to rake up all the flotsam and dispose of it so we could mow. The photos on Facebook apparently got many hits and comments and so Evan and his buddies can be said to have closed out their high school careers (and perhaps Swoot Unit Productions) with a satisfying bang.

Evan starts work lifeguarding at the pools this Memorial Day weekend and starts gofering at the dentist’s office soon after. So we just put a period at the end of the story of his childhood I guess. It’s been good.

And I feel kind of sad about it at the same time.